Mairis Pumpurs’ story is one of hard work and determination. The MJC Yamaha EMX125 rider struggled financially at the start of 2019, but after impressing Yamaha with his performances across Europe, the Latvian was invited to the bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup SuperFinale in Assen, The Netherlands, where his victory was noticed by the entire motocross paddock.
After topping the YZ125 time practice, Pumpurs wasn’t the quickest out the gate but in the extreme conditions he soon powered through to the lead and never looked back. The 16-year-old’s winning margin was almost a minute over second place. This against some of the best young bLU cRU talents, spring-boarding him into the limelight.
Remembering his SuperFinale performance, Pumpurs said: “We trained a lot during the season. I came to Assen with one goal, which was to win. To be honest, I didn’t expect the gap to the other riders though. We had a bit of luck, but the hard work done ahead of the event really paid off in the end. I really enjoyed the race even though it was in really tough conditions.”
Although he didn’t take part in the full European Motocross Championship season in 2019, Pumpurs did ride in the Latvian and Estonian national championships, taking victories in both while also impressing in the ADAC MX Masters.
“It didn’t start too great, with financial issues and missing out on the EMX125 championship. It hurt inside, but my trainer Ronalds [Strazds] and I did a lot of work during the season and it all came off at Assen. Ronalds been working with me since I was just seven, he’s like my second dad actually. We know each other very well and he can push me to improve on parts I’m not so comfortable with.”
Following his SuperFinale victory, Pumpurs was automatically enlisted into the bLU cRU Masterclass in Lleida, Spain, where he would get the opportunity to show off his skills in front of Yamaha Motor Europe’s bLU cRU Racing Manager, Alberto Barozzi.
There, he also received training from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders Jeremy Seewer and Gautier Paulin, and France’s first-ever FIM Motocross World Champion Jacky Vimond. Pumpurs impressed with his positive attitude, speed and determination, which saw him win the YZ125 class, earning him a spot on the MJC Yamaha EMX125 Official team.
“The bLU cRU Masterclass was such an awesome chance for me to show what I can do. It was cool to be able to learn from Jeremy, Gautier and Jacky. I was talking with them and trying to take in everything they said. I really enjoyed it and afterwards, maybe two weeks later, I was still smiling and so happy about those two days. I was glad to be able to show what’s inside of me, what I’m capable of, so I’m happy they selected me as the winner.”
Now, with the help, guidance and professional training from the bLU cRU program, Pumpurs enjoyed an extended training schedule over the winter, in which he prepared for the eight-round EMX125 season on GYTR kitted YZ125 machinery. He joined the team in France, riding on several tracks including at the final pre-season international event, the Lacapelle Marival.
Author: Yamaha Racing