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When the gate drops for the premier battle, the new KTM 450 SX-F is more than ready to stand up and face its rivals. Packed with the latest technology and refined to be even lighter, faster and more balanced, this 63 hp (46 kW) dirt-ripper has all the credentials to come out on top in any championship fight. Step up your game now!


Photo: R. Schedl

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Alive and Kicking Interview David Bulmer Imags Ray Archer

Antonio Cairoli is a very smart motocross rider, pushing his limits, but seemingly not daring to go beyond those limits. In battle with current red plate owner in the MXGP class, those limits can’t be reached as the Dutchman has been too good, but now in injury, the Italian is looking like he is the winner in the whole 2018 battle. David Bulmer caught up with him and asked him about those battles and his qualification race win last weekend.


MXlarge: Not the start to the weekend you would have wanted in the Saturday qualification race, but you still showed you had to speed to come through and make a lot of passes. Cairoli: The start is important, but not too much on this track, but I don’t need to crash twice in the first lap, and this wasn’t going to happen on Sunday. I try and get good points for the championship. MXlarge: It is a track that is good for making different lines and then you are able to pass. Cairoli: Yes, of course, that is nice about a track like this. Track like this, or Argentina, you can really come through the pack with technique and stay out of trouble and some tracks you really need to make contact to pass, so I like tracks like this one. I also like the hot weather, because for some riders it isn’t common for them, and I really like the hot weather. My condition is good. MXlarge: Obviously we got the news this week that Jeffrey injured himself. How do you see that, maybe disappointed because you both prove to improve your levels against each other, but it does open the door for you a little? Cairoli: I know, one thing for sure, the level we were racing is on the limit, and even in training you need to push a lot, really hard. It could happen to him, it could happen to me. When you push so hard like this, it is easy to make a small mistake that can cost you an injury. We look forward for myself, stay away from injury and be consistent all season and build a better condition. What I see I miss some


laps at the end of the moto with consistency and that is what I am building for. MXlarge: You mentioned in the press conference that you don’t think about the championship, but does this make you think more, like an advantage now? Cairoli: I mean it is a good opportunity to come closer in the points, that is clear, but I mean, I like to fight with him, and beat him and that is of course what I am working for. The speed when we are battling is high and we pull a big gap on the rest, doesn’t matter if it is sand or hard pack. I just want to build my speed and be consistent, and what I see I need the last five minutes, when he is strong, I need to work on that and I hope we have more battles in the future. MXlarge: We head to Indonesia, and I know you like these races. What are you looking forward to? Cairoli: I like to race far away from home and also the hot weather I like. I hope the tracks are nice, this is a bit scary, because it is so far-away, and we never know what we might get, but I am hoping Youthstream are trying to make a good track for us. I am pretty sure the track will be nice, and we will have good battles.


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Blood Sport Interview David Bulmer Images Yamaha

Jeremy Seewer is one of the really professional and good guys in the Grand Prix paddock. Always available for a chat, or talk to a fan, the rider from the Wilvo Yamaha team has been a nice addition to the MXGP class. At the British GP, at Matterley Basin the Swiss rider took a stone in his face and rode the remained of the opening moto covered in blood. The image of Seewer was put on social media pages around the world, collection millions of views and showing off how tough motocross riders are.


Now recovered from his ordeal, the former MX2 GP winner talked to David Bulmer about the injury and also his season so far. Motocross Illustrated: Jeremy, we have to talk about it. What happened last week with your head. What caused the injury? Seewer: I was behind Julien with five or six laps to go, in a place I wasn’t ready for a rock, because we try and protect our eyes by putting our peak down, but it was on a step down and the landing and a rock hit my face. I had a rock in my face. I had goggles on and everything, but I caught a rock from Lieber. The goggles were okay, they stayed on, but they pushed back and hit my face. I thought I leave it on and it started bleeding, and then I jumped a quad, and after jumping the quad I had that long turn, and my goggles started filling up with blood. I think I could put a fish in my goggles, there was so much blood in there. I had to throw my goggles away and I had no pain because of the adrenaline. I had blood everything and it was thick, like oil, and I had it in my eyes and I could hardly see, and I tried to blink, but that was the struggle I had. The picture looked worse than it was. Motocross Illustrated: You didn’t think that because you were bleeding so badly, that you should have pulled in? Seewer: No, not at all. I could judge the situation and I let people pass and no danger from another rock


and I could feel cheek, and I wasn’t getting dizzy or anything. In any case if anything more happened I would have stopped, and it looked bad with the blood, but it wasn’t that bad. I did feel a little weak in the second moto, because I lost a lot of blood and I lost my peak. Motocross Illustrated: How many stitches and did the doctor tell you not to go out? Seewer: They actually glued it. They were thinking about glue or stitches, but in the end, they glued it together and I was worried it would fall apart again and the goggle wasn’t pushing on it or anything. Motocross Illustrated: Obviously that picture of you covered in blood was put everywhere. How was the reaction from the image? Seewer: Like, you know, it is unbelievable how many fans you get with a photo like this and hundreds of people put about respect for finishing the race. That was pretty cool and normally I am not the guy to show off this bad side of the sport but posting those photos of broken bones and stuff I wouldn’t do, but this photo looked so bad and it wasn’t a bad injury. A swiss magazine who posted it first, they have a reach of three or four thousand, but that one post had like one million views. Just in one day, that is unbelievable. Motocross Illustrated: I mean UFC fighters, which are tough guys, they are stopped with less blood. Obviously not happy it happened, but it was a pretty cool story. Seewer: I mean first I want to finish races battling for positions and not dropping back and losing spots and I was a bit pissed when he happened, but now after everyone is saying I am a strong guy and crazy, but the first rule is to finish the race healthy.


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Stability in MXGP Story Geoff Meyer images Ray Archer

If there is one thing that is sure about the MXGP championship, it is its stable situation. Long term contracts have been signed with many of the current Grand Prix circuits, and new circuits in Hong Kong, China, and the Middle East have also joined the continuing growth of the sport. While several national motocross championships struggle, the Grand Prix scene seems to be getting stronger and stronger and the professional attention by Youthstream, the teams and the riders has never been at such a high level. A new deal between Youthstream and the FIM has been signed, and this is a long-term agreement, that will give even more stability to the sport and run for many years to come. American companies such as Monster Energy, Answer, GoPro, FMF, Fly Racing, FOX, THOR join the European industry giants like Fiat, KTM, Husqvarna, SIDI, Alpinestars, Parts Europe, UFO, Airoh, and a bunch of others. New deals with American television, not to mention many of the leading television networks in Europe and around the World, and good relationships with most of the leading motocross websites around the World, including RacerXonline, Vitalmx, MXlarge, MXVice, and many more continue to give the right exposure in the right places. Coverage of MXGP has never been better, or more accessible as in 2018. As far as the current stranglehold the GP riders have over the rest of the world, it is all the hard work of the circuit builders in Europe, and their dedication to making the MXGP and MX2 championships the most competitive and diverse in the World, and the current run by Team France at the MXoN is a clear message to the rest of the World. Here we are in 2018, and already the future is looking more and more exciting. I can’t wait to see where we are in 10 years’ time, because with this dedication we can only be in a great place.


Asian Love Affair Story Geoff Meyer image Ray Archer

Asia has always been an exotic stop for the FIM Motocross World Championships. With countries like Australia, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia all involved we have seen some classic rounds of the toughest motocross series in the World. Searing heat, thick mud, or dry hard pack circuits, that part of the world has it all. With news last week that we will visit China and Hong Kong in 2019, the Asian love affair with Grand Prix motocross continues. It is a relationship that started way back in 1991 when American Mike Kiedrowski won the Japanese 125cc GP, the same year another American Jeff Stanton won the 250cc GP of Japan. A year later in 1992 Dutchman Pedro Tragter won the 125cc of Japan. Japan followed the GP scene for a number of years, with Kiedrowski winning a 250cc GP in 1992, Alex Puzar, Yves Demaria and Stefan Everts also added 250 GP wins in Japan in 1993, 1994 and 1995. While Japan held seven GPs in the 1990s, Indonesia and also played its part, starting in 1995 with French rider Sebastien Tortelli the 125cc Grand Prix, and the Frenchman backed up his success in Asia, with another win in 1996, before Alessio Chiodi won the final 125cc GP in Indonesia in 1997 and Yves Demaria added to his Japanese GP win in 1994, with a victory in Indonesia in the 250cc class in 1997. Indonesia returned to the premier class 20 years after that victory by Demaria, and this time, in 2017, in the thick mud of the Pangkal Pinang circuit, it was Shaun


Simpson who got the win, and Jeremy Seewer won in the MX2 class. Of course, in recent times, Thailand also joined the Asian partnership, with Antonio Cairoli winning the first one in 2013, the Italian taking the MX1 overall, and in MX2 it was Jeffrey Herlings who took victory in Thailand. Cairoli added another win in 2014 in MX1 as did Herlings in MX2. 2015 and Ryan Villopoto pulled off his only GP victory with a massive win in the searing heat of Thailand and Herlings picked up his third straight Thailand win in MX2. Romain Febvre won in MXGP in 2016 and that man Herlings won again in MX2, taking his fourth straight win in Asia. Australia held motocross GP’s in 1993, when Andrea Bartolini won the 125cc in the deep sand of Manijump, and Broadford held MX1 and MX2 rounds in 2000 and 2001. Now in a little over a week’s time, we return to Indonesia, for the two rounds in Pangkal Pinang and Semarang. Both will be exciting affairs as Jeffrey Herlings goes for his fifth win in Asian, and Cairoli his third. No doubt, the warm weather and the tropical conditions will make life tough for the MXGP and MX2 competitors, but that is why this series is considered so diverse and difficult.


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