2021 EMX250 Preview: The new blood
With the EMX250 championship getting underway at Matterley Basin this weekend, we look at some of the rookies entering the hotly contested series in 2021.
EMX125 champion, Andrea Bonacorsi has inked a deal with the Hutten Metaal Yamaha team for the EMX250 campaign and he already looks at home on the bigger bike. The Italian has a big build so should suit the MX2 machine much better and he’s already showed good pace in the pre-season races.
After winning the title with Benistant last year, the Hutten Metaal Yamaha team will be eager to do the same again in 2022 and Bonacorsi might not be far off the pace if he can be consistent. The team’s trainer, Herjan Brakke will be working with Bonacorsi and he could help take him to the next level.
Last year was a great season for David Braceras on his F4E GasGas as he was a regular front runner in the EMX125 championship. He missed out on the title but to come second was a great season and going into the 2021 EMX250 campaign he’s signed with the VRT KTM team.
Braceras took a few years before he got up to speed in the EMX125 series and with the EMX250 class being stacked it might be a similar story but he has very good potential for the future.
Last season was a brilliant break out year for Swedish talent, Max Palsson after finishing fourth in the EMX125 championship on his WZ KTM. Unfortunately, he’s picked up an injury preparing for the season ahead so he will miss the start of the season which is a shame. Palsson could be one to keep an eye on as he returns to racing on his Beddini KTM – he has a lovely style.
Last year was Pietro Razzini’s first race contesting in a full European Championship as he had been concentrating on racing in Italy before the 2020 season. It turned out to be a good decision to contest the EMX125 series as he showed some good pace and finished seventh in the championship – not bad for his first year racing an EMX series.
For 2021, Razzini has signed with the Ghidinelli Racing Team which means he gets to work with former World Champion, David Philippaerts who will hope he can help Razzini improve as a rider. At the latest round of the Italian Championship Razzi showed very good pace on a hard pack track so look out for him in those kind of conditions.
Young Spanish talent, Guillem Farres Plaza has a lovely style, he is great to watch and out of all the rookies might have the best style on a bike. Unfortautnely, due to injury Farres Plaza won’t be racing the opening round due to injury but watch out for him on his return – he is fast!
Despite only racing one EMX125 race in his career, Maxime Grau will make a quick jump up to race the EMX250 series. The Factory Husqvarna team have clearly spotted something in Grau which they consider to be special and so far in pre-season Grau looks fast.
The French talent is still very young at 15 years old so there’s not too much pressure on Grau but he made a big decision to leave France at such a young age as he’s now living in Belgium riding the rough sand tracks – he certainly has the mentality it takes so watch out for this kid!
Young Italian talent, Andrea Roncoli had a break out year in the EMX125 series last year finishing seventh in the championship showing good speed along the way. It was a good effort from the privateer rider that’s landed him a Racestore GasGas ride for the season ahead. It’s important for Roncoli to learn as much as possible this year and improve as the season progresses.
You could say it’s a bit of a surprise but Quentin Prugnieres has decided to make the jump up to the EMX250 series even though he could have stayed in the EMX125 class. Some would see it as a surprise as he could have challenged for the EMX125 title this year but together with BUD Racing it was decided he’d jump up to race the 250cc.
Prugnieres has a nice technique and is great to watch but this year is all about learning and improving as much as he can in a stacked class.
At the last minute, Saad Soulimani picked up a ride with the TBS Conversions KTM team after Twan van Essen’s injury. Soulimani has a nice style and when he’s fast can ran at the front of the EMX125 series last year but consistency wasn’t his strong point and that’s an area he will look to improve.
Another French talent in the form of Florian Miot makes the step up to the EMX250 class this year after signing with British based team, RFX by PAR Homes Husqvarna where he’ll work closely with Neil Prince. Miot has been riding the British Championships but it can be quite tough as the British riders are fast in their home soil but nevertheless he’s been running in the top ten.
After a year with the NR83 KTM team contesting the EMX125 series, Martin Venhoda showed some good pace but didn’t have the consistency. Coming into 2021, he will come in with a privateer Husqvarna effort and will look to learn as much as possible with some of the best young talents in the world.
Young Dane, Rasmus Pedersen has a lovely style and I’ve always thought he’d be more suited to the 250cc so I am looking forward to seeing him in the EMX250 class. On the 125cc he was great to watch but one of his weak areas is being really aggressive but he’s great to watch so it’ll be good to see him make the step up to the EMX250 class.
Unfortunately, Edvards Bidzans picked up an injury which ruled him out of the 2020 season. It was a real shame as he’d signed a deal with the A1 Motorsport Husqvarna team which would have seen him working closely with Tanel Leok. The injury ruined his EMX125 rookie season and now he’s made the decision to step up and race the EMX250 class, some would see this as a big step too early but Bidzans has a lot of talent so it’ll be interesting to see how can perform in 2021. He will miss the opening round of the series as he’s due to get his first COVID-19 vaccine so will have to give the first round a miss!
You can listen to our preview podcast on both EMX series here.
Main pic: Niek Kamper
Article: Andy McKinstry