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MXGP MAG Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: Youthstream YOUTHSTREAM Media World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland
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L A I R O T I D E
Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group
Dear MXGP fans, October, November and December are quiet months for MXGP activities, however after a short period of very deserved rest, teams and riders are already concentrating on the next season. The Motocross of Nations in Assen at the end of September gave us a partial vision of the future and promises that the 2020 MXGP season will be the most exciting ever. Jeffrey Herlings has returned to his speed and proves his desire to be fighting for the title, Glenn Coldenhoff has confirmed his ultra-high performance and puts himself in the position to be one of the main contenders. In Assen Jorge Prado also showed to have the speed with his first appearance on the 450cc, and with the preparation during the winter with the De Carli Team he will for sure be ready to be on the podium next year. Then what about Tim Gajser? With his outstanding 2019 season he showed he was the man to beat. And we cannot forget Romain Fevbre, who after his injury at the beginning of the season made a great come-back winning several heats before being injured again, and with the change of bike for
WE WILL WITNESS FROM THE FIRST GRAND PRIX RIGHT UP UNTIL THE LAST AN UNFORGETTABLE SEASON 2020 he will find new motivation and he will be competing strongly for the Championship win. And the last but not least, the greatest Champion of the last 15 years, Antonio Cairoli, will start again very motivated and extremely well prepared to try to conquest his tenth title win. These riders together have won 19 World Championship titles. Only Coldenhoff has not yet won a title but he has won several Grand Prix events. We will witness from the first Grand Prix right up until the last an unforgettable season.
We must not forget all the other great riders, like Pauls Jonass, Arminas Jasikonis, Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin, Arnaud Tonus, Clement Desalle, Max Anstie and many more, for they will be there battling with the best in the world. The winter preparation will play a very important part of every ridersâ€™ season but considering the professionalism of all these riders and their teams right from the first event everyone will be ready for the greatest MXGP season ever. A very challenging season in MX2 awaits us because with the top riders going up into the MXGP class next year and many very fast riders coming into MX2 from the European Championship, there will be many riders with a similar speed and this will increase the level of competition with many various actors for the conquest of the podium.
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WITH THE NIGHTS CLOSING IN AND A THUNDEROUS 2019 SEASON FAST FADING INTO MEMORY, IT IS TIME TO LOOK AHEAD AT WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE 2020 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON. NEXT YEAR’S CALENDAR IS DUE TO TAKE US ON A 20-STOP ODYSSEY AROUND THE WORLD, BEFORE HEADING BACK TO THE OLD CONTINENT FOR THE GRAND FINALE AT THE MONSTER ENERGY FIM MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS.
For the first time since Valkenswaard in 2012, MXGP will be taking its season bow in Europe. The rolling landscape of Matterley Basin has stepped up for the honour on 1st March, the home of the MXGP of Great Britain since 2006. That a year that also saw the Hampshire countryside host the MXoN Nations, and again 11 years later. Just a week later and Valkenswaard itself will continue its association with a championship that goes all the way back to 1974. The first sand track to face the riders always a stiff test, and especially when the MXGP of the Netherlands is held
so early in the season. The snow that greeted the paddock back in 2017 will not soon be forgotten, and some riders are still fighting off the frostbite. After that flurry of action, we get a week off before heading out for the first flyaway of the year. The stunning track of Neuquén has been a fitting curtain-raiser to the last 2 seasons, and has quickly earned itself a reputation as one of the most eagerly awaited stops on the calendar. However, a request for a date later in the year has resulted in the MXGP of PatagoniaArgentina being bumped back to 22nd March. In early April the paddock will be back in Europe. The distinctive sound of Luciano Pavarotti will be echoing off the
mountain walls surrounding the Crossodromo Ciclamino as we once again experience the unique atmosphere surrounding the track in Pietramurata for the MXGP of Trentino. This is very much home territory for 9-time world champion Antonio Cairoli, but he and his fans were kept firmly in the shade last year. This was the track where Tim Gajser took the fight to Tony, and was rewarded with a dramatic 1-1 in front of his legions of travelling fans, and a first GP win in nearly 2 years. This the turning point in a year that would end with the Slovenian claiming a 3rd world title. After another short break the paddock heads off for an Iberian double-header, starting in Spain, although the exact location is yet to be confirmed. There was no home race for now 2-time MX2 champion Jorge Prado last year, but the 18-year-old, who
will be 19 by the time he takes to the gate to start his first MXGP campaign next year, adopted the MXGP of Portugal instead. His friends and family making the trip to Agueda, just 45 kilometres from Porto, and with the chance to do so again in 2020 just a week after the Spanish round. By 10th May we find ourselves at Saint Jean d’Angely hosting the MXGP of France for the 3rd year in a row, and for the first of 3 consecutive race weekends. That’s swiftly followed by the much-anticipated return of Maggiora for the first time since 2015, just a short drive northeast of Turin, to the MXGP of Italy. We then head to Teutschenthal for the MXGP of Germany before taking a well-earned week off. On 7th June we hit the halfway point of the championship and we will travel to Orlyonok, a stunning location on the Black Sea coast and host of the MXGP of Russia since 2017. It will be the first part of an eastern European double-header, as the MXGP 17
series will travel to Kegums afterwards to celebrate the MXGP of Latvia, recently signed deals to keep themselves on the MXGP calendar until 2023. Another short break then follows before we head even further east for a pair of races in Indonesia for the 3rd consecutive year. This year the first stop will be in the capital city of Jakarta on 28th June to then head straight to the exotic Island of Sumatra, as Palembang builds on the popularity of making a championship bow in 2019. For the first and only time in 2020 there is then a 2-week break in the schedule before MXGP heads back to Europe for its summer program. The fun starts on 26th July in pictureperfect Loket, the home of the MXGP of Czech Republic since 1995, before we head off to arguably the toughest test of the year on the sand and ruts of Lommel for the MXGP of Belgium. The summer sporting a distinctly Scandinavian flavour in 2020. Mid-August sees the paddock return to Uddevalla, one of the most historic tracks on the calendar, which first hosted the MXGP of Sweden way back in 1958. This delightful slice of Middle Earth saw Jorge Prado add himself to local folklore earlier this year, as he closed out his 2nd successive MX2 world title. A week later and the MXGP of Finland will be back for the first time since a 2014 visit to Hyvinkää. The Iitti-KymiRing is a brand new motorsport facility, built with the express intention of putting Finnish motorsport back on the map, about 2 hours drive northeast of Helsinki. This track is not just the catalyst for the return of MXGP, but will also see MotoGP visit the country for the first time since 1982 during the coming year. After that we have a final weekend off before heading into perhaps the most hectic 18
September in living memory. First up will be a trip to Afyonkarahisar on the 6th of the month, the home of the MXGP of Turkey for the 3rd successive year, and already a favourite with the riders and teams thanks to its modern facilities and slick logistics. With one week and plenty of air miles in the bank, we return to China the following weekend, after the success of 2019’s debut event in Shanghai. Although the exact location is yet to be confirmed. Four in-flight movies later and we’ll be back in Europe for the 20th and final round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, as Imola moves back to the slot in which it made its debut in 2018. This venue steeped in motorsport history has already left its mark on MXGP in just 2 short years. In 2018 the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari was the backdrop as Prado clinched the first of his 2 MX2 titles, while a year later it was Tim Gajser and Team HRC claiming the gold plate in the MXGP class. What lays in store for 2020? We’ll have to wait until 20 September to find out. Just one week later and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations will burst into life and will do so on a track not seen on the world stage since 2015. The Raymond Demy Circuit at Ernée has been rotated in and out of the calendar as a venue for the MXGP of France since 1990, although not since 2013, and has hosted the Nations twice before in 2005 and 2015. The 2005 edition saw Ricky Carmichael and friends kickstart a 7-year winning streak for Team USA, while 10 years later it was hosts France that retained the title claimed the previous year in Kegums. A boisterous and passionate crowd will be guaranteed in the French north west, as the Netherlands defend their Nations title, and what we all hope will be a classic 2020 season finally draws to a close.
MONSTER ENERGY FIM MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS
2 MILLION READS! THANK YOU!
MXGP MAG First Issue: September 2013 Layout Renewed in 2019 75 issues published 2 MILLION reads 29 MILLION Impressions Top countries: Italy UK USA Netherlands 22
L A I C O S P G X M Watch the best moments from the 13th stop of the 2019 FIM Motocross world Champonship, the MXGP of Czech Republic!!
@olegkruk19 Congrats @hoff259 and all Nederland team with great results @twin_air The King of The Netherlands trying out Gautier Paulinâ€™s Wilvo Yamaha at the MXoN!
Relive the 2019 Monster Energy FIM MXoN with this special â€˜best momentsâ€™ video ending with Team Netherlands making the history sourrounded by the great atmosphere of Assen: Team Netherlands rule the Monster Energy FIM MXoN:
@femkefatale Pizza party in the @monsterenergy truck
My 12th Motocross of Nations is done! Quite a veteranđ&#x;˜ With this rainy and muddy weather Team Estonia @priit221 @tanelleok @harrikullas151 ended up 4th! Unreal
@kino.com.idea_olga #mxgp .
@dhanisdamon Special cartoon today, took a while to finish this one! Something different than my usual style Podium
@dj_media_ Get ready for some behind the scenes action from the 2019 MXoN
@amanda_raith One more dream achieved #teamnl are the 2019 FIM Motocross Nations Champions
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2019 EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Champion & 125cc Junior Motocross World Championship Mattia Guadagnini ravelled from Turkey to China as a MX2 wild card. WATCH the â€˜Behind the Scenesâ€™ of his trip to Shanghai with Team Maddii Racing.
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Last year, ‘The Hoff’ stunned the world with an immaculate display of riding at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations at Red Bud in The USA, but just as it seemed that he’d found that next level in his riding, his world came crashing down after a winter training session left him with multiple injuries.
MOTOCROSS! QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST DEMANDING SPORT IN THE WORLD, AND WHEN THE GATE DROPS THERE IS NOWHERE TO HIDE. THERE ARE HIGHS AND LOWS AND BOTH HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCED IN ABUNDANCE DURING THE 2019 MXGP SEASON, AND IF THERE IS ONE RIDER WHO KNOWS ALL TOO WELL HOW THINGS CAN CHANGE IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, IT’S GLENN COLDENHOFF.
After a difficult start to the 2019 MXGP campaign where he was far from 100% fit, and still riding through the pain barrier, the Standing Construct KTM rider picked himself up, re-grouped and slowly but surely returned to the kind of form that saw him beat the best riders in the world on that September day 37
in America, picking up five podium finishes, including two wins from the last five GP’s of the season, as well as 3rd overall in the MXGP world championship standings. To cap it all off, his season came full circle when he helped The Netherlands to victory at this year’s MXoN with another impressive 1-1, joining Stefan Everts and Antonio Cairoli as the only other back-to-back doublerace winners at this prestigious event. We caught up with Glenn as he was about to board a plane for a well-earned vacation where he discussed Red Bud, his winter crash, his 2019 season and Assen. How has it been the past couple weeks since the MXoN? I’ve actually been on holiday since then, I went the week after the Nations. It was a kind of crazy weekend and I was quite tired afterwards; I don’t think because of the racing but just everything around it, so I’ve had a good few days. Last week I did more testing and we improved again with the bike, so that’s good and this week I will go on holiday again. It’s been busy but it’s been all good! Where are you going now? We are gonna go watch the Monster Cup and then for one and a half weeks we will do a trip through California, visiting the Grand Canyon and all those things. My girlfriend Nikki organised the trip so we will go there for one and a half weeks. In case you didn’t know, MXGP Magazine has a feature where we either have a Team of The Month or Rider of The Month and actually before the MXoN it was already suggested that we have you because of what you’ve been doing the last few GP’s, and since then you’ve gone 1-1 again at the Nations and that’s kind of perfect really, so … Let’s go back 12 months to Red Bud, MXoN 2018 in The USA where I guess the unbelievable thing happened for you on a personal level; you not only won
one race but you won both of them and Team NL finished 2nd overall, but on a personal level, what were you feeling that day after winning both races? I think it was kind of a surprise that weekend because I had been good all year long with many top five finishes but not being on the podium in MXGP was quite disappointing and then getting the 1-1 in America was unbelievable and quite good, even though we didn’t win the overall, but still, it was still the best day of my career at that point. All the top guys were there, I showed good speed and could manage to go 1-1 so that was really special, but then I had the crash in December and that for sure was a difficult time because after going 1-1 in The USA you go in to the winter time feeling pretty good, and then this crash happened and all was gone again! How were you feeling on the bike after Red Bud but before the crash at Lommel? I felt good! The best shape you’ve ever been in? Yes, for sure! Like I said, the USA was the best day of my career, so far; I had good speed, was feeling comfy and feeling good and yeah, I was feeling really good. And then you had the crash in Lommel – as soon as you hit the ground, you knew something was wrong! Big time wrong! Yeah, for sure. You know, crashing like that, normally you have the time to jump off in the air but this was a jump at high speed where you don’t go so high; it went wrong and before I could do something I was already there on the ground, so there was really nothing I could do about it. At first, I was out of breath (winded) so I was looking to get some air, but it was difficult. I couldn’t really move; I tried to move a little bit but straight away I felt a lot of pain in my arm 39
and also in my back, so I took my goggles off, my friend was there, my mechanic was there and it took quite some time. That day in Belgium in December it was about +1˚ and I was there on the ground for maybe one hour, or a little less; I don’t know exactly but it felt really long and I was just waiting to just get some help from the medical people. So, you’re in the hospital and you have the full diagnosis and you now know what the problem is and the full extent of the damage; how did you compute this information that night or the next day? I went to a hospital close to Lommel and I didn’t really know the people there, so I straight away wanted to go to Herentals to Ton Claes, but it was normally also the closest one. My back was broken, (T5, T6 and T7 were compressed), I broke my wrist and had also a problem with some swelling in my neck and I lost some feeling in my hand and my shoulders, but with this they couldn’t really find anything. A few days after, I got a cast on my wrist and a kind of brace for my back and I wanted to leave the hospital on the Monday but because they couldn’t tell me where the bad feeling was coming from, we did some more checkup’s and in the end they gave me a neck brace as there was something wrong with my neck which I had to wear for about four weeks, so that was quite annoying. I left the hospital on Tuesday after the crash on Friday. How long were you off the bike for? I first got back on the bike two weeks before the first GP in Argentina, so probably two and a half months. So, the season starts in Argentina, you already know you’re not going to be 100% fit, you’re having to try and ride yourself back to fitness; how were you feeling in general because you were 19th, 8th and 12th at the first three rounds, but after that you 41
were inside the top ten at every GP including 4th in Semarang. Your 10th in Loket was followed by a podium in Belgium, so what changed between let’s say, Latvia and Belgium? Did something just click with your riding, or did you make improvements with the bike – engine or suspension wise? What was the catalyst?
got 6th or something, and I was too long behind (Jeremy) Van Horebeek and in the end it turned out that Tim was still faster. My teammate Max had an amazing ride there, so I was happy but it wasn’t amazing, because I felt like I should have won the GP!
I think in the beginning of the year, I underestimated the injury; it was actually quite bad and it kept following me for quite a long time and I was expecting already to be done with all the pain and all that, but I would say that from Indonesia onwards, I started to feel better; I got less pain and started to feel more comfy with the bike. So, it started with that 4th overall in Indonesia and I could smell the podium there and from there we just kept working. I got better, the bike got a little better, the team was working hard; I missed all the testing with the team and I went on with the base that Max Anstie actually made during the winter time, so it took some time and I think before Lommel, we still did some testing as I hadn’t ridden so much in the sand and didn’t feel that great yet, and we just made some small, tiny changes to the bike and I was very happy at that time; I got my first podium and I would say from Lommel on, it went off!
Yeah! Italy was nice, I didn’t make a great start on Saturday but I was actually riding smooth and quite easy; I started to push on Saturday which normally I’m not giving 100% but I was doing that at Imola and I got 2nd, and on Sunday morning I felt like ‘I could do this’ and in the first race I came from 3rd place I think and worked my way up to the lead and won the first moto; Of course, Gajser was riding for his championship and also crashed in the moto, but even in the second moto, I took the holeshot and it was just like I was doing practice laps, so I was really happy after that one. But, Sweden was even nicer. I won the first moto but the second one I had a terrible start and had to work my way up. Obviously, Tonus and Febvre crashed and all of a sudden, I was in 3rd place and I knew I had to take (Pauls) Jonass for the overall win and I managed to do that on the last lap, and there were some emotions after winning again, back-to-back GP wins was unbelievable. My team has been with me through all the hard times, through all the injuries and I’ve been quite negative for quite a long time I would say; it’s not nice for my team and I think my girlfriend also didn’t like it that much, but on weekends like that, when you are winning the GP it’s a relief from everything and everyone was so happy and pumped; it’s a nice feeling, that’s for sure!
The podium in Lommel was your first since 2017, also at Lommel, so was it even more special because of what you’d been through this year or because it had been two years since your last podium? Actually, it was kind of weird because I felt really good in Lommel and after the first moto I saw that Febvre was winning but he was really tired. Normally, and with all the respect for Tim (Gajser), I should take him in the sand, because I should be the ‘sand guy’ and so before the second moto, I really felt like I could win the GP and I went in with this feeling. Obviously my start wasn’t that great, I think I
Two wins followed in Italy and Sweden …
When you said you were negative for quite some time, was that just this season, before the podiums? Yes, exactly. You know, I was still struggling with my injuries and 43
not having the results I wanted and knowing what I’m doing, working my ass off every single day and still having that pain there and then not getting the results … yeah! I was definitely not in a good place. Rounding out the season in China, you won the first race and leading the second one; Jeffrey is closing in and passes you on the last lap. Were you just so physically and mentally drained because of the effort you put in because as soon as he passed you, you checked up, and brought it home in 2nd for third overall in the championship? Well, in Turkey I knew Jeffrey was using the inside line before the waves and usually I should know it because every single lap he was really close after the waves; it was my mistake, I didn’t change the line and he passed me on the last lap, and I was so disappointed with that. China was a different story because we were riding for that 3rd place in the championship, and before the second moto we spoke with the team. I had a one-point advantage over Gautier Paulin and getting the medal was the most important thing. After we spoke about it, I kind of went in with the wrong attitude, to not take any risks and you can see that from my body language. I was leading all moto long and you can see that I just let Jeffrey go because I slowed down and settled to take the medal. In the end I was disappointed that I didn’t get the win and I feel like if I could push for two more laps, which I was capable of then I could manage to win that moto also and without crashing, so I felt it was a missed opportunity and I gave it away, just like that! We got the medal, but it was mixed feelings. And that brings us to the MXoN. There was a lot of hype about The Netherlands being favourites on home soil after what happened last year in America, and it seemed like
Jeffrey made an extra effort as well to be in shape; not sure who the most pressure was on though – you guys as a team, Jeffrey or you after going 1-1 at Red Bud. But to watch you ride at Assen, it seemed as though you didn’t have a care in the world; you looked relaxed the whole time. Going into the weekend all the pressure was on the Dutch team, everyone was saying that we were going to win which of course is not that easy, but I also didn’t feel any pressure! If I ride in Assen it’s something unique and a special sand track. Not a usual sand track but I always feel confident. So, that weekend, Saturday I got the fastest time in practice and got a 3rd in the Qualifying heat and was not riding that great; I was really pissed Saturday evening. The Belgians were great so we sat down on Sunday morning and decided to go into practice first, just pushing out laps. Of course, the track was really wet and my transponder was not working, otherwise I would have set the fastest lap as well, so I felt good; and going into the races I didn’t have any pressure. I took a good start from the inside in my first moto and managed to take the lead on the first lap, just did my own thing and managed to control everything because the conditions were so difficult and demanding on the bike. I tried to ride as safe as possible but still with a good speed and it worked out well. The last moto I had to start from the outside so it was difficult to get a good start; I took some risk in the first corner because I went in there like crazy and almost crashed but still managed to come out in 5th or 6th place, but I was passing the guys in front of me. I was a little lucky that Gajser crashed and I could pass him, but in the end, going 1-1 again was really special, especially because I was in The Netherlands in front of the home crowd, in front of our King, and the first time The Netherlands won the event, so it was a real special weekend. 45
like that because it was on all the front covers of all the Dutch newspapers; it was really good for our sport. Double gold? Yeah! Double gold! Double crazy! From going from only one gold plate the year before to two gold plates in one weekend was really amazing. You officially earned the nickname ‘Goldenhoff’. Hahaha … yeah! How was it meeting the King – was it the first time that you met him? Yep! I never met him before and he was really positive and of course, we were happy that we could make it all happen on this weekend and it was nice to have him there on a weekend 46
How was the media attention afterwards because you are now the history boys? Sunday night was really busy and it was big news on all the big TV channels in Holland, we definitely made history and everyone in The Netherlands would have seen it but after that, it’s been pretty normal. As for next year, you’ve already been testing; how was it and have you made some improvements? We tested some small things with suspension and the engine. We made some improvements to the suspension and some other
small changes on the bike which suits me more, I would say! When we come back from our holiday in America, I will start my physical training again and slowly start with the bike riding because soon it’s going to be another new year, so we better be ready! After your strong finish to the season where you took five podium’s including two GP wins, 3rd overall in the championship and winning the Nations, what is the goal for 2020? The same as this year; of course, a lot of guys were injured and I was also one of them, but to finish as much as possible on the podium, be consistent and hopefully I can show again the same form as I did the last five races. I just want to be up there all the time and be close to the top guys and hopefully get a lot more wins and podiums!
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YOUTHSTREAM HAVE BEEN IN ATTENDANCE OF THE 30TH EDITION OF THE PRESTIGIOUS SPORTEL CONVENTION IN MONACO, TO GET READY FOR A GREAT TV COVERAGE OF THE 2020 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON. .
The annual Sportel convention features the world’s main players in the sports’ TV and media industry, representing countries from all over the world. This was the perfect opportunity for Youthstream together with Infront Sports to meet with some major broadcasters in order to continue the positive trend of the MXGP series’ coverage. Many important meetings took place at this year’s event with key TV broadcasters, such as Netherlands’ NOS, Sport TV Slovenia, Italian National channel RAI, Eurosport, Motorsport TV Russia and Spanish Movistar as well as meeting with digital platform leaders that included Twitter and Vimeo. Following the success of the 2019 edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in Assen and the huge following of local stars such as Jeffrey Herlings, Glenn Coldenhoff and Roan Van de Moosdijk, Youthstream is bound to renew their agreement with NOS, to bring LIVE coverage of the upcoming 2020 MXGP season. Another significant meeting took place with Sport TV Slovenia, who, following the successful cooperation this year and the triumph of the now three-time World Champion, Tim Gajser, will continue to provide coverage of MXGP until 2022, with the
possibility of an extended partnership until 2025. In addition, after a great 9-year collaboration, Bansport Brazil have renewed their partnership for a further 3 years while in France, Automoto TV La chaine, will continue with the existing agreement of providing MXGP coverage every weekend. In Belgium, Telenet will broadcast MXGP races LIVE for a further 3 years, following a successful partnership since 2015. MTV Finland wish to improve the existing coverage of the events and are considering their debut LIVE at the MXGP of Finland in Kymiring next year while in the USA, MAV TV have agreed to broadcast the 26min Magazine after each Grand Prix for another 3 years. Besides, Youthstream will continue to work with international partners such as Eurovision, operated by the EBU - European Broadcasting Union. In addition to working on growing the coverage of MXGP events, Youthstream have also been working to increase the quality of the existing coverage by meeting with some of Sportel’s attendees and representatives researching all the newest technologies in digital media and social platforms.
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BLICKS BRING AFRICAN FLAVOUR TO MXGP ACADEMY IN IMOLA
THE MXGP ACADEMY HAS BEEN SET UP TO GUIDANCE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG RIDERS WISHING TO MAKE MOTOCROSS THEIR SPORT. THIS INVOLVES SETTING UP CLINICS TO RUN ALONGSIDE 7 OF THE EUROPEANBASED ROUNDS OF THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
Photo: P. Haudiquert Maggie was the first female rider back in the 1970’s, she took part in the East African championship.” familiar with the family’s sporting heritage.
One such clinic was run in Imola at the MXGP of Italy in 2019 and included some very special guests. Isabella Blick and her younger brother William Junior had both travelled all the way from Uganda to take part to the MXGP Academy under the watchful eye of their uncle Sula Blick.
Here’s Uncle Sula to give us some background; “I can start off with my Dad and Uncle. You could say they were the ones that initiated motocross in Uganda, if not East Africa. They became champions in these sports in the 1970’s and 80’s. That’s Paddy Blick and Arthur Blick Senior. They dominated the sport at that time and also in rallying as well.”
The Blick family are very much sporting royalty in Uganda. Isabella and William Junior’s father William Frederick Blick has been President of the Uganda Olympic Committee since 2013, and was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year, becoming only the 2nd Ugandan ever to achieve that honour, but perhaps of no surprise to those
“Following on from that time you’ve got Arthur Blick Junior who took up motorsport. There was a gap of about 15 years where there were basically no activities going on. He came through and built up the sport, more riders came in, and during this time he was national champion. We have an East African championship as well, which he competed in. Also, my Aunt
At the same time William Frederick Blick caught the motocross bug, while also being involved in a number of other sports. As an 18-year-old he was voted as the Ugandan Rugby Player of the Year in 1992 and was heavily involved in football and athletics, and also clinched a national rallying championship 14 years later, before going on to become a title winning Motocross coach as well. All the time William was also becoming more and more involved in sports administration, eventually leading to his current role in the IOC. That passion for sport has clearly rubbed off on his children, too. Here’s Uncle Sula again; “Coming into the next generation, we’ve got Isabella Blick and William Blick Junior who are here at Imola. You do have Paddy Junior, and Alistair as well, who are 53
competing in motocross as well, back in Uganda. We’re really a sporting family generally, with countless championships. Isabella and William Junior are national champions, both in 50cc.” Isabella is the elder of the two, and has been riding her bike since she was 3 years old: “I usually train twice a week. We do a lot of stuff for my arms to help me go a bit faster. I also do Taekwondo which helps me to keep my arms up.” For Isabella, the MXGP Academy experience was very different to the MX experience back home; “I haven’t done anything like this before. It was very good, and many of the exercises are very helpful. When we’re in Uganda they don’t really tell you about where I should stand and then when I’m about to ride a corner that I should sit.” Little brother William Junior agreed that the clinic provided at the MXGP Academy had been a great boost: “I’ve been enjoying the Academy very much because of the training and the coaches that have been helping me with strategies. At home the environment is different to how it is in Italy, and the training in Italy is a bit harder than the one in Uganda.” The MXGP Academy setup isn’t just about the riders though. While the children are put through their paces both in the classroom and out on track, the parents also get involved. “The parents meeting was the best part for me,” says Uncle Sula. “The interaction with the parents, how you communicate to the kids on track, non-verbal communication with the kids is so important. It’s something that’s stressed which we’d never really thought about. That will help to improve us as parents and pass that on to the kids, and help bring out their confidence when they ride.” “We didn’t expect to see what we’ve actually seen; The interaction, the course, what we’ve learnt and what I’ve learnt is absolutely incredible.
