Read what a host of MXGP and MX2 riders had to say about their respective weekends at the MXGP of Great Britain.
Tim Gajser: “It’s great to finish this season with a victory. It is a massive confidence boost heading into the off-season and also for 2024 so I’m very happy to win and to go one-one and just have fun riding out there. The track was difficult in that second moto, but I enjoyed it once I got out front, got a good gap and could see where the riders were behind me. I’d like to thank all my team for all their hard work and all their support when I wasn’t at the races. This victory is down to all of them as well and it is really nice just to leave the last round of the championship with the win.”
Jeremy Seewer: “Today was a good day. It was solid. I am happy I had two solid motos. I had a fall yesterday, which upset a cut on my elbow from a fall I had last weekend and just hit the ground quite hard, so I thought it would be very tough for me today. It was not easy today. I just wanted to survive, and I ended up doing really well. It was a pity I lost third place at the end of Race Two, but it didn’t matter for the overall. I am happy to finish this year strong, and now looking forward to ‘The Nations’.”
Romain Febvre: “I was feeling really comfortable today and I had a really good start in race one but I touched with someone in the first turn and dropped to sixth. A few laps later the back wheel slipped out in a turn and I lost some time but I came back to finish less than six seconds from the winner so I was happy with my speed. In the second moto I passed the other guys to finish second; Tim was too far away but I was pleased to end the day on the podium again. My results were OK in the first quarter of the year but I was just missing the podium each week; then from mid-season I was really consistent with GP wins and podiums nearly every week. I had more GP wins than anybody else, including five-in-a-row. I now have two silver medals with Kawasaki so let’s keep working to go one better next year.”
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I definitely have some positives to take away from today. We have been working really hard on the starts lately, and then today, I took two holeshots. Race One was tough. I had the guys pushing me from behind all moto long, and then I made two silly mistakes myself, which cost me. I was not very happy with that. In Race Two, I was just off the pace, and I don’t want to make excuses, but my back hurts a lot from hitting that big quad every lap. It’s a shame I didn’t finish on the podium, but overall, fourth is solid. Although, I did want to get a medal, and fourth is so close yet so far. Still, a lot of positives to build on for next year. Now, I’m looking forward to ending the season strong at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations.”
Ruben Fernandez: “I’m very happy to get third in that final moto. I kept with the riders in front and just put in consistent laps, trying to keep the tow and not make any mistakes myself. It was difficult early on in the race, but to come back to third, just a second behind second place was proof to myself that I deserved to be there and I’m on the right track to really be amongst the podium spots all the time. I must also say congrats to Tim for winning the GP and to the whole of Team HRC for a great year. We won the first GP and the last GP and had a lot of good moments in between and I really enjoyed working with everyone. The Nations is up next and I’m heading there full of confidence.”
Jorge Prado: “It was nice to race and not think about the championship! I was able to enjoy the moment. This season has been a dream come true. Thank you to the Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing for all the hard work this year. We did this together.”
Jago Geets: “I’m proud of what I did today, and I am proud of my whole season. I came back from two injuries, and it was still a good season for me. This weekend was not easy, but in the end, especially in the second race, I felt good on the bike and on the track and won the second race. It’s nice to end my MX2 career with a win. Now, I’m looking forward to moving to the 450cc, which I will race at the Motocross of Nations, and hopefully, I will have a good season next year.”
Simon Langenfelder: “I won the qualifying race and the first moto, but the second moto was not the best. To come back after injury is never easy, so I am happy that I did that and could take third in the championship. I am looking forward to the Motocross of Nations and then we will focus on 2024.”
Andrea Adamo: “I still need a couple of days to think about the last week. It was very short! I’m really happy right now. The whole season was a challenge; to put almost twenty races together. I was the most consistent rider and that really helped me to reach my goal. For next year we will make a good plan, hope to have a good winter and I want to be stronger in 2024.”
Kay de Wolf: “It is nice to end the season on a positive note – it has been an up and down year! It would have been nice to stand on the podium, of course, but we can carry this momentum into the Motocross of Nations and the off-season. Thank you to the team for sticking by me.”
Thibault Benistant: “I could take some positives and some negatives from this weekend. I think I missed some race intensity because of the rounds I missed. But, overall, I had good speed; I just struggled to push at the start of the race. Now, I’m looking forward to building for next season.”
Roan van de Moosdijk: “Seventh overall is not where I want to be, but it is good to end with a solid race. Thank you to the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing team for everything that they have done for me – I could not have asked for more from the guys here.”
Kevin Horgmo: “I made a good start around the outside of turn one in the first race to hold sixth but I made a small crash on the second lap when the front wheel slipped away. It took me a few laps to find my rhythm again after that; I was strong again at the end with eighth and ninth just ahead of me but it was difficult to pass and I couldn’t get by. I made another good start around the outside in race two but I was making too many mistakes on the first lap as the surface was so slippery after they watered the track and I lost my confidence for a few laps. I eventually got into my rhythm again to finish eighth but I felt my speed was good enough for better. That was the last race of my MX2 career; we had some ups-and-downs during the year but we never gave up and a huge thanks to the team; the highlight was definitely Turkey with the moto win. It was also my last GP with F&H so a big thanks for the last two years to everyone; we had some fun times together so let’s end it strong now at the Motocross des Nations.”
Lucas Coenen: “The results are not what I wanted, but I am pleased that I was able to hold onto fifth in the championship. It has been a solid rookie season, with some highs and lows, and I am excited to get to work on 2024.”
Liam Everts: “In general it was a tough weekend but I got a bit better every session and that was a positive. Finishing 7th in the first moto I wasn’t feeling too great; not much more to say. It was nice to end the season with a holeshot in the second though. I battled for a while and ended up in 5th for 6th overall. Mixed feelings to end 2023 in this way but it was a great season with three wins and eight podiums in total. I’m looking forward to the Nations now.”
Rick Elzinga: “I dislocated my shoulder during the week, so I knew it would be a difficult weekend. In the first moto, I finished ninth, which was not too bad. I struggled to pass because I didn’t want to take any risk with my shoulder being unstable. In Race Two, I had a much better start, but I fell, so I had to come back from dead last. That’s about it. Top-10 in my first season in MX2. It’s something to build on.”
Sacha Coenen: “I felt good at the start of the weekend and my speed was good. I made some mistakes though. I threw away a decent start in the first moto, and in the second, with a crash and another error. Not the greatest but I know I was fast and I’ll take that from today. It has been a difficult season. We didn’t get the results we wanted but we’ll work as hard as we can to make that better next year.”
Jack Chambers: “It was tough coming back after breaking an ankle in Germany and missing three months of the season; I only took eight days off from physical training but you lose a little of the feeling with the bike during a long break like that. I only live thirty minutes from here during the season so this was like my home GP but I didn’t get my starts this weekend. I ran eighth for most of race two and was ninth until the last corner when I made a mistake and lost two positions. It would have been nice to finish ninth but eleventh isn’t bad. Now I’m looking forward to the Nations where I will race for Puerto Rico; when I went to watch last year I told myself I wanted to race the event one day.”
Lead Image: Kawasaki MXGP
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Alberto Forato signs up for Standing Construct Honda MXGP
Although it’s been speculated for a while, it’s always great to get the official PR! One of the rider’s favourite teams to work under, Standing Construct Honda have secured the young and talented Alberto Forato for 2024. Along with Pauls Jonass the team will surely be not just one of the professional in the paddock but fun and friendly! A great match.
Standing Construct Honda MXGP is delighted to announce the signing of Italian sensation Alberto Forato for the upcoming 2024 MXGP season. The 23-year-old talent is set to campaign a Honda CRF450R alongside Pauls Jonass in the highly anticipated 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship.
Forato first made waves on the world stage in 2013 in the European Championship EMX150 class, where he competed on a Honda CRF150 and finished as the championship runner-up. Since then, his remarkable talent has propelled him through the ranks.
Starting his 450 career in 2021, “Alby” has demonstrated consistent improvement each year. After finishing 18th overall in his first full season in MXGP, he has progressed impressively, and finished 11th in 2022.
Continuing his upward trajectory, the charismatic #303 achieved four top-five race finishes in 2023, which includes a thrilling third-place finish in Race 1 at his home Grand Prix in Maggiora.
He was also one of only six riders to win a Qualifying Race and ended his 2023 campaign ranked seventh in the world.
“I’m happy to be back with the Honda family and to join the Standing Construct Honda MXGP team. It’s so important to have a solid team behind you and a strong bike, so I’m really looking forward to the new challenge and seeing what we can do in 2024.”
“We are pleased to welcome Alberto Forato to the team for the 2024 MXGP season. We’ve been watching him in MXGP over the past two years, and his progress has been nothing short of impressive. He will be a great addition to our team, and we look forward to seeing what he, together with Pauls Jonass, can achieve!”
Stat Attack: Top Fours of 2023
As we look towards the 2024 season, MX Vice and Paul Pearcy have joined forces again to deliver some quality statistics, as we’ll be running through the top 10 in each championship across 2023 (MXGP, MX2, 450, 250 – AMA Supercross, SMX and Outdoors). Here all the riders that secured 4th in their respective title races.
4) Liam Everts
- Qualifying Race Podiums: 7; Liam only missed scoring points in the qualifying race at 1 round, Maggiora.
- Race Podiums: 14
- Race Wins: 1; Race 2 at Teutschenthal
- Race Laps Led: 39
- GP Podiums: 8
- GP Wins: 3; Teutschenthal, Arnhem, and Afyonkarahisar
- Timed Practice: 8.421
- Qualifying Race Finish: 5.105; (3rd best in class)
- Qualifying Race First Lap Position: 7.157
- Qualifying Points: 118; (3rd best in class)
- Race Finishes: 6.157 in Race 1, 5.111 in Race 2
- GP Overalls: 5.526
- Race First Lap Position: 6.894
- Race Points: 308 from Race 1, 308 from Race 2(3rd best in class in Race 2 points earned)
Series Points: 734
4) Glenn Coldenhoff
- Qualifying Race Podiums: 4
- Qualifying Race Wins: 1; Lommel
- Qualifying Race Laps Led: 6
- Race Podiums: 9
- Race Wins: 1; Race 2 at Sardegna
- Race Laps Led: 48
- GP Podiums: 5
- Timed Practice: 7.421
- Qualifying Race Finishes: 6.778
- Qualifying Race First Lap Position: 7.944
- Qualifying Race Points: 81
- Race Finishes: 5th in Race 1(2nd best in class); 6.368 in Race 2
- GP Overalls: 5.631
- Race First Lap Position: 6.973
- Race Points: 319 from Race 1, 295 from Race 2
Series Points: 695
250 West Supercross
4) Enzo Lopes
- Heat Race Podiums: 3
- Heat Race Win: 1; Denver
- Heat Race Laps Led: 11
- Qualifying: 4.778
- Heat Race Finishes: 3.571
- Heat Race First Lap Position: 4th
- Main Event Finishes: 6.444
- Main Event First Lap Position: 9.481
Series Points: 149
250 East Supercross
4) Jordon Smith
- Heat Race Podiums: 6
- Heat Race Wins: 3; Houston, Indy, Nashville
- Heat Race Laps Led: 26; (Tied for 2nd most in class)
- Main Event Podiums: 4
- Main Event Laps Led: 19
- Qualifying: 2.5
- Heat Race Finishes: 4.111
- Heat Race First Lap Position: 2.778; (2nd best in class)
- LCQ Finish: 7th
- LCQ First Lap Position: 20th
- Main Event Finishes: 6.111
- Main Event First Lap Position: 7.518
