MXGP #41 Febraury 2017

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#41_FEBRUARY 2017

gy r e n E r a ng i c a r Rockst y r to c a F a n r Husqva


R E V O L L A ’ IN




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Mark ‘The Bomber’ Barnett

MXGP MAG: Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: Youthstream Photo Cover: Husqvarna/ Bavo YOUTHSTREAM Media World Trade Center II Rte de PrÈ-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland MXGP Mag #41 Febryary 2017 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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EDITORIAL Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group

Dear MXGP Friends,

ry-free season, his teammate, Jordi Tixier, who looked great Without Motocross racing, on his Kawasaki 450cc at the winter has been long and cold, last MXGP race last year, the but finally in just 3 weeks the always competitive Bobryshev first MXGP race will kick-off the and of course the new arrivals World Championship season in Max Anstie and Arnaud Tonus. Qatar. Looking back at the last 2 years we saw Romain Febvre and Tim The first International race Gajser coming from the MX2 in Italy at the end of January class and winning MXGP in their showed a Cairoli ready to fight rookie year, will Herlings be able for his ninth world title, but to do the same? Competition will he’s going to have to face an certainly be tough and I, perarmy of contenders; amongst sonally, cannot wait to see it all them will be the double world start. title-holder Tim Gajser, the former MXGP Champion Romain The MX2 class promises plenty Febvre and many eyes will be of excitement with many young on his teammate, Jeffrey Hertalents who will be trying to lings the talented 3 time MX2 nab the space Herlings has left World Champion. Others that available. will be up there mixing things up will be without-a-doubt The last few years have providDesalle, if he manages an inju- ed us with exceptional racing

with so many teams and riders pushing each other to their limits, and this year will be no less remarkable in both classes. The level of the motorcycles and the quality of the riders have reached a level that has never been seen before. Amid the 6 brands in MXGP and the 7 brands in MX2 it’s impossible to say who has the best bike, each mark is excellent thanks to new technology and electronics that have reached an unbelievable level of performance while making it safer. And now riders are receiving great schooling via the MXGP Academy, the European Championship and finally from participating in the MX2 class, this has aided them in reaching this outstanding level. The combination of man & machine has never been so strong in the history of Motocross. MXGP MAG 2017 MXGP.COM

Every year teams are moreand-more organized and better-prepared with impressive infrastructures and spectacular presentations; the level of professionalism is the highest in the Motocross world. To permit fans and insiders follow MXGP when not on-site will continue to develop, it has become the perfect tool to observe the Motocross World and European Championships from the inside. When Youthstream began with MXGP-TV. com a few years ago, the idea was to provide something more than the normal TV broadcast; it was a risk because it was certain that the costs of production would considerably increase but we didn’t know how many people



would use this new tool; the first 2 years were hard, but now more and more people appreciate and use MXGP-TV. com and the number of subscribers is exploding. Having all the European Championship races broadcasted via live-streaming has definitely helped that Championship because it has allowed people from all around the world to watch these races, and as a consequence young riders and teams have been able to find sponsors and become more well-known. is not only a great show for the fans but it has become a crucial tool for all those who work within Motocross because not only are the races on Saturday and Sunday broadcasted live but there

is other information like live timing, the Studio Show where fans can participate with their questions, and many other programs showing what’s going on backstage; information that is not possible to see on regular TV. This year Youthstream will continue to improve MXGP-TV. com with more programs on the teams and riders, with a special focus on their work of preparing for an event. Followers via all the other MXGP social media platforms are bursting as well and Youthstream wants to thank all MXGP fans. MXGP wishes everyone a great 2017 season of sensational racing. See you all for the season opener at the MXGP of Qatar in Doha on the 24th and 25th February.




Photo: KTM/Ray Archer





Photo: Honda Racing





Photo: geebeeimages





Photo: Honda Racing




Are we entering the greatest GP season in the history of the sport? It’s been said now for the last five or so years and the MXGP series just continues to produce special racing. Competitive is a word that might describe the 2017 MXGP class. Amazingly 18 of the field have won Grand Prix’s in their career. While the MX2 class is very much a class of youth, and only one single rider, Thomas Covington, has won a GP in that class. There are going to be some happy teenagers in the MX2 class in 2017. What about defending champion Tim Gajser? The HRC factory rider had done something very few motocross riders have ever done by winning back to back motocross world championships in different classes. Not even greats like Stefan Everts or Antonio Cairoli could achieve that. What makes Gajser special is his constant improvement. From being a long shot to win the 2015 FIM

MX2 World Championship, and on nobodies list to win the 2016 FIM MXGP World title, he shocked the world, not once, but twice. Having spoken to HRC team members Roger Harvey and Evgeny Bobryshev recently it seems Tim has locked himself away in his homeland of Slovenia. He isn’t taking phone calls, and he isn’t giving anything away on how his off-season has been, but you know that he will be more than ready when it comes to lining up at the Grand Prix of Qatar on February 25.

kid out. He’s special, we just don’t know how special.

2015 FIM MXGP World champion Romain Febvre is very similar to Gajser when it comes to surprises. While we all looked forward to watching Ryan Villopoto and Antonio Cairoli go head to head in that epic 2015 season, it was the quiet Frenchman who stole the glory, and wrapped up his first world motocross title. The 25-year-old Febvre came out of nowhere in 2014 when he finished fourth in the FIM MX2 world At 20 years old with two world ti- championship, but nobody could tles to his name and 12 Grand Prix have expected his rise to glory the victories, he already belongs to following year. His season began the motocross hall of fame. Amaz- slowly, but by the end of that seaing to think it was just a little less son the MXGP series had a new than two years ago, he took his star. first ever GP victory, at the Tren- 2016 also looked likely to be a tino circuit, when he once again successful season, until a crash shocked the world by beating MX2 in England dropped him out of the legend Jeffrey Herlings. championship, although he came What 2017 brings for Gajser is back strong in the end of season unknown, but as we have learnt MXoN and SMX Cup, showing that in the past, you can’t count this 2017 is going to be a more than

Photo: KTM/Ray Archer


exciting season for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider. At 31 years old, Antonio Cairoli is the king of world motocross. Just behind Stefan Everts in the all-time winners list, the Italian might have aged a little, but word from Italy is that he is more than ready to produce something special in 2017 and is showing amazing speed in training. The 76 GP victories and 8 motocross world championships is something that gives the Sicilian an edge in experience, and while he hasn’t won a title since 2014, he has suffered major injuries in the last couple of seasons, a fit Cairoli might be very dangerous. The rider many see as turning the MXGP class on its head in 2017 is three times MX2 world champion Jeffrey Herlings. The Red Bull KTM Factory rider has won an incredible 61 Grand Prix’s in his career and despite a long list of injuries, he is still one of the most successful riders in the sport’s history. Speed wise he has shown he can

run up front, producing a special overall victory in the 450cc class at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, and also blistering speed at the Monster Energy SMX Cup. If he stays on the bike, then it would be hard to bet against the Flying Dutchman in this year’s very competitive MXGP class.

With Herlings domination, and the exit of other MX2 GP winners, Max Anstie and Dylan Ferrandis, the class has opened up, and the likes of Jeremy Seewer, Pauls Jonass, Benoit Paturel, Brian Bogers, Conrad Mewse, Jorge Prado, and many others will find themselves battling for GP wins. Which rider will stand up to the test Of course, outside these four ridwill be interesting, but obviously, ers there is a long list of former GP many have Suzuki factory rider winners, Clement Desalle, Gautier Seewer, Husqvarna factory rider Paulin, Max Nagl, Evgeny BobryThomas Covington, and KTM factoshev, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Rui ry rider Jonass on top of their list GonÁalves, Valentin Guillod, Glenn of possible world champions come Coldenhoff, Kevin Strijbos, Arnaud September. Tonus, Shaun Simpson, Jordi Tixier, Tommy Searle and Max Anstie. The Tracks As we have done in previous seaMX2 is loaded with unknown talent, sons the MXGP calendar begins at and GP victories aren’t something the brilliant facility of Losail in Qaa lot of the teenage competitors tar. While the purists might not like have. Only American Thomas starting outside of Europe, this is Covington has a GP victory to his the perfect start to a long season. name in this year’s field, with Pauls Everyone inside the GP paddock Jonass and Jeremy Seewer still loves this event, with the warmer to taste the champagne at the top weather and the novelty feel of a step of the podium. motocross race at night.

Photo: KTM/Ray Archer



Photo: Suzuki/Ray Archer


After Qatar, we head to the Island of Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia. This one is an unknown quantity, but from all reports the locals have put together a really interesting circuit and like Qatar the atmosphere in the Asian races are always a lot of fun. Round three we take the long journey to Argentina, and many riders favorite circuit at Neuquen. The beauty of this place and the demanding layout of the track make this one of the highlights of the season.

Kegums in Latvia, the hard pack of Teutschenthal in Germany, more hard pack at the old-school facility of ErnÈe, the Russian GP at Orlyonok and last year’s MXoN facility, Maggiora in Italy.

Many veterans of the GP paddock will be happy to return to Agueda for the MXGP of Portugal. This is a really nice circuit and the Portuguese always make this a fun event. Loket in the Czech Republic follows, and a couple of weeks later is the deep, deep sand of Lommel. Lommel is of course known as the most difficult circuit in the world, and will Mexico follows Argentina, and from test the best GP riders. then on, we sweet through Europe, Many people’s favorite Grand starting in Pietramurata and the Prix from 2016 was the MXGP of Grand Prix of Trentino. Like so Switzerland, and the Frauenfeld many of the stops in the calendar facility will once again bring its own this is another beautiful setting, special atmosphere. A return to with a grand old school circuit. Uddevalla this year, and the masThe sand of Valkenswaard follows, sive rock spectator area will no then comes another sand circuit at doubt be full as the Swedes enjoy

the MXGP boys once again. Three diverse races end the season, with the man-made circuit at the Charlotte Motor Speedway takes us into September, followed by another new school circuit at the MotoGP track in Assen, and finally more old school as we venture into the south of France and the 1988 MXoN venue. No doubt the biggest race of the season, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations will once again close our season, and there couldn’t be a better place to hold it than the Matterley Basin circuit in the south of England. Back in 2006 the venue saw the biggest crowd ever at an MXoN, and with names like Ken Roczen, Jeffrey Herlings and Ryan Dungey on the start list, the people will once again fill the hills of Matterley. Text: G. Meyer

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HISTORY REPEATING MXGP OF INDONESIA It might seem like it’s still quite a way off but actually, if you blink you might be in danger of missing it! Round two of the FIM Motocross World Championship is braced to make a welcome return to Indonesia on March 4th / 5th just one week after the opening round in Qatar. It’s been a while since we last visited these parts, and only four GPs have ever been held there and if you’re not French then look away now! Of the four GP’s previously held in Indonesia, there have been THREE French winners and one Italian victor. The omens are good for Kawasaki, too, as it has taken three of the four victories, with Yamaha



winning the other. Let’s fill you in.

Vialle in the first moto. In 1997 it was the turn of Alessio ‘Chicco’ Chiodi, who took to the top step The first GP to be held there was on his De Carli Yamaha as he twenty-two years ago in 1995 got his season off to the perfect for the 125cc GP at Yogyakarstart with a 1-1 in what his first ta, a man-made circuit that saw title-winning season. a gathering of around 60,000 spectators eager to catch a The only other grand prix to be glimpse of the world’s best quar- held in ‘Indo’ was the 250GP at ter-litre capacity riders. The Bandung, which was won by Yves winner that day was Sebastien Demaria. The feisty Frenchman Tortelli (1-1) on his JHK Kawahad started the season with saki. The action was hot, the Paolo Martin’s Honda squad but temperature even hotter with the after the Venezuelan GP decidhumidity up as high as 85%. The ed to end the agreement with teenage sensation did the GP the Italian team. With Sebastien double by winning again in 1996 Tortelli and Fred Bolley injured en-route to claiming the world at Kawasaki, team boss Jan de championship, but on his second Groot brought Demaria in to visit there he lost out to Frederic keep the sponsors happy and


four days after receiving the call, arrived with his bags in Indonesia and nailed down an emphatic double-race win. Will there be another impressive performance when we return in March? This time around we will venture away from the mainland to Pangkal Pinang, which is the largest town on the Indonesian island of Bangka. It is home to one of the major ports of the Karimata Strait dealing in tin, white pepper, fish and coconuts. Landmarks in the city include the Timah Museum, a Chinese temple, the Cathedral of St. Joseph, the Bangka Botanical Garden (BBG) and the beautiful Pasir Padi Beach which is less than a 10km drive from the city, on the edge of the South China Sea.

The beach itself is set in a stunning location and according to one of the tourism websites, check this, ‘Pasir Padi Beach is the most visited by the Pangkalpinang people and surrounding communities. Besides enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery, tourists can swim, play kite, beach volleyball, soccer, motocross or just relax while enjoying the atmosphere of the beach.’ Just as well we can enjoy a spot of motocross since it hosts the 2nd round of MXGP aye!

Of course it goes without saying that given its close proximity to the sea, lining the beach are a host of restaurants and a number of fish restaurants in particular, so there is no shortage of places to eat, if that’s a little of what you fancy.

Getting there The closest airport is Depati Amir Airport located just 5km from the city centre and is connected by flights from Jakarta and Palembang and the circuit itself is a stones throw from the A number of smaller islands dot runway as well, so in terms of the landscape and are accessible location it could not be better. by local fishing boats so for those Hotels are plentiful and with the who enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of the city on track then why not enjoy a day your doorstep it would be rude out catching fish over on Panjang not to go out and explore your Island. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? surroundings.

The racetrack Despite having held four GP’s previously the MXGP of Indonesia will be held away from the mainland on an island that accommodates around 175,00 residents. The track itself will be brand new and is being created as we speak but you can expect plenty of airtime, a few wave sections and a tricky little dragons back. The length will be around 1500m long so expect a lap time of just under two minutes for the riders. The covered paddock looks pretty impressive and will ensure the riders plenty of space to relax between races. Time zone The time zone varies with the West being GMT +7h, Central GMT + 8h and the East GMT + 9h which for those who don’t make the trip will mean early morning viewing on MXGP-TV so make a note. Weather Expect it to be humid, with a



minimum temperature in March around 23˚C and a high of 31˚C with humidity hovering at 85% so bring your shorts … and an umbrella; for the sun, silly! The race Stepping up to the plate to put this show on the road is ‘Lightning Production’ which is a member of the Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI) and the FIM and they specialize in the organization of various automotive events such as the Indonesian Supercross and Motocross Championships, the FIM Asia Motocross Championship, FMX Shows and the National Speed Off-road Championship, so they will be armed with a truck load of experience in running what promises to be a spectacular event. Apart from MXGP and MX2 the MXGP of Indonesia will see the girls from WMX making the trip for their opening round of 2017 where Livia Lancelot will be looking to get off to a solid start

in what she hopes will be a successful defense of her crown. Of course, it will not be easy as Nancy van der Ven, Kiara Fontanesi and Courtney Duncan will be worthy contenders and will no doubt make it tough for the 114. The real test though will be the humidity; by comparison to the opening round one week before, it will seem like the middle of winter under the clear desert skies of Qatar, which usually tend to be pretty chilly at night, but these are the best riders in the world and will be more than prepared to tackle the second round of MXGP head on. Of course, it goes without saying but we will be there, how about you? For more information go to www. click the MXGP of Indonesia event on the home page calendar. We would love to see you there, so why not cast aside the cold, wet, wintery weather, chase some sun and make a holiday out of it? You know you want to!




Photos: Husqvarna / Bavo




For a team that entered the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2011 the Kimi Raikkonen owned IceOne Racing Team sure has come a long way since then and it is now highly regarded as one of the major outfits to challenge for a world title. The team is now known as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing and is the official Husqvarna factory team in MXGP and for 2017 things look they might get even better. The team has had quite a busy winter off-season in one way or another so we thought we’d sit down with Team Manager Antti Pyrhonen to find out what has been keeping him in check during the ‘quiet’ season! We thought we’d start off by



asking him why this winter in particular has been so busy? ‘The end of the 2016 season was already a busy time with the last GPs in the USA and the MXoN still to run and to start the testing. On top of that we now have three riders in the team and two of those riders are new so we needed to basically start the tests from scratch to go through the complete bike, starting with all the basics; the handlebars, the handlebar heights, seats, brakes, engine set up, suspension set up, so for sure we had a lot of work on that side. And then of course at the same time at the end of last season we were finalising the construction of our new workshop which was quite hectic to be honest, and then to do the ‘big move’ into the new

building as well, so let’s say I didn’t need to think what I do during my days!’ Not that there was anything wrong with the old unit, it’s just that the team felt it was something they needed to do, to take that next step as it continues to evolve. Every detail has been paid close attention to, and the experience gained from operating at the highest level means that their new home is exactly how they want it, as ‘AP’ explains: ‘We’ve gained a lot of experience from the past few years in terms of what we need exactly in the workshop, what we want, and we were able to do it all from scratch and do it how we want so it’s a great step for us. Everything is just bigger and better; we can

put all our trucks and vans inside so that is a big benefit especially when packing up to go to the GP’s. It also means there will be a better atmosphere when packing up the truck between the mechanics as well and it should make the process much easier and more enjoyable for them. Also the bays where the mechanics will work are more spacious and overall there is also more storage for all our spare parts, and locating them all will be much more efficient as well. We are still close to Lommel and we do a lot of our training in this area, so we also have a place in the workshop where the riders can do their warm up before they go to ride, as well as their cool down and recovery training after they have ridden, so it also benefits the riders as well.’

From start to finish the whole project took almost a whole year to complete including the time needed to sign contracts and agree the fit-out’ of the building. The building was already there as a brand new build but it was down to the team to plan exactly how the internals needed to be configured, but it has been well worth the wait. ‘The building was completely empty so it was more about making the inside exactly how we wanted; make the floor how we wanted it, where we put the electricity, the power sockets, the plumbing, the washing places, everything. We also had internal walls to put in for offices and upstairs areas so there was quite a bit of planning involved with it all. The main thing is we are all happy with it, which is important.’

The moving-in period passed only recently and wasn’t as disruptive as you might imagine, running like clockwork, mirroring how this impressive team runs its race programme. It needed to be because as Antti has already pointed out, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing just got bigger. New additions to the team in 2017 are runner up in MXGP in 2015 Gautier Paulin and MX2 3rd place finisher from the same year, Max Anstie and as soon as they were able to legally take their rightful places on the team, they were straight into the initial setting-up period that Antti alluded to earlier, and in many ways it was if the season never really stopped but by mid-January everything was all going as planned, for



all three riders: ‘We have two new riders so there were some changes needed there to get them comfortable on the bike. Max Anstie has come in from MX2 so we had to do quite a bit of 450cc testing and he is really happy with it. Gautier is a really good test rider with a lot of experience in testing so we’ve done quite a lot with him as well to get the bike exactly how he wants it because his size is much different to Max Nagl let’s say, but with the backing from Husqvarna Motorsport we were able to make the riders happy really easily.’ Listening to Pyrhonen speak you get the sense he is more than pleased with where the riders are at and how well



things are going in general. Even Max Nagl, who had that first race crash at the MXoN, is on schedule and has given his body plenty of time to recover in readiness for the new season: ‘Initially his crash looked much worse than it was but he went away and took the time to rest which coincided with his holiday time and he came back to us in the middle of November which was right on schedule, meaning there was no delay to the test programme. He is feeling really good, too, and I look forward to seeing him race because I believe his best years are still to come. Last year he had a very good season with no major troubles and he was able to finish 3rd overall which was a great achievement con-

sidering how high the level of competition is right now.’ As for the new signing Paulin, some critics are already writing him off after his poor season in 2016 those in the know, know that untimely crashes were the reason for his poor overall placing. But let’s not forget that GP21 was 2nd overall in 2015 and certainly Pyrhonen is more than convinced that the Frenchman still has a lot to offer, and a lot of unfinished business to attend to: ‘Gautier is very motivated; it’s the reason he is here. He really wanted to come to our team and we wanted him here as well. We all know about his talent, his technical abilities and his speed; that is unquestionable and for sure he

is one of the best riders on the grid, and when we were in talks it was clear he was extremely motivated and he feels he still has a lot to win in his career, and like Max Nagl, his best years are still to come.’ ‘I’ve known Gautier for many years and he has already worked with some of the best teams, so from my side there was maybe a bit of pressure to at least match what he’s had before, but the goal is of course to go even better. It was good for me that he was really easy to work with and very professional, as I knew he would be. His experience with testing means he knows exactly what he wants so from that side things were more or less like I expected.’ So what about the rookie to

the team, fresh out of MX2, Britain’s Max Anstie? ‘I have been very impressed and I think his technique and style fits very well with the 450cc. I knew he was a technical and very talented rider already, that’s clear, but how well he has adapted since day one it was visible that the 450cc is his bike and he is very balanced with it and really riding it with the correct ‘rpm’ so I am really happy to see that, you know? Of course it’s a learning year and I don’t want to build too much pressure for him but he can achieve just as much as anybody else, but he is really working hard for his sport and putting in all his effort physically and with the bike as well.’ You also get a sense that there is a real team atmo-

sphere as well and whilst all three riders have the freedom to build their own riding programme, the team have already spent a fair amount of time together, testing and riding and really building a solid programme as a team; even as we spoke to Antti in Belgium the rest of the team were in Spain testing. One of the things the team has been paying special attention to is adapting their starts to the new start ‘mesh’ system. In some ways it has been quite challenging for the riders and teams, trying to find the optimum setting to get the bike off the grid in the best possible way, without taking away from the overall performance on the track, but again, Pyrhonen seems confident, for now at least that they have first base covered, before adding ‘we have



done a lot of testing with the new ‘grill’ to try to find the best starting technique for it and the best possible bike set-up and for sure we made some changes and we feel the benefit we have gained from the start stays there for the riding on the track as well; the first GP will be a new experience for everyone, but so far, the comments from the guys are very good!’ Looking beyond the end of February though is crucial, meaning you can’t win the title at the first round but you can certainly lose it and from a managerial standpoint Antti is the perfect to keep his guys grounded when it all kicks off, his calm, laid back demeanour



being his biggest asset. He knows the season is long and he knows what to expect from all his guys as well: ‘We always start the season with our feet on the ground, because none of us can predict what the season will bring but we want that the riders are working hard, that the team and the riders will be as prepared as we can be and when they are happy and they stay healthy I don’t see any reason why they cannot battle for the race wins and podiums, that is absolutely the goal. But, the competition is strong so it’s about many little pieces clicking together. For Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin for

sure we are at least aiming for the podium, and with Max Anstie ‘if he is running with the top five it will be less of a surprise than if he wasn’t, so everything that I’ve seen from him so far promises to be good but we need to remember to keep working hard at every GP, that’s the reality. At the end of the day after 19 GP’s we will see where we are.’ And just as we finished the interview Nagl pops up via ‘WhatsApp’ on Antti’s ‘phone at the end of another days riding, as if to reiterate everything that the boss had said, to say ‘The riding went good, bike was really good today!’ Roll on Qatar!



TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @Pat459STRANA 1995 250 GP Sweden continued #suzuki #kawasaki #yamaha #honda @hinsonracing When someone told @ jorgeprado61 to go pound sand, he took it to heart -Joel Smets #sandbox #mxgp #training @hondaproracing Introducing the new HRC MXGP and MX2 team for #HondaRacingfamily #CRF #Honda

@Oto_Sports @mxgp - Good morning! We wish u all a good week! #mxgp #countdown #40daysleft @MxgpYamaha @shaunsimpson24 is ready, are you? Not long now until the team hit Qatar for #mxgp

We are proud to announce MXGP3, The Official Motocross Videogame is set to be released in spring 2017 on Xbox OneÆ, PlayStationÆ4 and Windows PCÆ/STEAM™. Watch the Official Trailer!

@sensendummy READY TO RIDE THIS WEEKEND #motocross #motocrossindonesia #mxlife #mxboots #mx #mxgp @OntrackOffroad Is @JeremySeewer ready for 2017 MX2 world title expectation with @ SuzukiWorldMXGP ? #mxgp @fred_Ols72 Let the games begin! #GAJSERvsHERLINGS #mxgp @muc_off Oh, hey! Always good to see @tommysearle100 and @stevedixonmx . Watch this space for some exciting news coming in the next few weeks... #mxgp



‘Watch out the Best Actions from the 2016 European Championships’


@maura_monstergirl @mxgp season this year Cannot wait till it all kicks off with my @monsterenergygirls it’s going to be an amazing year #mxgp

@vamoracingteam 25 days before the season kicks off in Losail Qatar ! @mxgp

@dauvergneg #ktm #fiatprofessional #mxgp!

@ethan__83 It’s been amazing two weeks training with #jvb #john #van #den berk @ mx_panda @rjusts and lots more (don’t no why my t-shirt looks like I’m very fat )

@klemengercar @62motosport is back on the road to Sardegnia with our mec @mareizomare and rider @zitnik507 #back #to #warm #on #sardegna #klemengercar #ferry #













Y 45


Look around any motocross paddock anywhere in the world and you will see a number of brands that stand out above all others, and when it comes to exhaust pipes the FMF logo is one that is instantly recognisable and one that has stood the test of time and continues to flourish today. We caught up with Donny Emler Jr. FMF’s Marketing Director who gave us a brief overview of the journey so far. FMF – Flying Machine Factory – was set up in 1973 by a youthful and exuberant twenty-two year old by the name of Donny Emler, a typical Southern California native who like everybody else in the seventies found the urge to ride and race dirt bikes simply irresistible. This bug meant that he and his riding buddies would be out racing three, sometimes



four days a week, sometimes at night but mostly at the weekends all in the name of having a blast. But Donny wasn’t content in just riding, and before long he was searching for that little bit extra, to get the best out of his bikes, and as it turned out, everyone else’s, as ‘L’il D’ Donny Jr. explains: ‘In the ‘70’s So Cal had a lot of tracks and they would race all through the week. Nights, weekends, it was all about dirt bikes at the time. As dad was working on his own bike and developing engines and exhausts to make them faster, he built a name for himself around the tracks and the So Cal area. ‘Uncle Donnie’ as they referred to him became known as building the best bikes, which started attracting up and coming pro’s like Marty Smith, Danny LaPorte and Warren Reid.

After striking so much branding he decided to stop racing and focus on building a name and product to take to market. The Honda Elsinore really helped launch FMF Racing.’ Humble beginnings It all started from the confines of the garage at the family home in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, where Emler would spend endless hours figuring stuff out, searching for those marginal gains; quite remarkable really considering he ‘had no official schooling’ in terms of applying an actual science to his art in the beginning, although according to Donny Junior ‘as a kid his grandpa would say he’d be in the garage tinkering with stuff and wanted to know how everything worked.’ Some people are just that way inclined and Donny Emler certainly was. A

great deal has changed since those days of trial and error though and FMF is now one of the most successful motocross accessory brands in the world and to this day ‘everything is built in-house with a lot of the equipment ‘Big D’ has helped develop to do what we specifically need it for alongside George Luttig our R&D Director who has also played a major role in FMF’s manufacturing to keep everything under our roof in the USA.’ While FMF may have outgrown the garage where FMF was conceived, the company is now located in Long Beach about fifteen minutes from where it all began. ‘Big D’ Don Emler still owns and operates FMF on a daily basis whilst ‘L’il D’ Donny Jr. is Marketing Director and his main role is ‘handling a lot of the business relations as well as heading up the marketing for anything with our brand.’ But they couldn’t do

any of it without their incredible support system and R&D Director George Luttig. While FMF’s bread and butter might be taken care of on home turf in America you may have noticed their presence gain traction on this side of the pond in MXGP over the past few years, as a series partner but also as team sponsors with Team HRC and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, and in 2016 they were the presenting sponsors of the EMX125 and EMX300 2-stroke series that ran alongside MXGP. ‘This is what almost excites our FMF brand more than anything; we really appreciate the 2-Stroke movement and we are thankful that Youthstream puts on these series. They are a great transition motorcycle for the youth and everyone loves the sound, the smell and watching these classes.’

You can sense the 2-stroke thing is something the team at FMF still feels passionately about, which is no surprise considering that two of FMF’s biggest advocates are the biggest 2-stroke fans; the boss himself and a former 250cc world champion: ‘Honestly it’s all Big D and Danny LaPorte ride. They won’t ride 4-Strokes! We are thankful that so many manufacturers still offer a 2-Stroke motorcycle because ultimately it only helps our sport in so many areas including cost to the riders.’ ‘We have always sold product in Europe but when you race and get that Factory level awareness that we have in the US it really does validate that we really do make an amazing product that people can bolt on and ‘FEEL THE POWER’. Working with Husqvarna as a world partner, as well as selling product throughout their distribution dealer network, has



been a great relationship’ and one that continues in 2017. ‘Working with the race team is very important because we get the feedback directly from the riders, directly from the factory team so that way, what we sell to the public is exactly what our guys are racing with.’ In terms of awareness and putting your product out there on the world stage it doesn’t get any better than the FIM Motocross World Championship MXGP something which is very important to FMF: ‘We need to showcase our product not only in dealerships but also at the racing level and what biggest form of racing for motorcycles is there for off-road machines than the MXGP series.’ But if there is one event that stands out then it is the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of



Nations and for the past two editions in France and Italy, all of Team USA riders ran FMF exhaust systems, something which filled the Emler’s with immense pride: ‘I really thought that the first year (2015) was a once in a life time chance for us and our brand and the exposure we could generate at the biggest event for our sport in the world. I guess I was wrong because the 2016 MXoN was amazing and we were able to come back with three more FMF athletes; and what a great event that was! I was so glad to be able to attend the last two years and have the pride of being an American at this level where everyone is representing their country. Apart from Team USA though we had some other great athletes on other teams such as Gautier Paulin, who has been part of the winning team the past three years.’

With the 2017 season up and running at home in The USA and with MXGP about to kick off in Qatar at the end of February, FMF are already in full swing but don’t expect them to slow down any time soon. For these guys it’s all about ‘having fun and doing whatever we can as a brand to support the sport. We don’t need to do as much as we do but honestly we enjoy giving back and helping where and when we can. We love this sport and it’s the passion for riding that drives our brand. Thanks to our fans and everyone that has supported what we do. It’s pretty cool to look back at what my dad started out of his garage and what it has become; steadfast dedication to riding, providing a quality product and having fun while doing it!’ You can follow FMF at @fmf73 on social media channels or visit

D 50 Photo: MEYER




David Bailey Little Professor

The career of American David Bailey was not a very long one, but in just five seasons he achieved amazing results, winning four US titles and went undefeated with Team USA at the Motocross of Nations from 1982 to 1986. He also won two US Grand Prix and was twice a member of the winning team at the Trophy of Nations (a Team race with 250cc bikes). David Bailey still remains one of the greatest US champions. Born in San Diego on December 31 1961, David Bailey got his first bicycle at the age of three and had his first bike when he turned 10. Travelling the country with his stepfather Gary ‘Professor’ Bailey, who ran a motocross racing school, David had to wait many years to get his first taste of success, which was at the age of sixteen when he won the 250cc Amateur National Championship on an antiquated Bultaco. His first professional season didn’t stay in the memories, but in 1980 he was one of the first riders to join Kawasaki’s Team Green programme; during two seasons he cracked a couple of top 10 results in the

