Talking point: MXGP looking even more stacked in 2024

Due to the U23 age rule in the MX2 World Championship we tend to usually get a new wave of riders entering into the MXGP World Championship each year. However, this year we actually didn’t.

It should have been Tom Vialle’s rookie MXGP season this year as he signed a deal to move up to MXGP in 2023 as part of his KTM contract extension. The two time MX2 World Champion had interest from America though and couldn’t turn down the chance to race Supercross in America.

For 2024, we do have some new talent entering the MXGP World Championship for their rookie seasons. The big one is Belgian talent, Jago Geerts who has had a great time with Yamaha in MX2 winning lots of GP’s but sadly no world title, speed certainly wasn’t the issue. The Belgian showed what he could do at the RedBud MXoN last year battling and even beating Eli Tomac in a moto on the America’s home soil.

Image: Nigel McKinstry

This years MXoN didn’t go quite as well for Geerts mainly due to crashes but his speed was still good considering he’s only had a month of his whole career on the bigger bike. Now Geerts will have a full winter on the bike and being a rookie won’t be under much pressure to perform. He is born to ride the 450cc with a lovely riding style and has plenty of speed so don’t be surprised to see him regularly bang bars at the front with the big boys despite the very high level at the front of MXGP.

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Another rider that is confirmed for MXGP in 2024 is Norwegian talent, Kevin Horgmo, after a good time at the F&H Kawasaki Racing team working with Marc de Reuver that chapter has now been closed. The SR Motoblouz Honda team have snapped up Horgmo for 2024 which will see Horgmo make the move to France and working with former GP rider and winner, Yves Demaria. The SR Motoblouz Honda had done a superb job with Valentin Guillod despite a limited budget and pretty much stock bike, the Swiss talent is nearly back to his very best level. Horgmo will be looking to learn from him and run in the top ten of MXGP on a regular basis – that would be a strong rookie season.

Jan Pancar is another ride who will make the jump up. The Slovenian has been rocking his own setup the past few years in the MX2 World Championship and will continue to do that in MXGP. Starts weren’t his strong point in MX2 but he’ll be hoping to change that for MXGP and his search remains to secure a ride with a top GP team. That is something he’ll hope to achieve within the next couple of years.

Roan van de Moosdijk is heading to Wilvo Racing in 2024 with the team running the Factory Fantic setup. The Dutch talent is always one that tends to get over looked but is very very fast. The Dutch talent also has a lovely technical style. Being one of the bigger riders in MX2, he should in theory suit the 450cc more. At times he didn’t have the aggression required on a 250cc either so using the power of the bigger bike should really suit him.

Last but by no means least, there had been rumours Isak Gifting would be heading overseas and racing in Canada or Australia but that won’t be the case. Italian based team, JK Yamaha have snapped up the young Swede for what will be his rookie season in the toughest class in the world but there’s no doubt that Gifting has speed and talent. It’s nice to see him remain the MXGP paddock for the 2024 season and hopefully he can have a strong season justifying his decision.

There are also a couple of Brits expected to race MXGP once again in 2024 which will be nice to see, Ben Watson isn’t going to be the sole MXGP Brit like he was this year. Josh Gilbert has been confirmed with the SS24 KTM team and Adam Sterry is also expected to race the MXGP World Championship in 2024 with Schmicker KTM although that is still to be confirmed.

In terms of riders departing MXGP, Alessandro Lupino announced his MXGP retirement, he has done his time in MXGP but could race selected rounds with Ducati depending on the bike development. Ivo Monticelli will be replacing Lupino at Beta.

One rider that faces an uncertain future at the moment is Mitch Evans who was part of the Factory KRT setup this year but didn’t end the season after more wrist troubles. It remains to be seen if he can secure an MXGP ride to make the class even deeper as we aren’t losing many of the MXGP regulars ahead of next year but there’s even more talent being added so the class looks to get even more stacked. It’s certainly good to see and with new brands – Ducati and Triumph entering the MXGP class full time in 2025 the series should continue to go from strength to strength.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Main image: Niek Fotografie