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MXGP MAG Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: MXGP INFRONT MOTO RACING MEDIA World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland MXGP Mag #92 April 2021
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AME F F O
The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of Infront Moto Racing.
L A I R O T I D E
David Luongo CEO of Infront Moto Racing
Dear MXGP Friends, We are now sixty days from the time the starting gates will drop for the 2021 MXGP season. Taking into consideration the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, we published an updated calendar for the 2021 MXGP season last week. The first Grand Prix will now take place on the beautiful location of Orlyonok in Russia on the 13th of June. As I mentioned in my precedent editorials, it is vital for Motocross and MXGP to be able to host public during the events. For this reason, we are pushing the beginning of the season one month later. With the vaccination campaigns that are accelerating in many countries, we are very confident that we may have this possibility very soon. We are very glad to confirm the comeback of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, in Matterley Basin and Maggiora for Italy, two of the most appreciated tracks in the world. The overseas Grand Prix’s have been put at the end of the championship because we strongly believe the longhaul travels will also be easier when we arrive to autumn/ winter time. On top of that the weather conditions will be good
IT IS VITAL FOR MOTOCROSS AND MXGP TO BE ABLE TO HOST PUBLIC DURING THE EVENTS in Indonesia and Argentina at this time of the year. We also announced some changes concerning the timetable of the GP weekend. Like last year, we will concentrate the European
Championships on Saturday and the MX2 and MXGP program will take place on Sunday. Those changes are made in priority to give more comfort to the riders, mechanics and teams. We will have to manage the exceptional repetition of Grand Prix for this season. Finally, on a very positive note, Infront Moto Racing just launched last week the official MXGP’s merchandising online store. By visiting www. mxgp-store.com you will find big variety of clothes, goodies, souvenirs and full of ideas for presents to be ready for the new season!
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Photo: Yamaha Racing
Every year, as the winter months roll in, riders and teams migrate south to warmer climates in order to get their off-season prep underway. Popular destinations tend to be Spain or Italy, not only for the good weather but also for some the awesome tracks around the area. IT’S ALMOST GO TIME FOR THE 2021 SEASON OF THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, AS WE BEGIN OUR COUNTDOWN TO THE SEASON OPENER. THIS ALSO MEANS THAT THERE’S JUST OVER A COUPLE OF MONTHS LEFT FOR THE TEAMS AND RIDERS TO ADD THE FINAL TOUCHES TO THEIR HIGHLY COORDINATED OFF-SEASON PREP TO ENSURE THEY’RE READY TO GO!
The teams usually base themselves in one of the two countries for a month or more, to get as much riding and testing time in as possible and some will take part in various pre-season races, most notably the Italian Championship. We caught up with some of the teams and riders during their time in Sardinia, to learn more about their off-season preparation as well as their thoughts heading into the new season of MXGP.
on staying healthy for the start of the MXGP Championship.
Team HRC: Tim Gajser Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will enter the 2021 season with his sights set on defending his MXGP crown for the third consecutive time. Having led a total of 226 laps, winning 15 races and 5 Grand Prix’s during what could have been considered a strange and very demanding year in 2020, the factory Honda rider was quick to adapt and will no doubt carry these lessons on his way to fighting for a possible fourth World Championship title. “I feel really motivated as always,” shared Gajser. “I have my goal in front of me and that’s it. We have had a good off-season and hopefully we can begin and end 2021 on a high note,” he added. And defending his title during a season that had many of us questioning if racing would even be possible, made last year’s victory that much sweeter for the Slovenian
who claims that 2020 gave him an extra boost in confidence. Though preparing for the upcoming World Championship will be a little bit easier this time around for Gajser, who last year focused the majority of his pre-season prep on testing and getting to grips with the all-new CRF450W. “When Honda brought out the new bike, everything was completely new, so I needed a lot of hours to get used to it. This year, of course, we again improved the bike, but the changes were not that big, so the bike feels basically the same, we just improved some parts which helps me to go even faster,” revealed Gajser. Much like the rest of the MXGP guys, Gajser initially planned to take part in a couple of races during his time in Sardinia in order to get back into the swing of things, but with the announcement of the updated MXGP racing calendar, the Slovenian changed his plans and decided to give the races a miss to instead focus
With experience from last year, the Honda rider says he knows what he needs to do in order to stay on top of his game. And now with a bit of time before things kick off again, Gajser will spend the remainder of his time in Slovenia where he will continue his training at home and his latest project of building his new track will no doubt keep him busy for the next few weeks! Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MXGP This off-season the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MXGP crew welcomed two new faces to their squad with Glenn Coldenhoff making the move to blue, while MXGP rookie Ben Watson made the step from the MX2 Yamaha Factory squad. Completing the three-rider line-up is Swiss Jeremy Seewer, who after finishing as Vice World Champion for the second year in a row, will be looking to rise to the occasion in 2021 and challenge Gajser for the title. 19
2020, on paper, was a pretty good year for Seewer, who won a total of 3 races, made 6 podium appearances, including a very important first Grand Prix victory at the MXGP of Lombardia. “Yes, I won my first race and Grand Prix in MXGP and that was a great achievement. All the top riders were there, so it felt even better,” said Seewer. With the 2020 championship finishing later than usual, this meant a later start to the 2021 campaign, too, and with further COVID-19 complications, the calendar had been tweaked a little more, which meant many of the riders, including the Swiss having to take a much different approach to training. “This season has been super strange. I had a lot of time to stay home and train without any stress in Switzerland,” shared Seewer. “When I came to Sardinia, I tried to put the intensity on the bike, at home I did physical training but the tracks here in Sardinia are amazing for testing the different parts of the bike, the suspension and everything,” he added. While the time spent in Italy has given the team the opportunity to do some testing, it was also one of the first occasions when all three riders were able to spend some quality time together and get to know each other a little better. “It brings back the memory when I was in Suzuki with Arminas Jasikonis and Hunter Lawrence. With Glenn and Ben, we have a really good relationship,” explained Seewer. “We have been spending a lot of time together in the last couple of months and this has been super helpful for me because both Glenn and Jeremy are super experienced in the MXGP class,” added Watson. For the Brit, having experienced MXGP riders as his teammates will come in handy as he makes the transition from MX2 and gets used to the more powerful YZ450FM.
“The switch has been pretty easy because I went from a Yamaha to a Yamaha, so the chassis is quite similar. I’m still using the same handlebars, grips, pegs… So, I feel good. The big change is the power of the engine,” explained Watson. Coming off the back of a strong end to his MX2 career, with 3 race wins, 6 podiums and 2 Grand Prix victories, those were some of the best results the Brit has had in a while though it took some time for him to get there, as a broken hand before the start of the season really slowed down his progress early in the year and the national lockdowns may have come at the perfect time for Watson who was able to re-group for the second half of the season. When asked what’s his proudest moment of 2020, Watson was quick reminisce on his career first Grand Prix victory: “The feeling to be on the podium was incredible. Last time I was on the podium was in Russia 2018. Then after that I got the call from the new team and that was a mix of many new emotions and for sure I’ll remember that for a long time,” he added. Now with his MX2 days behind him, the focus is on preparing for his debut in MXGP: “I’m feeling really good and enjoying myself with the team. The preparation is going well, here in Sardinia, the weather is amazing and I’m trying to have a lot of fun on the 450cc,” the Brit explained. While both Ben and Jeremy have come into the winter prep off the back of a strong end to the previous year, for their teammate Glenn Coldenhoff it has been a little different after a premature end to his 2020 season. A small mistake during the GP in Belgium left the Dutchman with two compression fractures in his back, with the following weeks focused solely on recovery. “The injury I got in Lommel was quite strong, the first week I had pain in my back but then it was ok. After one week the progress was unbelievable and after six weeks I
Photo: Yamaha Racing
was already back on the bike. I was ready to jump on my new Yamaha,” shared Glenn. Not long after his injury the rumours were finally put to bed as it was revealed that Coldenhoff would be joining the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP squad for the following year, a move that the Hoff was very excited about. “From day one I have a really good sensation with the guys at Yamaha. I was ready for the change and with Yamaha, I feel like I can make the last step,” explained Coldenhoff. What’s the last step you may ask? The World Championship title of course. “My goal has been to become a World Champion since I was a kid,” shared Coldenhoff. “I’m a top five guy but the last step is the most difficult to do, to be one of the top three guys. From outside doesn’t look so different but trust me this step is really hard,” he added. Coldenhoff was among the few who took the opportunity to do a few races during his time in Sardinia, finishing on the podium regularly which was a good preview of what we can expect when the gate drops for the FIM Motocross World Championship. “Every factory bike has his own peculiarity and Yamaha has so many. I just need to work on it and have it set-up as I prefer, so I can be ready to get the best results,” he explained. “My fitness is perfect, the late start of the season for me is a really good benefit and I can have more time to get used to the bike,” the Dutchman shared.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP Team have also welcomed a new addition to the squad as Dane Thomas Kjer Olsen joins Arminas Jasikonis to complete the teams two-rider line-up. “Moving to the 450cc you have to change quite a bit. For me it kind of came naturally as I started changing some things on my own, like my riding style and body positioning,” 22
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP
shared Olsen. “I’m settling in really nicely. For sure there’s a lot of new people but it’s going really well, and we are getting along great,” he added. Spending time in Sardinia has been the prefect opportunity for Olsen to put in the hours on the FC450 as well as get his head down and focus on his training. “It’s nice to be in a bootcamp like this, you’re away from home and can really get on the grind and plug in lots of training hours,” Olsen explained. Making the move from MX2 up to the premier MXGP category can be tough for some, though Olsen is confident and keen to show what he has been working on during the winter months. “It’s my first year in MXGP, but I would definitely say if I could be around top five in some of the races and overall top seven, I would be quite happy but for sure I want to show flashes of the speed that I know I can do and be battling somewhere near the front” shared Olsen. While the Dane focuses on making a stellar debut, his teammate Jasikonis is fully dedicated on gaining his strength back and making a return to competition following a crash that left the Lithuanian with a traumatic brain injury. “In the beginning there was a lot of questions,” explained Jasikonis. “I was questioning myself whether I really wanted to do it because in the beginning I was not really myself with the injury, so I was just questioning what the future will bring but here we are after some months”. With some of the toughest moments now behind him, Jasikonis is finally back training and riding again, taking each day as it comes. “My goal is to get physically as strong as I can,” he revealed. “I’m just doing my best and I want to come back when I’m 100% strong”. And with the updated calendar, the extra few months are of course an advantage for the tall Lithuanian who already looks forward to racing. And when asked which Grand Prix on the
2021 calendar excites him the most, he gave a pretty simple answer.
Guadagnini who is keen to get his MX2 rookie season underway.
“For me to come back and race any GP is already special,” he shared. “It’s a pity that the calendar has to move further, but for me it’s much better as I have more time to prepare”.
“It’s a dream for me to be here,” said Guadagnini.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing In the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing camp things are pretty much the same as for the rest of the guys, as Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado focus on putting their injuries behind them and working on getting stronger for the season opener, while also welcoming a third member to the group, 2020 EMX250 runner-up, Mattia Guadagnini. For Cairoli, a knee injury made it tough to go after that highly desired 10th world title, with the Sicilian often struggling with pain and swelling which was made tougher by the vigorous racing schedule. “2020 was a very tough season, again I had the chance to win the title, I was there fighting until halfway through the championship and then after that with the triple GP’s it wasn’t so good for me because of my injury,” he revealed. “I lost some speed and some valuable points for the title chase and we ended the season in third place”. As the 2020 season came to a close, Cairoli wasted no time starting his rehabilitation on the knee, undergoing surgery in the middle of December. “I started riding the bike just in the second week of February. I feel a little better, the knee problem is not a problem you solve with just a surgery, you need a lot of time to make it good, but we are heading in a good direction,” the 9-time World Champion shared. During his time in Sardinia, Cairoli has worked on getting back into shape after almost three months off the bike, making the most of the Sardinian sunshine and the tough tracks surrounding the area to get back into action. Also making the most of a brand-new opportunity is the teams newest recruit, Mattia
The 18-year-old has already shown signs of a promising future in motocross, with his success in the EMX categories. The Italian claimed the EMX125 double crown, becoming European and Junior World Champion in 2019 and then followed that up with a strong season in the EMX250 class as he quickly became one of the main title contenders and spent the entire season battling with Thibault Benistant who eventually took the crown. “I’ve known Mattia for a couple of years already, he was showing good speed in the European classes and he’s a great kid and of course a talented guy,” Cairoli explained. And who better to learn from then the 9-time and 2-time World Champions Cairoli and Prado. “I really like them,” said Guadagnini. “They are fast and good riders, I like their riding style and they’ve won a lot of World Championships, so they are pretty good, and I will try to give it my best to learn from them”. The step from the European to the MX2 Championships won’t be easy as not only is the schedule much more active for a World Championship rider, but the races are longer too, requiring more focus. But having competed at the top end of the European 250cc Championship, there are plenty of lessons that the Italian will carry into 2021. “Every year, every race you learn something,” he said. “I try to give it my best every time and learn race-by-race, so for sure last year I learned to be consistent during the championship and that is the most important thing”. Meanwhile, Jorge Prado will enter his second season in MXGP much more prepared following an impressive first year in the premier class that saw the Spaniard lead 141 laps, won 5 races and 3 Grand Prix’s, which is impressive for any
rider, let alone a rookie who started out the year struggling with a femur and a collarbone injury. “I’m feeling very healthy,” Prado revealed. “Last year I got Covid at the end of the season and unfortunately, I couldn’t battle until the end of the season as I was getting better, and I was proving that I could really battle up front, so it was a pity, but I am really happy to say that I’m healthy right now”. Now back in Sardinia the two-time World Champion is focused on getting as much time on the bike as possible, having missed out on the opportunity last winter. “I think a later start to the season will benefit me because of moving onto the 450cc and the injuries and then the virus, I missed out on a lot of time on my bike,” he explained. “I’m trying to regroup and put the maximum hours on the bike to get comfortable and get the bike the best that we can”. Looking at the racing calendar, Prado is excited to get back to racing and most of all, heading to his home GP in Arroyomolinos in Spain. “Of course, racing on home soil is always great,” said Prado. “It will be incredible to see the GP with public and spectators that love motocross”. Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre and Ivo Monticelli are also eager to get going and improve upon their results in 2020. Febvre placed 4th in the Championship behind Gajser, Seewer and Cairoli, despite missing the first two rounds due to injury. By the time the series kicked off again in August, he made a stellar return to racing with a podium finish in Latvia going 3-3 in the races. More podium success followed as the Frenchman finished in the top three in Mantova, Spain, Belgium and Trentino to also secure a GP victory during the MXGP of Città di Mantova. “I’m happy,” said Febvre. “I was feeling really good by the end of the season”. Now coming into his second year with the team, the Frenchman is feeling 29
much more comfortable with his set-up working on improving his starts which have already shown to be effective during the races in Sardinia. “My fitness is really good at the moment. I have the same trainer as last season but this season I’m training with my teammate Ivo and we are sharing many things. It’s different but this gives us a big motivation to improve in all the training fields,” he shared. And of course, the biggest change for Febvre this year is becoming a father, with his baby daughter Nina born during the off-season. “For me and Megan this year has been a big change, we’ve become parents and our life has changed a lot, but we love it,” Febvre explained. “I would like to split motocross and my family, at the moment is hard because I’m away from home, but soon I’ll be with her”. Making the move from one factory team to another is Ivo Monticelli who has made the move from GasGas to Kawasaki for 2021. “It’s a big change, new team, new bike and now for the first time I have a trainer. We are still working with the mechanics on the bike to find the best position for me and we are really close to it,” Monticelli shared. Working with the team’s coach Jacky Vimond as well as his new teammate is already a big positive for the Italian who will be pushing for better results in 2021. “He helps me a lot, it’s new for me and I’m still getting used to it. We work in all the fields from the technique on the bike, that I have to improve, from the training without the bike; he’s pushing me a lot. I trust him 100% and I’m sure that this will help me to make a big step forward,” he added. 2019 was a good year for Monticelli who placed 11th in the MXGP World Championship, scoring points at almost every GP and battling well inside the top 10. Though 2020 got off to a rocky start for the Italian who picked up
an injury in the first race of the season which required surgery. Much of the lockdown period, Monticelli spent on rehabilitation of his shoulder and by the time racing picked-up again, getting back up to speed was difficult. Nonetheless, the Italian consistently scored points which put him 15th in the championship, not where he had hoped to be. Then at the end of the season, Monticelli struggled with his knee, which ultimately needed surgery, though that followed another blow, when the Italian tested positive for Covid-19. Now with his injuries behind him and a brand-new set-up for 2021, it will be interesting to see Monticelli rise to the occasion and hopefully challenge for top positions in the group. “The dream is always the same, I would like to be World Champion, but I must keep my feet on the ground. The main goal is to finish in the top 5, like I did already in 2019, make less mistakes and I’m sure the results will come”. Beta SDM Corse Racing Team Beta SDM Corse Racing Team are bringing a brand-new flavour to the FIM Motocross World Championship as Italian manufacturer Beta Motor makes the step into MXGP. SDM Corse have been in the paddock since 2015 and will now enter their sixth season as an official Beta Factory Team. The team will be represented by former Vice World Champion and Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations winner Jeremy Van Horebeek and MXGP rookie Jimmy Clochet, who after putting on an impressive performance during the last EMX Open rounds in Trentino will look to challenge the big guns in the premier class. Much of the team’s winter prep has been concentrated on the development of the MX450, with Beta making the most of Van Horebeek’s knowledge to produce a competitive bike.
“The new bike is working well,” Van Horebeek shared. “A few months ago, there was no Beta motocross bike and in a short amount of time we have arrived to do something really positive already. For sure we have some more work to do but this is logic, you cannot make a bike in three months’ time and be at the same level as the factory teams. But I think we showed good speed already”. Though another season of racing was not entirely in the plan for Van Horebeek who, together with his girlfriend Glenny, welcomed two baby twins, Nyo and Jaxen! “I was really focused on the babies and not on racing anymore because it was more important, and then the call came from Daniele from SDM and he said we should meet together with the Beta factory team and test engines and that’s what we did,” he explained. After a few tests, the Belgian was surprised at the progress already made and was eager to help them on their journey into the World Championship. And despite his focus on his growing family, Van Horebeek says this has only given him more motivation for the upcoming season. “It’s great being a father and this also motivates me a lot to race for another two years,” he added. While Jeremy has plenty of experience being a factory rider, having raced for teams such as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, CLS Kawasaki and Monster Energy Yamaha, for his teammate Jimmy Clochet this is all very new. “It’s a first time for me to ride in MXGP, so this is a new adventure” shared Clochet. “Jeremy has a lot of experience and for me this is important as it’s my first time on a factory team with professional guys and this is good for me to have Jeremy by my side”. While Frenchman impressed during his wildcard appearance in the EMX Open class in Trentino, where he claimed 4 race wins and 2 round victories, the MXGP class is a whole new challenge and one he is not scared of. “I’m ready for the MXGP class. I’m not so stressed to start with the big guys,” he 33
explained. “My goal for this year is to pick up points and be inside the top 20 at all the races”. Now with a couple more months until the season kicks off, it will be interesting to see what further developments the team will make and what they can show for it in 2021. SM Action GASGAS Another Italian team to change colours for the upcoming year is SM Action Racing Team who will now compete on board the GasGas MC250F, represented by Alberto Forato and Andrea Adamo in MX2, while Norwegian Kevin Horgmo will race the EMX250 Championship. Forato looked strong at the opening round last year in Great Britain, as he battled inside the top 5, though his luck seemed to change by round two where he picked up a shoulder injury and then spent the rest of the season battling in the midfield. “Now I’m fully recovered and ready to ride ‘full gas,’” said Forato. “Next season I would like to be with the top guys as much as I can and that would be great for me and the team”. His teammate Andrea Adamo is also keen to make a good impression “my goal is to do my best and be always in the Top 10,” he shared. And the third and final rider of the team Kevin Horgmo will step back into the EMX250 Championship, a move that he was not hoping for but nonetheless is keen to show what he can do. “Going back to EMX will be a new challenge, of course this is not what I was expecting but of course I have even more motivation to do my best and jump again in the MX2 class,” explained Horgmo.
MRT Racing Team KTM: Alessandro Lupino There’s also MRT Racing Team’s Alessandro Lupino, who for 2021 will return to racing on a KTM. The Italian is no doubt keen to pick up where he left off in 2020 and improve upon his 18th place finish in the standings. The start of the season was a slow burner for Lupino, as he struggled to score points on occasion and missing 6 GP’s didn’t help his championship score either, though towards the end of the season we saw the Italian get close to a podium finish. “Yes, I’m pretty happy about my 2020 season. At the beginning of the season, I was a little bit stiff, especially after covid lockdown but later on in the season I really had some good races and I enjoyed it a lot,” he explained. The MXGP of Pietramurata was the race that witnessed Lupino’s true potential, as he battled at the top end of the field, to finish the opening race third, behind Seewer and Gajser. And with the confidence of knowing he can run with the leaders, there’s no doubt we could see him deliver more results like that in 2021. “I think lockdown helped us to know better our body and to improve on our condition, we learned when we need to push and when we need to slow down,” shared Lupino. “My goal for 2021 season is to be in the top 10 of the World Championship, this I think I can do as I’m already not far from it,” he added. Following their time in Sardinia the majority of the riders will head back to their base in Belgium or Holland where the final preparations will commence, and while there’s still a bit of time until the first gate drop of the season, it seems the teams will have plenty to keep busy with as we prepare to enter another epic season of racing!
L A I C O S P G X M EP.7 Best Actions of 2020: We are ready for final episode of the Best Action of the 2020 season of the FIM Motocross World Championship! Check out the full video to re-live the best racing moments from the MXGP of Limburg in the deep sand of Lommel! 🏝 @marceldean10 Tim Gajser😍🔥 @tiga243 #timgajser #243 #mx #mxgp #champ #honda #hrc #fox #foxracing #motocross #motocrossrider #motocrosslife #motocrossgraphics #mydesign
@aneb_design Another drawings for AJ7 💥 🙌🏻 #aj7 #arminasjasikonis #motocross #mxgp
@apesschaniiago my idol at the MXGP championship event #mxgp #mxgpfans #caricature #vectorart
Top 10 MXGP Actions of 2020: The 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship season treated us to some awesome racing, showcasing some incredibly close battles, passes and more! Enjoy some of the best moments with our Top 10 MXGP Actions!
@dhanisdamon How sick is this helmet of @ jeremyseewer91?🔥 • #jeremy #seewer #mxgp #mx #dirtbike #yamaha #cartoon #adobe #illustrator #design
@mxgpstore_official Do you want to be part of the MXGP team this year? 🏍🔥 Don’t miss the Official @ mxgp Merchanise! ⬅️
@pinned_media 243 vs 222 I have a feeling these pair might have a little more on their plate in 2021 👀 #returnofthebullet #mxgp
@twoanifederico3 @fanticfactoryteammaddii guys on the line🚦🔥
@dennis_ulbrich_ #mxlifestyle #mx4life #dirt #mxgp #monsterenergy #girls #truck #teutschenthal #racing
@athenamotorsport September 9th, 2020: @ jorgeprado61 wins his first GP and gets on the podium of the @MXGP. 🥇 “I am fully satisfied with my first MXGP victory here in Italy, which feels like my second home. I worked hard to get here!”
MX2 Most Exciting Crash Compilation 2020: While the MX2 riders may be a group of the fastest and the best 250 riders in the world, these guys are prone to crashing too and in most cases, the bigger the speed, the bigger the crash! Take a look at some of the most exciting crashes from the 2020 MX2 FIM Motocross World Championship!
P G X M # D OF ORL W E H IN T
@ixs.mxgp.team That’s how it goes behind the scenes 📸⛑👀
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D E H S I N I E F L N T U TI NESS I S BU 45
GLENN COLDENHOFF IS LIKE A FINE WINE; HE JUST GETS BETTER WITH AGE. HIS BACK-TO-BACK CLASS WINS AT THE LAST TWO MXON EVENTS AND 3RD OVERALL IN THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE MXGP CLASS IN 2019 CEMENT THOSE FACTS, AND AFTER SWITCHING FROM KTM TO GASGAS FOR 2020, THE MOTOCROSS FRATERNITY EXPECTED BIG THINGS FROM ‘THE HOFF’.
However, his season was bookended by injuries and his rise towards the top step was temporarily halted. Needless to say, his move to the highly coveted Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team during the recent off-season will no doubt provide bucket loads of enthusiasm for the amiable Holland native, and as he prepares to line up on the mesh, MXGP Magazine caught up with the ‘259’ to see how he is getting to grips with his new surroundings. A lot has changed since we last saw you in the world championship. You have a new bike and you’re riding for a new team in 2021; how
has it been so far, settling into your new environment? Yeah, it’s been really, really good! Obviously, it’s a big change for me but straight from the first moment I felt with Yamaha there was a really nice group of people who are really motivated to work, and from day one I had a good feeling. And now, a few months in I can also say that it’s still this way, so I am really happy with the people I am working with; I feel like I have a nice group, good mechanics and we have built quite a strong relationship already in this short amount of time. What were your first impressions of the Yamaha when you returned to riding in November? First impressions were good and I think with every bike
you have some plusses and a few things where you need to work, but I really, really like the chassis, and the suspension is also a big plus. The engine character is good, but I am quite picky set-up wise, but in general I have a really good feeling and there are some things that are a really good benefit for me, but yeah, I liked it straight from the beginning. In the beginning I had to get used to the new bike a little bit, but I feel that we have a pretty good base already. We are still finalising some things, but all is really, really positive and I’m really happy that I made this change and for sure there are no regrets. What are the kinds of things you feel you’ve had to work on since November until now? Has it just been a case of refining the engine set-up, the delivery of the power or the gearing for instance?
I feel like we have a good base. Generally, the base of the bike is really good, but the only thing we can still improve a little bit should be maybe the engine. We have a really solid crew behind us, the Rinaldi guys and Japan are all taking care of that. We are still finalising things now, but this is the only thing we could still improve, I would say. You raced two rounds of the Italian championship recently; if the first MXGP round was tomorrow, and based on how you rode in Italy, how close are you to having the perfect set-up? Maybe 85-90% … ok, the races were not great but also, they were not bad, especially as before those races I didn’t do so much training yet, and if you see where I am at with the amount of training I did, then I feel like we are quite solid. Also, it’s not that there were no names on the gate, there were quite some big names so some good competition, so we could see where we were 47
at that point and I feel like I improved already in the last few weeks since then. If we started tomorrow, I would not be 100% ready but good enough to fight for the top spots. How good was it for you just to be back racing again? The last time we saw you racing in MXGP was Spain last October, a week before your crash in Belgium. Exactly! I’m so happy I was able to race again, especially with the new team and the new bike and everything, you know? It’s important to do races because in races you always feel a bit different than in training, and I love the game; I love racing and for me, with MXGP now, I hope we can start again very soon. Also, the national races, I hope they will also come sooner rather than later because I like the game. I like to race and the feeling you have while racing is always something different than when you are training, so I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully, there is some news coming soon and yeah, let the races begin again I would say! How are your new teammates? Presumably you already knew them a little bit before, or not? Do you keep yourself to yourself as a rider or do you like to spend time with your teammates? In general, I am a team player, but of course when it comes to racing it’s a bit different. I would say we have a really, really nice atmosphere within the team; of course, I’ve been teammates with Jeremy (Seewer) in 2014 and 2015, so Jeremy I knew already a little bit, we have a good relationship and we are good together. Ben (Watson) was obviously new for me but I think the three of us have a really good connection, we are all pretty much down to earth and we have a very nice feeling together. When were in Sardinia we stayed in the same house together and every 48
evening we played games and talked quite a bit, so like I said, it is a good atmosphere. It’s nice to have those two as teammates. You said you shared a house together in Sardinia – who was the chef? A really, really good one! The lady from the B&B and she cooked every single day for us. So, you don’t know who is the best chef between you three guys? No! (haha). It was great for you to be racing again in Sardinia; were you generally happy with your speed and fitness since this was your first race in more than four months? Yeah, I was pretty happy! Like I said before, the training I did before those races was not quite a lot I would say, and I had a very good training after the first race and I definitely improved already at the second one in Alghero, so I already feel that when the season will start, with four or five weeks and a proper boot camp I will be at my strongest for sure. I am quite confident and I’m feeling good already. Have you ridden with Ben and Jeremy’s set-up at all, or are you more particular where you only prefer what you have, and you tend to stay with that? To be honest, I don’t talk so much about my bike to Ben and Jeremy, but I know that they are both pretty happy, and so am I. But, I would say I am a picky guy set-up wise and have a bit different riding style to them. I like to have a bike that is strong but one that I can really race as well and that’s the way I like it. I’m still not completely done with testing but we are also not far off, so by the time the season starts, I am pretty sure we will have a good bike for myself. I don’t know if the other two are
able to test it as well, but I do think so; but we are really, really free with the things we would like so everybody is free to choose what they want, but in the end, everybody is different and maybe we all have a slightly different set-up, but this is really well organised by the team and I am really happy to work this way. But really, as a rider, are you ever done testing? There is always something to test, isn’t there? Yes, but to be honest, I prefer to test a lot during the wintertime and once we find a good set-up, I prefer also to keep it because sometimes (when) you don’t feel good (on the bike), but you don’t need to question the set-up of the bike. For sure I would like to see the team still improving even though we are not testing, always trying new things, and I feel if we don’t try new things then we are going backwards. Especially the winter months, it’s time to do a lot of testing and then during the season I prefer to keep it the same. We know the Monster Energy Yamaha Team have impressive facilities but it’s not just about that kind of show, although it’s a nice that you have it, but how much of an advantage has it been for you recently whilst Holland has been in lockdown, especially when things like gyms are closed? Yeah, it’s great! We are not able to get in touch with so many people and even the gyms are closed. I usually have a guy that I train with in the gym so to have a facility like this is really nice, it’s definitely a luxury but also to connect with the team and the people in the team, with the mechanics … I was there today. You can have a quick chat with the guys, and I think it’s important to grow the relationship even more; the team see that I do my work, I can see them working 52
and it brings a really nice atmosphere in the team and also a good connection where we see each other a bit more. It’s not like I’m going there every day just because of the Corona situation, because even when the Corona time is finished, I will still spend a lot of time there. I enjoy it, sometimes I am there at the same time as Ben and Jeremy, so it’s really nice. As a rider, do you go into the season with a specific goal? For me, the goal is pretty clear; I want to fight for the top spot and I’ve been getting closer every year a little bit and I feel that I am quite a consistent top five rider; but I need to make 54
the step to be consistently top three. Maybe that sounds like a small step but it’s a pretty big one, you should just keep believing, keep working and trying to improve in every little aspect and to be honest, I hope we don’t do the tripleheaders again; Physically it was okay but to be mentally ready every three days is quite a hard thing. Hopefully it can go back to normal soon, or at least maybe have only two races at one track. I think that would be more than enough. The first GP was supposed to be in Oss, your home track, but that has been postponed for now … you will no doubt be looking forward to racing there, whether it’s the first round or the last round?
To be honest I really hope we race there but for me, I really hope the public is allowed to be there because to have the public in Oss will make it even nicer for myself as a Dutch guy growing up there. I hope family, friends and private sponsors will be able to go there again because I already felt last year that I was really missing the crowd, and that’s something that also makes our sport really nice, the crowd. Hopefully, at the very least we can get back to racing soon but I prefer even more to have the crowd there as well, as soon as possible. Thanks for your time Glenn. All the best for the new season … Thanks a lot! Photos: Yamaha Racing
E L R A U I T C A E E SP F
R E R U T C A F U N A M W E N ! : K A BET E BLOC H T ON
2021 IS ALREADY SHAPING UP TO BE INTERESTING AS THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CONTINUES TO GROW WITH BETA MAKING A COMEBACK TO MOTOCROSS AND JOINING THE ALREADY HIGHLY COMPETITIVE GROUP OF FACTORY BRANDS!
