This should an extremely exciting period for Brian Bogers, as he has landed a lucrative contract with Team HRC and is set to embark on a journey into the premier division in the FIM Motocross World Championship. Instead, however, he is dealing with the pain of a foot injury and facing the prospect of missing the first round of the series completely.
Additionally, Team HRC have faced backlash from the uninformed for drafting in such an unknown quantity. Those claims cannot be dismissed completely, of course, as Bogers did endure a tedious campaign in the MX2 class and struggled to fulfil expectations. Why was that? Many theories have circulated across the last twelve months, but it is difficult to pinpoint a particular reason. The fact is that no matter the event, he just did not have it at any point. There was no point where he grabbed attention and caused onlookers to marvel at his raw speed, whereas that did happen a year ago. The Grand Prix at Mantova was a specific high point.
Bogers has his own theory on what occurred last year. “Of course I wanted to show some better results in the MX2 class,” he told us exclusively. “It was really difficult, because most of the top-ten guys had factory bikes and I always felt that we came up a little too short. I needed to race against [Jorge] Prado, who is probably sixty-five kilograms, and I am eighty kilograms. We had some really good and fast bikes, but still it is difficult and you noticed that.” Seeing as Bogers, who rode a HSF Logistics KTM throughout his 250F career, felt that way, it is hardly surprising that he was ready for a new challenge in the MXGP class.
“I am more than ready to move to race with the big boys,” he continued. “I feel much better on the 450F now I have the power, which I missed in the MX2 class. I always liked the 450F better than the 250F, especially because of my size, but it is also a bike that you need to respect. I am so thankful to HRC for this opportunity.” Riders like Romain Febvre and Tim Gajser have effectively ruined things for those moving up to the premier division for the first time, as they raised the bar significantly. So, for that reason, external expectations are going to be an all-time high when he eventually returns to racing.
One could almost guarantee that the staff at HRC have tempered expectations though, especially now that he will enter the season behind the eight ball. This is not exactly their first rodeo. Tim Gajser is the one with the weight of expectation on his shoulders, as he is expected to put the Japanese manufacturer on the top step of the podium each week. HRC have their title contender and that is most important. On the other side of the tent will be an inexperienced talent, but one that can be molded for the future. When can that process begin though?
Well, there is absolutely no way that Brian Bogers will be on the starting line at round one. “Unfortunately, I will miss a few rounds. The plan is to be back for the third or fourth round,” he said. “Before the injury we had two weeks of testing and it felt amazing. Everything, from the bike to the people, was how it is supposed to be. Everything went smoothly. It was just bad luck on the wrong moment – the bike stopped on the take off. The injury is going well so far, normally I can start walking the first of February if the scans are good. Of course I want to be back on the bike tomorrow, but first I need to get one hundred percent healthy again and after that I will prove that I deserve the HRC bike.”
Proving the doubters wrong will undoubtedly be a goal for Bogers, who has noticed some of the discussions that have occurred online. When questioned about the negative comments that have surfaced, he actually agreed that “it is not strange that people say that. Last year was a disaster, but we will see what I can do if I am one hundred percent healthy again.” It would be particularly surprising if Bogers does one day reach the top of the podium aboard his CRF450RW, seeing as he has never hit the chequered flag first in the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX