MXGP #53 January 2018

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RIDER OF THE MONTH Ruben Fernandez

07 08 16 20 28 32 38 40 44 48 50 54 58 62




HALL OF FAME Pedro Tragter

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 #53 January 2018 The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of Youthstream. Then content of this publication is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time the articles were written. The copying of articles and photos even partially is forbidden unless permission has ben requested from Youthstream in advance and reference is made to the source (©Youthstream).


EDITORIAL Giuseppe Luongo President of Youthstream Group

Dear MXGP Friends,

and avoiding injury. At the beginning of the year the Another amazing year has reigning World Champion, come to an end, a year that Tim Gajser, was very strong awarded us with race afand appeared to be unter exhilerating race, and beatable, but then from the a year that saw our super- middle of the season Jeffrey star Antonio Cairoli seize Herlings was the strongest his 9th World Championship on the field, while Tony rode title in great style. Now a perfect season with the the question on everyone’s expertise of the huge Chamlips today is: is Tony able pion he is and brought home to win his tenth title? It’s a very well-deserved MXGP going to be an enormous World Championship title. challenge for him. In 2017 he proved his capabilities, Whether Cairoli will be able experience and intelligence to do it again in 2018 or on how to manage the not will primarily depend Championship from the be- on the mistakes and mental ginning to the end; he knew strength of his opponents, when it was the moment to especially Herlings and Gawin a race and when it was jser. These two riders have best to be content with a all the ingredients to be the 2nd, 3rd or even any posi- next MXGP World Champition to keep adding points on, but are they ready to to his Championship results control themselves? Do

they know when it’s the time to win and when it’s time to take the points of an average result and not make blunders that could jeopardise their Championship? Clearly all eyes are on Cairoli, Herlings and Gajser, but we never have to forget that 3 years ago all eyes were on Cairoli, Villopoto, Desalle and Paulin but it was Febvre who took the MXGP crown in 2015. Then again, 2 years ago everyone was mainly looking at Febvre, Cairoli, Paulin or Desalle, but it was Gajser who blew everyone away, and last year it looked like it would be the year of the youth (Herlings, Gajser or Febvre), but Cairoli rightfully took the top spot on the podium. This shows that recent prognostics made during the winter break have MXGP MAG 2018 MXGP.COM

been wrong, so even if the forecasts are directing our attention to Cairoli, Herlings or Gajser we have to keep our eyes peeled for Anstie, Paulin, Febvre, Desalle and possibly even a newcomer. However, there is one thing you can count on for sure in 2018 and that is that you will witness another insane season of MXGP racing with loads of different GP winners. All these talented riders battling together in one Championship contributes to our favourite sport becoming even bigger and even better each year, and the media coverage brings this action to mil-



lions of homes around the world. It’s great news that Eurosport will broadcast all MXGP and MX2 World Championship races, so with Eurosport and all our other worldwide broadcasters, fans can follow their Champions from anywhere in the world, and for those who don’t want to lose any World or European Championship activities, MXGP-TV. com will continue with its full coverage of each event (Saturdays and Sundays) with more dedicated footage and naturally with all the live action. Just one last query before the year kicks off – will Team USA be able to re-

turn as the victors of the MXoN? Maybe this year with the FIM Motocross of Nations being held in Red Bud, on home soil, and if they are able to have their top riders compete. But will that be enough to triumph over France? Or Great Britain? Or Holland? Or another team who may be radiant at that moment? We will have to wait until the end of the season to see, but in the mean time we have a season full of MXGP competition to keep us busy. Everyone at Youthstream wishes you a happy 2018, full of good health and success, and of course an excellent MXGP season.

















The List of Officially Approved Teams awaits




Aaaaah! Happy New Year everyone. Finally, 2017 is done and dusted and with the opening MXGP round of 2018 almost upon us we thought we would give you a quick heads-up as to who will be lining up on the mesh behind the steels, for what we hope will be another exciting year of FIM Motocross World Championship action. Whilst some teams remain relatively unchanged, there are some that welcome new sponsors, and whilst some have taken time out due to restructuring like Suzuki World MXGP and World MX2, there are a handful of new team’s eager to give riders the opportunity to be a part of MXGP. So, let’s take a closer look. Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team will take to the grid once more with Clement Desalle but his teammate for 2018 will be an MXGP rookie in the form of Ju-

lien Lieber. The newcomer moves from his own private LRT team to become a full factory rider in an all-Belgium line up. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team remains unchanged with Romain Febvre and Jeremy Van Horebeek. Much has been written about the new 2018 Yamaha YZ450F so both riders will be looking to impress their paymasters. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing also remains unchanged with nine-time world champion Antonio Cairoli spearheading the Austrian charge once more. He will, of course, be joined by Jeffrey Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff. The MX2 side of the awning also remains unchanged with Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing has stripped its operation back from three riders

to two in both categories with Gautier Paulin lining up alongside Max Anstie in MXGP. In the MX2 awning it’s the two Tom’s; Thomas Kjer Olsen and Thomas Covington. Team HRC has had a bit of a makeover for 2018 but Tim Gajser will once again be team leader. Tim will be joined by two former HSF Logistics riders; rookie Brian Bogers steps up to MXGP, whilst over in the MX2 side of the awning Calvin Vlaanderen will line up as the lone 250cc rider in the official factory HRC team. TM Racing Factory Team has big plans for 2018 as it lines up in MXGP once again for the first time since 2015. Max Nagl moves from Husky to ride the new MX 450 FI in MXGP whilst Samuele Bernardini lines up once again in MX2. Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP Team made its debut in 2017 and for 2018 the Dutch based team

welcomes a third rider to the already impressive line-up. Joining Arnaud Tonus and Shaun Simpson in the MXGP class is two-time MX2 vice world champion Jeremy Seewer, and whilst the Swiss star is no stranger to the 450cc, he will be making his premier class debut in Patagonia in a new team and on a new bike. Seewer has never previously ridden anything other than a Suzuki. BikeIt DRT Kawasaki is back for another season along with a ‘new’ sponsor in the form of BikeIt. Well, we say new but the reality is it’s a return as title sponsor to Steve Dixon’s Kawasaki team that once again sees Tommy Searle and Darian Sanayei in MXGP and MX2 respectively. KEMEA Yamaha Yamalube MX2 Racing Team has had a major revamp during the off season and boasts no fewer than three new riders for 2018. Vsevolod Bry-



lyakov joins Yamaha from Kawasaki whilst Ben Watson and Jago Geerts both move from KTM. For Geerts, it will be his first full season in MX2. Standing Construct KTM is back in MXGP after a one-year hiatus, but this time around the team will be orange instead of blue. The last time we saw Standing Construct KTM’s on the grid was back in 2014 in MX2 but for 2018 the team will only line up in MXGP with Kevin Strijbos and Valentin Guillod, with the Swiss rider making a welcome return to his former team. BOS PROJECT is a new team in 2018 but the eagle-eyed amongst you might have seen BOS in the paddock before as a supplier of front forks to Livi Lancelot in WMX. Jordi Tixier and Benoit Paturel will both compete in MXGP on KTM machinery. Hitachi KTM UK continues in MXGP

with two new riders. Graeme Irwin returns to the team after spending three years with the Roger Magee run outfit from 20092011 and returns to MXGP fulltime for the first time since 2011 as a British Champion. Joining him in MX2 will be Conrad Mewse who moves from Husqvarna. Honda 114 Motorsports is another new team to enter the paddock in 2018 and will be run and managed by former two-time WMX world champion Livi Lancelot, who retired from racing at the end of 2017. The team will operate in MX2 with Hunter Lawrence and Bas Vaessen, both formerly of Suzuki. F&H Racing Team has stepped up to MX2 full time in 2018 and the Kawasaki backed team has a vast array of talent lining up behind the gate. This three-man team consists of Adam Sterry, Jed Beaton and Ruben Fernandez.




I-Fly JK Racing is a team long associated with MXGP and it’s good to see them back for another season in both MXGP and MX2. Ivo Monticelli moves up to the premier class whilst Anton Gole remains in MX2 where last year he rode his own private Husqvarna before filling in for Samuele Bernardini at TM. The team will compete on Yamaha’s. Marchetti Racing Team KTM continues its relationship with Jose Butron in MXGP and in what has been a clever bit of business, has also enlisted the services of 2017 EMX250 champion Morgan Lesiardo who will line up in MX2. With some wildcard appearances under his belt already, Lesiardo knows exactly what to expect from the tough MX2 class. Husqvarna 8Biano Motorsport trims back the fat to concentrate solely on MX2 this year and on paper at least, it has a very strong team. Iker Larranaga remains

with the team and has had a solid winter indoors and he will be joined by Brent Van doninck who should be looking to challenge for regular top fives. Team Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Racing has stepped up its programme for this year and has added to its MXGP team with Alessandro Lupino who joins from Honda. His teammate will be Maxime Desprey who remains with the team for another year.

Yamaha SM Action – M.C. Migliori put in some very strong performances in last year’s EMX250 Championship with Simone Furlotti coming close to winning the EMX250 title. He moves up to MX2 and will be joined by former Kemea Yamaha rider Alvin Ostlund. KTM Silver Action welcome back Stephen Rubini as an MX2 rider after having him on the team as an EMX125 rider back in 2016. His teammate will be Nicola Bertuzzi.

BUD Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki will run just one rider in MX2 in 2018 and that is Brian Hsu who moves from Husqvarna. The former FIM Junior World Champion will be keen to impress.

The rest of the teams

Jumbo No Fear Vamo Honda has added to its MX2 team for 2018 and joining Micha Boy De Waal is the American Marshal Weltin who moves up from EMX250 as well as from Kawasaki.

920 Fly Group Team (New) Ander Valentin will ride Husqvarna

MXGP Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor Petar Petrov and another rider TBC

A1M Husqvarana (New) Tanel Leok Ceres 71 (New)


Milko Potisek will more than likely ride Yamaha JD 191 KTM Racing Team Jaromir Romancik (MXGP) and Richard Sikyna (MX2) KTM Sarholz Racing Team Stefan Ekerold (MXGP) and Tom Koch (MX2) KMP – Honda Racing (New) Nathan Renkens (MXGP) Scandinavian Racing Sports Jonathan Bengtsson Team Steelsdrjack Davide Bonini

62 MotoSport Husqvarna Klemen Gercar MX2 LRT KTM is a high-end privateer team that last year ran Julien Lieber in MX2, but despite his move into MXGP, the team has brought in Davy Pootjes to try and help boost the Dutchman’s profile once more. Team Martin Honda Racing has been at the forefront of everything Honda since 1991 when Trampas Parker won the 250cc world championship for them. The team has operated at the highest level ever

since. In 2018 Michele Cervellin will be hoping to help the team continue at the top end of MX2. STC Racing Henry Jacobi Team Ausio Yamaha Yamalube Maxxis Jorge Zaragoza E2T Racing Team (New) Enzo Toriani Of course, it goes without saying that we wish every rider on every team all the best in 2018. See you at the races.

2017 MXGP Season Insights 2,159,629 Facebook Likes 486,660 Instagram Followers 58,032 Twitter Followers 57,930,474 Youtube Views 99,075 Youtube Subscribers Details More than 6 Million Views, 2 Million Users and 20 Million Page Views Details More than 2.5 Million Sessions, 1 Million Users and 7 Million Page Views



MXoN 2018: RedB “America’s Motoc



Bud cross Track�


The 2018 Edition of the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations will return to American soil for the first time in 8 years at the infamous RedBud Circuit on the 7th of October! The biggest motocross race of the year will bring thousands of fans together from around the world to support their fellow countrymen as they fight not only for the win but for the pride of the nations which they represent. In 2017 we saw the French Team take their fourth consecutive victory in dominant fashion but with the home track advantage of their American counterparts anything is possible in 2018. Rising up amongst the fertile rolling hills of picturesque



southwestern Michigan, RedBud stands as a cornerstone in the storied history of motocross in the United States. Hosting for 44 years what’s consistently become the highest-attended motocross race in the USA, and always on the country’s birthday (4th of July) weekend, RedBud proudly carries the flag throughout the MX industry as America’s Motocross Track. High on pro racers’ lists of favorite tracks, RedBud’s dirt – dark/organic loam, a truly rich soil suitable for growing grapes on either side of the expansive RedBud property – is the stuff of legend. This, coupled with beach-quality sand mined from the property and incorporated into key areas of the undulating track, and RedBud’s racing

surface was seemingly ordained by the motocross gods to host the upcoming 2018 Motocross of Nations. The track design itself, featuring the marquee obstacle on the U.S. pro motocross tour – the awe-inspiring 130-foot “LaRocco’s Leap” – will be memorable for all involved with the ’18 Motocross of Nations. Incorporating features that offer a taste from each and every track across the U.S., RedBud’s storied course expertly winds, dips, dives and rises across the 1.25 mile/2:05 lap of the expansive near 300-acre property. And with elevation change as constant as the diverse soil makeup, proper setup for the Motocross of Nations will be crucial. Ruts will form, cave

in on themselves, and reform throughout the course of each Race, forcing racers to change lines and strategy onthe-fly. Located between three major U.S. cities – Detroit to the east, Indianapolis to the south and Chicago to the west (and all within a couple hours driving) Red Bud was founded in 1833 on the shores of the St. Joseph River, the town of Buchanan itself is steeped in Midwest industrial history and was once the headquarters for the Clark Equipment Company and innovative stereo speaker manufacturer Electro-Voice. Located in Berrien County, the community, named after James Buchanan – the 15th President of the Unit-

ed States – was nicknamed “RedBud City” from the abundance of redbud trees throughout the area. And the state of Michigan, anchored by the birthplace of automobile production, Detroit, is home to not only some of the nation’s most avid motorsport fans, but also hands-on motorsport enthusiasts as well, many of whom own and race/ride dirt bikes, ATVs/UTVs and snowmobiles at Michigan’s numerous first class MX facilities and carefully managed government off-road trails. Now the track will host its largest ever event, the 72nd running of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. Ticket sales have already begun for this historic event with options

from general admission all the way to VIP Silver and Gold. There is no better event to go as a VIP making the MXoN experience a truly unforgettable one, and the offer is wider than ever thanks to the addition of a Silver package to the well known VIP Gold ticket – a combo that will satisfy the needs of any VIP. Besides, in order to live the MXoN experience from inside, you also have the possibility to purchase a several types of Camping pass for your Motorhome. Don’t miss out as this year is sure to be one of the biggest in the history of the FIM Motocross of Nations!