WATCH THE VIDEO
The new venture will see SDM Corse, a team who have been in the game for the last 6 years, joining the squad of elite factory teams to become Beta SDM Corse Racing Team for the upcoming season. Beta first started out as a bicycle factory in 1905, founded by Giuseppe Bianchi. Following the second World War, the factory began to produce mopeds and 125cc bikes. Fast forward to the 70’s, when the dirt bike market boomed in Italy, Beta made its step to offroad as well as moving their factory from Florence to Rignano sull’Arno. The new facility was impressive featuring a test track where dirt bikes of all disciplines were put through their paces. While Beta was one of the first Italian factories to make a move into the motocross, the 80’s saw the brand make a decision to concentrate their efforts on trials when Japanese manufacturers began to dominate the field in motocross. This ultimately paid off as Beta secured numerous Trials World Titles from the late 80’s onwards with Jordi Tarrés and Dougie Lampkin. In 2004, Beta once again did what no other Italian manufacturer had done before, that is by stepping into production of 4-stroke dirt bikes and from then on continued to heavily invest and innovate in that particular field. 2012 was a year of change for Beta as they started production of their very own 2-stroke engine that was entirely made in Italy. This came at the time when sales of enduro bikes were on the rise and Beta’s commitment in producing top of the field enduro bikes brought along more world championship wins and manufacturer titles, with Italian factory dominating the Enduro GP series for the last four consecutive years, together with Brits Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman. Throughout the years, Beta has worked hard to increase and continue development across all areas of production to maintain
a high level in such competitive markets. Their test track became bigger, the factory grew with more tech, including a dyno bench to test the engines. Now the factory is based in an area of Tuscany well-known for motocross, a place where the sport has become highly popular over the last 30 years, with plenty of good tracks close by. “MX is part of our history, we built motocross bikes up to the beginning of the 80’s. We love this sport, and it’s been a while that we’ve been thinking to re-enter the market,” shared Fabrizio Dini, Beta Factory Team Manager. Fabrizio Dini, a former European 125cc Champion (1997) and 500cc Motocross World Championship competitor, has a motocross background having competed in the sport up until 2006 before making the move to Enduro. In 2008, Dini joined Beta Motor, first as a rider, as well as helping them to develop and test their bikes, to then become the Team Manager of the Enduro Factory Team and R&D Coordinator for MX Project. While the news of Beta making the return to motocross may have come as a surprise for some, it’s a project that the factory has been working on and off for quite some time, using their Enduro riders, the likes of Johnny Aubert, Christophe Charlier and Gianluca Martini, all with a motocross background, to help develop the prototype model. “We seized the opportunity to make some tests and get some experience. Recently the pandemic gave us more time to better focus on the development till the final kick-off of the project,” shared Dini. Now, finally after a year of preparation, Beta will take a leap into the FIM Motocross World Championship, with Beta SDM Corse Racing Team and their two riders Jeremy Van Horebeek and Jimmy Clochet who will take on the highly competitive MXGP category. “The priority is now to develop the product to be competitive,” explained Dini, adding “the market
is really demanding, and the level of our competitors is high. It is crucial to gain experience and develop the product at a fast and structured pace and for this reason, we felt that a well-established team like SDM Corse and experienced rider like Jeremy Van Horebeek was the correct way to approach such a challenging project”. SDM Corse started out in 2015 before joining forces with former MX1 World Champion, David Philippaerts who competed in the MXGP class at the time. With official Yamaha Europe support, the team became known for selecting young talents and nurturing them through the ranks and into the FIM Motocross World Championship. In 2016, the team brought on Roan Van De Moosdijk, Morgan Lesiardo and Alvin Ostlund with Philippaerts taking on a role as rider manager, helping to coach the young riders. The very same year, Van De Moosdijk finished second at the Junior Motocross World Championship, in the 125cc category and was tied on points with the Champion, Jago Geerts. In 2017 the team was made-up of Maxime Renaux, Karlis Sabulis and Roan Van De Moosdijk, with their efforts focused on the EMX250 Championship, though injuries made it tough for the team to be competitive that time around. In 2018, the team made their mark in the EMX250 class, with Nicholas Lapucci winning the third round of the series in Russia, meanwhile their second rider, Van De Moosdijk brought further success, with three podium finishes and a round win in Lombardia, to secure third in the European Championship that year. SDM Corse then continued their efforts with Yamaha for 2019, with Gianluca Facchetti, Rick Elzinga, Ruben Fernandez and Caleb Grothues. By the following year, the team made a step into the FIM Motocross World Championship, with Fernandez moving up into MX2, while new arrival Michele Cervellin represented the squad in MXGP. But 2021 is a new chapter for SDM Corse, offering a brand-new challenge and a big opportunity at the same time, as the Italian team will become Beta SDM Corse Racing Team, an 61
official factory squad, taking another step forward to further establish themselves among the top teams in the paddock. “We are super proud to represent Beta,” shared Beta SDM Corse Team Manager Daniele Marchese. “At the moment the focus is to bring to the track all the technical evolutions that Beta is developing for the bikes. The MX450 is a strong bike, of course there is still much work to do on it, but Beta is putting a lot of effort in that project,” he added. And to help Beta SDM Corse Racing on their way to success is former Vice World Champion Jeremy Van Horebeek, alongside rookie Jimmy Clochet, with the pair set to contest in the MXGP class in 2021. Van Horebeek has been in the FIM Motocross World Championship for over a decade and in that time has acquired 2 Grand Prix wins along with 32 podiums across both the MX2 and MXGP World Championships. Not to mention plenty of knowledge and experience, as well as the inner workings of factory teams, having raced for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, CLS Kawasaki and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing. “We chose Jeremy from the beginning together with Beta, he’s a rider with so much experience that could be helpful for the team and the bike to grown. He’s a super professional rider and for the whole team this is a big chance to work with him and take on board his suggestions to help develop the bike,” shared Marchese. Van Horebeek’s knowledge will not only help Beta and SDM Corse develop the MX450 but will no doubt help guide their second rider, Frenchman Jimmy Clochet, who will no doubt learn a thing or two from his much more experienced teammate as he enters his first official season in MXGP. “Jeremy has a lot of experience and for me this is important as it’s my first time on a factory team with professional guys, and this is good for me to have him by my side,” shared Clochet. 62
We all got a glimpse of Clochet and what he has to offer during the last three rounds of the EMX OPEN Championship in Trentino. The Frenchman put on an impressive performance to win four out of a possible six races and stand on the top step of the podium twice! “Jimmy showed a good speed last season in the EMX Open class, of course the MXGP class is another level, the championship contenders are really strong, and all the small details can make a big difference. We trust him, he’s still young and has a lot of experience to gain with us, together with the help of Jeremy,” added Beta SDM Corse Team Manager Daniele Marchese. And in preparation for their debut, the Beat SDM Corse crew, much like the rest of the MXGP paddock, have been spending their off-season testing in sunny Sardinia. Though for the team this is a whole new experience since becoming an official factory team. “In the past seasons we had a chance to work as official team for Yamaha Europe in the EMX Championship but working directly with a factory is completely different. The working flow is more structured and all the evolutions are the result of a specific research done day by day,” explained Marchese, adding “for SDM this is a one-time chance that will help us to make a big step forward and of course we are ready and excited for that”. “At the moment we are basically riding prototypes and we are still under development with several aspects that we are testing step by step with our internal test team and with our riders when we find good improvements. The first results are positive, and we are confident,” shared Dini. The team has already showed great progress, with both Van Horebeek and Clochet showing good speed during the pre-season races in Italy, proving that the progress they’ve made in the last few months is already paying off.
“The new bike is working well,” shared Van Horebeek. “A few months ago, there was no Beta motocross bike and in a short amount of time we have arrived to do something really positive 65
already. For sure we have some more work to do but this is logic, you cannot make a bike in three months’ time and be at the same level as the factory teams.” Of course, looking at the bigger picture, the factory, the team and the riders have their own goals in mind for the upcoming season, with the priority being of developing a competitive bike, ready to take on the super competitive MXGP class. Fabrizio Dini, Beta Factory Team Manager: “We want to develop a good bike and gain experience in MXGP. Even if the race results are not the top priority at this stage, we are confident we can get good results”.
Beta SDM Corse Team Manager Daniele Marchese: “For Beta is a coming back to Motocross after so many years; from long time Beta is at the top level of Enduro and Trial Championship and for this season the goal is to support the bike development in the best way possible. On our side we already know that the potential of the bike is really high, and we are ready to show it on the track”. Jeremy Van Horebeek: “First of all to get the bike 100% ready and then the results will come because the bike already has some really positive points and we still have a lot of time to develop the bike, so it’s looking good and I’m sure we will have great results”.
Jimmy Clochet: “I am very happy to join this team and especially the new Beta in the world championship! I am very lucky, and I will give everything to have a good result with the bike. I would like to get into the points as often as possible, the level is tough, but I am working to get there.” So now we set our sights on the season opener to see what further progress the team will make in the next few months and what Beta and SDM Corse, along with Jeremy Van Horebeek and Jimmy Clochet, can achieve during the upcoming season!
L L A H
E M A F F O
PAUL “MALER’ MALIN HE HAS NEVER CLAIMED AN INDIVIDUAL WORLD TITLE, BUT HE REMAINS ONE OF THE MEN WHO PUT AN END TO THE DOMINATION OF THE AMERICANS AT THE MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS! WINNER OF THE 1994 MXON ALONGSIDE KURT NICOLL AND ROB HERRING, PAUL MALIN ALSO WON BRITISH TITLES, GP’S AND CLAIMED A SILVER MEDAL IN THE 125CC CLASS BEFORE LATER BECOMING THE VOICE OF MXGP ON TELEVISION! Born on 15th February 1972 in Leicester, Paul received a minibike when he was only three years old, as his father had an interest in Motorsports and even entered a couple of speedway races as an amateur. The day after he got his bike, Paul entered his first race and from then his life as a racer began! At the age of six he started to win races and titles and soon became one of the youngest talents to join the prestigious Team Green Kawasaki. Racing the 125cc and 250cc classes in the UK when he was seventeen, Paul had his first taste of GP’s during the 1989 season but due to the fact that he was still a student, he just entered the British and Irish rounds of the 125cc championship. At the same time, he also jumped on a 500cc after promising tests alongside Dave Thorpe, but his first races in the ‘main’ class were not that successful. Working hard all winter long to get used to the powerful 500cc Kawasaki, Paul was only eighteen when he entered his first World Championship season in the
500cc class. 1990 was a great learning year for him, as he started the season with a few points but later on in the year narrowly missed the podium at the Belgian Grand Prix, tight in the points with Kees Van der Ven and Kurt Nicoll, just one point behind Eric Geboers, the winner in Namur. Eleventh in the series on a production bike, he was rewarded and jumped on a factory prototype in 1991 with Dave Thorpe as teammate. At the fifth round of the series in Castelnau de Levis, France, he was unbeatable, winning both races to become the youngest ever 500cc GP winner at the age of 19 and three months. Unfortunately, a couple of mechanical problems cost him many points, but he still finished the season fourth in the championship. Afterwards, he moved back to the 250cc class, but during the three seasons he struggled with injuries and was not a podium contender anymore. It was finally at the end of the 1994 season that he joined again the winners’ circle in the most prestigious event of the season, the MXoN. Selected to race the Motocross of Nations in Roggenburg, Switzerland, Paul lined up in the 125cc class, got 69
a factory engine for his Yamaha and beat everyone in this class including Jeff Emig, Dave Strijbos and Pit Beirer! Team USA, the winners of the last fourteen editions of the MXoN, were forced to give up the Chamberlain trophy to Team Great Britain. Convinced that the 125cc class could be better for him, Paul continued his career in this class. In 1995 he had the chance to win his home Grand Prix in Foxhill, but a week later he broke a bone in his hand. One year later, he had his best season ever. Sébastien Tortelli was dominant that year, but thanks to his consistency and nine GP podiums, Paul finished runner up in the 125cc championship and later he won his first British title. 1996 was definitively the peak of his career, as he would never play again a major role in the World Championship. Claiming two more British titles in 1997 and 1999, he retired from racing in 2000 to start working with the British Motorcycling Federation to help young riders. Paul also opened his own motocross school and later he started to comment on races for television, and for several years now, he is the regular, enthusiastic and knowledgeable voice of MXGP! Text & Photos: Pascal Haudiquert
1990: 12th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki) 1991:
4th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki). Winner of 1 GP
1992: 17th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki) 1993: 20th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 1994: 18th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha)
Winner of the MX of Nations with team UK
4th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 1 GP
1996: 2nd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha)
125 British Champion
1997: 19th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha)
125 British Champion
1998: 17th in the 125Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 1999: 24th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha)
Open British Champion
S K L A T K C O D PAD
Squad goals! Red Bull KTM Factory Racing recently shared some of their pre-season photoshoot imagery!
