The MXGP series visited Latvia over the weekend for Round 9 of the series; the midway point of the 2019 FIM World Motocross Championship campaign. After a massive 1-1 performance in Russia, Team HRC's Tim Gajser entered the weekend with the MXGP points lead for the first time this season. Gaiser's strong run began back at Round 4 in Trentino, Italy. Since then, the Slovenian has won four of the last five overall titles leading into Latvia. His dominant ride in Russia gave him a 13 point advantage over the 9-time World Champion Tony Cairoli heading into the weekend.
Despite publicly stating his distaste for the track, Gajser posted the second fastest time in Free Practice and was fastest in the Qualifying Practice on Saturday morning. But after a subpar start in the MXGP Qualifying Race, Gajser had a massive crash in the sand rollers while running 6th. He was able to remount and finish in 18th; all eyes were on Tim to see how he would respond on Sunday.
In the first Moto, Gajser got off to a decent start - fourth on the opening lap. However, it was clear that he was struggling with the track. Unable to get into a good flow, he slowly dropped back to 7th by the midway point. He seemed to regroup in the second half of the race, but could only muster a 6th place finish before time expired.
In Moto #2, Tim turned things around. He got off to a solid third place start behind Jeremy Seewer and Arnaud Tonus. His championship rival Tony Cairoli had a big crash on the opening lap; this was a massive opportunity Gajser took full advantage of. Riding inspired, he moved into second on lap six and started to close the gap on Seewer. He made his move on lap 11 and put a good enough gap on the rest of the field to earn the win. Bouncing back after the crash on Saturday was a huge moment for Gajser and a huge statement to the world.
Gajser's points lead now sits at 33, and it's unclear whether Cairoli will miss a few rounds after his big crash. Regardless, it's great to see Tim hitting his stride and he will look to keep it rolling next week at Teutschenthal in East Germany.
MXGP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- Tim Gajser - 391 Points
- Tony Cairoli - 358 Points
- Jeremy Seewer - 256 Points
- Gautier Paulin - 254 Points
- Arnaud Tonus - 246 Points
- Arminas Jasikonis - 226 Points
- Clement Desalle - 208 Points
- Jeremy Van Horbeek - 200 Points
- Glenn Coldenhoff - 190 Points
- Pauls Jonass - 186 Points
For raceday Moto coverage, follow Fox Racing on Instagram @foxmoto
The Fox MTB team had a busy weekend at the annual Crankworx Festival in beautiful Innsbruck, Austria. Brett Rheeder, Kaos Seagrave and Jackson Goldstone each collected wins while Keegan Wright picked up valuable points which propelled him into second place in the King of Crankworx Competition.
Brett Rheeder Highlights
In what was one of the most exciting freestyle competitions in years, Brett Rheeder dug deep on his final run to lay claim to his first Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle victory. The event was postponed for over 5 hours on Saturday before being moved to Sunday due to high winds. By Sunday afternoon the winds had calmed down enough to allow the competition to move forward and after the first of two runs, Brett sat in first place with a top score of 92 points. That position didn’t last long as Emil Johansson threw down an impressive 95. Brett would have to wait through 11 rider runs before getting his chance to reclaim the lead. In the end, he did just that with a solid run where he added additional difficulty on several of his jumps. After a lengthy review, the judges awarded Rheeder the victory by just a half a point over Johansson. The win is his second Crankworx Slopestyle in a row to start the 2019 season and keeps his journey toward the Crankworx triple crown on track. The third and final round will take place this August at Crankworx Whistler.
Kaos Seagrave Highlights
After several podium finishes in the event, Fox athlete Kaos Seagrave finally cracked the code and landed on the top step of the Crankworx Whip-off podium in Innsbruck. The jam format of the Whip Off event is always exciting, and Kaos threw down some of the most stylish and over-rotated jumps of the day. The competition pushed hard and brought their A games, but Kaos’ consistency and volume helped him edge past the rest to claim his first ever Crankworx victory.
Keegan Wright Highlights
Keegan was once again one of the busiest Fox athletes over the 5-day event as he competed in nearly all the elite men’s contests on offer. Finishes of 19th, 7th, and 4th - in various events - earned him valuable points for the overall King of Crankworx title. His performance at Innsbruck propelled him to second place, less than 60 points off the lead heading into Crankworx Whistler. In one of the most talked about performances of the week, Keegan rode his enduro bike to a top 20 finish in the men’s elite downhill race, outperforming more than 85% of the competitors racing on purpose-built downhill bikes. Always a crowd pleaser, Keegan will be looking to claim the King of Crankworx title in August.
Jackson Goldstone Highlights
Fox team rider Jackson Goldstone took first place in both youth events in Innsbruck. He started off with a hard-fought victory in the Dual Slalom event on Thursday. The Canadian phenom followed that up with an impressive seven-second victory in the IXS Innsbruck Downhill race. Jackson will be looking for another solid performance, on home soil, at Crankworx Whistler in August.