Tim Gajser recovered from his fractured jaw in less than a month, amazingly, and took to the track at Valkenswaard to try to salvage his title campaign. The results were not incredible, but his raw speed caught the attention of some and served as a reminder of just how competitive he is. Lewis Phillips caught up with the former world champion to discuss his impressive return to racing.
You are back, which is a good thing, and the speed was there, also good. Results today maybe were not exactly what you wanted though. Obviously that second moto was pretty rough. How do you sum up your return as a whole?
I’m just so happy to be back, especially after the crash that I had nearly one month ago. Just happy to be back. Saturday was good. I was feeling good all the race, qualification race was good. Speed was surprising, I would say. But today I have some bad luck, some mistakes that I did. Overall it is good to be back though. Now we will take race by race, step by step and try to improve myself to be better every weekend.
I guess you’re especially disappointed with the mistake, because those are the things that you are trying to get rid of. Is that the one thing you are kind of kicking yourself about and you want to continue to improve?
For sure. The crashes and stuff like that, I want to stay on two wheels all race. That is how it is. I am grateful that nothing happened. It was just two small crashes. But, anyway, overall like I said I am a little bit disappointed but to be back, it is great. Actually that is first real race for me this season and we know coming to here, Valkenswaard, it is not my favourite track, so it was hard to come back here. Just happy to be back, actually, and so thankful because this crash that I had, it could end my career. Just happy and thankful.
Is there anything you can actually do to try and stop these crashes? It is not like you are riding over your head. It is like in Mantova, your leg came off. That could have happened anywhere and it would have been fine. That must be frustrating for you, because everyone is talking and you just do not know what you can do to fix it.
Yeah, it is how it is. That is life, I would say. Sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes you have bad luck. Actually sometimes you have good luck. That is how it is. You have to be always positive and never give up. Always after all mistakes you have to look back, try to learn as much as possible from it and for sure try to not repeat it. Like you said, the last couple of crashes were strange but that is how it is. For sure in future I will try to not repeat it, try to stay on two wheels and try to be consistent. That is the goal for the next couple races and try to improve my speed as well.
Your injuries, jaw and everything, is that all okay? Have you got to put any weight back on that you lost with the injury?
Yeah, I got all the two or three kilograms that I lost during that injury. I got that back. Still I can feel a little bit, but it is not that bad actually. To be back so soon, it is not even one month from the crash. To be racing back, it is really soon. But, anyway, with the doctor and everybody we talked and they said that I can go. I have to be careful and not risk too much, but it is cool. I think from now on every weekend it is going to be better.
You have returned quickly. Was part of the reason for that the fact that you are not exactly out of the championship yet? Obviously, coming into here, you were only forty-seven points down. When you won a championship, you won by more than that. Did that kind of motivate you to get back quicker?
Yeah, for sure. My goal was already to be back in Argentina, but that did not seem possible. I had to miss the first one and then the plan was to come here in Valkenswaard to try to take as many points as we can. From now on, the season is still long. Seventeen races to go. Anything can happen. We will continue to work hard. I will continue giving my best. I think we will improve race by race. We will be back there where we were.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Honda Racing Corporation