250cc US Series, and was one of the leading young riders when he got an offer to join Honda in 1982. Alongside Honda’s team manager Roger De Coster, who was one of his heroes, David earned his first podiums in the Motocross and Supercross series. “I remember going to the airport to pick up the new ’82 CR250. I took it out of the crate and it had an aluminium gas tank that came completely down to the engine cases, an aluminium rear removable tail section and a blue seat that went all the way up on the gas tank. I’d never seen anything that radical. That bike was the biggest technological leap probably ever in the sport. We were all just stoked to be able to ride it and there wasn’t any great expectations on us since all of us were so young,” he says. Finishing sixth that year in the 250cc US championship, he became worldwide famous when he replaced Donnie Hansen and went on to win the Motocross and the Trophy of Nations at the end of the season with team USA! The 1983 season proved to be

a turning point for Bailey. His off-season training paid off and he opened the year with his first AMA national victory in the Anaheim Supercross. That season was like a dream for Bailey who won the AMA Supercross title and later the 250cc Motocross title; he also dominated the US Grand Prix at Unadilla, before winning again with Team USA the Motocross and the Trophy of Nations. After that perfect season David was the leader at Team Honda and the following year in 1984 he had a season-long battle in the outdoor US series with Jeff Ward, who finally beat him by a single point! Honda wanted to spread its talent around in motocross and moved him to the 500cc series, where he completely dominated by winning eight straight races in the 10-race series. At the Motocross of Nations in Vantaa (Finland) he claimed his third consecutive win with Team USA. The 1985 season was not the best one for David, who missed several races due to injuries; only 3rd in the 250cc series, he dominated the 500cc US Grand Prix at Carlsbad


before winning the Motocross of Nations with Jeff Ward and Ron Lechien. In 1986 David had his main rival as his teammate, when the young and talented Ricky Johnson joined the Honda squad. Ricky beat Bailey in the 250cc Supercross and Motocross series, but in the 500cc class David earned his fourth and last US title. That year again he was part of the US Team at the Motocross of Nations with Ricky Johnson and Johnny O’Mara and the trio put an amazing show in Maggiora where they wiped out the other countries to bring home the Peter Chamberlain trophy for the sixth consecutive time. That team was known as the Dream Team. Unfortunately, that Motocross of Nations would be the last time he would race for Team USA and one of his last ever races as the ‘Little Professor’ suffered a crash at a Golden State event during practice in California, prior to the start of



the 1987 Supercross season. There was significant spinal cord damage and Bailey became a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. It was a devastating blow to the entire motorcycle racing community.

and motocross championships. However, he never forgot his passion for the sport and became a leading triathlete; 3rd and then 2nd in the prestigious Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and he finally won it in 2000 in his division! As a motocross rider Later Bailey worked in the motoDavid Bailey was a true athlete and cross accessories and apparel busi- will always be remembered for his ness as a consultant, and in 1993 smooth and fluid racing style and his provided commentary for ESPN’s short, but outstanding career. coverage of the AMA Supercross Text and Photos: P. Haudiquert

1981: 7th in the US 250 Motocross championship (Kawasaki) 1982: Winner of the MX of Nations with the US Team (Honda) 6th in the US 250 Motocross championship Winner of the Trophy of Nations with the US Team 1983: 250 US Supercross Champion (Honda) 250 US Motocross Champion Winner of the MX of Nations with the US Team Winner of the Trophy of Nations with the US Team Winner of the 250 US Motocross Grand Prix 1984: 500 US Motocross Champion (Honda) 2nd in the US 250 Supercross championship Winner of the MX of Nations with the US Team 1985: Winner of the MX of Nations with the US Team (Honda) 3rd in the US 250 Motocross championship Winner of the 500 US Motocross Grand Prix 1986: 500 US Motocross Champion (Honda) 2nd in the US 250 Supercross championship 2nd in the US 250 Motocross championship Winner of the MX of Nations with the US Team



Paddock Talks 01/All the Yamaha Europe riders met up at Yamaha headquarters before starting the 2017 season.


02/Fiat Professional has given a Talento to Antonio Cairoli to go around training. 03/Evgeny Bobryshev had a great time in Spain with Taddy Blazusiak and Sebastian Tortelli. 04/Team Nagl! Father and son cannot look more alike!


05/Arnaud Tonus getting used to the new start system with his new team.

04 05





Paddock Talks


06/Clement Desalle came across with former GP rider Jonathan Barrag¡n while he was training in Spain. 07/Jacky Vimond is always close to the young talents to make sure they follow the good way to the top. 08/Samuele Bernardini training hard in Sardinia, Italy.


09/Jeremy Van Horebeek working with Michele Rinaldi to be fighting for the top positions this season on his Yamaha.


World Championship winning Monark only, and despite dealing in the Sten Lundin burst onto the Swedish motorcycle manufacbusiness of sporting goods such turer to throw itself ‘into the motocross scene in 1957, the as bicycles and lightweight movery year that the 500cc chamring’ in the ever increasing and torcycles, they never intended to popular world of grand prix pionship was upgraded from develop and market a 500cc mo- motocross, and so rare and so European status to the FIM tocross machine. Originally the Motocross World Championship special was this project that it Monark started life as a repaint- was claimed that only a handful and he would eventually come ed BSA in disguise, but in 1955 to be known as one of the most of Monark race bikes made it to Lennart Warborn ordered two consistent riders on the circuit factory ‘production’ in order to new lightweight frames and spe- go racing, meaning they were as during his eight year career, cial engines from Gunnar Hagnever finishing outside the top factory as you were ever going strom, who worked for Endfors three for eight consecutive to get. In fact, the amount of and Sons, where coincidentally a bikes built is still unknown; some seasons, culminating in two young Nils Hedlund also worked. say five were built and others world titles. His 1959 champiInitially the frames proved to be say that it was nine. Either way, onship-winning Monark took him The 125cc class in the European Championship usually puts a spotlight on the nextwere exsomething of a structural disasto his first title and it’s this bike these motorcycles terof but were soon very success- World that we are featuring thisIn month tremelyChampions rare, so rare in fact that big name in motocross. fact both the 2015 FIM Motocross and fully redesigned and remade in MXGP Magazine. they were never produced for vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass in-house from then on by Ove the public. a Monark factory have all wonbusiness the EMX125 championship their paths to racer motocross supremacy. The Monark was set up Lundell,on himself. and run by The Warborn brothSten Lundin was the recipient of ers, although originally their such a bike and these bikes were Towards the end of the late plan was to create these special so revolutionary that when Lun1950’s Monark became the first din signed to race for Monark bikes for promotional purposes



