We take a closer look at the EMX250 rookies for the 2019 season as the series kicks off this weekend at Matterley Basin.

Let’s start of with possibly the most talented rookie. Rene Hofer moves up to the EMX250 series after an injury cost him his EMX125 title last year but had he stayed fit you wouldn’t have bet against him to win it. Hofer despite being off the bike for a long time has looked great on the 250cc in pre-season so comes into the season with plenty of confidence. This kid is really really good and if can stay away from injuries he has a bright future.

With Hofer getting injured, Thibault Bénistant stepped up to win the EMX125 title last year. The French rider is very talented himself and is good on both sand and hard pack which is promising for a French rider at such a young age. The MJC Yamaha rider will look to improve as much as possible as the season progresses.

Benistant’s setup for 2019! Pic: Mediacross

Italian talent, Emilio Scuteri unfortunately missed most of the 2018 season through injury which was a shame as he was a title contender for the EMX125 title. The Celestini KTM rider has missed a lot of racing so may need some time before the best of him but he’s got bags of talent.

Scuteri isn’t putting too much pressure on himself and just wants to have fun at the first round. “Everything is going well with the new bike. For the first race, I don’t expect anything, I just want to have fun”.

Young Finn, Emil Weckman has had an usual career path as he’s spent a few seasons in the EMX150 series but the last two years he’s been racing EMX125. Last year he was challenging Benistant for the title before an injury meant he couldn’t finish the season. Weckman has a good team behind him in the Junior DIGA KTM team and he’ll be looking to repay them with some good results.

Riding under his own awning in 2018, Raivo Dankers would have wanted to secure a ride for 2019 and that’s exactly what he’s done. He signed a deal with the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing team in what will be his rookie year in the EMX250 series. Unfortunately, he broke his collarbone in pre-season so might not come into Matterley the best prepared but he should only continue to improve from round one on wards.

There’s no doubt that Filip Olsson has a lot of talent but as he was getting ready for the season he’s damaged the ACL in his knee. He’s going to start the season to see how things go but it means there’s a lot of uncertainty. If results aren’t going like he expects then we may see him get an operation. It’s a shame because the Swede has a lot of potential but hopefully the injury won’t affect him too much.

Young German rider, Lion Florian improved a lot last year. He ended up ninth in the EMX125 championship posting some impressive results. Florian is a really tall guy so should suit the 250cc even better, he might just surprise people on the bigger bike.

There’s no doubt that Rick Elzinga has a lot of talent on a bike. He missed the first half of the 2018 season through injury which was a real shame as he could have battled for the EMX125 title. When he did make his return he was impressive and didn’t need much time to get up to speed. He’ll look to learn as much as possible during the year ahead on the SDM-Corse Yamaha but he’s a signing for the future.

Elzinga in action during the pre-season races in Italy. Pic: Alex Piantanida

Another Dutchie, in the form of Raf Meuwissen makes the jump up to the 250cc. He’s another rider who’s of a big build and perhaps he could have made the move last year but he decided to stay down on the 125cc just one more year. Meuwissen has signed with the Maddi Husqvarna team who are good for the younger riders so they’ll try to get the best out of him.

Heading into the season, Meuwissen is happy with his riding. “My riding is going really good on the 250cc. I’ve made some good hours on the bike in Italy. My expectations for this weekend is to qualify directly and ride two good moto’s”.

French rider, Jimmy Clochet has a lot of experience whether it’s on the 250cc or the 450cc but it’s going to be his first year competing in the EMX250 series. The BUD Kawasaki Racing team have decided to give him the opportunity and clearly see the potential in him.

Last year, Meico Vettik made lots of progress and really improved as a rider. Perhaps he could have stayed in the EMX125 class for one more year but with the WZ KTM Racing team he’s been given the opportunity to contest the EMX250 series which he couldn’t turn down.

It was a bit of an up and down season for Mario Lucas Sanz and perhaps that’s the area he’ll look to improve in – consistency. The young Spaniard will stay with the F4E KTM team so he’ll be comfortable working with the same people around him. Former GP rider, Damon Graulus has also joined the team for 2019 and he’ll be working closely with the riders.

A former winner of the EMX150 series, Andrea Adamo has been focusing mainly racing in Italy the past few years but he’s been given an opportunity to race the EMX250 series in 2019. He’s got a really good team behind him in the SM-Action Yamaha so he’ll be looking to repay the team with some good results.

Andrea Adamo looking good in blue. Pic: Alex Piantanida

Verde KTM have decided to keep Dom Lancett under the awning for the season ahead as they see a lot of potentiate in him. The Brit was in action at Hawkstone International and looked impressive in the MXY2 250cc class so he’ll try to take that confidence into the EMX250 season with him.

Lancett is happy with with where he’s at going into the season. “I feel that the riding is going really well. I like the bike a lot and I feel like I’m going really well on the bike”.

Lancett isn’t the only Brit to be an EMX250 rookie for 2019 as Adam Collings will also make the step up. The Brit will have the support of Pol Motors behind him so will be looking to repay them for their trust.

With lots of new guns in the EMX250 championship it’ll be interesting to see who adapts to their new machines the best. It’s guaranteed to provide great racing as the EMX250 class always does.

Article: Andy McKinstry

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