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Preview: 2024 EMX250 Championship – The rookies

Preview: 2024 EMX250 Championship – The rookies

Ahead of the EMX250 championship getting underway we take a look at the new blood entering the class in 2024 – there’s a lot of talent to keep an eye on.

EMX250 rookies 

EMX125 champion, Janis Reisulis will be making the move up to the EMX250 championship in 2024 and this kid is really, really good. He is very very fast and the Latvian will be wanting to run at the front – he’s used to winning and will want to do the same despite being an EMX250 rookie. Having his brother as a team mate will benefit him as he’s had a good reference all winter. Don’t underestimate this kid, he’s the next big thing and don’t be surprised if he’s preparing for the MX2 World Championship this time next year.

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Image: Yamaha

The one rider that got close to Reisulis in the EMX125 championship last year was Mathis Valin and the French talent has signed with BUD Kawasaki for 2024. A French rider on a French based team – it should be a good fit. After missing out on the EMX125 title last year he’ll want to run at the front of the EMX250 class on his green machine.

Finishing third in the EMX125 class last year was young German rider, Max Werner who has made the switch from Fantic to JM Honda. Jacky Martens is renowned for getting the best out of young talent and will be hoping to guide Werner to the top of the EMX250 class.

Werner told us at Hawkstone International, where he impressed on his JM Honda debut he is delighted to be with the team. “He (Jacky Martens) picked me up when I had nothing. We directly started with testing the bike, making the perfect setup for me. I can live with him, I can train with the best guys. Also to have Hakon (Osterhagen) as a team mate to help push me, it is perfect. I couldn’t be happier. I think top ten and maybe some top five in the EMX250 class is possible”.

Image: Scott Dunne

Another rider who was with Fantic last year in the EMX125 class was Elias Escandell. The Spaniard has signed with a team he is familiar with having raced for them in the past – RFME GasGas. Escandell is very smooth and has a technical style so should suit on the 250cc. He has had top three speed at the opening rounds of the Spanish MX2 championship so it’s promising signs heading into the EMX250 campaign.

As well as Escandell, the RFME GasGas team will have Francisco Garcia under the awning as he finally makes the move up to the EMX250 class. He was set to make the move up last year but at the last minute decided to stay in the EMX125 class. Garcia is really fast but starts are his weakness. If he can improve on them then he impress in EMX250 but that so much talent in the class he can’t afford bad starts or he’ll know about it.

Young Danish rider, Nicolai Skovbjerg is really fast in sand, really fast. He had the speed to win the EMX125 round at Lommel last year but terrible starts give him too much work to do. In sand don’t be surprised to run at the front of the EMX250 class either but his hard pack riding needs work – hopefully that’s something he’ll have worked on over winter.

Another rider that has a lovely smooth style is Danish talent, Mads Fredsoe who finished seventh in the EMX125 class last year but he had top five pace a lot of the time. For 2024, Fredsoe has a huge opportunity after signing with Beddini GasGas – he’ll have official backing and Lata as a team mate. It’ll give him the perfect platform to improve. His new look is a #51 GasGas – no it’s not Justin Barcia!

Latvian rider, Edvards Bidzans has a lot of talent. On an 85cc back in the day it looked like he’d have a great future. However, since moving up to the EMX125 class he picked up a number of injuries so when he moved up to the 250cc he’s had a few rebuilding years racing the ADAC Youngsters Cup. For 2024, he’s landed a ride with KMP Honda to race the EMX250 series and he’ll be hoping this is the year he can stay injury free and finally show his true potential in the GP paddock.

Last year when the BUD Kawasaki team were on the look out for a fill in rider after Garib’s injury they were on the look out for a fill in rider and looked to Australia. The team ended up giving an opportunity to Liam Owens to contest a couple of rounds. Owens was really eager to find a ride for 2024 and even came to Lommel to watch last year to speak to teams. In the end he signed a deal with Cat Moto Bauerschmidt Husqvarna – a new team in the paddock. It’ll be a learning year for Owens but there’s no doubt it’ll help him improve as a rider.

Last but by no means least, there’s a British talent worth getting excited about and that is Billy Askew who has been picked up by Steve Dixon, he’ll be under the DRT Kawasaki awning so he’ll have fast machinery. Askew made his EMX250 debut at Matterley Basin last year and finished thirteenth in the second moto – not bad at all for his first time racing at that level. This kid might just be the next big thing from a UK’s perspective.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days as we’ll have more EMX250 previews looking at the contenders and dark horses.

Article: Andy McKinstry