Now that the middle of November has been reached, most MXGP riders and teams have settled into some kind of routine and begun to prepare for the new campaign. The FIM Motocross World Championship opener is more than one hundred days away, of course, but that figure will soon dwindle as Christmas and others holidays come and go.
There are a handful of high-profile stars that are still in desperate need of a home. However, there are now very few slots available within the paddock. A handful of guys, like Petar Petrov and Jeremy Seewer, appear to be on the right track and should officially announce their plans sooner rather than later, whilst others continue to shop around in a desperate attempt to continue racing at the highest level. Benoit Paturel and Evgeny Bobryshev slot into the latter category, despite the fact that both riders have tasted champagne in the last twelve months.
Anyway, back to those who are in a comfortable position. Photos surfaced of Petar Petrov on a CRF450RW earlier this month. There was a lack of logos on the Bulgarian, which is hardly surprising, but the back mudguard featured a couple of well-known brands. Most notably, Honda Red Moto featured there and offered some form of confirmation that the MXGP rookie will land on the relatively-new Assomotor team that previously fielded Valentin Guillod and Alessandro Lupino. Who could sit alongside Petrov next year? Arminas Jasikonis is heavily linked to the spot, although there has been no solid information on that just yet. It appears to be the most likely scenario.
Evgeny Bobryshev was linked to the Assomotor outfit not too long ago, but for whatever reason those rumours have dissolved. That move would have made a lot of sense, seeing as it would have been an opportunity to stay within the Honda family, but the BOS Suspension KTM team now appears to be a likely landing spot. A hot rumour is all that is though, because it sounds as though Bobryshev does not have anything set in stone at the time of writing. It does, however, seem the situation in his camp is not quite as dire as what Benoit Paturel is faced with currently.
It initially looked like Benoit Paturel was going to find a home somewhere, but then the Suzuki World MXGP outfit folded and some better riders became available. It is understandable that teams chased a name like Jeremy Seewer, who has more to offer both on and off of the bike, than a guy with just one Grand Prix victory to his name. Seewer has landed on his feet, as a press release will reveal in the coming weeks, whilst Paturel attempts to open some eyes indoors aboard a Bud Racing Kawasaki. What is the thought process behind that? Well, it is hardly going to impress MXGP teams that he can race around an arena on a 250F.
If the aim is to show the American teams what they are missing out on, then that is just ludicrous. Anaheim 1 is fifty days away, folks, the teams are set and there are capable names (Tyler Bowers springs to mind) left out in the cold ahead of the 250SX West opener. There is no way that Paturel will find the type of ride that he believes he is deserving of, unless everything falls into place perfectly and there is an injury. But, as mentioned above, there are names higher up the pecking order than his. It really is an intriguing story and one that will undoubtedly go on for a few more weeks at least.
The rest of the names in this feature are going to find homes sooner rather than later and the same goes for some of the other riders. Kevin Strijbos is busy pounding laps aboard a KTM, but his deal with Standing Construct has not been announced either. That makes sense though, seeing as the contracts that Suzuki had in place with their riders are not going to expire until the beginning of December. Strijbos, along with Arminas Jasikonis and Jeremy Seewer, should make his plans clear at that point.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer