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2024 MX2 World Championship Preview: Fresh blood!

2024 MX2 World Championship Preview: Fresh blood!

There are plenty of riders moving up from the EMX classes to take on their first MX2 World Championship season in 2024 so we take a look at the new blood ahead of the opening round this weekend in Argentina.

One kid that really burst on the scene last year was Marc-Antoine Rossi who didn’t show his true potential in the EMX125 class but he took the EMX250 series by storm last year after being picked up by the VRT team. He was sitting third in the championship standings early in the season but an injury cost him and meant he had to miss three rounds of the series. He ended his season on a high winning the final round at Matterley Basin.

Image: Juan Pablo Acevedo

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Rossi also raced a couple of MX2 wildcards last year and certainly didn’t look intimated riding with the best in the world. At his home GP he was in fine form posting the second quickest time in timed qualifying before finishing 6-8. The French talent has a spectacular style and loves a scrub so is really fun to watch. The de Carli factory GasGas team have signed up the exciting talent and with Simon Längenfelder and Jorge Prado next to him, it’s the perfect team mates for him to learn from. Don’t be shocked to see Rossi win a Grand Prix this year, he is super good.

Coming into the 2024 season there was a lot of interest in young Italian, Ferruccio Zanchi after he finished fourth in the EMX250 series last year. Fantic, F&H Racing and Gabriel SS24 KTM are the teams rumoured to have tried to sign Zanchi but in the end HRC Honda have snapped him up for his rookie MX2 World Championship season.

Image: Shot by Bavo

It is fantastic to see HRC Honda run a full factory MX2 GP rider again and with Zanchi they have a very promising rider for the future. Working with former French world champion, Jacky Vimond is also a good move and again we shouldn’t be that surprised if Zanchi gets at least a podium this year. The kid has really potential for the future.

The EMX250 champion, Andrea Bonacorsi finally makes the move up to the MX2 World Championship this year and with the structure change at Yamaha, he gets to stay at the Hutten Metaal Yamaha team who have become full factory. The Italian is very familiar with the team which should help him prepare for his rookie MX2 World Championship season.

Image: Yamaha Racing

The Italian got his first experience racing the MXoN at the end of the year and he really impressed on the 450cc. The one problem that Bonacorsi may have in MX2 is that starts could be an issue and we all know how important they are. There is no doubting his talent having won EMX125 and EMX250 titles and he should have a very positive career but perhaps if he can’t master starts, we may not see the best of him until he moves up to MXGP. Nevertheless he can definitely get on the podium this year, he has the talent, work ethnic and the speed.

A couple of years ago, Quentin Prugnieres was looking like a great prospect for the future but the 2023 season probably didn’t go as he’d have liked. By no means it certainly wasn’t a disaster as he still finished sixth in the EMX250 championship and showed flashes of what he could do and an injury didn’t help either. Despite that he has still secured an MX2 GP ride with F&H Racing which will see him remain with Kawasaki machinery.

There’s no doubt that Prugnieres has a lot of talent and has a great style, he is lovely to watch but heading into his rookie MX2 GP season it’s hard to predict how he’ll perform in a deep MX2 GP field full of talent. Working with Marc de Reuver should be a big help as he does a great job working with younger talent and he’ll be hoping to take Prugnieres to the next level.

It was only a couple of years ago that Hakon Osterhagen was looking like the next big thing. However, since moving up to the EMX250 class, he hasn’t been able to show his true potential. It has to be said, that it has mostly been due to injuries but in 2024 it is going to be important for him to remain injury free and last the season as that’ll help him build after many injuries.

Image: Scott Dunne

The JM Honda team decided to sign up Osterhagen for 2024 which tells you everything you need to know because Jacky Martens certainly has an eye for talent and has helped develop many bright young talents over the years. Osterhagen will be hoping for the same fate as many under the JM awning and at Hawkstone International he was impressive on his debut with his new team. Keep an eye on the Norwegian.

There was a bit of doubt about the SB KTM teams future in the paddock but they decided to stick around but make the switch from EMX250 to the MX2 World Championship. They have one rider under the awning in the form of Jens Walvoort. It is a huge opportunity for Walvoort to race with the worlds best in MX2 and he’ll be looking to payback the teams trust.

He has started to work with Marc de Reuver so that could be a good fit but MX2 is very, very fast. If he can score points early in the season and work towards the top fifteen/ten it would be good progress.

He’s only ever raced selected MX2 World Championship events here or there but what an opportunity Bobby Bruce has this year. Steve Dixon has signed Bruce up for the DRT Kawasaki team which is huge for the young Brit.

It’ll be Bruce’s first full season in the MX2 World Championship and he’ll finally get to experience the oversea GP’s which will be a very nice experience for him. The young Brit has suffered from injuries since making the move up to the 250cc so the objective this year will be to stay fit and progress. He’ll also be a contender for the British Championship title in the UK.

Another Brit in the form of Ethan Lane who has experience racing AMA Nationals has decided to take the step to race the MX2 World Championship this year after signing with Spanish team, Jezyk KTM. It’s going to be a big learning curve but one that should really help him progress as a rider.

Making the big jump up from the EMX125 class to the MX2 World Championship is young Czech rider, Julius Mikula. He makes the move from the MJC Yamaha team to the Osicka KTM team who have decided to step up and race the MX2 GP’s this year albeit only the rounds in Europe but it it a huge opportunity for Mikula to get his feet wet at world championship level.

Over the next couple of days we will have another couple of MX2 previews so keep your eyes peeled as the countdown to Argentina is well and truly on.

Article: Andy McKinstry