Following in the tyre tracks of last year’s Tour de France cycle race, the 2014 FIM Trial World Championship will break new ground this coming weekend as the series visits the beautiful French island of Corsica for the first time in its almost forty year history. Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy and southeast of the French mainland, the small island which consists mainly of mountains can be found just north of the perhaps more known Italian island of Sardinia. The Grand Prix of Europe marks the third round of the current series and the first back in the more central continent after the opening two encounters in Australia and Japan.
The two days of competition will take place in the north of the isle in the town of Ile Rousse that lies just eighteen kilometres from the larger city of Calvi. Whilst the last year’s Tour de France crisscrossed the island’s many mountains the Trial GP will play out on the coast with both the paddock and hazards rising only a few metres – six to be exact - above sea level. The compact course, just five kilometres in length, will feature three laps of twelve sections on both Saturday and Sunday.
Corsica has a rich tradition of motorsport with the World Rally Championship – WRC – having visited the island on an annual basis since the inception of the series back in 1973 right through to 2008, and always as the French round of the four-wheel tour.
Whilst this weekend’s GP is a first for Corsica, it is not the first time that the FIM Trial World Championship has been hosted on a French isle. Way back in 1999 the series made the long trip to the Reunion Island that sits in the Indian Ocean close to the holiday isle of Mauritius. On that occasion it was a certain Dougie Lampkin who was the victor on both days of competition, however this time around it will be Adam Raga – Gas Gas who will be looking to be victorious and to continue the form that saw him take back to back wins at the last round in Japan.
Raga will arrive in Corsica trailing championship leader and reigning FIM Trial World Champion Toni Bou – Repsol Honda by just a single point and will be hoping that he can turn that small deficit into an advantage by the time he leaves the scenic French island.
Speaking after the Japanese GP Raga said. “It has been a good weekend for us, to win both days is the perfect situation and to be so close to Toni (Bou) as we move back to Europe has to be good.”
“Each time the championship visits a new country or place it is a new opportunity for our sport. I think for Trial it is important to explore new places. Corsica is not a big island, but it has a good history and passion for motorsports, especially with World Rally and then also the Tour de France more recently.”
“I have had a good record at the French rounds over the years and one that I hope I can continue in Corsica. My goal is to win again and to move to the top of the championship, but I know that will be difficult up against Toni and the other riders.”
“Corsica will be a new event and a new course for all of us, so we are not too sure what to expect, but from what I know I think they have some good areas for the sections so I am looking forward to and hoping that it will be a good competition for me and the other riders.”
For the first time since 2008, World Sidecars are back at Donington Park in Leicestershire, the former home of the British Motorcycle Grand Prix and the venue of the first ever World Superbike race. The first motorcycle race at Donington took place on the narrow lanes of the Donington Hall Estate on Whit Monday 1931. In 1933 the track was widened, and became a venue for Grand Prix car racing. Racing at the circuit stopped in 1939 and the venue was used as a military vehicle depot during the war. It was another four decades before motor racing returned to the circuit. Donington has a rich pedigree with the FIM World Sidecar Championship, hosting some of the most memorable races ever in the history of the championship, with classic battles between Steve Webster, Rolf Biland and Egbert Streuer in the late 1980’s.
SI RACHA (Thailand), 09 March 2014 – Bags of ice were as valuable and as rare as bags of gold today at round two of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Si Racha, Thailand. Hot and humid, the riders were up against it with temperatures soaring well above forty degrees in direct sunlight. Meanwhile the organizers and track management crew were also faced with a challenge and did an outstanding job keeping the dust at bay, with more than 50,000 Liters of water being sprayed out over the day. Despite the testing climate it was a slight bout of déjà vu today as both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing world champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings took home double victories for the second consecutive year.
It’s a well-known fact, the rougher the better for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, and the challenging circuit in Si Racha didn’t fail to deliver. Putting his incredible repertoire of dirt bike skills on full display for the world to see, Cairoli took his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 350SX-F to an outstanding double victory for the second year running. At the next round of MXGP in Brazil, Cairoli, the new MXGP points leader, will be running the red plate.
Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle was back, looking very comfortable and smooth out on the gnarly circuit of Si Racha. Although Desalle faced some slight mechanical issues, he still managed to take home two second place finishes for a solid second over all. “My bike was doing strange, so sometimes I missed the jumps and lost some seconds. I don’t know what the problem was, in the first race my bike was great and I think it was hotter in race one, so I don’t know, but now in race one I had a good sensation on the bike, so it’s good.”
Standing on the third step of the podium, thanks to two third place finishes, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek has improved leaps and bounds since last year. The young Belgian is only on his second year in the MXGP class and is proving he can already foot it with the seasoned vets when he took the Fox Head holeshot in race two and held off the legend Antonio Cairoli for the first twelve minutes. Although Cairoli ended up finding a way through, Van Horebeek managed to keep a cool head and finished the race safely in third.
The FIM Motocross World Championship opening round runner-up Max Nagl had to fight hard for his result today. The German started both races well outside of the top ten, making his hopes of a podium finish very difficult. Nevertheless, Nagl’s fighter spirit and great line selection skills paid off as he moved fluidly through the field to take sixth in moto one and fourth in moto two for fourth overall. Nagl remains second in the MXGP Championship standings.
The MXGP red plate holder Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin had a day of ups and downs. In race one, the Frenchman’s start was not very good but he managed to find his flow and push through the pack to claim fourth. In race two, Paulin got off to a great start coming around turn one in fourth. After battling hard the entire race, his result was sabotaged as his bike struggled in the heat. Fortunately he managed to crawl home for ninth, which was enough to give him fifth over all for MXGP’s round of Thailand but dropped him back to third in championship standings.
During MXGP race one, in a battle for fourth, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle came up a meter too short on the biggest jump of the track, which ended in disaster for the Brit. The impact was so hard that the forks of his CLS Kawasaki were completely destroyed and the rest of his bike wasn’t looking much healthier either. While the official report of his injuries has not been released, his team has confirmed it is a suspected broken wrist.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings appeared to be back in his expected form this weekend in Thailand. The current FIM MX2 World Champion amazingly took the Fox Head Holeshot in moto one, and went on to dominate in typical Herlings style. In race two, Herlings was off to another good start, moving into second before the third turn with only Max Anstie in front. Although Max Anstie did a great job at leading the first half of the race, it wasn’t long before Herlings found his rhythm and passed Anstie to win his second race of the day by plus eight seconds.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff had a great start in race one, sitting on the tail of the top three for the first half of the race. Upon reaching midway, Coldenhoff was on his second wind as he spectacularly scrubbed past Jordi Tixier and Dylan Ferrandis to take second. In race two, Coldenhoff was just as good, although the heat seemed to play a factor in his ability to push the entire race. Nevertheless, Coldenhoff soldiered on to finish 2 – 4 for second overall, which moved him up to third in the championship standings.
If there was any “what if’s” floating about after BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie’s horrendous stroke of bad luck in Qatar, they were somewhat answered today when he took the Fox Head Holeshot in race two. Anstie did an outstanding job keeping Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings at bay for the majority of the race, but unfortunately as soon as Herlings had found a way around, he was forced to settle for second. With a sixth place finish in race one and second in race two, Anstie took his first podium place of the year (third). On getting sixth in race one Max said, “I don’t know really, I just go out to ride my laps and if I finish fifth or fifteenth, its all the same, I don’t think about it, I just ride my laps but it is nice to be at the sharp end of the field”.
Yesterday’s top qualifier CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis rode smart and consistent all weekend. The flying Frenchman kept his impressive style under control this weekend despite the big jumps, to bank two consistent top five scores for fourth overall.
Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre didn’t have the best start to the day when he hit the deck a couple of times in race one. In impressive fashion the Frenchman redeemed himself in race two with a remarkable climb from outside the top seven to claim third, leaving him in fifth overall for the Grand Prix.
Meanwhile Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot, the only girl to contend in the MX2 this season, toughed it out on the gnarly circuit of Si Racha to take her first FIM MX2 World Championship point. Lancelot said, “I didn’t feel so good out there in the heat, and the track was really tough with the big jumps. At one point I didn’t really want to jump anymore and I was thinking about giving up. But my mechanic told me to never quit and encouraged me to finish the race. Thanks to a lot of other guys quitting, I got my first point and I made history, so I am happy with this result”.
Contributing to the extra special atmosphere here in Thailand, the Thai organizers hosted a stunning opening ceremony with traditional Thai dancers and instrumentalists. Youthstream President Mr Giuseppe Luongo, FIM/CMS Director Dr Wolfgang Srb were both guest speakers during the ceremony where they expressed their thanks to all supporters, public and people involved in the MXGP round of Thailand, for their help in contributing to the growth of motocross. Mr Luongo rounded out his speech with “Thailand, we look forward to seeing you again next year!”
LANCELOT TO TAKE ON THAILAND "แลนเซล๊อต" นักแข่งโมโตครอสแชมป์โลกสาวที่จะมา ThaiMXGP 2014 ศรีราชา - ออกเกทสต๊าร์ทพร้อมหนุ่มๆเลยนะ ^^
In a sport dominated by males, Livia Lancelot is an unsung hero, or should I say heroine? This French wonder lady is not only one of the best female motocross riders in the world, she also stacks up against the males and will be out to prove it this weekend in Si Racha, Thailand, for the second round of the FIM Motocross MX2 World Championship.
So, news just broke you will be lining up in Thailand next weekend for the FIM MX2 World Championship?
“Yeah, last year Youthstream came to me with this idea that I should race in Qatar and Thailand. Of course, I said yes right away, it is a great opportunity for me and also for my sponsors. But also, I like to ride against the boys. I do it every year in the French Championship and also in the Le Touquet.”
Tell me about your experience in Si Racha (Thailand) last year…
“Yeah, I loved the track there; it was so cool, at least before it rained. After the rain, the track became really muddy and then I was struggling with the lines. So because I was not riding so well in the pre-qualifying I didn’t make the main race because of the 108% rule. I was still really happy to be there.”
Do you think the difference in strength between girls and guys is really obvious when racing MX2?
“Yes, of course. You know, girls are little bit more smooth than the boys and we try not to fight the bike so much. In the pre-qualifying last year, Jeffrey Herlings passed me on the straight before the big tabletop. It was so muddy there his bike was going sideways, like I could see both his number plates on the sides of his bike. I just thought to myself, woah, I can’t ride like that, if I tried and the bike went left and right like that, then for sure I wouldn’t be on the bike anymore.”
What are your goals or motivation for this race?
“You know, it’s a little bit hard to have goals in this race. But I guess I will just try not to be last (laughs). Otherwise, I will just try to ride my own race, not do anything crazy because this is not my class. I just want to go there to show to Thailand that girls can ride motocross too and for me, it’s really good practice.”
And you are back for your first full season since 2008 in the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, what are your goals?
“Basically I want to have the red plate at the end.”
"Motocross Grand Prix of Thailand set for take-off"
At a packed press conference at the Sport Authority of Thailand today, the country’s media were briefed on the forthcoming Motocross Grand Prix of Thailand (Thai MXGP), which will take place at the Pinthong, Sri Racha on 7-9th March.
While the world of motorsport anticipates that Formula One and MotoGP will eventually appear in Thailand over the coming years, MXGP is making its second appearance in the Kingdom and is expected to become a long-term fixture in the series.
Philippe Rahmani, Director of Overseas Relations for Youthstream, MXGP’s global promoter, explained that in 2013, 83 million viewers worldwide watched the Thai Motocross Grand Prix and the event enjoyed a total of 483 hours of TV coverage, more than any other MXGP round except for the French race. With new TV deals signed with CBS and Eurosport in 2014, the global TV audience could reach 100 million for this year. The coverage will also all be in HD for the first time, including drones and on-board cameras. The event will be screened by True Visions in Thailand.
He also noted that the Thai MXGP enjoys the largest social media following of all the events, with almost 45,000 followers on its Facebook page.
Mr Rahmani went on to reveal that the Thai MXGP has almost been cancelled. “There was big pressure to cancel a few weeks ago because of the country’s political turmoil,” he stated. “It has been only the drive and determination of the Khun Savitri, Khun Thongchai and Khun Kraitos Wongsawan that has made it happen and given Thailand such a spectacular and positive showcase.
“We must also thank the sponsors, such as PTT, AP Honda, McDonald’s and Vee Rubber, for their strength and continuing support during a difficult time. Meanwhile, the Race of Champions, already postponed, is expected not to go ahead and the Thailand Open Golf Championship has been cancelled, so we must thank and pay tribute to everybody involved.”
Over the last 40 years Thailand has built up a strong national championship, which enjoys thousands of spectators at each event, which features racing for youngsters as young as seven, amateurs and professionals in the 250cc MX2 and 450cc MX1 professional categories. As a result of this continuous development, three of Thailand’s elite riders, ‘Turbo’ Arnon Theplib (AP Honda) , ‘Chaiyan’ Rhompong (Yamaha) and Penjan Thannarat (Kawasaki) will enter the 2014 Thai MXGP. A fourth, ‘Game’ Trakarn Thangthong (Kunka Dirtshop KTM), is unable to participate due to a back injury.
"Husqvarna return to MXGP with former MX2 champion Rattray"
By Barry Russell email@example.com Image: Youthstream MXGP Magazine February 2014
An important measure of the health of any motorsport series is the number of manufacturers competing, so the news that Husqvarna, one of the most iconic brands in motocross would bringing the number of factories in MXGP to eight in 2014 has been universally welcomed.
The venerable Swedish marque has seen more than its fair share of changes since the glory days of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The last one came in 2013 when BMW sold the company to KTM supremo, Stefan Pierer and manufacturing was moved from Italy to Austria. The move back into grand prix motocross with Antti Pyrhonen’s Red Bull IceOne team is a clear statement that Pierer has big plans for Husqvarna.
That intent is underlined by the signing of 2008 MX2 world champion, Tyla Rattray, who will be joined by former Australian champion, Todd Waters. Rattray has been in AMA Motocross since winning his world title, so the renewal of his intense rivalry with KTM’s MXGP champion Tony Cairoli is eagerly anticipated. The clash will be all the more intriguing, as along with Cairoli’s KTM, the Husqvarnas will be the only 350cc machines in the premier class.
There is no doubt that a 350cc engine places fewer physical for the riders and while you would expect them to go well on the tighter, more technical tracks, Cairoli has proved that the smaller-engined bike can win even at power-sapping deep sand tracks like Lierop in the Netherlands. And it will be no surprise that the Husqvarna engine uses the same base as the KTM.
Speaking to ontrackoffroad.com, Tyla Rattray explained, “The 350 can be ridden more like a 250 and you can wring its neck and push it. I think it helps when it comes to rough circuits and by the time you get to second motos at a GP the track can be hammered … my plan is to be there and race Cairoli like I was doing in 2008.”
We’ll see what we’ve got,” continued the 28 year-old South African, “I learned a lot racing in America and my fitness is probably the best it has been in my career.”
The MXGP series begins on March 1st in Qatar, with Thailand hosting round 2 a week later on 7-9th March.
"FIM Motocross Grand Prix Returns to Thailand" Grand Prix motorcycle racing comes to Thailand for the second time on 7-9th March 2014.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural round at Sri Racha, less than two hours from Bangkok’s main airport, the high-flying, hardcore FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) circus will again be thrilling tens of thousands of local spectators as well as a massive global TV audience. It will also be throwing a very bright spotlight on the host country, showcasing Thailand’s ability to organize and host major international events, while blending in its unique national charm and sense of fun.
Hosting a world championship motorsport event places huge demands on host countries and organisers. Developing a challenging and spectacular course while meeting FIM safety requirements is just where it begins. The location of the track needs ideally to be within a two hour transfer time from a major international airport and the local infrastructure needs to consist of good roads and plenty of international quality hotel accommodation.
Thailand, with its highly developed tourist industry, meets the infrastructural requirements easily. Locating the track less than 100 kilometres from Suvarnabhumi Airport, in Chonburi, home to Thailand’s fastest growing commercial and tourist centres, means that convenience, comfort and good times await international visitors.
The Federation of Motorsport Club of Thailand (FMSCT) has more than three decades of experience in motocross, during which time it developed a thriving national championship and many courses all over the Kingdom. Local motocross events commonly attract 5,000 - 10,000 spectators, so the sport already has a large, knowledgeable audience in Thailand.
Combining FMSCT’s expertise with that of MXGP’s global promoter, Youthstream, produced results that surpassed expectations for the first event and have given the organisers a sound platform for 2014.
As with MotoGP, World Superbikes and Formula One, the dominance of European teams and riders led to the majority of rounds being hosted close to home. However, increasing financial demands and slowing, often stricken western economies mean that promoters have looking at their sports through a more commercial lens in recent years. The fast growing economies of Asia, and South America, together with the sheer size of their populations have created hungry new audiences and customer markets for sponsors to target. When it comes to reaching into developing countries, MXGP leads the way, with rounds in Qatar, two in Brazil, one in Mexico and one in Ukraine as well as Thailand.
One big number from Repucom’s media evaluation of the 2013 MXGP championship makes it easy to understand why it has expanded into Asia. That number is 962 million and it is how many TV viewers in the 24 countries which make up Asia-Pacific-Oceana watched the series last season. That is a staggering 77.2 percent of the global audience of 1.2 billion. In addition, thousands of motocross fans from all over Asia poured into Thailand to watch the event live. On that evidence alone more rounds in the region can be expected in the near future.
The largest group of travelling fans are likely to be from Indonesia. Irsam Soetarto, of Aneka Kartika Tours and Travel Services brought a group of 19 with him in 2013 and will bring more with him this year.
“It was a privilege to watch those amazing crossers in action at such close range. It literally blew us away and we had a fantastic time on and off track,” he explained. “This year we expect to bring around 40 people from many of Indonesia’s major cities, such as Surabaya, Bandung and Jakarta. It’s a real highlight for our year of travel and events and so much fun mixing with fans from Thailand and all over the world.
The trip is a very easy one, continued Soetarto, ”A three-and-a-half hour flight and then within two hours of landing we are in our hotel close to the track. The organisers made us feel so welcome and they really know how to put on a show.”
The local value enjoyed by sponsors was also impressive for an inaugural world championship round. Of all the participating countries Thailand was second only to France in the amount of TV coverage, at 483 minutes, with 5.7 million local viewers enjoying the season’s action.
Looking at the 2013 Thai MXGP in isolation, there was 228 minutes of TV coverage and a total of 83.6 million viewers. That coverage included more than four hours of TV ‘postcards’ which showcased Thailand as the host country.
The countdown has begun to arguably the most important event in Thailand’s sporting calendar, taking place on 7-9th January, just one week after the first round in Qatar.
ThaiMXGP Media accreditation is open until 21st February contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Donington Park in the UK will host Round 5 of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. This will be the 22nd time the Superbikes will hit the Leicestershire track, the first of which dates back to April 3rd 1988, when it all started.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the absolute master of last year’s event by winning the Tissot-Superpole and both races in dominant fashion in front of his home crowd. Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz made his WSBK debut at Donington Park two years ago, when he replaced the injured Joan Lascorz.
New leader Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) is hoping to keep his winning streak alive, as he stood atop the podium in the last three encounters. Local rider Leon Haslam from Derby is hoping to step up his game after the good progress made in the one day, post-race official test at Imola last week.
Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri have enjoyed good results at Donington Park in recent years, with the Frenchman twice on the podium in 2013 and the Italian rider able to score two wins and two second places.
