2022 MX2 Preview: Championship threats
We take a look at the MX2 World Championship hotshots to keep an eye on as the 2022 season gets underway at Matterley Basin this weekend.
One rider that doesn’t need much of an introduction is the 2020 MX2 World Champion, Tom Vialle. The Factory KTM rider missed out on the world title last year after injury but coming into the 2022 season he’ll be more motivated than ever to show he’s still the best 250cc rider in the world. It’s already been confirmed that this will be his final year racing the MX2 World Championship before moving up to MXGP so he’ll want to bow out as the champ and he goes into the season as the hot favourite.
After picking up an injury before the opening round of the series last year, Jago Geerts didn’t have an ideal start to the season and in the end couldn’t really challenge for the title. The Belgian looks to have had a strong off-season and will be determined to clinch a world title – there’s no way someone as talented as Geerts shouldn’t have an MX2 title to his name but his window of opportunity is decreasing. Speed and talent certainly aren’t the issue and he should win plenty of GP’s but will he be able to deliver under pressure to lift the world title? All remains to be seen!
Factory Yamaha’s team owner, Hans Corvers is happy with the place Geerts is in at the moment. “So far, Jago has had a good preparation. He made progress again: mentally and physically. I see another Jago. Much stronger than last year. He clearly has only one goal in mind”, Corvers stated.
Unfortunately, Thibault Benistant will miss the start of the season so isn’t really a title contender but he will be one to watch, he is a former EMX125 and EMX250 champion after all. The French talent is expected to return at round three in Argentina.
The de Carli GasGas riders will be very interesting to watch this year. Mattia Guadagnini was a revelation during his rookie season last year and finished fourth in the championship. The question going into 2022 will be can he win GP’s regularly and challenge for a title? With Geerts and Vialle around it’s not going to be easy but if Guadagnini continues his improvement he shouldn’t be far away.
The new rider under the de Carli GasGas awning is young German, Simon Laengenfelder and he’s going to be super interesting to keep tabs on. During pre-season Laengenfelder has been really fast and the de Carli team have a history of really helping younger talents blossom into elite riders so don’t be surprised to see them do the same with Laengenfelder. It’s also worth pointing out that Antonio Cairoli will be working with both Guadagnini and Laengenfelder and he’ll be looking to help turn them into winners.
The Factory Husqvarna team have a really exciting rider line up for the 2022 season with two riders at different stages of their careers. New kid on the block, Kay de Wolf recently turned 17-years-old and during his rookie season already won a moto and stood on the podium. This kid is impressive and this will be his first time since the 85cc class where he won’t be a rookie in the class after quickly moving up the EMX classes. At the recent Lacapelle Marvial International de Wolf went 1-1-1 and was arguably the fastest MX2 rider at Hawkstone International too. De Wolf has started the season with a bang, if he can bring the same speed and confidence to the GP’s… watch out!
Former EMX250 champ, Roan van de Moosdijk is really fast and perhaps somewhat under rated. Starts have been the Dutch riders biggest Achilles heel since moving up to MX2 but he has serious speed. However, similarly to Geerts his time to win a world title could be running out so it’s crunch time for his MX2 career – the move to the Factory Husqvarna team might be coming at exactly the right time.
The MX2 World Championship is shaping up to be exciting for 2022 and we can’t wait to watch all the action unfold.
Podcast! Jonathan McCready and Andy McKinstry look ahead to the new MXGP world championship season and discuss the contenders, the injuries and the rookies plus much more ahead of an exciting new MXGP season.
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Article: Andy McKinstry
Main pic: Nigel McKinstry