Gasjer turned out to be an unstoppable force. The muscly youngster threw the Honda around with abandon and left rivals, peers and former world champs in his wake. His assertive and action-packed style sometimes asked too much of the 250 in previous years but with extra power and torque of the bigger bike Tim was often uncatchable. There were bumps along the way. A couple of crashes forced him to take stock by the time of the Grand Prix of Trentino for round eight but Gajser had already won four meetings by then and had not only surprised the establishment but firmly threw his cap into the ring for the 2016 crown.
A podium streak stretched to thirteen in a row and only a couple of slips at round sixteen at Assen in the Netherlands last week prevented Honda from being able to toast their first premier class champion since 2000.
At the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Americas Tim finally made his place in history with 4 -2 results and mathematical confirmation over Tony Cairoli. Fittingly the first winner of back-to-back titles in different categories since Greg Albertyn in ’92-’93 was able to stand atop the world on American soil, just as he had done with his 250 almost twelve months previously at Glen Helen in California.
“When I crossed the finish line I didn't know,” says Gajser whose impact has been felt in the manner and style that he has bossed the MXGP class but also in the numbers with almost a 50% win ratio. “It was amazing when I came over to the side of the track and everybody was waiting for me. It was an amazing feeling. After the celebration I went back to the truck and thought ‘it’s done…no more pressure’.
Tim, his family (father and trainer Bogomir is a constant aide, as is his brother) and the Honda collective were able to celebrate in style in North Carolina, but work was still pending. A triumphant return to Glen Helen lies ahead this week and then Gajser will be one of the star names at the 2016 Motocross of Nations at Maggiora in Italy a fortnight later.