There have been no top 3 finishes so far at Donington Park in WSBK for the Ducati Superbike Team duo Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, as the best result was a fourth place claimed by the Italian rider last year, in Race 2..
The whole Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team is looking forward to their home round, with Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes aiming to get back on podium form after a difficult round at Imola. MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport and Team Hero EBR will continue their learning curve within the Superbike World Championship at Donington Park.
Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) is looking forward to his home round, as the the battle for supremacy in the EVO class will also see David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team Ducati), like the rest of the field, aiming again for top honours in the new category.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), announces the official global partnership with Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide has been renewed until 2016. Intertek will provide fuel quality testing services for FIM race events along with additional expert services.
The new agreement builds upon the successful cooperation between FIM and Intertek during the past years, and extends the exclusive cooperation of Intertek as a provider of fuel testing services on behalf of the FIM for additional three years.
As the exclusive provider of fuel quality and compliance testing services, Intertek supports official FIM fuel specifications and technical regulations during the motorcycle race season. Intertek fuel quality experts and mobile testing labs will provide key testing services on-site at the race tracks, and will be supported by Intertek’s global network of world-class fuel testing laboratories. Intertek personnel will be on-site at selected FIM events, performing real-time, on-track, fuel compliance testing, for Superbike, Motocross, Endurance, and other races.
As part of the strategic partnership, Intertek will assist FIM with fuel approval process support, as well as updating FIM management on updated fuel regulations and developing quality and testing standards.
Ignacio Verneda, Executive Director, Sport of the Fédération International de Motocyclisme, said: “FIM has benefited from having Intertek’s fuel testing and consulting expertise, and we are pleased to extend this agreement for an additional three years. Intertek’s technical know-how and ability to provide quick results through on-track compliance testing is helping us to ensure a level playing field is maintained for all competitors.”
Stuart Roberts, Senior Vice President for Intertek’s Analytical Assessment global business line, said: “Intertek is honoured to continue to provide fuel testing and consulting services to FIM. Our fuel testing staff is dedicated to helping ensure FIM meets its goal of competitive fair-play. Intertek’s global network of fuel testing laboratories and personnel will support FIM where and when needed.”
THE OFFICIAL MXGP GUIDE IS AVAILABLE NOW ไกด์บุ๊คโมโตครอสโลกฤดูกาล 2014 ดาวน์โหลดได้เลยนะ ^^
The official guide of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship is now available in printable PDF formats. The guide contains all the essential information about MXGP and MX2 series, including entry lists, track details, rider and team profiles, statistics, TV broadcasters and MXGP rules and regulations.
The official guide also offers a brief summary of the FIM Motocross World Championship and FIM Motocross of Nations history, as well as a personal achievements profile for all of last year’s European champions.
Click here below to download the Guide in PDF format:
TEAM Honda GARIBOLDI is proud to announce its new line up for the 2014 season to compete in the MX2 World Championship with 17 year-old Slovenian TIM GAJSER who will team up with 23 year-old Japanese rider KEI YAMAMOTO. Tim Gajser, probably the youngest top rider in MX2, will take part in his first full World Championship season in 2014. Tim has enjoyed top success on the small bikes throughout his career becoming the European Champion in 65cc, 85cc and 125cc and collecting also the 125cc World title in 2012. Gajser is the hottest prospect in MX today. Kei Yamamoto, in 2014 will begin his new career on the global motocross scene racing in the MX2 class after winning titles and becoming Champion young rider in Japan in 2005 and 2006 and adding the MX2 Japanese title in 2012 and finishing second in 2013. A big challenge for one of the few Japanese riders seen competing a full season in the World Championship.
The MXGP class of 2014 has three riders with very impressive records. Defending World Champion Antonio Cairoli, 2008 MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts and 2008 MX2 World Champion Tyla Rattray are the three riders with World Championships to their name.
