Interview: Artem Guryev on signing MXGP deal with JM Honda

Jacky Martens has started his own team in the MXGP World Championship for the 2020 season.

The Belgian team have a strong rider line up to contest the series with Benoit Paturel and Julien Lieber. However, the team also announced the signing of a third MXGP rider in the form of Russian, Artem Guryev.

Guryev raced MXGP this year with his own team, AG Racing and secured one championship point but now he has the backing of a team behind him he’ll be looking for much more.

We caught up with Guryev to get his thoughts on the move and more.

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Gatedrop: Artem, it’s big and surprising news that you’ve signed with JM Honda Racing for 2020. Just how did this deal all come around?

Guryev: I made my debut in the MXGP class this season 2019 with my own team AG Racing, there was just me, my parents and my girlfriend. After this season we understand how big experience and support we must have to show good results. For now I’m so grateful and happy that life give me a chance to participate in MXGP next season with such a great team in JM Honda Racing.

Gatedrop: You raced the MXGP World Championship this year, just how did your season go and how would you describe racing the class?

Guryev: Yes, it was my debut. Honestly, I can say that it was so hard, but I survived it! Last season I’ve started preparing very late, I mean, before the MXGP of England I had just 20-25 hours on the bike from December. The first events for me, the physical condition was almost ready just for 15-20 minutes.. Until the 5th GP event, I tested the bike with different parts and suspension, because the bike wasn’t ready for tracks and rivals like it needs in MXGP.

My way to try and show my real riding started just after Saint Jean D’Anjely. At the next event at my home GP, the first moto I was going for my first points and with 10 minutes to go I had a big crash with another rider. I took an injury with my left arm pump, after that I spent a lot of time for recovery, and I rode the last MXGP event in Europe which was Turkey, where I already took my first point in the season.

Gatedrop: Just how stacked and competitive is the MXGP class?

Guryev: So, this is the World Championship, all top-20 riders in MXGP already been on the podium and already have a big experience. This class is a very high level and 2020 will be even more. I think it will be interesting.

Gatedrop: A lot of people will think you’ve only got this ride because of money, what would you say to those people?

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Guryev: A team like JM Honda Racing have their own position – the main goal for them is the results and they do all to show that! For now I can say thanks a lot to Jacky to have the possibility and chance to work together and I will try to show the best that I can in 2020.

Gatedrop: You’ve raced the EMX250 and MX2 World Championship in the past, do you prefer the 450cc or if it wasn’t for the age rule would you compete in one of those classes?

Guryev: In 2019, it was still possible for me ride in those classes. But I already know, if you didn’t have a fast bike, you can’t do anything from the start like on 250cc, if you haven’t a good start it’s very-very difficult to show good results. This season I did MXGP to see how it is and gain experience for the future and 2020.  

Gatedrop: What’s your thoughts on the U23 age rule?

Guryev: The MX2 and MXGP classes are similar – both world championships, the only difference is the power of the bikes. I think the under 23 age rule is good just for EMX250 class. It would be good if riders can chose what bike they want to ride by themselves. 

Gatedrop: It’s Jacky Martens first year running an MXGP team, are you looking forward to working with him?

Guryev: It’s a great team with big experience and big mind. I’m very excited to work with them in the MXGP class.

Gatedrop: You have really fast team mates in Paturel and Lieber, will you spend much time riding with them? It would be good for you to learn off them!

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Guryev: I didn’t know them before, but now we’ve already had some trainings. Exactly, it’s very nice to have good riders as teammates.

Gatedrop: Have you got any plans for the winter and pre season races?

Guryev: I’ve already started preparing for the next season here in Belgium. In the bad weather days for sure we go where the conditions are good enough for trainings. I’m looking forward to Hawkstone Park and Lacapelle Marival.

Gatedrop: What are your goals/expectations for the 2020 season?

Guryev: My first goal is to be ready as much as possible to be a GP rider with the bike, physical condition and good system. I hope I can show some good riding and enjoy it.

Gatedrop: What’s the sport like in Russia and is that something you’d like to improve?

Guryev:  5-10 years ago Motocross in Russian was better than it is now.  If you are riding on the motocross, you must have a lot of money, if you want to do it as a professional, you must have really big support, you need to live every day just for this sport. In a complete season in Russia you have around 3-5 races which is good, many thanks to those guys.

The last three years we have had an MXGP round in our country, it’s really cool, but we have only 3-5 races for all riders in a big country like Russia. I think it must be a minimum of around 100-200 good races.

Gatedrop: Anyone to thank/anything else to add?

Guryev: My parents and sister participated in motocross championships too and they also have title “masters of sports”, we really are a motor family.  They do lots of for me and give me a lot of experience. We aren’t rich people and it’s really big work to be here where I am, not many Russian riders did it before. I’m really grateful for it! Thanks a lot and lots of pleasure to my family, my girlfriend, my sponsors and all people who believe in me, who support and stay positive around me. 

Interview: Andy McKinstry