Team Honda HRC has announced that Tim Gajser will remain in the MXGP series for the next two years through a new agreement in his long-running contract between the rider and brand. The news comes at a critical point in Gajser’s career, as the Slovenian racer has expressed a great interest in leaving Europe for a full-time residence in the United States for Supercross.
Gajser’s current contract with Team Honda HRC runs through 2020 and offer options for him to select which championship he pursues with the full support of the Japanese brand. This lucrative contract came amid Gajser’s back to back championships in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship, with the MX2 title in 2015 and then the MXGP title in 2016. Missed rounds due to injuries prevented Gajser from defending the MXGP title in 2017 and this missed title is stated as a reason he will remain in the World Championship for two more years.
Team Honda HRC recently secured a new title sponsor in HSF Logistics, a Dutch transportation company, and announced their line-up for 2018 will have Gajser and Brian Bogers in the MXGP class while Calvin Vlaanderen will be in the MX2 class.
The full press release from Team Honda HRC MXGP, including quotes from Gajser, is posted below…
Tim Gajser, the 2016 MXGP World Champion, will remain with Team HRC in the FIM Motocross World Championship, MXGP, for another two years following the signing of an agreement with Honda Racing Corporation.
Whilst it has been no secret that GT243 has a desire to race in the United States, for the short term at least, he, alongside HRC and the Gariboldi team, has decided to remain in MXGP where he will mount a new challenge to bring the World Championship back to Honda aboard the much-revered #243 CRF450RW.
Gajser's current deal with Honda, which was signed in 2015, runs until at least 2020. The Slovenian joined the Japanese marque for the 2014 season and since then his ascent has been remarkable – six GP podiums followed in that first year, then 2015 brought his first race win en route to his MX2 World Championship title. The next year, he became one of just four Honda riders to take back-to-back crowns in different classes with his rookie MXGP World Championship title.
For the 2018 season, GT243 lines up on a further-improved Honda CRF450RW alongside Brian Bogers on the #5 machine, and with teammate Calvin Vlaanderen on the #10 CRF250RW, all running from beneath the Gariboldi-run Team HRC awning.
"I'm really happy to be in MXGP for another two years. We have unfinished business from this year and I want to be World Champion again, so we will continue to fight with that as the priority. HRC have been working hard on the bike and there are quite a few changes they've made which are very good, so I'm really looking forward to the challenge of next year and I think we have a very strong package to fight for the title. The whole team are hungrier than ever for next year, and I've said it before but we just get on really like a family where everything works so really I have everything I need there and feel very happy." – Tim Gajser, Team Honda HRC MXGP
"We are very pleased to decide with Tim that he will stay in MXGP for another two seasons. Of course, he still has a desire to race in America, but for the short term our focus together is to bring the World Championship back to Honda, and we believe that the combination of Tim and the CRF450RW is a very strong partnership to enable us to repeat 2016 and fight for the title again next year. Tim has been working hard and we have been working hard, and we are all confident of another level of performance next season in MXGP." – Tetsuhiro Kuwata, HRC Director General Manager Race Operations Management Division