We’re going to put this into practice and certainly improve their quality of riding.” Throughout their visit to Imola the Blick family were looked after by Jan Postema, a certified Motocross and trainer and coach, who helps to run the MXGP Academy courses. He was delighted with the progress made: “That was the goal, to show you what the possibilities are, what the level is and what the level of teaching is. The enjoyment to ride and to race, and of course to learn. We have a nice sport, a little bit dangerous, with nice technique and quality, as you have seen. I was really happy having them, especially the kids. In motocross, when you learn, you fall down. Seeing them picking up the bike and just going for it, the motivation they showed, for us that’s just something you always enjoy.” “Part of the enjoyment is falling down,” agrees Uncle Sula. “It’s all part of the package. Falling down, getting up, a few scratches here and there, it’s all part of the enjoyment. It’s about how you control the aggression. The way you put it to the kids was absolutely fantastic.” “It was also great going to the KTM team today, to see how that works and meeting Jorge Prado. The kids enjoyed it. I think it really helps them to get a feel for what it takes to be on the world stage. Once you see that in person, at least you can gauge yourself, and see what you need to do to reach that stage. The crew at KTM really helped ourselves and the kids to see how a team is managed. Organisation is key.” “In Uganda it’s about enjoyment, here, what you’ve added in is the technical part of it. Do enjoy it, but if you’re going to go a bit faster put the technique in. When we go back, we’ll be passing on what we’ve learnt to other riders in Uganda.” Sula went further, admitting that preaching to the masses is 55
very much part of the Blick family doctrine; “As a family we enjoy our sports, but more importantly, we promote them. Give it life, enjoy it, but allow that enjoyment to cross over to other people to be able to take it up. When Isabella started about 7 years ago, she was more or less the only female rider in the 50cc class, but now we’ve had quite a number take up the sport.” “The sport has grown significantly over the years. It’s the same as you have here in MXGP. Without the sponsors you really can’t go far. They have come on board, supporting the sport itself, and it is picking up a lot. Now we have all categories with a significant number of riders. From 50cc, 65cc, 85cc, 125cc and 250cc, and then you’ve got MX1 for the 450s as well. In our championships there is always good competition, good fun, and it is still growing. “The youth is what we’re concentrating on. All credit to Isabella and William, who have started some interest in the sport. More youth is coming in. My brother William, their father, they’ve been learning from since the day they started, putting the time in to train them. Other family members, who used to come and watch, now have their family members involved, too. Taking the initiative to follow that through. There’s also my cousin Arthur, who’s an 11-time champion, they look up to him.” The MXGP Academy event in Imola took place in mid-August, just 2 weeks before the highlight of the African motocross calendar, the FIM Motocross of African Nations. The 2019 edition took place at the Donnybrook track in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the vast distances involved in travelling to sporting events in Africa meant that Uganda would not be able to ride at full strength. “We have 3 riders that have registered to go to Harare,” says Sula; “They’ll be the ones flying our flag. It comes down to points; the more riders we have, the more help we have to accumulate the points needed. With the Nations being in Harare,
sadly there are less riders that can accumulate the points for us.” Jan Postema also had a word of warning with regards to the track; “I’ve been to Harare and had a look at the track where the competition is going to be. You mentioned before about the tracks where you are not being that difficult. But there it’s going to be quite tough. I think they have an upscale quality track there. It’ll be interesting also for the kids to go, as it will be a learning process. 58
There would be no big surprises in Harare, with South Africa dominating. Going on to clinch the African Nations title for the 6th time in 7 years. Hosts Zimbabwe finished in a strong runner-up position, with Uganda taking the bronze medal in 3rd place, just ahead of Zambia. Uganda now without a Nations title since winning on home soil in Kampala back in 2012.
“We try to take the kids to different countries, to have a feel for how the sport has been taken up there. You can be more or less accustomed to performing in your own country, but it’s important to go to other places to try the tracks out and to see if your level of skills can actually handle different tracks. The atmosphere as well. Going to a country where you have different riders, and although they’re all from Africa, different cultures.”
Not many made the long trip to Harare, but Sula realises that travelling to international events is an important part of a young rider’s development: “for smaller events it’s a case of families saying we’re going to the event or not. Most riders do go to Nairobi if there is an East African Championships, it’s just next door, which is easier for us to get to.”
Despite logistical difficulties, the motocross scene in Africa is a vibrant one. We’ll leave the last word for Uncle Sula; “Motorsport in Africa is passion and enjoyment, but the elements that we have learnt here at the Academy in Imola is to enjoy, but the technique can help you to enjoy riding even more. The faster you go, the happier we all are.”
L L A H
E M A F F O
BEN TOWNLEY NEW ZEALAND ALWAYS PROVIDED SOME FIERCE COMPETITORS IN THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, BUT ONLY TWO OF THEM BECAME WORLD CHAMPIONS. A FEW YEARS AFTER SHANE KING BECAME MX3 WORLD CHAMPION IN 1996, BEN TOWNLEY CLAIMED A WORLD TITLE IN THE VERY COMPETITIVE MX2 CLASS AND JUST RACED ONE SEASON IN THE MX1 SERIES BEFORE MOVING TO AMERICA. Born on 9th December 1984 in Taupo, Ben Townley claimed multiple National championships in his native New Zealand before moving to Europe when he was just sixteen years old! Townley left his family and friends to join a German team involved in the 125cc World Championship. He started his first GP campaign on a Suzuki and he immediately showed some great ability on the bike and that season joined Tyla Rattray in the Vangani team managed by Tinus Neil, an enthusiast business man fan of motocross who was famous to invest on young talents. After a strong winter training alongside teammates Tyla Rattray and Tanel Leok, Ben was the revelation of the 2002 season. The Kiwi rider was on the podium of the opening GP in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, and he visited the rostrum regularly until he finally won his first ever GP in Sweden. He finished sixth that season and moved to the Champ KTM team of Kees Van der Ven in
2003, but he wasn’t able to fight for the title or even the podium as he struggled with injuries during the whole year. In 2004 Ben Townley jumped on the brand-new prototype KTM 250 four stroke and he was “the man to beat”, winning nine GP’s on a total of sixteen and twenty-one heats! He became the leader of the series after the opening round in Zolder, and he dominated all his rivals beating Rattray by more than a hundred points! Ben Townley moved up to the MX1 class a few weeks after celebrating his twentieth birthday, and he was immediately a podium contender and fought with Stefan Everts, Mickael Pichon and Josh Coppins. He won the Spanish GP, which was only his second race in the main class, won three other rounds of the series including a double win in Castiglione del Lago and Saint Jean d’Angely, and later surprised his fans when he announced that he would cross the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the season to enter the US championships. 61
His first season was a tough one as he got injured before the opening round of the SX series but came back stronger at the Motocross of Nations where he got a podium result with team New Zealand. His second season in the US was a better one, as he clinched the East Coast Supercross title in his first full SX season. Fighting in the Motocross championship with teammate Ryan Villopoto, Ben finished runner up and offered a 1-2 to Mitch Payton, the Kawasaki Pro Circuit team owner. He moved to the 450cc class as a factory rider inside the Honda team, but he got injured and missed the SX series, he was only able to race the last motocross events of that season. In 2010 he finished fourth of the MX series and he again surprised everyone when he announced his comeback to the FIM Motocross World Championship. Joining the CLS Kawasaki team he struggled again with injuries and officially retired at the end of the season. However, he made a surprising come back with team New Zealand at the 2015 Motocross of Nations, where he showed again how competitive and determinate he was! Third overall in his class with a second position in one race, he signed with Stefan Everts to comeback in the MXGP class on a factory Suzuki. Working hard to prepare the season alongside Stefan, he scored a race podium in Thailand during the second round of the series, missed two of them due to a terrible flu and finally only raced eight rounds of the championship before announcing his final retirement. Back in his native New Zealand, he remains involved in motorsport as he organizes trips and training camps in New Zealand. Text & Photos: P. Haudiquert
33rd in the 125 World Championship (KTM)
6th in the 125 World Championship (KTM). Winner of one GP
11th in the 125 World Championship (KTM)
MX2 World Champion (KTM). Winner of 9 GPâ€™s
3rd in the MX1 World Championship (KTM). Winner of 4 GPâ€™s
2006: 23rd in the US 250 Motocross Championship (Kawasaki) 3rd at the Motocross of Nations with Team New Zealand 2007: US 250 Supercross Champion, East Coast (Kawasaki)
2nd in the US 250 Motocross Championship
2008: 27th in the US 450 Motocross Championship (Honda) 2010: 4th in the US 450 Motocross Championship (Honda)
32nd in the MX1 World Championship
33rd in the MX1 World Championship (Kawasaki)
18th in the MXGP World Championship (Suzuki)
S K L A T K C O D PAD 2 1
Mr & Mrs Anstie! MXGP rider, Max Anstie married his (now wife) Milly at a beautiful ceremony in America.
2 Baby Fever! Tommy Searle and his wife Sophia welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Alfie James Searle. 3 Antonio Cairoli goes TC4 Wheels in Jerez for the Lamborghini World Finals. 4 No rest for Adam Sterry, as heâ€™s been spotted training in the sand in Dubai! 5 Baby Cairoli is here! Tony and Jill Cairoli welcomed their gorgeous baby boy, Chase Ben Cairoli, born on 28th September. 6 Glenn Coldenhoff taking in the sights at the Grand Canyon as he enjoys his holiday in America. 7 Jorge Prado visited his friends at Greenland MX and took a tour of their impressive facilities! 8 Romain Febvre showing off his new colours for 2020.
E L R A U I T C A E E SP F
GEORGES JOBÃ‰ 1980 SUZUKI RH80 250 66
BELGIUM HAS ALWAYS BEEN REGARDED AS THE POWERHOUSE OF THE MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, AMASSING NO FEWER THAN 52 WORLD TITLES SINCE THE CHAMPIONSHIP BEGAN IN 1957, WHICH IS 29 MORE THAN THE NEXT BEST NATION.
And during a twenty-year period from 1968-1988 the tiny European country was responsible for winning 27 titles from a possible 53, or just over 50% to be exact. Riders such as Joel Robert (4), Roger De Coster (5), Harry Everts (4), Gaston Rahier (3), André Malherbe (3), Eric Geboers (4) and Georges Jobé (3) were responsible for that prolific win-rate during those two decades. Jobé won his first of five titles aged nineteen in 1980 in the 250cc category and it’s his 1980 Suzuki RH80 that we will feature in this issue of MXGP Magazine. Born in Retinne in 1961, Georges Jobé was just 17 years-old when he won his first 250cc Belgian national championship in 1978
and clearly had his eyes on a much bigger prize, and being Belgian meant he was already on the radar of some quite prolific racers, many of whom have already been mentioned above. However, it was Roger De Coster who gave him the leg-up he really needed in 1979, Jobé’s first full season the FIM 250cc Motocross World Championship, where he placed 7th overall. ‘I had noticed Georges upcoming talent while practicing on his family track in Retinne. In 1979 I was also the main Suzuki distributor through my shop in Louvain that was managed by Johnny Strijbos. Suzuki always gave me a works 250 for local events or the Motocross des Nations, but since I did not have much planned for ‘79 on the 250 I thought it would get better use loaning it to Jobé,’ recalled De
Coster. Loaning him the bike was as close as the Belgian legend got to helping out his young Belgian counterpart but it was enough for Jobé to catch the eye of Japan, and for the 1980 season Georges was armed with factory bikes direct from Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). Having ridden De Coster’s loaned RH79 to 7th overall in his rookie season, Jobé was already familiar with the overall set-up of the factory bike, but pre-season tests of the RH80 were still carried out in Japan during the winter, with the main difference being a new chassis for the latest offering. World titles had dried up somewhat for Suzuki in the 250cc class since Joel Robert raced to his sixth and final crown in 1972 and with Jobé at the ‘bars, Suzuki felt like they finally had the man to bring them more success in the quarter litre category, especially since all of its efforts had been placed in the 500cc class with the 67
likes of De Coster. However, with De Coster slipping out of the top three in 1979, and moving to Honda in 1980, the focus was now on Jobé in the 250 class to come up with the goods, and he would have to do it alone, with no teammate to depend on as well; just his mechanic, Rayond Rebull, brother Claude and Johnny Strijbos. As was the case in this era of racing, a factory bike was exactly that, unlike today where even the best factory bikes start life in production form. The handmade frame was a prototype, as was the aluminium swingarm. The rear suspension units were twin shock whilst the front KYB fork was conventional 36mm. The wheels came with Magnesium hubs and D.I.D rims and the engine and clutch cases were also prototype, made from Magnesium. The fuel tank was aluminium and the exhaust system was made in-house at SMC. Nippon Denso provided the ignition whilst the carburettor was a 36mm unit from Mikuni. The factory gearbox came with five gears and the clutch was also a factory item. The drum brakes were made by Nissin but were twin-cam for extra stopping power. As for the engine, the bore and stroke was 68x68mm and with all the lightweight parts on the RH80, the weight came in at the FIM minimum allowed. In short, this bike was a combination of either works or prototype and would have been the strongest bike out there at the time. Jobé’s season got off to a steady start with 3rd overall in Spain at Sabadell, courtesy of a 4-4 scorecard, but by the time he arrived at Marche en Famenne in Belgium and Round 4, Jobé powered to his first race wins and maiden career GP win in perfect fashion, going 1-1 and taking over the championship lead in the process. From there, he was never headed. Two more GP wins came at Hawkstone Park, Great Britain (2-1) and Brou, France (3-3) as he dominated the championship, winning by an eventual margin of 86 points.
Jobé wrapped up his first world title at Unadilla in America in Race One with two rounds still remaining, but had to play second fiddle to Kent Howerton of the USA, who was also mounted on a RH80 Suzuki. The only significance was that Howerton was already racing the Full Floater version as opposed to the Twin Shock bike of Jobé, who chose not to switch midway through the season; this despite Harry Everts switching to both water-cooled and Full Floater technology midway through the 1979 season in the 125cc class. The USGP at Unadilla turned out to be a memorable day for Suzuki as they not only won the championship for the first time in 8 years in the class, but also rounded out all three steps of the podium, with Howerton winning, Jobé 2nd and Darrel Schultz 3rd, 70
taking the top three places in both races and the overall.
Rear suspension: KYB Twin shock
On his way to his first world championship, Georges Jobé claimed three race wins, six 2nd and five 3rd places. He won three of the twelve GP’s overall, finished 2nd once and 3rd on four occasions. He became Belgium’s sixth motocross world champion as a result of his title win.
Exhaust: Made in-house at SMC
Ignition: Nippon Denso
Carburettor: Mikuni 36
Gear box: Factory 5-speed
Wheel brand: Suzuki, Magnesium hub with DID rim
Hub brand: Suzuki, Magnesium
Brakes: Nissin, drum brake with twin cam
Technical Specification •
1980 Suzuki RH80
Full Factory / prototype
Engine capacity: 250cc, Aircooled
Bore and Stroke: 68x68
Frame: Handmade prototype
Engine / clutch case material: Prototype Magnesium
Swingarm: Prototype aluminium
Fuel tank: Aluminium
Front fork: KYB 36mm
Photos: P. Haudiquert
S N R O O I T T I S E ED E U QO TH T ❝
When are the 2020 tickets out for Lommel? Jordan
Could you please explain to me the EMX Open class? Laura
Tickets for most of the 2020 MXGP events will be released shortly, stay tuned on MXGP. com and MXGP social media for further updates. Regards MXGP
Hello can you tell me when the official calendar 2020 will be ready? Kostas
When are you coming back to the US? Marc
Hi Marc , Thank you for your question. USA hosted great GPs in USA with a fantastic Monster Energy FIM MXoN in Red Bud in 2018. USA is not on the 2020 calendar but we are planning a comeback in the future. Stay tuned for more news. Regards MXGP
Dear Kostas, The official 2020 MXGP Calendar is already released and you can find more info here: https:// www.mxgp.com/motocross/ news/2020-fim-motocrossworld-championship-officialcalendar Best Regards MXGP
Hi, where can I find all the local transport information for each round? I want to come to as many GP as I can but I need to know the best ways to travel. Mark
Hi Mark hank you for the interest. You can find more info at the Tracks section on MXGP.com as it includes also detailed contacts for each round in order to plan your trips: https://www.mxgp. com/tracks Thanks MXGP
Hi Laura The EMX OPEN Class is an additional class that will be included in the 2019 calendar within Europe. From 2020 and onwards the EMX Open championship will be open to riders from 16 years old up to 50 years old on motorcycles from 175cc up to 450cc, for both 2strokes and 4strokes similar to and in the same format as the EMX125, EMX250 and EMX2T championships. MXGP
Youthstream announces that the 75th issue of the MXGP Mag is now online! This month’s edition features the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross...