MXGP World Championship: New teams!
We are quickly approaching the 2017 MXGP World Championship season that kicks off next weekend at Qatar. We have noticed the growth in the series and the amount of new teams that will take part in the series during 2017.
The German team will concentrate more in the World Championship paddock this year. After Brian Hsu lost his Suzuki ride it looked like he would go to America to contest in Supercross. However, the deal never happened and instead he signed with Maurer Husky to contest in the European rounds of the MX2 World Championship. It looks like a backward step but without the pressure of riding within a factory team it might just help him. The team will also run Jernej Irt in the European rounds of the MXGP class.
Lieber Racing team
Julien Lieber will race for his own race team in 2017. It won’t be the first time this has been the case as he has rode for his own team in the EMX series but this is the first time this has been the case in the World Championship. It’s thought he will have factory engines from KTM. The Belgian will be one to watch next year as he impressed on the Standing Construct KTM when he had that opportunity after leaving Suzuki. He has also shown some good speed at the two rounds of the International Italian Championship he competed at, he even won a moto! It’s not easy to come back after over a year out and win, it shows he hasn’t lost his speed!
Italian “Factory” KTM team
The Italian team have concentrated on their domestic series in the past but they have new challenges for the 2017 season. They will contest in the MX2 World Championship with both their riders on the entry list for Qatar. Nicholas Lapucci had a deal with the 8Biano Husqvarna squad but after they signed Caleb Ward he had to look elsewhere for a ride. Lapucci joins the Italian “factory” KTM team alongside Luca Moroni. Maximiliano Massignani who helped form the 8Biano Husqvarna team also moves to this team to help build it up.
Maggiora Park KTM
Did you know that Maggiora Park actually had a motocross team? Well, you do now! During 2016 they concentrated on the Italian Championship but the team has decided to contest in the World Championship for the year ahead contesting in eight rounds of the MX2 World Championship. They have signed Morgan Lesiardo and Lorenzo Ravera who get the chance to have a go at the World Championship. Morgan contested his rookie year in EMX250 last year after David Philippaerts signed him so he clearly has talent. Unfortunately, Morgan broke his collarbone at a round of the Italian Championship but he shouldn’t be out of action for too long.
The VAMO motocross team have been in the GP paddock for a while now concentrating more on the European round championships. However, the team now has a new challenge for 2017 as they will receive official support from Honda to contest the MX2 World Championship. Lars Van Berkel, who has experience with Honda machinery makes the switch and will compete in the European rounds of the series. This will be Lar’s last season to impress in the MX2 World Championship because he will be too old to contest in 2018. Joining the team is also Michael Ivanov making the switch from Marchetti KTM, he will contest the oversea GP’s as well.
The Carglass Honda team are a completely new team entering the paddock for 2017 but it is exciting times. Their main focus is on the EMX250 championship signing exciting Australian prospect, Jed Beaton. They initially signed German, Stefan Ekerold too but he has parted company with the team recently with a replacement yet to be announced. I certainly expect Beaton to rustle a few feathers at the sharp end of the EMX250 class. They will also run Ander Valentin in the MXGP class, the Spaniard will contest all the European rounds. The team will receive good backing from Honda and I expect to see them grow and be a future top GP team. There is an announcement expected soon regarding the second EMX250 rider within the team.
SM Action-Errzetta Yamaha
This team have a bit of history in the GP paddock as top names such as Javier Garcia Vico and Fabrizio Dini have rode for the team in the past. After taking a break from the GP for many years they are back for the 2017 season with an all Italian rider line up. Simeone Zecchina and Simeone Furlotti will contest the European rounds of the MX2 World Championship. At the moment the plan for Michael Mantovani is to contest the EMX250 series. However, he could contest the MX2 GP’s as well if Youthstream give him an entry for the first European round MX2 GP in Italy. The team will have a great set up as they will use STR KTM awning from 2016 who are unfortunately departing the series.
The German team will focus on the MXGP World Championship for ’17. They have signed Jaap Corneth to contest the full series on the 450 Yamaha. Henri Jacobi will also use the awning but compete in the European rounds of the MX2 World Championship but he will race a Husqvarna with support from Bodo Schmidt. Henri Jacobi is on the entry list for Qatar but we have confirmation that he will only do the European rounds!
E-MX Racing Team
Bryan Boulard has been contesting in the MX2 World Championship for the past few series but as he is too old for the series now he moves up to the MXGP championship. He will race for a new team in the form of the E-MX Racing team that will run Yamaha’s. Mike Roose will also be with the team in the MX2 class. The team will contest the European rounds of the championship.
As you can see the World Championship welcomes plenty of new teams for the season ahead, new teams mean more rides for the talent coming into the series. Most these teams will only focus on the European rounds of the series but you have to start somewhere – don’t be surprised to see these teams grow and contest all the rounds in the future.
Pic: Lars Van Berkel on his VAMO Honda – Etereo Photography