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MXGP MAG Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: MXGP

MXGP Mag #88 December 2020

���� P.8 � The articles published in this � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � magazine do not necessarily reflect � � � � �  � � � the official position of Infront Moto RIAL �������� � � O � � P.14 � � � T � Racing. � I � � � � � � � D � � � � E � �� � � � S � � T � � Then content of this publication is SHO �������� � � � P.16 L � � � � � based on the best knowledge and � � O � �  � � O � T � � C � O � � information available at the time � H � � ES ����� � the articles were written. L � 6 � � � O 4 � . �  H P � P � � � X U � � � FO The copying of articles and TCH �������� � � A � � � C � photos even partially is � 8 � � � G 4 � . � � N P � I � � � forbidden unless permission � � � C � � � � RA has ben requested from �������� �������� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Infront Moto Racing in � � � �  � � � L � � � A � I � advance and reference is � C 3 SO made to the source (©MXGP). RLS 5 I . P G H �������������� ER T T E N S M O N O FA M ������������� F M E O H T L ������ F � � � � O � � R d � P.82 RIDEoad to Gol � � � � � � � r The E ���������������� R U � T FEA ��������������� L A CI ������������ P.96 � E � � � P � � S ds���� E ���������������� r R a w U A EAT �������������� F L .112 CIA ps �������� P E � � � P � � S Cham �������� � � � X � � � M � E AME��������������� F F P.118 O ���������� � � � � L � � � L � HA l Leok �� �������� � � � � � � e � Tan S ���� K L .120 TA P � � � K � � � C �� DO RE ���������������� U PAD T .126 EA ����������� P � F � � � �  L OR rts  CIA T I D SPE ha 450 Eve HE E a T O Yam ST N O I ST QUE



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INFRONT MOTO RACING MEDIA World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland



David Luongo CEO of Infront Moto Racing

Dear MXGP Friends, What a season! The last three Grand Prix’s that took place in the beautiful landscape of the Trentino region brought a fantastic grand finale to this very particular year. Infront Moto Racing managed to organize 18 Grand Prix races under the Covid-19 crisis. It has been probably the most difficult season ever for all the stakeholders of the sporting business. The MXGP family has been united during this time and I would like to thank all the organizers, the FIM, the national federations, all our partners, the teams, the riders, the media and all the IMR staff who have completed this year in the best way possible. Tim Gajser and Tom Vialle have been crowned World Champions in MXGP and MX2 and they really deserve their titles. The level in both categories touched new highs and we cannot wait to see what happens next season. All the different championships have been completed and

WE WILL LAUNCH A NEW OTT PLATFORM WITH THE COMPLETE RENEWAL OF MXGPTV.COM IN A NEW FORMAT we are very proud of this achievement. November was also the month where we announced the provisional 2021 calendar which will be made-up of 20 Grand Prix and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. This new calendar will bring the MXGP to new countries. On the novelties side, we will land for the first time in Oman for the opening of the season in April in the area of Muscat. The Netherlands will host the MXGP in the beautiful track of Oss, the coming of Finland KymiRing is also fantastic news for all the Finish fans, a second Grand Prix in Russia at the bright new infrastructure of Igora Drive (St Petersburg) and the MXoN in Imola! Then we will go back to Indonesia for 2 Grand Prix, to China, to Argentina and the European fans will enjoy the most

prestigious European based circuit as every year. The season will take place from April to November, we decided to start a bit later to give us more visibility and time with the evolution of the Covid-19 situation and so we will finish the season later. Based on the latest news coming for the vaccines research, we are very positive that the situation will improve significantly during the spring period in 2021. Finally, I am very glad to announce that this month, we will launch a new OTT platform with the complete renewal of MXGP-TV.com in a new format. This platform will have the target to give a refreshing and more modern experience to our fans to follow the whole MXGP season and all the European Championships worldwide. We all hope that you will enjoy the new experience with this media platform. I wish to all of you to enjoy the end of year with your family and I wish you all the best for 2021, which we all hope will be better than 2020!












Y R E V A L N I L E 0 H 2 S T 20 U N E G AR





When MXGP got underway in England for the MXGP of Great Britain at Matterley Basin at the end of February, questions were already being asked by riders, teams and fans the world over, as a race at that particular venue at that time of year seemed pre-destined to be a commercial disaster, mostly due to the unpredictable weather in the UK at that time of year. On the lead-up to the event, much of the country, and the south coast in particular was battered by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge which meant a major alteration to the Timetable, which in turn resulted in a one-day format. Whilst the race was eventually deemed a success, what we didn’t know at the time was that this one-day format would become a

thing of the future. More on that later though! In MXGP, the highly anticipated arrival of Jorge Prado never really materialised after the double MX2 world champion lined up some eight weeks after breaking his femur, but the 26 points that he managed to collect that day would result in a run at the top three in the championship later on in the season. Rounding out the day on the top step of the podium was Jeffrey Herlings who celebrated his 87th career victory with a 1-2. Alongside him were Tim Gajser (8-1) and Antonio Cairoli (4-3) and a podium that amounted to 200 GP wins between all three riders. After finishing the last three seasons 3rd, 3rd and 2nd in MX2, Thomas Kjer Olsen was considered the main title hope, but a wrist injury just before the season opener left him languishing in 7th overall. Instead, the winning was done by Jago Geerts (1-4) and Tom Vialle (6-1), and it was clear that

the title fight might be between those two riders. Third on the day belonged to Mikkel Haarup, who not only took his first Pole Position of his career, but also went 3-3 for his first podium in the class. A week later we found ourselves in The Netherlands and a very wet Valkenswaard circuit. The highlight of this GP was in MXGP Race One, when Tim Gajser was able to pull a near-perfect start from the outside gate after a DNF in the Qualifying Race the day before. Not only that, he took over the lead on Lap 2, after passing both Herlings and Prado before going on to claim the race win as well. Herlings had the last laugh though and his win in Race Two earned him his second GP win of the campaign. This time the ‘84’ and the ‘243’ were joined on the podium by Arminas Jasikonis, who went 3-3.

In MX2, the expected winner of the GP was meant to be Jago Geerts and after a convincing win in Race One, a fall at the start of Race Two all but

ended his chances of a podium, let alone a GP win. Instead, it was Tom Vialle (2-1) who came out on top in every sense of the word, as he also claimed the championship leaders Red Plate in the process. Maxime Renaux claimed 2nd overall after going 3-3, with Geerts taking the third step after a heroic ride through the field to 7th. Over Before it Had Begun Just one week later though, the world was forced into lockdown as Covid-19 took over, and it would be five long months before racing resumed again in Latvia. To help maintain our sanity, MXGP continued to air the Live Studio Show from home with Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland – and if you need to catch up with any of these, you can still view all the episodes on our MXGP Youtube channel. The shows allowed us to get more of an insight into the rider’s daily lives, and as they were recorded from their homes, they were more relaxed, a lot more open and more than willing to have a laugh and a joke as well. What we didn’t know at the time was that it would be a long 154 days between gate drops, and when we made it back to the 17

Paddock, there would be a whole new set of rules that we now had to adhere to, called Protocol! Covid tests, social distancing, face masks, regular hand washing or sanitizing, reduced amounts of people/staff and in some cases, no spectators were high on the protocol list, but if this was needed to be able to ‘go back to work’ then of course, it was a small price to pay. In order to maintain the integrity of the toughest motocross series in the world, the final racing calendar was made up of five triple-header GP’s in Latvia, Italy, Belgium and a single one-off GP in Spain. *Note: Tripleheader definition: 3 GP’s raced within the space of one week, with riders racing on Sunday, Wednesday and Sunday. EMX and WMX were also included in this schedule, and would race Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday where necessary, culminating in the toughest end of season run-in in history, with 10 rounds in the space of 7 weeks! Frantic When we re-booted the season in Latvia, it was clear that everyone was keen to impress. The new one-day format might not have been for everybody, but what it did do was create more intense racing right the way through the pack, in all classes. For the world championship classes, the one-day format meant that Free Practice and Time Practice were held in the morning, with the latter session deciding the grid positions of the riders. The afternoon would see two races for each class, and they would be the only action on track, as all EMX or WMX races were held the day before. In the Latvian rounds, there was a real mixed bag of results as the three different overall winners would suggest. At the MXGP of Latvia, Glenn Coldenhoff made history for GASGAS; his 2-1 secured the new manufacturer to MXGP its first race win and overall victory. Tim Gajser (1-5) and Romain Febvre (3-3) joined him on the podium, and for Febvre, it was his first GP with his new team after missing the first two GP’s in


England and Holland. Championship leader Herlings went 4-4, although this was only good enough for 5th overall. It later transpired that he had a significant practice crash prior to the re-boot, and had not ridden for ‘some weeks’, so was possibly feeling a bit out of sorts, if you like. As a result, his championship lead was cut to 4 points over Gajser. With the MXGP of Riga just three days later, Herlings found himself on the receiving end of some better news and after taking 3rd overall with a 3-3, he now led the championship by 28 points after Gajser (0-5) placed 13th overall. A crash in Race One left the Slovenian with a badly damaged bike, forcing him reluctantly back to the Paddock. The winner at Round Four was none other than Antonio Cairoli; the Sicilian went 1-4 to notch up his 90th GP win which meant that he had now won a GP every year since he turned pro back in 2004, an impressive stat that covers a 17-year period. Incredible! The middle man on the podium was Jeremy Seewer (4-2), the Swiss rider taking a muchneeded, first podium of the season. There was also a new race winner in MXGP that day after ‘AJ’ – Arminas Jasikonis - took the checkers in Race Two, and for the Lithuanian another milestone had been reached, and what better place to do it than the GP closest to home where there was a lot of support for the ‘27’. At the final Latvian GP ‘Kegums’, Herlings (4-1) finally stood on the top step knowing that he now held a commanding 46-point lead over Gajser, after more misery piled into the Slovenian’s lap. After winning the first race, Tim’s bike expired late on in Race Two, leaving him pointless for the second time in the space of a week. After celebrating his first race win just four days earlier, AJ narrowly missed the top step of the podium at Kegums. His 2-3 left him a single point shy of the top step, and despite his obvious disappointment, his consistency meant he was now 3rd in the standings, just four adrift of Gajser. As for the third step of the podium, this belonged to Jorge Prado (3-4), and he was now starting to build momentum as a potential MXGP race and GP winner.


The MX2 class was just as frantic, although the biggest winner here was Vialle, even if his overall gain on Geerts was just 3 points! However, after ‘Latvia 1’ Vialle’s lead had increased to 22 points over his Belgian rival after Geerts crashed down to earth in his first race back from ‘lockdown’. By winning the next two GP’s though, Geerts was back in contention. It was turning out to be an interesting year in MX2. Perhaps the biggest ‘win’ though was for Kawasaki; the F&H Team celebrated five podiums in Latvia, with Roan Van Der Mossdijk collecting 2-2-3 up north, whilst his teammate Mathys Boisrame picked up two 3rd overall finishes. There was also a standout performance from Ruben Fernandez as well; the Spaniard missed his first MX2 podium by 4 points at Latvia 1. Italy … it’s not a holiday! After a two-week break, we headed to Faenza for our next triple-header and Rounds 6,7 and 8 of the series. The last time MXGP ventured to the Monte Coralli circuit was back in 2012, and on that weekend, Jeffrey Herlings clinched his first MX2 world title, whilst Cairoli took his sixth. As for the circuit itself, the hard pack conditions were not to everybody’s liking, but Italy at the beginning of September was still pretty warm, so nothing less than expected really. The MXGP of Italy, or ‘Faenza 1’ saw Herlings (1-1) back to winning ways for GP win number 90, to equal the win tally of his teammate Cairoli, who placed 3rd overall with a 3-3 scorecard. Splitting the two KTM’s was the Yamaha of Jeremy Seewer (2-2), who looked more than comfortable on the hard, slick surface. At Faenza 2, there would be no return to the top step for the championship leader, Herlings. On the same day eight years earlier, he celebrated his first MX2 title. On this day, the ‘Bullet’ overjumped a single roller towards the end of Free Practice, went over the ‘bars and it was clear from the moment he came to a stand-still, his championship campaign was over. He would not take to the grid again in 2020! For everybody else, it was game on and the first rider to chip away at Herlings’ 24



60-point lead was Jeremy Seewer, who collected his first ever MXGP race win in the opening encounter, and by a comfortable 15 second margin at that! Unfortunately, he could not repeat the win in Race Two and his 7th place meant he would only mount the 3rd step of the podium. Gajser (5-1) claimed 2nd overall, but after a solid (2-2), the GP win belonged to Jorge Prado. The win was his 32nd career victory and his first in MXGP. He was now up to 7th in points and knocking on the door for the top five. At Faenza 3, there was another overall win for Cairoli and the 35 year-old was showing that he still had the heart and desire to outshine his younger rivals. The cherry on the cake was presented to him on the podium in the form of the championship leaders Red Plate, the oldest rider to hold the series lead in the history of the sport. He was joined on the box by Gajser and Prado. In MX2, a new rider added his name to the winner’s list and at Faenza 1 that rider was Maxime Renaux, and by going 2-1 he clinched the win in fine style as well, celebrating his first winner’s trophy with a race win in Race Two. Jago Geerts (1-3) and Tom Vialle (4-2) stood alongside him on the podium in what was a reverse in positions for the top three championship contenders. Three days later at Faenza 2, and there was a first visit to the podium in 2020 for Thomas Kjer Olsen. Finally, the Dane had re-discovered some of his previous magic and his 4-3 was a great way to reenergize his season. Ahead of him was Renaux (2-4), the first time the French ace had scored back-to-back podiums in MX2, but the win belonged to Vialle (1-1), his third win of the campaign. By the time we were done at Faenza 3, Vialle had added another win to his tally and was now taking control of the championship; his lead over Geerts was now 21 points. Stepping up to the 3rd step of the podium was Jed Beaton; the Australian (4-3) edged out his teammate TKO to celebrate his first podium of the year as he eyed up a potential 3rd in the overall standings. He was now just 12 points behind 3rd placed Renaux. Return to Italy … Mantova With just a weekend off between Faenza and Mantova we were back in Italy for 29

our third triple-header, and a quick look at the race calendar would also show that we were now entering the home stretch, the run to the finish line … although this end to the season would be like no other in the sports history, dating back to 1957! The only thing standing in the way from now to the final race of the season was a run of 10 GP’s in the space of 7 weeks! There would be no time for mistakes, illness, injuries or DNF’s. In short, the season just got real. When the provisional calendar for 2020 was released in 2019, the date of the first Mantova round, the MXGP of Lombardia – September 27th – was originally planned as being the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations at Ernée in France. As it stood right now, whilst we were getting through the new calendar, the reality was that we were at the end of September and we still had ten rounds to go. Strange, but challenging times indeed! The MXGP of Lombardia did not come without its problems, the first of which was the season-ending injury to Arminas Jasikonis, when the Husqvarna rider fell from Race Two. Whilst his condition gave great cause for concern at the time, the MXGP family received better news some days later when he was brought out of his induced coma. The overall GP placings were also thrown into doubt as well, and whilst we may have seen the podium after the race, these positions were later changed after a number of riders were deemed to have jumped on waved yellows, resulting in a first MXGP overall win for Jeremy Seewer (1-3). Joining him on the podium were Coldenhoff (4-2) and Prado (2-4). With Gajser 4th overall and Cairoli 8th, the Slovenian found himself as the new leader of the championship by a slender 5 points over Cairoli. Seewer was 3rd, just 11 points further back. The points margin remained at 5 after ‘Mantova 2’ when Gajser and Cairoli ended the day on the same points, but there was a new winner on the top step in the form of Romain Febvre (3-1) who celebrated his first overall GP win as a Kawasaki rider. Prado was on the podium again (1-6), his fifth visit to the box in 2020 and his fourth in a row. Gajser rounded out the third step.


The final round of the Mantova races, the MXGP of Europe saw defending champion Gajser take his first GP win of the year. It may have taken 11 rounds to get there, and when all was said and done, he left for Spain with an 11-point margin over Cairoli, who followed him home in 2nd. The final step of the podium belonged to Glenn Coldenhoff, who picked up his third and what turned out to be his final podium of the season. As for the MX2 class, Vialle entered Lombardia with a 21-point cushion over Geerts, but by the time he left for Spain, found himself 46 clear of the Belgian after taking 6-2-2 overall finishes from the three rounds. TKO emerged as a double GP winner after taking the overall at Mantova 1 and 2, and there was double joy for Husqvarna when Beaton secured his first MX2 Race win at ‘M1’ to stand alongside his teammate in what was a 1-2 for Husqvarna at Round 9. Ben Watson was another first-timer to the podium at ‘M1’ too as he ended the day 3rd overall, a day which would mark a sudden turnaround in the Brit’s season. Van De Moosdijk (3rd) found himself on the podium at ‘M2’ for the first time since Kegums and whilst Geerts may have won the MXGP of Europe (‘M3’), it was TKO who was the most consistent rider over the three rounds with a solid 1-13 set of results. Spanish Masterclass Round 12 saw MXGP return to Spain at a brand-new venue in the south of Madrid, and for Jorge Prado it was a chance to finally shine on his home stage. The last time he raced a home GP was in MX2 at Red Sand back in 2018, but the weight of expectation seemed to overwhelm him. Here though, there was no stopping him and the KTM rookie cruised to a more than convincing double race-win to claim his second overall victory of the season. The only thing missing that day was an enthusiastic crowd, as the event had to be run behind closed doors due to covid restrictions. Tim Gajser (3-2) and Romain Febvre (2-3) joined him on the podium, but a 7-6 for Cairoli meant he lost more ground to the Honda man, and the Sicilian was now 24 points behind the Slovenian. Seewer was still 3rd, but only just, after Prado’s performance



brought him to within 5 points of the Swiss star, with the next round set for Lommel. It’s hard to imagine that just a couple of rounds prior to Spain, the top two riders were separated by just 21-points, but after Spain, Vialle was now more than a whole GP clear of Geerts. The Frenchman looked to be in his element in Spain and had it not been for a stalled engine with a lap to go in the second race, he would have finished the day 1-1 and fifty-five points clear at the top of the standings, and it was beginning to be a case of when and not if he would wrap up the championship. The podium in Spain was Vialle (1-2), Geerts (5-1) and TKO (2-7), for what was a fourth straight podium and fifth of the season for the Dane. Belgium Bravehearts And so north to Belgium, for perhaps the toughest triple-header and Rounds 13-15 at Lommel. In MXGP Tim Gajser looked like a champion in waiting; his 2-1 earned him the top step for the second time this season, whilst his nearest rival Cairoli struggled in 9th on a circuit that is one of his favourites on the calendar. All of a sudden, he was 48 down on Gajser and just 11 clear of Prado who had now moved up to 3rd after the Spaniard took 3rd overall with 3-4 scores. Splitting Gajser and Prado was Gautier Paulin (1-5), who registered his first podium of the campaign and his first since Germany 2019. Sadly though, we lost Glenn Coldenhoff to injury; the GASGAS rider fell during Time Practice and as we would find out later on in the day, his injury would rule him out for the remainder of the season. The top Dutch rider on the day turned out to be Brian Bogers; his 4-7 was enough to net him 6th overall and the first time we’d seen him up at the sharp end since he took a 2nd place finish in Race 2 in the mud of Mantova in 2019. The MXGP of Limburg, Round 14 turned out to be bitter-sweet for one rider in particular, and that rider was Jorge Prado. The KTM rider went 2-1 for his third GP success of the campaign, but the next day he was confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19 and as a result would miss the next GP, scheduled in just four days time. In fact, it later transpired that he would end up missing


the rest of the season as a result of his diagnosis. He was just 2 points behind Cairoli in the fight for 2nd overall in the championship. Tim Gajser and Antonio Cairoli joined the ‘61’ on the podium, a great recovery by TC after such a poor performance by his standards just three days earlier. The MXGP of Lommel was the fifteenth round of the series, and once again, Tim Gajser showed he was the rider to beat in 2020. After winning his first GP of the year at Mantova 3, his mindset seemed to alter significantly, sparking a run of form that would see him on the podium for the rest of the season, and no lower than 2nd overall at that. When Gajser went 1-1 at ‘Lommel 3’ it was his first ever double-win at the sandy circuit; more significant perhaps was that his lead over TC222 was now out to 74 points, after Cairoli faltered again. Romain Febvre went 2-2 for 2nd overall as he edged out Seewer (4-3) who was now back into 3rd in the standings, just 10 points behind Cairoli. Meanwhile in MX2, the biggest shock was perhaps Tom Vialle winning the first two Lommel rounds. His race finishes were 2-2 / 2-1 compared to Geerts 4-1 / 1-7 after the Yamaha man struggled to keep it on two wheels. The standout performances though came from Geerts teammate, Ben Watson. The Brit had never won a race in MX2 prior to the MXGP of Flanders (Lommel 1), but that all changed in Race 1 when he crossed the line twenty-two seconds clear of Vialle, a win that also included a pass on the championship leader. He followed this up with a 5th in Race Two for his second podium success of the season with 3rd overall; the first time he had achieved two box visits in the same year. At the next two rounds, Limburg and Lommel, Watson would go 3-2 / 1-4 for 2nd and 1st overall, so in the space of a week, ‘B-Dubya’ had gone from not winning a race, to winning two, from not taking more than one podium in a season to taking three-in-arow, and to cap it all off, he’d finally realised his dream of becoming a GP winner. There would be more podiums to come in the final three rounds as well, in what was turning out to be quite the final year in MX2.


The final round in Belgium saw Roan Van De Moosdijk claim a first ever race win for 2nd overall behind Watson, whilst Maxime Renaux took 3rd with 2-5 finishes, and his fourth podium appearance of the campaign. And finally … In the blink of an eye we were back on the road once more, only this time we were headed to our final destination; Italy, and the MXGP’s of Trentino, Pietramurata and Garda Trentino for the final three rounds of the season. Somehow, we had made it; we had managed to get the show back on the road and keep the wheels turning. From everybody at Infront Moto Racing, including everyone in logistics, the hard working crew responsible for transporting ‘the show’ to each and every venue, to dismantling it all again on a Sunday evening, to transporting again to the next race … to the FIM, the governing bodies of Latvia, Italy, Spain and Belgium and each of their own local governments and GP organisers; to the safety protocol’s that were put in place to ensure that each round could go ahead as smoothly and as safely as possible … finally, we were in Italy at the beginning of November for the final three rounds of the season. And, rather unexpectedly the weather was not as bad as we had originally envisaged for this time of year, deep within the Dolomite Mountain range. In fact, it was quit the opposite; nice, warm and sunny. Despite his deficit in the championship, Tony Cairoli still went out and performed at ‘T1’ and as a result, the ‘222’ claimed his third victory of the season with a 2-2. Of course, it was of little consolation, but the win was his 92nd career victory and his 14th on home soil. Tim Gajser (1-4) was 2nd overall, but the biggest cheer of the day had there been fans allowed in to witness the event, would have gone to Clément Desalle who had announced his retirement just days before the tripleheader races in Belgium. His 6th in Race One was followed up with a stunning win in Race 2, and if he didn’t do anything else in the final two GP’s, well, that alone was enough to go out on a high, and it was already a fitting end to what had been a magnificent career for the MX Panda.



At the penultimate round, the stage was already set for the champion to be crowned, and it happened in Race One. As Jeremy Seewer romped to victory for the third time this year, his win was somewhat overshadowed by Tim Gajser’s 2nd position, which was enough for the HRC rider to be crowned world champion for a fourth time, his third title in MXGP. Although, his celebrations were cut short almost immediately after the gate drop of Race Two, when the leg of Jeremy Van Horebeek became trapped in Gajser’s rear wheel, that needed a red flag before the end of the opening lap, in order to free the Belgian from the incident. When the race restarted though, any lingering doubts were soon put to bed and Gajser crossed the line 35 minutes later as a race and GP winner once again. Seewer and Febvre rounded out the podium, and the gap between Cairoli and Seewer in the battle for 2nd overall, was now down to just 4 points. When Cairoli DNF’d race two at the final round after two incidents on the opening lap, Seewer was already confirmed as 2nd overall in the standings and whilst Gajser (2-1) and Febvre (1-2) shared the points for the top two places, there was another fitting end to the 2020 season, and for the career of another rider in particular, Gautier Paulin. The 5-time MXoN winner announced before Trentino that this year would be his last as a professional racer, and so to go out with a race win in Lommel and a podium (3rd overall) in his final GP was another poignant moment. He, along with Clément Desalle will be missed next season in MXGP and of course we wish them both and their families all the very best in their next chapters. Desalle: 81 podiums 23 GP victories 35 Race Wins 2013 MXoN Winner Paulin: 59 podiums


12 GP victories 22 Race Wins 5 MXON victories The situation heading into the final three GP’s in MX2 was very similar to that of MXGP whereby the stage was set for a champion to be crowned. At ‘T1’ the victory belonged to Jago Geerts (4-1) with TKO (1-4) and Vialle (2-3) joining him on the podium. However, the penultimate round of Pietramurata was one that Vialle will never forget as he took the win in Race One, and with it the MX2 world championship; the perfect way to win a title. The only thing that would have made it better would have been celebrating it from the top step of the podium, although on this occasion, that was not possible after a gear shifter problem forced his first retirement of the season. Instead, the podium belonged to Yamaha as Jago Geerts (5-1) and Ben Watson (4-2) gave their boss something to smile about as the team secured its first ever 1-2 overall in MX2. Jed Beaton (2-4) stood alongside them in 3rd overall. The final round of the season turned out to be another memorable one for Ben Watson. After taking 3rd in Race One, the ‘919’ followed up with a win in Race Two to take his second GP win of the season. It was significant as much as it was poignant as the MXGP of Garda Trentino was his last as an MX2 rider, so to go out on top and with a race win was a moment he will cherish for the rest of his life, no doubt. The newly crowned MX2 champ Vialle had to settle for 2nd after going (1-5) with the 3rd step occupied by Maxime Renaux (2-4). It was a tough end for Geerts who had already secured 2nd in the championship; the Belgian fell heavily in the final race of the year and picked up a shoulder injury but no doubt he will do what he needs to do to regroup to be ready to go again next year, one that sees MX2 without Watson and TKO as they move into MXGP. Whilst the season finished with Vaille, Geerts and Renaux as the top three riders in MX2, there will no doubt be plenty of riders looking to break into that top three; riders such as Jed Beaton, Van De Moosdijk, Isak Gifting, Conrad Mewse and Mathys Boisrame, to name but a few. Either way, it promises to be another exciting season of MXGP, and we will be there every step of the way. 42



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

MX2 CHAMP. STANDINGS 720 p. 618 p. 599 p. 572 p. 505 p. 476 p. 466 p. 375 p. 316 p. 298 p.

1. T. Vialle (FRA, KTM) 759 p. 2. J. Geerts (BEL, YAM) 679 p. 3. M. Renaux (FRA, YAM) 581 p. 4. J. Beaton (AUS, HUS) 564 p. 5. B. Watson (GBR, YAM) 551 p. 6. T. Olsen (DEN, HUS) 540 p. 7. R. Van De Moosdjik (NED, KAW) 466 p. 8. C. Mewse (GBR, KTM) 365 p. 9. R. Fernandez (SPA, YAM) 343 p. 10. S. Rubini (FRA, HON) 279 p.



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

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

764 p. 757 p. 690 p. 661 p. 486 p. 383 p.

2020 QUICK FACTS 18 Events 4 Triple Headers 3 MX World Champions 4 EMX Champions Endless entertainment! MXGP-TV: 6 Million Page Views MXGP.com: 12 Million Page Views Facebook: 3 Million Fans Instagram: 1 Million Followers Youtube: 240K Subscribers & 112 Million Views


810 p. 786 p. 655 p. 561 p. 411 p. 343 p.



@mx2k_.com #dimancheconfinĂŠ #motocross #motorcycle #mx2k

EP.1 26 Minutes Behind the Gate: Missing the races already? đ&#x;? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Every Friday over the next 18 weeks, we will be bringing you an episode of our 26 min Behind the Gate magazine from the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship season! We’re kicking things off today with episode one from the MXGP of Great Britain, as we take a look back on all that went down at Matterley Basin!:

@marcobenss Mi ci voleva proprio un po di aria mondiale! đ&#x;š€ Che strana sensazione, una gara di MXGP a novembre, senza pubblico e con il paddock vuoto! Però è sempre bello tornare a casa con la terra nelle tasche, almeno quella te la tirano ancora!

FMF Season: There was plenty of action this season, with plenty of battles, thrills and triumphs! Take a look at the FMF Racing supported riders in action during the 2020 MXGP season, as they battled for race wins and podiums!

@xtremcom Congrats to @ maximerenaux959 for his 3rd place of 2020 MX2 World Championship. #Xtremcom #Design #MXGP #Motocross

@renatob65 Terza doppia pagina tutta scritta da me in una settimana @apesschaniiago Congratulations on the victory from the Gajser Tea mđ&#x;‘ŠâœŠgautierpaulint#promo modeling#promomodellife #perfectweather#mxgp2019


@Aneb_design @ktmredbullmxgp @antoniocairoli 3rd in @ mxgp 2020, 14th time on the top 3 of the @ fimlive Motocross World Championship, 17 years in a row with at least one GP victory, 9 World Champion titles, 3 second places, 2 third, more than 250 GP and 500 starts, more than 10.000 career points...all with the same crew! Nobody can beat this extraordinary record! #TC222 #DeCarliRacing together since 2004. đ&#x;“¸ @ stefanotaglioni

Kevin Horgmo âœ?đ&#x;?ź đ&#x;š€ #graphics #ktm #kevinhorgmo24 #240 #drawing #mx2 #mxgp @racekawasaki After a 15-year career, including the 5 spent with @ kawasakiracingteammxgp, the Panda bids adieu. đ&#x;?ź Cheers to the next chapter! đ&#x;?ž

Bonacorsi Champion: Re-Live the epic season of Andrea Bonacorsi and the Fantic Motor Racing Team and how they got the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship Title!:


@rfme_oficial Nuestro sĂşper RFME MX JĂşnior Team estuvo en Locos por las Motosđ&#x;”?!! Lađ&#x;—Ł entrevista la podrĂŠis ver este sĂĄbado, a las 09’00h, en @ bemadtv!!









! D L O G E L O TIT AD T O R E H T 53



2020 saw Team HRC’s Tim Gajser rise to the occasion to defend his 2019 title to become a four-time World Champion, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle got his hands on the coveted gold plate for the very first time, during only his second season of racing in the MX2 category! Tim Gajser: 4 times the charm! DOB: 08/09/1996 PLACE OF BIRTH: Slovenia RACING NUMBER: 243 BEST RESULT: 4-time World Champion

FIRST GP RACE: 2012 MXGP of Europe, Faenza FAVOURITE TRACK: Matterley Basin FAVOURITE FOOD: Everything

Tim Gajser started his journey in motocross pretty young, as he got his first bike at the age of three and then by the age of seven (2006) he entered the EMX65 Championship, where he finished 3rd. Back for more the following year, a young Gajser claimed the title that time around and he repeated his success two years later in the EMX85 category.

DREAM HOLIDAY: Croatia HOBBIES: Mountain Biking, Football, Jet skiing, Xbox


In 2012, fifteen years-old at the time, Gajser dominated the EMX125 class to win the EMX125 Championship title and become the FIM 125cc Junior Motocross World Champion that season, too. In 2013, he made his official season debut in MX2 and for the following season was picked up by Honda Gariboldi (now known as Team HRC) and had a much better year as he finished the campaign in 5th, with 9 top five overalls and 6 podium finishes.

The 2015 season saw the Slovenian claim his first world title as he became the MX2 World Champion, to then repeat his success in MXGP the following season, making history with back-to-back titles in MX2 and MXGP. The 2017 and 2018 seasons were tough for the Slovenian, though he managed to regain his strength for 2019 to secure his second title in the premier MXGP category. Tim Gajser entered the 2020 season in Matterley Basin, Great Britain, as the defending World Champion, a label that is always tough to carry for any rider, whether they have won several titles already or not. “I’ve said many times, I think every champion that wins back-to-back titles can agree with me that winning is very difficult but defending that title is even harder, because like I said, you have a target on your back” Gajser shared, adding 55


“everybody wants your spot, everybody wants to be there, everyone wants to win the title, that’s why it is so hard.” “When you win then everybody expects you to win and second is not good anymore. From yourself, you expect to win again, and you are not so happy with the second or third anymore. It’s weird to say that but being the second, third, fourth, fifth in the World Championship is such a good achievement, but when you taste that victory, you get addicted and you want to win every year,” he explained. Despite the added pressure of having to defend the title this season, with a good winter preparation behind him, Gajser entered the championship strong, on board the all-new CRF450RW, which required plenty of testing before he lined up for the British Grand Prix. The opening race didn’t start how the Slovenian would have wanted, as he got caught out in a crash with Jeremy Van Horebeek a few corners after the start, which left him having to fight back from last. Though Gajser was able to make some good moves to get himself up to 8th, despite another crash on the last lap right before the finish line. In the second race he was much stronger, after getting a good start, the defending champion was able to win. “I was quite disappointed [about the first race] because I knew I had a lot more to show. And then for the second race I was focused, I tried to get a good start to be in front. I managed to do that, so I was second and quickly in the first lap or second, I passed, I think Tony [Cairoli] was leading, so I passed Tony and made the gap bigger every lap” shared Gajser, adding “I think in the end I even won with 24 seconds, or something like that. So,

the feeling was really good, I looked back and I saw all the hard work during the winter. We were on the right road at the right place and I knew that it’s going to be a good season”. The following weekend, things moved to sand as the second round headed to Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, where Gajser surprised many with his skills in the sand. But his weekend didn’t get off to the best start as he was forced out of the qualifying race, while leading, due to a bike problem, which put him last on the gate for the races. “That was really disappointing because I know that Valkenswaard is one of this kind of tracks where the gate pick is really important, if you are more on the left, you are going straight to the first corner in the best place, you know and I was like 34th or something like that. I was thinking it’s almost impossible to take a start inside top 10. Then I got two very good starts from the outside,” Gajser recalled. A good start inside the top 10 was exactly what helped him on his way to a race win in the opening heat, as he made some quick passes on the opening lap to get into the lead and from then on dominate every lap of the race to finish an impressive 21.202 seconds ahead of Jeffrey Herlings – the man who is known to be a very strong sand rider. “I was expecting to do well, because I know how much hard work I put into the winter, especially on the sand tracks. We were really focussing on how to set up the bike for the sand conditions, so I also changed my body position on the bike because of sand tracks and hard pack tracks, you really have to change the bike set up to your position on the bike. I was really focusing on that because I knew that was the 57

weakest point, it was the point I really had to work on because I was far behind the top guys,” Gajser explained. Coming to Valkenswaard I was feeling that I could show what I had. I know that everyone was saying that I am not a sand specialist because they know from past years that I always struggled, But I was just here trying to show what I got, that’s what we did, we came here, we showed that we had the speed in the sand as well” he added. Gajser finished second in heat number two, to tie on points with Herlings, who was the winner in heat two, which gave him the advantage for the overall. And then the world stood still, as the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak took its toll on the sporting world, putting a pause to any national and international events, which also meant that the FIM Motocross World Championship was put on hold, without a clear return date, as the global situation changed daily. “It was getting bad everywhere but at that moment I was just thinking it’s bad but it’s almost impossible to stop all the sports. But the following couple of weeks, everything changed, we got the news that we were not going to race. We didn’t know how long we were not going to race. It was difficult to accept especially after such a good beginning,” Gajser recalled. “We didn’t race almost 5 months, so even longer than the offseason. For me, we had the season in the beginning of March, and then off-season and then in August, when we came back again to start the new season because everybody was fit, in shape, ready to race … So the feeling was exactly the same like the first GP, mentally” he explained.




Things picked back up again in August with a string of Latvian GP’s in Kegums, which introduced the first of several triple-header races to take place this season. It was something new for everyone, as a temporary one-day format was introduced, splitting the EMX and MXGP and MX2 races to two separate days. This also saw the elimination of the qualifying race, instead replaced with a combined free/ time practice session. And while all these changes made things much more intense, everyone was just glad to be back racing.

of the season. The second race was when Gajser would take no points. After battling his way up to fourth place, the Honda rider started to apply the pressure onto Arminas Jasikonis, who was ahead in third, and while lining up his attack on the Lithuanian, another issue with the bike stopped him in his tracks with just four laps from the end of the race.

The trio of races in Latvia proved to be struggle for the Slovenian, who started off well with a race win in the first race during the MXGP of Latvia, before having a slip-off in race two, to eventually finish the race in 5th. Though Herlings didn’t have the best opening round either, as he finished the GP 5th overall, which allowed Gajser to whittle down the lead to just 4 points.

Then we all packed up and headed to Italy for the second triple-header, as MXGP made its return to Faenza after 8 years! Faenza was a track that was not so new to Gajser, who had previously raced there during his EMX85 days, as well as it being the venue where he raced his first ever MX2 Grand Prix in 2012, the same year he became EMX125 Champion.

The second GP in Kegums was not such a happy one for the Team HRC rider, who had a couple of nasty crashes in the opening race which saw him DNF and the re-group for 5th in race two. “The second GP in Latvia was a bad one, I was struggling. First race I didn’t finish because my handlebars and the bike were so twisted. It was almost impossible to ride safe, so I decided to go out. That was big blow. I was really disappointed, really down, but I tried to regroup for a second race” Gajser shared, adding “I know that we lost a lot of points but still we had so many races to go”. The final race in Latvia dealt Gajser another blow, as the Slovenian added another DNF. Following a good opening race, where he was able to take a good start and then lead every lap to take his fourth heat win

“We had bad luck, but that’s how it is, I tried to accept it and I knew that for the following GP, I would give my best” Gajser said.

The first round was another difficult one. Starts were key and that was Gajser’s downfall that day, as he found it difficult to get out of the gate and then make passes around the old-school Italian circuit. He finished the races 8th and 5th for 6th overall, which is far from where the defending champion wanted to be. Though he looked to have been getting back on the pace by the MXGP of Città di Faenza. With Championship leader, Jeffrey Herlings out with injury, following a nasty crash in free practice, the door became even more open for the title chase. In the opening heat, Gajser was able to get back up to 5th, before having a much better race the second time around, as he took advantage of Jorge Prado’s mistake early in the race, to take away the lead on lap 5 and bring it home for his first race win since Latvia and 63

finish on the second step of the podium, after a three-round drought. Then Gajser claimed another 5-1 result during the last GP in Faenza, to once again finish second overall, as Antonio Cairoli took to the top step of the box, on home soil, and with it became the new championship leader. Next came the MXGP of Lombardia, where once again, Gajser had to face more issues that made the races tougher. The opening heat was the one where Gajser struggled, after getting caught up in a crash with a couple of riders in the started, which included his teammate Mitch Evans. The Slovenian had to fight back from outside the top 10, to eventually bring it home in 8th place. The second race was much better, as he was able to stick with the leaders, Prado and Romain Febvre, to then pass both within a lap of each other and gain the lead on lap 7 and take his 7th race win of the 2020 season. And while he may have missed out on the podium, that wasn’t so important as for the first time in 2020, the factory Honda rider got his hands on the championship leader’s red plate, as he took over the lead from Cairoli, who had a tough day. “I didn’t realize that I was the points leader until the team said wait, we have the red plate, it was such big relief,” Gajser remembered. The MXGP of Città di Mantova saw Gajser back on the podium with a third overall, before finishing off strong during the MXGP of Europe, where a win in the opening race and a second in race two, was enough for the Slovenian to finally secure his first GP win of the season and from then on, things seemed to have been moving in a much more positive direction, as Gajser


added another podium in Spain at the brand-new intuXanadù Arroyomolinos circuit, where he placed second overall, behind Prado who was on a whole other level that day. “He [Prado] was like on his game… Riding in Spain was definitely a confidence booster, he just tried to win the race, he was riding well and fast, the fastest in both races, so he definitely deserved the win there” he explained. Then we travelled from hard pack to the deep sand of Lommel for a challenging trio of races, which Gajser enjoyed a lot. “Lommel was huge, I was super happy, the confidence and everything were in the right place. I was just feeling great and it was kind of weird for me to enjoy in such a tough sandy track, but I was really having a good time” Gajser recalled. “I couldn’t wait for the following time when we finished the first one on Sunday, and I wanted to race again on Wednesday, and when I’ve finished on Wednesday, I couldn’t wait to race again on Sunday, because I had so much fun riding the track” he added. And despite running into some trouble, that saw the Slovenian crash out in the races, Gajser was able to pick up 4 race wins, two overall victories, one of which was thanks to his very first double race win of the year during the MXGP of Lommel. “Last day in Lommel was incredible, I was happy, even the points in championship were huge and I think all the team was surprised about my sand skills, even me that I know I had the speed, but it’s not always easy to bring that speed from the training to the races” Gajser explained.



The second race was a standout for the Slovenian, who crashed out and was able to make a remarkable comeback, taking huge chunks of time out of the leaders. “I could say that it was one of my best rides” Gajser said. And with such a positive result, Gajser headed towards the home stretch of this year’s championship, as we took the trip to beautiful Pietramurata for the final three GP’s. Trentino holds fond memories for Gajser, who always received incredible fan support from the Slovenian fans, especially during last season’s round there, that saw him locked in a close battle with Cairoli, which he ended up winning. Knowing that he was more than capable of winning there, Gajser was confident though despite best efforts, thoughts of the championship started to creep in, as he edged closer to his 4th World title. “Definitely the championship was in the back on my mind, but still the focus was to try to go out there and try to not think a lot about it. It is not easy, even during the race when you should be focused 100 percent on the racing, to choose the line that you will pick and still that came into your head. It’s not easy definitely, sometimes you can lose the concentration a little bit and then you make a couple of mistakes, then you remind yourself; Hey Tim just focus on the race” Gajser described. Gajser looked strong from the get-go at the MXGP of Trentino, as he took the race win over Cairoli and Jeremy Seewer, though the second race wasn’t as easy. A poor start saw the Slovenian having to fight through the field to eventually come back to P4, though the biggest surprise from that race was the incredible race win of Clement Desalle, who got out front from the opening lap and led the other 20 laps after


that to take a 49th career race victory. With the first GP in Trentino in the books, it was time for the penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP of Pietramurata, where Gajser secured the crown in MXGP. “The night before I got the world championship, I slept like a baby, it was incredible, I woke up like new” Gajser recalled. And before he knew it, the big day arrived, and it was time to fight for the gold plate. Though what would be a title winning day without a tiny bit of drama, which was exactly what Gajser got. In the opening race, Gajser didn’t get out of the gate as well as he would have hoped to and on the opening lap, was down in 7th. Knowing he would have to work hard to make up vital positions was only made harder by a clutch problem which meant that the Slovenian really had to get creative with his lines to carry the momentum into the corners without using the clutch whatsoever. And he managed to do just that, as he climbed his way through the field, to catch-up to the race leader, Seewer, and even challenge him for the win. Though he just couldn’t get the best of the Swiss and was forced to settle for second, but all that didn’t matter as he crossed the finish line as the official 2020 MXGP World Champion! “The feeling when I crossed the finish line was a huge relief, especially after such a weird season. Everything was new to everyone, we didn’t know what to expect, when we came back to racing, I know how hard I struggled in the first couple of rounds until the last race in Mantova where I got my first overall, all the confidence was


back” Gajser described, adding “It definitely was a tough season. I was working really hard, the team was working really hard to achieve the championship, it was such a pleasure”. Gajser took the final two overall victories of the season, giving him 5 overall wins, 14 podiums, and 15 race wins. These are impressive stats by any standards, as Gajser proved to be the strongest competitor this season, among a field stacked full of incredible riders. “I was really excited to line up with so many champions, so many great riders. The class, this year, was really stacked with many good guys that were able to be in front every weekend. That’s why also the racing this year was more intense, really close, we were ten riders in really the same time, so the start was really important on every kind of track. It was difficult to pass the guys; you really have to risk a little bit more if you want to make a pass. So, it was an interesting season,” Gajser said, adding” I was enjoying it a lot, battling with all these guys and in the end, it was even better because we also won the title. I am super happy and super proud”. Tom Vialle: The journey to a first World Title! DOB: 28/10/2000 PLACE OF BIRTH: Avignon, France RACING NUMBER: 28 BEST RESULT: 2020 MX2 World Champion FIRST GP RACE: 2019 MXGP of Argentina FAVOURITE TRACK: Argentina FAVOURITE FOOD: Steak Tartare FAVOURITE MUSIC: Rap





Following a strong rookie season, where the Frenchman fought his way to 4th in the championship standings, as well as some strong winter prep, Vialle entered the 2020 season with confidence, as one of the favourites for this year’s title, alongside names like Thomas Kjer Olsen, Ben Watson and Jago Geerts, just to name a few.

LAPS LED: 328 FOX HOLESHOTS: 21 In what has been only his second season in the MX2 World Championship scene, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle claimed his very first world title in style, with an impressive 14 race wins and matching podiums, along with 7 overall victories and an outstanding 21 Fox Holeshots. Vialle’s love for bikes came as a result of watching his father, who was a pro rider, competing in various events including Supercross, which inspired the young Frenchman to start riding. And at the age of 5, Vialle got his very own bike, entering his first race around the same year. In 2018, Vialle entered the EMX250 series where he showed promise from the opening round in Red Sand, Spain. The youngster finished the races second and fourth, to claim the second spot on the box. At the following round in Portugal he was not so lucky as he only scored three points, though was able to fight back with a race win in Russia. The following few GP’s the Frenchman struggled with consistency, as he battled well within the top three, to finish some races in second and third, though could not put two consistent heats together for a strong overall. Eventually he finished 8th in the Championship standings, before being picked up by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for the following season.

“The confidence was good because I really had a good winter. At the end of 2019, I was really strong, I could follow Jorge [Prado] almost all the races and in the end I won one GP, so I knew I could fight for the win,” shared Vialle. “To fight for the win and to be all the weekend there is one step, but I think it’s a step I passed this year,” he added. As the gate dropped in Matterley Basin for the first Grand Prix of the season, Vialle didn’t get off to the best start in the opening race. A mistake while landing a jump saw him stall the bike as he struggled with arm pump, before having an off later in the race, to bring it home in 6th. Though he was able to turn things around in race two, that saw him battle with his teammate Rene Hofer, before taking over the lead with just three laps to go. Eventually Vialle ended the weekend second overall, with Jago Geerts taking the first GP win of the season and with it the championship lead. It didn’t take long for the Frenchman to pick up his first overall win of 2020, as he did so at the following GP in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands. While many expected Geerts to dominate in the sand, as he has always been a strong sand rider, many were taken by surprise when Vialle made Geerts work hard for the win in the opening race. Then in race two, the KTM rider had his own turn at winning in the sand, as he won the race by an impressive 56.527 second gap 73

to Jed Beaton, while Geerts could fight back to 7th, after a crash out of the start. A 2-1 result put Vialle on top of the box and not only that, but he left Valkenswaard as the new championship leader. “Valkenswaard went really good. We all knew Jago was fast in the sand and for me my goal was to be consistent that weekend to do two good races and to finish on the podium would have already been really nice. But to win the second race and the overall and taking the red plate, it was just incredible” Vialle recalled. And then the racing stopped for 5 months due to Covid-19 pandemic, which was a strange period for everyone. “It was really difficult. Everybody went into lockdown and we could not do anything, so also for my head, it was like I needed to train on the bike because if we started soon I was not going to be good and every day it was like that, so it was quite difficult, but everybody was in the same situation,” Vialle shared about the time he spent at home without riding. As the FIM Motocross World Championship made its muchawaited return, with a unique triple-header event in Latvia, Vialle picked up right where he left off, as he took an easy race win in the opening heat, while in the second one, the Frenchman battled with Geerts to eventually give in to the pressure on lap 7 and finish second behind the Belgian. Though with Geerts having a poor first race, this gave Vialle the overall. It was another confidence boost for the young rider who continued to show his strength in the sand. Though the second race in Latvia, the MXGP of Riga, showed a side of Vialle that we had not seen this season, as the Frenchman


was clearly not himself and struggling out on track. Both races he started well, before dropping down the order, though despite that he still finished 4-4 which was a consistent day, nonetheless. “At the second GP in Latvia I wasn’t feeling so much like myself, there was no injury, I just wasn’t feeling so good on the bike and in myself. The track was really fast that day and a little bit different than on the first race, but I didn’t find the flow, I don’t know, I just was not so good that day, but we knew what we needed to improve for the following races,” shared Vialle. Vialle was able to turn things around for the final round in Latvia, where he asserted another easy win in race one, while Geerts did the same in race two and with it he took the overall, while Vialle settled for 2nd, though still managed to maintain the championship lead at 8 points heading into the Italian trio of races. The MXGP of Italy in Faenza was a new experience for Vialle, who, much like everyone else in the MX2 category, took to the oldschool venue for the very first time. With it being a hardpack surface, Vialle knew he could perform well. “I never rode at Faenza… The track is hard pack, I really like that a lot and enjoy riding and to go three races in Faenza on the hard pack, I was really happy,” Vialle explained. The first race in Faenza was a little frustrating for Vialle, who got the FOX Holeshot and led the first 8 laps of the opening race, before crashing and dropping down to 4th place. In the second race, Vialle got out of the gate well once again, though this time he had Maxime Renaux ahead of him. The two kept things close all race long, with Renaux holding




on to the lead to take his very first race win of his career. The MXGP of Città di Faenza was the perfect comeback for the KTM factory rider, who took 2 holeshots and 2 race wins for his first double race win and 3rd GP victory of the season. At the following race he repeated his success to go 2-1 for another Grand Prix win and stretched out the championship lead to 21 points, heading into the races in Mantova. “Faenza, for me again the week went really good and I had twenty-one points after Faenza. So for sure you start to look at the Championship, but it’s a long season and I tried to not think too much about the points and just rode and to do my best,” the Frenchman revealed. The triple header in Mantova was another mixture for Vialle, who had another fantastic opening race, showing the rest of the field just why he was the championship leader. He took the Fox Holeshot and then took total control of the race to win ahead of Olsen, Renaux and Roan Van De Moosdijk. Though the second race was not a good one. For the first time this season, we saw Vialle have a hard time with the start as he wasn’t placed exactly where he would have wanted to be and then things got worse as a problem with the front wheel saw the Frenchman drop down the order to eventually finish the race in 14th position. “In the second race, I missed the start, though I was not so bad, I was in the top ten, I think in fifth position or something. I had a good battle with Jago when he crashed. I think I had a lot of mud in my front brake which was starting to break, in the air on the jumps. It was five or six laps from the end, so I said, I need to continue,” Vialle recalled.

The second GP in Mantova (The MXGP of Città di Mantova) saw Vialle finish 3rd in the opening race after being caught by Thomas Kjer Olsen who took his first race win of the year, while in the second race he was able to get back to winning ways, for second overall on the day. While Vialle struggled at the previous round, that time around it was Geerts who had a tough time, which worked in favour of the factory KTM rider, in terms of the championship, as he maintained a healthy lead. The MXGP of Europe, the third and final race in Mantova, saw a classic Vialle vs Geerts battle as the pair went at it all day. While Vialle dominated the opening heat, it was Geerts who managed to get around the Frenchman in the second race lap 9 to take the race win and the overall that time around. “When you start the season, the goal is to be World Champion, so sometimes we need to take a little bit of less risk and to finish second or third and add points than maybe trying to win; sometimes I was like, yeah it’s important to finish and if Jago passes me I will lose three or five points, but maybe I will win these points back,” Vialle shared his views on riding smart for the championship. Then the series headed to Spain, to celebrate the return of the Spanish Grand Prix at the all-new intu-Xanadù Arroyomolinos circuit. Vialle looked strong all day and was even on track to take his second 1-1 of the season, but with just one lap to go of the second MX2 race, Vialle stalled the bike on the corner entering pitlane, which handed Geerts the perfect opportunity to take his 10th race win of the 2020 campaign. While Geerts won the second race, Vialle’s 1-2 was the better result, in terms of points, so he still left Spain


with an overall victory under his belt. “I was riding really good the last five laps in the second race, I could make a gap of five seconds on Jago, who was behind me since the beginning of the race,” Vialle remembers, adding “but stalling the bike on the last lap was really frustrating. I was really frustrated with myself because I lost quite a few points that day and I knew I could have won easily. I was quite angry with myself.” Next up was Lommel, the home of Vialle’s main championship rival, Geerts. Everyone expected Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider to dominate on home soil, though that was not entirely the case. The Lommel triple header saw four different riders win races, including Vialle, Geerts, Watson and Roan Van De Moosdijk, who fought his way to a career first race victory. Vialle entered the Lommel GP’s with a 52-point advantage and was looking to put his sand training to use. The first round, the Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders was a perfect way, Vialle was the red plate holder as his consistency and smart riding continued to pay off in terms of the championship. While he led both of the races, the factory KTM rider placed 2-2- in both heats which gave him his 6th GP win of the season. The race wins that day went to Jago Geerts and Ben Watson, with the pair also joining the Frenchman on the podium. “To win a GP in the sand, during the first races in Lommel, I didn’t know what to expect actually, but to win my first GP there was just unbelievable,” Vialle explained. The second time around in Lommel, Vialle secured another overall, which was another big achievement for the rider who once struggled


in the sand. During the MXGP of Limburg, Vialle asserted his first race win on the deep sand of Lommel in the second heat, while in the first race he led once again though Geerts was obviously keen to make up for his mistakes of the previous round, and despite crashing, he was able to push until the end to pass Vialle with just three laps to go. The third and final race in Belgium saw Vialle struggling, as he missed out on a podium finishing spot. The first race he placed 3rd, once again leading most of the race before coming under pressure from Watson for the win. Then in the second heat, Vialle was sitting 3rd once again for most of the race, before coming under fire Olsen, Watson and Renaux, who were pushing for the overall victory. Eventually he had to settle for 5th, just a spot ahead of his main championship rival, Geerts. “We went to Arco, hard pack again, so then I was feeling comfortable. I feel good on hard pack and I know with the bike I feel good, so it was nice to come back there. In 2019, I really enjoyed the track and I took my second podium,” Vialle recalled, adding “It was only two races to go and I had a 74-point gap, the championship was almost done, only two races to go, so I was really focused and I wanted to give everything”. The season then came to a close with the last trio of races in Pietramurata with the MXGP of Trentino, MXGP of Pietramurata and the MXGP of Garda Trentino. Vialle entered the last three GP’s with a small grip on that title, as he led Geerts by 74 points, though with 150 points up for grabs, the title was still all to play for, and nerves were slowly starting to play a role. Vialle placed third during the MXGP of Trentino, with Geerts asserting himself back on top


spent going training every weekend, all the sacrifices my parents and my family made, all the hard work I did in the last two years, it was just a good moment,” he added.

with a 3-1 result which put him on the top step. Though as Vialle maintained a healthy championship lead of 73 points and was looking like the world title was going to be his by the next races. All season long, Geerts and Vialle traded places at who would win the races, along with a couple of other riders who were victorious too, though despite the close battles, Vialle was able to claim the title a round early, during the MXGP of Pietramurata. Though it didn’t come easy, as Vialle was dealt a blow when he got 29th gate pick for the races, due to a penalty in the time practice sessions. But 80

once again, Vialle surprised many as he clinched the Fox Holeshot from the far outside, once again asserting himself as the master of starts in MX2. He followed that up with leading every lap of the race, to secure his first world title in epic fashion! “It was when my mechanic wrote on my pit board five laps to go, when I knew I had ten or eleven seconds, so if you don’t crash it’s almost impossible to catch. I was really stressed and in the last lap I was almost crying in my helmet because it was just crazy for me to be world champion. The last lap it was really hard actually,” remembered Vialle. “When I crossed the line, there was a lot of emotions, you remember all your life that you

While he declared his title with a confident race win in the opening heat, the second race was a struggle, as the factory KTM rider wrestled with a broken shifter, which left him stuck in second gear. After a quick pitstop the Frenchman was left a lap down on the leaders, and could eventually fight back to 23rd, not the way he would have intended to finish a championship winning day, though that didn’t matter as he still made a podium appearance to collect the sought-after golden plate! And now with his maiden title in his back pocket, it will be interesting to see if Vialle can handle the pressure of being a defending World Champion in 2021 and once again show his dominant force that we saw in 2020.


: 0 2 0 2 S F D O R D A N W E A ! E P N H G T O X S G M KIN A E S R E MA NTENS I N A



This not only shook the entire world, but also the sporting world to its core as all sports events were put on hold for quite a few months. The FIM Motocross World Championship was one of the first international events to pick things up, back in August, with a completely transformed racing calendar that introduced the temporary one-day format, as well as numerous tripleheaders in Latvia, Italy and Belgium.

was set up in a sperate area, which presented the perfect opportunity for photos and a glass Santero 958 Sparkling Wine to commemorate this year’s achievements.

Though the 2020 season officially concluded in Pietramurata, with the final trio of races, that saw the crowning of this year’s World and European Champions. And with the season officially concluded on Sunday, after the final MXGP race of the day, it was time to celebrate all the awesome achievements of the year with the MXGP Awards!

David Luongo, Infront Moto Racing CEO: “Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you a good evening. It was crazy for everybody. Starting from March when the Covid-19 pandemic exploded to the world and we had to stop the season and then it has been a sprint to restart the season and be coordinated to be able to make it happen. After many efforts, we re-started in Latvia. We were in new format with triple header races and now, we are here in Trentino, we had a fantastic World Championship with Tim Gajser and Tom Vialle that really deserved the title and we had also the Championship that finished in European and the Women classes, so I think the work has been done and I’m really proud of all, the MXGP family, the media, the riders, all staff. Motocross represent more that 2000 jobs worldwide during the season. So, it is very important to maintain those jobs and this was our main mission this year. We can be proud that we achieved together, and I also want to thank the FIM President Mr Jorge Viegas because during all these months we were together to make the Championship happen. It is done. We will have a nice wintertime and we already start thinking about racing next year. I also had special feeling for some riders this year like Gautier Paulin, Clement Desalle and Tanel Leok who were also with us for many years, they had fantastic

The MXGP Awards is an annual prize giving ceremony, designed to celebrate the accomplishments from this season in the MXGP paddock. As always, the awards were hosted by the voice of MXGPTV Commentator Paul Malin and MXGP-TV Presenter, Lisa Leyland from the studio in Pietramurata and it was live streamed worldwide on www. MXGP-TV.com and on MXGP’s official Facebook page. The awards ceremony was a little different this year and far more intimate than previous years, in respect with the COVID-19 rules, compared to the gala style event that is usually held at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. That did not stop the fun though, as we celebrated one of the hardest, yet most exciting seasons of the FIM Motocross World Championship, to date. As each guest awaited their turn to head into the TV studio and collect their award, a special ‘red carpet’ area 84

The evening kicked-off with a special message from Infront Moto Racing’s CEO David Luongo and FIM President Jorge Viegas who shared a few words about the incredible season of the Motocross World Championship.



achievements career and also we have new younger riders coming. I cannot wait for the next year. So, thank you very much. I hope you will enjoy this evening”. Jorge Viegas, FIM President: “Thank you for this opportunity. I’m very proud of Infront Moto Racing, my colleagues in the FIM, and above all, I am proud of all the volunteers, the clubs, the national federations that made this amazing FIM Motocross World Championship possible. We thought we could not do it and then we started, as David said, we had a lot of help from people all over Europe and we could finalize this amazing World Championship Calendar. This is part of the popular discipline we still have, at this moment, we are still running the Enduro and the MotoGP and only this weekend we had 4 World Championship races from different disciplines, so we are showing to the world that sport can be done with all the care and all the rules that we have introduced to prevent the virus. But we had the guts to go ahead. We motorcyclist, we are strong because we are united, and we are good family. Thank you again”. The awards began with the prize giving for the winning manufacturers and teams of the MXGP, MX2 and Women’s Motocross World Championships. KTM were the first to celebrate that evening as they collected their prizes for this year’s MXGP Winning Manufacturer, along with the MX2 World Championship Winning Team that was accepted by Dirk Gruebel, the Team Manager at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Next was Giacomo Gariboldi the Team Owner of Team HRC who picked up the winner’s plate to celebrate becoming the 2020 MXGP World Championship Winning Team, for the second consecutive time, as Tim Gajser defended his 2019 title. Yamaha then dominated the MX2 and WMX World Championship manufacturers standings, with 87

Yamaha Motor Europe Off-road Racing Manager, Alexandre Kowalski, accepting the award. It was a big year for Yamaha who claimed the MX2 manufacturers title for the first time since 2007. This year, Maxime Renaux was the recipient of the Jan de Groot Award that honours the most promising young talent, for his impressive achievements this season, as he placed third overall in the MX2 World Championship, with 5 podiums and one race win and overall victory. Next to receive their championship winning plates were the European Champions, Andrea Bonacorsi (EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing), Thibault Benistant (EMX250), Brad Anderson (EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing) and Karel Kutsar who was crowned as the first ever champion in the newly established EMX Open category. Courtney Duncan was also celebrated as the 2020 WMX World Champion, as she successfully defended her title this season, to become a twotime world champion. While Duncan could not be there in person, due to travelling home back to New Zealand, she made sure to thank her supporters via a special video message. Then the awards moved on to some other special awards this season, the first being the Tag Heuer Fastest Lap. Being partner of the FIM Motocross World Championship, MXGP and Tag Heuer continued to run the Best Lap competition during the 2020 season, which saw riders awarded for the fastest lap time of the day during the MXGP and MX2 races. One rider, per category, who sets the best lap time during each race weekend, received 1 point in the TAG Heuer competition. The rider that has set the fastest lap at the most rounds throughout the season in MXGP 88



and MX2 classes and has the most points were awarded with this year’s prize. And this time around, the award went to this year’s World Champions, Tim Gajser and Tom Vialle, who took home the luxurious Swiss Tag Heuer watches. Gajser finished the season with 7 points, ahead of Jeffrey Herlings who had 3 and Romain Febvre with 2. Meanwhile in MX2, Vialle led with 6 points over Jago Geerts who had 5 and Jed Beaton who finished the season with 2 points. Then Tom Vialle and Jorge Prado were presented with the Fox Holeshot Award, for their incredible starts this season. This season starts were more crucial than ever before, as the level of competition in both categories was at its highest. For the riders, starts are key, as they search for that extra edge over the rest of the field, with the starts being the best way to get ahead early. Vialle and Prado had their starts dialled during the 2020 campaign, as the MX2 World Champion finished the season with an impressive 21 Fox Holeshots, while Prado claimed 16 in MXGP. For the Spaniard, this was his third consecutive Fox Holeshot Award, which was collected on his behalf by Davide de Carli, while Vialle was there to accept his prize in person for the very first time. The MXGP Awards also celebrated the outstanding work of the organisers, who were vital to making this year’s championship happen. With the 2020 season marking the return of the MXGP of Spain, the organiser Last Lap, were among the victors, as they were awarded this year’s MXGP Best Cooperation award for all their hard work, along with the support of the community of Madrid and municipality of Arroyomolinos, during this difficult season, as they organised a fantastic event with outstanding facilities. While Kristers Sergis, along with the entire team 91

behind this year’s MXGP of Latvian triple-header, were recognised as this year’s MXGP Best Organiser, for the second year in a row. The three races in Kegums welcomed back the Motocross World Championship in August, setting a prime example for the rest of the season, as motocross returned to the big stage! The evening then concluded with the awards for the two FIM Motocross World Champions, who each received their championship plaques, along with two fine Tag Heuer watches, as part of their prizes for this season. Tim Gajser MXGP World Champion: “It was an amazing season. It’s just incredible to think that I already have four world titles. I’m just so happy and like I said many times, I was so thankful and so happy to have such an amazing team around me because we all did this together. As a rider, you can go on the track and you can ride, but you need all the people around you to be successful. It’s been a great season and now we have a little off-season and then get ready for 2021, so I’m really looking forward to that”. Tom Vialle MX2 World Champion: “It was just amazing. I knew I could fight for the title, but you know, to be there every race is really hard and we managed to do it with all of the team, so this is just great! It was a difficult one, with the races really close to each other, it was difficult for the mind, for everything, but I’m really happy and really proud of myself to become the 2020 World Champion”. Now with another season finished, there’s not much time to rest, as we all prepare for another show-stopping year in 2021 as the FIM Motocross World Championship continues to reach new heights.




MXGP Manufacturer World Champion MXGP Winning Team MX2 Manufacturer World Champion MX2 Winning Team WMX Manufacturer World Champion WMX Winning Team Jan De Groot” Award (cheque €5.000) EMX 125 European Champion EMX 250 European Champion EMX 2T European Champion EMX Open European Champion MXGP Best Cooperation Women’s World Champion TAG Heuer Best Lap Challenge FOX Holeshot Award MXGP Best Organiser MX2 World Champion MXGP World Champion

KTM Team HRC Yamaha Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Yamaha DRT Kawasaki Maxime Renaux Andrea Bonacorsi Thibault Benistant Brad Anderson Karel Kutsar Spain Courtney Duncan Tim Gajser & Tom Vialle Jorge Prado & Tom Vialle Latvia Tom Vialle Tim Gajser



O T S G N N O I I T P T M E A G H : C X EM W THE O N K 020! 2 F O


There are numerous European Motocross Championships, including the EMX125, EMX250, EMX2t and EMXOpen, along with the EMX85 and EMX65. The EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship is for 125cc 2-stroke riders, while the EMX250 can have both 2-stroke and 4-stroke machine’s over 175cc and up to 250cc. The EMX2t is similar but is only for 2-stroke riders.


This season a brand-new EMX class was introduced, the EMXOpen, which is open to riders racing motorcycles over 175cc up to 500cc for 2-strokes and those racing 4-stroke engine bikes must be over 175cc and up to 450cc.

Thibault Benistant of Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing secured his second EMX title in 2020, to become this year’s EMX250 Champion, following a season long battle with his closest championship rival, Mattia Guadagnini

The European classes are always competitive, that’s why usually most riders must qualify in order to get one of the 40 spots available on the gate for the races.

As they fought closely all season, the title chase came down to the final race of the European Championship in Lommel, Belgium, which saw Benistant claim his eighth race win of the season, along with his sixth overall victory and seventh podium appearance.

This time around, Thibault Benistant, Andrea Bonacorsi, Brad Anderson and Karel Kutsar were victorious in their respective classes, though how much do you really know about the 2020 European Champions? Lucky for you we have all the details here!

Thibault Benistant: 2020 EMX250 Champion Quick Rider Profile: DOB: 31/07/2002 NICKNAME: Titi PLACE OF BIRTH: Avignon, France

DREAM HOLIDAY: Dubai with friends 2020 stats: RACE WINS: 8 PODIUMS: 7 OVERALL VICTORIES: 6

Influenced by his father, grandfather and uncle, who were motocross riders themselves, Benistant’s passion for motocross started at the age of three, when his grandfather bought him his very first bike. Two years later, the then five-year-old Frenchman entered his first race in the south of France. The inspiration to become a professional motocross rider came from watching the likes of Christophe Pourcel and Marvin Musquin, which made Benistant realise that he wanted to become an FIM Motocross World Championship rider himself.

RACING NUMBER: 198 BEST RESULT: 2018 EMX125 Champion, 2020 EMX250 Champion FIRST EMX RACE: 2015, Round of Latvia, Kegums (EMX85) FAVOURITE TRACKS: Kegums and Lommel FAVOURITE FOOD: Pizza


In 2015, Benistant entered the EMX85 class at the round of Latvia in Kegums, where he finished 16th overall, following a strong race one, as he placed 9th, though had a much unluckier race two, where he finished 28th. In 2016, the youngster returned once again to the 85cc category, this time with a new team, BUD Racing Kawasaki. This time around the race took place in Loket, Czech Republic, though Benistant could not



improve upon his previous results, as he finished the races 20th and 16th for 20th overall. The following season (2017) saw Benistant make the move to Yamaha as he entered the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship with Team MJC. Some strong races in Latvia, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden assisted the Frenchman as he placed 12th in the Championship standings. 2018 saw Benistant step things up a gear, as he claimed the EMX125 title, after a battle with Mattia Guadagnini and Rene Hofer. The Frenchman won three races that year and made two podium appearances, with his worst results coming at the final round in Assen, where he finished 20th and 8th, though still wrapped up his first European title with a 25-point advantage over Guadagnini. Then it was time to move up once again, as he made the move to the EMX250 category. He started the season slow, with some top 20 results at the first two opening rounds, before showing a more impressive side during his home round in Saint Jean D’Angely where he finished 3-4 for his first podium in the 250cc category, as he took to the third step of the box. He then followed this up with some more top 10 results, to finish the season 5th, behind Stephen Rubini, Alberto Forato, Roan Van De Moosdijk and Rene Hofer. Entering the 2020 season, there was only one goal for Benistant, and that was the EMX250 title. “This is the second title. It was exciting to be European champion. Almost from the beginning I had the red plate this season and I was ready for this, I trained a lot, so this second title was really my goal and not to finish second,� Thibault shared. During the opening round of the season in Valkenswaard, for the round of the Netherlands, The Frenchman struggled in the opening race, before being able to bounce back in race two to finish second behind Bastian Boegh Damm, to narrowly miss the podium. Then there was a break in the season, as all sporting events were forced to stop due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The series resumed in 101

Latvia, with the first triple-header of the season, during which Benistant was pretty much unbeatable, as he won 4 out of the 6 races and claimed all three overall victories in Kegums. During the following three rounds in Mantova, the Frenchman struggled with consistent results, though he still managed one podium during the round of Lombardia where he took the top step of the podium, with a 5th and a race win. Then the Spanish round was the next time we saw the Yamaha rider on the box, as two third place finishes handed him second overall, behind Guadagnini. Entering the last two events in Lommel, just 18 points separated Benistant and Guadagnini, and as it could have been expected, the fight between the two was intense. Benistant was looking strong in the sand as he went 1-1 during the penultimate round, while at the final stop, for the round of Limburg, he shared the race wins with Guadagnini, who was victorious in race one, though Benistant was able to get a great start in the second race and led every lap as he crossed the line to claim the EMX250 title.

a surprise to see him fighting for podiums on a regular basis in 2021.

Andrea Bonacorsi: 2020 EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Champion Quick Rider Profile: DOB: 23/04/2003 NICKNAME: Bona PLACE OF BIRTH: Bergamo, Italy RACING NUMBER: 32 BEST RESULT: 2020 EMX125 Champion FIRST EMX125 RACE: 2017, Round of Lombardia, Ottobiano FAVOURITE TRACK: Matterley Basin FAVOURITE FOOD: Pizza FAVOURITE MUSIC: Italian Rap DREAM HOLIDAY: In the mountains HOBBIES: Fishing

“Of course it’s amazing to win another European Title, all the season I tried to stay focus because I knew that you cannot win every race, so I worked really hard with the team, with Yamaha and with everybody to get the best result every race and finally we did it and I’m really happy about that. Of course, I’m looking forward to next season and now I have some news goals. I’m going to the MX2 class and I need to be really focused on that,” he explained. Now with his European career behind him, Benistant will make the move to the MX2 World Championship in 2021, as part of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2 squad, alongside new team-mates, Jago Geerts and Maxime Renaux. And from what we saw of the Frenchman in the MX2 category during the MXGP of Trentino and MXGP of Pietramurata, where he comfortably battled in the top 5, it will not be


2020 stats: RACE WINS: 7 PODIUMS: 5 OVERALL VICTORIES: 4 2020 was a big year for Andrea Bonacorsi and Fantic Racing, as the Italian duo claimed their very first European title, with Bonacorsi becoming this year’s EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Champion, following a triumphant season that saw him claim seven race wins, along with five podiums, four of which were overall victories. Much like most of the riders in the paddock, his passion for the sport came from his father, who was an enduro rider that participated in regional races in Italy. As a young kid, Andrea spent some time inside the paddock and having loved the atmosphere so much, he decided



from a very young age that he wanted to ride a bike too.

that prevented him from picking up some good results.

“I started to ask my dad for a bike for me, and I asked him so many times that when I turned three for my birthday, he bought me a minicross bike. When I started to go on the motocross tracks and see the others riding and making the jumps, I was enjoying it a lot and from this moment I fell in love with motocross and this is how the story began,” Bonacorsi shared.

With the international lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Fantic were able to focus their efforts into developing the bike, with the positive outcome surprising many, as Bonacorsi bounced back with 6 race wins and 3 consecutive overall victories in Faenza, which saw him claim the championship leaders red plate by the end of the first Italian triple-header.

Bonacorsi entered his first EMX125 race in 2017 during the round of Lombardia in Ottobiano, where he placed 26th and 18th in the races. The Italian then also entered rounds 6 and 7 in Belgium and Switzerland, where he placed 36th and 27th overall.

“After the first two races I started to realize that I could fight for the Championship and in the second round in Faenza I had the confirmation that I was ready to do it, and from that moment I went ahead without any doubt because I was feeling one on the strongest riders in the EMX125 Championship,” Bonacorsi revealed.

In 2018, Bonacorsi returned for his second season in the 125cc category and that time around had some more positive results as he finished the season in 15th position. He took part in 7 out of the 8 rounds, where he regularly scored points, with his best result at the round of Belgium, in Lommel, where he consistently placed 4th in both races to secure his very first European podium (3rd overall), alongside Mattia Guadagnini who was victorious and Filip Olsson who placed second. Bonacorsi then made another step forward the following season, as he finished 10th in the EMX125 Championship standings. Though it is a season that the young Italian describes as “not what I was expecting at all” after having failed to reach the podium during the 7-round series. He had some decent results, though a lack of consistency was the biggest downfall for the Italian. Following two seasons with KTM Celestini Racing, Bonacorsi joined the Fantic Racing Team, as he set his sights on new challenges for the 2020 season. The year was far from plain sailing for the Italian as he entered the EMX125 series in Matterley Basin, where he struggled all weekend with mechanical issues,

After his positive run during the rounds in Faenza, things moved on to Mantova for the round of Europe, where the Fantic rider struggled and finished 10th overall, though held on to the championship lead into the following round in Spain, where his consistency of 2-2 paid off, as he claimed his fourth overall victory of the season. Then things progressed to the season finale in Belgium, Lommel. During the round of Flanders, Bonacorsi placed 6th overall, while at the following round he was able to claim a race victory in the first race and finish 5th in race two for second overall. Though it was the final round that was the most important. Bonacorsi only needed to finish ahead of his championship rival, David Braceras, in the opening heat, which he was able to do to secure the gold plate and become this year’s EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Champion.

Now with his first European title under his belt, the Italian will make the move up into the EMX250 category, joining the Yamaha family with Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing.


Brad Anderson: 2020 EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing Champion Quick Rider Profile: DOB: 05/06/1981 NICKNAME: ANDO PLACE OF BIRTH: Tow Law, England RACING NUMBER: 60 BEST RESULT: 3-time EMX Champion (EMX300 x2, EMX2t) FAVOURITE TRACK: Matterley Basin FAVOURITE FOOD: Stir fry FAVOURITE MUSIC: Old School Dance DREAM HOLIDAY: Las Vegas HOBBIES: Cycling, Mountain Biking, Golf, playing poker 2020 stats: RACE WINS: 5 PODIUMS: 5 OVERALL VICTORIES: 3 Verde Substance KTM’s Brad Anderson added a third EMX title to his count, as he became the 2020 EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing Champion, with an incredible season that saw him consistently on the podium at every round, which included 3 overall victories and 5 race wins. Anderson’s racing career started with BMX at the age of four, before he became European BMX Champion at the age of six, though despite a promising calling in BMX, the Brit traded this in for motocross. In 2009 and 2011, Anderson became British Motocross Champion, before making the move to Australia where he also raced and finished third in the Australian Championship. Though as his wife became pregnant, the decision to return to the UK was made.


Anderson list of achievements also includes the two times that he represented Great Britain at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in 2010 and 2011, when Team GB placed 4th on both occasions. Fast forward a few years and 2015 saw Anderson enter the final two rounds of the EMX300 class in Czech Republic and Belgium, where he won all the races and claimed two overall victories, to place 7th in the Championship, despite not racing at the 4 opening rounds. Anderson then entered the full series the following season, winning races in Spain, Great Britain and Czech Republic, to finish third in the series, behind Mike Kras and Yentel Martens. 2017 saw Brad back once again, as he set his sights on the EMX title, which he was able to clinch from Kras, with 6 race wins and 3 overall victories. The Brit then returned once more, to defend his title in 2018, which he was successfully able to do so, though the margin was much closer this time around, as only 5 points separated him from Kras who finished second again. Last season wasn’t so lucky for Anderson, who entered the newly re-named EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing series with the hope of adding another European Championship to his name, though was beat to it by Kras. Anderson started the season strong with a double race victory on home soil in Matterley Basin. After that the KTM rider scored points consistently at every round, though Kras kept things close too, as the pair often took turns at taking wins. In the end it all came down to the final round in Turkey where a 3-1 from Kras was superior to Andersons 2-2 and as a result Kras was crowned champion by just a mere point! 2020 was a spectacular turn out for Anderson who had to put all his effort into making sure he could line-up in Faenza for the first Italian triple-header. And good thing he did, as Ando dominated on Italian soil, winning 5 out of the possible 6 races, to claim a string



of three overall victories, to take home the red plate. The championship then came to a conclusion in Pietramurata for the final two rounds of the EMX2t campaign, where a wildcard entry from Fantic Racing’s Nicholas Lapucci made things a little harder. Anderson finished the last two rounds second behind the Italian, which was his lowest scoring result of the season, that is pretty impressive. While Lapucci was not in the run for the title, Anderson was crowned EMX2t Presented by FMF Champion a round early, finishing 68 points in front of Federico Tuani who claimed the silver medal and Kade TinklerWalker who placed third. “It’s been great. The worst position this season was second place and I’ve been really consistent. To obviously get the third title is more than I could ask, and I would just like to thank all the sponsors who helped me, obviously friends, everyone who helped just to get us here, because it’s been a tough year. I’ve really enjoyed it this year, I seem more relaxed than previous years because I was pushed by Mike Kras. It’s good to have fresh faces in the EMX and hopefully we can get a few more to make for some exciting riding,” Anderson shared. Now we will see if Ando can defend his title in 2021, or will he dominate once again to become a 4-time EMX Champion… Karel Kutsar: 2020 EMXOpen Champion Quick Rider Profile: DOB: 18/01/1997 PLACE OF BIRTH: Võru, Estonia RACING NUMBER: 132 BEST RESULT: 2020 EMXOpen Champion FAVOURITE TRACK: Lommel

FAVOURITE FOOD: Pasta FAVOURITE MUSIC: Totally depends on the mood DREAM HOLIDAY: Training the whole winter in USA HOBBIES: Snowboarding, Disc Golf 2020 stats: RACE WINS: 2 PODIUMS: 4 OVERALL VICTORIES: 1 Estonian Karel Kutsar made history this season, to become the first ever Champion of the newly established EMXOpen class. Despite only winning two races during the 2020 season, Kutsar still managed four out of a possible six podiums and claimed this year’s title from Latvian Toms Macuks by a 14-point margin. Kutsar’s motocross story began at the age of five, when his father bought him his very first bike. That same year, he entered his first race in Estonia, where he finished 7th overall, which gave him a huge confidence boost and motivation to carry on with riding. As a young kid, Karel would attend local races to watch Tanel, Aigar and Avo Leok in action, with the three being an inspiration for him to take racing to the next level. This season was not the first time that we have seen the Estonian take to the European and World stages, as he had previously taken part in several EMX250 and MX2 races. In 2016 and 2017 Kutsar made some wildcard appearances in Trentino, Valkenswaard, Kegums and Teutschenthal to race in MX2, with his best result in Latvia where he went 19-11 for 14th overall. The following year, the Estonian entered 6 rounds of the EMX250 category, scoring points in most races, with some of his best race results including a 3rd in race one 109

a more consistent day at the penultimate round where he went 3-3 for third overall.

during the round of Portugal and a 2nd in Latvia. Fast forward to 2020, much like everyone, Kutsar entered the EMXOpen Championship this season not knowing what to expect, though as the gate dropped at the first round in Latvia, it was evident that the Estonian would be a key player in the title chase. During the first round, Kutsar led both races, before being caught by the home rider, Toms Macuks who was victorious in the races and took the first overall victory of the year, while he finished second. Though by the round of Riga, Kutsar was able to put 110

together two consistent races to finish 2-1 for his first overall victory, while Macuks didn’t score any points and as a result lost the red plate to Karel. The Estonian then finished the Latvian triple-header with a 6-1 result to once again get himself on the podium, for third overall. The Estonian then became the new series leader by the second round, and he held on to the red plate until the final round of the series in Pietramurata, where he traded the red plate for a gold one. As the championship headed to Pietramurata for another trio of races, the Estonian had a mixture of results, scoring a 9-3 at the round of Trentino, to then

Kutsar then entered the final two races of the season at the round of Garda Trentino with a 11-point advantage over his closest rival Kim Savaste, though Savaste ran into trouble and was forced out of the races with an injury, which gave Macuks a shot at the title. Kutsar rode two steady races to finish 5th and 10th which was still enough for him to clinch the title and become a European Champion. “It felt a bit impossible and now, I am a champion. I felt the pressure a little bit during the final races, I tried to not make mistakes and finally I did it and I got the title. Of course, becoming EMXOPEN champion means a lot to me. It is my first bigger achievement of my career and hopefully I will have more bright moments like this in the future� Kutsar shared.





TANEL ‘ESTONIAN EXPRESS’ LEOK TANEL LEOK NEVER REACHED A PODIUM IN THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS, BUT THE CHARISMATIC ESTONIAN, WHO RETIRED A FEW WEEKS AGO, ACHIEVED GREAT RESULTS DURING HIS LONG CAREER. WINNER OF 3 GP’S HE BROKE RECORDS AS HE ENTERED MORE THAN 500 GRAND PRIX RACES AND COMPETED AT NINETEEN MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS IN A ROW, ALWAYS QUALIFYING THE ESTONIAN TEAM FOR THE A FINAL. Born on 1st June 1985 in Voru, a little village located south east of Estonia, Tanel ,since a young age, was linked to Motocross as his father Arvo was a racer himself. Of course, Tanel got a little bike early in his career, collected his first wins in his native Estonia but always gave priority to school until he turned fifteen. Claiming two titles in a row in the FIM Junior Cup, in the 80cc and 125cc classes, he then joined the World Championship in 2002 thanks to the Vangani team where he had two other promising kids as team mates, Ben Townley and Tyla Rattray. Tanel just did two campaigns (2002-2003) in the 125cc class, with several top six results, before he switched to the MX1 class on a Moto Vision Suzuki. The 450cc was perfect for his unmistakable racing style, and the Estonian Express ended his first campaign in the main class with a sixth overall. It was enough to convince

legendary team manager Jan de Groot to sign him, and at 19 years old Tanel got his first factory contract with Kawasaki. It’s in 2006, during his second season in green, that Tanel enjoyed his first GP podiums with a third position in the opening round at Zolder and a second place two weeks later at Bellpuig. Competing for the final podium during most of the season, Tanel lost his chances with a few DNF’s in the last rounds of the series and once more finished fifth in the main class. Tanel raced two more seasons with Kawasaki, claiming several national titles in the Netherlands and in Estonia but also enjoyed his first ever GP win in Ireland in 2008. Joining the Yamaha De Carli team in 2009, he claimed the Italian title and surprised everyone when he won the opening race of the World Championship in Faenza; it was a special GP, as the second heat was cancelled due to the muddy conditions. Seventh of the series, while his teammate Antonio Cairoli got his first MX1 title, Tanel was 113

forced to change teams when Claudio De Carli signed with KTM. After Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha, Tanel was in red in 2010 thanks to team LS Honda and for the third year in a row he won one round of the series, as five other riders did that season, but he was the only privateer to do it! It was in Bellpuig that our hard charger man triumphed, and with another podium in Loket he finished sixth in the standings. Again in 2011 it’s in Spain and Czech Republic that Tanel got his best results with a second position in one heat; racing for the TM factory he was inconsistent that season, finishing the series in twelfth. The 2012 season started pretty well for our Estonian, then riding a factory Suzuki; second at the famous Enduro du Touquet, Tanel was back in the top eight of the MX1 thanks to many top ten results and a strong third position at Lierop during the GP of Benelux. Impossible to know, at that moment, that he would never enjoy anymore a podium celebration, even if he did eight more seasons in the MXGP! Racing for different teams during the following five seasons, in 2018 he finally launched his own team, A1 Motorsport, with some support from Husqvarna and a test rider deal. Also helping some young riders inside his team, Tanel finally decided to retire a few weeks ago, at 35 years old. He will stay for a long time in the MX of Nations record book, as he raced nineteen consecutive editions of the national team races and helped his team to finish three times (2004-20152019) in fourth position, a real performance for such a little country. Text & Photos: Pascal Haudiquert



80cc Estonian Champion

5th in the 80 European Championship


Winner of the FIM Cup Junior 80cc (Honda)


Winner of the FIM Cup Junior 125cc (KTM)

6th in the 125 European Championship

125 Junior German Champion


20th in the 125 World Championship (KTM)


15th in the 125 World Championship (KTM)


6th in the MX1 World Championship (Suzuki)

MX1 British Champion


11th in the MX1 World Championship (Kawasaki)


5th in the MX1 World Championship (Kawasaki)


8th in the MX1 World Championship (Kawasaki)

MX1 Dutch Champion


8th in the MX1 World Championship (Kawasaki). Winner of 1 GP

MX1 and MX2 Estonian Champion


7th in the MX1 World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 1 GP

MX1 Italian Champion


6th in the MX1 World Championship (Honda). Winner of 1 GP


12th in the MX1 World Championship (TM)


8th in the MX1 World Championship (Suzuki)

2nd at the Enduro du Touquet


14th in the MX1 World Championship (Honda-TM)


18th in the MXGP World Championship (TM)


41th in the MXGP World Championship (Kawasaki)


17th in the MXGP World Championship (Husqvarna)

MX1 Estonian Champion


14th in the MXGP World Championship (Husqvarna)

MX1 and MX2 Estonian Champion


18th in the MXGP World Championship (Husqvarna)


15th in the MXGP World Championship (Husqvarna)


23rd in the MXGP World Championship (Husqvarna)





4 8

3 7









A night for the Champions! MXGP Awards celebrated the awesome achievements of the paddock during this intense 2020 season!

2 Serious style points for this year’s EMX Open Champion, Karel Kutsar, who rocked the Estonian coloured wig on the podium, to collect his gold plate! 3 How cool do these EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing Championship trophies look… 4 Making history… Tim Gajser added his name for the third time to the MXGP trophy, which celebrates all the Champions in the premier MXGP category! 5 High-five with the MX2 World Champion! 6 Merci Gautier! A special thank you from Yamaha to Gautier Paulin on his epic racing career. 7 Championship winning team! 4 Time World Champions... 1 in MX2, 3 in MXGP. 8 MX2 Champions of 2020! 9 Pietramurata offering the best views for the final Grand Prix of the 2020 season. 10 3 riders, 3 epic careers! Special press conference to wish farewell to Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin and Tanel Leok!


11 Gautier Paulin and Clement Desalle celebrating their final race of their professional racing career in the FIM Motocross World Championship at the last round of Garda Trentino… 12 Behind-the-scenes of a puppy photoshoot featuring Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Racing’s Jed Beaton and Rocco! 13 Pauls Jonass back on the bike as he jumps on the GasGas machine with his brand-new Standing Construct GasGas Factory MXGP Team! 14 Glenn Coldenhoff joins the Yamaha family for 2021 as he completes the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP squad.






It was also the year that Stefan Everts rode two classes in the same season, racing both a YZ250F and

YZ450FM on the same day. The most obvious reason though was that after clinching the title before the final round at Ernée in France, Everts decided it would be a cool idea to line up and race all THREE classes on the same day, and we all know by now that he won all three races that day. And so, the bike we will feature in this issue of MXGP Magazine is the title-winning YZ450FM that took Stefan Everts to his 7th world title. Stefan Everts joined Yamaha at the end of the 2000 season and was an instant hit for the Michele Rinaldi led squad, so much so that he claimed two titles in successive seasons in ’01 and ’02. But, after a

difficult start to the 2003 campaign where he went 3-9-4 at the first three GPs’ to the three wins of Mickael Pichon, Everts needed to find a solution to get his season back on track, and fast. ‘At the start of the year I was riding a little too nervous and tense; I had only one race to get the result, like everyone else, but when I fell 25 points behind Mickael, everyone was already saying that I was finished and that he was the better rider.’ During contract talks, there had been a mention of possibly riding the YZ250F at some GP’s anyway, but when the schedule came out, the timings were very tight, so the idea was canned, and Everts would

focus solely on the MXGP class, but with the season already not going to plan, the idea of riding the 250cc was again discussed with Rinaldi in the airport after Germany, Round 3, because of how tense he was riding – and it was therefore agreed to let Stefan race the 125cc class, the race directly before his main race in what was then known as the MotocrossGP class, in order for him to get warmed up. It sounds strange to hear that now, but the reality is, it worked. And when he won the 125cc class first time out in Italy, it set him up for what turned out to be a historical season, and a run of nine wins in a row on the 450cc. ‘Although I had ridden the 250cc at the end of the season, I only rode it briefly before Italy, but even though the schedule was tight between the two races, from lap one of the 125cc race I was already more aggressive than I had been at the first three rounds, which made me 121


more relaxed going into the Motocross GP race, and that’s when things really started to click.’ The bike itself looked surprisingly standard to the naked eye, but the reality was so much different. Even though the team stated it was not special in the way we had been used to seeing factory bikes as being ultra-trick, the factory effect was saved for the stuff we couldn’t see. Even at the time, Everts himself alluded to the fact that due to the very high quality of the production bikes, there was less and less of a need for what were now deemed very expensive one-off factory bikes, the likes of what we’d seen throughout the 1980’s. The chassis was standard; however, the standard swingarm was lengthened by cutting up another stock swingarm, welding it to the existing unit thus allowing for better traction out of the start as well as better stability going into the turns. The front forks were factory 50mm KYB units with factory KYB shock at the rear, although this was married to a standard linkage. The seat, airbox and carburettor were also standard, but the titanium footpegs were a little special and came in 10mm wider than stock ones. Radiators were larger than standard and were made from a special, undisclosed material which made them not only stronger, but also allowed for better cooling. From the outside, the engine looked like a standard unit, even if the cases were anodised but it was inside where the real trickery brought everything to life. The only obvious difference was the exhaust system, and the significant bulge (bomb) on the header pipe, designed to increase the mid to top end power. Another stand-out piece of metal was the Arrow silencer, which was much slimmer and less bulky than a standard item. The view from the cockpit revealed Tommaselli handlebars which were Stefan’s own bend with the ‘bar clamps being slightly taller as well as reversible to offer up more options if needed. On the left side of the handlebar was a small lever, known as a hot start and on the right side of the ‘bars was a similar looking lever, known as a


Photo: decompressor, to make starting the bike easier, particularly when hot. The brakes were by Brembo, and the obvious thing to note here was that both the clutch and front brake levers were slightly fatter than the standard production levers. The brake discs were also Brembo units with the front measuring in at 270mm, whilst the rear disc came in at 245mm. The rear brake pedal was also titanium and more robust, and chunkier than a stock Yamaha brake pedal. The rims were Excel with standard anodised hubs. When you look back at the results from 2003 and particularly from Round 4, Everts completely 124

decimated the opposition; the power delivery and the overall power characteristics along with how the bike handled were second to none. The bike looked aggressive, but the reality was so much different. The power delivery was so much smoother and easier to ride that it didn’t need to be hard-hitting. With modified gear ratios, this bike was designed to be not only smooth and easy to ride, but it also enabled Everts to ride around using just two gears; 2nd and 3rd, such was the strength of the engine, which was very deceptive indeed. The package as a whole was faultless; traction at the rear wheel was impressive and the way the bike handled the bumps on the exit of the turns under acceleration

is where this bike outperformed anything else on the track. Not only that, but with less engine braking compared to a standard Yamaha YZ450F, Everts had the ability to be devastatingly fast on entry into the turns, as well as being able to maintain a decent level of corner speed mid-turn as well. When Stefan Everts crossed the line at the penultimate round at Loket in Czech Republic, he became the most successful racer of all time with a record-breaking 7th world title, and it was quite fitting that he rounded out the season in France with 72 GP wins as well. Not only that, he had done the unimaginable, by winning three GP’s in one day, something that had never been done before and something that will never be repeated again.


Hey is the new calendar ready? Jamie  

Hi Jamie , Thanks for your message! We have recently announce a provisional calendar for 2021, which you can find on our home page: www.mxgp.com Regards MXGP

Is there highlights video from MXGP in Trentino? Marco

I missed the MXGP Awards, is there a replay?

Dear Marco , Yes of course, we have our new highlights videos from all three of the events that took place in Pietramurata. Best Regards MXGP


Hi David yes of course! You can watch the replay of the 2020 MXGP Awards on our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/URYIscFq-gE Thanks MXGP

where can I find some replays from 2020 season? Alessandro  

Hi Alessandro , You can watch all the races from the MXGP of Trentino, LIVE with MXGP-TV.com or one of our TV partners, more details can be found on www.mxgp.com Regards MXGP


When will the tickets be available for 2021 events? Martha  

Hello Martha thanks for showing interest in our events for the 2021 season! We have just recently announced the provisional calendar, therefore ticketing will open up closer to the time of the beginning of the season. Keep an eye out on our social pages, as we always announce ticket sales there. Thanks MXGP


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MXGP #88 December 2020  

Infront Moto Racing is excited to share that you can now check out the 88th issue of the MXGP Magazine! The monthly online magazine featur...

MXGP #88 December 2020  

Infront Moto Racing is excited to share that you can now check out the 88th issue of the MXGP Magazine! The monthly online magazine featur...

Profile for mxgpmag