Tim Gajser added a podium on top of an already incredibly successful weekend at the MXGP of the Americas, which saw the 19-year-old Slovenian crowned 2016 MXGP World Championship in his rookie season on the Honda CRF450RW.

Coming into the Grand Prix with a 65-point lead, his sights were set firmly on victory, but it came earlier than he expected as he wrapped up the title in a nail-biting first race.

Needing ten points more than title rival Antonio Cairoli, Tim started well into fourth, chasing Jeremy van Horebeek for third but at the same time being attacked for fourth by both Glenn Coldenhoff and Clement Desalle. Meanwhile, Cairoli found himself down in 15th. As the Italian fought his way back to 13th, Gajser held position in fourth which was just enough. He emerged with a 75-point lead and 75 points still on the table, but his win ratio ensured he took title honours in his rookie season, going back-to-back with his MX2 crown in 2015.

It meant that the title pressure was off for race two, and Gajser came out in full attack mode. A great start saw him lead into turn one, and he gapped second-place Eli Tomac for the first five laps. Only a small mistake allowed Tomac past, but a second position meant that Gajser finished second overall, taking his 15th podium from 17 races this year.


Tim Gajser, no.243

“It feels amazing. It’s unbelievable to have won this title – I still cannot really take it all in. Last weekend in Assen we had a horrible weekend and two horrible races, and I was getting down. I had to regroup in these last few days and keep really believing in myself. We have had an amazing season, and I was saying to myself ‘we cannot finish the season like this.’ We had to finish it like we have been for most of the season – get back on track, and to win the title here and stand back on the podium again here in Charlotte is just perfect.

“I want to thank so much Honda, HRC, the team, my family, my Dad – we’ve been working so hard for this for all our lives, and now for the second year in a row we’ve achieved the best possible result – the highest possible win – the World Championship crown. 

“All the fans have been incredible this year – already last year was amazing because we had so much support, but this year it’s been even bigger. We make something with the popularity of this sport in Slovenia, and I’m very proud to be that person who is helping the sport to grow. It’s an honour and a pleasure.

“Starting the season with two wins in Qatar was of course an amazing start, but it was just the beginning and the season was still very long at that point. Around the time of the Spanish GP was the point where I really thought this could happen this year. From Spain to Mantova we won seven of the eight motos, and I knew then that this was possible – I knew that if I ride like that for the rest of the season we would again be World Champions. 

“I wanted this so much this year, and I’ve been training harder than ever and we’ve been working as a team harder than ever, and less than a year after our MX2 victory we’re again champions. I must thank Honda and the team so much for everything they’ve done and given me this year.

“The bike has really been fantastic. It becomes so much a part of you that you really have to click with it and have a good relationship with it. We call our bikes our babies – they’re like second girlfriends! And this year the Honda CRF has just been perfect. I couldn’t ask for better or for more. 

“We believed so hard that we could do it again this year, and I feel so privileged and so fortunate to be in this situation, and after this year I feel better as a rider and better as a person. It hasn’t really sunk in yet all of this. It’s not easy to realise now, but even tomorrow morning when I wake it will already feel more real. Every dream can come true if you really believe in it and really work for it, and today another dream has come true for me.”


Giacomo Gariboldi, Team Principal

“To have got the title again, back-to-back with last year’s MX2 crown, and in Tim’s rookie year in MXGP, is more than we could ever have hoped for. It’s an amazing feeling, and I’m so pleased for Tim and his family, and Honda and HRC and all the team for this achievement, and it makes us all feel very proud. It’s another key piece of motocross history that we’ve been able to create today, yet I believe we are only at the start of what Tim is capable of achieving. He’s now back-to-back World Champion in MX2 and MXGP and he’s still only 19, so I am very excited for his future. But right now we are all just enjoying this moment that we’ve all worked so hard for. We have such a great team, like a family, such a great bike in the Honda CRF450RW, and everything has just worked so well this season. It’s a dream come true for us all.”

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