MXGP: Silly season starts now!
We are only eight rounds into the 2016 MXGP season but we are already hearing rumours about who might be going where for the 2017 season.
Let’s start with Suzuki, the latest word is that they are going to replace Townley for next year. Last year they tried to sign Van Horebeek but he decided to stay with Yamaha. Everts and Suzuki still really want to sign the Belgian and it’s clear he’s the man they want but it will all depend if he wants to leave Yamaha. Arnaud Tonus is a name that has also been linked to the Factory Suzuki awning.
Gautier Paulin just returned to racing in Italy but unless there is a big U-turn he won’t be won’t be with HRC Honda in 2017 – he is one of the most paid riders in the MXGP paddock but hasn’t produced the goods for Honda. Paulin is in talks with IceOne Husqvarna and his manager was spotted at Yamaha headquarters in Amsterdam a week ago. Stay tuned on that one as there will be plenty more rumours about where GP21 could end up in 2017.
Tim Gajser signed a five year deal with Honda last year, he will stay with Honda for the 2017 season. However, he is most likely going to be heading to USA next year.
That leaves HRC Honda without Gajser and Paulin. Who will they sign? Well, they have shown interest in Romain Febvre and really want him but that will all depend on Febvre leaving Yamaha. However, as we have seen in the past money does talk and anything is possible.
It’s worth mentioning that Max Anstie and Aleksandr Tonkov both have 2017 MXGP contracts for IceOne Husqvarna and Yamaha respectively.
Let’s not forget that Barcia has shown an interest in coming to the MXGP World Championship in 2017. He could be an option for Yamaha or HRC Honda if their current rider(s) do indeed depart.
It’s still early in the season so this could all change, it will be interesting to see how it all materializes as the season progresses.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Martin Plesnik