Ten years ago when Youthstream took over the FIM Motocross World Championships these three riders were very much the future of the sport. Rattray and Cairoli finishing second and third in the MX2 Championship behind New Zealand’s Ben Townley, and Philippaerts back in 19th position, although was quickly signed by KTM to race in their MX2 team - he finished fourth in the MX2 Championship in 2005.
Only a handful of riders still remain on the World scene from that 2004 MX2 title race, as most have retired or just race National championship level now.
Cairoli is of course the man of the moment. He has left names like Townley, Rattray, Pourcel, Searle and other former championship rivals in his wake as he dominates year after year. A legend of the sport and his status just continues to improve with every moto, Grand Prix or Championship victory.
His perfect off-season will see him come into the opening round of the Championship in Doha, Qatar, in a month’s time with a lot of confidence. The question is: will he play it safe like he did in 2013 and cruise to enough points to make him happy? Or will he want to drive the nail in his competitors’ coffins, showing them that he has once again improved?
The return of Rattray to the FIM Motocross World Championships is a bonus for the sport as he is one of the truly tough competitors in the sport. The South African battled hard with Cairoli for his MX2 Championship and for sure Rattray will want to once again show he is capable of fighting hard with the Italian legend.
Having raced in America the last few years, picked up several injures and lost track of his career a little, the signing with the Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing team for 2014 give him the chance to once again produce his best. No doubt Husqvarna will also want to beat their big brother KTM for that MXGP championship.
David Philippaerts has had a tough time of late. Major injures and the loss of his ride in the Rinaldi Yamaha team cost him a lot of confidence. Now riding for his own team the former World Champion will be wanting to return to the very top of the sport.
Philippaerts isn’t racing for minor points and you can count on him showing a little better form in 2014 than he did in 2013 when he finished 11th in the World and his best result was 28 points at the Grand Prix of Germany, when he scored 6-10 results.
Philippaerts knows that time is running out on his career and the injuries from the last few years have caught up on him. However, he also knows that with a little luck, he can again be a top five guy and fight for podium finishes.
KTM Thailand distributor, Kunka, announced their racing plans for 2014, which includes an MX2 entry in the Thai MXGP for 20 year-old Thai Motocross star, ‘Game’ Trakarn Thangthong.
In a surprise switch by the Dirtshop managed team from Yamaha to KTM, Game will compete in the Thai Motocross, Supercross and Supermoto series, the Asian motocross series, the Motocross of Nations as well as the Thai MXGP. He will be joined by top Japanese racer, Yoshiki Kitai, in the Thai and Asian championships, who will campaign on a 450 MXGP specification machine. Game is currently expected to stick with the 250cc bike, though this has not been confirmed.
Reflecting the team sponsorship, the team’s official name is Kunka Dirtshop Castrol KTM. There was also an interesting twist in the extreme sports energy drink battle, with Rockstar appearing to have out-maneuvered rivals Red Bull and Monster to join the list of team sponsors.
The new team is spearheading a comprehensive national race programme for KTM in 2014, providing the opportunity for all-comers to test their skills in a range of off-road and road racing championships. Working closely with R2M, Kunka is placing great emphasis on developing Thai motocross talent, providing 50cc machines for riders as young as seven. The classes will go all the way up to the professional level with 450cc motocross machines and 1290 Super Duke R bikes for road racers.
The action begins for Kunka Dirtshop Castrol KTM with the first round of the Thailand Motocross Championship will be this weekend 8-9th at the Thai MXGP track at Pingthong Industrial Estate, near Sri Racha, Chonburi.
Youthstream and Eurosport have announced that the n°1 pan-European TV channel has signed the live TV and digital rights for the 2014-2016 seasons of the FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN).
The three-year agreement includes the 54 countries and 133 million homes covered by Eurosport in Europe as well as 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following the success of last year's inaugural round at Sri Racha, Chon Buri, the high-flying, hardcore FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) circus will return to thrill tens of thousands of local spectators as well as a massive global TV audience. It will also be throwing a very bright spotlight on the host country, showcasing Thailand's ability to organise and host major international events, blending in its unique cultural charm and sense of fun.