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RACING CATCH UP

RIDER OF THE MONTH Jorge Prado

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INDEX

COOL SHOT

MONSTER GIRLS

HALL OF FAME Andrea Bartolini

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 #61 September 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).

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EDITORIAL Dear MXGP Friends, Returning home after the MXGP of Turkey we can say that Turkey is a fantastic country; the welcome we received was in the true, warm oriental style, the people were all very kind, the food was excellent, the coast was very beautiful, also the travel through the countryside by car was interesting, and the work made by the organizers was simply amazing. In the whole history of the FIM Motocross World Championship we have never seen an organizer make such effort and investment for their first MXGP event; the paddock and parking areas were in tarmac, the electricity, water supply, services and drainage for the paddock was first class, and they have built 2

Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group

new buildings for the Race Direction and all the necessary offices for the management of the event. The cooperation was superb, and from the first moment they showed our world that we were very welcome and that they want to be immediately amongst the top events on the MXGP calendar. The political authorities’ support was impressive, which they showed by the presence of the Minister of Sport, the Minister of Tourism, the Governor of the region, the Mayor of the town of Afyonkarahisar and many members of the parliament. The 4 races were broadcasted live on National Television which brought a very big audience and high visibility of MXGP all over Turkey. In addition, the organizer organized

many activities for the fans in the paddock, and in the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday there were big music concerts where many local fans participated. You felt very welcome and safe there and the venue was near very nice hotels making it possible for all participants to go to the event by foot. The authorities and the local fans highly appreciated Turkey being venue of the MXGP World Championship, and they expressed this by their commitment to welcome this event for a long time, they are also dedicated to develop Motocross in their country via many activities including the MXGP Academy, bringing Motocross closer to their children. The other events in August have also been very successful. The MXGP of Switzerland

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warm-up to the much-desired Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations which will be held on the 1st weekend of October in RedBud, USA, where we already see a massive response coming from the fans, and where USA will try to take the title back from France. But even if they will have huge support from their fans, it will be very tough for them because they will have to face France and the Netherlands, who also have The fight for victory in the MX2 extremely strong teams, and class is still very close between who will be seeking to take the Chamberlain trophy. The event Prado and Jonass, and it’s possible this title will be won at will be amazing and, as we are With only 2 events to go we accustomed at the MXoN, the the 2nd heat in Imola. On anare nearing the end of the result will be decided on the last Championship, we believe the other note, Thomas Covington lap of the last race. Fans who managed to put a halt to the infrastructure and organizacan’t be at the event will be able KTM domination by racing 2 tion at the very famous cirto follow the event live via the extraordinary heats and wincuits of Assen and Imola will long list of live TV broadcasters be top-class based on the long ning the Grand Prix of Turkey. and of course via MXGP-TV. experience of the organizers com. and also on the permanent fa- Assen and Imola will be the in Frauenfeld/Gachnang had perfect weather conditions, the organization was outstanding, there was a massive presence of fans and the racing was spectacular. After the Swiss round MXGP returned to Bulgaria after a long break to the natural and traditional race-track of Sevlievo, the organizer, as we know from the past, was again at a high standard and there was a very good number of fans appreciating the return of MXGP to Bulgaria.

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cilities which these 2 ‘Temples of Motorsport’ offer to participants and fans. Most likely Assen will see the crowning of Jeffrey Herlings in MXGP for the first time, he certainly deserves to be crowned in front of his home fans who we believe will come in great hordes to participate and celebrate Jeffrey’s phenomenal victory, the first Dutch rider to win the major class.


COOL SHOTS

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COOL SHOTS

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COOL SHOTS

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The Fight f 14

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HOLESHOT

for Fox Holeshots 15


Heading into the final pair of races in the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship sea-son MXGP has had a busy month. Four rounds have been completed since last month’s edition of the Fox Holeshot report meaning sixteen black plates have been collected be-tween the classes of MXGP and MX2 combined. While both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado have added to their tallies at the front of the standings, several other riders have stepped up to cross the chalk first as well. From Belgium’s Lommel sand to the new Turkish track of Afyon with Switzerland and Bulgaria in between, we give a run through of who took the early advantage at each round. MX2 Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium The Belgian circuit of Lommel is one of the most notorious circuits in the world with deep sand creating some of the most challenging conditions for not only the rider but their bikes as well. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado’s timing combined with the power of his Factory KTM propelled him to a pair

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of massive Fox Holeshots. The first of two saw him nearly three bike lengths ahead of anyone else while the second was even more massive than the first. Leaving Lommel Prado’s black plate count was at 19.

HOLESHOT

Sevlievo start yielded the same results as those in Switzerland with the second race improvement similar to that of Belgium. In race one the #61 jumped just ahead of the two Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Rac-ing bikes of Thomas MXGP of Switzerland presented Covington and Thomas Kjer Olsen by iXS but in race two the margin was After a weekend off from racing the much larger this time over his KTM series started again in Switzerland teammate Pauls Jonass. at the Frauenfeld Gachnang circuit with completely different conditions. MXGP of Turkey Two weeks prior the long sand start The MXGP of Turkey in Afyon was new to all with a long start and a of Lommel had a slight chicane wide left first turn where the Fox before a left turn to the holeshot line, but in Swit-zerland the shorter Holeshot line crossed the exit. The hard soiled start took led to a wide start led to interesting racing to right turn with the chalk just pri-or follow as the riders on the inside of the first turn soon found themselves to the apex. on the outside of turn 2. Even with the new conditions Prado again took double holeshots but this The usual holeshot of Prado was time the mar-gin was much smaller missing in the first race, as Covington was the first to lead the pack with Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Ben Watson barely be-hind. across the chalk. Just behind the #64 Husqvarna were the pair of The two new black plates brought the Spaniard’s total to 21 this year. Factory KTM’s with Jonass 2nd and Prado 3rd. Race two looked like it would be Watson taking the black MXGP of Bulgaria plate but Covington surged ahead The MXGP of Bulgaria made its return to the calendar this year and just before crossing the line for his second Fox Holeshot of the day. the Sevlievo circuit again hosted Covington later stated he used 1st the event after years away. The


gear as opposed to the tra-ditional second; the pair of holeshot’s tie him for second in the standing with Jonass at 4 a piece in 2018.

that the holeshots were split between two riders. In the first race Cairoli beat out Monster Energy Kawasa-ki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre by only fractions of a second. Race two awarded Monster Energy Kawasaki Rac-ing Team’s Julien Lieber with his first Fox Holeshot in the MXGP class and in 2018.

MXGP Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium The MXGP class has been dominated by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings in overall wins but teammate Antonio Cairoli is the better starter now amassing 18 Fox Holeshots so far this season MXGP of Bulgaria Sevlievo, Bulgaria, and its nearly compared to the 7 of Herlings. 180 degree right hand first turn Herlings is known as one of the would be were Team HRC’s Tim strongest sand riders in the world Gajser took his first holeshot of and during race one in Lommel he the year with Herlings only slightly made it clear taking the Fox Holefurther back. Race two gave Cairoli shot and win over Cairoli. The hole- his 18th and most recent holeshot shot from race one is the most re- of 2018 with Herlings a bike length cent of Herlings and the only of the further back. past 8 races. The second race saw a new black plate holder crowned MXGP of Turkey when Red Bull KTM Factory RacOur most recent round, the 2018 ing’s Glenn Coldenhoff led the way MXGP of Turkey in Afyon saw the for the first time this season. #243 of Gajser again take the first race holeshot but Herlings later MXGP of Switzerland presented slingshotted around the outside by iXS to take the lead and eventual win. Switzerland while different in soil Race two was taken by the only and layout was the same in the fact rider to have beaten Cairoli and

Herlings this season, Clement Desalle. Desalle’s holeshot was impressive with Her-lings closest and then Paulin before a massive 4-5 bike length gap over the rest of the field. Afyon left Gajser’s tally at 2 while Desalle’s black plate is his only this year. MXGP: Antonio Cairoli 18 Jeffrey Herlings 7 Tim Gajser 2 Gautier Paulin 2 Romain Febvre 2 Clement Desalle 1 Shaun Simpson 1 MX2: Jorge Prado 23 Pauls Jonass 4 Thomas Covington 4 Calvin Vlaanderen 1 Thomas Kjer Olsen 1 Henry Jacobi 1 Davy Pootjes 1 Hunter Lawrence 1

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S

SINESS AS USUAL AT THE TOP … WELL, ALMOST!

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Wow! What a whirlwind this past month or so has been. Since our last report we have really packed in the action with Belgium hosting MXGP at the beginning of August before a well-deserved break to recover from the tough, challenging sand of Lommel. From there, and for the second time this year, we hit the road for a trilogy of rounds taking in the ever-popular Swiss GP, and a return to Sevlievo, Bulgaria, before hitting our final destination of Turkey for the first time in nine years. So, how was it? After Loket in Czech Republic, MXGP arrived in Lommel for the Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium for the first GP there since the untimely passing of Eric Geboers back in May and wherever you walked there were tributes to ‘The Kid’. In the Paddock there were huge images of him along the walkways; some of him smiling, some racing and some with his wife, reflecting who he was as

a person and as a rider. On the track the organising crew donned T-shirts with the familiar ‘875’ logo in the colours of the national flag on their backs. The final tribute came on Sunday before the first MX2 race where giant TV screens played a tribute of him performing on stage at the height of his fame with the band ‘Normaal’ singing the well-known Belgian song ‘Oerend Hard’. It was light-hearted fun, which showcased a side of Eric that many of us had never seen before and it was the perfect way to kickstart the MXGP of Belgium at the venue that he personally had so much to do with over the years. Watching on from the VIP area, alongside the ruthless wave-section was the Geboers family led by Sylvain, who later appeared on the podium to hand out the awards in the MXGP Class. In MX2, a battle that has

caught our eye since Trentino is the dual for supremacy between the two Red Bull KTM teammates Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado. Before Trentino Jonass had a forty-five point advantage over his Spanish rival, who at that time was placed third behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thomas Olsen, but coming into Belgium ‘JP61’ found himself eleven points clear. With both riders being very accomplished sand riders, it was always going to be a fascinating contest between them. Race One belonged to Prado whilst Jonass crashed out of second position with around six laps to go; he remounted in fifth and recovered for fourth but it was a costly seven championship points to toss aside for the Latvian. Thomas Covington and his Husqvarna teammate Olsen split the two KTM’s as Calvin Vlaanderen rounded out the top five for Team HRC.


in the MXGP and Open classes respectively.

with five corners to go in Race Two. Fortunately, he held a thirty-second lead over TC222 The GP belonged to Prado with so all was not lost, but it was a Covington second overall, celtad embarrassing all the same. ebrating as if he’d just won it, At least he was able to see the having finally mastered the sand funny side of it in his post-race during his European ‘vacacomments, which was good to tion’. Olsen was third and team see and nice to hear. boss Jacky Martens was a very happy man indeed. No one was Tim Gajser showed his class more happy perhaps than the in the physically demanding overall winner though, as his conditions on what was a very lead increased to 28 points! hot weekend as Europe was gripped in the midst of the hotIn MXGP it was a similar story test summer for years. His 3-3 as two riders from the same ensured he stood on the third team continued to stand toestep of the podium, edging out to-toe; Jeffrey Herlings arrived the Monster Energy Yamaha duo with a thirty-point advantage of Romain Febvre and Jeremy On the Saturday night after over Antonio Cairoli, both have Van Horebeek and Monster Enthe Qualifying Races, Geerts won at Lommel in the past and ergy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalwas undoubtedly the star of the le where all three claimed the show as he was unveiled as the both are very strong in the sand as well. Before a wheel same points. MX2 rider in the ‘Party Tent’ in front of the raucous supporters had even turned the pundits already had ‘JH84’ down for After a well-deserved weekfor Team Belgium ahead of this end off to recover from the year’s FIM Monster Energy Mo- two race wins and that’s exheat and the physical demands tocross of Nations at RedBud in actly what happened, but not before a rare mistake in the of Lommel, we ventured seven The USA in October, where he sand saw Jeff throw away his hours south-east to Frauenwill be joined by Clement Defeld-Gachnang for the MXGP of salle and Jeremy Van Horebeek trusted steed on the final lap In Race Two it was another costly mistake from Jonass, this time on the opening lap that saw his title hopes dashed once more and as he fought hard to salvage sixth, Prado cruised to his second victory of the day. The atmosphere was electric though as home hero Jago Geerts raced to an emphatic second place on his Kemea Yamaha, passing Vlaanderen, Conrad Mewse, Olsen and Covington along the way. A first race crash denied Geerts the chance to stand on the podium, but you sense that this will not be his only opportunity to do so.

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Switzerland presented by iXS. The flat, man-made race track might not look as impressive as Maggiora or Orlyonok let’s say, but the atmosphere has always been electric thanks to the elevated fans to the riders left as they complete the first half of the lap and the additional bleachers along two more sides of the circuit where the fans flock to glimpse their Swiss heroes Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod, Jeremy Seewer of Wilvo Yamaha and his teammate Arnaud Tonus, who sadly had to miss this year’s edition due to his double shoulder surgery earlier in the year that has meant he is yet to turn a wheel in 2018; it didn’t stop him from performing his media duties though as he not only appeared on our MXGP-TV Studio Show alongside Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland, but also tried his hand at TV commentary as a guest of Swiss TV. Our loss on the track was their gain in the booth. One of the biggest stories from Saturday came in the MXGP

Qualifying Race where Jeffrey Herlings fell at turn two before charging through from last to sixth on a track that apparently was difficult to pass on. Maybe it’s more that he finds a tenth of a second in every turn is all that’s different between him and his rivals, which all adds up to him covering the ground quicker to the tune of two seconds per lap when there are twenty corners, let’s say. It all adds up. It was also great to see Honda 114 Motorsport’s Aussie import Hunter Lawrence back to full strength and speed as he powered to his best qualifying result of the season in second place. Maybe it was a good omen. Opening ceremony When we think of Switzerland we naturally think of chocolate, or The Alps, or chocolate made to replicate The Alps – stand up all you lovers of Toblerone! Aaaah! Guilty pleasures! But enough of that, the

opening ceremony is always unique in Switzerland with the slow marching cow bell people, walking slowly to the ‘ding’ of the bell as they pass the main grandstand; or is it the ‘dong’ of the bell? Anyway, the Swiss Air Force PC-7 Display Team turned on the style, as well as the after burners as they performed daredevil manoeuvres hundreds of feet above the circuit. The sight and sound was spectacular. But the icing on the cake had to be the red flares on the parade lap of MXGP Race One for Seewer and Guillod; you almost had to feel for the rest of the riders following them because it was as if this red mist had descended on the track and you couldn’t see past your front fender. And the noise was something else; the noisiest fans by far this year! Watching all of this from the SkyBox was Rolf Dieffenbach who was the last rider to win at the original Frauenfeld venue on the other side of town in

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1983. The German rider was the winner of three 250cc GP’s in 1980, ’82 and ‘83 and placed fourth in the 250cc world championship. Incidentally, there were only ever three GP’s held at the original venue in 1981, ’82 and ’83! Eric Geboers (1981 - 125cc Suzuki) and Johnny O’Mara (1982 - 125cc Honda) were the other winners. In MX2 the point’s gap remained at twenty-eight after PJ and JP went 1-2 / 2-1 again and a rejuvenated Lawrence joined them on the third step of the podium. It’s hard to believe that after his podium at Round One, it took another FIFTEEN rounds for the Honda rider to find his way back there. Spare a thought for Jago Geerts though; the Kemea Yamaha rider fell in the Qualifying Race resulting in a broken collarbone, leaving him devastated just one week after being selected for the MXoN. The team expect him to be back in Assen though, so fingers cross, all will be well

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for the last two GP’s where he hopes to remain inside the top ten. If Herlings’ second-turn crash on Saturday was a talking point then what happened on Sunday sent the internet into meltdown as Tony Cairoli fell from third after stalling his engine on a ‘wall jump’ in MXGP Race One. A tweak to his right knee put him on the back foot but he managed to recover to finish eighth. His sixth in Race Two left a huge dent in his title aspirations, and just like Jonass in MX2, time is running out to retain that world title. Herlings won his 80th GP but the ‘Man of the Day’ award had to go to Max Anstie, who came from last to sixth in Race One after getting elbowed off the side of the start straight as Herlings got bumped into him. But the former MX2 winner at this track clearly has a special bond with either the layout or the dirt, but whatever it was, it

worked. Even better and more encouraging was the fact that he is finally showing signs of getting back to his old self after suffering his concussion at Red Sand earlier in the year. Bulgaria The second round in the trilogy saw a return to Sevlievo, Bulgaria, once voted ‘The Best Motocross Track In The World’ and you’d be hard pressed to see why! A sprawling mass of steep hills made a welcome return for the first time in four years but this time around we were there in the middle of this unusually hot summer where temperatures hovered above thirty degrees yet again. In the past, MXGP usually frequented the establishment earlier in the year, around March or April when the weather was still generally quite wet leaving the circuit a little soft, but boy, could we have done with some of that moisture at Round 17! Despite the hard efforts


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of the track crew, the ground remained relatively hard and dry which meant it didn’t get as bumpy or develop as many lines in the turns at the bottoms of the monstrous hills. Having said that though, there was still plenty of intense racing. Kicking things off was the opening ceremony; On stage to open the event were Mr. David Luongo, Vice President of Youthstream, Dr. Wolfgang SRB FIM Europe President, Mr. Rumen Petkov, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria, Associate Professor Stoyan Andonov, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Ivan Ivanov, Mayor of the municipality of Sevlievo, Ms. Iglika Sabeva, Member of Parliament, Ms. Nevena Petkovam, District Governor, Eng. Rosen Tsvetkov, Vice Regional Governor, and Mr. Dimitar Rangelov, the Vice President of the BFM who welcomed the thousands of spectators onsite and expressed their positive feelings to have the FIM Motocross

World Championship back in Sevlievo with several speeches followed by the national anthem. It was also refreshing to see a bumper crowd as well, so maybe the time of year was perfect to bring the fans out, especially on race day! They were noisy too, which is always a bonus.

now looking for mistakes from Prado or favours from his rivals and hope a few of them can get between him and Prado to help narrow that gap. Before the start of the weekend his lead was twenty-eight which meant that even if PJ won the remaining 8 races from the four remaining rounds, including BulCalvin Vlaanderen was in the garia with Prado second in all thick of the action in MX2 Race of them, PJ would still lose the One, but not in a good way. The championship by four points, so Honda rider, who was challeng- that second race crash was a ing Ben Watson for fourth in the real blow once more. championship, hit the Kemea Yamaha rider’s machine as he fell As for JH84 in MXGP he in front of him at the top of one marched to his TWELFTH 1-1 of the hills, resulting in a crash finish, his FOURTEENTH overthat left him out of the points as all GP win of the season and well as failing to even make the career win number eightystart of Race Two. After winning one. His goal is to win the title the opening race, Jonass was at Assen in front of his home desperate to gain more points crowd and heading into Turkey on his teammate, but another Herlings held a lead of sevenmistake on Lap 2 left the dety-three points over Cairoli; it fending champ on the ground … was fifty-eight before Bulgaria! again! Prado took the win and But as ‘84’ says, there is still the overall to extend his advan- a long way to go and he is the tage to thirty points with three only one that can mess it up! rounds remaining. Whilst JonTim Gajser and Clement Desalass might remain positive, he is le joined The Bullet upstairs;

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at any level than with a startto-finish win. He also took the overall round win as well! Congratulations to Mathys and the whole team, but especially to team owner Alfredo Bevilacqua. The switch from Supermoto to In EMX250 Mathys Boisrame finally got the job done by wrap- motocross has finally paid off. ping up the championship with The Last Leg a round to go. The Honda Redmoto Assomotor rider went 2-1 From Sevlievo to Afyon for the MXGP of Turkey the team’s to put the title out of reach for travelled 900km south-east or his closest rival and 2012 EMX an eleven hour drive if you’re champ Mel Pocock after the that way inclined. With temRevo Husqvarna rider lost a peratures once again expected radiator cap on the first lap of Race One before crashing later to be in the thirties it was going to be another challenging GP in the race to record a costly for those concerned, but with DNF. But credit to Boisrame though; at times this season he no EMX support races on the has put himself under pressure Timetable had a much more of a relaxed feel about it. and we saw on several occasions where it got on top of him and he imploded, but knowing a This brand new venue at the Afyon Motor Sports Center win would clinch it in the final was battered by a freak wind race if results elsewhere went his way, the ‘172’ rode the per- and rain storm on Wednesday at around 17:00 as the teams fect race, managed to keep his nerves in check and what better started rolling in from Bulgaria but as always, any hard pack way to win your first ever title it was their sixth and seventh podium appearances this year respectively. As for TC222, he battled his way to fourth overall with an 8-2 showing.

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circuit would benefit from the extra moisture anyway, especially a few days out from the race itself; on another plus side, at least the organisers didn’t have to water the track the next day, #WinWin! At this point, it’s worth saying a special THANK YOU to the Youthstream Logistics Staff, who after every GP, go through the process of dismantling, packing and shipping everything you see around the track at each GP, from the SkyBox and PitLane infrastructures, to the branded sponsor bridges from Monster Energy, Sidi, Ipone and Fiat, to all the sponsors boards around the track; as well as that, they set up the Youthstream mobile offices, marketing units, TV compound, Media Centre and the 2 hospitalities! By the time we arrived in Turkey on Thursday, the main infrastructures were already in place; only the track branding needed to be finished. It is un-


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believable how hard these guys work, so thanks guys. Afyon The city of Afyon or Afyonkarahisar, to give it its full name is a spa centre famous for its thermal baths, covers an area of 14,500 square kilometres and is actually situated around 1,000m above sea level. It’s situated around 440km southeast of Istanbul and from the capital city of Ankara it sits around 260km southwest, or approximately a three-hour drive should you feel the desire to do so. The Afyon Motor Sports Center where the eighteenth round of MXGP took place sits north west of the city and is a purpose built facility, designed specifically with MXGP in mind. Across the way on the same complex is the Afyon Arena, which is home to the football team Afyonkarahisarspor of the Turkish Regional Amateur League. The Arena was built in 2015 and holds 15,000 fans.

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About 100m from the circuit entrance are an abundance of hotels, which for a race that has a ‘fly away’ feel about it, is just perfect for everyone from riders, to team managers and fans alike. The Paddock is all-asphalt with an abundance of permanent facilities ranging from offices to several toilet and shower blocks, and for the team’s, there were more than enough brick-built jet-wash bays to service the both MX2 and MXGP at the same time. The organiser of the MXGP of Turkey also needs to be given credit by opening up the event to more than just motocross fans. The football team played a home-game on Friday night and when the game was over the fans headed to the LIVE Motorfest Stage where live bands entertained the crowds in between the stadium and the Paddock, creating a real festival atmosphere.

As for the circuit, 1725m of hard pack dirt with a mixture of the usual obstacles was warmly received by riders and teams alike and by the first practice it was clear that the heavy rain that fell on Wednesday left the circuit in perfect condition. It was flowing and it was fast but without EMX support races, the track took a little while to develop, which is understandable. The big news on Saturday was that Monster Energy Yamaha rider Romain Febvre, who was in a three-way battle for third place in the championship with Clement Desalle and Tim Gajser, suffered a heavy-impact crash during Time Practice whilst trying to better his third place time. The session was red-flagged whilst he received medical attention on the track before being air-lifted to hospital for further observation. Fortunately, he was later discharged without serious injury but he did suffer a concussion in the fall and was unable to


take any further part in the GP. At the time of going to print, it was unclear when he would be back in action and his fight for third in the championship is over. More devastating than that perhaps is the possibility that he could be overlooked for team France at RedBud, so we need to keep an eye on that news as it unfolds. Before Sunday commenced there was the official opening ceremony which included a whole host of dignitaries: Joining in the ceremony to open the first MXGP of Turkey in Afyon was Youthstream Vice President Mr. David Luongo, FIM Europe President Dr. Wolfgang Srb, FIM/CMS Director Tony Skillington, Ministry of Sport and Youth Representative Omer Altunsu, Governor of Afyonkarahisar Mustafa Tutulmaz, Senator of Afyon Dr. Veysel Eroglu, Mayor of Afyonkarahisar Burhanettin Coban, Tourism General Director of Afyon Irfan Onal, TMF President Yunus Bekir Ucar, along with 5-Time

Supersport World Champion and Senator of Sakarya, Kenan Sofuoglu among many other Official representatives from the municipality and the Parliament.

to a convincing win, his fifth of the season, after seeing off the challenge from Honda 114 Motorsport’s Hunter Lawrence, whilst Ben Watson guided his Kemea Yamaha to a fine fourth Drama School ahead of Thomas Olsen. Team There was real drama in MX2 HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen also and unsurprisingly perhaps it had a lucky escape as he lost involved the two Red Bull KTM’s control of his Honda as he of Jorge Prado and Pauls Jon- passed Pit Lane on Lap 7, but ass. With both riders in conten- he recovered to finish thirtion for the title, they and their teenth. team have done a great job of smoothing over the cracks that In Race Two it was Covingmight have appeared over the ton’s turn to make a mistake; last few GP’s, but on Sunday the American had never won a that changed in Race One. GP with a 1-1 score card and it looked as if he would realJonass led but on Lap 9 the two ise that ambition in Turkey, but riders clashed mid-air; Jonhe fell from the lead with four ass crashed out spectacularly laps to go and surrendered two and was fortunate to remount positions to Jonass, who went in sixth, whilst Prado remained on to win the race from Olsen, upright to come home in third. who took second. Covington’s For ‘PJ’ it meant a loss of five third was enough for him to net more world championship points the overall for the first time this which was devastating with just year; his first win since the final five more races still to run. round at Villars sous Ecot in 2017. As for Prado, the winner Thomas Covington took his of the previous five GP’s, he Rockstar Energy Husqvarna struggled in the second race

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complaining of a sore back after he was landed on by Jonass in Race One. He finished sixth overall and lost eleven points to Jonass, who reduced the deficit to twenty-four points with two rounds to go. There was a new record set in the MXGP class but not before more drama enused on the track. Herlings won comfortably in Race One and in doing so took his TWENTY-EIGHTH race win of the season, equalling the record he set in 2013 in MX2. Cairoli came from fifth to second to keep his title chances alive with Gajser, Desalle and Jeremy Van Horebeek rounding out the top five. However, the drama came in Race Two. With Herlings taking an early lead on the opening lap, Max Anstie slipped off in Turn 7. As he was hitting the ground, Cairoli caught a square edge on the approach to a jump, lost control and fell as well. TC222

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remounted in eighteenth and had he finished nineteenth or lower, Herlings would have been crowed MXGP World Champion, if he won the race. As it turned out, Cairoli managed to slavage fifteenth; he also picked up a slight hand injury as well. With around ten minutes to go, Herlings looked comfortable, maybe a little too much so, and from nowhere Gajser was on his rear wheel challenging for the lead and the race win, but after a couple of laps, normal business was resumed and JH84 pulled clear to win for the second time of the day.

though, you sense he has finally realised that he is on the cusp of taking the MXGP title; he also admits that he has been in this position twice before, so he is not taking anything for granted. With the gap between him and Cairoli now at ninety-five points, ‘The Bullet’ needs just five points from his home GP at Assen in The Netherlands to be assured of the title. We have a one week break before we head over there but you can be sure of one thing; it will be a crazy, mad atmosphere right from the very first moment we touch down.

Oh, by the way; Tim Gajser and By winning the race and the GP Clement were back on the podiHerlings set a new record; most um in second and third respecrace wins – TWENTY NINE - in tively just like the previous week a season and equalled his own in Bulgaria, the third time we’ve previous best of FIFTEEN GP seen that podium this year. As wins in a season from 2013. for the MXGP of Turkey, it was The scary thing is, there are pretty good for the first attempt still two more rounds remainat the new venue. ing, so there is the possibility of adding to that. Right now See you in Assen …


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FIM Motocross World Championship

Standings MXGP CHAMP. STANDINGS

MX2 CHAMP. STANDINGS

1. J.Herlings (NED, KTM), 833points 2. A.Cairoli (ITA, KTM) , 738 p. 3. C. Desalle (BEL, KAW) ,619 p 4. T. Gajser (SLO, HON) ,591 p. 5. R. Febvre (FRA YAM) , 544 p. 6. G. Paulin (FRA, HUS) 514 p. 7. G.Coldenhoff (NED, KTM) 475 p. 8. J. Seewer (SUI, YAM),423 p 9. J. VanHorebeek (BEL,YAM),404p. 10. M. Anstie (GBR, HUS), 328p.

1. J. Prado (ESP, KTM) ,773 points 2. P. Jonass (LAT, KTM) , 749 p. 3. T. Olsen (DEN, HUS), 593 p. 4. B. Watson (GBR, YAM),551 p. 5. T. Covington (USA, HUS) ,525p. 6. C. Vlaanderen(RSA, HON), 483p. 7. J. Geerts (BEL, YAM) , 346 p. 8 M. Cervelli (ITA, HON) ,337 p. 9. H. Lawrence (AUS, HON), 305 p. 10. H. Jacobi, (GER, HUS), 301 p.

MXGP MANUFACTUERS 1. KTM 2. Kawasaki 3. Yamaha 4. Honda 5. Husqvarna 6. Suzuki 7. TM

897 638 624 606 572 261 227

points points points points points points points

MX2 MANUFACTUERS 1. KTM 2. Husqvarna 3. Honda 4. Yamaha 5. Kawasaki 6. TM

Social Media Numbers Combined Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

3,088,448 Followers 210 countries 1.650 Million Daily Total Reach +113% since start of year 2018 Top 5 Countries Indonesia Brazil Italy USA Argentina

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868 730 624 612 410 119

points points points points points points


TEAM OF THE MONTH

Prado’s Path to Perfection 36

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SPECIAL FEATURE

One of the most stylish and talented MX2 riders in the World Championship is the young 17-year-old Spaniard Jorge Prado on his Red Bull KTM. The energetic, easy going and often smiling Prado leads the 2018 MX2 World Championship standings with only 2 rounds to go. Just less than a year ago we checked in with the “Spanish Sensation” but the path he has chosen to reach the front of the field has changed and so too has his results. Going from achieving 3 GP wins and 2 podiums in 2017 to now 10 GP victories and 5 additional podiums, Prado is clearly heading in the right direction. At the conclusion of the 2017 season the decision was made that Jorge would move from the Dutch side of the Red Bull KTM tent with Dirk Gruebel to the

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Italian De Carli squad as Davide De Carli explains, “at the end of last year a decision was made by KTM to switch Jorge with Glenn Coldenhoff, so he came to our team and he moved to Rome where we started a training program directly during the winter, so it is like he did 2 seasons in a row and never took a break.” A strong off-season and new surrounding made Prado confident but an elbow injury left him struggling at the opening round of the season in Argentina. For Prado the new atmosphere in the De Carli program is that of a family where he feels right at home: “I started living in Italy and training with Tony everyday and the program is much different from last year. It was a great change, I feel like a family, Italians and Spanish are similar and just the atmo-

sphere under the tent is great,” Prado explained. The pairing of Prado with Antonio Cairoli, soon a 33-year-old 9-time champion, has been beneficial to both. While the youth of Prado keeps Cairoli on his toes, the experience of the Sicilian helps to guide the 17-year-old. “We spend everyday together when we are in Italy, we do the same program and just everything the same. Tony is not only a training partner but he has also become a friend which makes it easier especially during the race weekends, we have fun together and I learn a lot from him,” Prado continues. Davide De Carli, who has been following Jorge Prado closely since the Spanish moved to the team, said: “Sometimes in training it is positive for both riders to compare each other. Some


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days Tony will see how Jorge is pushing and then he starts to push while Jorge watches how Tony rides and tries to do the same.” The week point for Prado in 2017 didn’t seem to be speed but more fitness and physical prowess. Now with his new training regimen and maturity the difference is clear. For example last year at the Ottobiano circuit the heat and physical demands of the circuit left Prado unable to compete, while this year no remnant of the previous weakness is visible. Being only 17 has its benefits in the way of excitement lack of nagging previous injuries and more, but Prado is well aware of the

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physical maturity deficit for which he faces and has to compensate for. “There is a lot of difference between my body and that of anyone else in the class. I am only 17 so the power and the fitness is not the same, I tried to work hard and harder than them to catch up so that I can fight. They are 2, 3, or 4 years older than me, so for sure in 4 years my body will change but for now I have to train harder to keep up with them,” Jorge admits. With the help of De Carli and Cairoli this season the results are clearly positive as Prado holds the red plate, has 8 qualifying race wins, 13 race wins and 10 overall victories leading 277 laps along the way. The future for Pra-

do is bright as it is for De Carli as the team has just renewed their agreement with KTM. “Jorge is only 17 but this season he is doing something amazing. He is still growing and even race by race you can see him learning and improving, I think he has a good future ahead,” Claudio De Carli said. Time will tell for the kid from Spain but the path he has chosen was surely the correct one and could very well lead him to become champion this year. Doing so would make Jorge only the 3rd rider in recent times to win the FIM Motocross World Championship at 17 and join motocross phenomenon’s such as Ken Roczen and the “Bullet” Jeffrey Herlings.


MXGP SOCIAL

TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @twmxdotcom A high-speed circuit, four thrilling motos, and an intense championship chase. The @ mxgp stop in Turkey provided plenty of action. @DunlopMoto Third consecutive podium for Clement Desalle! Great racing in #MXGPTurkey @ mxgp @kawasakiracing

@PaulsJonass41 Time to go behind the gate again. @mxgp of Turkey this weekend #TeamPJ41

@KEMCOSportsPR Bailey Malkiewicz wins the FIM Junior World Championship 125cc in Horsham! It’s the first Aussie to win this title! #FIMJuniorMotocrossWorldChampionshipweek after week @RaceKawasaki @mx_panda put down a good qualifying session in Switzerland and will be starting tomorrow’s @mxgp races in 3rd #racekx #krt #mxgpswitzerland

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@WilvoYamahaMXGP @JeremySeewer was a strong eighth in qualifying at his home @MXGP, even though he made a small mistake that cost him a spot in the top five.

@IceOneRacing @MaxAnstie (4-4) secured third overall at the @MXGP of Belgium! @GautierPaulin (13-13) was hindered by bad starts and mistakes.

Sentence ‘Quiz & Win with Moto Master! All you need to do to enter the draw and have the chance to Win • A Moto Master Front Brake Kit for your bike • The 2018 MXGP-TV season package MXGP Pro Videogame

MXGP & MX2 Riders gave their impression on the FIM Motocross World Championship End of season and on the MXGP of Turkey in a typical Turkish atmosphere

Have a look at the best actions from the MXGP of Switzerland Presented by iXS; a compilation of crashes, overtakes, jumps and much more:


BOOK, INSTAGRAM, YOUTUBE

@ozbuldan The chance to watch the world’s best ones. #motocross #dirtbike #mxgp #mxgpturkey #yamaha #ktm

@solomotorcu #MxGp #Mxgp2018 #afyonkarahisar #motocross #motocycle @ turkeymxgp #birtutamfarkındalık #ktm @hido.10 It was really a great experience to work with you guys full of fun energy excitement and dirt

@egorcheg_63 I took a picture with Tim Gajser 243 #mxgp #timgajserс

@endurochannel Was an awesome and hot weekend at @mxgp of Turkey in Afyonkarahisar! This is what is left from fastest riders of the world!

IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP 43


MONSTER GIRLS

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MONSTER GIRLS

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A 48 Photo: MEYER

MXGP MAG 2018 2013 MXGP.COM 2017


A

HALL OF FAME

Andrea Bartolini

da and fourth in 1990, winning his first round during the GP of Czechoslovakia and just missing the final podium by six points. Andrea finished among the top six in the 1991 and 1992 campaigns and he did his best one in 1993 winning three GP’s after missing the first rounds due to an injury. After being the fastest rider during the last rounds in Brazil and Australia, he switched Born on the 4th of November 1968 in Imola, Andrea never had to the 250cc class in 1994, but never really got the results he the opportunity to see a Motowas expecting in that class. His cross GP on one of the oldest Italian track, as Imola hosted its second attempt in 1995 was the last GP in 1964. While most of his best one as he won three of the fifteen rounds, but he never encolleagues got a bike as present tered the final top five during his when they were kids, Andrea three seasons in that class. had to wait for his fourteenth birthday to have enough money to buy a bike and start racing. Four Considered as one of the best test riders and also well known years later he clinched the Italian Junior championship title, and for his dedication, Andrea was then entered a few GP’s in 1987 selected by Yamaha when the Japanese manufacturer built a where he immediately scored new project for the 500cc class. points. Alongside Swedish Peter JoAfter another learning season in hansson, Andrea spent hours 1988, Andrea became one of the and hours to test and develop the revolutionary YZM400F, main protagonist in the 125cc class; scoring several top five re- which was introduced during the sults in ‘89 he finished fifth of the 1997 pre-season races. Andrea championship on a private HonWhen you have the passion nothing can stop you, and Andrea Bartolini proved it when he was crowned World Champion at the age of 31, getting this title during his thirteenth attempt! The Italian veteran retired when he turned 38, but remains in our world as test rider and technical advisor.

succeeded in winning the second round of the World Championship in Italy, but he had a couple of DNF that season. However, the Italian ended the series on a high note with a heat win in each one of the last three rounds of the series. Finally, Andrea Bartolini ended fifth of the championship that season and he obtained a well-deserved second position with Team Italy at the Motocross of Nations a few weeks later. After those amazing performances, the Italian became a clear contender for the 1998 title together with Joel Smets and Darryl King. In fact, Bartolini won the opening round in Italy and he got his first ever double win in Slovakia during summer. Unfortunately for the Italian, he broke his thighbone in August while he was tied on points with Smets. At 30 years old many riders would have retired after such a bad injury, but not Andrea; after four months of recovery he was back on his bike in January, and showed to Yamaha and Rinaldi what he was definitively capable

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of when he took the leadership of the series at mid season. With eight podium results during the first twelve heats, he was more consistent than ever in his career, and thanks to two other GP wins he finally got his first world title during the penultimate round of the series in Finland. It was a great reward for him as he had never given up, but also for Yamaha who introduced a new technology in motocross; 1999 was definitively a year to remember for the likeable Italian, who also won with his fellow countrymen the Motocross of Nations in Brazil. Andrea would never have again the winner’s feeling, even if he scored a couple of podiums in the 500cc and 125cc class. Winner of the 2002 Motocross of Nations, he enjoyed his last GP podium at the 125cc Swedish Grand Prix in 2003 when he was 34 years old, helping some young riders to become more professional. After he retired in 2006 he continues to visit the Motocross tracks,

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helping Husqvarna to develop new products, working with the Italian Federation during a few years, and now being involved as

technical chief of team Assomotor. Text & Photos: Pascal Haudiquert

1986: Italian Junior Champion 1987: 30th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Benelli) 1988: 26th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1989: 5th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) 1990: 4th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda). Winner of 1 GP 125 Italian Champion 1991: 5th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1992: 6th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) Open Italian Champion 1993: 6th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda). Winner of 3 GP 1994: 11th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha). 1995: 7th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 3 GP 1996: 6th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 1997: 5th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 1 GP 2nd at the MX of Nations with the Italian team 1998: 5th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha). Winner of 3 GP 1999: 500 Motocross World Champion (Yamaha). Winner of 4 GP Winner of the MX of Nations with the Italian team 2000: 4th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 2001: 21st in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Husqvarna) 2002: 5th in the 500 Motocross World Championship (Honda) Winner of the MX of Nations with the Italian team 2003: 3rd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 2004: 15th in the MX2 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha) 2005: 36th in the MX2 Motocross World Championship 2006: 33rd in the MX3 Motocross World Championship (Yamaha)


PADDOCK TALKS

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Paddock Talks 01/Alessandro Lupino’s two loves at the track supporting the new father! 02/Alpinestars debuts their new helmet technology during a press conference at Lommel! 03/FIM was at full force during the MXGP of Switzerland present by iXS! 04/Riders got the chance to claim some of the new trees planted at the Afyon Motorcenter during the MXGP of Turkey! 05/Tim Gajser meets with the officials at the MXGP of Turkey! 06/Antonio Cairoli made some fans within the Turkish government at Afyon! 07/Jeffrey Herlings and Turkish delegates both give a thumbs up to the return of MXGP in Turkey!

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03

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Paddock Talks 08/Zachary Pichon has some legends in his corner including Sebastien Tortelli! 09/Maxime Renaux all smiles in Switzerland. 10/Paul Malin and Rolf Dieffenbach, past winner of the Swiss GP! 11/Seewer brothers at the MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXS! One racing another working on the track! 12/5-times Supersport World Champion from Turkey Kenan SofuoÄ&#x;lu joined us at the 2018 MXGP of Turkey in Afyon! 13/It is always a pleasure having Steve Ramon back in the MXGP paddock.

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Special Feature

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50 Years of THOR


SPECIAL FEATURE

Torsten Hallman Original Racewear now known simply as THOR has reached the monumental anniversary of 50 years in business this season. Started in 1968 by the 4-time world champion from Sweden, Torsten Hallman, the company has grown beyond all expectations but still continues to develop original and innovative racewear. The company and the sport is forever indebted to Hallman for his role in the development of both. Torsten won his first two world titles in 1961 and 1962 with the focus shifting to studying at the Technical Institute in Stockholm the following years. In 1966 Hallman returned to

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the winners circle with two more world championship titles in both 66’ and 67’. After finishing his school Torsten came in contact with a leather manufacturer in Sweden who he worked with to create the first product line of gloves and leather pants then boots along with chest protectors. He named his creations Hallman Products and became the first to create a complete line of motocross products. In the late sixties professional motocross racing alone was not a sufficient source of income and Hallman looked towards his future and retirement. Hallman then became the first dealer of Husqvarna motorcycles transitioning the brand away from direct

consumer sales and in doing so also established the right as the exclusive dealer in Sweden. The combination of his exclusive and unique dealership agreement with the complete Hallman Product line pushed each other to the forefront of the industry and gave him a jump on any competition. Hallman was invited to the United States by the American importer of Husqvarna as he struggled to gain traction for the brand in a market that was unaware of the sport as a whole. Racing in 23 events for the American importer Hallman won them all shocking the American motorcycle fans who could never have imagined a


SPECIAL FEATURE

European coming and outperforming their own racers. The interest expressed by the American fans inspired Hallman and the importer to partner and bring other European riders into the United States to develop the previously unheard of sport. Also coming to the US were Hallman’s products but after the demand was unable to be met Hallman started what is the current company THOR (Tortsen Hallman Original Racewear) in California. The first gear company in motocross remained the only for many years with essentially every rider on the starting line wear Torsten’s products. After many years various other

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American brands started in the market such as Fox Racing. A new partner, Bob Maynard, joined the Hallman brand and created the shortened and easily recognizable name of THOR helping to fend off the competition. Since the brands inception 50 years ago Hallman himself has sold his share of the business to Parts Unlimited but remains active in the sport and follows his brainchild closely. Longtime designer director Jim Gallagher was hired by Hallman in the 70’s and has kept the products innovative ever since. “I am really impressed with the work they have done

over the years, it is fantastic! They have been a forerunner in the market and what is really impressive to me is their international network and work around the world.” - Torsten Hallman THOR and the motocross industry both worldwide and in America has seen tremendous growth over the last years and shows no signs of slowing down. THOR’s newest model line is out now as led by Gallagher and inspired by Torsten. Congrats on 50 years THOR and a special thanks from all of us in the industry to Torsten for his countless contributions to the sport! Photos: Thor


Special Feature

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2018 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship


SPECIAL FEATURE

The Junior Motocross World Championship is always monumental in the realm of youth motocross but this year in particular has and continues to stand out as one of the most unique. The 2018 event made its way to the Southern hemisphere and the country of Australia. Hosting the event was the town of Horsham in the Victoria region of the country with the nearest major city of Melbourne. A regional city, Horsham is about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide and had perfect infrastructure to accommodate the event.

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The world’s fastest youngsters looked forward to the track coming into the weekend, which provide good passing, racing and challenges for the future stars. While the event took place in Australia’s winter, the weather turned out excellent changing from early morning clouds to afternoon sunshine just in time for racing. Bringing together riders from 23 different countries who not only raced for their flag but also to be crowned Junior World Champion or 65cc World Cup Winner made the event truly unique. The experience of racing overseas

was new for many riders and surely one that will last forever. Kicking off the weekend in Australia on Friday evening was an opening ceremony with the riders and teams from various countries. Horsham Town Hall served as the opening venue where a massive applause went to the home riders of the Team Australia. Adding to the welcoming experience was a traditional performance from Aboriginal Australians. Saturday was the first day of action on track with Free Practice and Qualifying sessions to set the


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stage for Sunday’s races. The 125cc, 85cc and 65cc riders all participated to earn their spot for lining up behind the gate. Race day was Sunday and full of action with 3 different classes each having two races for a total of 6 on track. The 125cc riders were the oldest and fastest and Italy’s Mattia Guadagnini took the first race win over Australia’s Bailey Malkiewicz. Race 2 had closer action though with the same pair and pressure from Malkiewicz led Guadagnini to make a mistake while leading. Malkiewicz accomplished not only a home race win but was crowned 2018 FIM Junior

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Motocross World Champion in front of the home supporters. In the smaller and lower powered category of 85cc Caden Braswell from Team USA was fighting for the win against Belgium’s Liam Everts, son of motocross legend Stefan Everts. Everts was the race one winner but a fall and bike problem in race 2 left him out of the contest. The misfortune of Everts combined with another strong race from American crowned Braswell as the 2018 FIM Junior Motocross World Champion. Excitement to race from the little rippers of the 65cc class was evident since early Sunday morn-

ing and the first 65cc race was won by Czech Republic’s Vitezslav Marek but consistency proved to be the winning attribute as Australia’s Braden Plath was crowned 65cc Junior World Cup winner. The event was capped off with an awesome ending as team Australia was crowned the winner in the team standings and now with three new champions crowned many are already looking forward to their shot next year.


JOSH COPPINS 2010

TWIN CYLINDER APRILIA MXV450 services of the Spanish ridIt’s hard to imagine that just that we will feature this er Javier Garcia Vico, who a few years ago, 4-stroke month in MXGP Magazine. had just finished runner up motocross bikes were runto Joel Smets in the 650cc ning carburettors just like Aprilia is one of the world’s world championship. the well-trodden path of best-known road bike manuthe 2-stroke. However, that facturers. Owned by Piaggio The bike was revolutionary all changed in 2003 when its core market is scooters and came with a twin cylAprilia, the well known road and commuters but it never inder engine and fuel inbike brand entered the fray stopped them from entering jection, which Aprilia was with a radical new machine the FIM road racing world able to adapt to off-road that left the established championship, more comfrom itson on-road knowloff-road manufacturers monly known asusually MotoGP in a spotlight The 125cc class in the European Championship puts the next edge. Twin cylinders meant scratching their heads. That the 125cc and 250cc classbig name in motocross. In fact both of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champions and twin exhausts, which was a bike was the Aprilia MXV450 es and with great success. system in itself. The vice-world Romain Febvre, Gautier and Pauls Jonass and it was champions fuel injected. However, in a Paulin, bold andTim Gajsercomplex frame was a hybrid mix of Furthermore, it also came daring on move, thepaths factory have all won the EMX125 championship their to motocross supremacy. steel trellis and aluminium. with a revolutionary twin decided to enter the offIt was heavy, and it soundcylinder engine. In 2010, road market with the aim of ed wonderful but despite its Josh Coppins was hired by entering the FIM Motocross wow factor, the bike wasn’t the factory to race it in the World Championship and in as race-ready as everyone MX1 Class and it’s this bike 2004 the company hired the

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0

SPECIAL FEATURE

hoped; Vico didn’t gel with it and completed the rest of the season on a Honda. Undeterred, Aprilia refused to throw in the towel and continued to develop this exotic piece of elaborate machinery, and along the way they acquired the services of riders like Alessio Chiodi in 2007, Cedric Melotte in 2008, Julien Bill and Manuel Priem in 2009 where the latter ended the season 11th overall, with a best-race finish of 5th at Lommel, Belgium. Keen to advance further, Aprilia started talks with Josh Coppins, who had openly talked about retiring from MX1 to head back to New Zealand and race the Australian championship. He’d also had another solid season finishing 6th overall, and could still rattle out podium rides. After a private test at Honda Park in

Belgium the Kiwi followed it up with a second test and shortly afterwards, the deal was announced; Coppins would race the 2010 season for Aprilia: ‘When I first rode it, I was impressed with how well it turned and the top end power; however, I was disappointed with the bottom end power, but when I went to the test I wasn’t expecting a dream ride either. I knew roughly what I was in for! Having said I was actually pleasantly surprised but they did happen to pick a track that the bike was suited to!’ With the deal done, work commenced on getting the MXV450 set up to Coppins’ own specifications, although it soon became obvious that it wasn’t going to happen that way. Aprilia pulled something of a U-Turn and whilst he wasn’t aware of it

immediately, it soon became apparent that this was going to be a ‘one-year-only’ deal, which was fine for Josh as he was heading home at the end of 2010 anyway. The bike he was about to race was the same bike that Manuel Priem had just raced to 11th overall and as both riders had different riding styles ‘JC’ needed to adapt it to his own style; not easy when the team already had other ideas: ‘I didn’t get the option to change the power. I signed in September and not long after that they scrapped the project, therefore what I had was what I had! The guys tried hard but from a power point of view I just had to get used to it. They didn’t tell me they canned it straight away but there were some staff restructures early on and I soon heard through the grapevine that it was the last season;

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eventually they sat me down and told me.’

also meant two throttle bodies which were housed in the airbox towards the front of the bike behind the headstock.

was still unique but by now the Japanese and KTM had caught up with technology by introducing EFi of their own and with bikes that were lighter, they continued to dominate the world championship.

With that in mind, the team cracked on as best as they could and hoped for the best. The bike itself was The brakes were a combiquite compact in terms of nation of a Honda Nissin its ergonomics and slim front brake and a Brembo Having ridden only Japariding position. However, rear, married to 270mm and nese bikes Coppins needed the wide radiators gave it 240mm discs and where the to adapt to pretty much a much bigger feel at the stock bike came with 50mm everything; the power, the front end whilst the twin Marzocchi forks and Sachs engine, the weight of the pipes out the back gave it rear shock, Coppins optbike, how it handled: a much wider feel there as ed to use factory KYB from well. The twin cylinder conTechnical Touch as it was a The 125cc class in the European Championship usually puts a spotlight on the next ‘Coming from Yamaha the cept meant a very elaborate brand he knew well and his biggest thing I had to adbig name system in motocross. In fact both of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champions and exhaust from Arrelationship with Gunter just to was the fact it had row where it just wrapped Geerts who was his suspenvice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass less torque feeling and the itself around everything sion guy at Suzuki, Honda have all won the EMX125 championship on their paths to motocross supremacy. weight of the bike was the and anything, accumulating and Yamaha was second to biggest adjustment I had in a big expansion chamnone. Renthal Fat Bar’s and to make. The bike was very ber of sorts under the rear Pirelli tyres finished off the heavy at the front end, mudguard before tapering look, along with a carbon which helped it turn but out the back in the form of fibre fuel tank and carbon in the sand it made it feel two tailpipes. Twin cylinders air scoops. The trellis frame

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SPECIAL FEATURE

heavy and the bike was already heavy, but it was a huge difference.’ ‘Some tracks it was nice, some it was tough; it turned very well but then in the sand this made the front want to tuck a lot, but once we got the hang of it, it really wasn’t too bad. Some tracks I enjoyed it. The top end power was super strong; it just kept building. It was completely different to the Yamaha I had come from.’ Another thing he had to adapt to was the gearbox; the standard gearbox was 4-speed but Aprilia experimented here as well: ‘At one point we had a 3-speed box so it went from neutral to first, but I

found that weird so I asked to have the 4-speed back. I also liked that ratio spread better.’ Despite these issues, there were still a couple of areas where the Aprilia was far more superior: ‘The topend power was so strong, no Japanese bike I ever rode came close to the top end power of the Aprilia, including the KTM and it also turned on a dime.’ Reliability was also very good particularly where the engine was concerned; Josh never broke an engine during the whole year but other small issues ‘like the main wiring loom or ECU or the chain derailing; things I wasn’t used to coming from Yamaha. But the engine and frame was fine!’

The start of the season was fairly positive with a 9-10 at the opening round of the championship in Bulgaria for 9th overall. From there though, there were a couple of wobbles with a DNF in Valkenswaard, in the USA (broken radiator and lost the coolant), Germany (wiring loom) and Latvia (derailed the chain)! Despite these set backs, Josh rounded out the season 12th overall with two best race finishes of 7th at Lommel and Fermo in Italy, with 7th overall at both rounds. ‘My goal was top ten’s and I had quiet a few of them. I’m not sure what the team’s goals were, but they were probably the same. If we hadn’t had so many DNF’s we could have made the top ten overall.’

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‘They were pumped with those sevenths; I was satisfied, obviously coming from GP wins it was hard to get pumped with a seventh but their excitement made it pretty cool. I personally think my best race was Race Two at Lommel. I crashed at the start and came from last to 7th, I had great lap times and without the crash I could have made the top three! The team were in tears; when I came in the bike was falling to pieces, no front mudguard, radiator grills or front number plate, it was steaming everywhere. The rear brake was bent inside out and honestly you would have thought I’d just won the GP! They were over the moon and that’s the

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memory that sticks with me from Aprilia. They were so passionate!’ Sadly, at the end of the season, the team disbanded as the project came to an end. In 2003 it all looked so promising especially with the introduction of fuel injection, which was new at that time. But as you’d expect, Japan and Austria had followed suit by introducing their own EFi systems and by 2010 they were already moving on to data and launch control. In short, the Aprilia needed upgrading but it had taken so long to get the current bike close to competitive and sales were not great for the production bike either, so from the out-

side looking in it just didn’t make commercial sense. As for Josh, his parting words are nothing but genuine and kind: ‘I have to say I enjoyed my time at Aprilia, they were a fantastic bunch to race for and always gave 100%. I knew it was going to be hard at times and I knew I had to accept things weren’t always going to be easy but I adjusted my mind set and enjoyed the racing and set small goals that became really satisfying when we achieved them. Finally, when we all parted ways I’d like to think they respected me for my effort and performances and it was mutual from my side.’


SPECIAL FEATURE


QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR

QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Hi MXGP, Can you let me know the prize to purchase the Monster Energy FIM MXoN package on MXGPTV? Thanks, Karol Hi Karol, The 2018 Monster Energy FIM MXoN MXGP-TV package costs 25.99 Euro, but we have just launched the MXGP-TV End of season package, which also includes the MXoN plus the last 2 GPs of the season, Assen and Imola at 39.00 Euro. It is a good offer! If you wish to have more info please click HERE: https:// tickets.mxgp-tv.com/en/2396mxgp-tv/product/6031-59771END-OF-SEASON-PACKAGE/ Regards MXGP

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Dear MXGP, I’m Eduardo from Brazil and I’m planning to attend the 2018 MXoN. I checked on the website and I see there is an option called Holeshot Club. Can you give me more details? Thanks, Eduardo Dear Eduardo , The 2018 Monster Energy FIM MXoN will be a fantastic one! The option Holeshot Club will be a cherry on the cake to your MXGP experience. With this option you’ll have exclusive access to the holeshot Club trackside Hospitality, which includes light snacks and drinks on Saturday and Lunch on Sunday, plus a VIP parking pass besides the paddock entry where all the riders are located during the weekend and all activities are taking place. Best Regards MXGP

Hi MXGP, Is there any activities, autographs, etc planned in Assen? Thanks, Luc Hi Luc The MXGP Paddock is always full of activities during the weekend that feature our main riders. The usual Monster Riot is already confirmed on Sunday at 11:20 with Monster Girls and Monster Athletes and once you’re onsite make sure you listen to the announcements of the speaker about all paddock plans. Thanks MXGP


MXGP MAG 2013 MXGP.COM


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MXGP #61 September 2018  

Youthstream is proud to announce that the sixty-first issue of MXGP Mag is now online. The newest issue of MXGP Mag features the MX2 Points...

MXGP #61 September 2018  

Youthstream is proud to announce that the sixty-first issue of MXGP Mag is now online. The newest issue of MXGP Mag features the MX2 Points...

Profile for mxgpmag