Ruben Fernandez One Step at a Tim 32


z, me


In 2017 we saw many impressive feats from the comebacks of Antonio Cairoli to the pure speed of Jeffrey Herlings but sometimes the most impressive stories of success aren’t as well known. One such story of determination, sacrifice, and success is that of F&H Racing Team’s Ruben Fernandez from the EMX 250cc Motocross Championship. Ruben Fernandez didn’t take the same route as many other racers in the way of racing week in and out. For Ruben his youth started well with him and his brothers racing 65cc machines in a family affair, which at the time was during a strong Spanish economy. But when the economy took a turn for the worst, the challeng-



es started: “My dad, my brothers and myself, we were all racing. Then when the economy started to fall my father lost a lot of work and the struggle began. My oldest brother stopped riding, as he knew that there was no money to go racing. He made this decision himself, but he did so for the whole family. Our whole family sacrificed a lot, we didn’t have a nice house, car or anything like this,” Ruben Fernandez said.

ship races, my father was driving only 80 km/hour to save fuel for the van. Also, the tires were so worn out on the van, but this is where he saved the money so we could race and why we came so far without having a lot of money.” Ruben continued saying how he wouldn’t practice when it was muddy so that the sprockets and chain on his bike would last longer, but a turning point was coming in Ruben’s career.

The Fernandez family sacrificed many things but his father kept supporting Ruben at all costs, Ruben speaking of which said: “My father always did what he could so we could ride MX. Now when I think about it, it’s funny, but when we used to go to the Spanish champion-

In 2015 the young Spaniard with help from friends and sponsors, some gave money, other gave material, made it to Talavera de la Reina to participate in a round of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship with the hope of surprising somebody or a team.

Ruben talking about the weekend shared: “Actually, I only hoped to qualify for the race but in timed practice I posted the 2nd fastest time. The 2 races were not so good and I had some bad luck, but we could see what my potential was. Then a sponsor supported us to do the EMX race in the United Kingdom and in France.” It was in Matterley Basin, his first race ever outside of Spain, that Fernandez started to really impress, missing the podium by just 1 point, Ruben caught the eye of the F&H Kawasaki Racing Team who asked for his contact details. At the time Ruben thought nothing of contact request: “I wasn’t so impressed as it

doesn’t mean anything if somebody asks for your phone number and email address.” But not long after the team contacted him and with the help of Jorge Prado’s father in translating, Ruben secured the opportunity to finish the EMX125 season for the team. A strong performance at the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship, where he took the pole position and put in 2 solid races, further impressed the Kawasaki team who then offered a 5-year contract. Ruben Fernandez contributes the opportunity to his family’s sacrifices and dedication along with the ability to race the FIM Europe Championships along-

side MXGP and MX2 riders, teams and sponsors: “I think it’s really important as the EMX riders can race the same track as the MX2 and MXGP riders and on the same days. It’s a really nice experience and it helps to grow as a rider.” When asked if he thinks he would have had the same opportunities otherwise Ruben said: “I think it wouldn’t be possible for me and my parents, it was already difficult to let me race the whole Spanish championship.” F&H Kawasaki Racing Team Coordinator Harrie van Hout previously with Kawasaki Europe emphasized the importance of the EMX classes as a recruiting ground for teams: “I


think the EMX 65cc, 85cc, 125cc and 250cc are really important as these are the races many teams and brands are looking at when we are looking for new talent. Even with the 2 strokes allowed in the EMX300 it gives a chance to the people who don’t have the money to race a 4 stroke to show their potential to the world.” Ruben has been with the F&H Racing Team ever since and in 2017 he managed an impressive 3rd place in the EMX250 Championship. Harrie van Hout about Ruben’s 2017 season stated: “Ruben showed from the first EMX250 race in Trentino that he had the



speed to run up front but he was too inconsistent by making too many small mistakes which cost him some good finishes and possible podiums. Also for the championship his inconsistency resulted in finishing only 3rd, which is still really good, but I think he could have been 2nd or even won the championship. I also think he put a lot of pressure on himself by not making the podium many times till Ottobiano where he finished on the box, this was a big relief for him and the team. I’m convinced that when he can put it all together and be consistent he can achieve a lot of great things in the future.”

Harrie van Hout continued to speak about the character of Ruben: “Ruben is really nice and quiet, or let’s say a shy guy off the bike who’s doing more and more for his job as it’s getting also more serious. On the bike, he’s going 110% to achieve the best possible result and he is for sure not shy anymore!” Now the focus will change to the completing the full 2018 FIM MX2 World Championship for Ruben who knows it will be a challenge but it is one he is up to. One thing that is without doubt, the F&H Kawasaki of Fernandez is one to watch for many years to come.


TWITTER, FACEB IN THE WORLD OF #MXGP @alpinestars Jeffrey Herlings took time out of his schedule to visit our Racing HQ in Asolo, Italy! #AlpinestarsProtects

@MonsterEnergyBE We’re having a #ThrowBackThursday streak this month! This week we look back at Monster Energy’s 2017 @mxgp season.

@AndyMckinstry84 Just thinking about @mxgp in 2018.. going to be ridiculous! Herlings V Cairoli V the rest! #mxgp

@El_Risson Are you Ready @PaulsJonass41 to 2018 @mxgp with @KTM_Racing after your title 2017 #MXGP ? You Win Again? 2017 #MX2 MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPION

@MarkBisselink OMG Time is going so slow!! Bring on the @mxgp season asap please!!! #dingdingding #itstimeforglory ‬



@motocrossvice A bumper ‘Stat Sheet’ that covers the @MXGP class! There are plenty of stats, notes and facts in here. stat-sheet-mxgp-season …

Join the first MXGP Video Edit Contest! The contest will last until January 15th, 2018 and gives anyone a chance to become a winner. The Video Edit competition has 4 simple steps for contestants to follow: 1. Download MXGP Provided Footage and Audio HERE 2. Make a 1-3 Minute Edit 3. Upload your edit by January 15th, 2018 at 18h00 (CET) HERE 4. Get chosen as the Best Edit and WIN 2 VIP GOLD SKYBOX Passes to the 2018 MXGP of your choice, an MXGPTV Season Pass, and a copy of MXGP 3 the Official Motocross VideoGame One lucky winner will be chosen as the best edit following the 15th of January, so good luck and get editing!

Purchase your slice of MXGP Luxury! Live a truly unforgettable MXGP Experience! Watch This video and be a VIP GOLD Skybox Guest in 2018!

MXGP wishes you a Very Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2018 with this video!


@V1mx : Focus before the start Rider: @gautierpaulin Photo: @rayarcherphoto Credit: @100percent_moto #motocross #mxgp #husq-

@tomsworld: MXGP 17 Loket the Everts family @harryeverts @liam_ everts72 @s72forever @supercross__motocross #MXGP

@nickyvwordragen: #tb to one of the best and one of the muddiest days of my life #team964 #wmx #wmxindonesia #foxracing #yamaha #champagne One Team One Dream

@villaconessastudios: Motocross World Champion Romain Febvre tearing it up in Navagio beach, Zakynthos. Spectacular concept!

@riccardouglies: Monesterenergy Monza Rally Show @antoniocairoli #tonycairoli #tc222 #tc4wheels #gofastaeatpasta #magnettimarellicheckstar #monzacircuit #monzarallyshow2017









P 50 Photo: MEYER

MXGP MAG 2017 2018 2013 MXGP.COM



Pedro Tragter Dutch Legend

The Dutch riders have always been successful in the smallest class of the FIM Motocross World Championships, and Pedro Tragter is one of the four World Champions – alongside Strijbos, Van den Berk and Herlings – that the Netherlands celebrates. Racing the 125cc Grand Prix during more than a decade, Pedro had to wait for his eighth attempt to succeed, following Dave Strijbos and John Van Den Berk in the history of the Dutch Motocross more than twenty years ago.

World Championship with the Honda Venko Team in 1986. Runner up in the series one year earlier with Strijbos, the Venko team of Jan de Groot was already a reference in the 125cc class and Pedro had some pressure as he replaced the vice World Champion who just moved to the Cagiva factory team.

The muddy opening round of the series in Castelnau de Levis (France) was not a good one for the teenager, who didn’t score any point, but the second one which took place in the Dutch sand was much betBorn in 1968 on July 10th in Zutphen, Pedro started racing ter for Pedro, who scored his first ever points in both races. when he turned twelve on an 80cc. That was a great period In that learning year Pedro got points in thirteen heats for the Dutch Motocross as with a top five in Sweden as John Van Den Berk and Dave best result, and after missStrijbos also animated the ing the last GP’s in America, races for the kids. Racing for he finished fourteenth in the a podium in the 250cc series series while Strijbos won the there was Kees Van der Ven, World Championship. The folwho was also a hero for all the Dutch kids, along with Van lowing year Van Den Berk took Den Berk and Strijbos. In fact, his revenge and beat Strijbos to collect his first World two years later, it was Pedro title, while Pedro made huge who also entered the 125cc

progress; in the opening GP at Valkenswaard the podium was 100% Dutch with Pedro in second position between Dave and John, and by finishing twenty heats in the points Tragter was sixth overall by the end of the season. Slowly but steadily Pedro improved his results each season, and in 1988 he won his first GP heat in the penultimate round in Finland. The Dutch rider ended third in the series, position which let him follow the battle for the title between Jean Michel Bayle and Dave Strijbos! In 1989 Pedro Tragter moved to Suzuki, but he was not able to bring in any good result to his new team as his season was interrupted due to an injury he got in Great Britain. In 1990 he won the first GP of his career in the Netherlands of course, but he was forced to miss a few rounds due to another injury and he lost all the chances to finish on the podium.


It was during his sixth season taking part in the World Championship when he achieved his second overall podium. During that year Tragter won two heats, he was the Dutch champion and he finished third with the National team at the Motocross of Nations. 1991 was one of his best ever seasons and he entered the 1992 championship as a title contender. That year the GP format had changed with three shorter heats, and Pedro Tragter fought for the title against Greg Albertijn and Dave Strijbos until the last round in Japan, where Pedro ended tight in points with his fellow countryman. That year Tragter was third, as his rival had won one more heat! Never giving up Pedro would finally reach his goal in 1993, fighting all season long with Yves Demaria. Tragter won three GP’s and he had a major asset with his consistency, as he only missed points in one of the thirty-three races! Defending his title in 1994, he



was never able to stop the domination of Bobby Moore. Tragter was only able to win two heats and he finished again third in the series – for the fourth time – behind Moore and Chiodi. Riding a 250cc Suzuki in the national championship, Pedro won his fourth Dutch title and he jumped in the 250cc class the following year. Sixth in the 1995 World Championship and tenth in 1996 on a Suzuki, scoring a few heat podiums, he went back on a Honda for his penultimate GP season in 1997. He ended thir-

teenth overall, but he would be more successful in the Netherlands as he got two other titles in the 500cc classes – in 1996 and 1997 – to remain one of the smartest Dutch rider. Just racing a few 125cc rounds in 1998, he retired after thirteen seasons at the highest level claiming a World title, four overall podiums in the 125cc Championship, seven Grand Prix wins and a Motocross of Nations podium. Text and Photos: Pascal Haudiquert

