By Geoff Meyer/MXLarge.com
Photos by Steve Emter
The FIM world MX2 champion Tim Gajser of the Gariboldi Honda team isn't a rider hanging around waiting for more success to come to him. Despite being just 19 years old the young HRC rider is looking at taking the next step in a career that has rocketed him to a 65cc European Championship in 2007, the 85cc European Champion in 2009, a junior 125cc World championship and EMX 125cc championship in 2012, and the world mx2 championship in 2015.
Now he is going for the big one, the greatest prize in world motocross the MXGP championship in 2016. Yes, at just 19 years of age the Slovenian rider is moving up with the big boys. The move to the 450cc class means he won't be taking the dive into AMA Supercross in 2016, instead concentrating on what will be a huge challenge in the FIM Motocross World Championships.We were lucky enough to get hold of Tim and ask him about the move and what it means to the HRC set-up and his own team the Gariboldi Honda team. Gajser will have full factory 450cc machines under the Gariboldi team truck.
Tim, this is really exciting news for the Motocross World. How excited are you about moving up?
It is amazing, actually I prefer to ride the 450, I really like the bike, I like riding it and I am always training and practicing with the 450 so I am really excited for next year.
Of course nobody expected you to win a world motocross title this year, not even yourself probably, but with that MX2 title out of the way when did you decide to make the move to the MXGP class?
Like you said, we didn't expect to win a world championship, and I am still a little bit surprised, but I am happy we are the champion. We talked about it before the season started, and in fact we always said when I win the MX2 championship we will move up, so we now go for the 450 class. Many, many good riders I think around 15 riders who can win, so it will be exciting for everyone who watches.
You mentioned in our last interview a months ago that you would go to Japan, test both the 250 and 450 and see which one you wanted to ride in 2016. Did that testing take place? It seems like you already had made your mind up before Japan?
You know, we made some testing on the 450 and we are already preparing for next season, and we have a lot of time to work on it and the whole team is excited to move to the 450 class and see what happens.
Looking at Romain Febvre this year and seeing his progress in the MXGP class, which must give you and all the MX2 riders some motivation to follow his path?
Gajser: For sure, Romain (Febvre) had an amazing season, and nobody could have expected him to win the championship in his rookie season. It was surprising and for sure it gives motivation. I think in the MX2 class there are many talented riders, and when the other rookies switch to MXGP they do ok and it shows also how good the MX2 class is.
I can't imagine you are even thinking about trying Supercross in America now in 2016. The job at hand would be to be really well prepared for the MXGP class. Or not?
At first it was planned that we would go and do some races in America, but now we have switched the classes we will concentrate on preparing myself and do a lot of testing and be 100% ready for the MXGP season, so we won't do America.
You are a thin guy, do you need to make a change to your training to build up for the bigger bike?
Motivation is really high, and I needed to prepare for MX2, for two season and the 250 bikes are not that powerful, and now we are working harder and doing more to be ready for next season.
What are the goals for 2016? Top five? Top three? Victory?
Actually the goal for next season is to just go out there with no pressure and do as best as possible. For sure the goal is to be inside the top five, but the first goal is to go out there and have fun and enjoy it.
It's a really nice calendar for next year, some really special stops for the MXGP and MX2 riders. How do you like the calendar?
I really like the calendar, they put some new countries, like Malaysia and the last two rounds in America. It's an exciting calendar and I am looking forward to going out there.
Final question. What are the plans for the next three months?
We have many tests on the bike, because the bike is completely new for me. Many new parts and stuff for the 450 and I will do a lot of hard training and in January we will make some last testing before the GP season starts.