SPECIAL FEATURE OAT
TEAM OF THE MONTH Husqvarna
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MXGP MAG: Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: Youthstream/Zanzani/Borak/Suzuki/Husqvarna/ Honda/ Kawasaki /Yamaha YOUTHSTREAM Media World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland MXGP Mag #5 February 2014 The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of Youthstream. Then content of this publication is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time the articles were written. The copying of articles and photos even partially is forbidden unless permission has ben requested from Youthstream in advance and reference is made to the source (©Youthstream).
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Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group Dear MXGP friends, There are only a couple of weeks until MXGP kicks-off in Qatar, and everyone is in full preparation for the trip to Qatar and Thailand. The questions on everyone’s lips are: is Desalle, De Dycker, Strijbos, Paulin, Nagl, Bobryshev, Van Horebeek, Rattray, Searle or Frossard able to take the MXGP crown from Cairoli during this long and demanding 2014 season? And between all the young, strong and talented riders in the MX2 class will there be one who can upset Herlings? In 2014 the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship will be held during select-
ed MXGP events, and the first round of the Women’s World Championship will take place in Qatar; it’s the first time ever this Championship has gone out of Europe. With Youthstream’s recent announcements of Eurosport broadcasting throughout Europe and CBS Sports Network broadcasting in USA and Canada, and the continuation of the 2013 TV coverage, MXGP’s worldwide TV coverage has never looked so good in the history of Motocross. Keep your eyes peeled as shortly we will be announcing great news for Italian MXGP fans; a major Italian broadcaster will be transmitting the entire Motocross World Championship live.
The return of Husqvarna to MXGP with strong teams in both classes is excellent news for MX fans, as Husqvarna is a historically strong root of our sport. With Husqvarna’s comeback now 7 manufacturers are present in MXGP. This year’s Championship is going to be bursting with action, emotions and novelties thanks to all the fantastic riders, the uncompromising circuits, the top quality organization and the TV production bringing all the exciting details of MXGP to you. Now it’s time for action, and I wish everyone a great MXGP season at the tracks, on MXGPTV.com, on any of the TV channels that broadcast MXGP worldwide or on the social networks.
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The FOX Head Holeshot Award N
o sport places more importance at getting out of the first corner in the lead than Motocross, the hours spent drilling starts, fine tuning clutch response, gear ratios and body positions, no sport pushes its athletes so hard to get the launch off the line and that vital half meter into and out of turn one.
Getting the holeshot in itself has always been a bragging right among racers and a bench racing stat for the fans and now for 2014 it’s getting ramped up a notch with the FOX HEAD HOLESHOT AWARD. Now it’s not just about nailing it one time, it’s about stringing it together for 36 starts in a row. Each time a rider crosses that line first he will get 1 point towards his yearly total, and instead of a holeshot winner per MXGP, the rider with the most holeshot points after each race will now get to wear the new Black plate.
The ranking will start in Qatar where it is possible that we will have a tie from the off if two different riders get the holeshot in the first two main events, if so the plate will be shared and we will move on to round two with two riders togeth- those last two starts. er at the top of the standings. The award will also extend to the You’ll be able to keep up with the MXoN with a winner in each of results of both the MXGP and the three MXGP, MX2 and Open MX2 holeshot awards after each classes, and to the Junior World GP with updates on the Live TV Championship where the winners program and online at MXGP.com will be decked out in a shed load of the finest FOX gear. Come the final MXGP and we will have our two FOX HEAD HOLESo now it gets serious, it’s about SHOT champions adorned with putting your starts together for the black plate and in line to win the whole year to be in with a the cash prize of 5,000 for the chance of walking away with all MX2 class and 10,000 for the that cash. Heads down, clutchMXGP boys and it may well come es just biting and pin it when the down to those last two races, gate drops.
RACING CATCH UP
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OAT: CURB YOUR CURIOSITY Silly-Season has officially hooked fifth gear and is heading straight for Qatar, round one of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship. As you all know, a New Year always means new fresh starts, new teams, new bikes and a truckload of gossip. With the Internet literally buzzing as we wait for the season to unfold, weâ€™ve decided to shed some light on some of this seasonâ€™s hottest moves.
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fter just three years in the MXGP paddock, Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing (previously known as ‘IceOne Racing’) has become Husqvarna’s MXGP factory squad for 2014. This year the team will be backing the return of South African Tyla Rattray and welcoming Australian rookie Todd Waters. Although Rattray has spent the last five years racing in the USA, we can’t forget he has already experienced an array of FIM Motocross World Championship success, which includes an MX2 world title in 2008 and multiple GP wins and podiums
and he will be hitting the tracks on the brand new FC350. On the team’s FC450 will be Todd Waters, he is currently Australia’s hottest export and is known to his Aussie fans as “Mr. Smooth”. Funnily enough, Waters is young enough to race MX2, but after racing 450s in Australia he has opted to dive in the deep end to race MXGP in his rookie season. Taking on the MX2 class will be the Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing Team. The team will accommodate two of
the hottest young talents on the market, Frenchman Romain Febvre and Russian Aleksandr Tonkov as they continue their climb up the MX2 ranks. Making their way back to the start gate after spending the majority of last season in bandages, Steven Frossard and Arnaud Tonus will be back to full health. Frossard has moved on from Yamaha to join fellow French superstar Gautier Paulin on the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, while Tonus will make his return to MX2 onboard a CLS Monster Energy Kawasa-
One thing is certain though, both of the 2013 champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings will be riding with a target on their backs and you can bet your boots, those boys aren’t going down without a fight.
ki alongside the popular Italian Alessandro Lupino and their latest addition Dylan Ferrandis. Tommy Searle will remain as CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki’s MXGP rider.
himself Valentin Guillod. After his unforgettable ride for Team Switzerland at last year’s Monster Energy FIM MXoN where he made it known he can run up front with the best of the best, he was snapped up by Standing Rockstar Energy Suzuki EuConstruct KTM, the team that rope’s Julien Lieber is another took Glenn Coldenhoff to his rider making a return to acfirst ever GP win, and he will tion. The young Belgian has surely be ready to attack come fully recovered from his knee Qatar. reconstruction of 2013 and Taking a leap of faith, David will re-join the Rockstar Ener- Philippaerts has branched gy Suzuki Europe Team in MX2 out and started ‘DP19 Racalong side Dutch talent Glenn ing’. The former MX1 World Coldenhoff and 2013 EMX250 Champion has gone back to the runner-up, Jeremy Seewer. brand where he won his world title and on the revised 2014 Another EMX250 star all set YZF450 he is already looking to step up to MX2 is the champ like a happier and more competitive man in 2014.
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A couple of other things to look out for when the gates drop, Alessandro Lupino has dropped number 300 and will be rocking out with number 8 while TM Ricci Racing’s Tanel Leok has changed from number 40 to number 3. With both fields looking deep this year, picking a winner is anybody’s guess? One thing is certain though, both of the 2013 champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings will be riding with a target on their backs and you can bet your boots, those boys aren’t going down without a fight. Let the countdown begin!
FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – MXGP Team Name 24MX Honda Racing Bike It Yamaha Cosworth DP19 Racing HM Plant KTM UK Honda Jtech Team HRC J-RACE Racing Team KTM Sarholz Latvia - Husqvarna Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy MXGP HB Gebben Kawasaki team TM Ricci Racing Wilvo Forkrent KTM Yamaha Factory Racing
Bike Honda Yamaha Yamaha KTM Honda Honda Honda KTM Husqvarna Kawasaki KTM Husqvarna Suzuki Kawasaki Kawasaki TM KTM Yamaha
Rider1 Xavier Boog Rui Gonçalves David Philippaerts Shaun Simpson Klemen Gercar Evgeny Bobryshev Joel Roelants Dennis Ullrich Augusts Justs Gautier Paulin Antonio Cairoli Tyla Rattray Clément Desalle Tommy Searle Herjan Brakke Davide Guarneri Matiss Karro Jeremy Van Horebeek
NBR 121 999 19 24 62 777 34 149 95 21 222 28 25 100 61 39 91 89
Rider2 Jens Getteman
tba Steven Frossard Ken De Dycker Todd Waters Kevin Strijbos
183 9 47 22
Tanel Leok Jake Nicholls
FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – MX2 Team Name Bike It Yamaha Cosworth
Rider1 Max Anstie
NBR Rider2 NBR Rider3 99 M. Klingsheim 67 A. Lundgren
CEC I.S. Racing HM Plant KTM UK Honda Gariboldi Honda Jtech KEMEA Yamaha Racing Team KTM Silver Action Latvia - Husqvarna Racing Marchetti Racing Team KTM Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe Sahkar Racing Standing Construct KTM CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy MX2 TM Ricci Racing Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing Yamaha Factory Racing
KTM KTM Honda Honda Yamaha KTM Husqvarna KTM Kawasaki KTM Suzuki KTM KTM Kawasaki TM Husqvarna Yamaha
E. Hjortmarker Mel Pocock Tim Gajser M. Desprey Petar Petrov José A. Butrón Roberts Justs Pauls Jonass T. Covington Jeffrey Herlings G. Coldenhoff Harri Kullas Valentin Guillod Arnaud Tonus C. Valente Romain Febvre C.Charlier
30 119 243 141 152 17 195 741 64 84 259 151 92 200 71 461 23
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L. Styke Kevin Fors M. Plessers I. Monticelli
26 922 495 128
Jordi Tixier Julien Lieber
D. Graulus D. Ferrandis
TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP
@javi1978 @Antoniocairoli - athlete of the year! http://youtu. be/Xxs18dzGygM Starting 2014 with the awesome news for the #MXGP & entire motocross community! @StevenFrossard Good day at the track with my loyal teammate Floyd! #mxgp #wink @Motocrosspics1 One of my favorite riders and 7 times world champion: Antonio Cairoli #mxgp @OntrackOffroad @mxgp goes back to Spain for the first time since 2010 and Talavera since 2000 with May 11th date now filled on the calendar. @dylan22f Almost ready for the #mxgp season start! @monsterenergy #workhard #playhard
@24MX_Honda Check out the @mxgp entry list for the first GP in Qatar http://bit.ly/1e2WPyO
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@Xbox360Universe #MXGP: The Official Motocross Video Game Coming This March: Dirt! Gravel! Motocross bikes! @motocrossvice Did you miss this awesome video of Jeffrey Herlings preparing for the 2014 #MXGP series?
@davideguarneri This morning went to #milestone for test the new # MXGP game. Really good experience #mxgpvideogame
@JCJillCox @MaggioraPark RT“@mxgp: #6 most viewed #MXGP-TV video: @GautierPaulin vs @ Antoniocairoli”
@amylouisedargan Missing the summer and the paddock already!!! What’s everyone up to instead this weekend??? #mxgp MXGP Event is here for you to join! Sign in to Facebook, and join MXGP Event that you are planning to attend! Do you have something interesting to say about the MXGP, or can’t wait to share your photos from last year’s MXGP? Join the MXGP Event and lets chat! Click here to join the MXGP Event.
Let’s review MXGP & MXoN 2013! Let’s look back at the best moments of the FIM Motocross World Championship and Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations right here and right now! Click here to watch the 2013 review on MXGP-TV Youtube
BOOK, INSTAGRAM, YOUTUBE Visit MXGP Instagram (@MXGP) and have fun!
@josebutron17 #engine #ready #Qatar #mxgp #ktm #silveraction @patacola #motor#preparado #mx2
@gautierpaulin #first #time #making #tatoo #to #my #bro #artcannestatoo #magic #loving#it #fun #noregrets
@bobryshevevgeny #EIS2win#day#oftesting#hondaproracing #england#mxlife#preparation #mxgp
@stevenfrossardHope Good day at the track with my loyal teammate Floyd! #mxgp #wink @jeremyvanhorebeek The new mascot of 2014 is ready! Thanks to Yamaha!! Now I just need to pull the trigger myself #allin #2014 #mxgp
IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP 25
THREE PRONGED ATTACK: HUSQVARNA’S FRESH ASSAULT ON MXGP
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TEAM OF THE MONTH
For a company that started out as a weapons manufacturer over a hundred years ago the revitalised and potent strand of Husqvarna that launches into MXGP this month at Qatar is aptly armed to cause some trouble in the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
ith the Kimi Räikkönen-owned IceOne team welcoming factory status, former MX2 World Champion Tyla Rattray returning to Grand Prix for the first time since 2008 and one of Australia’s most exciting young prospects, Todd Waters, also in white the series has an enigmatic new cast character for 2014.
bump. Waters has two European appearances to his name those being two Motocross of Nations outings for his country.
fronting one of the newest but most ambitious teams in the Grand Prix paddock
It’s the second year for you as a In short Red Bull IceOne HusqTeam Manager and now you’re varna Factory Racing is a ‘factory’. How has the whirlwind mystery; an unknown quantity experience been over the last with regards to their potential eighteen months? achievement and performance. I’m really excited and motivated This is what makes their presence about the possibility I have been IceOne have just three years of in the championship this year so given and I intend to make the GP experience under their belts exciting. most out of it. I have my feet on the but with Antti Pyrhönen heading ground and I am trying to learn all the squad for a second season So we spoke to the three protag- the time. I was a professional racer they have a determined, open and onists – the White Knights - at the for twelve years and also managed hard-working former racer pull- centre of Husqvarna’s blossoming my own team, where I needed to ing the strings. Despite Rattray’s fresh chapter of existence. With deal with the sponsors and stuff pedigree Qatar will still represent Jacky Martens fielding the flair so I am not completely new to all of his first race in the blue ribbon and focus of Romain Febvre and this. In my first year I learnt quite category (after seven seasons Aleksandr Tonkov in MX2 and the a bit about how to manage more as an MX2 competitor up to his whole operation directed from the people, and manage riders on good triumphant 2008 campaign), his same offices in Mattighofen where and bad days. first on the new Husqvarna and the MX1 and MX2 titles have been since the brand’s purchase and owned for the past four years it is Was it a big shift from that posisynergy with KTM, his first on safe to say that we are seeing the tion of only having to worry about the works 350FC and the first of re-birth of a major player… yourself - as a Pro racer - to be ten circuits from eighteen on the responsible for a sizeable group? calendar that the friendly South Antti Pyrhönen: 35 year old Finn, It is definitely challenging, and if African has yet to hit a braking former MX1 and MX3 racer now there are difficult things to be said
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then I know I have to be the one to say them whether it is to mechanics or riders. As a rider you only need to think about yourself, that’s true, but then I have also been part of racing set-ups where I’ve had to look after other things, organise my own training schedules and materials. Do you still feel that you are on a journey to gain respect in your new role? Can you talk to and advise a rider like Tyla Rattray who has competed and won at the very top of the game? Personally I don’t feel like I have to have respect. Obviously it is great if it comes and it is welcome but I think of the riders and the team’s best interests first. If I can do or say something to help the rider or the team then I will do it or say it. If the rider wants to use that information then that’s great but at the end of the day what I really want is that the team is moving forward, people feel happy and we work towards a good result. I have always believed in hard work and
that’s what I tell the mechanics all the time. If we keep doing that then we will move forward and so far that approach has worked out. It looks like IceOne has really evolved. It has gone from an F1 driver’s pet project to a professional operation… We are here to get better and to be successful and in becoming a factory team that approach did not change. With Kimi we share a passion for motocross but also the same way to work and the mentality towards the team. We are not here just to take part. We want to make the team function on a maximum professional level; that’s our goal. Making the move to factory status was a huge leap and helps us to make another next step. We are now at the level where we need to start making results on the track. One year ago we made the decision to push the team into the top ten and we did it. Now we are ready for the podium. Do those ‘next steps’ involve more
competitive riders or better technicians? We have good and professional people in the team and although we all have our hands full we are operating well. Slowly we have been able to look at better riders and now we are in a position where we can attract the top guys. You need to be a factory team to do that. We are getting into a place where world champions will ride for us. We are definitely lucky that KTM bought Husqvarna but on the other side we did a good job to be able to earn that trust so they would give us this project. So far it is a good match and we were in the right place at the right time. How is it going from a well-funded satellite team to a factory one? We are making smart investments and we calculate well with our budget and on that side the dayto-day running hasn’t changed all that much. Husqvarna certainly gives us great support and advantage. We get even better parts on the bike and there are people in
Austria developing components for our riders. In technical ways we have gone forward and of course in a support and budget way also. How is it to be part of this big puzzle? The Husqvarna name and heritage and the reach with KTM into all bike disciplines…I mean, there is now even a Husky Moto3 team… Very good. I understand how big this is and I channel it to each person in our crew. We are a factory team but, really, that doesn’t bring us anywhere. We need to focus and commit to our work and then we will have a great future. In a way we are not really ‘there yet’. The ‘factory team’ label gives us the good cards to get where we want. What about the bikes? The Husqvarna is its own bike but, as you know, it is based on KTM technology so it is already on a top level. There isn’t such a big differ-
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ence at the moment. We were able to do good autumn testing after the Motocross of Nations with three different sessions and the riders were able to find their basic setup. Straightaway we started on a good platform. In my opinion - what gives us a big advantage - is the fact that we also have a 350. It is a really awesome bike and it is great that we can provide that factory option to fast riders that might be coming from the MX2 class.
It is a packed field and there is definitely a group or two of riders. There are those that can go for the GPs wins and then there are six or seven who are battling for a podium. That second one is a strong and wide group. I definitely believe and hope we can be a part of that one and go step-by-step from there.
What about the shorter motos for this year? As a rider what’s your opinion? The KTM link will also help people I think it is fine. Thirty-five or thirty erase some of the recent memominute motos; I don’t think it makes ries of Husqvarna being a machine that much of a big difference for that could not cut the mustard in a rider. From a spectator’s point GPs… of view I think the field will stay This is the new coming for the a bit more together and that can Husqvarna brand and the new create better racing at the end of beginning for Husqvarna technolo- the moto. It’s not a bad change. gy. It is a great bike and our riders In normal conditions it is not a and team can be successful with it. major thing, perhaps in the heat of Thailand then having those five What kind of results can you see less minutes will cause more of an for Tyla and Todd in MXGP? impact.
In a championship that is missing American representations how important is it for you to have the sole South African and Australian in the field? In a way it helps. As an MXGP fan I think it is great to have more nationalities. Somebody like Tyla is a perfect match for our team; a former world champion that is not too old and has experience of Grand Prix. He’s a top rider and was a natural choice. Regarding Todd, he is young, he’s fast and has a strong working ethic. He is also a smart fit for our project.
Tyla Rattray: ‘27’ now 28 but primed for MXGP after five years of AMA competition and eagerness to prove his ‘bigger bike’ potential
good friends. I also sampled a different kind of racing compared to over here in Europe.
On the closure of the door to the USA… On his FIM MX World Champion- I have my house in America and ship return and the circumstanc- we’ll keep that. My kids were born es… there, so they’re American citizens. I was looking forward to coming I made some good money through back. I got in touch with Antti winning some races. I was fortuwhen I knew Husqvarna was com- nate to be able to buy a place and ing out with this new deal. I did it’s a good investment. We don’t not want to stay on the 250 anyreally know the big plan for the more and in America a lot of the future yet, we are moving year by factory rides where already sealed year. I’m here in Europe now and for this season. I looked at my op- plan to be so for a few more years As a relatively new team manager tions, and I spent the longest time before I retire. when we get to that first night in of my career here – eight years Qatar will you be more excited or compared to the five in America. On his feelings towards the 2008 nervous? I don’t regret going to the USA at MX2 title and reclaiming it a little Excited! It is going to be great. It all and had a great time. I always bit… is about everything we have been wanted to go and to race superIt is one of the highlights of my caworking towards. All that effort cross to see how I would do. I reer. Winning any championship is during the week – testing, training thought I did pretty well for going not an easy thing; it doesn’t matter and preparation - leads up to those there so late in my career. It was what it is. A lot of hard work goes weekend moments. a great time and I made a lot of into that achievement; a title isn’t
won by sitting on the couch doing nothing. People think that some riders are lucky to win championships. It is never about that because you always need to really work for it. You have to stay off the ground, you cannot get hurt, you can’t have mechanical problems: there is a whole momentum that needs to be going in the same direction. At the end of the day you need to have a solid structure around you and that is why [Tony] Cairoli has been so successful. He is fit, puts the work in and the whole thing around him is like a machine. He is ‘there’ every round. If he doesn’t win then he takes second or third and always works towards the big picture and I was the same in 2008. I was bummed that I didn’t win on a weekend but after some races you can see the ‘ball is rolling’. Once that happens you know that you need to put sixteen or seventeen rounds together and keep in good shape.
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On breaking the link with Kawasaki only having raced for two brands… I spoke to Mitch about 2014 and obviously everyone talks. He knew I wanted to race 450s and he knew I could get a good ride over here. He thinks the bike [Husqvarna] will be really good. We left on good terms and we have a good relationship. We were together five years and I won him a bunch of races and fought hard at every round. I always gave 100% whether I was at the front or coming through the pack and I think Mitch appreciates that. We had a great year in 2011, between myself Dean [Wilson] and Baggett [Blake] we won every National. It was a solid year.
Husqy with Pit [Beirer KTM Motorsports Director], Antti and everyone putting it together. I’ve had a good off-season and I’m staying with Aldon [Baker, renowned trainer] because I believe that he is the best guy in the business when it comes to fitness, especially when it comes to motorcycle racing. We have a good programme. I feel good on the bike and I think when we get to Qatar we will only know then what more we need to work on.
On his expectations of MXGP and keeping tabs on the series…. I’ve watched some of the races. In my opinion – hands-down – Villopoto is the fastest guy in the world and outdoors he’d beat Cairoli. If On the urgency to leave the 250s/ they are both 1-2 out of the gate MX2… then for sure Villopoto will win I’m 28 now and didn’t want to be because his outright speed is riracing a 250 anymore. I wanted to diculous. Dungey, Stewart, Barcia, be in the premier class for a couple Canard… there are so many good more years. I got a great deal from guys in America that if you get a
tenth place start then it is hard to come through the pack. Whereas here I feel that those front five guys are pretty good but then that drop is big. The depth is different compared to America. The last time I raced in Europe was the Motocross of Nations in 2011. Since then I haven’t raced against anyone from over here. So I need to see where we are at! I have put in the work and Aldon is happy with my fitness and bike fitness. I have been doing the motos and I feel good on the bike. The 350 is amazing to ride. If I can get out of the gate…. my plan is to be there and race Cairoli like I was doing in 2008. We’ll see what we’ve got. I learned a lot racing in America and my fitness is probably the best it has been in my career. Every trainer is different and has their way of running, cycling and working out. It is about fine-tuning all the little bits and as a professional athlete that 1-2% can make a huge difference. Those details like your food or taking vitamins every day become so important. Russell
[White] was good as well and I won a championship with him in 2008.
racing, different tracks, different humidity. You need to be good on the day.
On racing and beating Cairoli and the best tactic to use… He’s a great rider. Since I left he’s won for the last five years and nobody else has come close. When I looked at the internet every Monday I’d see that he’d gone 1-1, then 1-1 and then again 1-1. Nobody could beat him. I believe that the 350 is the bike to be on. I think the 450 has a lot of power and you don’t use all of it. The 350 can be ridden more like a 250 and you can wring its neck and push it. I think it helps when it comes to rough tracks and by the time you get to second motos at a GP the track can be hammered. Cairoli is great, but I won’t know until Qatar where I am in relation to him. Desalle and Strijbos came over to America last year and Desalle’s best finish was a fifth I think but then he comes back and wins in Europe. It is different
On his thoughts of GP motos being 30 minutes and 2 laps duration for the first time… It will be a sprint and the guys will be really going from the beginning. You have to push hard right from the start and the only way to be successful in a sprint is to be very fit. On the chances of a South African GP happening again… I think there could be a possibility. Obviously if I am racing upfront and getting on podiums then I believe we could go back to South Africa. The country has money to have a Grand Prix. They have budget to do something. With GPs being on TV people will see it and it will attract attention. We’ll see. First I have to focus on this year. It would be cool to go back, and not just for me but for everyone who races the world championship. To go to different countries
On being part of the Grand Prix paddock again… I have a family now so it is nice to have a motorhome and we go to On events to look forward to… the races together, which is cool I’ve never been to Thailand, Brazil because that didn’t happen in or Mexico, so that will be new and America; they just came to the last I’m definitely looking forward to one. Aside from that I’m looking those. There is not so much time to forward to seeing everyone again. sightsee but you can take a day to It has been five years. I’ve done look around. the Nations but that race is so busy and hectic that you rarely get a On being part of the new Husqvar- chance to catch-up. Everybody is na team… so friendly and warm coming here. We have been doing a lot of testing. It feels great to be back. I think the 350 is fantastic for GP tracks that are not so fast and way Todd Waters: 23 year old new boy, more technical. The team has been long way from home but anxious great and it is run very profession- to make his mark in Grands Prix. ally. Antti does a good job and we Australia have yet to win in MX1/ obviously have the backing of the MXGP… factory in Austria. To be competitive you need to be on factory equipOn settling into a new life on the ment and this was the best chance other side of the world… I had to come over and be on the You know, Australia is such a big type of technology that has done country. I moved 1800km away great for the last five years. from my parents when I was sevand see different cultures… it is something you don’t get to do in America where it is all the same.
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enteen years old and I got a factory ride, so I’ve been living around Australia racing bikes and also in New Zealand a lot and this [being in Europe] is another thing. I’ve basically lived out of bags and vans since I was seventeen; in a way this is nothing new. It is not like I have been under Mum and Dad my whole life and then suddenly I have to go to Europe. It’s only a different place with different faces…but the languages can be tricky! When we were in Spain for training it seemed almost impossible to find a washing machine! The weather is also a massive shock for me! The cold climate is not something I am too pumped about but it is all a new experience and I’m loving it at the moment. On the desire to come to GPs… I was always a massive fan of Stefan Everts as a kid. I loved world championship racing and always wanted to come over here. An
Australian has never won a world title before. Jeff Leisk came very close but ran out of fuel and that cost him! It is a big incentive for me. What I am doing now is just one step and there are a lot of good riders over here. It will be tough but I will put in the hard yards and I have a good team behind me.
used to racing with these guys. I need to just get in there, do some pre-season races and see where I am.
On a personal goal for 2014… I just want to make the full championship. It is such a long season and a lot of people get injured and drop out, so my main focus is to On being a Grand Prix factory be there at the end and get the rider… experience that I need. I’ve never It is all new! We do a lot by ourraced any of these guys. I went selves in Australia. I go riding by down in the first corner of both myself and I choose if I will train races at the Nations! I don’t know or practice or whatever. There are where I stand. This is unfamiliar more people involved in the racing ground for me and I cannot say I’ll here and a whole bigger scene. go out there and be in the top five The weather is also a massive thing because I don’t know who I will be because if I wanted to get on the up against. I don’t even know what bike before then I just went out and they look like! It is new and exciting rode. I didn’t have to worry about and it means I just have to look at tracks icing over! That’s quite a myself even more. I will go to the shock. Also the day-to-day side of races and give everything I’ve got things can be difficult. Moments like and what result that gets me is trying to get groceries when the what will be. shops are all shut on Sundays and Mondays in Belgium! You adjust to On European life… that sort of stuff and it will take me After the Nations I went to the Red a little bit to find my feet. The same Bull training facility in Austria and it for the world championship. These was nice. I went there, did my work are new competitors and I’m not and then jumped in the car to drive
around and check out the little villages. Australia is such a new country but here you can go to a place in Austria where there is this castle on the hill that is hundreds of years old; I’ve never seen that sort of stuff and it interests me. On the Red Bull experience… I liked it. They train on ‘results’. An athlete might train on how he or she feels but they have a different approach. They work off heart rate and lactic acid levels so it is a science and there were things there that I learnt and hadn’t experienced before. In the past I’d just go and run until my legs were sore and think ‘that was a good job today Todd!’. They have everything going on there. On countryman Dean Ferris and his sudden departure to the USA which means the paid won’t match-up in 2014 MXGP… Dean and I are the same age and we’ve raced each other bar-to-bar since we were 12-13 years old. I’m pumped that he got himself a decent deal in America and that it’s the direction he wants to go
in. You know, for us it was difficult to come to Europe. For one thing it’s on the other side of the world and for another Australia had ‘fallen off the map’ a little bit in terms of respect or just even making contact to speak to a team manager over here to get a ride. Dean opened that up for us. He managed to get through and get a ride. That widened the door and made people look again at Australian talent. Luke Styke (MX2 Yamaha rider in 2014] will also be out here for the season. A lot of Australian racing is influenced by America and what I like about coming here is that it is ‘new’. You hear a lot about Chad [Reed], [James] Stewart and Ryan Villopoto but not so much about Antonio Cairoli and those guys. When I first came over here some of the mechanics said ‘there’s so-and-so’ and I said ‘who’s that?’ and they couldn’t believe that I didn’t know one of
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the other factory riders! Anyway it is good for Australia that we have guys over here now and people like MotoOnline want to follow us and this championship. On riding the 450FC with his team-mate on the 350… I enjoy the 450. Tyla is coming from America and he has done a lot of riding on the 250F. I stepped up on the 450 when I was eighteen and rode for Honda. I haven’t touched a 250 since then. I like the big bike, and the fact is that everybody apart from Tyla and Cairoli are on the 450s. It is not like the whole field is on the bike! On being part of Husqvarna… Just to be able to come out to the world championship to start with is something that everybody gets excited about. To be able to do it with such a good team and support… I know – at the end of the day – that
it is all about me. I can only point the finger at myself and that’s how it has to be. Antti is an ex-racer and knows what it takes to get near the front. He is fresh in his role and he’d putting in a lot of effort and that’s nice to see. On the most anticipated event… For me Thailand because it’s hot! I’ve never been there before but I’ll have some family and friends coming over. The track looked fun and the weather will suit me. To be honest I’m looking forward to the whole championship because in Australia we do a ten round series, five in supercross and then a lot of other small races here and there. It is a lot of driving and chasing dates. Whereas here it is a set programme and I know what I have to do, and that’s focus on myself and train hard. Then there is a race pretty much week-in, week-out. Text: Adam Wheeler
D 38 Photo: MEYER
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The next step in a lifetime of MX
Picture the scene, Thunder Valley, Motocross of Nations 2010, the Saturday night before the main races, when the great and the good of World Motocross gathered in their finery to celebrate the year just passed. Amongst the myriad awards given out to World Champions and the achievements recounted of another year passed, there was one trophy for Dave Nicoll, the FIM Race Director of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Nicoll, best known to TV audiences as the man controlling the start count in the mud in front of the gates, was being honoured not just for his then 10 years of service as the Race Director but for a lifetime spent racing, running and cajoling the sport through good times and bad.
“I hope not, it’s been great but I hope I don’t miss it.” In 13 years and countless races was there a stand out memory for him? That one moment that sticks in his memory more than any other?
Now, 3 and a bit years on from that evening, the time has finally come for Nicoll to hang up his FIM hat and move off piste. Will he miss the job?
“For me it is the right time, I’ve worked with Ingo for a long time and know that the job is in safe hands, now there are other things I can do.”
“I think, looking back, that it would have been at the Motocross of Nations in Ernée, France, back in 2005, I was standing in front of the gates before the start of race 1 and I looked over my shoulder and saw so many people in the crowd, it was really packed and it was a really unusual atmosphere, that moment for me was the first step towards how the MXoN is now.” Stepping in to fill his shoes will be Ingo Partsch, who was MX3 race director until the end of last year, and it was for Nicoll a case of right place, right time.
That other thing is moving into a new role with Youthstream as a dedicated sport consultant, travelling as before to all the GPs, to help with the implementation of the new FIM track marking rules due to come into effect this year which are complex but very important. He will also provide an invaluable link between the FIM and Youthstream to help when weather or unforeseen circumstances force changes in schedules or timetables, where his long experience will be of real benefit to the smooth running of races. You don’t get a lifetime award for just one role, no matter how vital it is to the championship, Dave Nicoll is no exception. In 1964 at the age of 20 he lined up for the first time as a rider on the 500cc World Championship start gate, riding for the Matchless factory for the first three years of his career, his first win came at the 1969 Luxembourg GP and the following year, in what was a huge moment, he beat Joel Robert and Jeff Smith to win the Trans AMA Motocross Series.
Dave Nicoll is a man from a time where riders raced in all sorts of disciplines and events throughout the year, not just Motocross. At the age of 20 he found himself at the international Six Day Trial in East Germany chasing a certain star of stage and screen who had established Team USA for a tilt at the event title. “I asked people who he was, as I didn’t recognise the name but everyone said he was famous actor, “that’s Steve McQueen!” they said, I remember I started behind him on day one and caught him everyday.” When he retired from racing it was a wrench for the 34 year old. “I was a racer and when you stop there is nothing that replaces racing in your life.” Nonetheless he moved from the
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race track into a team manager role, first for the British MXoN team and then when his son Kurt began to race he moved to become the KTM team manager, being there to watch whilst the World Championships developed as the 80’s and 90’s rolled by, all the while being at the tracks as an invaluable part of the day to day race scene, that changed when he joined MIAG. The Motocross Industry Advisory Group was a whole new ball game for Nicoll, alongside Michele Rinaldi, Laurens Klein Koerkamp and Sylvain Geboers, life became more about committees. “It was strange to start with, meetings and the like, I was in charge of the 500cc class and I clearly liked it because look where I am now.” In the year 2000 the FIM came calling looking for a race direc-
tor to take the helm and since that day he has been a clear cut figure, his tall frame imposing on the wide stretch of the start straight, and his calm approach steering the races for 13 years. Throughout those years at MIAG and his time working alongside Youthstream Nicoll built a solid working relationship with Giuseppe Luongo and it was a natural fit that Youthstream should look to make the most of his expertise as he hung up his starters uniform. For Nicoll, who is just returning from his other role as the FIM steward at the first 5 rounds of the Supercross series, the future is full of options. “Working with Nikos Gounaris and Youthstream has new horizons and is a challenge I’m looking forward to, it will mean I can use the experience I have to continue to improve Motocross for some time to come yet.”
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What is power without traction?
‘What is power without traction?’ the answer is ‘Nothing.’ The same can be said for riders with the will to succeed. You can have all the passion, drive and dedication in the world, but if you are heading in the wrong direction, it’s useless. The MXGP Academy is the traction for your power. A program designed to guide aspiring motocross stars
of all abilities, to help them achieve their dreams by giving them the tools required to be successful. The winter program, which is running from now through to March 1st, is held in the south of Spain where temperatures and riding conditions are considerably better than in the rest of Europe. There riders will have access to multiple different tracks of various types and terrains where they will
train with two-time Motocross World Champion and Youthstream talent scout John Van Den Berk. With John’s expert guidance riders will learn new skills and techniques from jumping, cornering, and starts through to braking, passing, body position, line selection and throttle control which will be analysed and evaluated via the timing and video recording services on site. Along with ‘on-the-bike’ skills, riders will
receive personalized fitness plans designed and implemented by physical conditioning expert Jan Postema, these plans are entirely motocross specific and are a fundamental element to every aspiring motocross racers future. In addition to the physical skills and knowledge riders will improve, the MXGP Academy is developing a ‘Masterclass’ to be run throughout the season. The initiative behind the “MXGP Academy Masterclass” is to show the young up and comers the art of becoming a top athlete. From communication and media skills right through to nutrition and race craft, the new young talent needs to be
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well rounded and ready to take on the world. It’s no secret Youthstream is working hard to push motocross further into the mainstream, Live HD TV coverage and support from Europe’s number one sporting channel Eurosport is proof that big things are happening and developing the next generation of stars is hugely important as they are the future of the sport. The MXGP Academy is still open for enrolment and an array of options are available, including accommodation with access to a gym, pool, sauna and tennis court and if needed the use of a ‘Ready to Race’ KTM 65, 85, 125 or 250SX-F bike.
For more information contact secretariat@mxgp-academy. com and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of MXGP Mag where we will be revealing the official information on the “MXGP Academy Masterclass”.