Photo: T. White

Sten Lundin’s 1959


in 1957 he was told he would get two bikes from the factory. But these were no ordinary machines and were completely hand-built, one-off pieces of machinery. However, little did Lundin realise but when it came to taking delivery of his bikes, only one was available to him at the time and it was a ‘hand-medown’ year-old bike that had already been through the mill in the hands of a rider by the name of Allan Eklund, and was anything but the finished article; everything about it in Lundin’s eyes was wrong and was a source of constant problems. The wheels, the brakes, the gearbox and the engine were all problematic but he soon came to realise that no matter what the problem was, the technicians at the factory were more than willing to put in

the man-hours to put it right. In fact, it was one of the things that Lundin was most impressed with, the willingness by everybody to produce a winning bike at all costs. It took two years of constant effort but by 1959 Lundin had completely transformed his steed and turned it into a world-beater, handing Monark its first and only 500cc world championship. The Monark was powered by the Swedish-made Albin M42 engine, which was a licensed version of a 1935 Husqvarna engine design by Folke Mannerstedt called the ‘112 TV’. The design was simple, reliable and very slim and to go racing was bored out to 490cc by Nils ‘Nisse’ Hedlund, a master engine builder and former road-racer. The

engine itself was a work of art and came equipped with an alloy barrel and head, a chrome-plated cylinder and larger valves. The piston was from the German firm Kolbenschmidt. The bike produced around 27bhp and could rev out to 7000rpm, although those boundaries were rarely, if ever reached and while it might not have been as punchy as the Belgian-made FN machine, its delivery was much smoother and therefore easier to ride. The team had experimented with an AMAL GP road-race carburettor but despite it producing more horsepower, it was deemed too complicated to set up and dial in, producing less torque than the simple 32mm AMAL monobloc unit, made in



England, so the team opted for the latter. The gearbox was a 4-speed British-made item by BSA while the British-built Norton forks and Girling Shocks kept the bike stable. Other British components that adorned the Monark included handlebars, levers, mudguards and cables. The wheels were German-made Pr‰nafa items as they were deemed to have better brakes, but the rear wheel was often changed to a BSA rear wheel because of its strength and simplicity. When racing at the GP’s the tyre choice was left to the rider and was either Trelleborg or Dunlop as there were no formal contracts. However, no two bikes were the same, so it really was a case of trial and error but with Lundin at the ‘bars, who was widely consid-



ered by the factory to be a better rider than his team mates, things started to happen. As a person Sten Lundin was a gentleman in every sense of the word, always dependable and presentable and was very meticulous with his bike. Few riders from that era had what you would call a true mechanic and Sten, like all the other riders of that time, would do his own weekly routine maintenance. He was also a very quiet, unassuming man and often kept himself to himself, preferring to listen and not provoke. On his way to claiming the FIM 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1959 Sten Lundin claimed four GP victories to take the title by eight points over Bill Nilsson.

Monark’s history was shortlived when its Race Team Manager Lennart Varborn died unexpectedly in 1960 and the Swedish manufacturer was forced to take the decision to withdraw from the world championship, never to return as an official factory team. Lundin would finish 2nd overall that season on a bike very similar to his 1959 title-winning machine. As an official factory team Monark claimed twelve GP wins, with eleven of them in the hands of Lundin; Lars Gustafsson (1958) won the other. Ove Lundell also registered a win for Monark in 1963 but by then the factory team was no more. Many thanks to the additional information provided by Gunnar Lindstrom and Nisse Wedin.



QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Dear MXGP, Who has the tv coverage of this season? Thanks, Alice Dear Alice, Some days before the MXGP of Qatar a Press Release will be published on with all the information, but in the meantime you can check some info at the link below: inside-mxgp/tv-broadcasters Best Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, Where can I buy the tickets for the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina?. Thanks, Mauro Hi Mauro Tickets for this event are now available online at this link: mxgp-patagonia-argentina/villa-la-angostura Regards MXGP



Hi MXGP, I wish to buy the MXGP-TV pass for the MXGP of Qatar. How can I do it? Thanks, Paul Hi Paul The MXGP-TV Calendar race by race will be online in the next few days, so please have a look at Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, I’ve heard the new videogame will be out this year. Will it be about the 2016 or 2017 calendar? Thanks, Mark Hi Mark MXGP3 will be out in Spring 2017 so it’ll be based on the 2016 calendar. Stay Tuned on for more details Regards MXGP

Hi MXGP How can I subscribe to the EMX250 Championship? Thanks, Carlos Hello Carlos, Please contact our sportoffice at sportoffice@mxgp. com for all details Best Regards MXGP