Tim Gajser: the predestined motocross rider
For many, sporting passion is a matter of genes, something that cannot be avoided, simply destiny. This is the case of a surprising young motocross champion called Tim Gajser. Originally from Pecke, in north-east Slovenia, the official Honda rider turned 23 on 8th September and is already three times world champion: in MX2 with Honda Gariboldi in 2015, the following year in his début season in the Queen class and again this year in Imola.
Gajser started racing at a very young age. Aged 18 months his father Bogomir sat him on his first BMX and he climbed onto a Honda 50 aged just two and a half. In 2007 he won the European 65 cc championship, a success that he repeated in 2009 but with a more powerful 85 cc. When he was fifteen, he won the European 125 title with a KTM with the Lombard Silver Action team, and the FMI Rookie of the Year award, dedicated to the best newcomer. Again in 2012, in fact, he competed in a world championship for the first time, in the MX2 category, where he competed for the Trophée des Nations with the Slovenian national team at the end of the season. In 2013 he took part in the world championship on a permanent basis, again riding a KTM, this time supported by the Marchetti Racing team, and he ended the season 20th. In 2014 he moved to Honda as part of the Honda Gariboldi team and finished fifth.
At nineteen, the Honda Racing Corporation chose Tim Gajser to return to motocross after 20 years and was not wrong to do so. The young Slovenian is the first rider to win the MX2 and MXGP in sequence, graduating as World MX2 Champion and the following year winning the world MXGP title in a record-breaking début season in the Queen class. Indeed, while winning the MX2 title in the last round, Gajser donned the MXGP crown three rounds in advance, emphasising the power that helped him star in his first attempt in the Queen class astride the Honda CRF450RW: 7 wins in 7 Grand Prix; seventeen fast laps; fourteen podiums in fourteen GP out of fifteen races.
2018 was not a lucky year for the Slovenian: he fell in Mantua during the Internazionali d'Italia, breaking his jaw and skipping the first GP in Argentina. He ended in fourth place with a promise: “Next year, I will fight for the title.” And Tim Gajser did not disappoint. In Imola, during the boiling hot weekend of 17th and 18th August 2019, he arrived on the hard ground of the track built close to Rivazza hill backed by 15 rounds won, 8 second places and a generous 6 double titles. Fifth place was enough to decree - three GPs ahead of time - the Slovenian rider World MXGP Champion for the second time. Aged just 22, at his third world championship in the last five years, he managed to count on a great advantage in the standings and not even a fall mid-way through the first round was enough to stop his subsequent comeback that brought him to 5th place and to the world title victory with 664 points.