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MXGP MAG Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: MXGP INFRONT MOTO RACING MEDIA World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland MXGP Mag #86 October 2020 The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of Infront Moto Racing.

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L A I R O T I D E

David Luongo CEO of Infront Moto Racing

Dear MXGP Friends, We’ve just passed the half-way mark of the season. The first group of Italian events is now behind us, with 6 Grand Prix in a row on two beautiful tracks, in Faenza and Mantova. We saw loads of action and surprises during those events. In the MXGP class the season is just fantastic. Since the season started again in Latvia, for the last 9 Grand Prix events we’ve had 7 different riders win in the MXGP Class, Coldenhoff, Cairoli, Herlings, Prado for his rookie season, Seewer, Febvre who made a fantastic come-after his injury at the beginning of the year and finally Gajser who is now leading the MXGP Championship. With those 7 riders, we have 6 different nationalities. This is the perfect proof of internationality in MXGP. Thanks to all the investments Infront Moto Racing, the FIM the FIM Europe and the teams are doing with the young talents from when they are on 65cc with the European Championships, we are seeing more and more riders coming from different countries entering the MXGP! For sure this result cannot be taken as a finish line, our objectives are always to touch more countries and more people worldwide to develop our

OUR OBJECTIVES ARE ALWAYS TO TOUCH MORE COUNTRIES AND MORE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE TO DEVELOP OUR SPORT. sport. In the different European Championships classes, we are seeing more and more young riders coming from abroad (Venezuela, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA…) to compete with the dream of racing in the MXGP one day. The overall MXGP championship classification is also one of the most compact ever with the top 5 within 58 points! In MX2 Tom Vialle put some gap with Jago Geerts with 46 points leading, but everything is still possible. The triple GP in Faenza and Mantova have been very demanding for all the stakeholders of the MXGP but the result and the quality of the organization was at a very high level! Thanks to the sanitary protocol we put in place with the Italian authorities we got the authorization to host public with a limitation of 1.000 people on site. We performed more than 5.000 PCR Covid-19 tests during those

races following the protocol for the whole paddock family to have the guarantee to be Covid-free. As I write my editorial, we are heading up to Spain for the new venue at intu Xanadu and its fantastic infrastructure. It will be the first time ever that we organize a Grand Prix in the suburb of Madrid and despite all the Covid restrictions put in place we are having a great collaboration with the Spanish authorities to make the event happen. The local organizer Last Lap did a fantastic job regarding the track and all the preparation of the event. I would like also to thank Madrid and Arroyomolinos authorities that never stopped to support the Grand Prix despite the challenges. Finally, I would like to thank you for your support! We just reached one million followers on our Instagram platform, which is showing once again the great interest MXGP is having worldwide. MXGP audience is every year younger which is also a great signal for motocross! Our team is working hard to give you the best flavors of our favorite sport thanks to all our digital platforms despite the fact we cannot host many people onsite for the moment. See you very soon on MXGP-TV!


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FOX HOLESHOT: THE ITALIAN EDITION 16

IT’S BEEN A BUSY A BUSY MONTH FOR THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AS THE CRAZY 2020 SEASON CONTINUED WITH A TREAT – TWO ITALIAN TRIPLE HEADERS, THAT IS SIX GRAND PRIX’S WITHIN A MONTH!


moment for the 19-year-old, who had struggled with injuries coming into his rookie season this year. mainly dominated by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle, who claimed 10 out of the possible 12 holeshot’s combined. With the season now just over the halfway mark, the competition is heating up as the front runners in both, MXGP and MX2 categories, are looking for every possible advantage over their competitors and the biggest one of all is getting that good start and starting the race in the lead, rather than having to waste time and energy getting around the other riders from further back of the field. The last six GP’s have been unpredictable, as has the majority of this season. During these two Italian triple headers in Faenza and Mantova, in MXGP we have had a different rider winning each of the six Grand Prix’s, while in MX2 there have been four different winners. FAENZA During the MXGP of Italy, MXGP of Città di Faenza and the MXGP of Emilia Romagna the FOX Holeshot’s were

During the first GP in Faenza, Vialle and Prado shared their start success, with the KTM riders leading the start in MX2 race one and MXGP race two. Standing Construct GasGas MXGP’s Ivo Monticelli repeated his start success from Latvia to lead the MXGP riders to the first corner in the opening MXGP race, while in MX2, Geerts added his third Fox Holeshot point for the awards standings by getting ahead in the second MX2 race. Then the following Grand Prix, the MXGP of Città di Faenza, was the Vialle and Prado show, with the pair leaving no room for others when it came to getting out in front early on. The starts were vital for both riders on their journeys to their respective overall victories. Vialle went on to win both races in MX2, whereas Prado was able to finish consistently in second, at the time his best race result of the season, and went on to claim his first ever MXGP podium – which was a special

Then at the MXGP of Emilia Romagna, the final race in Faenza, the Fox Holeshot’s were once again dominated by Prado and Vialle. In MXGP Prado continued to prove that he is a superstar of starts, with his quick gate reaction paying off in the opening race that he went on to win, which was another first for him this season. In the second race, the Spaniard finished further down the field after struggling with illness, though it was enough to get him on the podium once more! In MX2, Vialle led both of the starts, and the races, though in the first one he missed out to Geerts for the win, though managed to bring it back for the second race, which handed him the win and the overall – a perfect way to finish the first Italian triple header. MANTOVA Then things moved on to Mantova for a series of another three races in Italy. Coming into these three rounds the stakes were higher, as just seven points separated Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Team 17


HRC’s Tim Gajser in the championship standings. During the first GP in Mantova, the MXGP of Lombardia, the FOX Holeshot’s were claimed by four different riders in both MXGP and MX2. In the opening MXGP race it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer who claimed the first FOX Holeshot of the day, on his way to fantastic race win. He won the race over Prado by 08.181 seconds and eventually went on to take his first MXGP overall victory of his career. Back to the races and in the second MXGP heat, Prado was not going to let anyone beat him to the first corner, as he clinched his eighth holeshot of the season. A penalty cost Prado the top step of the podium, though he did still finish on the box in third, behind Standing Construct GasGas MXGP’s Glenn Coldenhoff. In MX2, the first FOX Holeshot went to F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Mathys Boisrame who put his Kawasaki machine in front to enter the first corner in the lead. In the second race the FOX Holeshot went to Ben Watson of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing, who claimed his second holeshot of the season, on his way to a third overall in the group, his first podium of 2020. Then we moved on to the second GP, the MXGP of Città di Mantova, where

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the starts were dominated by a number of different riders, and for some it was their first shot at leading the pack out of the gate. In the opening MXGP race, Prado continued to prove that he is the king of starts this year as he claimed his ninth holeshot of the season on his way to a race win, while in the second heat, a brilliant start was all Romain Febvre of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team needed to claim his first race win of the year as he led the race from gate drop to finish flag. This also helped him on his way to his first overall of 2020, as he took to the top step of the podium for the first time since Loket 2019. In MX2, the first FOX Holeshot went to Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors newest recruit, Isak Gifting who put the GasGas machine out in front for the very first time on one of his first outings in the MX2 world championship category. Though in the second race, Vialle was able to respond, getting the advantage into the first turn, putting his tally up to 12. The final stop of Mantova was then the MXGP of Europe. Prado dominated both starts in MXGP, though some bad luck in the races cost him the chance of getting his 6th podium of the season. Meanwhile in MX2, the battle for the starts were shared between Vialle and Watson once again. Vialle got out in front in race one as he went on to win the race after successfully defending

the position from Geerts, while Watson led the way in race two. Watson had another strong ride inside the top 3. Now with 7 GP’s remaining, that leaves us with 14 more FOX Holeshot’s left up for grabs! And as it stands, Jorge Prado leads in MXGP with 11 points as Ivo Monticelli sits in second with 3 and Jeremy Seewer with 2. Meanwhile in MX2, Tom Vialle leads the way with 13 points and an impressive 10-point margin over Ben Watson and Jago Geerts who both have 3. Here are the full FOX Holeshot Awards standings!

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MX2 TABLE Tom Vialle Jago Geerts

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MXGP TABLE Jorge Prado Ivo Monticelli

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: P U H C T N A A C I L G A N T I I C RA G THE N I V LI AM! E R D 21


FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HAS BEEN LIVING THE ITALIAN DREAM, WITH TWO CONSECUTIVE TRIPLE HEADERS TAKING PLACE IN FAENZA AND THEN MANTOVA. THESE LAST SIX GP’S HAVE OFFERED US EVERYTHING AND MORE, INCLUDING PLENTY OF BATTLES THROUGHOUT THE FIELD NOT JUST AT THE FRONT.

