MXGP #64 December 2018

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SPECIAL FEATURE 2019 MXGP Organizers Meeting

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HALL OF FAME Mickael Pichon

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 #64 December 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).



Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group

Like every year, this time of the year riders are taking their well-deserved rest and YS, teams and manufactures are preparing for the next season.

meet and spend time together sharing and comparing their vision of their speciality with the others; everyone really enjoyed this special moment together.

long experience in the motorcycle world he will conduct the FIM to a bright future supporting the sport and its development which is the soul of FIM.

The most important thing that happened in November was the FIM Assembly in Andorra with the election of the new FIM President and 3 board members. And on the same weekend the FIM Awards took place where all the World Champions for all the various disciplines were awarded. This weekend is a very special weekend for the FIM family because on one side there are politics, governance and strategies, and on the other side there is the celebration for all our great champions, and it’s the perfect occasion for all the motorcycle world and the champions from the various specialities to

During the same weekend in Andorra, Youthstream held the annual MXGP organisers’ meeting where the goal is to discuss and share ideas, and to talk about all the improvements to be done in the years to come. The atmosphere was excellent and the discussions were constructive; the feeling was of a strong Motocross family with the aim of enjoying our sport and helping it to continue to develop.

During the FIM Awards evening in Andorra I had the pleasure and privilege to share the table with Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado, it was fantastic because during the 5 hours of dinner and the prize giving ceremony we had the time to share our opinions concerning the future of our sport and life in general, and it was a very interesting and pleasant evening. We are very proud to have 2 World Champions like this - great talents and stars on their bikes, very intelligent young men with very good vision of life and both of them have both feet on the ground. Jeffrey and Jorge: thank you for all that you do for our sport.

Congratulations to the newly elected President, Mr Jorge Viegas, and we wish him well for all the important tasks ahead of him. We believe that with his very













Special Feature

FIM Welcomes Jorge Viegas as New President




The FIM has just elected a new president to represent all 113 National Federations and the 6 continents of motorcycling active around the word. Passionate motorcycle community member, fan and advocate of sport, Jorge Viegas will take over the reins from the long serving President Mr. Vito Ippolito whom he has previously worked with closely. Mr. Viegas is a long time representative of sport from Faro, Portugal, holding an impressive resume filled with a combination of education, business and sporting experience all showing a lifelong commitment to the enhancement of sport and motorcycling. First racing motocross in April 1974 Mr. Viegas transitioned into Grand Prix road racing for several years even participating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1978. Around the same time Mr. Viegas



began working as a journalist in television, radio and various publications in Portugal. In 1990 Jorge Viegas brought Portuguese motorcycling into a new dimension by founding the new national federation (FNM/FMP) and by serving as its president for the following 23 years. Not long afterward, his work within the FIM began as a member and president of their promotion commission.

1996-1998 and his government appointed role as the President of the Estoril Circuit in 1997. Serving as a member of various FIM groups and committees Mr. Viegas remained the Vice President of the FIM from 1999-2004 and returned to the Vice President role from 2006-2010 with a variety of responsibilities as a member of the FIM Executive Board.

Back at the national level he cofounded the Portuguese Confederation of Sports and served as President of their Supervisory Board for 2 years before cofounding the Mediterranean Motorcycle Association (AMM) and serving as its Vice President. Mr. Viegas continued to also cofound and serve as vice-president of the European Motorcycle Union (UEM).

In the following years his work was rewarded with Portugal’s National Sports Meritum Medal and his appointment to Ambassador of Sport Ethics. After serving as Deputy FIM President and Member of the Executive Bureau from 2010 to 2014 Viegas then entered as a candidate for the FIM Presidency but did not succeed and instead became a judge for the Portuguese Arbitrary Court of Sport. In 2016 Viegas returned to the FIM with passion as a Member of the Board he

The accomplishments of Mr. Viegas continued with his first term as FIM Vice President in


has served on ever since and in addition to the Executive Board of the Portuguese Olympic Committee. We jumped at the chance to talk with the Mr. Jorge Viegas and to hear his future thoughts for motorcycle sports around the world just prior to the announcement: MXGP Mag: You have been involved in racing for many years first as a fan, then as rider and also dedicated a career to it, what is your background in racing? Mr. Viegas: “My first race was on April 11th, 1974 in motocross, this was my first race ever and I remember the revolution in Portugal took place exactly two weeks after. Then after racing motocross from 1974-1975 and then I switched into road racing



until 1980, this is when I stopped and started working as a journalist. At the same time, I was working to achieve my university degree in economics. I continued as a journalist and also worked for several companies as an economist until 1990 when I founded the Portuguese Federation.” MXGP Mag: What do you remember from your career as a journalist and do you think this experience has helped you? Mr. Viegas: “It has helped me a lot because I didn’t just take photos, I did everything. I covered the FIM Congress in 1985 and I just thought it was old men who didn’t anything. (Laughs) I interviewed the president at the time and wasn’t impressed but I was very young as you can imag-

ine in ’85, I was 28 and I thought they were all too old and didn’t know what they were doing. I started working with the FIM in 1991 through the New Zealand Congress and this is when my opinion changed because I learned that there were very good people in the FIM, not only old men but very dynamic and experienced people. But before I worked for television, radio, and newspapers because at the time I needed to, I already had a daughter and my wife to work for and at the same time the university.” MXGP Mag: You were a Founder and the President of the Portuguese Motorcycle Federation; how did this happen and how were you involved? Mr. Viegas: “The old federation in Portugal wasn’t do-

ing its job correctly so some people, riders, and clubs asked me to create a new federation. With the support of the government at the time we did it and it is still here, it was very successful. I left the presidency 6 years ago and I am very happy that the people who have followed me are doing a very good job.” MXGP Mag: Are you still involved with them? Mr. Viegas: “I am the President of their General Assembly and I’m still helping when they ask my advice but I’m no longer involved in the daily business. However, here in Portugal I am involved in 2 other things, the Olympic Committee where I am responsible for the National Federations who have no Olympics or in other words sports who do not take part in the Olympics, and I am also a judge in the Arbitrary Court of Sport in Portugal.”

MXGP Mag: Will you still be involved in these roles as the new FIM President? Mr. Viegas: “No, I am leaving the Court of Sport and I am leaving the Presidency of the Portuguese Federation’s General Assembly as it would be a conflict of interest. I will stay in the Olympic Committee because I think this is very good for motorcycling sports, to have more representation in the Olympic Committee.” MXGP Mag: How is the experience in the Olympic Committee? We know some other Federations such as the French one have members actively involved. Mr. Viegas: “It is very positive. One of the objectives we have is to try and involve one sport as a demonstration sport in the Olympics, maybe with electric engines, maybe trial, maybe motocross, I don’t know. We will get there

and this is one of my future objectives.” MXGP Mag: You were also the President of the well-known road circuit of Estoril, how did that happen? Mr. Viegas: “It was the Portuguese government who asked me to be involved in the homologation works because the circuit of Estoril was very old, they had to do a lot of work to meet the homologation standards of MotoGP and Formula 1 so I agreed to take it on for 3 years and served a mandate as president. We did the homologation most importantly and requalified the circuit, which was another very good experience I had between 1997 and 2000 including bringing back MotoGP under a 12-year contract.” MXGP Mag: You have been involved with the FIM for over 16 years from Vice President to other capacities and you



will take over the Presidency from Mr. Vito Ippolito who you have been working next to and observed for many years. You know what is working and what isn’t, can you tell us about your experience in the FIM and what you would like to achieve in your mandate?

the second step I think is to give strength and importance again to the Commissions in the main decisions. Finally, I would like continental unions and the necessary funding for good continental championships and development of these programs.”

Mr. Viegas: “I joined the FIM in 1992 as member of the Promotion Commission and in ’95 I became Vice President for the first time. I have been involved in the board at some level since 1995 with some gaps here and there which were positive. In 2014 I ran for the Presidency against Mr. Ippolito which he won, then I came back to the board 2 years ago, and now here I am as the new President. In my program we have to put back the National Federations where they belong, meaning that in the main strategic decisions we have to involve our shareholders which are the national federations;

Mr. Viegas is clearly well versed from the world of motorcycling, sport, business, to strategy of federations at all levels. The FIM’s newest president is more than ready to continue his track record of excellence with the evolution of the FIM itself, the national federations, motorcycling as a whole, and the FIM’s partnerships with promoters.


“Again, I want to do it with the full cooperation with the promoters, this for me is essential. I want to involve much more the promoters in our evolution.” Mr. Viegas continued with his thoughts on MXGP and

motocross specifically, “The future of motocross can only be bright and looking at the enthusiasm of the fans about these new heroes like Prado and Jonass, I am not afraid at all of the evolution of motocross. Motocross has to think of e-bikes, electric bikes, we cannot avoid it really, even if we like the noise and the sound of the engines, we cannot put in jeopardy our planet. We have to go for electric engines instead of thermal engines and believe me there is no avoiding this energetic transition.” Our interview with Mr. Viegas wrapped up with a simple yet clear quote showing his determination and belief of bringing motorcycling sports to a new level, “To finalize, the FIM and motorcycle sports deserve to be thought of in a higher position because our sports are truly amazing.” Photos: FIM


TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @yamaharacingcom The #YZ125 riders are out riding with @MXGP star @ arnaudtonus today!

@nicoespo92 @Vanhorebeek89 Best wishes, with the hope of seeing you again in the Italian’s gp in 2019. Champion in and out of the track. #MXGP #JVH89

@TomasinRacing What is honda + akrapovic? The perfect combination!

@OntrackOffroad KTM have signed Tom Vialle for the most desirable seat in #mxgp. The 18 year old will be in at the deep end with teammates like Prado, Cairoli & Herlings but has the expertise of Joel Smets there. @Rockstar_Racing Excited to enter the 2019 @mxgp season with a solid line-up of young and promising racers @PaulsJonass41 and Arminas Jasikonis #Husky1903



@kevinstrijbos Happy to announce I will ride for the Yamaha JWR team in 2019. Thanks to everyone involved to make it happen. Looking forward to a good year.

@MaxAnstie Stoked to announce that I’ll be riding for Standing Construct KTM in 2019! Can’t wait to get start-ed!

Countdown to Christmas With MXGP Advent! This year the tradition continues featuring the best Issues of MXGP Mag since its first publication in September 2013! Each one of the 24 days leading up to Christmas will host an exciting MXGP Mag edition full of amazing articles, photos, bikes, and more. The MXGP Advent Calendar starts the 1st December so be sure to follow us on MXGP Facebook Page for daily content!

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Watch the Best Moments of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship MXGP and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations MXoN in the 26 minutes season review:


@arminasjasikonis: We are focused for a weekend! @iceone_racing @rockstarhusky @husqvarna1903 @foxracing

@francesco_tappari: Thanks for the picture! @ alessandrolupino

@ixs_official: Thank you for this awesome picture for our office! Good luck for your future Jeremy! #ixs #js91 #ixsracing #mxgp @jeremyseewer91 @ixs_official @ixsmx_

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Special Feature

2019 MXGP Organizer in Andorra Annual Mee 28


rs Join eting


Every year MXGP’s Organizers from around the world come together to meet and this year the event took place in Andorra at the beautiful Arthotel of Andorra la Vella. The capital city of the Principality of Andorra is situated between the mountains of Spain and France with a long history and unique beauty. The annual event hosted in the small country gives a special chance to all the Organizers of the upcoming FIM Motocross World Championship events to learn from the successful strategies of their long time and experienced counterparts in a very positive atmosphere. The weekend is not just a meeting but a reunion for the international MXGP family to share their love for motocross while learning and planning for the



year ahead. Youthstream’s Director of Communications and Marketing Services, Marionna Leiva, opened the event by introducing the representatives present, which included Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo, Youthstream Vice President David Luongo, Youthstream Directors Mr. Nikos Gounaris, Mr. Daniele Rizzi and Mr. Didier Henriod, FIM representatives such as FIM/CMS Director Mr. Tony Skillington, FIM Race Director Mr. Ingo Partsch, and FIM Medical Director David McManus. Taking up the chance to meet in Andorra where the organizers of the 2019 MXGP rounds of Great Britain, Trentino, Lombardia, Portugal, France, Russia, Germa-

ny, Indonesia, Asia, Sweden, Turkey, and Italy along with a very professional delegation all the way from Shanghai to represent the MXGP of China to show their excitement of hosting MXGP in 2019. The meeting included a presentation that detailed Youthstream’s departments to the Organizers starting with the overall organization and facilities required then going into valuable assets in the promotion of the events such as logos, official programs, posters, signage, MXGP Magazine, MXGP’s Videogame series, and MXGP’s VIP Gold Skybox. Also highlighted was the growing extent of MXGP coverage including media on site but also MXGP’s own successful digital and social me-

dia platforms from MXGP-TV, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to a 60% increase in total TV audience compared to 2017. Following the introduction, important notes, tips, and tools the new and returning venues were presented starting with the MXGP stop of China in Shanghai, followed by Indonesia in Palembang, Sweden in Uddevalla, Hong Kong, and finally the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations at the famous Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands. Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo then joined on stage where he welcomed everyone and spoke highly of how the 2018 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations showcased the ability of

MXGP riders who have developed their talents through the demanding World Championship races and tracks. Mr. Luongo also spoke of the importance of the Youth program in order to grow the professionalism of riders and the continued cooperation between Youthstream, the FIM, and the local Organizers. Mr. Giuseppe Luongo: “We are all here because we love the sport. We create a future, there are a lot of young kids in the European Championship and MX2 who are very fast and they push the level of MXGP to be as strong as it is now.” Mr. Luongo then expressed his joy of being able to host the Organizers in a meet-

ing during the off season as part of the MXGP family and continued by mentioning the need to improve the championship noting how valuable the details are to make an event truly impressive. Additionally, highlighted was the growth of the spectator numbers and the massive improvement of longtime facilities along with the acknowledgment of quick success from new venues to the calendar in 2018 such as Turkey and Imola, Italy. FIM/CMS Director Tony Skillington, “2018 was a fantastic and exciting season, I was happy to be a part of it. What we can see all around is the growth, the professionalism, the dedication to do hard work. I, in my youth, was an organizer and I am very appreciative of the hard

Photo: FIM


work, time, and effort that people go through to put on the quality events that they do.� FIM Race Director Ingo Partsch and FIM Medical Director David McManus then shared some additional info on the improvement they have already witnesses and what they would still like to see improved. Most notably emphasized was planning and cooperation from all involved to maintain the current high standard appreciated by both the athletes and their teams. From educated marshals and flag staff to highly trained and well-prepared medical personnel. Afterwards Organizers from both the MXGP of



Russia and the MXGP of China each took the microphone to say a few words with the representatives from Shanghai expressing the honor they felt to be a part of the event in Andorra and to welcome MXGP in 2019. Pleased with the ability to both learn and share valuable information they continued to say how excited they are to present Shanghai to the world. The entire event was also held on the eve of the Annual FIM Awards ceremony held at the Sports Arena in Andorra La Vella where the 2018 FIM Champions from various twowheeled disciplines where gathered to be rewarded during a stunning Gala dinner. Set against the beauty of Andorra a red-carpet

welcome was given to guests with an impressive evening. In front of all special guests, media, and various federation representatives MXGP World Champion Jeffrey Herlings, MX2 World Champion Jorge Prado, WMX World Champion Kiara Fontanesi, Junior Motocross World Champions Bailey Malkiewicz and Caden Braswell, plus Snowcross World Champion Adam Renheim went on stage to receive their FIM Medal and say a few words of appreciation. With the meeting concluded and the organizers informed, well prepared, and the 2018 Champions rewarded, the 2019 season is now one step closer to the highly anticipated first gate drop this March!

M 34 Photo: MEYER

MXGP MAG 2017 2013 MXGP.COM 2018



Mickael ‘Rocket’ Pichon

Mickael Pichon has one of the longest racing careers, as he started racing at the age of seven and was still involved in the 2018 Veteran’s World Cup this summer! Riding off-road bikes has always been a passion for him and he had a successful career winning two US Supercross titles and two Motocross World Championship crowns during his career.

joined the 125cc class. He did not have a good first season in this class because he suffered from another broken arm, but in 1991 he impressed everyone as he won the Junior title and also the 125cc Supercross title ahead of Fred Vialle and Cyril Porte.

race the US Supercross.

Mickael Pichon became 125cc Supercross champion in 1995 and 1996 and he signed with team Suzuki to enter the main class. However, he missed most of the 1997 after breaking his leg at the opening round of the SX series in Racing in his father’s team Mickael Los Angeles. Back racing for the entered the World Championship outdoor series, he entered the Suat the age of 16 in 1992 and got a percross World Championship and Born on 13th February 1976 near couple of top ten results. In Janu- finished runner up behind Damon ary 1993 the French rider moved Le Mans, a worldwide famous Huffman and in front of Jeff Emig racing city, Mickael got a Pee Wee to USA to prepare the GP season and Jeremy McGrath. as present for Christmas when he but also to race some Superwas only five years old. His father cross race; in fact he immediately In 1998 the French rider finished showed his great abilities as he Alain was racing himself motosixth of the US Supercross series cross, so Mickael enjoyed running won the San Diego SX! Back in and fourth in Motocross, and he in the paddocks since he was born, Europe he claimed several heat signed with Honda America for podiums in the GP’s to end the in fact he entered his first ever the ’99 season, but after a decent season in fifth position. Considrace when he was seven years old. performance in Supercross (4th), First race and first win, and a first ered as one of the favourites for he put an end to the agreement French title a few months later as the ‘94 campaign he didn’t score he had with his team at mid seahe dominated the ‘minivert’ series any points in Italy at the first GP, son and suddenly he came back but dominated the second round in with his 50cc Pee Wee. in Europe to join the Suzuki team the French mud of Sourdeval with of Sylvain Geboers. They entered an easy double win; Pichon manMickael Pichon dominated the the last five GP’s of the season 50cc class in 1984, but his career aged to be on the podium regularly working hard to prepare the 2000 but he unfortunately broke his stopped in ‘85 due to a broken campaign and in fact, it was a sucarm at mid season. By the end of arm … at school! Again he won cessful one as Mikael won several the season he achieved one of his the Minivert in 1986 (60cc class), GPs and was fighting for the title dreams when he signed an agree- with reigning champion Frederic he later grabbed two 80cc cadet ment with Pro Circuit Kawasaki to Bolley until he crashed during the titles in 1988 and 1989 and then


Belgian GP and injured his shoulder losing all his chances to get the title. Never giving up he would finally succeed in 2001 winning ten out of the fourteen rounds of the series to get his first Motocross World title. He claimed back his title in 2002 with eleven GP wins and in 2003 he became the main opponent of Stefan Everts in the new Motocross GP class. Pichon was racing on a 250cc two stroke against the 450cc four stroke and he was a title contender until he twisted his knee in Gaildorf and missed the last three GP’s. In 2004 he moved to Honda Martin and discovered the four stoke machines and he was again the main rival of Everts, winning six GP’s to finish runner up. That year Pichon was selected for the second time of his career to represent France at the Motocross of Nations and he could enjoy being on the third step of the podium. The 2005 season would be his last one as a title contender scoring four podiums during the first six GP’s, he lost many points with a double DNF in Italy and later damaged his knee ligaments and missed two others GP’s. Fifth of the series



and runner up at the MXoN, he missed the 2006 Championship due to a mononucleosis and stopped his international career to focus on French racing. Twice Enduro champion, winner of le Touquet Beach Race and also winner of the MX3 French Grand Prix in 2010, he stopped racing at the end of 2010 to focus on his family.

While his son Zach is now racing the GP’s, Mickael keeps on enjoying riding bikes and last summer he proved that he is still a talented rider when he finished runner up in the Veterans World Cup on his 250cc KTM at Matterley Basin. Text and Photos: Pascal Haudiquiert

1988: French 80cc Champion (Honda) 1989: French 80cc Champion (Honda) 1991: French 125 Junior Champion (Honda) French 125 Supercross Champion 1992: 19th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) French 125 Supercross Champion 1993: 5th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) French 250 Supercross Champion 1994: 6th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda). Winner of 1 GP / French 125 Motocross Champion 1995: 125 East Coast Supercross Champion (Kawasaki) 1996: 125 East Coast Supercross Champion (Kawasaki) 1997: 4th in the US 125 Motocross Championship (Suzuki) 2nd in the Word Supercross Championship 1998: 4th in the US 250 Motocross Championship (Suzuki) 6th in the US 250 Supercross Championship 1999: 4th in the US 250 Supercross Championship (Honda) 5th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 2000: 2nd in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki). Winner of 3 GP 2001: 250 Motocross World Champion (Suzuki). Winner of 10 GP 2002: 250 Motocross World Champion (Suzuki). Winner of 11 GP French Elite Motocross Champion 2003: 3rd in the Motocross World Championship (Suzuki). Winner of 3 GP 2004: 2nd in the MX1 Motocross World Championship (Honda). Winner of 6 GP



Paddock Talks 01/ Alessandro Lupino taking some much deserved family time in his first year as a moto dad! 02/Antonio Cairoli is proud to share his biography published last month! 03/Arnaud Tonus having some fun racing his grandfather around! 04/Calvin Vlaanderen has been enjoying some rare time back in South Africa with family! 05/We are stoked to see Darian Sanayei has started riding again to work his way back to 100%


03 04





Paddock Talks 06/Tim Gajser looking sharp and managing to put the #243 on the bowtie! 07/Max Anstie is training in the offseason among some amazing views! 08/Pauls Jonass has made the switch to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing for 2019! 09/Dunlop tires and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing have partnered up for MXGP! 09




Photo: Adam Duckworth

The 125cc class in the European Championship usually puts a spotlight on the next big name in motocross. In fact both of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champions and vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass have all won the EMX125 championship on their paths to motocross supremacy.

MXGP Holiday Horsepower Dreaming about the roar and excitement of MXGP racing… but instead waking up to snow and holiday songs? Not to worry, the MXGP elves are here to help you spread the joy of MXmas with our best gift ideas ever. Whether you are looking to be the best gift giver or simply for justification to treat yourself, check out our fun list of gift ideas below: #1 - MXGP-TV Season Pass Perfect for: Every Motocross Fan and Rider, Tech Lovers, World Travelers, and… humans The 2019 FIM MXGP World Championship will be another season full of racing and with 20 races around the world plus the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of

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races again. To make the gift even better it includes exclusive content for subscribers such as the 26min Behind the Gate feature and more to give you a behind the scenes look at every round with news, interviews, team reports, etc. Wondering how to give it to them? Well it’s easy, go to and purchase the season pass with the 2019 Early Bird Discount then create a login and password for them, write it in their Christmas Card and tell them to enjoy the racing! #2 - VIP Gold Passes Perfect for: Every Motocross Fan and Rider, Special Occasions, Amazing Memories, and… feeling like a Rockstar!


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MXGP Pro is available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch at Bonus Tip: MXGP Motocross Rush is a new, and free, mobile game available in the App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android) now! #4 - MXGP Tickets Perfect for: Every Motocross Fan and Rider, Family Fun, World Class Racing, and… being amazed Want to give someone an amazing weekend of racing but not ready to go as a VIP just yet? Buy a weekend of fun and epic racing with tickets to your favorite MXGP round nearest you! The 2019 MXGP Season will have 20 stops

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Photo: Adam Duckworth


him from becoming a back-toWhen American racer Trampas motocross in general. A move back world champion. Parker won the FIM 125cc back to the 250cc class folMotocross World Champilowed in 1990, however, it was ‘In ’89 my mechanic Bruno onship in 1989, nobody had a season marred by injury but ‘Ferro’ Ferrari and I could do really heard of him. His previa move to Honda machinery pretty much anything I wanted ous ‘best’ finishes had been a from KTM put him back on the to the bike to make it better thirteenth place finish in Race map once again in 1991 where but with the 250cc, when I One in Spain in 1987 in the he became the first American became the full factory 250cc 500cc class for 52nd overall to win two world titles, and it’s rider, there were things that in the championship, followed his 1991 Honda 250cc that we weren’t allowed to change by a tenth place finish in the we will feature in this issue of on the bike and next that was my first races in Czechoslovakia MXGP Magazine.usually puts a spotlight The 125cc class in the European Championship on the biggest complaint. That KTM and Sweden for thirty-fourth big name in motocross. In fact both of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champions and was capable of winning the overall in the final standings in After winning the 125cc world vice-world champions GautieronPaulin, Tim Gajserworld and championship, Pauls Jonassno probthe 250cc class in 1988.Romain Febvre, championship a non-factory lems, and if they’d have just let KTM in 1989 Trampas have all won the EMX125 championship on their pathsParker to motocross supremacy. us to do what we wanted with So, it goes without saying that was promoted to the 250cc the bike, that would have been from thirty-fourth to world class as KTM’s factory rider a winning bike too! While I champion the following year for the 1990 season. However, was injured, I was offered the was something of a major injuries and certain mechanride with Honda for ‘91; they shock to the 125cc class and ical ‘restrictions’ prevented




said we would have the factory bikes and stuff and it was something that I jumped on!’ Eye opener At a time when HRC were scaling back its race programme in the 500cc class – Eric Geboers had just won the 1990 500cc world championship which was the last official title for HRC in the then premier class; Georges Jobe leased bikes from HRC in 1991 – efforts were still being made in the 250cc class, where Honda had not won since Jean-Michel Bayle in 1989, and even though it was not a full-blown HRC effort, the bikes still came from Japan but would sit under the awning of a new team known as Emmepi/ MP Honda Racing Team, run by Paolo Martin and Pier Angelo Platini, but going from a full factory effort to a semi-factory team didn’t bother ‘Chad’ in

the slightest: ‘The bike had a different frame, the engine was really, really good, it had quite a bit of different stuff in the motor and when it came in it was just a completely different experience from working with other companies. KTM trust me, was a great company and ‘Ferro’ my KTM mechanic, I’d probably rate him as THE top guy in the world. He wasn’t just a mechanic; he could actually build things. He was what I would call a true mechanic, not one of these guys today that just bolt on stuff. He was more like an engineer and we could do things together, whereas with Martin, it was more of a bolt on deal and when the stuff came in from Honda, there was so much stuff and then it was a deal of elimination.’ ‘When Honda sent the stuff,

you had so many different clamps, brake levers … everything was custom and then you customised the bike to fit you! So it was just a deal of trial and error and a lot of testing and then eliminating stuff, and that worked good for me because I was good at setting up the bike the way I wanted it. We would run through the stuff and if I didn’t like something I would tell them to ‘put it back in the crate, that’s not for me.’ And we eliminated it down to where I was comfortable with the bike and that’s the way we used it the entire year.’ In typical HRC fashion, the bike was still way ahead of its time. The frame was welded in different areas, ten sets of different triple-clamps where the off-set and rake could all be set-up in multiple different ways were narrowed down to give him the set-up he pre-


with the Honda and I come ferred the most, along with just confuse ourselves. Once I through this section and I whatever shape and thickness had the bike set up the way I crashed my brains out in front of brake and clutch levers liked it I didn’t want to change of everybody, so big that I was he wanted or the length and anything.’ like ‘oh my god! That definitely shape of the rear brake lever. didn’t look good!’ Nothing was left to chance, Testing times everything was tested and The first test though didn’t As for the bike itself you’d eliminated and as a rider, quite go according to plan, as think that with it being ‘full Parker had never experienced Parker recalls: ‘The first time factory’ that it would have anything like it before and nor I tested, I wanted to test it on somehow felt overwhelming had he ever seen so many facsomething I was familiar with or head and shoulders above tory parts in one place at one and I could compare it, and anything he’d ridden before, time. Once he had his set-up I had my KTM up there and but that wasn’t entirely the though, that was it, and ‘once I had the Honda and when I case: I had it customised for mywent out, it was kinda funny The 125cc class in the European Championship usually puts a spotlight on the next self, my deal was to get rid of because I’d ride the KTM and ‘It wasChampions different; itand wasn’t everything we didn’t need then on the big name inthat motocross. In fact both ofI’d thejump 2015 FIMHonda, Motocross World that deal where you’d jump so we didn’t accidentally put it they’d put the ‘bars on and vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass on it and go, ‘oh, there’s no back on the motorcycle, beeverything I wanted, and there have allI knew won the on their paths motocross waysupremacy. I’m gonna lose on this cause whatEMX125 I wanted,championship was a section that I wasto doing bike,’ because it wasn’t! The I knew what fit my riding style and I could do it fast but it was bike was good but it needand my main worry was the super rough; I did it on the ed a lot of work to fit me, mechanics starting to re-exKTM and then I’d jump on the and I knew that was before periment with stuff halfway Honda. Then I started getting I agreed to ride with them. through the year and we’d more and more comfortable



That was one of the things that I wanted to make sure, that we was gonna be able to get the bike to suit my riding style.’ ‘It had good bottom, it had mid and it had top. It was a really easy, electric motorcycle, something that was easy to ride but had the power to run with anybody down the straight-away’s. It was a bike that when we got through with it you could ride it without a clutch in the corner, because I didn’t use the clutch a lot; I tried to use the motor more and I considered my right hand my traction control, so I tried to ride the bike smoother and with that bike I had the power anywhere I wanted it, to roll it on and for me, I

couldn’t have asked for more out of a 250cc!’ The engine was of course a full HRC unit, including cylinder, cylinder head and piston; the Keihin carburettor looked standard from the outside but was anything but stock on the inside. The exhaust pipe and silencer were straight out of Japan and so too were the gearbox, gears and clutch. The rims had different rim-locks, which later turned out to be quite problematic and the bike was suspended at both ends by factory Showa USD forks and shock. In what turned out to be one of the most hotly contested campaigns where there were seven different over-

all winners from the eleven contested rounds, Parker emerged from the opening GP with an 8-6 in Holland, followed by 7-2 in Czechoslovakia. His only two GP wins of the season came in rounds three and four in Austria and Italy where he also took two of his three race wins. But untypically for Honda, there were some races where Parker did not score, including a DNF in France: ‘The only trouble we had that year wasn’t the bike; we ended up having eleven flat tyres that year. It’s when Dunlop had that little halfmousse (crescent mousse) with that tube inside. Well, the rim locks that HRC had built were different than the

stock rim locks and somehow that thing would cut that little tube, so there were several times where I was winning the race and would drop back in the race because of a flat tyre, but luckily with that being a half mousse, unless it knocked off the bead of the rim, I was still able to finish the moto. In France, the tyre came off the rim!’

left Parker in a lot of pain and missing several layers of skin from all over his body.

crashed at the start of the final race in a huge pile-up and ‘when I jumped up and grabbed the bike and got on it, I actually had the wrong bike and I had to throw it back down and get my bike. I’d picked up one of the factory Japanese bikes that was in the pile up also. My goggles got broken on the start so I had to come through the pack without a pair of goggles that moto.’

In the end, Parker won the title by four points over fellow American Mike Healey but according to Parker, ‘there wouldn’t have been a challenge if it wasn’t for my tyre issues because in Sweden I was leading and had the race won easily and went from first right back to ninth and you lose a There were two other nobunch of points when you start The 125cc in athe European Championship usually puts a spotlight on the next ParkWith Healey in second, scores; oneclass was as result of dropping back and unfortuer methodically worked onename of thein mechanics putting nately, you2015 can only goMotocross so fast big motocross. In fact both of the FIM World Champions andhis way back to sixth, which was the wrong fuel in the bike, fuel on a flat tyre. But I ended up vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass enough to clinch the title in that came from the generator winning the championship and have allopposed won thetoEMX125 paths motocross supremacy. Japan, at home in front of the can as the can tochampionship if it wason by their one point or atohunHRC hierarchy. Parker’s sucfill the bikes so there was no dred points, it doesn’t matter.’ cess was the third world title oil mixed in and the bike seized. for Honda in the 250cc class The other was a self-inflicted He almost lost the title at the after Eric Geboers (’87) and injury whilst messing about final round in Japan though; Jean-Michel Bayle (’89). before the San Marino GP that after third in Race One he





QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Hi MXGP, Is there still a possibility to purchase the archive package on MXGP-TV? Thanks, Sabrina Hi Sabrina, Of course you can. You have 2 options on you can either purchase the only Archive package having access to all the video footage since 2010 until 2018 or purchase the 2019 early bird offer which includes the archive package for free. Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, When the ticketing for the MXGP in Valkenswaard will open? Thanks, Sally Hi Sally, Tickets for the MXGP of Europe taking place in Valkenswaard will open very shortly, normally before Christmas. Stay tuned to MXGP social platforms for more details. Regards MXGP



Dear MXGP, where do you guys televise MXGP? Thanks, James Dear James, thanks for the question. We have our online stream,, and we are broadcasted around the world. The list of our TV Broadcasters can be viewed here https://www. tv-broadcasters Best Regards MXGP

Hi MXGP, Can you inform us where and when will be MXGP in 2019? Thanks, Andrei Hi Andrei Thanks for the message, the schedule and locations for the 2019 season can be found on our website under the calendar tab here https:// Thanks MXGP Hi MXGP, I purchased tickets to the MXGP of Great Britain in 2019 and was wondering if I can print the tickets or how do I receive them? Thanks, Amy Hi Amy We are excited to have you join us at the races, your tickets can be printed from the confirmation email just make sure the barcode is visible! See you at Matterley Basin! Thanks MXGP


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