Series Points: 159
4) Ken Roczen
- Heat Race Podiums: 11; (Ken landed on the podium in the Heat Race 78% of the time)
- Heat Race Wins: 4; Oakland, East Rutherford, Denver, and Salt Lake City
- Heat Race Laps Led: 52; (Most Heat Race Laps Led in Class)
- Main Event Podiums: 6
- Main Event Win: 1; Indy
- Main Event Laps Led: 33; (3rd most in class)
- Qualifying: 4.882
- Heat Race Finishes: 2.428; (2nd best in class)
- Heat Race First Lap Position: 2.5; (2nd best in class)
- Main Event Finishes: 5.705
- Main Event First Lap Position: 5.689
Series Points: 304; (Tied for 3rd with Cooper Webb, Webb got 3rd in the Championship because of having more Main Event Wins on the season)
250 American Outdoors
4) Haiden Deegan
- 1st in Qualifying: 1; High Point
- Moto Podiums: 9
- Moto Wins: 3; Moto 1 at Hangtown, 1-1 at Washougal
- Moto Laps Led: 49
- Overall Podiums: 6; (Haiden landed on the podium 54% of the time)
- Overall Wins: 2; RedBud, Washougal
- Qualifying: 5.909
- Moto Finishes: 7.454 in Moto 1, 5.454 in Moto 2
- Overall Finishes: 5.545
- Moto First Lap Position: 6.318
Series Points: 371
450 American Outdoors
4) Chase Sexton
- Moto Podiums: 15; (Chase Landed on the Podium in 93% of the Motos he started, He missed 3 rounds throughout the Championship)
- Overall Podiums: 7; (Sexton finished on the overall podium 87% of the time, he competed in 8 rounds of the Championship)
- Qualifying: 2.25; 2nd best in class
- Moto Finishes: 3rd in Moto 1(2nd best in class) , 2.125 in Moto 2 (2nd best in class)
- Overall Finishes: 2.375; 2nd best in class
- Moto First Lap Position: 4.375; 3rd best in class
Series Points: 338
4) Levi Kitchen
- Moto Podiums: 2
- Moto Wins: 1; Moto 2 in LA
- Moto Laps Led: 29; Most Laps Led in Class
- Qualifying: 7.667
- Moto Finishes: 6th in Moto 1, 8th in Moto 2
- Overall Finishes: 6.667
- Moto First Lap Position: 6.667
Series Points: 114
4) Cooper Webb
- Moto Podium: 1; Moto 2 at LA
- Overall Podium: 1; LA
- Qualifying: 7.333
- Moto Finishes: 7th in Moto 1, 5.667 in Moto 2
- Overall Finishes: 6th
- Moto First Lap Position: 7.5
Series Points: 120
Lead Image: HEP Suzuki
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Has British Motocross turned a corner?
British Motocross is a subject I’m very passionate about. It’s the sole reason MX Vice was created back in 2011. At that time there were a few magazines out there, but not many websites. One defining moment for me was seeing Gordon Crockard sit exhausted in a small setup in Denver at the 2010 Motocross of Nations. Ireland had done their usual B final shenanigans, where Crockard finished second to Martin Davalos, Martin Barr third and Stuart Edmonds fifth in a very hot Denver. It took a colossal effort by them, but most notably by Crockard, who was a little older than the young guns of Barr and Edmonds on the team. Watching from afar I could see that Gordon didn’t leave anything on the track on Sunday September 26th, he was spent.
Words: James Burfield | Lead Image: Supplied
I’d never spoken to Gordon before but I felt I needed to go over and speak to him because the amount of respect I had for him that weekend and the Irish team was on another level. The MXDN has a way of bringing out the passion from the fans just as much as the riders and I was totally wrapped up in it as a fan. The best I could offer was ‘that was an amazing effort’ that probably didn’t mean much at the time (Crockard finished 15th overall in MX Open). He smiled, was super polite and talked to me for five minutes before getting changed.
The next day we were in a shopping mall in Denver, I just bought a coffee for myself, my wife and godson, and lo and behold Gordon was sitting down in the mall. He looked up and said “hey how are you?” So I sat down with Gordon, my godson and we spoke about the previous day, what it took for him to achieve what he did that weekend in the heat and altitude of Denver.
When I got back the next few weeks I scoured the internet and magazines and the little that was covered I felt didn’t give the team and Gordon justice. I had been going to the MXDN since 2006 and tried to get to as many GPs as possible from 2006 to 2010, and after buying a bike back in 2005, my bug was firmly back.
Although I have regressed about why I’m passionate about British Motocross I feel like I need to add some context to how I got there. I approached DBR back in 2010 about MX Vice being a possible motocross website to Sean Lawless, as DBR then didn’t do much online. As you would have figured I was turned down, for good reason. I was just a fan, although I had masses of digital knowledge, it didn’t mean anything to the motocross world back then. Whenever I picked up my monthly copies of MotoMag and DBR the stories were tailored around the stars of the sport. I wanted to hear about the journeymen, the riders that work in the week and the epic stories about making it to the line against the best in Britain.
At that time in the UK, Ashley Wilde, Jake Millward, Alan Keet, Adam Sterry, Luke Norris, Lewis Tombs, Josh Waterman, Ross Rutherford, Matthew Moffat, Ross Hill, Rob Davidson, Jordan Divall and Ross Keyworth were among some of the riders that wouldn’t get any coverage. No one was telling their stories or interviewing them. That’s when I knew MX Vice was needed.
For those that have been on this journey with MX Vice you will know the ins and outs of my love affair with British Motocross. So much has happened in those twelve years. I have seen two ACU chairmen come and go, helped form a championship called the MX Nationals, ran two race teams and spent hundreds of thousands on this sport I love. What I have realised in those twelve years is you have to have tough skin, because if you are going to have an opinion that is not shared by people who have a financial interest, then they will go to whatever level they need to go to to protect that interest. So when I started to ask questions that everyone wanted to know the answers to, you were tarnished with being disruptive and toxic.
The UK is a small community of the same people and if you fuck around in their playground you find out, as pressure is applied to business not to work with you. I have been on this constant journey with British motocross, going round in circles.
The opportunity to go to MXGP in 2015 was a breath of fresh air for MX Vice and myself. We felt welcomed and they appreciated the impact we made online and through our social channels, even when our opinion differed we didn’t get alienated, or advertising pulled from us due to pressure.
Weirdly they welcomed the challenge to be better, in fact they were open to hearing if we saw any opportunities to help them improve. This freaked us out for a while and part of us thought, “what’s the catch?” Going to MXGP felt like we moved from primary school to university and skipped secondary with the way people accepted and worked with us. That credit goes down to David Luongo who came in with new ideas and Samanta Gelli who understood our potential from day one.
When you look back to 2008 to 2014 and see the amount of GP riders that were regulars in the British Championship, maybe we were spoiled? Maybe it skewed our vision, but it just wasn’t just us, GP riders and fans were interested in the British scene. What has happened since that time is that the Dutch, German, French, Italian and Spanish championships have evolved, their federations have invested and been very successful with their programs.
Again this has not helped with the perception when looking at British Motocross. Since 2014 I feel there has been glimpses of effort, but in comparison we have become complacent. When you are complacent then other people will see an opportunity, just like MX Vice did with MotoMag and DBR in 2011. Those two juggernauts at the time possibly looked and laughed at the thought of someone like MX Vice passing them.
I want those days back when you were excited to see riders like Arnaud Tonus, Zach Osborne and Christophe Pourcel in MX2 and Matiss Karro, Kevin Strijbos, Shaun Simpson, Stephen Sword, Marc de Reuver in MX1 and you would travel the length of the UK on a Sunday not to miss a round.
Yes we have had COVID, Brexit and now we are in a recession, it’s a difficult time for everyone. The British championship is doing its best given the resources they have along with the MX Nationals. Tracks are charging in the region of £15,000 – £20,000, and gone are the days of volunteer marshalls. The cost to run a national event is around £30,000 to £40,000 per round. Add in to this the industry is spending less on events and marketing to promote their products, services and business, and you can recognise the struggle.
Both championships are run under the ACU, who are the leading federation in the UK, and that won’t possibly change in our lifetime. So as much as people want to moan about what they are not doing, then remember they are not going anywhere either. As the federation for both championships, they are always going to be the target for those people who feel disenfranchised with how the sport is going and it doesn’t help when people perceive other countries are progressing and new organisations like Nora92 are investing back into the sport with an incredible youth program and reduced licence and riding fees.
I believe that the ACU have recognised that things need to change and have understood that the licence fee subscribers are the life force behind their business. The appointment of Tim Lightfoot as chair of the ACU has been a positive one, someone who seems to truly understand that a united British motocross is beneficial to the ACU.
There are some great people within UK motocross who all believe that they know what it needs and when they are not listened to they then decide to adopt the mantra of I’ll just go and do it myself. Tim Lightfoot has the biggest job in motocross right now, and everything to play for.
With the right foresight and understanding what is required from key stakeholders that are jaded he could unite the British motocross scene, skyrocket ACU licences and drive the industry forward. A lot of pressure for one person, but if he can unite the rest of the ACU behind him, then things will change. So a glimmer of hope has happened for the ACU and the national championship, but there will be many who would have heard this all before.
But the hook that got me engaged with British motocross once more was when I heard of the possibility of a new Championship being started for 2024, but with two rounds being run in Europe. As an outsider looking in I would one hundred percent be that guy to say, “Jesus yet another championship” – just what the UK needs. That would have been the general sentiment towards someone starting another championship in the UK. So I needed to know more to understand if this would be a success or not.
Clinton Putnam is the guy who is looking to challenge British motocross to be better, to set a new bar in the hope it will shake it up and take it forward. Clinton was behind the very successful GT Cup and came onboard the MX National series supporting with tracks, infrastructure and vehicles. The same guy who has been behind the explosion of quality new motocross tracks in the UK over the past two years, something that the UK is in dire need of. I spoke to Clinton initially to understand more about the series and what his approach to media would be and see if I could help in any way. His vision is to offer a championship that feels like a GP when you arrive, an emphasis on the pros, along with world class tracks for them to ride on.
A few months ago this was made even more impressive by the fact that Clinton would be running with or without support from the industry, luckily for Clinton there are people, businesses and brands that also share and welcome that vision.
For the past eighteen months I have stayed out of the UK scene thanks to having COVID for five months, which kicked my ass, and then focussing on MXGP to fulfil our contracts. With Arenacross offering £140,000, NPC £98,700, MX Nationals and the British Championship there is finally some good money for pros to earn in 2024 when the economy is struggling! So is this the wind of change that we needed?
Since the new Nora Pro Championship (NPC) was announced it seems to have lifted the industry, federations have upped their game, other championships have got a second wind and the purse strings are a little looser from brands and manufacturers. Who knows where British motocross will be by the end of 2024?
We could be looking back five years from now saying where we would be without Clinton Putnam starting the NPC, and it being a driving force for not only the UK and six rounds in the UK and six rounds in Europe.
One thing is for sure, British motocross is a lot like the political landscape. There is a lot of talk about requiring people to work together, but it will always be difficult when egos and money get in the way of progress. Hawkstone International and VMXDN Foxhills have shown that if the product is what people want then they will support it, the challenge is to offer that level six times a year, not just the once.
Strap in because we have a lot to look forward to over the next thirty six months.
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