The race Tim Gajser had at Valkenswaard, round three of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, was really quite similar to the first two outings of the season. Gajser was clearly one of the fastest guys and got on the overall podium, which is positive, but also suffered another hard crash. Does that mean he is happy with how things are going? That question was posed in this exclusive MX Vice interview from the sandy circuit.
MX Vice: Looking at the day as a whole, it obviously started out rough with that crash. Somehow you ended up on the box at the end of the day though! Considering everything, ending up third overall and continuing your podium streak is a good way to end things.
Tim Gajser: Yeah, definitely. I am quite happy still. I am a bit disappointed with the first moto. I made a mistake and I fell down, but the second one was good. Speed was there. We were with Tony [Cairoli] and battling. We were really close. Pace was good. It is definitely a good sign, also in sand, because actually Valkenswaard is not my favorite track. I do not like it so much, but anyway we improved a lot. Next week we are going back to hard-pack – I am looking forward.
What happened in that crash in the first moto? Talk us through the steps, how it happened and all of that.
I was comfortably in third place. I was behind Tony and Max [Anstie], maybe one or two seconds, so I could not really look. I did not even push. Just in the corners you have an inside jump and outside [there is] no jump. They were making it nice before our race, so they flattened all of the ruts. It was kind of quite soft when you hit it. When I came in too fast, I do not know, the left leg just went off the footpeg and I was flying. I did a superman. Obviously, it was not that big a crash. It just looks really spectacular. I was able to pick up the bike quite soon. Still lost many positions, but I gave my best to pass as many guys towards the end and I tried to finish as high as possible.
How would you compare it to your Matterley crash last week or even your qualifying one in Argentina? Was this the least hard? Did this hurt more or less?
The smallest one. Comparing the Matterley… Matterley was the big one. It was not that bad.
After you got up, you obviously had to make passes and the track this weekend was not exactly great for that. It is not like there were a ton of lines. It was hard, fast and sketchy. That cannot have been easy, or as easy as it would be, anyway.
Sure. The track was really different comparing past years. It was really hard. You had quite many lines, but they were different kinds of speed. One was really fast, the fastest one, and then you had many others that were the slowest, but you can use them just to not follow the guys. I was trying to find some new lines and eventually I could make some passes, but still in the end I was really close to [Julien] Lieber. I was trying to pass him as well to get one more position, but it was too late.
I guess you were happy with the second moto as well because, like you said, sand is not your favorite surface. To follow Tony like that… That is a big step forward for you.
Yeah, sure. Like I said, speed was okay. Speed was good. We see that we make a big improvement during the winter in the sand. We just need that consistency, to always be there and to try to not make mistakes like I did in first moto in Matterley and also here today. We have quite a lot of work to do.
When you were following Tony in that second race, were you pushing one hundred percent? Did you feel like you could have gone faster if you needed to?
No, I did not push. Like I said, I was comfortably sitting in third position. I know that Max was really fast. He passed Tony and he even pulled away a little bit. I was behind Tony all the time. I did not want to push so early in the race, but eventually I make a mistake and crashed.
Finally, we are three rounds in. You have had three podiums, so that is good. You have had a moto win. That is good as well. You have also had these crashes. Are you happy with how things have gone as a whole?
Yeah, sure. I am happy how the season starts. It is definitely good to be on the podium all the time. That is important, but I know that we have some things to gain. I am trying to… During the week and the weekend trying to put in work, trying to improve myself even more in every kind of different stuff. I think step-by-step, and race-by-race, I can get even better.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX