In the 125cc class, it’s a real shame to see Emil Weckman and Rene Hofer out injured because they’d have been real title threats but now they need to think about 2019 and the future.
Coming into Australia, young French talent, Thibault Bénistant will be feeling good because he’s currently leading the EMX125 Championship and with one round to go he’s looking good to clinch that title. The MJC Yamaha rider has showed great speed this year and he’s certainly one of the favourites for the Junior World Championship.
Young Italian, Mattia Guadagnini is really on a roll at the moment as he’s won three out of the past four EMX125 rounds as he really builds up momentum. If it wasn’t for picking up an injury during the first round then things would be completely different and he’d have had a real chance of winning the EMX title. However, coming into this weekend he will know he has the speed so he’s one of the favourites for the title.
Young Dutch talent, Rick Elzinga has had his season ruined by injuries but despite all the injuries he’s actually showed that he’s riding the best he ever has. He’s only contested two rounds of the EMX125 series and finished on the podium at the last round. The MJC Yamaha rider could be right at the front this weekend. It’ll be difficult for him to win due to having a lot less bike time than his rivals but the speed shouldn’t be a problem.
The Junior World Championship is taking place in Australia this weekend and the two Aussie’s in the 125cc class to watch out for are Regan Duffy and Bailey Malkiewicz. Current MX2 World Championship rider Jed Beaton rates them highly so they’ll be looking to surprise the best in Europe this weekend.
This year the American’s have decided to contest the event which is good to see. Their young guns of Aiden Tijero and Max Miller will be looking to run right at the front.
Elzinga isn’t the only Dutch talent in the 125cc class as they also have Raivo Dankers and Raf Meuwissen. Dankers has showed at times this year that he’s one of the fastest riders in the EMX125 class but seems to have a lot of bad luck, if he can keep it on two wheels there’s no reason why he can’t get a podium at least. Meuwissen has had his moments this year and if it clicks for him this weekend it could all fall into place.
Young British talent, Eddie Jay Wade won the 85cc World Championship last year so has great memories from this event. This year is his rookie year on the 125cc and he’s showed a lot of promise so far this year. He will use this weekend for experience and just have fun before going for the title in 2019.
Young Czech talent, Petr Polak has a lovely style and is great to watch on the bike. If he gets a good start he can usually run the pace no problem too so he’s one of the dark horses going into the Junior World Championship this weekend.
It was a brilliant day in Loket for Camden Mc Lellan as he clinched the EMX85 title in what was the best day of his career so far. He will want to make it the perfect season by winning the Junior World Championship to go with it. He certainly has the speed to make it happen too. There’s no doubt that Mc Lellan has a bright future.
Perhaps the biggest challenger for Mc Lellan will be Kay de Wolf who is really really fast. When you see this kid ride a bike he will blow you away, he was unlucky in Loket after having to come from last in the first moto but he won the second moto. Despite being so young, de Wolf isn’t used to losing that many races so will want the win this weekend to make up for the disappointment in Loket.
Another young Dutch talent who will be looking to spoil the party is Kay Karssemakers. Karssemakers really wants to win and puts a lot of pressure on himself, he wasn’t happy to miss the podium in Loket so will be out for revenge this weekend.
The American’s have two riders that could be right at the front. Young Factory Kawsaki rider Ryder Difrancesco could be the more likely to win in Australia ahead of Caden Braswell but they’ll both be fast and looking for the win!
It’s been a season of promise for Liam Everts as he begins to put in the hard work required. Last year he didn’t even qualify for Loket and this year he secured a third overall. He’s clearly been putting in the hard work with his dad, Stefan and it’s working wonders. He’s still quite small so that probably lets him down, wait for him to grow and have a bit more upper body strength!
I want to know what the secret is behing the KNMV (the Dutch Federation), because they’ve so much talent coming through at the moment. Dave Kooiker will be one to watch this weekend, he’s a year younger than Karssemakers and de Wolf but you wouldn’t think it when you see him on the bike because he’s nearly too big for the 85cc! Starts let him down in Loket but if he gets good starts he has what it takes to battle at the front on his Yamaha.
Last but not least, Raul Sanchez from Spain surprised in Loket as he ended up a strong fifth overall. He’ll be looking something similar in Australia this weekend.
Earlier in the year, young Italian, Brando Rispoli won the EMX65 title in Loket so he’ll want to do the double. Rispoli was impressive to watch with a smooth style. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to see his talent as his father was a successful World Supermoto rider.
Young Dutch talent, Damien Knuiman is very impressive and despite not winning in Loket perhaps goes in as favourite this weekend if he can keep it on two wheels. A bad start and a crash cost him in the second moto in Loket so he will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
Young Dane talent, Jakob Madsen might not have the raw speed of Knuiman but he’s very consistent which is a good trait to have. He has what it takes for two top three finishes if everything clicks into place.
Young Slovenian, Jaka Peklaj is very impressive! When it comes to raw speed he could be the biggest threat to Knuiman. Unfortunately a crash which led to a DNF cost him in Loket but he was second in the first moto after coming through the pack too so watch out for him this weekend.
Another highly rated Dutch talent is Bradley Mesters who ended up fifth in the EMX85 series in Loket. He rode pretty good but will be looking to be closer to the top three in Australia this weekend.
The two Aussie’s to look out for are Jet Alsop and Kayden Minear. They’ll be motivated as the event is in their back yard and with the home crowd behind them don’t be surprised to see them at the front.
The two American’s selected for the 65cc’s are Kade Johnson and Logan Best. There’s no doubt they will want to beat the best from Europe.
She might be a girl but she’s fast! Lotte van Drunen was disappointed with her tenth overall in Loket as she simply wanted more. She wasn’t used to riding at such a big event but it means she will be more prepared in Australia this weekend.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Youthstream/Niek Kamper