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In fact, the last six Grand Prix’s have been hard to predict with each round being won by somebody new, including Jeffrey Herlings (MXGP of Italy), Jorge Prado (MXGP of Città di Faenza), Antonio Cairoli (MXGP of Emilia Romagna), Jeremy Seewer (MXGP of Lombardia), Romain Febvre (MXGP of Città di Mantova) and Tim Gajser (MXGP of Europe). There were several changes in the championship, as Antonio Cairoli took over the lead from Jeffrey Herlings after the last races in Faenza, though as we entered Mantova, things changed once again, as the red plate fell into the


hands of Tim Gajser. With two race wins on different occasions, and his first overall victory of the season during the MXGP of Europe, Gajser still leads the way going into the Spanish Grand Prix with 11 points. THE ATMOSPHERE Aside from the racing, each morning of the two Italian tripleheaders began with a special moment, as the Italian national anthem filled every speaker of the paddock, which was then followed by Luciano Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma, which was the perfect way to begin each morning, in the most typical Italian way! The Italian atmosphere didn’t end there, as during the MXGP of Emilia Romagna, MXGP of Lombardia, MXGP of Città di Mantova and MXGP of Europe, MXGP welcomed back a crowd of eager motocross fans, who finally got the opportunity to witness the

racing in person for the first time since things picked back up again. The spectators viewed the races from a designated public area, while adhering to the rules and wearing their masks. Though this didn’t stop them from showing their full support for their favourite riders, as each one passed by! And for the Italian fans, these moments were very special – especially as the crowd roared into action, when Cairoli took the overall victory and the red plate at the MXGP of Emilia Romagna, and then again when he took the lead from Gajser to win the race at the MXGP of Europe.

back in 1979, with the 500cc Championship which that weekend was won by the four-time World Champion Mikkola Heikki. 2012 was the last time that the Italian circuit saw a world championship race and that time around it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli who was the overall winner in MXGP (then known as MX1) with Christophe Pourcel and Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP joining Cairoli on the podium in second and third. Meanwhile in MX2, it was Jeffrey Herlings who was victorious, followed by Tommy Searle in second and Jeremy Van Horebeek on the third step of the podium that weekend.

After an 8-year break, MXGP finally returned to Faenza for a series of three races in 10 days!

The Monte Coralli circuit holds many fond memories. Back in 1989 it was the first race that 10-time world champion, Stefan Everts and KTM Motorsports Director, Pit Beirer both contested in.

Located in the Emilia Romagna region, known for its passion for motorsports, the hard-pack circuit of Faenza first hosted the FIM Motocross World Championship

Fast forward some years and it was also the venue where Antonio Cairoli obtained his 6th world title at home, with a win in front of his home crowd. While in MX2,

FAENZA

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Jeffrey Herlings did the same, as he confirmed his maiden world title. This time around the Monte Coralli circuit saw a series of new victors, with Jeremy Seewer and Jorge Prado taking a race win each during the opening GP, while during the MXGP of Città di Faenza Prado took it a step further, to take his first ever Grand Prix victory in MXGP. The 19-year-old made history, becoming Spain’s most recent Grand Prix winner, with Jonathan Barragan being the last Spaniard to win in the premier class, back in 2009. And with Jeffrey Herlings out for the next two GP’s, due to a crash in free practice which resulted in the Dutchman being taken to hospital, this then allowed Cairoli to take the red plate into the next Italian round, which was the first time anyone other than Herlings led the championship this season. And while the 4-time world champion recovers, the MXGP paddock eagerly awaits for his return, as he no doubt will shake things up once again. In MX2, one of the highlights came from Maxime Renaux who not only won his first ever MX2 race, but he also took to the top of the box, claiming his first overall win during the MXGP of Italy. This was a special moment for the Frenchman and the Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing crew, who got the chance to win on home soil! More excitement followed, as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and Jed Beaton made their much awaited appearance on the podium, with TKO finishing on the podium once in 3rd (MXGP of Città di Faenza) while his teammate made it to the box during the final GP (MXGP of Emilia Romagna) where he finished 3rd as well. THE RETURN OF FANTIC RACING! There was more excitement for Italians, as EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing rider, Andrea Bonacorsi put in an impressive performance to go 24


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and win all six of the races, the three rounds, and take the championship lead at home, in front of his home crowd and what was even more special is he confirmed Fantic Racing’s return to the top. Fantic Motor is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer born at the beginning of the 70’s. During the 70’s and 80’s, Fantic Motor became really popular as a symbol for a new generation of riders. In 2014 the factory was bought by a group of entrepreneurs, which helped the factory to make another step towards its comeback. And now Fantic took an even bigger step with the victories of their young star, Bonacorsi, who impressed at home. His next couple of races in Mantova were not so lucky, but the Italian still leads the championship by 33 points as just 4 rounds remain. For Fantic this is extremely special, as this could be their first title in EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing. MADONNA DEI CAMPIONI The MXGP of Emilia Romagna saw the start of a brand-new tradition for the FIM Motocross World Championship, as a special prize giving ceremony celebrated the overall winners in MXGP and MX2. The prestigious prize, known as the ‘Madonna dei Campioni’, was given to the winners of MXGP and MX2 classes, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Tom Vialle, who received a specially made ceramic art piece, that is typical in the area of Faenza The ceremony is a long-standing tradition, that is prepared and awarded to many international athletes in different disciplines such as, Giacomo Agostini, the 15-time motorcycle road racer world champion and 6-time winner as a team manager, Giancarlo Minardi and Riccardo Patrese, former Formula 1 pilots, Marco Pantani, road racing cyclist and winner of Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, Isolde Kosner, Nordic skiing Olympic medalist, as well as Felice Gimondi, Vittorio Adorni, Pier Luigi Martini, Patrick Staudacher, and Stefania Belmondo, just to name a few.

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The beautiful ceramic pieces were personally handed over by the Mayor of Brisighella (a beautiful medieval village in Italy located in the surround hillsides of the Ravenna province) Massimiliano Pederzoli to the victors of this weekends’ Grand Prix to celebrate their incredible achievements and to begin a brandnew tradition that will be held going forward. Joining the Mayor of Brisighella on the podium for this special occasion were Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo, FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela, Formula Imola President Uberto Selvatico Estense, and Tourism Councillor Gian Marco Monti. This prestigious occasion was the perfect end to the epic run of the motocross world championship in Faenza over the last 10 days, that saw MXGP return to the legendary circuit after an eight-year gap. MANTOVA The races then continued, as we headed to Mantova for three more rounds. This time around we witnessed more firsts. Jeremy Seewer went on to win another race and take a career first MXGP podium alongside some fierce competitors, during the MXGP of Lombardia. At the next round, it was finally the turn of Romain Febvre to grace the top of the box. He took the race win in the second heat which confirmed his first GP victory of the 2020 season and with his new team Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. Then the final GP in Mantova, the MXGP of Europe saw another new victor. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, who went on to take a win and a second in the races, to confirm his first Grand Prix win since last season, as well as taking the red plate into the next round in Spain, as he leads the MXGP championship by 11 points. While in MX2, Thomas Kjer Olsen had an epic run in Mantova. He won some races (two to be exact) and also went on to take two consecutive overall victories throughout the three rounds. This was just a glimpse of what can be expected from the Dane as the season progresses, as he makes his comeback to the top. Meanwhile, this year’s title contender, Jago 30


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Geerts, made a strong comeback, after some unlucky races, as he won the second race at the final GP in Mantova, to confirm his return to the top step of the podium. For Tom Vialle, the Mantova run was a little tougher. Despite winning three out of the possible six races, he failed to make it to the top of the box, though he did finish second overall at the MXGP of Città di Mantova and Europe. He also leads the championship by 46 points heading into the next round, which still gives him some breathing room. The MXGP’s in Mantova held some special moments, as the MXGP family came together to support Arminas Jasikonis, who crashed during the first event, the MXGP of Lombardia. The tall Lithuanian was admitted to hospital, though fortunately has made a miraculous recovery. To show their support, all the riders featured a Stay Strong AJ sticker on their number plates, with the gesture not going unnoticed by the family and the rider himself. It was a special moment in the paddock, as everyone came together to pray and send their strength to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider.

WATCH THE VIDEO

There were also some fun moments, aside from the racing, as some of the MXGP and MX2 riders took part in a special photoshoot, which had them showing off their best and funniest poses. It was a fun occasions for the pilots to let lose, while we captured some social media gold! Now we continued the fun with the MXGP of Spain! With 11 rounds in the books, just 7 remain of the 2020 season, including the muchanticipated return of the Spanish Grand Prix, followed by the Belgian trio of races in Lommel, the home to many of the teams, to then finish off the season with an epic series of races at the picturesque Pietramurata, which will conclude the championships!

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FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

RESULTS MXGP CHAMP. STANDINGS 1. T. Gajser (SLO, HON) 2. A. Cairoli (ITA, KTM) 3. J. Seewer (SUI, YAM) 4. J. Prado (SPA, KTM) 5. G. Coldenhoff (NED, KTM) 6. R. Febvre (FRA, KAW) 7. G. Paulin (FRA, YAM) 8. J. Herlings (NED, KTM) 9. C. Desalle (BEL, KAW) 10. A. Jasikonis (LTU, HUS)

MX2 CHAMP. STANDINGS 399 p. 388 p. 369 p. 341 p. 341 p. 304 p. 285 p. 263 p. 262 p. 248 p.

MXGP MANUFACTURERS

MX2 MANUFACTURERS

1. KTM 2. Honda 3. Yamaha 4. Kawasaki 5. Gas Gas 6. Husqvarna

1. KTM 2. Yamaha 3. Husqvarna 4. Kawasaki 5. Honda 6. Gas Gas

489 p. 436 p. 418 p. 373 p. 355 p. 277 p.

MXGP INSTAGRAM

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1. T. Vialle (FRA, KTM) 478 p. 2. J. Geerts (BEL, YAM) 432 p. 3. J. Beaton (AUS, HUS) 348 p. 4. M. Renaux (FRA, YAM) 341 p. 5. T. Olsen (DEN, HUS) 311 p. 6. R. Van De Moosdjik (NED, KAW) 293 p. 7. B. Watson (GBR, YAM) 287 p. 8. C. Mewse (GBR, KTM) 252 p. 9. M. Boisrame (FRA, KAW) 234 p. 10. R. Fernandez (SPA, YAM) 208 p.

494 p. 494 p. 401 p. 375 p. 245 p. 148 p.


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L A I C O S P G X M Take a look at the action from above! đ&#x;‘€ Here’s a few moments from the first MXGP race during the MXGP of CittĂ di Mantova!

@dhanisdamon Something special this time đ&#x;˜Š @jeremyseewer91 • #Jeremy #seewer #mxgp #mx

@imelisatorresan Cos’è per me la felicità ? Cosa mi rende felice? TUTTO QUESTO

@saramoletta Scatti rubatiđ&#x;˜? Grazie Tonyâ?¤ď¸?

Jump onboard with Roman Febvre and his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX 450 at the Mantova track!

@angelatoneguzzi Follemente innamorata đ&#x;§Ąđ&#x;?? @croce_blu_sassuolo đ&#x;’ŞAnche oggi giornata intensa al #Crossodromo di #MonteCoralli al #GranPremio di #MotoCross d’ #EmiliaRomagna đ&#x;??ď¸?

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@crossmagazin @lare423 als Gast in unserer Studio Show ... #crossmagazin #mx #motocross

@arminasjasikonis Road is long and unknownđ&#x;›ś

@britthprs It’s a MARCH!!!

Check out the News Highlights from the MXGP of Emilia Romagna 2020 where Antonio Cairoli won the GP and managed to grab the MXGP red plate @saramoletta Finalmente i Tifosi al 222% di nuovo riuniti��

P G X M # D OF ORL W HE IN T

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Since the series returned in Latvia a couple of months ago, the following GP’s have been a string of firsts for the 19-year-old who clinched his first podium at the MXGP of Kegums, where he finished third overall, and then a couple of weeks later he took his first Grand Prix overall victory during the MXGP of Città di Faenza, as well as his first race win at the MXGP of Emilia Romagna.

RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING’S JORGE PRADO HAS BEEN ON A HIGH RECENTLY, AS HIS PERFORMANCE ON TRACK HAS BUILT HIM UP TO BE A POTENTIAL THREAT FOR THE TITLE THIS SEASON, WITH THE YOUNG SPANIARD CURRENTLY OCCUPYING FOURTH POSITION IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, 58 POINTS DOWN ON THE SERIES LEADER, TIM GAJSER.

Then things moved on to Mantova, for the third triple header of the season. The MXGP of Lombardia, the MXGP of Città di Mantova and the MXGP of Europe were a mixture for the rookie, who had his fair share of good and bad luck. The Spaniard finished on the podium twice; third during the first GP and 45


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second overall during the GP of Mantova, with a win and a sixth. Then the last one was a little tougher. Prado led the opening race before making a mistake early on, to finish third and then second race, he was comfortably running with the leaders though a crash completely destroyed his weekend and he finished ninth overall. It’s important to remember that this is Prado’s rookie season, and you cannot help but wonder what if those injuries at the beginning of the season didn’t happen, would things be any different? Either way it’s clear that he is an MXGP champion in the making, something that the De Carli family have been good at. THE BEGINNING: Jorge Prado’s World Championship career started back in 2011, when he won the 65cc Junior Motocross World Championship as well as the EMX65 title that very same season. Early on he was brought on by KTM, which prompted his family to move from Spain to Belgium in order to support the start of what has become his professional career as a motocross rider. His efforts started to pay off as he won the EMX125 Championship in 2015 and then entered the EMX250 class. Prado had a tough time competing in the 250cc European Championship that season, though it was his MX2 World Championship wildcard debut, which stood out for many. Prado lined-up for his first motocross world championship race in the deep sand of Assen, in the Netherlands that year, and surprised many as he battled at the top end of the field. He even led the second MX2 race for a fair few laps – putting himself among the very few who had led the world champion, Jeffrey Herlings, around a sand circuit at the time. In 2017 the youngster then entered the MX2 championship full time, and claimed three GP wins in Trentino, Lommel and

Assen. That season he finished 7th in the MX2 championship standings, showing promise for the following year. THE MX2 TITLES: “I think it was nice to get the two titles in different ways: the first title was a completely different season from 2019” In 2018, Jorge Prado moved to the Italian side of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, as the De Carli family took on the challenge of taking the Spaniard to the top of the MX2 World Championship. The beginning was tough, as Prado started the season off with an injury, though he managed to regroup by the fourth round in Trentino, where he took the overall victory. He then followed up with more victories in Portugal, Germany, France, Ottobiano and the two Indonesian GP’s and by round 14, in Czech Republic, the Spaniard held the red plate. “I was really close all season long with [Pauls] Jonass,” he shared. “He was going 1-1 and then I was going 1-1 and then he was going 1-2 and I was going 2-1 so it was very tight all season long,” said Jorge. “I think we don’t have this in many occasions that two riders are so close like if one goes first the other one for sure goes second. So, we had to be very strong mentally, to not make any mistakes, so it was a big lesson because we had to be consistent in every single race to get the title,” he explained. And after a season long battle with the Latvian, Jorge Prado went on to win his first MX2 world title in Imola at the age of 17, becoming Spain’s first MX2 World Champion, with 12 overall victories, 17 podiums and race wins and 26 Fox holeshots under his belt. “Coming in to the 2019 season I had a very good winter preparation,” Prado shared. “I was feeling fit, I was feeling that the bike was working perfectly. It was a season where I had to battle 47


with myself, because I was a step in front of the other riders, they were all riding very hard but I was feeling like I was a little bit faster than everyone, so I really had to fight with myself to put in a good lap time and to not make any mistakes,” he added. During the 2019 season, the Spaniard won a total of 31 races, 16 GP’s out of a possible 18 and took 23 fox holeshots. And despite being a clear leader, the season required more mental than physical strength from the young rider, who shared that he learned a lot from the second title as he prepared to enter the MXGP category as a rookie. “When you are leading it is very difficult to be mentally strong, to keep winning every single race, it was not easy at all, and I think I was great last year I didn’t make any mistakes, out of all the races I raced, I only lost 2 or 3 of them. It was a really good season and that helped me a lot coming to the 450cc class,” he revealed. He then finished off the year with a 450cc debut at the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in Assen, the Netherlands. To say that Prado impressed quite a few would be an understatement. With the deep sand of the man-made circuit and the tough weather conditions, Prado rode incredibly well in the MXGP qualifying heat as he led some of the race before being passed by Jeremy Seewer and later Tim Gajser and Jeremy Van Horebeek, a group of highly experienced MXGP riders. THE ROOKIE SEASON: The 2020 season has been a strange one for everyone, even more so for Jorge, who started the pre-season with a femur injury and many didn’t even expect him to race at the opening round in Matterley Basin, so it was a shock when everyone saw his name on the entry list. “I didn’t even have time to put myself a goal,” shared Prado. “It was crazy I didn’t really know what to expect because I didn’t

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know how I was going to ride the 450cc… Before my goal was to race because of the injury, then after that once I got to Matterley [Basin] to get some points maybe 20th or 19th, it could have been ok so that was actually my realistic goal. Well I managed to make two top ten and it was quite good,” he added. It was tough for the now 19-yearold to step up to the premier class with no bike time but despite that has come out swinging, surprising many with his performance thus far. Through the eyes of Jorge, the move was tough without the appropriate bike time, as he entered the season with just two weeks on the 450cc. New bike, new riders and an injury to recover from, the first round wasn’t the easiest, though he still finished inside the top 10 which was an impressive start already. “Of course, the jump from a 250cc bike to a 450cc bike is a big change,” shared Davide De Carli. “He has a big talent and when he jumped on the bike, he immediately felt confident with the bike but of course his body was not 100% ready for the 450cc bike, as he had some injuries in the winter time. Now he feels really good at the moment and you can see from the fact that in Faenza he won his first MXGP Grand Prix,” De Carli added. Then things stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak, which put the FIM Motocross World Championship on hold, along with closures to many training facilities which meant many of the riders were doing their training from home. For Jorge this may have worked out in his favour as it gave him time to rehabilitate on his injury. “I had another injury so I was injured twice, one just before the season and one in the middle; so I couldn’t really train and it was hard mentally, for sure the first one because I thought I wouldn’t be able to start the 2020 season,” he revealed.


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“I had to put my maximum effort in every single day to try to recover as fast as possible and after that the collarbone injury was something that I was like what more could happen in 2020,” shared Jorge. “It was just crazy and again I had to try to get back as fast as possible to recover because the next round was coming up in Latvia, it was crazy. This year I’m doing everything in a rush, so I had to be quite strong mentally but, yeah, we finally made to race every single round,” he added. And looking at his performance since the return of the season, you can easily forget that this is his first year in MXGP and that he’s had quite the ride to get here. So far this season, Prado has 2 race wins, 1 GP victory and 5 podiums under his belt, including an impressive 11 Fox Holeshots so far… Prado’s first podium came in Latvia, during the MXGP of Kegums where he finished 3rd overall. It was an emotional podium for the 19-year-old, who was super excited to share the box with the front runners of the championship. And things only got better, as a string of first followed in the next few GP’s. During the MXGP of Citta di Faenza, Prado dominated the starts and actually led the races before getting caught and passed by Jeremy Seewer and Tim Gajser. Despite not getting the race win, just yet, Prado went one step further, as his two second place finishes were enough to put him on the top step of the podium, for the very first time in the premier MXGP category. And with the confidence of his first ever GP win, Prado then followed this with a race win at the MXGP of Emilia Romagna, to finish on the podium for the third time this season. “Things are going quite good” shared Jorge. “We are getting back in shape and every time I’m feeling more comfortable with the bike… I’m getting faster and the bike is getting better so I’m really happy that we are heading in the right way,” he added.

The podiums were a proud moment not only for Jorge, but for the team as well, who had been working hard behind the scenes to help the Spaniard get back to the level he was at before. “It was incredible [the overall victory], because we’ve worked really hard to put him back in shape and you saw in Latvia he was riding a little bit, how can we say, careful but race by race the results had become always better, then he got his first podium in Latvia and his first victory in Faenza,” shared De Carli. “I’m really happy to battle with the guys in front and to show them that I have the speed and soon I’ll have also the fitness,” added Prado. And the success has only continued, as during the tripleheader in Mantova, Prado added another two podiums, finished 3rd overall during the MXGP of Lombardia and 2nd during the MXGP of Città di Mantova, while also adding another race win to his growing tally during that GP. And his starts were key to those top results this season, as he currently leads the Fox Holeshot Awards with 11 points. Though when asked what his secret is, Prado is convinced that there is no real secret, there is just confidence. “I don’t think there is any secret, I don’t even know what I do, I think is just the confidence and also like a mental thing: you know that you’re going to start good and you are full focus into the start and full focus in every single movement from fingers to toes,” he revealed. But in terms of training, Prado is probably amongst one of the luckiest guys in the paddock, to train alongside a 9-time world champion, Antonio Cairoli. “I think for both of us is great to train together, he’s been riding and winning championships for so long and he has myself there so he doesn’t get bored, I’m still pushing him and still need to push in every single training and that’s 53


good also for me because I can also learn a lot from him,” Jorge revealed. “I have a really good reference and I’m training with the best guy, so it’s always good. I have this advantage that maybe other riders in other teams don’t,” he added. And for Cairoli, having Prado on the team is also a positive. “Of course, to have Jorge in the team is really nice, is nice for me and is nice for him because both we have a good mark to follow,” Cairoli shared. “For me it is also nice to see how I need to adapt to a different era of riders. Like I said it’s good also for him as he is in a good team and he can learn a lot of stuff and see a lot of stuff, so for us both it is a nice thing and is a 54

nice teammate to have because is one of the most talented rider in the world that we have at the moment” he added. “Everybody is happy at the moment in the team and we cannot ask more. Everyone would like to have this situation, two big riders like them and fighting for the win and we prepared our riders to the top level and then the best will win on the track,” shared Davide De Carli. WHAT’S NEXT? With 7 GP’s left on the calendar, there’s still plenty to go before we conclude this very unusual season of MXGP. For Prado, the next few races will be exciting for many reasons, one that he actually has a chance to go for the tittle.

“Possibly I have the chance, but it’s another thing if I can make it happen or not,” Jorge explained. “All these guys are really strong, and they fight a lot in every single race, but it’s interesting and it’s nice to be able to have this opportunity to fight and to be able to be with them on top,” he added. The next upcoming round is an exciting one for the Spaniard who will head home to his native Spain, to see the return of his home Grand Prix to the MXGP calendar. “To have a home GP is great! Last year we didn’t have a home GP, so it’s good to have it back, not only for myself but also for the fans, even if this year it’s without public, but it will be great next year to get it back,” he shared, adding “it’s also a great feeling to race at home; you feel at home, you feel relaxed even though there are a lot of fans coming you just enjoy it, it’s a special GP”.


Photo: C. DESMET

E L R A U I T C A E E SP F


D E T I S I V E R : A Z N E A F


WITH MXGP NOW BACK UP AND RUNNING AND IN FULL-SWING AND AFTER A SUCCESSFUL RE-START IN LATVIA, WE HEADED SOUTH TO THE VERY HOT CLIMES OF ITALY FOR ROUNDS SIX, SEVEN AND EIGHT AND THE HISTORIC VENUE OF FAENZA FOR THE SECOND OF FIVE TRIPLE-HEADERS DURING THIS YEAR’S CAMPAIGN. AND WHAT A RETURN IT TURNED OUT TO BE.

The hillside Monte Coralli Circuit is situated just over eight kilometres from the centre of Faenza, nestled deep within a backdrop of vineyards, and less than fifteen kilometres northwest sits the Enzo e Dino Ferrari Racetrack of Imola, a venue that MXGP has visited on two occasions in 2018 and 2019. However, in an unprecedented season of motorsport the world over, MXGP was not the only world championship action witnessed in this part of the world during this triple-header; just 90km south-east MotoGP was in action at Misano whilst 74km south-west, Formula 1 took to the circuit of Mugello on the same day as ‘Faenza 3’. Also, on this final day, the Monte Coralli came to life with the permitted arrival of one thousand fans who were no doubt eager to witness the best riders in the world charging across the Italian hillside in pursuit of GP glory. But more on that later. History The first grand prix to be held at the Monte Coralli circuit was forty-one years ago on May 27th 1979 and the winner on that occasion was Finland’s Heikki Mikkola aboard his factory 500cc Yamaha. The Flying Fin raced to a double-moto victory to secure his 31st career GP win. He would win once more during that season in Switzerland before calling time on a career that saw him leave the sport as a four-time world champion. Mikkola’s Faenza win was the first in what turned out to be something of a unique set of statistics; from 1979 to 2012, the last time MXGP ventured to the Monte Coralli, there had never been any repeat winners, and from the sixteen overall victors, eleven had been won with 1-1 results. Jacky Martens took the honours in 1993 with a 2-1-2 result when the world championship was run over three races, but on the other two occasions where the GP was

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not won with a 1-1, the win came via 2-1. Pretty high standards, if you think about it. The odd-one out though was in 2009 when the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship turned from prefect conditions on Saturday, to the muddiest of mud-fests come race day. On that occasion, Gautier Paulin (MX2) and Tanel Leok (MX1) got the better of the sticky clay to win the first, and only race of the day. For Paulin it was his first overall victory whereas for Leok it was his second GP victory and for both riders it meant getting their hands on the coveted championship leader’s Red Plate for the first time in their careers. There was another memorable moment for Arnaud Tonus that weekend as well, as the Swiss rider recorded his first ever Qualifying Race win on Saturday in the MX2 class. First Timers There are more Faenza ‘firsts’ as well. On the fourth visit to the Monte Coralli in 1989, the Italian 125cc GP was the first round of the new campaign. American Trampas Parker, had only ever previously scored points on two occasions in the first race of the 1987 Spanish 500cc GP where he placed 13th, and again in the 250cc Czech GP in 1988, where he finished 10th, taking his total point’s tally to nine from those two races. That all changed on April 2nd 1989 when he guided his semi-factory KTM to a double-moto victory, in keeping with the 1-1 tradition of Heikki Mikkola, Eric Geboers and Corrado Maddii who were the three previous 1-1 winners before him. That 125cc GP in 1989 also marked the first time that Stefan Everts took to the line for his first ever grand prix. Alongside him, another unknown rider at the time, Germany’s Pit Beirer. On that occasion, Everts failed to score in either race whereas Beirer marked the occasion with an 11th in Race One. Whatever


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happened to those two? Where are they now? Fast forward to 2007 where another little piece of history was made. The tenth round of the series was held on July 15th 2007 and for Kawasaki it was a day to remember as the Japanese manufacturer took the overall victory in both MX2 and MX1. What was more significant was that both Christophe Pourcel (MX2) and his brother Sebastien (MX1) went 2-1 and 1-1 respectively for what was a Pourcel, Kawasaki, France double at the Monte Coralli. For Sebastien it was his first GP win in the MX1 class; for Christophe, it was his fourth and final GP win in the MX2 class. The following year 2008, and Faenza played host to the final round where world titles were still up for grabs. After a tense battle all season long, South African Tyla Rattray followed his teammate Tommy Searle home for 2nd in Race One to wrap up the MX2 title and in MX1, David Philippaerts realised his ambition of becoming world champion in MX1 on home soil, although this one went down the final race of the year, but his 3-9 was enough to deny Steve Ramon a third world title. The overall winner of the GP that day though was Max Nagl who went on to secure his first ever MX1 victory with a 1-1. The last time the world championship was held at Faenza the KTM’s of Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli rewrote the history books once more. Herlings wrapped up his first MX2 world championship whilst Cairoli ended the day as a six-time champ, tied with one of the sports all-time legends, Joel Robert. And yes, both riders went 1-1 on the day. Triple Header The layout of the Monte Coralli is typically Italian in that it features plenty of hills, a hard-pack clay base and signifies a throwback to the oldschool era, with a few modern twists thrown in for good measure. The surface though is not to everybody’s liking; when dry, it is hard and slick with a very narrow racing line. When prepped for a GP though, it 61


is ripped and watered and that means long, sticky ruts and grabby braking bumps. Focus needs to be maintained at all times. For the first instalment of this triple-header, the MXGP of Italy, there were more ‘firsts’ at the Coralli when Maxime Renaux secured his maiden MX2 GP win, made even more memorable with his first race win in the second outing of the day. In MXGP, Jeffrey Herlings’ 1-1 continued his Faenza tradition to become the first ever repeat winner at the venue. It also marked his 90th career victory, which tied Antonio Cairoli as the joint-second all-time GP winner in history. Only Stefan Everts has more GP wins with 101. Three days later and we were back in action for Round Seven of the 2020 campaign, The MXGP of Citta di Faenza, and whilst it would see two more winners, it would also signal the end of the championship for one rider in particular; Jeffrey Herlings. September 9th 2012 is a day that Herlings will remember for the rest of his life as it was the day that he wrapped up his first MX2 world championship. But in a strange twist of fate, that same day eight years later would go down as one of his worst after a huge crash towards the end of Free Practice which saw him tossed from his motorcycle and thrown down the track. Going into the event, The Bullet held a 60-point advantage over his closest rival and teammate Cairoli, but after needing medical treatment, he would not feature in the day’s races. Word was later received that Herlings would also miss at least four more GP’s as he recovered from his injuries. September 9th did have its positives though and in MX2 Tom Vialle was clinical on his way to what was another 1-1 at Faenza, the thirteenth in the history of this racetrack, although it was the first career 1-1 for the Frenchman. And whilst there were no wins for Jorge Prado, his 2-2 was enough to secure the MXGP rookie a career first victory in the premier class. 62


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Rounds 9, 10 and 11, but you kind of get the sense that Tom will have the bragging rights in that department soon enough though.

It was also the first time that a rider had won GP at Faenza without winning a race. The race winners this time were Jeremy Seewer, who took his maiden race win on a 450, and it was Tim Gajser who secured victory in Race Two. Faenza was the first time the Slovenian lined up behind an MX2 start gate back in 2012, although on that occasion it was one he would rather forget. No laps were completed in the Qualifying Race or Race One, and the second race saw him last just eight laps before disappearing from 16th just before half distance. It hasn’t prevented him from collecting three world titles since then though, has it? 64

And that brings us to the MXGP of Emilia Romagna where even more history was made. After waiting 41 years before we witnessed the first ever repeat winner at the Monte Coralli, the 2020 tripleheader ensured that more double-winners were added to the list. Herlings was the first to repeat at the MXGP of Italy, and here at Emilia Romagna there would be two more, and both were KTM mounted as well. When Tom Vialle went 2-1 he claimed his second victory at Faenza in the space of a week; it was also his fifth career victory. He is still one racewin down on his dad though as we head to Mantova for

Finally, to a rider who has won a GP every year since he turned professional way, way back in 2004; Antonio Cairoli. The Sicilian shocked us all when he won the MXGP of Riga earlier this year, an occasion that marked his 90th career victory. At Emilia Romagna another page was written in the Cairoli history books as he went 2-2 to win for the 91st time. He, like Vialle and Herlings, became a repeat winner around the Monte Coralli, but more than that, the ‘222’ left Faenza with the championship leaders Red Plate once again. In terms of history you can’t get better than Faenza, and as for the Monte Coralli? It is simply the place that keeps on giving.


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L L A H

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E M A F F O


STEVEN FROSSARD MOTOCROSS WAS NOT A FAMILIAR SPORT IN THE FROSSARD FAMILY, AND WHEN STEVEN STARTED RIDING A SMALL BIKE IN THE WOODS AROUND THE NEIGHBOURS OF LYON, HE WASN’T EXPECTING TO BECOME A PRO RIDER. MX1 VICE WORLD CHAMPION AND WINNER OF THE 2014 MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS WITH TEAM FRANCE, HE ENDED HIS CAREER AFTER A TRAGIC ACCIDENT IN 2015. Born on 14th July 1987 in Miribel near Lyon, Steven got a little bike when he was eight years old, as he was jealous of his older brother who discovered motocross on TV and just practiced for fun. Steven used his bike to ride mainly in the woods, but when former Motocross rider Christophe Nambotin saw him riding, he knew that this kid had some potential and explained to Steven’s father that he could race the minivert series. That’s how the story really started, when he did his first race on a 60cc in the popular French series.

Racing mainly in South East of France during his first seasons, Steven had the chance to join a dedicated school in Bourges, where the program was a mix of school and motocross training. There, far from his family, Steven had the opportunity to train with some other young riders under the guidance of a trainer selected by the French Federation. Thanks to his sacrifices and the investment of

his parents, he was able to enter the French and European series when he turned fifteen, but it’s only when he was 17 years old that Steven was rewarded for his efforts when he finished as a runner up in the French junior championship and got his first contract with the KTM importer. Vice European champion in 2006, he finally got the opportunity to join the MX2 World Championship when he signed with team Kawasaki CLS.

Both Steven and the team grew up together in the series; 26th in 2007, 10th in 2008 and 6th in 2009, he finally reached the final podium of the championship during his last season in the class. Winner of his first GP in Sweden and third of the 2010 campaign, he had to move to the MX1 class in 2011 and signed with the prestigious team Yamaha Rinaldi. His first season in the main class was amazing as he won two GP’s, including the French one in Saint Jean d’Angely, and finished runner up in the championship behind Antonio Cairoli. Unable to honour his selection for the MX 67


of Nations in France due to a lung infection but considered as one of the fastest rider in the class, he was not able to confirm his potential during the following two seasons due to repeated injuries, and finally he changed bike and team for 2014. Back on a Kawasaki, the bike he rode during most of his career in all classes – 80cc, 125cc and 250 four stroke – Steven had a pretty good season alongside Gautier Paulin. On the podium of the Finnish Grand Prix in Hyvinkaa and with eight race podiums on board, he finished fifth in the series and was selected for the second time of his career in the French team for the MX of Nations. Runner up in 2009 at Franciacorta, he was with Dylan Ferrandis and Gautier Paulin one of the heroes of the 2014 edition as he offered the French fans an overall win, the first one since 2001 and only the second French victory in the history of the race! Unfortunately, Steven didn’t enjoy the win that much, as this race was also his last one on a factory bike due to the fact than Ryan Villopoto and Tyla Rattray joined the Kawasaki team in 2015. Riding for a private team the first part of the season, Steven had later the opportunity to re-join the green family when the American got injured. But during the GP of Lombardia Steven crashed pretty hard, and when he underwent surgery at the hospital the Italian doctors informed his parents that he would never walk again! But hopefully, thanks to his investment and tenacity, Steven recovered from this injury and has again a normal life. Always based near Lyon, he has recently opened a Motocross school and trains young riders who share with him the passion for this sport that brought him glory during ten seasons. Text & Photos: Pascal Haudiquert

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2002:

11th in the 80 European Championship (Kawasaki)

8th in the 80 French Championship

2003: 15th in the 125 French Junior Championship (Kawasaki) 2004: 2nd in the 125 French Junior Championship (Husqvarna)

17th in the 125 European Championship

2005:

French 125 Junior Champion (KTM)

17th in the 125 European Championship

2006:

2nd in the 125 European Championship (KTM)

2007:

26th in the MX2 World Championship (Kawasaki)

2008:

10th in the MX2 World Championship (Kawasaki)

French MX2 Champion

2009:

6th in the MX2 World Championship (Kawasaki)

2nd at the MX of Nations with Team France

3rd in the MX2 French Championship

2010:

3rd in the MX2 World Championship (Kawasaki). Winner of 1GP

French MX2 Champion

2011:

2nd in the MX1 World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 2 GP’s

2012:

21st in the MX1 World Championship (Yamaha)

Italian MX1 champion

2013:

22nd in the MX1 World Championship (Yamaha)

2014:

5th in the MXGP World Championship (Kawasaki)

Winner of the MX of Nations with Team France

2015: 19th in the MXGP World Championship (KTM and Kawasaki).


Photo: C. DESMET

E L R A U I T C A E E SP F


G N I D S A S E O L R E C H O T T : O X M M W IES IN D A L


AS IT STANDS JUST ONE ROUND OF THE 2020 FIM WOMEN’S MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REMAINS THIS SEASON AND THE COMPETITION HAS REACHED BOILING POINT. JUST FOUR POINTS SEPARATE THE CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER, NANCY VAN DE VEN AND THE DEFENDING CHAMPION, COURTNEY DUNCAN, GOING INTO THE ROUND IN TRENTINO.

Let’s start at the beginning though, when the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship kicked off in Matterley Basin, Great Britain, that saw the return of 6-time WMX world champion, Kiara Fontanesi, following a year off the bike. The Italian took a year off while she was expecting her first baby and following the birth of her daughter Skyler, Fontanesi made a quick bounce back and was even on the podium at the opening round. When the gate dropped for the first races, the defending world champion Courtney Duncan was immediately out in front showing the rest of the field exactly why she deserved that title in 2019. She had the perfect run and went on to win both races, starting the new year with the red plate on her DRT Kawasaki machine. Larissa Papenmeier, one of the main title contenders, graced the podium in second place, having finished the races in fourth and second. Then came Fontanesi, who made an epic return following her time off, as he occupied the third spot on the box. Then the series moved on to Valkenswaard, the home GP of Nancy Van de Ven, another title contender for the 2020 season. As the gate dropped for the first race of the WMX category, Kiara Fontanesi wasted no time to move into the lead, as she led every lap of the opening heat to take her first race win of the season. Van de Ven finished less than a second behind as she chased a win at her home GP, while Papenmeier was third. The second race Larissa Papenmeier was the winner with Duncan second and Van de Ven third. And with her first race win of the season in her pocket, Papenmeier also took her first overall victory of the year as she graced the top step of the podium. Fontanesi made yet another podium appearance, but that time finishing higher up, in second, while Van De Ven occupied the third step at her home GP in the Netherlands.

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And then the ladies took a long ole’ break. The coronavirus outbreak put a stop to racing and it was 5 months before we would see the ladies line up for another WMX race. Though things finally resumed, and we saw the ladies during the Italian triple-header in Mantova, for a series of two races for the WMX riders – the round of Lombardia and the round of Città di Mantova. The first round came with its share of surprises. The opening race saw Duncan victorious by an impressive 15.9 margin over Papenmeier and Fontanesi, meanwhile the second race was much unluckier for the defending champion. In race two, Duncan had a huge crash on the tabletop before the finish line, which left her bike too damaged for her to fight back and take back some important championship points. And with the championship points margin so small, Duncan also lost the red plate, as the overall winner, Larissa Papenmeier was declared the overall winner and new championship leader, following two consistent second place finishes. This was the first time this year that Papenmeier had the chance to hold the red plate, something she didn’t expect. Then things moved on to the following round just a couple of days later – the round of Città di Mantova – which saw Duncan make a very important comeback, as she made her way back to the top of the box with a 2-1 result over Nancy Van De Ven and Kiara Fontanesi. Papenmeier failed to make the podium, following some tough races, which handed the championship lead to Van De Ven going into the final round in November, in Trentino. There’s now just 4 points in it between the ladies so the next few races will be crucial to see if Duncan can defend the title, if Papenmeier or Van de Ven can get their hands on their maiden titles, or if Fontanesi will make it title number 7.


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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIDERS… COURTNEY DUNCAN: DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPION DOB: 26/01/1996 BEST RESULT: 2019 WMX World Champion

I’ve always been the one that has been expected. Finally, I think is really good”. OTHER FUN FACTS FAVOURITE TRACK: Portugal, Agueda FAVOURITE FOOD: Ice cream FAVOURITE MUSIC: Pop Music

“It was an unbelievable feeling for sure [to get the title], I was coming from so many years contending that title after a lot of adversity year after year but finally get the monkey off the back was really important, it’s done hopefully we’ll get some more”. FIRST GP RACE: GP of Qatar 2016 “Yeah was Qatar in 2016, I remember coming in and I had a little bit of pressure because I knew that if I wanted to continue and get a ride, I had to perform that weekend. At the end I was able to get 1-1 so it was really good for me”. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “I got into motocross for my stepdad, he got me and my brother a bike; I was about 7 years old at the time. I just enjoyed riding it from the day one and I started to ride pretty much every day when I was coming back from school; we had a small track in our backyard that was great because obviously I was able to improve my skills from such a young age”. ARE YOU FEELING THE PRESSURE OF BEING THE DEFNEDING WORLD CHAMPION? “I don’t feel any pressure at all, the goal for me was to be a World Champion one day and now I feel like a got that. I mean every time you ride you feel a bit of pressure and for me is not because I’m a champion, I think

DREAM HOLIDAY: By the beach with a couple of cocktails FAVOURITE THING TO DO: Hanging out with my mates and having a good time NANCY VAN DE VEN: CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER DOB: 17/11/1997 BEST RESULT: Current WMX Championship leader WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “It was my brother. He was already racing before and he did some GP’s as well, and since I was a baby I went with him to the track and I’ve always enjoyed watching the races. I’ve always been with him at the races and training... So, when I got older and started to talk and walk, I was enjoying this so much that I wanted to become a rider as well. My Dad never gave me my own bike, he used to say: No, women do not ride, and women do not do that, but finally after asking him many times, like one million times maybe, he said, okay fine, we give you a bike and then all started”. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RIDE AT SUCH A HIGH LEVEL? “It’s actually hard. I think many people underestimate this because we have to train really hard and we are busy with this 24/7. It’s hard because you get so many GP’S on the road and you think it is going fine and something happens, and you 75


have to pick you up again and get ready for the next race. It is also hard because you travel a lot, you go from one race to another, you race and after you have to train. At least your life is all about this, so I think it is pretty hard, but I love it.” HOW MOTIVATED ARE YOU FOR THE TITLE THIS YEAR? “I’ve been a title contender for so many years but every time something happens to me or simply doesn’t work out the way I wanted… Anyway every new year is a new opportunity and what I really want is to be Motocross World Champion one time and every year I push myself 100% to achieve the goal that I want”. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK RACING? “I’m excited to be back because you never stop training. I have to keep my body in the best possible condition. I had to be strong all the time because you did not know when racing will resume so you had to be ready. It was pretty hard and hard to find a track to ride because of the coronavirus everything was closed and then few months ago some races started so, I took all possible races to prepare myself in the best way I could. It is really good to show what you got here again at the highest level”.

“I think it was Teutschenthal in 2007 and I won that race. It was the pink plate at the time. I didn’t really know what that was, I thought ok I win because maybe I was too young, and I didn’t recognize what really happened. I still remember that race anyway”. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “My family and my parents didn’t have anything to do with motocross, somebody that I knew was riding a big bike, once I saw that big bike, I said I’ll ride it one day. One time I was walking with my parents on the street and I saw a shop with some small bikes, I immediately wanted to go inside the shop, sit on the bike and said to my parents: OK, I want this one. My mum was against that, and it took one and a half year to speak about the fact that I wanted to race with motorcycles because she was too scared. After that time, I found the bike I wanted when we were like playing hiding and this is how it all started. When I was growing up, I always had Stefan Everts like an inspiration”. HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE RACES?

LARISSA PAPENMEIER: TITLE CONTENDER

“It actually takes a lot of time, I also have a normal job; I go to work every day, it’s stressful for sure but I don’t want to miss this part in my life. Even if I have a lot of stress because I have to do everything after work; I have to train, I practice with the bike, I prepare everything…I wash the bike but luckily I have my mechanic that is preparing my bike. Everybody in the team is working together and doing one part of the job to help me and make the best out of it”.

DOB: 27/01/1990

OTHER FUN FACTS

CURRENT STANDINGS: 3rd

FAVOURITE TRACK: Agueda, Portugal

OTHER FUN FACTS FAVOURITE TRACK: Matterley Basin, Great Britain FAVOURITE FOOD: Chinese Food FAVOURITE MUSIC: Dutch Rap DREAM HOLIDAY: Caribbean

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FIRST GP RACE: GP of Teutschenthal 2007


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FAVOURITE FOOD: Spaghetti FAVOURITE MUSIC: Everything that is in the chart, especially pop DREAM HOLIDAY: At the beach with the sun FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF: The fact that I’m 153.5cm tall and the point 5 it’s what the people most of time miss an it’s really important for me KIARA FONTANESI: TITLE CONTENDER DOB: 10/03/1994 BEST RESULT: 6 Time WMX World Champion CURRENT STANDINGS: 4th FIRST GP RACE? GP of Bulgaria 2009 “Yes for sure, it was in Bulgaria 2009 it was completely crazy for me because the track over there is really big; maybe, if I look at the track now, it’s not so big, but when I started I was 15 years old and everything was completely new for me and I was riding with the best girls in the world and with such a big track and also so far from home, it wasn’t easy at all.” WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “I started racing in motocross because of my brother Luca, who is 6 years older than me; when I was born, he was already riding a bike. For that reason my dad brought a bike home when I was 2 years and a half and since then I started to play on it and just ride for fun until it became serious and I got involved in this amazing sport which is now my job”. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A MOTHER AND RACE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL? “At the beginning it didn’t really change a lot because I could manage to get up, feed Skyler and have time to train at the same time because I had the support from my 79


family and my boyfriend as well, but mentally nothing changed. It started to change since a couple of months, I had to go racing and Skyler was a little bit older. At the beginning of the year when she was two or three months old and she couldn’t really talk or say anything I didn’t face any problem. Then she started to call me ‘mom’ and things like that and became more hard for me to go out and race because my mind sometimes started to think that I’m doing something really dangerous which is something that I’ve never pay attention to because I’ve never felt the fear of what I was doing and never even talk about this even once. That really changed from that side, but at the same time when the gate drops, I don’t think about this, so this is the most important thing; for sure is more difficult now and it’s getting to be harder and harder the more she grows”. HAS BECOMING A MOTHER GIVEN YOU MORE MOTIVATION TO GO AFTER TITLE NUMBER 7? “Yes for sure because I can be lucky enough to say that I reach all my dreams in my life, because it was the one to become a world champion and I did it for six times; so then I had only one dream left that was becoming a mom and I did it. After that I was starting to think now, I want to bring my daughter on the podium, and this gave me back the motivation to come back even stronger with much more motivation that what I had when I was racing in 2018. She definitely gave me more and add fuel to my fire”.

LYNN VALK DOB: 18/10/2002 CURRENT STANDINGS: 5th FIRST GP RACE: Arco di Trento, Trentino 2018 “The first race of WMX Championship that I took part was Arco di Trento, I was very nervous but anyway I took my first points and that was very good feeling and I have really nice memories”. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “When I was born my dad already had a bike and he was riding motocross when he was young, I liked to ride from the beginning” WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE TO KEEP YOUR FITNESS UP DURING QUARATINE? “I tried to keep as fit as possible because the first weeks after the lockdown we couldn’t even ride the bike so I tried to do my best to stay fit as much as I could. Once I had the chance to ride again, I started to train again with the bike and try to improve my fitness for the 20 minutes + 3 laps and be as much fit as I can”. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PART OF A BIG TEAM LIKE JK YAMAHA?

FAVOURITE FOOD: Pizza

“It’s very nice because the team is like a family, it’s my third year and I’m very thankful for what they do for me, anyway it’s a great feeling for me to have such a big and organized team behind me that always supports me”.

FAVOURITE MUSIC: Chart music

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE AT SUCH A HIGH LEVEL?

DREAM HOLIDAY: Antarctic

“It’s very nice because it is really different if you compare it to other sports, in motocross you

OTHER FUN FACTS FAVOURITE TRACK: Matterley Basin, Great Britain

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FAVOURITE THING TO DO: I’m learning to play the guitar


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have a lot of speed, the jumps, the start with a lot of other riders closer to each other. I really love the feeling that this sport gives you”. OTHER FUN FACTS FAVOURITE TRACK: Agueda, Portugal FAVOURITE FOOD: Spaghetti Bolognese FAVOURITE MUSIC: Hip Hop DREAM HOLIDAY: Lake Garda with the family INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF: I’m also a car mechanic, I studied to be a car mechanic and when I’m not racing this is my job. VIRGINIE GERMOND DOB: 26/01/1989 FIRST GP RACE: Teutschenthal, 2007 “Teutschenthal 2007, it was a really nice experience for all of us”. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MOTOCROSS RIDER? “My inspiration was my brother, he started to ride the bike when he was 10 years old and one time I asked him, and I started to ride. I fell in love and I kept riding from that time”. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL? “I think it’s very positive and you have a lot of adrenaline because we have the fastest girls in the world; it’s my job and I love it and I’m living for this so I’m very happy to be here”. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE FOR AN ORGANISED STRUCTURE SUCH AS TEAM DRAGON MOTO? “This gives me a lot of positive energy because I feel that I’m supported by everybody and I feel 82


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PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT TO THE WMX CLASS? “This is really important because we give the most professional support to our riders in all the fields from the mechanics to the trainers an whatever they need to reach their goals”. super happy about that. Even if I’m 31, I need all the support and to have such a professional people like my team around me it’s great”. HOW DID YOU SPEND QUARANTINE? “I stayed at home with my family and I did a lot physical training, I also tried new way of training like kickboxing to increase my fitness”. OTHER FUN FACTS FAVOURITE TRACK: Arco di Trento, Trentino FAVOURITE FOOD: Potatoes Gratin 84

FAVOURITE MUSIC: Any, I don’t have a specific favourite genre

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AS A TEAM?

DREAM HOLIDAY: On the beach SUZANNA SCHMIDHEINY – TEAM DRAGON MOTO TEAM COORDINATOR HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A POINT OF REFERENCE FOR THE TEAMS INSIDE THE WMX PADDOCK? “It’s really good for us to support this sport that for us is also a really big passion from a long time. We are super proud to be a point of reference inside the WMX paddock for all the riders” HOW IMPORTANT IS TO HAVE TEAMS LIKE YOU THAT GIVES

“Our main goal is to give our riders the opportunity to evolve not only in the sport but for the life in general; we give them all the tools and the advices they need to do that. We gave them the technique, the teaching but in particular we try to teach them the fairness. We push them to keep through even if they make mistake and they don’t win, we teach them how to never give up and this is basically the most important goal for us as WMX team. For us this is the most important even more than the goal of winning, this is the philosophy of the team”.


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S K L A T K C O D PAD

2 1

4

3

7 6 8

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1

Need a bigger pen Jago? Jago Geerts putting pen to paper to confirm his stay with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2!

2 Rene Hofer enjoying the down time at home in Austria! 3 90 GP Wins! What an achievement for Jeffrey Herlings in Faenza! 4 Winning family! Jill, Chase and Antonio Cairoli, celebrating the race win and a podium in Mantova!

5

5 Not a bad run for Ben Watson in Mantova, as he took home two Fox Holeshot plates and a 3rd place trophy! 6 Romain and his girlfriend Megan, getting around the paddock in style‌ 7 When you see your buddy on track! Maxime Renaux and Alberto Forato meet gaze mid-air in Mantova!

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8 Big smile and the red plate in hand! Nancy Van de Ven heads into the final WMX round as the championship leader. 9 What a milestone! Antonio Cairoli reached his 250th GP in Faenza! 10 #StayStrongAJ! The riders and teams showing full support to Arminas Jasikonis as he gets on the road to recovery.

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Photo: Terry Good

E L R A U I T C A E E SP F

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ERIC GEBOERS 1987 HONDA RC250

AS A FIVE-TIME WORLD MOTOCROSS CHAMPION, ERIC GEBOERS’ BIKES HAVE FEATURED IN MXGP MAGAZINE PREVIOUSLY, AND HIS HONDA 250 THAT TOOK HIM TO THE WORLD TITLE IN 1987 WAS ONE OF THOSE BIKES. FROM THE OUTSIDE, THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM AND THIS BIKE / PROJECT WAS MET WITH SOME RESISTANCE ALMOST EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, SO FOR THIS ISSUE OF MXGP MAGAZINE, WE WILL FEATURE ERIC’S 1987 TITLE WINNING 250 HONDA.


Having raced in the 500cc class in 1986, Eric still had a contract with Honda to contest the series in 1987 but Japan had other ideas; HRC wanted to focus on the 250cc class because ever since the inception of the 250 class in 1962, Honda had never won this title. Reluctantly, Eric agreed but only on the basis that whether he won the title or not, he would return to the premier class for the following (1988) season. Eric’s fist two titles were won in the 125cc class in 1982 / ’83, and his mechanic back then was Jukka Pentilla, but when Suzuki pulled out of racing at

the end of the 1983 season, it meant that Sylvain Geboers was out of a job as team manager, and so when Eric went to Honda in 1984, Sylvain went with him as his mechanic for the next three seasons. At the end of 1986 however, Eric called Pentilla to bring him back into the fray, and they were re-united once more. After finishing 3rd in the 500 class in 1986 Eric required knee surgery which meant he would be a little behind with his preparation for the ’87 season. At the end of November, both Eric and Jukka headed out to America to test the ‘86 factory Honda’s of Ricky Johnson who had experienced some success with this machine, and for Eric

the initial feeling was one of positivity. But, when the ’87 bikes arrived both Eric and Jukka were more than a little disappointed to say the least, because this switch to the 250 class also coincided with the new production bike rule in America. ‘The new bike looked just like a standard bike,’ remembers Pentilla. ‘The bike came with a plastic fuel tank (as opposed to aluminium like the factory 500), and the ’86 model had a rear shock with the hose reservoir and the new (’87) one had the hammerhead, so the reservoir was in the air-filter box, which was a bad idea because there was no cooling for the shock.’ ‘The frame had some reinforcements by the linkage under the engine; it was a kind of hand-welded frame. The 89


Photo: Terry Good

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forks were conventional Showa. I remember when the bikes first came, Ricky Johnson was using a bike that was so different in ’86 to what we had. It had a completely different power band designed for supercross, so it had good bottom end and good middle but no top end, so when we went to some local races in Europe, I remembered that some guys on the production bike passed Eric on the straights, because we had no top power in those Belgium sand classic races. So, then we started to work much with that bike, but we had some problems.’ As for the engine, despite its shortcomings with top end power, it was still very much a factory unit, the only real problem being how it was initially set up for the US riders. The cylinder and cylinder head were factory and so too was the crankshaft. The crank cases were production but the ignition was also factory. When the start of the ’87 season came around, Eric suffered what he called reliability issues, but as Pentilla recalls, ‘we were lucky that back in Japan, HRC had a good engine designer whose name happened to be Mr. Kawasaki. He was a young guy that came from road racing but really, his passion was in motocross, so when we had the problem where we had no top power, we were lucky that Kawasaki was there because he knew what to do.’ The problems did not stop there though, as no sooner had Mr. Kawasaki found more top power, the increase in rpm’s meant problems occurred elsewhere, namely the reed valve plates … ‘which were made of Kevlar or something, and they didn’t last. They would last for 30 minutes in America but GP’s were 45 minutes.’ With Pentilla trying various reed plates, whilst they would last longer there would not be an increase in power, so he took it 91


Photo: Terry Good Photo: upon himself to make his own modifications after he found a solution to make the plates last longer, and increase the top end power. None of this came in time for the first GP at home in Belgium though, and Eric had to push his bike over the line in the first race after running out of fuel on the last lap … ’50 metres before the finish line. We went back to the workshop to try to blow out the tank to have more fuel, and I think we got nine litres, but still ran out of gas. We always asked for the aluminium tank from the factory but they wouldn’t give us one.’

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the order of the day until the mud of Yugoslavia where Eric was able to ride consistently in both races for solid points (5-6) but he still found himself in a real battle with Cagiva’s Pekka Vehkonen, who was pushing him all the way.

In England at Hawkstone Park, Geboers suffered a DNF in Race One after the crankshaft broke because it couldn’t take the increase in power that was now being produced.

In the final third of the season though, Geboers was able to break free, made possible in part due to the arrival of the new Delta-Link swingarm: ‘Finally, in the end of the season we got the new swingarm and linkage in the same style of the factory bike the year before. I think the swingarm was the same dimension but mainly lighter. The production one was pretty bulky. The frame was also new at the end of the season and I think it was base for the standard bike for the following year. The biggest advantage was improved handling.’

After that, race wins and 2nd place finishes were pretty much

During the season Eric won a total of nine races and finished

on the podium nine times, five of those as a winner. When he crossed the finish line as world champion in Argentina, it was his third world title and the first world championship for Honda in the 250cc class. Funny story – by Jukka Pentilla: ‘After running out of fuel in the first race at Wuustwezel in Belgium because Eric had to use a standard plastic fuel tank; we had tried some VRP aluminium tanks but Honda didn’t like that we tried them. Anyway, after the first race, Eric had some supporters like many riders do (like a fan club), and they collected some money; they passed a hat around and collected some money. After the first race they came to the truck and said “we’d like to give this money to the Honda boss because Honda obviously has no money to make an aluminium fuel tank.” Of course, the Japanese were not very happy about that! But, it was funny.’


S N R O O I T T I S E ED E U QO TH T ❝

Hi, where can I get tickets for GP of Trentino? Marc  

Hi Marc, tickets for the MXGP of Trentino on the 31st Oct – 1st Nov. are available HERE: https:// trentino.motocross-tickets.com/ en/6841-mxgp-of-trentino/ Regards MXGP

Hey, how can I watch the races live? Alec  

Hi Alec , thanks for your message. You can watch all the races LIVE via our own streaming service, MXGP-TV.com. If you don’t already have an account, you can make one very easily and then you just need to buy your pass to enjoy the action. Regards MXGP

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Where can I watch the studio show? Linus

Hello, where can I buy the MXGP Magazine?

Dear Linus , the Studio Show is always available on MXGP’s Facebook page as well as www.MXGP-TV. com . You can catch the replay there too in case you miss it! Best Regards MXGP

Lucas  

Hi Lucas the MXGP Magazine is an online magazine, which means you don’t need to pay to read it. You can find all the issues HERE: https://issuu.com/mxgpmag Thanks MXGP

Where can I find the race TV schedule? Roy  

Hello Roy ! the MXGP-TV Live stream schedule can be found on all our social media pages before every GP, or on www.mxgp-tv.com ! Thanks MXGP


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MXGP #85 October 2020  

The 86th issue of the MXGP Magazine is now online! The October issue features Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado on the cover, as w...

MXGP #85 October 2020  

The 86th issue of the MXGP Magazine is now online! The October issue features Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado on the cover, as w...

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