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MX2: The dark horses!

MX2: The dark horses!
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This weekend the wait is over, the MXGP and MX2 championship will start under the flood-lit track at Qatar for the first round of the championship. We will now have a look at some of the riders in the MX2 class that you should keep an eye on during the 2016 season.

Vsevolod Brylyakov – Vsevolod is an example of a kid who has worked hard to get himself a deserving ride in the paddock. When people talk about MX2 I often see people mention its full of rich kids. Well, two years ago heading into the season, Vsevolod didn’t even have a rider, surely if he was rich he would have paid to get on a team? Anyway, JTech Honda decided to give him a chance half way through the season as Maxime Desprey was struggling for form. Giving the Russian kid a chance to prove himself was the best thing they could have done. He impressed so much they kept him for the 2015 season. In 2015 he landed himself a fourth overall at the Swedish GP and impressed throughout the season.

Steve Dixon was impressed and has signed him as Max Anstie’s replacement for the upcoming season. He will be the only MX2 GP rider on the team so Steve clearly believes in him and Brylyakov will now have a very fast bike to do the job. However, for the first time in his career he will have pressure to deal with by being the only MX2 rider in some a top team!

He has been out in America preparing for the season and hasn’t done any pre-season races before Qatar which could let him down at the first round. I expect him to be in and around the top ten at Qatar and to build as the season keeps going, don’t be surprised to see him get podiums.

Henri Jacobi – Henri decided to contest the 2015 MX2 season instead of contesting the EMX250 championship which might have been seen as the most likely option. He took a bit of a risk but it has worked out well for the young German. Henri’s dad paid for him to contest the full season in hope of landing a full time ride for the 2016 season as Sarholz KTM wouldn’t fully support him to contest GP’s which was a shame!

I was at Assen and the British GP, I have to say that I was impressed with Henri at both the rounds, the guy has speed. Particularly, at Assen he was very fast at the start of the second moto, he passed and pulled away from Anstie in the sand before a bike problem let him down.  JTech Honda have signed Henri and I believe he will be a consistent top ten rider once he gets used to the Honda, he could even get some top five’s if it all clicks.

More riders should look at Henri and follow what he has done. If teams see that you want to be a GP rider and the speed is good they will take you on. Henri took the risk to focus on competing a season without possibly making any money but he now has a ride so is reaping the benefits that other talented riders don’t want to do.

Benoit Paturel – I mentioned that Benoit would be one to watch before the 2015 season and he most definitely was! Benoit started his rookie year quite slowly but once he got going he put some fantastic results in. I really feel that people should be giving him more credit for what he did last year. Benoit was able to give Kemea Yamaha their first overall podium for the team which is a great achievement.

Benoit has been riding great this pre-season even beating Shaun Simpson at the Lacapelle-Marival International event. He will take a lot of confidence to Qatar and I could see him starting the season with a top five finish and push on from there. He could defiantly get plenty of podiums and even put himself in contention for a French Des Nations slot at the end of the year.

One thing that impressed me during 2015 was the improvement in his sand riding as he isn’t blessed with those skills but he clearly put the work in on the sand.

Ben Watson – I feel like Ben’s work during the 2015 season has went unnoticed. The MX2 class is stacked full of talent and being the youngest rider in the class –  it was not going to be easy! However, as the season went on Ben’s results started to improve every week which was encouraging. Especially considering he is riding for a privateer team in Revo KTM, it was a learning year for Ben and I think he can be happy with his season.

Ben will ride a Husqvarna this year and it will be interesting to see if the bike will be any better. I genuinely do believe that with a good bike that Ben has the talent to be in the top ten every week. Some teams were interested in Ben but because he signed a two year deal with his current deal he was loyal to that. With some good rides in the 2016 season there is no reason he can’t get himself a factory ride.

With Adam Sterry moving into the MX2 class it will be interesting to see them both dual in the class and who will end out on top come the end of the season!

Article: Andy McKinstry
Pic: RTMX Photography


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