Seeing as the MXGP feature on MX Vice garnered so much attention last week, it seemed only right to give the MX2 riders the same treatment. The MX2 class was, after all, just as action packed as the premier division, as many riders had moments in the limelight.
1st Pauls Jonass (771 points): Pauls Jonass simply silenced all doubters this year. It was known that he was going to be blistering fast, as that speed was showcased at points last year, but most questioned whether he could keep it together across a nineteen-round series. Consistency turned out to be his greatest strength though! Jonass executed each race perfectly, capitalised on the mistakes that his competitors made and settled for a lesser position when he was not on top form. It would have been incredibly difficult to rip the red plate from his grasp.
The fact that Pauls Jonass missed the Motocross of Nations, because a concussion that was sustained in pre-season testing had lasting effects, was most interesting. Just how far from one hundred percent was he as the season started to wind down? Only those in his inner circle will really know the answer to that, but it certainly causes one to question how much better he’ll be when the new season fires into life. The slight slip in intensity was reflected in his results, as his last Grand Prix win occurred at the Czech Grand Prix in July, but he never fell too far from the top three.
2nd Jeremy Seewer (732 points): Had Jeremy Seewer been able to replicate his results from the previous year, it is quite likely that he would have captured the MX2 title. Mistakes were prevalent right from the first gate drop in Qatar, however, and cost him dearly. It is worth noting that a bike issue at the Latvian fixture caused a swing of twenty-five points and, had that not happened, things would have been much closer. One should not get too hung up on that fact though, as Pauls Jonass was marred by a similar issue at round two.
Frustration must have set in at some point, hence the mistakes, and that would also explain why he was so eager to vacate his 250F at the end of the season. “I am kind of done with the 250F. In my mind I am totally ready to move up and am quite happy to have that change now," Jeremy Seewer told us exclusively at the final round of MXGP. “If I could have another try on the 250F then I’m not sure if I could do it, you know, because I am ready to move up."
3rd Thomas Kjer Olsen (579 points): Thomas Kjer Olsen was the best-placed rookie by a considerable margin and consequently some questioned why he was not discussed more. After all, he won a Grand Prix in just his ninth attempt. However, other than that, flashes of brilliance that made onlookers stop in awe were sparse. There were not many holeshots, fastest times or laps led. Olsen seemingly regressed in the latter part of the season, but remained consistent. That trait is extremely hard to acquire for some and will serve him well when he attempts to challenge for a title next season. It’ll be most interesting to see how he develops through the off-season, as making a considerable amount of progress would result in him being a force to be reckoned with.
4th Thomas Covington (532 points): This was a massive step forward for Thomas Covington. The final ranking is not the thing to fixate on, however, as one must walk before running. Mastering stereotypical European circuits was important and he did that for the first time this season. Wins in the Czech Republic, Sweden and France are proof of that. Now that is no longer a concern, it seems consistency is the only thing that could stop him from making a run at the title. It seemed that being in the wrong place at the wrong time was the reason for his erratic scorecard, but how can that be stopped? It is not like ‘64’ is known for chucking his TC 250 down the track each week.
5th Benoit Paturel (504 points): What a mess. It is almost hard to believe that Benoit Paturel was tipped as a title contender at the start of the season and actually challenged Pauls Jonass at the Grand Prix of Qatar. Set-up issues then hurt him in the rounds that followed, especially out of the gate, and then he lost belief and eventually an injury ruled him out of the season completely. Paturel bet on himself when it came to getting a deal for next year, as he reportedly turned down a pretty good offer at the start of the season, but that was obviously a poor decision. It remains to be seen where he’ll land for next year and what he can offer on a 450F.
6th Julien Lieber (490 points): It was a tale of two halves for Julien Lieber. The LRT KTM rider rocketed out of the gate in February and was a contender for the red plate until the Grand Prix of Europe back in April. Lieber tweaked a knee there, then things unravelled and he never quite rediscovered the magic. The inconsistent Julien Lieber that hardcore fans are all too familiar with returned at that point, in fact, and stringing two finishes together became rather difficult. That meant that he never quite managed to claim an overall victory in MX2, which must sting a little now that he must move on with his career. Speaking of that, how peculiar is it that a rider with no 250F wins can step right into a factory seat in MXGP?
7th Jorge Prado (460 points): Progress is all that can be expected of a rookie in the FIM Motocross World Championship, one may argue, so Jorge Prado had a successful term. There were obviously hurdles, such as the issues that he encountered in the heat, but that really should not be too difficult to overcome. Once you erase those humid rounds from the calendar, his scorecard begins to look quite impressive. The final six rounds were particularly strong and set him up well heading into the new season. Now that Prado knows how to maintain the pace of the leader for a thirty-minute moto, there is no reason to think that he will not win more races than anyone else next year. A bold claim that is really not too far-fetched.
8th Brian Bogers (407 points): This one had most scratching their heads. Although it would have been quite a stretch for Brian Bogers to win the title, he was at least included in those discussions ten months ago. There was no point where Bogers really shone this year though, aside from that Russian event that was obviously an anomaly, as he landed in the top five in just six motos this season. That is just baffling! To put this ranking into perspective, he did not even compete in three of the rounds last year and still finished sixth in the final standings. Bogers was clearly capable of so much more.
9th Hunter Lawrence (395 points): Hunter Lawrence may receive more exposure than anyone entering the FIM Motocross World Championship next year, as he climbed up through the rankings this year and is now a formidable contender. Following an inconsistent start, where he struggled to put two motos together, he turned it around and really made his mark on the class. The fact that his RM-Z250 was not the most competitive machine was referenced at points, so that makes his showings even more impressive. It is also worth remembering that he missed two rounds with what could have been an extremely serious injury. The fact that he won a moto at the final event of the season will only aid his charge next year, as he has removed that monkey from his back.
10th Brent Van Doninck (305 points): What should one expect of Brent Van Doninck? When he first launched into the MX2 class, he showed some flashes of brilliance and even landed on the podium in The Netherlands. The Kemea Yamaha Yamalube rider, who will be moving onto pastures new next year, could not be further from that now though. The fact that he has regressed is cause for concern, right? That potential must still be buried within him somewhere though, so it will be interesting to see if a change of scenery reinvigorates him. A ranking of tenth this year could just be considered okay, especially when the gap to Hunter Lawrence in ninth is taken into account.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer