When silly season was last dissected on MX Vice, there was a list that featured those who were in need of a contract for next year. Some deals have started to come together within the paddock, thankfully, whilst other operations have broken down. A majority of deals would typically be signed at this point in the season, but there is still so much to sort out and some in desperate need of a lifeline.
Where do we begin? There was some positive news at the Dutch Grand Prix, as it was announced that the Standing Construct outfit will return to the paddock with support from KTM. A press release from the team revealed that they will field two riders, who have claimed Grand Prix wins in the past, in the premier division. Who could fill the spots? Reports suggest that Valentin Guillod and Kevin Strijbos will join the team, which would make sense. The former had a brilliant relationship with Mathys and broke through during his final season beneath the Standing Construct awning.
Kevin Strijbos has confirmed that next year will be his final term in the FIM Motocross World Championship and it would be rather fitting for him to complete his final races with factory support. Strijbos won a moto when he last rode a KTM, remember, so the transition could be fairly seamless. This is all just speculation at this point, however, and the rumours may amount to nothing. This was a hot topic in the MXGP paddock though!
Max Nagl has been at the centre of some discussions also, although there are no concrete rumours surrounding his future just yet. Nagl will move on from his seat at Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing and has been linked to a ride at TM Factory Racing. That is far from confirmed at this stage, but it would be a major coup for the brand. Just imagine if Nagl manages to put the machine up on the box at some point? That may be a rather difficult task though, seeing as he has failed to do that aboard his FC 450 this season.
What about Tommy Searle? Searle, who is about to complete his second year beneath the Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki awning, is hoping that he’ll land something with the Japanese manufacturer. “Nothing is tied in yet," he commented exclusively. “I am hoping so, yeah, hopefully I will stay with this team and with Kawasaki. Even though I have been out all year, I feel we have made a good bike. I got good starts and I have done very, very little testing. That is why we need to improve as well." It would be wise to expect him to be at Kawasaki in some form.
Benoit Paturel is another rider currently seeking employment, but it seems that he too will end up sticking with his current manufacturer. Rumours suggest that a Yamaha team have added a third spot, which he’ll be able to slide right into, so that means that Evgeny Bobryshev is now the greatest question mark in MXGP. Bobryshev has been speaking to teams across the globe, but does not have anything locked in yet. It seems as though ‘777’ will remain in MXGP and eventually fill a seat beneath one of the satellite awnings. That would obviously be quite the step down from where he is at currently.
We’ll leave you to dissect the information above, but drop a final titbit before we sign off and begin the jaunt to the Grand Prix of Pays de Montbeliard. Monster Energy KRT MX2 will not be around next year, hence why Adam Sterry has been released, but another major MX2 operation will join them on the sidelines. We’ll have more information on that in due course, but it is going to leave a high-profile talent in a state of panic.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX