2022 FIM Motocross World Championship completes first quarter, statistics uncovered.
The 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship has reached the end of the first quarter. It’s no surprise that Tim Gajser and Tom Vialle lead their respective classes, of course, but there have been poignant milestones throughout each class. Heck, even certain manufacturers are making strides forward! There’s actually a lot to unpack from the first five rounds in Great Britain, Italy, Argentina, and Portugal. Let’s start with the MXGP class…
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Ray Archer
- Tim Gajser has added four Grand Prix wins to his tally thus far this term, which takes his career total to 37. 32 of those victories have come aboard the bigger CRF450RW, believe it or not, as he recorded just five in the MX2 division (all of those came in his championship-winning season). The victory that Gajser claimed in Trentino pushed him above Jorge Prado in Grand Prix wins (36 is his current figure).
- Gajser has been passed just once in point-paying motos this term – that move occurred when he tipped over in moto two at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, so he has not actually been passed by a competitor when upright. There are many numbers that can be extracted to punctuate the dominance that he has showcased through five rounds, but nothing is quite as effective as that.
- The Grand Prix victory that Gajser claimed at the fifth event, that being in Italy, was Honda’s 54th overall win with the CRF450R! There are a total of 11 stars who have contributed to that tally: Brian Jorgensen, Ken de Dycker, Tanel Leok, Evgeny Bobryshev, Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin took one win apiece during their respective tenures in red.
- It is often forgotten that Clement Desalle and Marc de Reuver won two Grands Prix apiece whilst racing the CRF450R. Josh Coppins took four victories on the bigger bike and Mickael Pichon had eight. Building on that aforementioned figure, Gajser has won on his CRF450R more than the rest of Honda’s CRF450R victors combined.
- Gajser has amassed 236 points across the first five rounds, which is rare. Antonio Cairoli had 241 points after five stops of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship – that was the last time that someone scored higher in the first quarter. Cairoli’s season unravelled soon after that, in Latvia of all places, and the championship went to Gajser.
- It is not a shock that Prado has the best average-starting spot in the premier category (2.9 to be exact). Tim Gajser is not too far from Prado though – he has an average of 3.3 – and has minimised that deficit that was once significant. Maxime Renaux trails those two, as his average starting position is 5.8. It is not much of a surprise that the top three in the standings are the three strongest starters, right?
- The common conception with Prado is that he starts well before slipping down the order. The numbers tell a different story though, because he has only been passed nine times in ten motos. It is a fairly low number given how frequently he starts at the very front. Perhaps some of the common theories that surround him do not ring true anymore?
- When Prado won at the Grand Prix of Portugal, significant droughts had been overcome. 252 days had passed since he last stood atop the box, that being at the Grand Prix of Czechia last term, and 603 days since the GASGAS MC 450F had won an overall in the premier category. Prado has never been this high (second) in the 450F standings so early in the season.
- Prado has been stronger than most realise. The 203 points that he has collected across five races would have made him the series leader at the same point last term. Had he amassed 203 points over the first five rounds in the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, he would have been just 10 points behind the championship leader. This also speaks to how dominant Gajser has been.
- Maxime Renaux has quietly amassed a lot of podium finishes across the last couple of years. In fact, he has passed Glenn Coldenhoff in career podiums now. Renaux has stood on the podium 23 times, taking both MXGP and MX2 into account, whereas Coldenhoff has made 21 trips to the box. Rather surprising that Renaux is in such elite company, right? The pair are tied on 44 moto podiums apiece now too.
- Renaux has dropped outside of the top ten twice this term, but he is still one of just seven stars to take points in every single moto. That is actually quite a high figure – just five riders collected points in every moto through five rounds the last two years. The last time that more than seven riders did it in the first quarter was in the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship. 10 riders did it that year.
- The most overused statistic through the first quarter of the 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship: Jeremy Seewer completed his 150th Grand Prix in succession at the Portuguese stop. 151 is where his streak lies at the moment and it goes back to round one of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship. If he stays upright then he will hit 200 towards the end of 2024.
- No one is close to that streak that Jeremy Seewer has created, but who is the next in line? The closest active streaks are highlighted below.
Brent Van Doninck
- Although Jeremy Seewer and Pauls Jonass have not raced closely in recent seasons, they remain linked in many ways. Seewer has jumped on the overall podium 41 times in his career. Jonass, his foe, has 42 podiums to his name at the moment. One would think that Seewer will go by him shortly and, hey, he could even get Romain Febvre, who has had 53 podiums.
- Coldenhoff, the third rider on the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP squad, has stabilised after a turbulent start to the current term. Coldenhoff was passed more than anyone else after the first three rounds (he had lost 23 positions in six motos) but has found his groove in recent weeks. Fifth has been his average finish over the last two rounds, whereas it was tenth after the first three stops.
- When Brian Bogers leapt onto the Grand Prix of Portugal podium, it marked his first taste of champagne since the Grand Prix of Russia back in 2017. That was a drought of 1758 days between podiums! Bogers has four career podiums to his name and all of those came in different nations: The Netherlands, Italy, Russia, and Portugal. ‘189’ has been second twice and now third twice.
- Bogers’ podium was crucial for Husqvarna too, as it had been 596 days since a rider had placed the FC 450 inside of the top three. Arminas Jasikonis was the last rider to do it and that was at the Grand Prix of Kegums in 2020! It has been 615 days since the FC 450 last claimed a race win – that is the next box for either Bogers or Pauls Jonass to tick.
- Just three guys have been inside of the top ten in all of the premier-class motos that have been run so far. Jeremy Van Horebeek joins Tim Gajser and Jorge Prado in that category! It is quite a statement for Beta, who struggled with reliability and consistency in their first term. Van Horebeek has been between seventh and tenth in every single moto this year. Eighth is his average finish.
- It’s been a very, very long time since Van Horebeek has shown consistency like this. When was the last time that he took that many top-ten moto finishes in a row? It was in the second half of the 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship. Yes, it has really been that long since he maintained such a consistent streak. It is not over yet!
- Alberto Forato has been extremely impressive through five rounds, and his average starting spot makes his ranking even more noteworthy (that sits at 11.6 and makes him the worst starter in the top ten). The fourth-place start that he had in the first moto of the season has dragged that average down too! ‘303’ has started between tenth and fourteenth in all but two of the motos.
- Forato is one of just 12 riders to start inside of the top five at some point this season; Tim Gajser, Jorge Prado, Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers, Mitch Evans, Thomas Olsen, Pauls Jonass and Henry Jacobi join him in that category. Jacobi’s good starts are partly to blame for the following statistic…
- Jacobi has lost more positions than any other guy this term; he has lost 42 positions through the first five rounds. Yikes! Crashes and problems have contributed to him falling down the order on more than one occasion though, it must be said. Jacobi sits seventeenth in the championship standings – he was fifteenth at this point last year.
- There is not too much German interest in the premier division; Jacobi and Tom Koch are flying the flag. Koch is currently on the opposite end of the spectrum to his countryman though, as he has made more passes than anyone else through five rounds. Koch has made a whopping 35 moves thus far. Truthfully, his average starting position of 19.5 has a lot to do with that.
- Koch is one of the many stars who is sitting higher up the order than he was at this point last year. Who else can say that? Jorge Prado, Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Alberto Forato, Jordi Tixier and Valentin Guillod. Those are the guys who were active both seasons and are doing better this time around.
- To locate a season where KTM did not have any riders inside of the top ten in the premier division after five rounds, one would have to search through the history books and go back to the 250cc and 500cc days. Since the KTM 450 SX-F was introduced, the worst spot that the manufacturer has occupied after five rounds is eighth (that was where Max Nagl sat after five rounds in 2008).
- Ruben Fernandez has had a tricky time of it in his first season aboard the CRF450RW. Consistency has been a major issue for him, but it is the first motos where he truly struggles. Eleventh’s been his average finish in the first motos, but he has averaged a sixth in the second motos. Quite the difference through five rounds!
- Australian fans have a lot of reasons to follow at the moment, as both Jed Beaton and Mitch Evans are hovering around the top ten in the premier division. The last time that an Australian rider sat top ten in the MXGP class after five rounds was in 2015, when Todd Waters was ninth aboard a Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing FC 450.
- Although Beaton has been in a slump since his incredible debut at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, it is worth noting that he is one of just eight riders to finish inside of the top five in a moto this year. It is a very impressive group that consists of Tim Gajser, Jorge Prado, Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers and Ruben Fernandez.
- It’s been a horrible start for Ben Watson, but the Grand Prix of Trentino was a glimmer of hope. Ending sixth meant that he has matched his career-best moto finish in the premier division – he never actually broke into the top five last year. Watson was sixth in two motos in his time with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP.