There’s plenty of new blood entering the MX2 World Championship during the season ahead and we will take a look at who exactly have their rookie years in the class ahead of them.
Morgan Lesiardo (Team: Marchetti KTM): There’s no better place than starting with last years EMX250 championship winner. The Italian came out of nowhere last year and was running at the front in the EMX250 series from day one – consistency won him his title. He impressed so much that the Factory Kawasaki team decided to sign him and he wrapped up the title under their awning.
With the Factory Kawasaki team gone, the Marchetti KTM pounced on Lesiardo and rightly so. It should be a good fit, an Italian rider with an Italian team. He contested some MX2 races last year but didn’t set the world on fire, he might need some time to adjust to racing with the best 250cc riders in the world. I don’t see him being as good as previous EMX250 winner, Thomas Kjer Olsen but he’s certainly capable of running in the top ten on his day.
Jago Geerts (Team: Kemea Yamaha): The Belgian is perhaps the most exciting new addition to the class. I can’t stress enough just how talented Geerts is, I’ve been on the Geerts hype train for a few years now. Last year he was as quick as anyone in the EMX250 series but as expected made rookie mistakes.
With a really good team and bike behind him – the Kemea Yamaha, hopefully he doesn’t have to work quite as hard to stay with the top guys. There’s no reason why Geerts can’t be a solid rider in the top ten and it’d be disappointing if he didn’t get any top five or even podium finishes too!
Jed Beaton (Team: F&H Kawasaki): Even though the Aussie is a rookie, he’s done something the rest of the new additions in the class haven’t and that’s get himself on the podium at a round of the MX2 World Championship. Beaton was a wildcard for the HRC Honda team for a few rounds last year and during the last round got himself on the box which was very impressive.
The F&H Kawasaki team have decided to go with the Aussie for the year ahead and you’d think if Beaton can’t get himself on the box again this season then he’d be disappointed considering he’s done it before! Beaton looks to be more comfortable in hard pack than the sand so look out for what he can do at the hard pack tracks.
Ruben Fernandez (Team: F&H Kawasaki): Spanish fans will be hoping that Ruben Fernandez can be the next big thing and can mix it up with fellow country man, Jorge Prado. Fernandez had a great campaign in the EMX250 series last year ending up third in the series. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to outright win a moto but he wasn’t far away and certainly had the speed to do so.
Fernandez rides on the edge and took some big crashes last year, he will hope to learn from that and keep it on two wheels more often than not. He decided to not contest any pre season races so he might need a few GP’s to dust of the cobwebs. There’s no doubt Fernandez has got good speed and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him run in the top ten at times. He’s been working with Marc de Reuver over winter so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of an effect he will have had on him.
Simone Furlotti (Team: SM-Action Yamaha): The Italian will only get one shot at competing in the MX2 World Championship due to his age! Unfortunately, he won’t contest the full season either as he picked up a wrist injury during the winter.
Furlotti isn’t yet back on the bike but is hoping to make a return to racing at his home MXGP of Trentino. The SM-Action Yamaha rider made a push for the EMX250 title last year but just missed out to Lesiardo, he will be hoping for as many top ten results as possible when he makes a return to racing.
Marshal Weltin (Team: Vamo Honda): Similar to Furlotti, Weltin will only get one year to contest the MX2 World Championship as he’ll be too old in 2019. Last year was Weltin’s first year in the GP paddock, he had some highs and lows throughout the course of the season but plenty would have been learnt!
The switch to the Vamo Honda team might not be the best switch for the American but it remains to be seen. His goal to start the season should be to secure points in as many moto’s as possible.
Zach Pichon (Team: KTM Rocket Juniors): There’s always a lot of pressure when your dad is an ex two time World Champion and that’s the position Zach finds himself in. The Pichon family have decided to stop up their own team known as the KTM Rocket Juniors team and Zach has made the switch to KTM machinery.
Pichon will contest the European rounds of the MX2 World Championship, he should target top fifteen results and to learn as much as possible.
Nicola Bertuzzi (Team: Silver Action KTM): The Silver Action team have decided to promote Bertuzzi to contest the MX2 World Championship during the season ahead.
Bertuzzi secured seven points in the EMX250 series last year so it’s not going to be an easy transition for him but his goal should be just to learn from riding with the best riders in the world and if he scores points then that’s a welcome bonus.
Tom Koch (Sarholz KTM): The Sarholz KTM have decided to promote the young German so he will contest in the Europen rounds of the MX2 World Championship. Koch didn’t do all the EMX250 rounds in 2017 but was pretty solid when he did.
Koch ended up twentieth in the series and was usually a fifteenth to twentieth guy in the moto’s. You can understand why someone like Koch would want to contest the MX2 World Championship because he won’t have any pressure to qualify. His target should be to get as many points as possible during the course of the season.
Jago Geerts – Yamaha
Morgan Lesiardo – Alex Piantanida
Ruben Fernandez & Jed Beaton – Shot by Bavo
Zach Pichon – Scott Dunne