Confirmed: Team Great Britain for the MXoN

Stat Sheet: MXGP Class

An in-depth look at the premier MXGP class

· 11 minutes read

This break in the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship schedule provides a superb opportunity to reflect on what has transpired in recent weeks and identify intriguing talking points to bear in mind as the Grand Prix contingent move towards the Grand Prix of Lombardia. This seems like an ideal time to run an MX Vice ‘Stat Sheet' for the first time in a while, bearing that in mind, so get lost in all of the statistics below that revolve around the premier division this year. There is a lot to take in!

MXGP

– The 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship is off to a superb start for Antonio Cairoli, who has won three of the first four rounds and five of the eight motos. This may seem like a normal way for the nine-time champion to start a term, but it really is not. Cairoli had never won the opening two rounds in the premier division and only managed it once, in 2007, in MX2. It is tough to refute the fact that he is now better than ever.

– Antonio Cairoli had never won the first two rounds in the premier division before this term, so winning the first three events in succession was a significant leap forward. Had he ever done that in MX2? Yes, because in 2007 he triumphed at the first five events! Cairoli will not match that this season, obviously, as he lost to Tim Gajser at the fourth round in Italy.

(ConwayMX)

– When Antonio Cairoli reached a new milestone at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, by claiming victories at the first two rounds of a premier-class season, it was hardly surprising. Why? Although he had never won the first two events aboard a bigger bike prior to this season, he had stood atop of the box at the Grand Prix of Great Britain countless times. Cairoli has clinched six overall wins in the nation, including his first win on a 450F at Donington Park in 2007.

– An interesting fact arose when searching through the past that Antonio Cairoli has had in Great Britain: Although Matterley Basin is one of his favourite tracks in the world, and a circuit that he has won on a lot, he has only actually swept both motos at this Grand Prix once. That was back in 2012, the year that he won his sixth title, and he was joined on that podium by Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin in third overall, funnily enough.

– The Grand Prix of The Netherlands has not been quite as kind to the nine-time champion, as his victory there in March was the first time that he has stood atop the podium at Valkenswaard since 2014! There were one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three days between those triumphs. Following that win, Cairoli has now claimed a total of nine overall wins in The Netherlands (one in MX2 and eight in MXGP).

(ConwayMX)

– A visual aid, such as the table below, is probably the best way to highlight the amazing way that Antonio Cairoli has started the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship. The average finishes that he has had in the first four rounds, since he joined the premier class in 2009, are laid out in an easy-to-view format.

2019

3.1

2018

2.1

2017

4.5

2016

2.1

2015

1.3

2014

2.3

2013

2.5

2012

4.6

2011

3.7

2010

1.8

2009

1.3

– KTM are obviously off to a phenomenal start in the premier division, as Antonio Cairoli is at the top of the charts, but there is only one orange bike in the top seven at the moment. That looks like a bit of a downgrade, considering that they had three guys in the top six at this point last season. When was the last time that there was just one KTM-mounted rider in the top seven after four rounds? It was actually only two years ago. Cairoli was the only guy in the top twelve after round four in 2017.

– It is totally understandable that KTM may not have the same presence that they did a year ago, as they had three Red Bull KTM riders in the premier class and a few satellite riders. Antonio Cairoli is the only factory rider in the class currently, of course, but there are still six KTM-mounted guys inside of the top twenty. When was the last time that happened? Well, almost unbelievably, it was not a year ago, even with a packed factory effort. It was, instead, at the start of the 2013 season. It has been a while.

(ConwayMX)

– The opening MXGP race at the Grand Prix of Great Britain was a poignant one for Gautier Paulin. Why? Paulin crossed the finish in second, something that he had not done in a rather long time. The last time that he actually hit the chequered flag in that spot was moto two at the Grand Prix of Switzerland back in 2017! How long ago was that? Five hundred and eighty-nine days passed between runner-up finishes for the twelve-time Grand Prix winner.

– The first moto in Great Britain was just as poignant for Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP: Gautier Paulin was joined in the top six by his teammate, Arnaud Tonus. The team, run by Louis Vosters, never had two riders in the top six in a moto before, although they did come close. Jeremy Seewer and Shaun Simpson were sixth and seventh in the first race at the Grand Prix of Italy at the end of last year.

– The Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team did later hit new heights at the Grand Prix of Trentino, as both of their guys ended in the top four. Obviously, based on the above information, that had never happened. The next step is to get both riders on the podium in the same moto, but Red Bull KTM seem to be the only team who are capable of pulling that off. When was the last time a team other than the factory KTM outfit managed it? It was actually Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing at the Grand Prix of Lombardia just last year.

(ConwayMX)

– Exploring that statistic even further, when was the last time that Yamaha had two guys in the top-four overall in the premier division? It was at the Grand Prix of Thailand at Suphan Buri back in 2016. Romain Febvre swept both races on the day, therefore clinching his first Grand Prix win of the season, and was joined on the podium by Jeremy Van Horebeek. Those two also stood on the box together at the Grand Prix of Lombardia the year before that.

