MXGP #54 February 2018

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HALL OF FAME Marcus Hansson

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 #54 FEBRUARY 2018 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,

ready, all the top names are there; Cairoli proves he’s committed to giving all his best for his 10th title, but Herlings, Gajser, Febvre, Paulin, Anstie, Desalle, Van Horebeek (amongst the others) are not going to make his life easy. A simply astonishing season is getting ready to take-off.

The TV production and social media platforms will again We are finally nearing the see improvements bringing start of the 2018 MXGP more and more images and season with only one month information to the fans, the to go to the first MXGP agreement with Eurosport is race in Argentina, in the very positive for the diffusion spectacular Patagonia. If of the World Championship you happen to have some and excellent for the Europetime on your hands for a an fans to be able to see all little holiday while going to the MXGP and MX2 races live the MXGP of Argentina we or slightly delayed, this is an heartily advise you to take For the coming season important step towards makthe opportunity to visit the Youthstream plans to coning MXGP more accessible to uniquely stunning territotinue and fine-tune the millions of homes throughry. The MXGP of Patagonia youth development with the out Europe. On top of that, in Argentina is one of the European Championship Youthstream will endeavour most beautiful Grand Prix and reinforce the successto continue enhancing the events on the calendar, and ful pyramid system. Youthquality of the organization, the organization is the most stream will also focus on the guaranteeing more comfort impressive of the whole evolution of the race tracks, for fans and teams at events. series. ensuring they are technically demanding and making See you at the first MXGP Judging by the first Intersure each track is very dif- of the season in Patagonia, national races of the year ferent from the other creat- Argentina, either there or in we can see the riders are ing suspense at each round. front of a screen! MXGP MAG 2018 MXGP.COM


Photo: Shotbybavo





Photo: Shotbybavo




Photo: Ray Archer



Photos: Ray Archer & Shotbybavo










Every year before that first gate drop of the MXGP series the anticipation builds as the fans, riders, and teams all prepare for yet another epic season of racing. One year after another we talk of the upcoming season while discussing how it is bound to be the best yet and 2018 is no exception. What has come before has been exceptional without doubt but with the ever increasing level of the FIM Motocross World Championship and all the key racers returning plus some moving up from MX2, it is fair to say that 2018 will be better than ever. Of the many returning to compete in 2018 one might say that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings or Antonio Cairoli are the most likely to succeed, but it doesn’t end there. Yes, of course, Antonio Cairoli is one of the best the sport has ever seen with 9 world championships to his name, only 1 behind all time leader

Stefan Everts, including his resurgence in 2017 after the two injury laden seasons prior. And yes, Jeffrey Herlings proved to be the man to beat once healthy in 2017, but both are just two of the many former champions present in the premier 450cc class. Take Romain Febvre for example, the 2015 MXGP World Champion will be aboard a completely revised YZ450F, comes off his 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations victory, and is hungry for wins after his disappointing 2017 season. However, if we’re speaking about Motocross of Nations success look no further than Febvre’s French teammate, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP rider Gautier Paulin. Paulin showed not only that he is fast and consistent by finishing the 2017 MXGP season 3rd in the points, but that he is fast enough to win after taking the 2017 MXGP of Europe overall. Both Paulin and

Febvre are very capable of crashing the Herlings and Cairoli party many expect. Adding to the frenzy is the 2016 MXGP World Champion, HRC’s Tim Gajser. Although Cairoli won the opening round of 2017 in Qatar, Gajser’s early season speed was at times untouchable. If injuries hadn’t slowed the Slovenian, we could have very well seen a much different title chase last season. Gajser, when healthy and confident, is as fast as anyone and he has proven time and time again that he excels when considered an underdog. If you are the kind of person who likes to bet on the wildcard, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie may be your guy. Anstie, no longer an MXGP rookie, ended his 2017 with some major momentum winning both of his Motocross of Nations races.

If you consider all of those who have won a GP at one point or another then you are considering the near majority of the starting grid! The level of competition heading into the 2018 MXGP season is at an all time high full of veterans, like Clement Desalle, Max Nagl, Jeremy Van Horebeek or Shaun Simpson just to name a few, and young stars like Arnaud Tonus or Jeremy Seewer all fighting for the top spot. While the MXGP class is full of proven results the MX2 class is full of young talent. At the top of the list is without doubt the 2017 MX2 World Champion Pauls Jonass but with his main challenger, Jeremy Seewer, moving to the 450 ranks with his newfound Wilvo Yamaha team, who will challenge the reigning champ? In reality you may not have to look far, as a matter of fact his young

teammate Jorge Prado is a likely GP winner especially after claiming his fair share of victories in 2017. Prado is the epitome of both youth and talent claiming his first win at the young age of 16. Jonass and Prado faced off more than once in 2017 and though the racing was clean, Prado was never fazed or intimidated by Jonass. Thomas Kjer Olsen was also a rookie in 2017 and even so he was able to claim a victory as early as the MXGP of Latvia. Now with a year of experience under his belt the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider is on the short list of possible title contenders. Olsen’s teammate, the American, Thomas Covington is another name to toss in the mix after winning Grand Prixs each of the last two

years. Covington is definitely fast but consistency will be the key to his 2018 season. Last but surely not least is the charismatic Australian, Hunter Lawrence. Formerly of the Suzuki MX2 team Lawrence has found a new home aboard a Honda and though easy going he is determined to make 2018 his year. Lawrence showed amazing speed at the end of 2017 even against top 450cc riders as he rode his underpowered 250cc at Matterley Basin during the Motocross of Nations. Regardless of which riders are crowned champion in the respective classes one thing is guaranteed, MXGP’s and MX2’s 2018 depth and competition are on another level.

Photos: Ray Archer & Shotbybavo




A Turkish Treat


The 2018 season preparations are in full swing for the teams, riders, promoters, and organizers. Many faces and venues return to MXGP in 2018 among the new. One stop in the new calendar in particular is making waves in the pool of venues for 2018. The 2018 MXGP of Turkey is all new and ready for the challenge of hosting the FIM Motocross World Championship. A Turkish MXGP stop was last seen 9 years ago in the capital of Turkey, Istanbul, however, this time around the venue, the host, and surroundings are all new. Set to take place on September the 1st and 2nd in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey,



the organization and presentation of the event has been impressive well before. The MXGP of Turkey is organized by the local Afyon municipality but with full backing and support of the Turkish Federation and such is clear as Youthstream has already visited the facility hosting the event and was thoroughly impressed. The Afyon Sport Complex is the chosen venue, which is located in a very strategic position only 2 hours from hundreds of thousands of people from the biggest Turkish cities of Ankara, Antalya, and Izimir with the capital city of Istanbul easily reachable in 4 hours. The motocross track is part

of the brand new and impressive Sports Complex which includes a Jet Ski pond, football fields, jogging tracks, an Olympic swimming pool, and all of which will be available to MXGP. The facility is at the entrance of town and in the newest part of the area, which is full of recently opened hotels, shopping centers, hospitals, and more. The city has hundreds of years of archeological artifacts that reflect the culture and arts, with century-old structures, and caves formed over millions of years. The area is also widely known for its thermal waters helping it become a tourist destination.

In addition to the impressive site for the race weekend the organizers have already hosted an official presentation to over 120 guests including national and international media as well as national sponsors on January the 9th 2018. The presentation event was hosted at the famous Çırağan Palace located in Istanbul on the European shore of the Bosphorus. Among the guests national and international authorities were invited to the outstanding Palace’s Ballroom where a press conference was held. Youthstream Vice President Luigi Zompetti, FIM Europe President Dr. Wolfgang Srb and Turkish

Motorcycling Federation President Bekir Yunus Ucar, Governor of Afyonkarahisar Mustafa Tutulmaz and the Mayor of Afyonkarahisar Burhanettin Coban were on site and all took the stage to introduce the event from their unique perspectives, where in addition it was announced that together with the FIM Motocross World Championship many activities are planned during the event on the Afyon Sports complex. The goal is to make a festival around the MXGP of Turkey with events such Jet Skiing, Wall climbing, Live Music, DJ Shows, Exhibitions and Turkish cuisine stands. The Çırağan Palace alone

was impressive, formerly an Ottoman Palace and now a 5 star hotel with a suite costing upwards of 30,000 Euro a night. The Palace was designed by an Armenian architect and then constructed by his sons in the 1860’s. The attention to detail in the Palace was reflected in that of the organizers showing their level of commitment to the MXGP event. The whole event was broadcasted LIVE on the local channel Kanal 3 while TRT Sports (Turkish Radio Television) showed a shorter version of the Press Conference to national audience. Aside from media and officials, Turkish Motocross riders Batuhan Demiryol, Sakir


Senkalayci, and the unique national female motocross rider Meri Valimaki all showed up plus the 5 time Supersport World Champion from Turkey, Kenan Sofuoglu. Youthstream Group Vice President Luigi Zompetti stated: “A few weeks ago, Youthstream’s representatives made an inspection at the Afyon Motor Sports Center in Afyonkarahisar checking the track and the facilities that will host the MXGP of Turkey on September 2nd, 2018. The inspection was really successful, leaving Youthstream extremely impressed about the quality of the venue and its potential. Youthstream



target is to bring the FIM Motocross World Championship in the most important markets of the world and, having Turkey back, add further credibility to our series,” commented Mr. Luigi Zompetti, Vice President of Youthstream Group. “In the last years the Motocross World Championship has grown very quickly and in 2018 the MXGP series has reached its best TV coverage and its best calendar ever with 19 events plus the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in the United States. I trust MXGP will create a great promotion for your beautiful country and I am very optimistic about the future of MXGP in Turkey. I really

wish to thanks and congratulate the President of the Turkish Motorcycling Federation (TMF), Mr Bekir Yunus Ucar, the Afyon Governor, Mr. Mustafa TUTULMAZ, the Major of Afyon, Mr Burhanettin ÇOBAN and the FIM - Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme for their commitment and support making possible the MXGP of Turkey happen again” FIM Europe President Wolfgang Srb: “The fact that Turkey is back on the calendar of the FIM Motocross World Championship is important. The sport complex in Afyonkarahisar is as huge as impressive and will be for sure an excellent venue for the World

Championship and in the future also for the European Championship”, Dr. Srb commented. “Congratulations to the President of the Turkish Motorcycling Federation (TMF) Mr Bekir Yunus Ucar, the Government representatives and all the authorities who made this event possible; and, of course, also to our promotion partner Youthstream. One more thing: Turkey has top riders in Circuit Racing; I hope that with this initiative in a short time Turkish riders will also play a strong role in Motocross.”

Istanbul in 2009. After 9 years we are organizing this great sporting event on 1st and 2nd of September 2018 with the support of Afyon Municipality. The Motocross World Championship, which is among the top ten sporting events in the world, will not only be a race but will be full tourism organization on behalf of our country and Afyon’s awareness. Thermal and Health tourism in the central position of the city will contribute greatly to the promotion. Our greatest desire is to organize the World Championship in a way that suits our country’

Turkish Motorcycling Federation President Mr Bekir Yunus Uçar: ‘An important event such as the Motocross World Championship (MXGP) will be held in Afyonkarahisar for the first time in Anatolia. We have previously organized it in

Afyonkarahisar Major Mr Burhanettin Çoban: “Afyonkarahisar is an important city in thermal tourism. We have become a very important city with the investments made in health tourism. We have built a beautiful Sports complex

that includes a stadium, indoor sports hall, water sky facilities, swimming pool and so. Next to these facilities Afyon Motorsports Center located national events held in our city. During these work a slogan as ‘World Gathering Here’ Here today we will host the World Championship which is broadcast live in more than hundred countries and watched by millions of people on television. With these publications both our country and city will win. But we, as the municipality, we will now build a race track for both motorcycle and car racing in 2018. Hopefully, sports tourism in Afyon can be sustainable, spread by


12 months and make significant contributions to the economy of our country and city.” Afyonkarahisar Governor Mr Mustafa Tutulmaz: “Afyonkarahisar has hosted many civilizations for thousands of years. From the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Romans, Byzantiums, Seljuks to the Ottoman Empire. In the land where the War of Independence and the subsequent victory were won, the world of sports will meet again. Together we are taking an extraordinary step to promote our country and our province. While the municipality invests in sports tourism,



our university is among the few centers of the world in sports health and thermal therapy. With these investments Afyon will be a city where all national and international motorsports fun follow.” Turkish Motorcycling Federation Vice President Mr Mahmut Nedim Akülke: “The MXGP of Turkey is set to take place on September the 2nd in Afyonkarahisar. While the event hosts one of the FIM Motocross World Championship rounds, many festival activities are planned to attract spectators such as popular artists’ live music concerts, classic automobile exhibition, classic mo-

torcycle exhibition, outdoor exhibitions of photography, sculpture, paintings of local and national artists, playgrounds and parks for children, outdoor sports area like wall climbing, zipline, etc., Turkish cuisine and beverage stands.” The enthusiasm and dedication from all the stakeholders is clear and when combined with the cooperation, a touristic city, top level athletes and racing all at an impressive venue it is sure to make the 2018 MXGP of Turkey in Afyonkarahisar this 1st and 2nd of September one not to miss! Photos: Ray Archer





As a brand-new season of MXGP prepares to get under way, race teams are busy grinding away testing, riding and training in the hope of getting off to the best possible start, hoping that everything they’ve been through during the off-season has been worthwhile; and whilst some teams remain the same, others have undergone various transformations, either changing brands, or riders or both. Kemea Yamaha is one of those teams that has had a major overhaul with three brand new signings in the form of Vsevolod Brylyakov, Ben Watson and Jago Geerts. Not only are they new to the team but they are also new to ‘blue’ with all three having switched from other brands in their



quest to chase success. Team owner Hans Corvers has been at the head of Kemea Yamaha for the past twenty years and enters his twenty-first season with the same energy and enthusiasm as he’s always had. You can see it in his team as well. Despite being around for so long though, it’s only recently that Kemea has enjoyed success, and that’s because Corvers took his time building his team from a small outfit to what it is today. We have seen many examples over the years where a new team arrives on the scene, big trucks, big ideas and big money, only to disappear just as quickly as they arrived. But ‘Hansi’ has done it right. As a successful business man, he knows what it takes to succeed

and with all the pieces of the puzzle now in place, this success is crossing over into his team as well. The last two years have been the most successful for Kemea with Benoit Paturel claiming third overall in the MX2 world championship standings in 2016, as well as a MXoN win for Team France in Italy in the same year, and last year the plan was to top that by winning the title. But things aren’t always that straight forward, as Corvers recalls: ‘The goal after the third place from Benoit in 2016 was to go for the title; that’s clear, and we started really well in the beginning. But then we had a dip and by the middle of the season we knew he was fighting

for third place, and under normal circumstances he should have made it. But after his crash and the problem with the liver, he went from third to fifth but it should have been third, which we would have been happy about, too.’ ‘Benoit was practicing 3 weeks before the GP at Villars, the track had been prepared but there was a big stone on the track; when he jumped he landed on the stone and crashed and cracked his liver and so the last three GP’s he couldn’t ride. And at that time, he was strong because when he crashed it was one week after his win in Switzerland, Corvers remembers.’

With Benoit being ‘agedout’ of MX2 and with Kemea not running an MXGP team, the Frenchman was forced to move on; but he wasn’t the only one making his way towards the exit. He was joined by his two teammates as well, Brent Van doninck and Alvin Östlund in what turned out to be a major overhaul for the Belgian team. The three new-signings that have replaced them are a mixture of youth, style, talent and maybe a little bit extra and as ‘The Boss’ describes, it was a very tactical game in trying to bring these three riders together: ‘We started already in the beginning of the season to try to get Jago Geerts; really, really early because we

knew Benoit had to leave and we wanted to replace him with a good young rider, so in Trentino we signed a pre-agreement with Jago which was really early. We were really happy about this because everybody was trying to get him.’ ‘With Brent Van doninck, he had a deal until the end of 2018 but we didn’t know what his results were going to be during last season, but even though he finished tenth in the world championship he had some problems. His potential is higher than that but we chose not to continue with him. When we knew that, we started looking for another rider and that was Ben Watson. Jacky Vimond, our team trainer, had been follow-


ing Ben with Erik Eggens from Yamaha Europe; he’s a young guy and he’s a talent. Again, we were able to reach a deal, not so early, but we made it.’ Perhaps the most surprising addition to the team is that of the Russian, ‘Seva’ Brylyakov. His past couple of seasons have been dogged by injury but he has also shown enough fighting spirit that saw him realise one of his goals of landing an MX2 podium when he finished third overall at Leon in Mexico in 2016. Whilst some of us might be a little sceptical, Corvers hopes that Seva will prove to be a little diamond. ‘We had Alvin as the third rider and he is a really hard-working guy but after one year working with



us and two years in MX2 Jacky said that Alvin is almost on his limit; so then we needed to find somebody else and that’s not so easy. Then Seva came into the picture, and after a long conversation with Brian Jorgensen I realised what kind of guy Seva really is. Brian told me, ‘Hans, Seva is a Russian guy, a nice guy. He talks a lot but he is working really hard and he can be fast.’ Okay, it was difficult to see exactly because he was injured, it’s his last year in MX2 but we decided to go for it like he is our ‘Joker’. It’s his last year and we will give him the best material, the best support, good physical follow-up and everything; he can be fast. We decided that if Alvin can only make tenth place then we should choose, just for one year

to go with the Joker and do everything around Seva to score. Our goal with him is top three.’ It’s also been a frustrating couple of seasons for Ben Watson as well but Hans believes there will be a change in fortunes for the young Brit, a rider that he has kept his eye on since his 85cc days. Corvers believes that the infrastructure that the Kemea team will offer Watson is the key to unlock his potential and Watson is more than keen to do all he can to get back to the form that caught the boss’s eye all those years ago. Corvers knows that Watson has the talent and that he has the speed, but feels that a lack of discipline is what was letting him down.

‘When I spoke with him it was clear something was missing, so I asked him ‘do you want to work hard from the morning until the evening, really hard, every day? Do you want to leave the UK, away from your parents and your area to move to Belgium to practice every day under the vision of Jacky? And he said ‘Hans, this is going to be my last chance, I’m twenty and soon going to be twenty-one. I know I was good when I was on 85cc and 125cc and if I don’t change myself then it will be finished for me.’ ‘So, he really knew that he had to change himself so that was good because we hear also around, people say ‘yeah, but Watson, he

cannot leave the UK, and he needs his dog, he needs the family and blah blah blah, and I pushed really hard that he should live alone on his own and every day he has to work five hours with Jacky, to work hard. And he said, ‘this is what I want because I can’t continue like this otherwise I can’t finish in the top five.’ The third rider on the team is Jago Geerts, a talented young Belgian who has already claimed 85cc EMX and 125cc EMX and FIM junior titles and having Geerts on the team is especially rewarding for Corvers for many reasons, as he points out: ‘Emotionally it’s important because he is Belgian and

we are a Belgian team and at this moment he is the only talent that we have in Belgium, and then we have to wait for Liam Everts as the next one. Other than Jago and Liam at this moment there is nobody so I am happy to have him in the team. Also, his name is Geerts but that is his mother’s name, but the father of Jago is Herman Gevers and he was the mechanic of Marnicq Bervoets for the five years that he was riding factory Suzuki 250cc with Sylvain Geboers. So, the best time in Marnicq’s career, the five years with Suzuki was with Herman as his mechanic. Marnicq is really happy because now he can do something back for his mechanic from that time and give it to his son.


So that is something special, too.’ After a difficult season in EMX250 and a couple of wildcard showings in MX2 towards the end of 2017, Geerts will contest the full MX2 campaign, despite still being in school. He will miss just a few days either side of the GP in Patagonia as the team will leave on Wednesday and be back by Tuesday but by the time the Indonesian rounds come around he would have already left school, and from that moment he will be fulltime with the team, training with Jacky Vimond and his teammates, and hopefully by then we will start to see his potential, if we haven’t seen it already. It’s clear from speaking to Hans and knowing the rid-



ers as we do that all three are very different, from the way they ride to how they are people as well as their individual characters. For some team owners, finding the right balance and getting the riders to gel can sometimes be a difficult subject to address but Corvers believes his set-up is just about right. ‘Ben likes to play! He is also a real quiet guy but as the saying goes ‘still waters are really deep’ and Ben is funny on WhatsApp and in the group; he is a joker and he likes to play. He always likes to make a joke with everything but it’s nice. As a guy, you can talk nice with him and he listens. He also says what he thinks and that’s also good.’ ‘Jago is a little bit shy but

he is a young guy but he is getting better. He starts to talk to us a bit more. And Seva? Seva is a waterfall! A waterfall. Sometimes you have to say ‘Seva, stop!’ (laughing) Whichever way you look at it, it makes for a great atmosphere within the team. Hans himself leaves the day-to-day running of the team in the very capable hands of the trainer Jacky Vimond and team manager Marnicq Bervoets and if the riders need anything then they deal with Jacky directly, otherwise it’s Marnicq. But every now and then the boss will sit down with the riders to see how things are going: ‘Sometimes I call the guys and have dinner with them when I know they are not


riding the bike the next day, and we talk. Sometimes I do that, alone with just one rider. Then you hear the good things and the things what they need to work on, that’s what I try to do. I am in contact with Jacky almost every day, he informs me about what is going on. He will make a report once a week that shows everything they have done, he sends it to Marnicq and me, how many hours they’ve ridden and everything else, so I know what they are doing.’ So, what are the goals for 2018? ‘For Seva it is top three, but if you ask him he will say his ambition is to be world champion! They are not my words but his words. He says, ‘it’s



my last chance, I am really happy that I can work with guys like this, with this team and the structure and everything. If I only need to focus on my racing then then my goal is the world title.’ ‘For Ben the goal is to be top eight in the first year and with Jago we let him free because of his school, but we hope to see him many times around the top ten area; maybe he can surprise us left or right of that but we don’t want to say a figure. He has to learn but it’s important that he learns a lot and that he does his thirty-eight heats and finishes them. But if you ask him he will say something else to you because he is hungry.’

There is a saying, ‘sometimes, a change is better than a rest’ and at Kemea there is no doubt that it’s all change, and from that side everybody is hungry and ready to impress and Hans Corvers can’t wait for it all to get started. The off-season was long but the season is always longer, but so far things are looking good: ‘Everybody is getting along really good. They are happy and they are spending a lot of time together, it’s nice. At the moment it’s nice but maybe after the first GP not anymore (laughing) when they compete with each other. But I will be happy when they compete with each other for third place, I will be happy.’


TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @MXWorldNews1 It’s been a rough two days for the @StandingRacing KTM team. Both @kevinstrijbos & @ valentinguillod have picked up injuries while testing.

@FIM_live #ThrowBack2017 – Fantastic season for @Antoniocairoli! #FIM @MXGP King again! Getting very close to the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, watch MXGP and MX2 Best Actions in a unique video to remind an insane 2017 Motocross World Championship season

@ubi747 New team for @bobryshev777 with Team BOS @ mxgp #Mx

@Adv_Ticketing @Eurosport will broadcast all the @mxgp & #mx2 races for two more seasons.

Congratulations to the winner of the MXGP Video Edit Contest, Darke Martinez from Spain! Darke’s video edit “Warriors Of The Mud” was our favorite of over 50 entries, congrats Darke and a big thanks to everyone who participated. #MXGP

@PirelliMX Day 1 in the books for @ thomasc64 . We’re stoked to see “Big Air Tom” back in action! days until @mxgp Argentina #PirelliNation #WelcomeBack Watch the best actions from all the 2017 European Championships HERE: @FenHRacingteam Ruben Fernandez, “One Step at a time” Read the full story in @MXGP Magazine! ‬




@protaper @MaxAnstie #ProTaper #MXGP #HumpDay @hondaproracing #MondayMotivation when you start the week with the smile on your face, and you know exactly why! #Honda #HRC @TimGajser243 & @calvinvlaanderen

@foxracingeurope Le Capitaine đ&#x;‡Ťđ&#x;‡ˇ @gautierpaulin Driven to Succeed, United by Passion

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M 44 Photo: MEYER

MXGP MAG 2018 2013 MXGP.COM 2017



Marcus Hansson The Last Viking

Sweden was the most prolific nation in motocross when the FIM launched the World Championships thanks to their athletes who obtained many World titles in the 60’s. Last Swedish to get a world title was Marcus Hansson in 1994, but unfortunately he was forced to stop racing very soon.

races with a fifth position in Belgium as best result. He confirmed his potential in 1991; he only raced a few rounds, but impressed everyone when he scored a top result at his home GP as he narrowly missed the GP win, tight in the points with Pekka Vehkonen.

With his big size Marcus moved to the 500cc class in Born on the 18th of October 1992 and entered for the 1969 in Gothenburg, Marfirst time in his career the cus started racing when top ten of a World Champihe turned seventeen, a few onship despite missing sevyears after the second and eral rounds due to an injury. last World Title of Swedish Not always consistent he Ice Hakan Carlqvist, who did his best performance at was a model for many young the Belgian GP, winning the riders. Less than two years second of the three heats to after his racing debut, Marfinish second overall. Kurt cus entered his first Grand Nicoll won that Belgian GP Prix at the Swedish round and Georges Jobe topped the of the series and scored his podium. Moving from Kawafirst points during that final saki to Honda in 1993 the tall round of the World ChampiSwedish confirmed his poonship. Two years later he tential winning five heats and participated in all the 250cc series, scoring points in eight celebrating his first ever GP

win in Portugal when he beat Belgians Jacky Martens and Joel Smets, two icons of that 500cc class. Marcus finished fourth overall at the end of the season behind Martens, his countryman Jorgen Nilsson and Smets. Hansson had a good winter to prepare his final assault. Back to two heats instead of


three the 1994 championship was a three men affair between Hansson and his private Honda, Martens on his factory Husqvarna and Smets on his factory Vertemati. The first half of the season was really open as six different riders won the first six rounds, and by mid season Hansson was leading the championship from Smets by 10 points and Martens by 14 points. In the second part of the season Smets lost his chances with two DNF and going to the penultimate round in Belgium there was only four points between Marcus and Jacky. Marcus scored his fourth GP win of the season and increased his leadership, but



in the first race of the final round in Germany he crashed with Van Doorn and lost his advantage! The last heat of the season was decisive for the championship, as both riders were tight with 315 points. Neither Marcus nor Jacky were able to fight for the win, but with a fourth position Hansson defeated Martens who crashed and finished only tenth. It was the last time that a two-stroke machine won the 500cc championship and

also the last time that a Swedish rider claimed a World title, eleven years after Carlqvist. Although Hansson had signed for the Belgacom team of Georges Jobe, he never had the possibility to defend his title as he got injured during a Supercross event and was forced to retire after a brief but brilliant career. Photos and text: Pascal Hudiquert

1988: 33rd in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1990: 17th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki) 1991: 21th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki) 1992: 10th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Kawasaki) 1993: 4th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Honda). Winner of 1 GP 1994: 500 Motocross World Champion (Honda). Winner of 4 GP



Paddock Talks 01/Max Antonio Cairoli may be hidden from view but he is definitely training hard this off season! 02/Jeremy Seewer talking making some time for a video interview, offseason shoes and all. 03/Max Anstie looks more fit than ever before! 04/Pauls Jonass and the #1 looking good while making a video promo for the MXGP of Latvia!



03 04




Paddock Talks 06

05/Shaun Simpson isn’t afraid to help out his mechanic and get his hands dirty! 06/Stefan Everts camping at the top of Mt. Kenya! 07/Tim and papa Gajser working on his starts!



Corrado Maddii’s

1982 Factory 125cc Gilera

Corrado Maddii is an Italian Corrado Maddii’s first aplegend and one who should As is normal practice from pearance in the FIM 125cc have been Italy’s first ever one year to the next, race Motocross World Champiworld motocross champion bikes benefit from one or onship was in 1977 riding in 1984. Instead of a title two upgrades here and aboard an Italian Aspes celebration and despite a there, but generally speakmotorcycle, but the brand handsome lead going into ing, between the ’81 and ’82 itself was in decline towards the final round, a broken leg models there were not so the end of the decade, which suffered through no fault of many major changes acmeant that anyone who was his own robbed him of that cording to Maddii, at least serious about racing at a distinction. The rider that in the engine department. high level needed to look took the 125cc title that day However, there were changelsewhere in order to be from him was fellow Italian es to the suspension, linkcompetitive. Byusually 1981 Maddii Michele Rinaldi theEuropean two age andonswingarm The 125cc class and in the Championship puts a spotlight the next mainly was competing on Aprilia countrymen were teammates because, according to his big motocross. In fact both of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champions machinery and placed eighth twoname yearsinearlier in 1982 teammate Micheleand Rinaloverall before switching to whilst racing for the factory di, the twin shock system vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass Gilera for the 1982 season. Gilera team; Maddii placed had been replaced with the have all won the EMX125 championship on their paths to motocross supremacy. His brand-new teammate, second overall, Rinaldi was new Mono-Link system, so Michele Rinaldi, had placed third, but it’s Corrado Madfrom the outside, they would third overall in 1981 riding dii’s Factory Gilera 125cc appear to be quite major the all-new water-cooled from that 1982 season that changes, especially if the Gilera but for Maddii, it was we will feature in this issue overall balance and handling his first year with the team. of MXGP Magazine. of the bike was improved.




As you’d expect, both riders took part in off-season winter tests which went pretty much according to plan; there were no major reliability issues and a vast array of parts were tested well in advance of the first GP of the year. Both bikes would have started out the same but as is often the case, no two riders are the same and the two Gilera factory riders were no different. Maddii favoured a better bottom end compared to his teammate Rinaldi, and whilst both bikes started out with Fox suspension allround, Maddii wasn’t a fan and switched to 42mm conventional Marzocchi forks up front with an Öhlins shock at the rear married to the Pro-Link system. Michele stayed with the original Fox units that he’d used from the 1981 season but also had an option with WP at the rear.

nesium parts wherever they could, and it goes without saying that the weight gain over standard production was huge. Even the swingarm was a handmade Magnesium item. The frame was full factory, the exhaust was handmade by Colombo who actually worked in the Gilera factory and it was married to a SEM silencer. The piston was produced in Germany by Mahle whilst the ignition system came via Spain produced by Motoplat. The bore and stroke measured in at 54mm x 54mm, the

carburettor was a 36mm Dellorto and the clutch was produced as a factory item from the Italian-based company Adige. The six-speed gearbox was also a factory item and the brakes were a combination of old and new; up front Maddii and Rinaldi ran a Brembo disc brake whilst at the rear the stopping power was also provided by Brembo, but had not yet been upgraded to disc. Instead, it was the tried and trusted drum system. When it came to success though, the Gilera, despite its high specification and

The rest of the bike was a pretty impressive piece of kit for its era; the engine was a full factory unit and pushed out around 37bhp compared to the 30bhp of the production model, making it one of the strongest bikes on the grid. Water-cooled technology had made its way on to the Gilera in 1981 and this remained in 1982. There was a serious amount of bling attached as well and the team ran Titanium and Mag-



raw speed fell short! In 1981 Michele Rinaldi took one race win and two grand prix overall victories on his way to third in the championship and it was a similar story in 1982; Rinaldi took just one race win compared to Maddii’s two, but Rinaldi did take one more GP victory, winning in Finland. Perhaps there should have been more wins, certainly for Rinaldi who experienced SEVEN DNF’s compared to the one of Maddii, as he recalls: ‘Unfortunately, I scored many DNF’s and this was so bad for the championship’s title. Corrado was smoother with the bike and this helped him a lot in terms of reliability; without any doubt, I was tougher with my bike and this style cost me many



points. The main failures were flat tyres (7 times) and quite a lot of broken front wheels and transmission.’ Despite not being the fastest bikes on track, what Gilera did in terms of results was pretty outstanding; in 1981 Rinaldi was third overall in the 125cc world championship and both Maddii and Rinaldi finished on the podium in ’82, with Maddii second and Rinaldi third. However, despite their efforts, Team Gilera may have suffered from not having enough racing experience. They had two great riders and some fantastic members of staff, it’s just that Gilera was not ready or anywhere near perfect to go and win the championship.

Tech spec 1982 Gilera Factory 125 Engine: Factory Piston: Mahle Ignition: Motoplat Bore and stroke: 54mm x 54mm Carburettor: Dellorto 36mm Clutch: Adige Factory Gearbox: Factory 6-speed Exhaust pipe: Colombo Silencer: SEM Frame: Handmade, same for both riders Forks: Marzocchi 42mm conventional Rear suspension: Öhlins with new ProLink system Swingarm: Handmade Magnesium factory spec Front brake: Disc, Brembo Rear brake: Brembo, drum brake Wheels: 18” x 21” Tyres: Pirelli


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