With the 2019 MXGP and MX2 World Championship season getting underway in Argentina this weekend, we take a look at the new teams that will enter the paddock for the season ahead.
It was very last minute but the SR Honda team with the help from Honda France have decided to enter the MXGP World Championship with Jeremy Van Horebeek. Initially the Belgian, signed with the team to contest the Le Touquet beach race. However, after the event they made the decision to keep Van Horebeek and give him another chance to race at the highest level in Motocross.
JVH will even race the first round in Argentina which seemed very unlikely a few months ago. The Belgian will be very motivated to show all the factory teams that decided not to sign him that he’s still got plenty left to offer so don’t be surprised if he’s on top of his game in 2019. Maxime Desprey has also signed with the SR Honda team and is expected to contest wildcard rounds throughout the season as he’ll main focus on the French Elite Championship.
Dickie Dye has spent a number of years with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team but has decided to take matters into his own hands for 2019. Dickie has started up his own team – the RFX KTM team powered by PAR Homes. The team have a five rider line up in 2019 but when it comes to GP’s the focus will be on Shaun Simpson who has plenty of experience and should be able to help the team during their first year together. Joel Rizzi will be racing the EMX125 championship and will be hoping to be competitive.
Team manager Dickie Dye has a good feeling for 2019. “We couldn’t be in a better place right now. I am in motocross heaven. I have spent a reasonable amount of time with Shaun over the past couple of months and as I get to know him more, I like what I see and hear. There is no doubt in my mind at all that Shaun can be World Champion next year. We need a winter of hard work on and off the bike a strong wind behind us and a bit of luck and we’ll be there, Shaun will be there”.
Swedish based team, JWR Yamaha Racing will really step up their efforts in 2019 as they’ve a three rider line up for MXGP. Last year they contested a few rounds of the series with Filip Bengtsson but they’ve a new rider line up for 2019.
The team have inked deals with the experienced Kevin Strijbos (currently injured but should be back for round two), Vsevolod Brylyakov and Anton Gole. It’ll be important for the team to grow and improve as much as possible from their first season in MXGP.
Another new team that will focus on the MXGP World Championship in 2019 is the North Europe Racing KTM team. The team will run Petar Petrov and Jeffrey Dewulf in the MXGP World Championship. Bulgarian has been racing GP’s since he was sixteen so will be able to help the team during their first year. Belgian rider, Dewulf also gets another shot at the World Championship after spending half a season with the Sarholz KTM team in 2019. The team will also run Jeremy Hauquier in the MX2 World Championship. Daniel Lokker is the man running the shop over at the North Europe Racing team.
When Youthstream announced the age rule for the EMX250 class things weren’t looking good for Simone Furlotti as he signed a deal with the GBO Motorsport KTM team to contest the EMX250 class. The rule meant he wouldn’t be able to contest the series but the GBO Motorsport team ran by ex GP rider, Matteo Bonini decided to give Furlotti a chance at the MXGP World Championship (European rounds) in 2019. It will be Furlotti’s rookie year in the MXGP World Championship so he’ll be looking to learn as much as possible against the best riders in the world.
The Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing team contested wildcard MXGP races in 2018 with Sven Van der Mierden but in 2019 they’ll step up their efforts even further as they’ll try to contest all the European rounds of the series. As well as keeping Van der Mierden under the awning they’ve signed Micha Boy De Waal who has some experience on the 450cc but it’ll be his rookie season in MXGP. The team will also have the talented, Raivo Dankers contesting the EMX250 series.
After spending a year with German team, KMP Honda, Nathan Renkens has decided to best thing to do for his career is to start his own team. Team NR83 will run KTM’s so the Belgian will make the switch back to the orange machine. “After some problems last year, we took the decision to go back to KTM as it’s a bike that’s good out of the box. We can work from one good base with this bike and go to the front”, Renkens commented.
Some people might forget but Morgan Lesiardo won the EMX250 title in 2017. It’s just a pity his rookie year in the World Championship didn’t work out as expected. He started the season with the Marchetti KTM team but left them towards the end of the season with the KTM Racestore MX2 Max Bart team stepping in to help him for the final two rounds. The team will now contest the European rounds with Lesiardo and hope to bring out the best in him and get his career back on track.
Last year, Tim Gajser’s father, Bogomir worked with Maks Mausser as a trainer. However, Bogomire has decided to create a new team, the GT243 Honda team. It will see Mausser make the jump from the EMX125 class to the MX2 World Championship as he’ll contest the European rounds of the series. It’s a big jump but he’ll use it as a learning year and he’s got good Slovenian support around him which should really help.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Scott Dunne