The 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship is ready for round 2 this weekend at the famous circuit of Matterley Basin! The MXGP of Great Britain will be the first round on European soil this year following the spectacular season opener in Patagonia-Argentina 3 weeks ago where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado took wins.
The green and grassy hillsides of Matterley Basin are known around the motorsport world and have hosted MXGP races year after year since 2006. This famous setting for motocross is the exclusive host of only one race per year and will again come to life this weekend with the world’s best fighting for the top spots along with the always passionate British motocross fans!
Aside from the new riders who will join the FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend is a large group of European riders in the EMX250 and the new EMX2T Championship presented by FMF Racing. FIM Europe racing includes a massive entry list of 90 riders in EMX250 and another 42 in the EMX2T category. The field of riders is not only large but deeply filled with talent including former European Champions such as Thibault Benistant from MJC Yamaha Europe who steps into EMX250 and Great Britain’s own Brad Anderson on his Verde Substance KTM in the 2t class.
Between the two classes of MXGP and MX2 80 riders have entered into the weekends racing with both classes having a full gate of talented professionals. MX2’s younger line up is headlined by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado after taking both last season and this year’s MX2 season opener by storm.
Prado was second here at Matterley in 2018, the 2nd place was however only to his teammate at the time, Pauls Jonass, who since moved into the MXGP category with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna.
The competition is hungrier now than ever though, with Jonass gone and Prado as the main protagonist, each of the remaining 39 riders on the gate want to make this weekend their time to shine.
Taking the spotlight in Patagonia was Honda 114 Motorsports Mitch Evans where he, as an MX2 rookie, made the podium. Evans’ speed surprised many including himself on a circuit which varied vastly from those in his native Australia or back in Europe where he has trained this off season. As the newest podium contender Evans will be looking to back up his first performance with another strong ride in Matterley.
Barely missing out on the podium at the first round to Evans was F&H Racing Team’s Henry Jacobi as he put on a strong showing after a long list of changes in the offseason from team and bike, to trainer Marc de Reuver. Jacobi was 6th here in 2018 but if his Patagonian performance was any indication of what is to come, improvement is likely this Sunday.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen is expected to be the thorn in Prado’s championship defense this year and in Patagonia he showed blistering speed but lacked on the starts. This week’s long starting straight leads into another sweeping left turn just like Argentina, but if the Dane can start well he will be focused on not just a podium but the win as well.
While fellow riders such as Evans and Jacobi where impressive at Neuquen Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson was left with a less than stellar ride. The Brit will be under pressure as one of the most watched this weekend, expected by many to contended for the title and in addition, he is the home favorite.
Adding to list of British riders for the local fans to cheer for is F&H Racing Team’s Adam Sterry and Hitachi KTM UK’s Conrad Mewse. Mewse has shown his speed many times before and Sterry was battle for the top five in Argentina prior to a fall setting him back. In 2016 Mewse was inside the top ten with a 7th overall but last year took 19th while Sterry has finished 17th both of the last 2 GP’s at Matterley.
Another rider not to forget is Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen who was one of the few riders to win a GP in 2018, he also took his Honda to the British podium following Jonass and Prado last season.
2018 MXGP of Great Britain MX2 Top 3:
- Pauls Jonass
- Jorge Prado
- Calvin Vlaanderen