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HALL OF FAME Bob ‘Hurricane’ Hannah

MXGP MAG: Chief Editor: Marionna Leiva Photos: Youthstream YOUTHSTREAM Media World Trade Center II Rte de Pré-Bois 29 1215 Geneva 15 Airport Switzerland MXGP Mag #51 December 2017 The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of Youthstream. Then content of this publication is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time the articles were written. The copying of articles and photos even partially is forbidden unless permission has ben requested from Youthstream in advance and reference is made to the source (©Youthstream).


EDITORIAL Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group

Dear MXGP Friends, During the occasion of the FIM Awards in Andorra on the last weekend of November, Youthstream organized the annual MXGP organizers meeting, MXGP organizers and Youthstream’s various heads of departments met in relaxed atmosphere and spoke about the results achieved and plans for the future. The work of the promoter and the organizers together is to prepare a prestigious stage where riders and teams can perform and demonstrate themselves and their brands. During the meeting the importance of staying true to tradition was stressed while at the same time opening the possibility of new venues in new coun-

tries is welcomed.

Facebook page, and as a result of this growing interest MXGP is growing each year MXGP is becoming more and and 2017 has been no exmore popular and requests ception; MXGP was followed are coming in for more by huge numbers of fans via events in more countries the worldwide TV coverage, around the world. The 2018 in 2017 MXGP was televised FIM Motocross World Chamon many distinguished local pionship calendar is possiTV broadcasters along with bly the best in the history Eurosport and Motorsport. of Motocross; for the first TV (former MotorsTV) for time, there will be 20 events Europe, CBS Sports Netstarting on the first weekend work for USA and Canada, of March and ending the last FOX Sports for Latin Amer- weekend of September. ica, Asia and Oceania and BeIN for the Middle East Together with the organizand Africa. ers we continuously strive to improve, and the inclusion of MXGP’s presence on the the European Championship various social network plat- during the MXGP race weekform is attracting a lot of end is bearing its fruit with interest from young fans young talented riders being from all over the world, we able to show their capabiliare proud to have passed ties in a professional atmo2 million ‘likes’ on MXGP’s sphere. We are seeing ridMXGP MAG 2017 MXGP.COM

ers from a very young age being taken into experienced teams and nurtured into professional racing. Youth is very important to Youthstream and that is why we continue our support for the MXGP Academy and other youth organizations to ensure the education and passion of youth in Motocross. Motorcycles have tremendously evolved over the last years, especially in terms of suspension and electronics which permit riders to go faster and faster; also race tracks are evolving and particular attention is being given to the race tracks’ preparation and maintenance. We are seeing over the past few years that organizers have



become more efficient and the tracks have improved a great deal, we have seen that organizers are enthusiastic about following Youthstream’s advice, aware that Youthstream has a lot of experience and will give honest guidance that will help put on a great event with the least complications. In cooperation with the FIM, FIM-Europe, Youthstream, organizers, manufacturers, teams, riders, media, sponsors and with the great support received from the MXGP fans today MXGP has become the most popular off-road motorcycle championship in the world. Local organizers are crucial to the success of the Championship and after years of working closely we

have together improved the quality of organization, infrastructure, access roads and traffic management, and thanks to this close cooperation and trust from both sides we have reached the current level, and together we will continue on this road. Youthstream warmly thanks the FIM, FIM-E, riders, teams, manufacturers, sponsors, fans and media who believe in MXGP and supports its growth, and this month we would like to pay a special tribute to the MXGP organizers who are essential to the success of the FIM Motocross World Championship.




















The focus is already on 2018 in the World of MXGP with teams changing, new venues, and more. Even so 2017 was one of the best seasons of racing we have ever seen and in this version of Racing Catch Up we take a well deserved look back at some of the best moments of 2017 from the MXGP of Qatar to the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Presented by Fiat Professional and everything in between! 1. He’s not done yet! Antonio Cairoli/MXGP of Qatar After the 2016 season came to an end many began to question the prior 8-time World Champion, Antonio Cairoli. The doubters raised the question of whether the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was past his prime, if he would win again, and if he was on the way out.

Well, the veteran answered the question to say the least, without hesitation Cairoli made a statement at the opening round of the 2017 MXGP Championship in Qatar. TC222 took double race wins on Sunday and took the first red plate of the season over 2016 Champion and young gun Tim Gajser, so much for Tony being past his prime. 2. Pure Grit! Shaun Simpson/MXGP of Indonesia One of the gnarliest races of the season was the 2nd round, the MXGP of Indonesia, mother nature dumped rain on what was a pristine Indonesian circuit for days on end making for some of the most technical and challenging conditions ever seen in the World Championship. When the track got tough Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Shaun

Simpson got tougher. The British rider is no stranger to wet conditions and as a matter of fact excels the more technical the track. Known as someone who prefers the track to be gnarly he lets it all hang out when it is. Pure grit, technique and mental fortitude landed Simpson the top spot of the podium in Indonesia, the only time he would see it in 2017. 3. Teammates Battle Jorge Prado and Pauls Jonass/ MXGP of Patagonia - Argentina In the MX2 class young talent is about but nowhere it is more clear than under the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2 awning. The young Spaniard Jorge Prado has talent for days and the youth to go with it, while Pauls Jonass is young but experienced.

The first of many times we had the joy of watching the two at the finest was at the MXGP of Patagonia - Argentina in Neuquen. The two rocketed two solid starts at the head of the field and from there duked it out. While Jonass made calculated attempts to pass Prado, the young gun fought back and, though teammates, each fought for the win without regard. In the end Jonass took both race wins while Prado finished second overall. 4. 4 for 4 for Tim After an astonishing rookie season Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was looking to defend his 2016 world title. The Slovenian started the season strong with a qualifying race win in Qatar and 2nd overall. After struggling in Indonesia Tim bounced back in an impressive manner winning the



Qualifying race in Argentina and backing it up with double race victories on Sunday. The reigning champ and HRC Honda weren’t done though, Tim went to Leon, Mexico, and destroyed the competition with another perfect weekend making it 4 for 4 race wins plus 2 pole positions. 5. The Cairoli Comeback Coming into the MXGP of Trentino the Italian fans hopes were high for a Cairoli victory and though no stranger to pressure, Antonio was well aware of it. Starting the weekend the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing #222 took the Qualifying race win and Sunday’s Race 1 win to the roar of the crowd. However, the true test came when Cairoli got caught up on the start of race 2. The Italian fans at first were in dismay at the costly error, but soon began

to cheer on the Sicilian in what was the comeback fight of the century! After starting in nearly last position Cairoli had reached 15th by the completion of lap one as race one’s 3rd place finisher, Tim Gajser, led the field. On a track that is often referred to as hard to pass on Cairoli made it look easy. In the remaining 18 laps Cairoli gained 13 positions on the best riders in the world. The most impressive overall victory of any for Cairoli by far and all of which was in front of the home crowd! 6. Healthy Herlings/MXGP of Latvia When the 2017 season started many had high expectations for Jeffrey Herlings, and rightfully so as he had practically dominated the MX2 category for several years. However,




an off-season crash caused a hand injury from which Jeffrey was still recovering from when the season started in Qatar. At the first few rounds the frustration and pain was evident as he struggled to reach the top 5. By the time of the MXGP of Europe, Herlings speed was beginning to show once again and his health appeared to be improving. Only one week later the Bullet fired his first shot on the sandy soil of the MXGP of Latvia in Kegums. Known as the best sand rider in the world, Herlings left it all on the track and in return took double race victories for 50 championship points. 7. French First Benoit Paturel/MXGP of France Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel had a difficult season with various bad starts plaguing him all

the way up until race 2 at the MXGP of France in Ernée. Paturel scored his first career Fox Holeshot in the race after finishing 3rd in race one. The firsts kept on coming as he won race 2, the only time in his career thus far and all of which fell on the French mother’s day holiday. Paturel finished second overall on the weekend and dedicated his race win to his mother, whom passed away last year.

the first time in 2017 took the overall win. Propelled by his result on the slick hard French soil Desalle took his momentum into Russia in what was a slick and technical surface, completely opposite of the race prior. Nevertheless Desalle again prevailed and outscored his nearest competitor by 7 points in the overall tally.

9. Battle Royal x 2 - Jeffrey 8. Determined Desalle - Clem- Herlings vs. Antonio Cairoli ent Desalle/MXGP of France The battle everyone wanted Clement Desalle has the comto see all year long was that petitive mentality of a champion of the Red Bull KTM Factory and is one rider who is always Racing stalemates, Antonio striving to improve and expects Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, more from himself regardless of the MXGP Veteran and the the result. The Belgian came to MXGP Rookie. For weeks on the MXGP of France on a misend fans waited to see the sion and when he didn’t sucpair fight it out for a win and ceed in race one with a 4th, he when the time finally came it came back faster and stronger, was epic! determined to take the race 2 win. Desalle succeeded and for The MXGP of Lombardia was


by far the hottest race of the year in terms of both temperature and racing. Antonio Cairoli was by far the crowd favorite as it was in his home country of Italy but Herlings was the one feeling track. Sandy soil played well into Herlings favor but Cairoli was no slouch in the sand either. When the gate fell the two duked it out lap after lap with aggressive but clean racing. Cairoli fitness in the heat prevailed over Jeffrey’s talent in the sand and the Sicilian took both race wins over Herlings. Only weeks later fans would again get the opportunity to see the motocross gladiators clash and this time it was at the MXGP of Belgium in Lommel. While Lombardia was sandy, nothing compares to a rough Lommel, a track both have spent countless hours testing on and practicing at.



While Cairoli had momentum Herlings had a statement to make, that he was not to be beaten again in the sand. Racing put the two against each other once again and as they shifted between first and second it was an astonishing game of cat and mouse full of brake checks and mental games Herlings won both races and finally made his statement. 10. Champions Crowned Without doubt one of the best and most emotional moments of any season is when a champion is crowned and 2017 was no different. From his 9 World Titles few mean more to Cairoli than his latest which he was able to secure a round early at the MXGP of the Netherlands. Cairoli came into the season as somewhat of an underdog with the haters doubting him but what matters is that he finished as a champion, for the

9th time in his career! Pauls Jonass ended his 2016 with injury and after a series of wild rides his maturity deepened coming into the 2017 season. The wild and sometimes reckless riding he once exhibited was no longer evident this year. A new precise, consistent, and patient Jonass was who was witness in 2017 especially in the last GP of the season, the MXGP of Pays de Montbeliard in France. Wet conditions led Jonass to make a mistake and crash but in the adversity he calmly remounted and continued his championship quest and Jonass emphatically took the MX2 World title after race one. Thousand of miraculous moments occurred in 2017 and this was only the top ten, the question now is what lies ahead in 2018?



2018 Countdown


The 2017 MXGP Season seems like it ended only days ago but in reality 2 months have passed and by now the focus has already shifted to the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship which is sure to be just as epic with a bar raising 20 rounds of racing! The first meeting of the 2018 season has already occurred with the organizers in Andorra on November 25th and 26th.This event invites all of the Organizers of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship season’s rounds to come together and prepare for the upcoming year of racing.



Youthstream’s Director of Communications and Marketing Services, Marionna Leiva, opened the annual event with an introduction of those present, which included Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo, Youthstream Vice President Mr. Luigi Zompetti, Youthstream Directors Mr. Nikos Gounaris, Mr. Daniele Rizzi and Mr. Didier Henriod, as well as the FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb and representatives of the FIM, Race Director Mr. Ingo Partsch, Director of the International Medical Commission, FIM Medical Director David McManus, and the organizers of the various 2018 MXGP rounds including Indone-

sia, Russia, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Imola, Latvia, Turkey and Switzerland, in addition to the Organizers of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, which will take place in Red Bud, USA the 7th of October. Of the 20 rounds scheduled, 5 of which are new to calendar since 2017 plus the 2018 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations. These new event venues were each presented at the organizers meeting. The first event to be presented was the Junior Motocross World Championship in Horsham, Australia on the 26th of August. The

Horsham Motorcycle club is located in North West Victoria and is approximately 300km from Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. With many improvements underway, the track and the facilities are expected to be top notch. First up of the new MXGP venues is that of the MXGP of La Comunitat Valenciana in Spain on the 25th March, the third race of the year. The venue of Red Sand is a popular off-season training ground for teams and riders alike due to its warmer weather and fantastic facilities. The track (photo below) is situated on the Eastern side of the Iberian Peninsula

near the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and is a close 80 km from the Valencia airport. With the track being revamped the event is highly anticipated and sure to be a large success. On July 8th the new MXGP of Asia in Semarang, Indonesia, will take place. Coming on the heels of the massive turnout of fans at the first attempt of an Indonesian Grand Prix, the series will not only return but will have back to back weekends of racing in the country, first at last year’s Pangkal Pinang location and then again on the big island of Java in Semarang, the capital and largest city of the province of

Central Java. With the enthusiasm of the local fans and the massive motorcycle market in the region, it is set to be another historic race. The next new venue comes in the form of the MXGP of Turkey in Afyon on the 2nd of September at the Afyon MotorSports Center. The new host in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, was established in 2016 in an area of 164 thousand square meters. Housing motocross, super enduro, ATV and supermoto facilities, the center is operated by the Afyonkarahisar municipality and the Turkish Motorcycle Federation both of which will work together to or-


ganize the event. The city spreads over three of Turkey’s geographical regions (Aegean, Mediterranean, Central Anatolia), whose roads and railways connect in the center making it an important hub in the heart of Turkey. Having hundreds of years of archeological artifacts the city reflects the culture and arts, with century-old structures, caves formed over millions of years, thermal baths, open air temples, and impeccable cuisine. Afyon is easily accessible with Zafer Airport only 59 km from the city and the international EskiĹ&#x;ehir Anadolu Airport only 172 km away. All of its attri-



butes combined, the 2018 MXGP of Turkey will provide not only unforgettable racing but an unforgettable experience (photo of the venue above). The final event of the MXGP regular season the MXGP of Italy will also take place at a new location, the famous Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari in Imola on September 29th and 30th. Imola was born with Motocross in 1948 when it hosted motocross international races until 1965 and now 70 years after the first race of its kind motocross as a whole is back at the most prestigious level, the FIM Motocross World Championship.

MXGP will also return to Russia on the notable May Day Holiday and the 2017 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations host Matterley Basin, UK will return to the regular season calendar, a rider and fan favorite circuit which will undoubtedly provide more top notch racing. Perhaps the most highly anticipated single race of 2018 and every year for that matter is the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations! The 2018 edition will return to the United States but visit a new track in Red Bud, Michigan. After the success of the 2017 Monster Energy MXGP of USA the best riders in the

world of motocross will descend on the famous Red Bud circuit. While new to many of the MXGP riders, the circuit has hosted several American professional events which are almost always around the patriotic 4th of July making it perhaps the most American track of any. The Motocross of Nations is without doubt the biggest single race of the year and one not to miss. Youthstream’s various departments were also introduced to the organizers and Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo, took to the stage, welcomed everyone and expressed his gratitude for the work and cooperation done so far, saying: “I have to say a big thank you, because if motocross is growing, it is thanks to the work that we have done together, we

as the organizers and the promoters are the base of the world championship, our work is to prepare a very big stage and make it perfect so that the riders and the teams can perform.” The growth of the World Championship was also mentioned by Mr. Luongo and he stressed the importance of staying true to tradition but also welcome the possibility of new venues in new countries. It was also emphasized that a well-designed and prepared track is key to a successful event along with the cooperation between Youthstream and the local organizer. Following the conclusion of the 2018 organizers meeting on Saturday, the next evening hosted the glamorous 2017 FIM Awards, where 2017 Champions Antonio

Cairoli and Pauls Jonass were on hand to collect their FIM gold medals in addition to FIM 85cc Junior Motocross World Champion Eddie Jay Wade, FIM 125cc Junior Motocross World Champion Gianluca Facchetti, FIM Women’s Motocross World Champion Kiara Fontanesi, FIM AMA Supercross World Champion Ryan Dungey, FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea, and FIM MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez. With both returning to their respective classes in 2018 they will again be tested by the toughest of competition such as Jeffrey Herlings, Clement Desalle, Romain Febvre, Tim Gajser, and the newcomers of Jeremy Seewer and Benoit Paturel to name a few in the MXGP class. It will certainly be a wild and action packed year so let the countdown begin!






The 2017 season saw Latvia’s Pauls Jonass realise his boyhood dream of becoming a motocross world champion when he wrapped up the MX2 title at Villars-sous-Écot in France at the end of September, aged twenty. However, the Red Bull KTM Factory rider is no stranger to winning at the highest level having previously collected FIM Junior 85cc and 125cc titles in 2011 and 2013 respectively. He also claimed the EMX125 title in 2013 in what was a superb double title-winning campaign. In 2014 Jonass started the year as an EMX250 rider and was keen to add another title to his already impressive CV. However, after a poor start that saw him go 13-3 and 0-15 at the first two rounds, he decided to make the switch to MX2 in order to gain experience and a taste of things to



come for when he planned to move up in 2015. As it turned out, everything he learned proved to be invaluable and the young Latvian raced to second overall in his rookie season behind Slovenia’s Tim Gajser. In short, Jonass’ ride to the top has been meteoric and nothing short of sensational. 2016 looked to be heading in the same direction until an untimely crash at Loket in Race One left him with a severe concussion and out for the rest of the season; until that moment he was in a comfortable third place behind Jeffrey Herlings and Jeremy Seewer in the standings. Keen to impress in 2017, as soon as he was given the all clear to ‘get back to work’ Pauls was back training at the end of August and back on a bike by the end of September.

He also hired the services of four-time GP winner Marc de Reuver, in what was seen as a very surprising move by many of his peers in the paddock, given the ex-rider’s renowned party boy ways. However, as it turned out it was something of a stroke of genius. What we saw during the course of the season was a more mature style of riding from Jonass and a rider who took far fewer risks than in the past; who can forget the times when PJ41 went to ‘Flying School’ in 2015 in Sweden and Mexico? Well, those days of over-riding and pushing unnecessarily seemed a thing of the past. After a perfect start in Qatar PJ went 1-1 to win his maiden MX2 GP and claim the ‘Red Plate’ for the second time in his career – he led the MX2 championship for the first time after the MXGP of Belgium at Lom-


mel in 2015 (Round 14) and led for two rounds before losing it to Tim Gajser at Assen. Double moto’s followed in Patagonia and Valkenswaard and in total, the Red Bull KTM Factory pilot took a total of fourteen race wins, or if you prefer, 36.84% of the wins on offer. There were seven, second and third positions as well and he failed to finish outside the top three on nine occasions. In terms of podium success, he climbed the top step six times, placed second a further six times and took third three times more. In total, there were fifteen podiums with twelve coming consecutively from Trentino, round five up to, and including Uddevalla, Sweden. By comparison, his closest



rival in the title race, Jeremy Seewer took just seven race wins, half that of Jonass. Whilst it looked like PJ may have dominated this season, it didn’t come without its fair share of problems. The mud of Indonesia (14-0) at the second round of the season proved to be his bogey round, and as a result, he lost his championship lead to the LRT KTM of Julien Lieber. He struggled in The USA at the ‘WW’ as well and at the final GP at Villars, he fell at turn two in the first moto on the opening lap after starting in second! But rather than panic, we saw once again, as we did on a number of occasions this year, a cool calm PJ gather himself to make sure everything was as it should be, before re-join-

ing the race. Maybe it was the ‘de Reuver effect’ or maybe it was just maturity. Either way, it was this kind of attitude that in the end, won him the title. Even MX2 Red Bull KTM Team Manager Dirk Gruebel was impressed by what he saw this year from Jonass, although it came at the expense of a pre-season crash that suggested it would be a season full of more of the same: ‘Well, the beginning of this season he got another big wakeup call let’s say, he had a big one in France in a preparation race and that didn’t help the situation, because at that time you could see from training in Sardinia and everywhere he was more calm, he was taking less risks and it was nice to see

that the riding was more calculated let’s say. But then going to the first races where there is some competition and then BOOM! He rings the bell again! And so, I wasn’t really sure if he got the wake-up call last year or not, but coming into the GP’s he’s proved me wrong luckily; he was really steady and consistent and didn’t take super-extra risks like what ended his season last year, and during the year when the season started to develop and it looked like it was going to be Pauls, Benoit and Jeremy who were the front runners every week more or less, he stayed really cool.’ Gruebel was also impressed with how the relationship panned out over the course of the season between rider and coach de Reuver where everybody’s opinion was the same in that it raised a few eyebrows: ‘Me as well! Since I worked with Marc already in his crazy times, but I think Marc did a good job to be honest; he showed him all his mistakes that he made himself and what

not to do, he showed him the traps that are out there where people take advantage, like he fell in. You could see Marc is living his own dream with Pauls, he is very proud to be his trainer, to be part of the game, part of the team and he did a good job bringing Pauls on the right track; kept him mentally strong especially at the end of the season when they feel the pressure, when they know they are going for the title. He kept him really steady and that was good to see.’ As for the man himself, what did Pauls Jonass think to how the season went and what was it that eventually decided the title would go his way? Were there any rounds where he actually thought ‘that one could have been better?’ Pauls Jonass: ‘Yeah, when you look at the season it’s actually been pretty good all rounds, I had what, fifteen podiums? So, if you have fifteen podiums from eighteen rounds that’s good, but it can

always be better! Some races I made some bad mistakes, like Indonesia. That was the only race where I lost many points. Also, the USA could have been better but overall it was good. I would not say that it was dominant, you know, but yeah when you look at the points, me and Jeremy, we’ve always been there but I would not say that we were always dominating the races; maybe a few races but overall we have just been consistent and that’s been the most important thing; I was not dominant, I was consistent and I was always there.’ What was the biggest difference between you and your rivals? ‘I think good starts helped a lot for me but even when I didn’t make a good start I could always get towards the front and stay there. Maybe I didn’t always win but I was always there. I was consistent.’ On working with Marc de Reuver: ‘Some people think he is a joker but at the track it was all work.


Working with Marc was good, we worked well together and I really learned a lot, and we are looking for some good improvements also for next season, you know? Now we know each other better, we know what to change, know where we can improve, so we’re going to change something for next year and hopefully it’s gonna work out.’ That last comment was from Villars-sous-Écot on the day he won the title and since then it has been announced that the de Reuver/Jonass partnership has come to an end after just one successful season together. Marc has joined the F&H Kawasaki Team for 2018 and Jonass is back under the watchful eye of former fourtime world champion Harry Everts; the two last worked together in 2015, so it will be interesting to see how the new season pans out. Of course, Harry is no stranger to bringing out the best in his riders;



just ask his son Stefan, a tentime world champion. Either way you would expect it to be another successful pairing. But how does PJ feel about having a new trainer on board and how will it differ to his relationship with Marc? Pauls Jonass: ‘Yeah, actually I was really happy to work with Marc especially during the winter time and the beginning of the season; it was really good and I really enjoyed it but after the season I sat down with my dad and my manager and we discussed what we need to work on and what we needed to change and we decided that I need to try and make a little bit more my own decisions, just to learn a little bit more about myself and just do my own thing a little bit more because, Marc obviously did an amazing job for me and I’m really thankful for him but then some people from the side could see that it wasn’t me on

the bike, it was Marc, with line choices and everything and so that was the main reason why I decided to stop with him because I wanted to build my own style and to make my own decisions more. ‘I’ve been working with Harry now for three or four weeks and I really enjoy it, I’ve learned some new things from him and he has especially helped me a lot mentally and that is also something else I will need next year because to defend the title is not so easy and I will need someone next to me who is really strong mentally and I believe Harry is one of those guys.’ Pauls will continue his winter programme until just before Christmas when he will head home to Latvia to spend the festive season with family and friends. When he returns in the New Year it will be business as usual, this time as the defending MX2 world champion.


TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @PirelliMoto 2018 seems so far away right now... We cannot wait to get back in the @MXGP paddock @CreyMertRacing We are very happy to announce that we sign David Braceras-Martinez for EMX125 in 2018. @mxgp @GameHype_ Nintendo Switch players can get themselves some motorcross action as #MXGP3 has officially been released. http://www.gamehype. @PirelliMX The #PirelliMX Scorpion MX tires are the go-to setup for the top riders in the @mxgp paddock and 2017 marked Pirelli’s 68th world championship! We can’t wait to go after another in 2018.

@extremeina Two 2018 MXGP Series Will Be Held in Indonesia | #News | #eXtremeINA @mxgp @IkatanMotorID @KEMENPORA_RI #MXGP2018

@MonsterEnergyU @tommysearle100 has got his eyes set on the 2018 @ mxgp season! ‬



@graemeirwin It’s finally out there! So happy to be riding with @ KTM_UK & @HMPlantKTMUK KTM racing @mxgp and the @MaxxisBritishMX Championship in 2018!

Christmas is coming and to help you countdown MXGP will be sharing 24 of the best videos from the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship starting today with the insane comeback of Antonio Cairoli at the MXGP of Trentino! One of the breathtaking actions of the season. Stay tuned on MXGP Facebook Page every day for more videos:

Gear up for 2018! Watch the first Teaser of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship!

The most impressive crashes of the Season. Something you won’t want to miss. Watch the compilation


@Adammckinstry A throwback with a former #MXGP champ #goodtimes #doingmything

@_brianhsu_: I love what I do!

@Jack.spedo #tonycairoli #tc222 # tonino #MXGP

Benoitpaturel6 Shes ready!! #MXGP @Haudik57 With two legends! @harryeverts @strijbosdave #MXGP #MX #motocross #stars #worldchampion #mediacross





Give the Gift of MXGP for Christmas! Sleigh bells jinglin’, ring ting tinglin’, it’s time for holidays! It’s December and Christmas is coming, which means it time to give gifts, are you ready? If you’re wondering what the best gift is for the special someone or even if you just want to treat yourself, MXGP has you covered! Here is five MXGP Gift Ideas to make you the best gift giver ever: 1. MXGP-TV Season Pass The 2018 FIM MXGP World Championship is coming up quick and the best way to make sure that the special someone, or yourself for that matter, gets their Motocross fix is with an MXGP-TV

Season Pass! This awesome gift will give the ability to watch every one of the 20 MXGP races of 2018 including the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Live and OnDemand! Plus there is exclusive content for subscribers such as the special feature, 26min Behind the Gate, which give you a behind the scenes look with news, interview and more from each round of the series!

tion is how to give it to them? Well it’s easy first go to www.mxgp-tv. com and purchase the season pass with the 2018 Early Bird Discount of 25%, then create a login and password for them, write it in their Christmas Card and finally enjoy the racing!

2. VIP Gold Skybox Passes Really want to treat someone? Give them the weekend of a lifetime with an MXGP VIP Gold Skybox Pass, The gift doesn’t end there either as simply the best way to experience MXGP-TV can be watched on any motocross! As a VIP Gold Guests device wether it’s the tablet that you and your special someone will they just got, laptop, or the new get to watch all the racing from the smartphone they just can’t seem best spots around the track such to put down! Now the only quesas the Skybox Terrace, located be-


hind the start gate where you will 3. MXGP 3 The Official Motocross have a premier view of the start, VideoGame waiting zone, grid, and podium. Have someone younger who loves all thing motocross and video In addition as VIP Gold Skybox games? Well you can’t go wrong Pass holders you can also enwith a copy of MXGP3! The newest joy unlimited drinks and snacks of the MXGP Video Game series throughout the racing to accom- from Milestone is frankly the best pany your gourmet lunch, which Motocross Video Game on the is served trackside in the Skybox market and will result in countless Restaurant. Packages also inhours of fun! The lucky recipient clude the added benefit of rewill be able to play as their favorserved VIP parking for you and ite MXGP racer or themselves on your vehicle for easier access to all the official tracks of the 2016 the best viewing locations at the season! circuit. MXGP3 is available for Playstation The 2018 VIP Gold Skybox Pack- 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo age also includes the possibility Switch from http://mxgpvideogto purchase a VIP Camping pass for your Motorhome in the MXGP Living area in a reserved position 4. MXGP Tickets Want to give someone an amazing inside the Paddock. weekend of racing but not ready What are you waiting for? Christ- to go VIP just yet? Buy a weekend mas is coming! You can Purchase of fun and epic racing with tickets to your favorite MXGP round VIP GOLD tickets to the 2018 nearest you! The 2018 MXGP MXGP of your choice on www. Season has 20 stops plus the then print them off and tuck them inside a christmas Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, which means there is a card, boom, best gift ever!



