Ryan Villopoto coming to the World Championship has brought a lot of hype to MXGP in 2015! At Gate Drop we were intrigued to find out everyone’s thoughts so we got in touch with riders, journalists and managers inside the motocross industry to see what they think and their predictions for the top three at Qatar and the Championship.

Davey Coombs (head of RacerX and MX Sports) –  “As far as Villopoto going to race GPs, I am glad he decided to take his rare chance to extend his career by one more year and go on a great big adventure. He’s a Hall of Famer here and I really hope he upholds his legacy and our flag well against some very fast GP men. It should be fun and interesting for sure, and it’s been awhile since a top American decided to move over there and race. He’s in a very unique position with Monster Energy, and it’s a perfect time for both him and the brand in Europe. But I just don’t see any top guys following him, or Monster Energy and Youthstream making the deal they did to make this happen for 2015. No matter, I will be watching and enjoying the races this season like I always do.”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Antonio Cairoli
3rd Gautier Paulin

Championship Prediction:

1st Gautier Paulin

(DC couldn’t choose between RV and AC for the title so he went with Paulin!)

Damon Graulus (MX2 GP rider) – “I think its a good thing that RV is coming to Europe, the MXGP series is gonna have more attention from the media with him in the series. Because he was the best in the US so its gonna be like the des nations, The “only American” vs the europeans”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Tommy Searle

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Clement Desalle
3rd Ryan Villopoto

Martin Barr (British championship rider)– “I think it will make it a lot more interesting to watch and will get people’s attention again. I think RV will win in Qatar as it will suit him being fast and flowing and also with it being flood lit”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Kevin Strijbos

Harry Nolte (EMX2 team manager) – “It will be very interesting with RV coming into the gp’s, the first 3 rounds will be ok for him, we will just have to see how he deals with the sand and mud tracks. I believe everybody forgets about Paulin, Desalle and Nagl in the hype between the battle between RV and Cairoli”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Gautier Paulin
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Ryan Villopoto

Adam Sterry (EMX2 rider) –“You have to respect RV for coming to Europe. He’s coming to Cairoli’s world and has everything to lose. He has also brought a lot bigger following to the World Championship series which is good for motocross in general.  It’s hard to pick but I think Cairoli will have the advantage of knowing the routine and tracks. It will be close and very interesting to watch”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Gautier Paulin
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Jeremy Van Horebeek

Jordan Booker (British Championship rider)-“I think it’s great for the sport all around the world. It will attract more fans and TV viewers and hopefully attract more interest from outside sponsors to get involved with European / world motocross. RV will definitely make the racing a lot more exciting this year as the last few years haven’t been the best for racing in mx1. Also, I don’t think you can count out the likes of Paulin and even Tommy when they’re having a good day”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Antonio Cairoli
3rd Gautier Paulin

Championship Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Antonio Cairoli
3rd Gautier Paulin

Harri Kullas (British Championship rider)– “Yea it is nice that RV is coming, for sure it will be hard racing this year I guess! I think RV will be fast and will charge a lot but Cairoli has been riding GP tracks many years so he has that experience. I would like to see Paulin at the front as he belongs there and brings something new. But Cairoli is still pretty damn skilled and fast rider”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto                                                                                                                   
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Kevin Strijbos

Championship Prediction:

 1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Kevin Strijbos

James Dunn (British Championship rider)– “It’s awesome to see RV coming over to race the MXGP series this year, I think it brings a lot of new interest into the championship and more followers from all over the world. I’m defiantly excited to see what happens! I think Villopoto will come out swinging and as the Qatar track will favour his style. However, with Cairoli’s speed on the hard pack tracks, consistency and experience; I can’t see how Villopoto will beat him over the long 17 round championship”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto                                                                                                            
2nd Jeremy Van Horebeek
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

 1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Gautier Paulin

Stuart Edmonds (German ADAC Championship rider)– “I think RV will do good in the GP’s, he will probably get a couple of wins but I don’t think he will win the championship. I reckon Cairoli will be the man for the championship”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Kevin Strijbos
3rd Jeremy Van Horebeek

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Kevin Strijbos
3rd Jeremy Van Horebeek

Joel Smets (Suzuki MXGP rider coach)– “For sure the motocross community worldwide will get a boost from it. It’s going to be an exciting season that’s for sure”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Gautier Paulin
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Clement Desalle
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Kevin Strijbos

 

What do we think at GateDrop.com?

Andy McKinstry– “I have a lot of respect for Villopoto to come over to race the world championship, I think more top Americans should do it when they win everything in USA. I think it will be tough for RV to beat Cairoli over the championship but I expect it to be close. I can’t rule out Desalle, Paulin or Van Horebeek either, if any of them guys win a GP early in the season they will gain a lot of confidence from it”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Jeremy Van Horebeek

Jonathan McCready– “It is brilliant that Villopoto is racing the World Championship, that is the way it should be, the best US riders going for a World Championship in their careers as well as AMA SX/MX titles. It will also give the GPs a lot more exposure in the USA which is a good thing. The racing should be fantastic but it won’t just be between RV and AC, there are so many potential race winners and title challengers that it makes any predictions extremely hard! It could also be a storybook ending for RV if he can become World Champion at Glen Helen in his last pro season. It might even inspire other US riders to try to do the same!”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Ryan Villopoto
3rd Gautier Paulin

Paul McCready-  “I have been wishing for a top American rider to race the World Championship for years and finally Ryan Villopoto has stepped up to make it happen! Lets hope this sparks an interest for other U.S. riders to the same thing. Obviously all the talk is between Cairoli and RV with all the championships they have and rightly so, but what worries me is Ryan has only manage to compete in 2 AMA 450 Motocross Championships (which he won) because of injury, while Tony hasn’t missed a race through injury in a 450 championship. They will both be fast but I am predicting it will be who ever stays healthy will win.”

Qatar Prediction:

1st Ryan Villopoto
2nd Max Nagl
3rd Antonio Cairoli

Championship Prediction:

1st Antonio Cairoli
2nd Gautier Paulin
3rd Ryan Villopoto

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