2023 MXoN preview and predictions
Jonathan McCready: 2023 might be one of the most competitive MXoN events in history with so many quality teams and riders. The MXoM isn’t always deep on talent but it is this year and starts will be critical.
Let’s look at the contenders.
France are deserving favourites but behind them there are 5, 6 or 7 teams who, if things go well, have a legitimate shot at the podium
On paper, France with Renaux, Febvre and Vialle are the strongest team. Three world champs who have all won races this year, but Renaux crashed out of the last GP and Vialle hasn’t had the easiest year in the US, but if they both find their GP winning speed and Febvre keeps his form they will be tough to beat as a team! The interesting point will be does Tom go back to his GP air suspension or stick with his AMA spring set-up?
Australia are most people’s pick to really challenge the French with Mr Perfect in America, Jett Lawrence, ready to continue his unbeaten streak outdoors on a 450 but it will be tougher in France with the GP boys added in. If Hunter Lawrence is fit Aussie have a big chance at the win as long as Dean Ferris pulls through, and with his experience and starts he should be capable.
Belgium are my dark horse for the podium if Liam adapts well to the 350 and gets starts. Geerts can be a front runner on the 450, Coenen at 16 can already run up front in MX2 (if he gets starts which aren’t always the best) so if Liam can ride to his potential on the bigger bike all three GP winners this year will have a big shot at a podium.
But so could Italy, even if Guadagnini is a bit of a loss. Bonacorsi is no slouch as EMX250 Championship but he just hasn’t had long to adapt to a 450. But with MX2 world champ Adamo and the in form Forato, a podium is within reach.
The same can be said for the USA who with top American in the 450s, Aaron Plessinger, MX2 title contender RJ Hampshire and the very talented Christian Craig, have the quality to be on the box as well. The big question mark is Craig after a long injury but if he performs, they’ll be up there.
Spain, like Belgium, have a big chance with young talented riders. Oriol Oliver has shown great speed and crucially starts in MX2 this year and with Prado world champ, and the best starter in the world, alongside Fernandez, who was right in the top 5/3 mix now he is fit again in MXGP, the trio should be looking at least a top five but a podium is certainly possible and maybe more!
The Netherlands don’t have Herlings which probably knocks them out of being favourites with the French, but Vlaanderen is an able replacement along with Coldenhoff and De Wolf who is finally fit again and flew at the British GP. Again they will be looking to be on the box.
Let’s not rule Germany out of a podium either! Ken Roczen and Simon Laengenfelder are flying right now and could win their classes with Tom Koch having some strong rides in the MXGP class this season, it’s a sneaky strong team. If Laengenfelder can pull the starts and win his class, Germany will be in the mix.
The Swiss are also strong with Jeremy Seewer in his last ride for factory Yamaha, Valentin Guillod having a great year and excellent on hard pack alongside the still fast Arnaud Tonus who just needs one result in the 250 class to keep the Swiss in the mix.
Team GB have three strong riders as well with Mewse hopefully able to show his true level to the world alongside Watson and Gilbert.
The bottom line is the field is stacked with quality in 2023 and the racing should be sensational through the field.
In the end, it’s hard to go past France for the win over Australia with Jett’s starts the critical platform for a strong score with Belgium maybe winning the battle for third, although Spain could well have their day this weekend and with Prado now MXGP, the battle between the world champ and the AMA champ for smoothest rider on the planet is on!
The MXGP race on Saturday could be the best race of the weekend with so many elite guys in one race.
- Jorge Prado – MXGP (or Lawrence, Gajser, Febvre, Roczen, Geerts, Seewer)
- Vialle – MX2 (or Coenen, Laengenfelder Adamo, Lawrence, de Wolf, RJ)
- Renaux – MX Open (or Fernandez or Coldenhoff)
Andy McKinstry: Jonathan wrote a bible there (emmm…part preview/part prediction/part excited – jmcc) so I’ll keep things relatively short and sweet. For me the two favourites are Australia and France, it’s a flip of a coin but starts are going to decide it and staying out of trouble. A crash could be very costly for either of the Nations but I’ll go with Australia for the win.
After those two there’s a host of Nations that can challenge for third and even better if France/Australia have a bad day or suffer from crashes. When the Spanish team was announced many people had them lined up for a podium and seeing how Ruben Fernandez ended his season I tend to agree. It’s also nice to see Oriol Oliver get called up – he deserves that.
Then you have the likes of Belgium, Switzerland, America, Holland, Germany and Italy (Guadagnini is a big miss for them). Personally I think Switzerland could surprise, Guillod has been strong all year and at a track like Ernee I see him surprising many. Everyone already knows what Seewer can do and Tonus only raced one MXGP in Switzerland but he was no slouch and he loves the 250cc.
On Belgium, watch out for Jago Geerts, the kid was born to race the 450cc and I can’t wait to see him on the bigger bike.
- Tim Gajser – MXGP
- Hunter Lawrence – M2
- Maxime Renaux – MX Open
Image: InFront Moto Racing