1986: 15th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) 1987: 6th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) 1988: 3rd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Honda) 1989: 13th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1990: 7th in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki). Winner of 1 GP 1991: 3rd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 3rd at the MX of Nations with team Netherlands 1992: 3rd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki). Winner of 3 GP 1993: 125 Motocross World Champion (Suzuki). Winner of 3 GP 1994: 3rd in the 125 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1995: 6th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1996: 10th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Suzuki) 1997: 13th in the 250 Motocross World Championship (Honda)




Paddock Talks 01/Max Anstie and his fiancĂŠ spent Christmas in the Caribbean! 02/Antonio Cairoli had a massive world championship party! 03/Glenn Coldenhoff spending time with his family, including his nephew, during the Christmas holiday. 04/Darian Sanayei staring down the camera! 05/Gautier Paulin has been training from sunrise to sunset! 06/Jeremy Seewer has found a new home at Wilvo Yamaha MXGP! 07/Pauls Jonass got the chance to spend Christmas with his family this year!




06 07






Paddock Talks 08/Jorge Prado is still young enough to sit on Santa’s lap! 09/Romain Febvre trying the modeling life for Monster Energy! 10/Shaun Simpson flipping through a book in front of the Christmas tree! 11/Tim Gajser making a young fan’s dream come true! 12/Brent Van Doninck and his girl getting in the holiday spirit! 13/Vsevolod Brylyakov is back on the bike with his new team Kemea Yamaha!





Shifting Gears: 2017 EMX Champion







With 2017 wrapped up and 2018 already started, the big boys of MXGP and MX2 aren’t the only ones making moves. The 2017 EMX champions are shifting gears in more ways than one, here is quick recap of the champions and their plans for 2018. EMX125: Brian Strubhart Moreau The 2017 EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship was a very competitive one with the likes of Brian Strubhart Moreau, Mikkel Haarup, Gianluca Facchetti and Kevin Horgmo, all battling for the title. In a series that came down to the final round in Sweden, Brian Moreau took double victories to claim the championship.



In the 125cc class consistency can be hard to come by with so many young and talented riders, but for Moreau it was a key part of his championship success. From the season opener at Valkenswaard to the 8th and final round of Sweden, Moreau reached the podium 7 times, 3 of which were victories and 2 of those came via double race wins. On top of that the only time that he didn’t reach the podium, at the MXGP of Lombardia, he finished an impressive 4th. Now heading into the 2018 season Moreau will try and keep momentum and consistency on his side as he shifts to the Bud Racing four-stroke 250cc machine to contest the EMX250 championship.

EMX300: Brad Anderson This past year’s EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing championship was full of action, but in the end one racer stood atop the rest in the standings. Crowned 2017 Champion at the MXGP of Switzerland was Great Britain’s Brad Anderson. The 2017 season was an impressive one for Anderson and started off with a bang as he went 1-1 at the opening round in Teutschenthal, Germany. Happy to come away with red plate at the first round, Brad initially wasn’t planning on racing in Russia but with help of Tanel Leok he made the trip. A big help it definitely was as Anderson got a first and a second during the challenging conditions of Rus-


sia giving him first overall again. The third round Italy was red hot and again was Anderson getting a second and a first to win another overall. Then in the sands of Lommel he had another first and then second in race 2 giving him second overall after a swapping result with first overall, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras. At the final round in Switzerland Brad managed a 3rd after a bad start and a fall in race 1 then finished the last race with a win and took the championship 44 clear of his main title competitor Mike Kras. For 2018 Anderson plans to again line-up in the EMX300 Championship presented by FMF Racing and defend his title.



EMX250: Morgan Lesiardo The EMX250 class was indeed the most competitive of any of the European championships in 2017 and through a series of ups and downs the 18 year old Italian Morgan Lesiardo claimed the title. Lesiardo decided to race the season opener at Trentino in a spur of the moment decision on his KTM and in doing so he took the first overall victory of the season along the points lead. When the series moved onto the MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard Lesiardo followed and took third overall. With the impressive results continuing in Latvia Lesiardo was offered a ride with Monster Energy Kawasaki. The transition was rough for Lesiardo at first when

he dropped to a 5th place finish in France followed by a 10th in Russia. When the series came to his home country, at the MXGP of Lombardia, he once again found his flow and took an emphatic overall victory. Lesiardo’s ability to adapt to a completely new bike and find a way back into the championship fight after losing the red plate is in its own quite impressive, not to mention winning possibly the most stacked class of the European championships. For 2018 Morgan will again return to a KTM machine but this time around he will compete in the MX2 World Motocross Championship for the Silver Action KTM racing team.

Brad Lackey

1982 Suzuki RN500

After ten years on the world circuit, Brad Lackey made history when he became the first American to win a world motocross championship when he clinched the 500cc title in 1982 racing for Suzuki, a title that would mark the end of an era for both he and the Japanese manufacturer. And guess what? It’s Lackey’s 1982 Suzuki RN500 that we are featuring this in issue The 125cc in class the of European MXGP Magazine.

in what was an impressive debut; he finished the year in third behind CZ mounted Joel Robert and Sylvain Geboers. The following year, 1970, the two Belgians went 1-2 again, but this time they were riding yellow; Roger De Coster came home third on his CZ.

time, Suzuki had entered the 125cc class, and from 1975-1984 won ten consecutive titles. Things were looking good.

However, despite De Coster winning the 500cc title five times in six years, Suzuki started to make cutbacks but continued to fight for De Coster switched from the title, although it was CZ to Suzuki at the end of clear to see that it was 1970 and promptly wonputs the a spotlight not theon dominant force it Championship usually the next 500cc world championship once was. In 1976 when big name in motocross. In fact both of the 2015 Motocross World Champions at the very firstFIM attempt in De Coster won hisand last title, 1971, and between 1970Suzuki first entered the mohe and his teammate vice-world champions Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass Gerrit 1976 Suzuki won eight tocross world championship Wolsink ran riot, winning ten have all won the EMX125 championship on their paths to motocross supremacy. world titles in both 250cc in 1967 with a Japanese of the twelve GP’s between and 500cc with De Coster rider by the name of Matthem as they went 1-2 in winning five times in six suhisa Kojima, and by 1969 the final classification. years. He was beaten just Suzuki committed to a full once in that time by Heikki season of 250cc racing with In 1977, there were just two Mikkola in 1974. At the same Sweden’s Olle Petterson victories and in ’78 and ’79




Suzuki won just five times collectively; by 1980 the wins had dried up completely. After placing second for Kawasaki in 1980, Suzuki hired Brad Lackey to rekindle the spark, but despite winning a GP for his new paymasters in his first season, he only managed sixth overall in 1981, but that was all about to change. To say Lackey’s time at Suzuki was eventful would be something of an understatement and the first thing he was faced with was the bike itself. At Honda he’d ridden a 450cc and at Kawasaki he rode a 500cc but his 1981 Suzuki was a modified 370cc bored to around 400cc, something that came as a shock, as Lackey explains:

foot early in the season in one of the national races at home just before the GP’s started.’ Lackey finished the ’81 season in sixth and picked up just one GP victory. It was also the first time he’d gone backwards in the overall championship standings. 1981 was also the first year that Suzuki introduced their own single shock bike to racing, known as the Full Floater but despite that, Lackey recalls that whilst there were one or two problems ‘the suspension was better off than the motor,

that’s for sure!’ Fast forward to 1982, Lackey had spent the winter of ‘81 testing at home in the USA with his mechanic Steve Stasiefski and the bigger 500cc motor that was so badly needed in 1981 had finally arrived. But that wasn’t all. Whilst Lackey and Stasiefski were busy testing engines away from the prying eyes of Europe they were also experimenting with suspension. An American by the name of Steve Simons had developed the first ever upside down forks for motocross in 1980 and

‘I was used to riding 500’s so the bike needed a lot of work; they needed to do a complete new motor; I was way down on power. I had a different riding style to Roger and I needed a lot of horsepower, so immediately I was trying to tell them that we needed more power and a bigger motor and they were telling me ‘no, that’s what we’re going to use’ so we immediately had problems with our opinions on what we needed to go and win a championship, and so I wasn’t really happy with the ‘81 bike so therefore I wasn’t feeling good on the bike and then I broke my



by ’82 it was as good as ready to go and Brad was the perfect test pilot. After multiple tests, the Simons upside down UDX-60 forks became a permanent fixture at the front of Lackeys Suzuki RN500. According to Brad, ‘the Simons UDX-60 had no flex and was much more stable in ruts or mud; they were soft with more control over big jumps, a big advantage in these areas,’ but not everybody was happy about the new addition, particularly the technicians at Suzuki. Someone in management at Suzuki formerly asked Brad to remove the forks but when he refused, attention was then aimed at Simons himself who was told in no uncertain terms that Brad should not be using those forks; he was also told to stop interfering



in their business!’ Brad’s response was simple: ‘I said, do you want to go win the world championship or do you want to lose? The engineer responded with: ‘we lose’ to which Lackey’s response was, ‘well I’m sorry, but I’m winning. I don’t care what you guys are doing but I’m gonna go win!’ (Source: The Motocross Files). The rear shock was ÖHLINS and during the winter tests proved to be a cause for concern and this would later cause one or two problems later in the season. The bike itself was the last generation of air-cooled Suzuki’s before the introduction of water-cooled bikes in ’83 and was built to a very high standard as generally around this time, better materials and equipment, was starting

to become the norm. The exhaust was factory along with the clutch and ignition; so too was the 4-speed gearbox. The aluminium swingarm was made to factory requirements and the engine cases were Magnesium. Reed valves were also factory with the carburettor of choice being a Mikuni flat-slide 38-40mm item. The piston was also factory. Tyres were provided by Metzeler and there was a selection of Titanium nuts and bolts throughout. However, Lackey’s handlebar of choice was that of Graham Noyce’s factory Honda’s bars. Disc brakes had not yet found their way to the factory bikes and so the team were still using drum brakes. With the extra capacity of the 500cc engine, Brad’s 1982 Suzuki was able to push out around 60bhp and in terms

of the power distribution, ‘we changed the cylinder and pipe to get maximum bottom end power.’ With all testing complete there was no doubt in Brad’s mind about how good his new bike was: ‘When we left California for Belgium, the forks were perfect, as was our motor. The rear suspension was our only concern but it was hard to gauge having not been on the European tracks yet.’ Brad and Steve had also raced the Golden State Series in California to get some race-test miles under their belts that allowed them to fine-tune the set-up ahead of the first GP on April 25th at Villars sous Ecot in France. Despite not winning a moto in the first three rounds, Lackey found himself leading the

500cc world championship and he was keen not to slip up. Consistency was the key, and he was proving to be the most consistent out of everybody. He took his first race and GP victory at Sittendorf in Austria but just after the mid-point of the season his closest rival, André Malherbe, was starting to gain ground; but then the Belgian broke his leg in the USA. The title race almost looked assured but then in Canada the following weekend, Round 9, Lackey suffered his own misfortune in the form of a blown rear shock whilst leading the first race. His teammate André Vromans took the win and collected the maximum fifteen points on offer and was suddenly a contender for the title.

Lackey then won at Farleigh Castle in England whilst Vromans won at Namur in Belgium at the penultimate round which set the scene for a grandstand finale in Luxembourg at Ettlebrück, where the gap was now down to just four points, with Lackey still leading. But the American was not concerned: ‘Luxembourg is the kind of track that I like and conditions were slightly wet, almost perfect and it wasn’t dry or dusty or anything, so the track was wonderful, just the way I like it. I’d won one of my first GP moto’s there and I loved the grass tracks and I knew I could be faster there than Vromans no matter what the situation was, as long as the spectators stayed away from me and didn’t try to kill me, and that was a big possibility in those days at that track in


particular.’ The first race was epic; Hakan Carlqvist took off up front with the two Suzuki riders hovering around third and fourth with Vromans being the lead Suzuki rider. As the race went on, Lackey continued to fall further behind his teammate; but he had a plan. He knew he was faster than Vromans but he also knew that if he was in front of him then the Belgian fans might take Brad out of the race, as had happened in the past. So, he sat back and waited until five laps to go before he made his move: ‘With five laps to go my team was gonna give me a sign and then I was gonna just turn on the gas and start catching him, and he had over a 25-seconds lead on me with five laps to go,



but I caught him and passed him on the last lap; he didn’t know that I was coming. We beat him in the first moto and his brain was blown after that because he thought he had it won so easily.’ In Race Two Vromans messed up on the start and after that, with Brad up front, the Belgian was unable to get close and Lackey was able to control his own race. When Lackey crossed the line, he became America’s first ever world champion, and shortly afterwards he announced his retirement from racing; his contract was not renewed. Suzuki continued for one more season in the 500cc class with Harry Everts and André Vromans on the new water-cooled bike but neither would win another GP for

Suzuki and in August of that year Suzuki announced that they were pulling out of the premier class altogether. The last Suzuki 500cc rolled off the production line in 1985 and there wouldn’t be another ‘big capacity’ bike from Hamamatsu until the launch of the RM-Z450 in 2004 which would go on to win the MX1 title in 2007 in the hands of Steve Ramon. In 1982 Suzuki won six (50%) of the 500cc GP’s with André Vromans winning three, Lackey twice and their teammate Jean Jacques Bruno won one. Lackey won the 500cc world championship ahead of his teammate Vromans for a Suzuki 1-2 which also secured Suzuki the Manufacturers World Championship.


QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR Dear MXGP, I’m Sandro from Chile. Where can I purchase my ticket for the MXGP of Argentina? Thanks, Sandro Dear Sandro, Thank you for your question. Tickets for the MXGP of Argentina are on sale online following this link: ar/mxgp-patagonia-argentina/villa-la-angostura Best Regards MXGP Hi MXGP, Is the Early Bird promotion for the 2018 season Package still valid? Thanks, Karla Hi Karla We confirm the 2018 MXGPTV Early Bird Promotion is still valid until January the 26th. Regards MXGP



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Hi MXGP, I was wondering where do I upload the video for the contest? Do i just upload it to my social media and that’s it or do i send it to you guys? Have a very good Christmas!!! Thanks, Diego Hi Diego thanks for the message, and thank you for participating in our video edit contest! To enter please use the tab on the left side of our Facebook page or upload it here http://mxgp. Have a Merry Christmas!. Regards MXGP