MX2: Most improved riders in 2015!
The World Championship is done and dusted for another year; we will now look back and talk about the most improved riders in the MX2 class – a lot of riders certainly stepped up in 2015!
Benoit Paturel: Kemea Yamaha took a bit of a risk to sign Benoit before the start of the season, even though he had showed some good speed in his European days, the results could have been better. However, Benoit has been a breath of fresh air in 2015 and has emerged as a top rider in the MX2 class. I don’t think too many people expected him to finish the season ninth overall in the championship. B
enoit seemed to click with the bike straight away and Marnicq Bervoets has brought out the best in him. Benoit shines in the tricky hard pack conditions, which is no surprise as he is French; the sand is something he needs to work on for the 2016 season. Now that Benoit has got a full rookie season behind him he could be a revelation next year, don’t be surprised to see a lot more podiums for the Frenchman.
Pauls Jonass: What a great season Pauls has had! Coming into the season Pauls was aiming to consistently be in the top ten! However, it is clear Pauls put in the hard work over winter with Stefan Everts and it really paid off as he took the class by storm. He lead the first round for Qatar for some laps and honestly looked like he was a factory KTM rider his entire life.
Pauls hasn’t had it easy coming from Latvia but he has put in the hard work and ended up losing the title to Gajser at the last round in USA, not too many people would have thought that before the season started! I have a feeling Pauls will miss working with Stefan Everts as he got the best out of him but after finishing second in the championship this year he will go into the 2016 season full of confidence.
Vsevolod Brylyakov: JTech Honda seen potential in Vsevolod and gave him a bike half was through the 2014 season. He impressed and secured a full time ride for this year which was his first full season in MX2 and he certainly didn’t disappoint! For the first half of the season he was always in and around the top ten which was encouraging for the Russian.
It all clicked for him in Sweden as he ended up fifth in both the moto’s which gave him fourth overall – so nearly an overall podium. Unfortunately after Sweden he picked up a shoulder injury so he wasn’t able to build on his great performance in Sweden. He rode the next three rounds injured which hindered him and he then pulled out for the last four GP’s of the year.
However, Steve Dixon has seen the potential in him and has signed him to replace Max Anstie for the 2016 season. It will be interesting to see what Vsevolod can do on such a fast bike and he will also be able to learn off Tommy Searle, he will be riding a lot with him before the start of the season. British fans will be able to see the Russians speed next year as he will contest the British Championship, a lot of the British tracks will be sand so this will help him improve his sand riding.
Brent Van Doninck: Before the start of the season Brent was supposed to be racing the EMX250 championship. However, Kemea seen his potential and how much speed he had gained over the winter. After the first two GP’s they decided to put Brent in MX2 with the rest of the season with Damon dropping to the EMX250 class.
Kemea will be happy with the decision they made as Brent was able to give them their first ever podium in the MX2 class which came at Assen. Brent was superb and finished both moto’s in fourth to end up third overall. Brent actually picked up an ACL injury at the British GP but he decided to ride the rest of the season anyway – he wasn’t 100% fit. Brent had an operation at the end of the season and is currently recovering, we should see a fit Brent Van Doninck in Qatar, he is certainly one to watch out for in 2016. Brent missed four GP’s in 2015 but still managed to finish thirteenth in the championship which is pretty impressive.
Article: Andy McKinstry