– More on Gautier Paulin: When was the last time that he amassed one hundred and forty-two points in the first four events? It was back in 2013, as he left round four with one hundred and forty-eight points to his name. Paulin was on the moto podium three times in the first eight motos that term, so less than he has been this year, but only fell out of the top four once, whereas he has done that three times thus far. That thirteenth in moto two at Valkenswaard is acting as a thorn in his side.

– Finally, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP have had a guy ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing in six of the eight races this term. That is actually very rare. Going back across the last two years in the premier class, Wilvo had the best-placed Yamaha rider in just fifteen of the seventy-seven motos. They did it eight times in 2017 and seven times in 2018.

(ConwayMX)

– Tim Gajser has obviously had a tremendous start to the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship and returned to his former level, much to the delight of all involved at Team HRC. When he won a moto at the second round, the MXGP of Great Britain, it was his first triumph in an individual race since the last round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship at Villars sous Ecot. Five hundred and fifty-four days passed between his moto wins at the highest level.

– Tim Gajser progressed even further at the Grand Prix of Trentino, the most recent stop, as he won both motos for the first time since the Grand Prix of Leon in April 2017. Seven hundred and thirty-six days passed between those clean sweeps. The last time that he climbed atop the Grand Prix podium, before that triumph in Trentino, was at the Swedish Grand Prix in August 2017. There were five hundred and ninety-six days between those events. Monkeys of a significant size have been removed from his back.

– In order to truly appreciate the progress that Arminas Jasikonis has made this season, one must assess his past in the premier division. Jasikonis has been inside the top ten in eight consecutive motos at this point, which seems like a fairly modest achievement. Most factory riders have done that in their career and therefore it will not get much attention. Before this term though, he had only been in the top ten in a total of two consecutive motos. How about that? This improvement is utterly remarkable!

(ConwayMX)

– The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team have obviously helped him to make those massive gains, as that FC 450 between his legs is unbelievable. The average-starting position Arminas Jasikonis has had through eight heats is far superior to the way that he has begun races in recent years. In 2017, the season that he did with the Suzuki World MXGP squad, he had an average-starting position of thirteenth, then last year with Assomotor it was seventeenth.

– What is the average-starting position that Arminas Jasikonis has had in eight races with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing? Seventh. A significant improvement! Another interesting point to consider is that AJ has only started inside of the top ten in twenty motos since he became a full-time Grand Prix rider! That means that, in his career, he has battled from outside of the top ten in thirty-six races. It is quite clear that figuring out the starts is the key to him progressing further.

– There has been plenty of positivity in this MX Vice feature, but this statistic changes things up. This has not been a great campaign for Clement Desalle, who currently sits sixth and is recovering from surgery, but how does it compare to his previous terms? When was the last time that he had one hundred and twelve points or less after four events? There was 2016, unsurprisingly, but he was riding with a broken arm. Other than that, it was in 2009. That was actually the last time that he was not a full-factory rider.

– Clement Desalle is also one of the riders who has already failed to score points in a moto this year and, believe it or not, there are a lot of them. There are just nine premier-class guys who have scored points in every single race so far. How does this compare to a year ago? Well, even more surprisingly, just six guys had perfect records at this point twelve months ago. One would presume that more riders would manage to reach the chequered flag consistently.

(ConwayMX)

– It does not seem like Kawasaki have much to shout about at this point, as they have one premier-class podium to their name and that is all. If one glances at the bigger picture though it really becomes clear that this one of their better starts, as a whole, as there are two Kawasaki-mounted riders inside of the top nine in the standings. When was the last time that happened? It was after the opening four rounds in 2013: Gautier Paulin was fourth and Tommy Searle was sixth.

– Shaun Simpson may not be riding better than ever at this time, but he is arguably more consistent than he has been for a few years. Simpson got twenty-four points at the Grand Prix of Trentino, for instance, which tied the best points total that he has ever had at Pietramurata. That is a positive sign and imagine what he could do with more momentum, time and confidence under his belt. It is something that does deserve more recognition.

– The Shaun-Simpson topic can be taken further, as he has eighty-eight points to his name after the first four rounds. When was the last time that actually happened? Simpson bettered than in 2016, because he gained one hundred and five points across four rounds, but that was the only time that he has fared better than this at the start of a term. It is crazy to think that he could have ended up without a ride in the off-season.

(ConwayMX)

– It would have been impossible to conclude this feature without giving Ivo Monticelli credit for his great progress aboard the Standing Construct KTM. Instead of waffling on, it seemed like a better idea to lay out the numbers in an easy-to-view fashion for all to see. Below are the points that he has garnered in the first four rounds in previous years, even dating back to the MX2 days.

2019

66

2018

9

2017

29

2016

0

2015

45

2014

1

2013

8

2012

7

– The Grand Prix of Trentino was the best race that Ivo Monticelli has ever had. There is simply no doubt about it. Thirty-one points were amassed on the day, but what is the closest that he has ever come to that? The Grand Prix of Switzerland, back in 2017, was kind to him, as a twelfth and a seventh left him with twenty-five points. It is worth noting that was his final year in the MX2 category.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX

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