good chance one of which is near you. With 2 days of action packed motocross, nothing compares to the glory of MXGP tickets! Tickets are available for selected rounds on now! Just click on the tickets button, find your event and start shopping!

5. OGIO Bags Give the gift of OGIO bags! From the MXGP Crew to the athletes and mechanics OGIO bags are the bags of choice and for good reason! OGIO makes a bag for just about everything, gear, work, school, travel, you name it! Visit http://www.mxgp-ogio. com to find the bag for anyone and everyone this christmas!

Simple as that now there is no more thinking or worrying about what to give, MXGP has you covered this holiday season! Now you can get shopping and soon you will be the best gift giver in history!








B 50 Photo: MEYER




Bob Hannah ‘The GOAT’

Even if he retired from racing thirty years ago, Bob ‘Hurricane’ Hannah remains as one of the greatest US athletes! No one really knew him when he entered his first PRO race in 1975, but just one year later he got his first US title in the 125cc class. Claiming five other titles within three seasons, with back to back Supercross titles from 1977 to 1979, he broke records before suffering a terrible accident in 1979.

amateur class, so the officials forced him to move with the professionals in 1975. Racing only two Nationals that season, he scored a top six result in the 125cc class and got a ride in team Yamaha for the following year. Winning the pre season Florida Winter AMA series, he dominated the 125cc National and beat reigning champion Marty Smith, winning five of the eight series rounds to get his first title.

Moving to the 250cc class Born in California on Septem- in 1977 he again dominated his rivals, taking six of the ber 26, 1956, Robert Greg10 rounds of the Supercross ory Hannah got his first bike series to win the main US when he was seven years title during his third year of old, but he had to wait many racing! Winning rounds of the years before being able to race as his father didn’t want outdoor in the 125cc, 250cc him to get injured. Riding and and 500cc classes that year, he claimed another title in the practicing in the Southern 250cc Nationals, and he beCalifornia deserts with his came one of the fans favourfather, he entered his first ites thanks to his riding style, race when he turned 18. He agressivity and motivation on missed racing experience, a bike. but spent so many hours on a bike since he got one that He continued to break rehe dominated the race in the

cords when he added a second and a third Supercross title in 1978 and 1979, winning also the 250cc outdoor championship to become the most successful rider in the AMA history. He also became the first American to win the famous Trans AMA series in 1978, and his career was at his zenith when he suffered a tragic accident at the end of 1979 when he broke his right leg in a water skiing accident in the Colorado river. He nearly lost his leg, but once more he surprised the doctors, who had told him that he would never be able to race again, by his determination and came back racing one year later. Unfortunately, he would never be able to capture any other championship even if he scored some podium finishes and a few wins. His best results were a second place finish in the 250cc outdoor in 1981 during his last season with Yamaha and a third in the same series in 1983 as a


factory Honda rider. He won his last AMA outdoor race – the 70th – during a 250cc national in 1985, and after signing for Suzuki in 1986 he surprised many people when he won the 250cc US Grand Prix that year. Bob never had a real interest in the World Championship as he didn’t want to travel outside USA. However, during his last full season travelled to France to race the Stadium Cross in Paris and one week later the 250cc French Grand Prix. He also raced several Motocross of Nations, and when the AMA asked him to join Jeff Ward and Ricky Johnson to defend the US flag at the 1987 Motocross of Nations, he went back training on a 125cc Suzuki to win with the US Team the event on his favourite track in Unadilla. When he finally retired from racing in 1989 he was the all-time win leader in the AMA history with 70 wins during his career, a record that Jeremy McGrath would break ten years later.



Working with Suzuki as a test rider after his retirement, Hannah also entered into another field. During his recovery period in 1980 he learned how to pilot an airplane, got his pilot license and created ‘Bob Hannah Aviation’, a company that imports, renovates

and modifies old airplanes. He also entered some airplanes competitions with his P51 Mustang, with the same motivation and racing spirit that he had each time he went on a track. Text and Photos: Pascal Haudiquert

1975: 10th in the US 125 Motocross Championship 1976: US 125 Motocross Champion Winner of the Florida Winter series 1977: US 250 Supercross Champion 2nd in the US 500 Motocross Championship 3rd in the US 125 Motocross Championship 1978: US 250 Motocross Champion US 250 Supercross Champion Winner of the Trans AMA 1979: US 250 Supercross Champion US 250 Motocross Champion 1981: 5th in the US 250 Supercross Championship 2nd in the US 250 Motocross Championship 1982: 9th in the US 250 Supercross Championship 6th in the US 125 Motocross Championship 1983: 5th in the US 250 Supercross Championship 3rd in the US 250 Motocross Championship 1984: 10th in the US 250 Motocross Championship 10th in the US 250 Supercross Championship 1985: 4th in the US 250 Motocross Championship 1986: 15th in the US 250 Motocross Championship Winner of the 250 US Motocross Grand Prix 1987: 7th in the US Motocross Championship 26th in the US Supercross Championship Member of the US Team winner of the MX of Nations


Paddock Talks 01/We could see Martino Bianchi back on the bike at the annual meeting of Transborgaro in Italy. 02/Antonio Cairoli racing at the Monza Rally Show! 03/Two powerhouse couples, the Cairolis and the Dungeys at the FIM Awards. 04/Desalle doesn’t let a little snow stop his training! 05/Romain Febvre deciding to try out the four wheels of a rally car! 06/Tim Gajser trying out some different Honda equipment.









06 07

Paddock Talks


07/Pauls Jonass and Harry Everts are teaming up for another year. 08/Max Nagl and his new TM Factory Racing ride! 09/Gautier Paulin looking seriously focused. 10/Jorge Prado trying out his new trials bicycle! 11/Arnaud Tonus looking towards the 2018 season.

1/ 09




MXGP Academy Leading the Way






The MXGP Academy, an MX school for local youth at various GPs in the calendar, is gearing up for 2018. The Academy is in partnership with Youthstream and FIM Europe but headed up by FIM Europe deputy Martin de Graaff. The program’s goals are to attract as many young riders as possible and from around the globe, encourage them to choose motocross as their sport, and once they have, assist the young, talented, and passionate riders to chase their dream to become a professional racer, creating true athletes, not just motocross racers. This is done in a number of ways such as taking a good rider and giving them career tools from how to interact with the media to what to eat. To reach the overall goal MXGP Academy is aware of the fact that assistance to riders only



is not enough, riders’ family, friends, mechanics, etc. must also be educated. In addition training and masterclass sessions for riders, the MXGP academy also organizes workshops, seminars and panel meetings for parents, trainers and Federation representatives involved in motocross. Now that the off season is in full swing the Academy is already preparing for 2018 and we had the chance to talk to the people who work in the program to understand the success of such initiatives. MXGP Academy Trainer, Jan Postema for one said: “During this season we worked also with the certification program during the FIM-E MXGP Academy weekends. We presented the MX-A certification plan in all countries we visit with the

Academy… We’ve received a lot of positive reactions form federations and local trainers, too. One nice side effect is that during these weekends the federations are present at the track and workshops, and in turn they get the chance to see the enthusiasm of riders and parents. We believe that we need to get more trainers involved in these sessions.” Continue on the topic of 2018 FIM Europe deputy Martin de Graaff stated: “Next year we will continue with the program which we have done the past three years now. The calendar will be ready at the end of December, as we still need to finalize the last details. Personally I will work to motivate the federations to join the program and give full support to their motorsport trainers. Besides, we will try to get more educa-

tion for trainers in those countries where there is no training for them. The goal is to reach a standard level in all European countries.” Though the focus remains on 2018 we also asked for their thoughts on the 2017 season to which trainer Martin Van Genderen, said: “2017 was again a step forward in the total program. We managed to create more trainers in countries that we couldn’t reach before. Portuguese and German trainers are also connected now to our trainers’ platform and the amount of trainers also increased in other countries. Now we have more than 100 trainers all over Europe who are connected, some are active but some aren’t yet. Our plan is to work on the visibility of the trainers and work closer with the federations to help them with their trainers. The target

is that all trainers work with the certification program for the riders (MX-A, B, C, D, E, F and G).” Also reflecting on 2017 trainer John Van den Berk said: “If I look back, for me it was also a good season with the Academy. The kids we trained during the Academy weekends were very keen to learn and listen, something that is not always common anymore. I think a program like this is impressive for them and they appreciate that they were selected for that weekend. That makes working with the kids so nice and motivating to me.” The last MXGP Academy appointment of 2017 was held at the MXGP of the Netherlands, Assen, and certified the final group of the total 125 riders this year. But what is also important to

the academy apart from the riders are the trainers. When the trainers are educated it leads to educated riders. This is why the Academy also holds many meetings for the trainers themselves and at different levels as well. The latest trainers’ meeting was held in Riga, Latvia, including all trainers from North Europe. Attended trainers were 16 and all of them achieved the MX-C certificate. The MXGP Academy will host the next trainers’ meeting on December the 29th in Malaga, South of Spain, where the Southern Regions of Europe are invited to obtain the certificate for MX-A. The academy also hosts training camps to continue the education outside of the GP season. More details on the 2018 MXGP Academy schedule will come up shortly.

Heikki Mikkola

1976 Husqvarna CR 250 Belgium’s Roger De Coster Heikki Mikkola is a grand Husqvarna’s chief engias the Suzuki rider swept prix God and was the first neer Urban Larsson and to his fourth world title. Finnish rider to win a overall director of design During the ’75 campaign world motocross champiRubin Helmin were pasand despite Husqvarna’s onship when he lifted the sionate about what they pedigree in winning, both 500cc title in 1974 aboard were doing but only had Mikkola and his American his Husqvarna MC 360. In limited resources comteammate Brad Lackey were 1976, he switched to the pared to the Japanese concerned about the bikes 250cc class and made anwhen it came to developcapabilities to perform at other piece of history by bement. the highest level, saying that coming the first rider to win more improvements needed titles in two different classIn ‘74 Larsson took the to be made in order to be es, after beating Guennady lightweight 250cc and competitive. If we cast puts back a spotlight Moisseev a single point, turnedon it into a short The 125cc by class in the European Championship usually the next to 1974 when Mikkola won and it’s his 1976 Husqvarna stroke 354cc - equipped big in motocross. In fact both the 2015 FIM World and box theof500cc title on hisMotocross HusqCRname 250 that we will feature with aChampions 6-speed gear varnaGautier MC 360,Paulin, the signs in this issue of MXGP Magrumoured 40bhp vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Tim Gajserand andaPauls Jonass were already on the wall for azine. at 8,000 rpm which was have all won the EMX125 championship on their paths to motocross supremacy. the Swedish firm; the Japaphenomenal at that time. nese brands were starting After winning his first title Whilst it was good enough to dominate and had been in 1974, Mikkola lost out in for Mikkola to win the for a while, and only Husky his quest to make it back500cc title, it was too was seen as the real genuto-back wins in 1975 after much for the average Joe ine threat. he was pipped to the post by in production form.




Husky then started to make cut backs in production, focussing on all models - MX, enduro and trail. Compromises were met, notably with frame design, where production bikes started to suffer with frame cracks, a situation that would later lead to a lack of trust in the brand from its customers. Whilst this had no direct baring at the time for its GP riders, the factory team was also in disarray and both Lackey and Mikkola were impatient with the pace of development, or lack of it, especially as the bikes were virtually unchanged from the successful year that was 1974. And so, 1975 came and went, Mikkola lost the title whilst Lackey placed sixth.

to well-placed sources, that really only meant that it was built in the factory. Even Brad Lackey echoed that when he commented that ‘at this time the Husqvarna ran basically stock bikes with minor changes. The 250cc obviously had cylinder and piston work. But, Heikki was an animal and rode with stock shocks and forks and the frame was also production, not really a factory bike as they would call it now.’ As for the gearbox, there was a 6-speed option available which was used on the smaller 125cc model but

Mikkola opted to stick with the 5-speed version, despite not testing the 6-speed at all. The gearbox was also a factory item. Dropping down from the 500cc class, Mikkola would have certainly noticed the difference in power; after all he was a rider who liked a powerful motor but he had to be content with a bike that pushed out around 32bhp, but as Lackey remembers, back then ‘the 250cc Husky was not known for its power or speed.’ As for the carburettor, Husqvarna chose to run with the German made Bing carburettor, bored out from 36mm

For the ’76 season, Mikkola dropped down to the 250cc class at the request of Husqvarna whilst Lackey flew the flag once again in the 500cc category. Mikkola’s CR 250 was completely ‘factory’ for that era of racing and that included the frame and the swingarm and whilst Titanium was rarely used on this bike, it was still lighter than a production CR 250, coming in at around 92kg. However, let’s determine the term ‘factory’ here. Factory then is nothing to what it is now, and so when Heikki says his bike was factory, according



to 38mm. The rear suspension units were British-made Girling and according to Mikkola, ‘the bike was okay to ride but was much better when they got better suspension,’ something that would ring true later in the year. The season started well and Mikkola won three of the first four GP’s but then the might of KTM and former champ Guennady Moisseev started to come on strong. The reason for the transformation in fortunes though was that Mikkola was starting to pick up too many DNF’s and the area for concern were the rear shocks. Girling had been Husqvarna’s partner yet both Husky and Girling seemed powerless to do anything to rectify the situation, something that didn’t sit well



with their number one rider. So, with the title on the line, Mikkola took matters into his own hands. He ditched the Girling units and rode the last three GP’s with Hulco Shocks disguised as Girling and went on to win the last three races along with the title by a single point from Moisseev. Of course, Husqvarna were not too pleased about what Mikkola did but at the same time they were happy the title belonged to Husky. The 1976 season was Heikki’s last with Husqvarna, but, was it a frustrating year, even though he won the title? ’No, it wasn’t because it was my work, even though KTM was much quicker and much better. This is the championship I am the proudest of,

my bike was slower than the KTM, so I had to out ride him to get the title.’ Heikki Mikkola won fourteen of his thirty-eight GP’s riding for Husqvarna from 1970-1976 with the other twenty-four racing for Yamaha from 19771979. Technical specification 1976 Husqvarna CR 250 Engine capacity 250cc Carburettor Bing, 36mm bored out to 38mm Frame Factory Engine Factory Power 32bhp Gearbox 5-speed, Factory Suspension Girling Swingarm Factory *Thanks to Gunnar Lindström, Hekki Mikkola, Brad Lackey and Antti Pyrhönen for their help with this article


QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Dear MXGP, When will the online tickets shop open? Thanks, Dennis Dear Dennis, Tickets for Red Sand and Matterley Basin are already on sale at a discounted early bird price. For more details and other MXGP events shops opening watch out the Calendar side bar on home page. Best Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, Will there be a round in Portugal next year? Thanks, Diogo Hi Diogo Hi Diogo, we are happy to say that we will return to Portugal on April 15th, 2018! You can find the full 2018 calendar here Regards MXGP



Hi MXGP, I work for a Dutch Magazine and I wish to attend some MXGP events including some Overseas stops. Can you tell me if there are any travel companies that could support booking all trips? Thanks, Jez Hi Jez Thank you for your interest at MXGP. SEL is the official travel agency partner of MXGP, they can help you on that. Besides in January the 2019 Overseas TravelGuide will be published and you will be able to find all the info you’ll need including the direct contacts of SEL. Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, I’m trying to find the date for the British MXGP 2018, what date is it so I can book it off for work? Thanks, Ricky Hi Ricky Hello thanks for the message Ricky, the full official calendar is available on and the MXGP of Great Britain is scheduled for June 3rd! Regards MXGP

Hi MXGP, I have been trying to purchase the 2018 package but apparently there is an issue with my credentials. Could you help me on that? Thanks, Elliot Hi Elliot Thank you for your message. Please send an email to explaining your problem and our customers’ service team will help you. Regards MXGP


MXGP #51 December 2017  

Youthstream is excited to announce that the fifty-first issue of MXGP Mag is now online. This month Pauls Jonass is featured as the rider of...

MXGP #51 December 2017  

Youthstream is excited to announce that the fifty-first issue of MXGP Mag is now online. This month Pauls Jonass is featured as the rider of...