Slovenian teen motocross star Gajser wins world MXGP title
Topping off an amazing season, the 19-year placed 2nd in the penultimate round of the championship in Charlotte, in the US, to cement an unassailable lead of 93 points ahead Italy's Antonio Cairoli.
A Honda Gariboldi team member, Gajser already wrapped up the world MXGP title in the first race on Saturday by finishing 4th, as Cairoli, an eight time world champion, only came in 13th.
Placing second in the second race, Gajser finished the round as runner-up to Eli Tomac of the US, who clocked the fastest time in both races.
"The first race was very hard, I was thinking a lot about the championship. I wasn't relaxed, which was reflected in my ride. After winning the world title, the pressure was gone," said Gajser.
He lost his rhythm after a mistake in the second race and was no longer going out for a win, preferring to settle for the second spot.
"I'd like to thank everyone on the HRC and Honda Gariboldi teams, my supporters and above all my family, my girlfriend and my father, without whom I wouldn't be where I am," said Gajser about his coach father.
Gajser's statistics in his first MXGP season are absolutely stunning. He has won 15 races, seven grand prix and 15 podiums out of a possible 17.
What is more, the Slovenian star, who will turn 20 on 8 September, now has world titles in two different motocross classes after claiming the title in MX2 in 2015.
He showed his talent early on, shocking his rivals as he won both races in his debut appearance in the MXGP class in the season opener in Qatar in February.
His mistakes were few, the biggest one was in the previous round in Assen when the title was within his reach but he had to quit the second race after a crash.
Nevertheless, having admitted it was not his lucky day, he mustered his cool: "Let's head on. I'm looking forward to races in the States," he said after the disappointment in the Netherlands.
In December 2015, Gajser was honoured by the Slovenian Sports Journalists' Association as the up-and-coming athlete of the year.
Commenting on what is a historic achievement for the sports in Slovenia, the head of the Slovenian Automotive Club (AMZS) Anton Breznik said that the AMZS was "honoured to be part of Tim's success story".
"Through his amazing dedication, hard work and courage, he has proved it is possible not only to reach for the world top but to win it."
Part of Gajser's success is his father and mentor Bogomir, who has been his coach since his earliest attempts in the sport.
Through perseverance and good results, Bogomir Gajser made it into the close circle of Honda experts, who are not keen on having outsiders making improvements on their motorbikes.