E 50 Photo: MEYER
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HALL OF FAME
The First rider ever to claim the big three individual World Titles, 125cc, 250cc and 500cc World Championships, took him to the magic total of 875. Eric Geboers is still heavily involved in the World of Motocross as team manager of the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP Team. Rider, promoter and now manager, Eric is a true expert of Motocross and puts just as much energy into his current job as he did in his racing career. With five World titles and thirty-nine GP wins, Eric is one of the greatest ever riders of our sport. Born on the 5th of August in Balen, Eric was immersed in Motocross from the first hours of his life, as his older brother Sylvain was, on that very day, in the process of winning the support race of the 500cc Belgian GP in Namur! As the fifth son of the family Eric had more interest in football when he
was a kid, even if all his brothers were all racing Motocross. After football he tried his hand for a while at gymnastic in the sport school of Hasselt, but perhaps inevitably he finally entered a motocross race in Balen when he turned sixteen. It was a special event for him and a poignant moment in MX history as, for the first and last time, the five Geboers brothers all raced together. Topping that, that race was to be the last one of Sylvain but for Eric, racing aboard a 500cc Maico that he discovered two weeks earlier, his first attempt took him to twenty-fourth at the flag. Two years later, with a national licence in his hand, Eric entered the 125cc Grand Prix of Belgium. After his first test with a 500cc, and one season in the national senior series on 250cc and 500cc Maico machines, Eric chose a 125cc
Suzuki â€“ much more suitable for his size â€“ to enter the GPs and with it he impressed everyone as he took fourth and a fifth place in the heats to get 4th overall, one week later he did even more. The 125cc French GP in Verdun was a muddy one, despite the conditions or perhaps in spite of them Eric took a fourth place and followed it up with a win to take the overall GP victory and became the youngest rider to win a GP! After that result he became a regular GP rider, and did the entire season with the financial backing from his family and fans; Eric ended the series in third position with three GP wins (France, Germany and the Czech Republic) and signed with Suzuki for the following year. He took that bike to the runner up spot in 1981, and he came back stronger in 1982. Working
for the first time as a full professional he was the Winner of six GPs and took his first world title just a few days before his 20th birthday. After another 125cc title in 1983 Eric expected to continue his great relationship with Suzuki in the 500cc class, but the company stopped their involvement in the biggest class and that move forced him into the hands of Honda. Racing the 500cc series alongside Andre Malherbe, Andre Vromans and Dave Thorpe, Eric won some GP’s but had to wait a few more years before he could really fight for the world title. It was 1987 when Honda asked him to race the 250cc GPs and Eric won that title at the first attempt before he mounted a successful come back in the top class. For Geboers the 250cc World Championship in 1987 and the 500cc World Championship one year later was just a part of a very successful period as he
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ways stayed involved in the Sport triumphed at races such as Le Touquet, winning it in in 88, 89 and and not only in Motocross as he 90, and got some good results in also worked through his company EG Events in triathlon, hockey and the European Supercross. cycling. But Motocross was and is his life, and he finally came back to In 1989 3rd was his reward the roots as coach, manager and come years end, but in 1990 he also organiser at Lommel in Belwas back on top, winning what gium. Always cheerful and a man would be his last 500cc title as who loves a joke, Eric is a figure he surprised everyone when he that people always like to meet in announced his retirement live the paddock where he is well reon Belgian TV just after being crowned at his home GP in the Cit- spected by his colleagues, the fans and the press. adel of Namur! Since his retirement Eric has al-
Text and Photo by P. Haudiquert
1980 125 cc Motocross World Championship – 3rd (Suzuki) 1981 125 cc Motocross World Championship – 2nd (Suzuki) 1982 125 cc Motocross World Championship – 1st (Suzuki) 1983 125 cc Motocross World Championship – 1st (Suzuki) 1984 500 cc Motocross World Championship – 5th (Honda) 1985 500 cc Motocross World Championship – 3rd (Honda) 1986 500 cc Motocross World Championship – 3rd (Honda) 1987 250 cc Motocross World Championship - 1st (Honda) 1988 500 cc Motocross World Championship - 1st (Honda) 1989 500 cc Motocross World Championship – 3rd (Honda) 1990 500 cc Motocross World Championship – 1st (Honda)
Paddock Talks 01/24MX Honda Racing Team visited the MotoGP paddock during the offseason. 02/The HRC Team crew analysing all the details before the season starts in Qatar on the 1st March. 03/Kemea Yamaha Racing has added the 2013 Australian Lites Champion Luke Styke to their arsenal. The Australian rookie will be lining up this season in MX2 along side his Kemea Yamaha Racing teammate Bulgarian Petar Petrov. 04/ Marchetti Racing Team KTM renovated with young strong talents for the 2014 season.
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05/Rockstar Energy Suzuki Factory teams had their official 2014 Photo-Shoot in Spain in the end of January. 06/This is how the beautiful Swedish track of Uddevalla looks like in winter time. 07/Claudio De Carli and Alessio Chiodi catching up in Sardinia. 08/Last yearâ€™s WMX runner-up Meghan Rutledge will be going for WMX gold this year with the help of her team Bud Racing Kawasaki. 09/ 2013 FIM MX3 World Champion Klemen Gercar will be racing the colours of Honda Jtech in 2014.
QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR
QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Hi MXGP, Can you please tell me the page where I can see the Veterans World Cup entrances? Regards, Adam Fry
Hi MXGP, Are there going to be known Hi Adam, riders in the MXGP Video Game? Will there be a career At the moment the registramode? tion is still happening. Please follow www.MXGP.com website Cheers, John Smith. where we will announce the entry list for the FIM MotoHi John cross Veterans World Cup The Official MXGP Video 2014. Game will have 60 riders All the best, from the FIM Motocross Youthstream World Championship, and
between them there all top riders as Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Gautier Paulin, Ken De Dycker, Davide Guarneri, Clement Desalle, etc. The game will have a career mode so you Hello Mark, can live the real life of moYes, Motors TV will show the tocross, signing contract championship LIVE and dewith the Official MX teams layed this year. It will also depending on his results. cover the exclusive 26mn mag- The game gives full chances azine from each MXGP event. to become the new motocross champion. Enjoy Season 2014! Enjoy the game! All the best, Best Regards Youthstream Youthstream Hi MXGP, Will the Season 2014 be shown on Motors TV LIVE? Cheers, Mark Hooper
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Hi MXGP, Can I watch races LIVE on my iPad? Thanks. Marija Ke. Hi Marija, All LIVE content from Season 2014 will be available on www. MXGP-TV.com that also supported all iOS devices. Therefore, you are free to enjoy the races on the iPad, too! Best Regards! Youthstream
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Youthstream presents the fifth issue of the MXGP Mag featuring the complete list of the Officially Approved Teams and Riders for the 2014 se...