The SDM Corse Yamaha team have announced a very strong line up to take on the EMX250 Championship in 2019. The team have signed Ruben Fernandez, Gianluca Facchetti and Rick Elzinga for the year ahead.
Fernandez and Facchetti know all about the EMX250 Championship as the former finished third in the championship in 2017 while the latter had a tough rookie season in the class this year.
Elzinga on the other hand is a rookie for the 2019 season as he moves up from the EMX125 championship but he’s a rider that has a lot of potential and that’s why the SDM Corse Yamaha have decided to sign him up.
We caught up with team manager, Daniele Marchese to get his thoughts on the rider line heading into the 2019 season.
Gatedrop: You’ve just announced a strong line up for the 2019 season, you must be delighted with having such a strong team for the EMX250 championship next year?
Daniele Marchese: Yes, we have strong riders for the new season and we are really happy to confirm that Australian, Caleb Grothues will also continue with us in the 2019. We will have four strong riders!
Gatedrop: I feel like you’ve a strong team, Elzinga will be a rookie and won’t have any pressure, Fernandez with his experience should be top five but perhaps Facchetti has the most pressure after a tough rookie season?
Daniele Marchese: For Elzinga it’s the first season and he needs to gain experience with the 250cc but we are confident that he can get in the top ten. With Facchetti and Fernandez our focus is for the podium during every race.
Gatedrop: Out of the three riders, which one do you feel has the best chance to go for the title?
Daniele Marchese: Fernandez and Facchetti can fight for the title out of our riders. I think Roan Van de Moosdijk and French rider, Tom Vialle can also fight for the title.
Gatedrop: The problem with such a strong team is I’m sure at least one of them will make the jump to the MX2 World Championship in 2020 – will you consider running an MX2 rider in the future?
Daniele Marchese: At the moment our focus and work with Yamaha is to win the EMX250 title, only after that will we consider going to the MX2 class. However, of course I hope we can move into the MX2 world championship in the future.
Gatedrop: Will any of the riders have the opportunity to contest selected rounds of MX2 next year that don’t collide with EMX250?
Daniele Marchese: We are thinking about participating at the MXGP of Imola.
Gatedrop: What’s it like working with David Philippaerts and having him coach the riders?
Daniele Marchese: We are really happy to work with David, he has a lot of experience and is a big help for the team and for the rider preparation. He has a strong mentality and the character of a champion.
Gatedrop: What’s your goals for the team in 2019?
Daniele Marchese: Our goals our to win the EMX250 title.
Gatedrop: Have the team got a plan for winter yet, where will you go to ride? Also, have any pre-season races been planned yet?
Daniele Marchese: Yes, with David we planned all the training season until October 2019. Now we start to work on the new bike and from January we’ll move to Sardinia for a long training session, we will be there for more than one month.
Gatedrop: Youthstream recently announced an U23 age rule for EMX250 whilst MX2 remains at U23 too. What’s your thoughts on that?
Daniele Marchese: I agree with this new rule, the EMX250 is a young class for the future world champions. The only thing that is not correct is to inform the teams and riders only few months before the beginning of the season. The best would have been to start in 2020 so the teams and riders have the time to change their future plans.
Gatedrop: There’s 9 rounds of the EMX250 series in 2019 compared to the 11 rounds we had this year. From a team manager’s point of view is that good or bad?
Daniele Marchese: It is good. I believe 11 races are too much for an EMX structure and budget. With 9 rounds we also have the opportunity to ride 1-2 GP’s.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Daniele Marchese: Yes, I want to say thank you to Yamaha Europe for their support as well as all our sponsors and all our team members that did a great job during the season. Also, to you guys for this nice interview.
Interview: Andy McKinstry