2 MXGP-TV crew caught up with Tim Gajser in Sardinia. 3 You think Thomas Kjer Olsen is excited to ride his factory FC450? 4 Antonio Cairoli enjoying some family time with wife Jill and son Chase! 5 Pauls Jonass looking good in red on a sunny day training.
6 After several months off the bike due to injury, Mitch Evans is back! 7 Kiara Fontanesi showing off her gymnastics skills on the bike… 8 A happy rider is a fast rider! Ben Watson all smiles during a day of training on his YZ450F.
9 Congratulations to the Lupino family on the newest addition… Coming soon… 10 Back to where it all started… WMX Champion Courtney Duncan enjoying her time at home in New Zealand.
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PEDRO TRAGTER 1993 SUZUKI RM/RA125 76
DURING THE MID-EIGHTIES AND EARLY NINETIES, HOLLAND WAS IN A REAL STATE OF ELEVATION WHEN IT CAME TO REPRESENTATION IN THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, WITH DAVE STRIJBOS (1986) AND JOHN VAN DEN BERK (’87/’88) SEEMINGLY WINNING WORLD TITLES FOR FUN.
machine were in great shape going in. issue of MXGP Magazine we will take a closer look at the RM/RA125 Suzuki that took him there. And if they weren’t winning, they were inside the top three a further seven times between them from 1985 – 1992. Of course, prior to Dave and John, riders such as Gerard Rond, Gerrit Wolsink and Kees van der Ven all came close to the top step, but moving forward, who would the nation look to for more success? Well, the answer, as it turned out, was never too far away and after placing 3rd in 1988, ’91 and ’92, it was surely just a matter of time before Pedro Tragter got his hands on a title of his own, and in 1993 his dream came true, so in this
For Pedro Tragter the 1992 season had been his most productive in terms of podium success, with three wins and two 2nd overall places over the twelve-round campaign, and after back-to-back bronze medals, the Dutch ace was seriously ready to challenge for the top step. Winter prep’ was limited to a six to eight-week boot camp during the months of January and February and prior to the start of the ’93 season, there were no real dramas to speak of either; both rider and
When Suzuki pulled out of the factory programme at the end of 1990 (in the 125cc class), Tragter remained loyal to the brand and from ’92 to ’95 he raced under the Team Suzuki Chesterfield banner. Even better was he still had access to some all-important factory bling. The bike itself was more semi-factory than the fullblown article, but by mixing stock parts with official items, Tragter was able to create the perfect bike; not unlike being a factory rider, but without the red tape. When it came to the chassis, the frame was pretty much the only standard item because 77
up-front, the bike was suspended by 46mm factory KYB units which in turn were married to factory triple clamps. The rear shock was also KYB but whilst the linkage remained standard, the swingarm came from the factory. The wheels were also factory (usually magnesium with Suzuki) but the rims were provided by Excel and came wrapped in factory Dunlop rubber. As for the power plant, well, let’s just say there was a lot going on below the tank. The cylinder and head were both factory, with the head being crafted from magnesium. The reed valves were carbon and came from a 250cc, and the 38mm carburettor was also ‘borrowed’ from the quarterlitre machine. A factory piston was there for durability, and as for the ignition, well, all we can say about that is that it was ‘special’ and made in Holland! The airbox was stock but when it came to singing lessons, the exhaust pipe and silencer was a combination of factory and Messico, from Italy. However, the 6-speed gearbox did receive the factory treatment, more so for reliability though than anything else, and when it came to cooling, the safest and most efficient thing to do back then was run a bigger radiator on one side. Finally, when it came to stopping power, Tragter ran factory brakes at both ends, which included a larger disc at the front. As for the season itself, Tragter got off to the perfect start, and even though he tied on points with Mickael Pichon, the Suzuki rider had that psychological boost as the leader of the championship after the opening round in Italy. After placing 2nd overall next time out at the Belgian GP to fellow countryman and former world champ Dave Strijbos, Tragter raised his game in England, Round three, and from there his momentum gathered pace just as much as
Photo: his accumulation of points. By the halfway point of the season, Tragter had amassed a 56-point lead over his nearest rival and from there it was just a matter of managing the situation and that’s exactly what he did. At the final GP of the year in Australia, Tragter wrapped up the title in the second of three races with a very cautious 7th to become world champion for the first and only time, and just the third rider from The Netherlands to do so. When Pedro Tragter clinched the 125cc world title in 1993, another page was written in 80
the history of Suzuki. When the brand entered the 125cc world championship in 1975, Suzuki was victorious for ten years in a row from 1975, culminating with Michele Rinaldi’s success in 1984. A six-year dry spell followed and when Donny Schmit and Stefan Everts won respectively in 1990 and 1991 it looked very much like Suzuki was back on track. Sadly, it was not to be and Pedro Tragter’s title in 1993 would be the last from the Japanese brand in the 125cc 2-stroke class before it was upgraded to MX2 and 4-stroke status in 2004.
Suzuki world champions – 125cc Gaston Rahier (Belgium) – 1975, ’76, ‘77 Akira Watanabe (Japan) – 1978 Harry Everts (Belgium) – 1979, ’80, ‘81 Eric Geboers (Belgium) – 1982, ‘83 Michele Rinaldi (Italy) – 1984 Donny Schmit (USA) – 1990 Stefan Everts (Belgium) – 1991 Pedro Tragter (Holland) 1993
S N R O O I T T I S E ED E U QO TH T ❝
What is the archive pass?
Hi Julius , the MXGP-TV Archive pass gives you access to watch all the races from previous seasons of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Best Regards MXGP
Hi, do you make phone backgrounds? Joe
Hi Joe , if you’re looking to update your phone wallpaper with a cool MXGP photo, check out our Instagram highlights for a series of wallpapers that we have shared over the last few months. Regards MXGP
Hey, I want to buy an MXGP t-shirt, where can I get it? Robertas
Dear Robertas , you can get your hands on some awesome MXGP merchandise by visiting www.mxgp-store.com where you can get everything from t-shirts to hoodies, umbrellas, hats and much more! Best Regards MXGP
Hi MXGP, I love the photos you share, where could I see more? Mary
Hello Mary Hello Mary, thanks! You can check out more photos HERE: https://www.mxgp. com/photos?year_filter=2020 Thanks MXGP
How can I play the bingo? Dave
Hi Dave to join in with our MXGP Bingo 2.0 game, all you need to do is save the photo on your phone and use your phone editing tool to cross out each thing that you have done on the grid, to see if you can complete it all Thanks MXGP
Infront Moto Racing is thrilled to share the 92nd issue of the MXGP Magazine, which you can read online now! The April issue features Mons...