Indonesian double-header up next for Team HRC

The second-half of the 2024 MXGP World Championship starts with a double-header on the Indonesian island of Lombok, where both Team HRC riders Tim Gajser and Ferruccio Zanchi will be heading for the first time. The #243 is in great form, having won the last round of the series in Maggiora, Italy, extending his points lead in the process and Zanchi also had a weekend to be proud of, in front of his home fans.

While Gajser has ridden and won at numerous other circuits around the Asian nation, he didn’t line-up last year for the inaugural running of the Lombok GP, and as such, is looking forward to this new island experience on what is becoming a hotspot for tourists and motor racing fans alike. With the Mandalika road-racing circuit in the south, this MXGP facility is on the old airport grounds and while we don’t have the exact details, it has been said that the circuit will be changed between the back-to-back GPs that will run on the following two weekends.

Last year, Ruben Fernandez was the sole Team HRC representative and he managed an impressive second place in the qualification race before finishing fifth overall in the GP. However, with the Spaniard still out with injury and targeting a return in the last quarter of the season, it is down to red-plate holding Gajser and the Italian MX2 rider who has never been to Indonesia before, to give the thousands of Honda fans something to cheer about.

Zanchi is very-much looking forward to the experience though, and after finding some good form in recent rounds, is boarding the plane excited for new adventures. Back-to-back races mean the riders will stay on the island in between the rounds, and they’ll get a chance to see a bit more of the local way of life than a normal GP weekend, which is something that is an added bonus for the previously European-only Zanchi.

Of course it won’t be easy to adapt, and the recent bad weather in Italy will mean that the 30 Celsius temperatures and high humidity will come as a bit of a shock to the system. But with a good support system in place, and an experienced crew all around him, he can concentrate on putting in some good rides on his Honda CRF250R.

As with most overseas events, the schedule is tightened up a bit with the qualifying races taking place at 15:25 and 16:10 local time on Saturday, and then the MXGP and MX2 GP-scoring races having their gate-drops at 12:15, 13:15, 15:10 and 16:10.

Tim Gajser  243

It’s nice to go to Indonesia, as it is a very passionate country and has always been great hosts to us in the MXGP paddock. I have done well at the different venues we’ve been to across Indonesia over the years and hopefully I can add Lombok to the list of tracks I’ve won at. Obviously last time out in Maggiora went very well so I’m excited to race again and start off this second-half of the season on the right foot.

Ferruccio Zanchi  73

I have been very much looking forward to going to Indonesia since it was confirmed because I have never been there and it will be a brand-new experience for me. I have heard lots of stories from my teammates about what to expect, and it all sounds great so I will try to have the best time possible. Of course, the main thing is to perform on the track, so I have also listened to advice about eating and sleeping and making sure I’ll be healthy for the races, but overall, I am really looking forward to getting there and seeing what it is like.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Indonesia is an important country for Honda, so it is always a privilege to go there and represent our brand in that country. With Tim and Ferruccio, we have two riders who are also great ambassadors, and who are always good with people and the fans that will no doubt be cheering us on. Tim is a lot more experienced so he knows what to expect and will handle it all with no problem, but we will make sure that Ferro has a successful first-time in the country because with everything being different and going to such a hot climate, we know it can be overwhelming, but I have faith he’ll cope and perform really well at this double-header.