Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. is pleased to announce its rider line up for the 2016 Monster Energy Supermotocross Riders’ Cup.
Romain Febvre, Brent Van doninck and Benoit Paturel will start their engines as the youngest team on October 8 inside the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany for a family friendly stadium style motocross race against the best riders in the world.
Riding for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team, 24-year old Febvre is joined by MX2’s Van doninck, 20, and Paturel, 22, who both race for KEMEA Yamaha Official MX Team. Febvre, who in 2015 won the FIM MXGP World Championship, will serve as team captain and race in the Superpole session, a 2-lap sprint to determine starting gate picks.
Febvre currently sits third overall in the 2016 MXGP World Championship, with GP victories in Thailand, Valkenswaard and France this year. Paturel made a significant breakthrough in March with fifth overall at Teutschenthal, and quickly improved with podiums in his native France, Spain and Switzerland. Van doninck began the season with a top five in Qatar, and has spent time on the sidelines recovering from separate hip and thumb surgeries. In his late-season return he is quickly back on form and already challenging for the top five again.
A fourth rider will be named at a later date, as Yamaha’s team will start with its fastest motocross riders on the YZ250F and YZ450F for the one-day, three-race event.
Also in competition at Veltins Arena is a Manufacturer’s Cup. Each manufacturer at the SMX Riders’ Cup will field a team of four; three main riders and a ‘joker’ who can replace any rider on the team at any time. 21 riders in total will compete in the Riders’ Cup, and the best seven results per team will determine the winner of the Manufacturers’ Cup.
Veltins Arena, home to Bundesliga football team FC Schalke 04, will be completely transformed with more than 25,000 cubic meters of dirt on a removable hard base surface and a track layout designed for safe and fluid racing with plenty of exciting features. Febvre, Van doninck and Paturel can expect big battles, top speeds and spectacular stadium jumps.
Racing a new format in European motocross with an eye towards the future, prize money in both the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ Cup competitions will top out at 50,000, 30,000 and 20,000 euros to the podium finishers, with 10,000 euros to the best MX2 finisher in the Riders’ Cup.
At Veltins Arena Yamaha Racing will also host the Superfinale to its season-long European youth motocross championship, the YZ125 Cup. Young riders will gather to compete for a chance to attend a MasterClass motocross camp with 2008 FIM Motocross World Champion David Philippaerts and one guaranteed professional contract in 2017 to race for Yamaha in the EMX125 Championship.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
“It’s going to be an exciting race. I have known Brent and Benoit and been training with them inside Yamaha for two years now, and together we make a good team. The YZ450FM is going to have the advantage for the starts, but on a special course like Veltins Arena the YZ250F is going to be nimble in places that will keep the action very high.”
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team
“The season will finish with an extra special bang at the Veltins arena. I am especially looking forward to the SMX Manufacturers’ Cup competition together with Brent and Romain, where we can experience a new race format that will be a challenge to race for the riders and a pleasure to watch for the fans.”
Brent Van doninck
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team
“I’m honored to be chosen to represent Yamaha at the SMX Riders’ Cup in October. I’ve raced in stadiums before, but this course looks to be something special, and it promises to be a nice atmosphere with lots of people and great racing. The open class motos will mean a lot of work to charge through the pack, but I’ve raced in the Belgian Championship this year in open class events and I think that experience will help the team.”