It is quite common for a contract to expire on the first of October in motocross. So, it is not surprising at all to see that some new deals are now starting to be announced. Obviously, a few people chose to capitalize on having a lot of press at the MXdN to reveal some exciting new stuff; all of which will be touched on in this column. Shall we jump into the news? Of course, this MX Vice ‘Weekly Wrap Up’ is the most convenient place to get all of your motocross news in one place.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
It is hard to believe that Jake Nicholls had no offers on the table for next year just a couple of weeks ago. However, the popular British rider has finally acquired a deal for his rookie MX1 campaign – he will join the STR KTM squad. Honestly, I am slightly skeptical about how he will fare on the 450f. It is no secret that the MX1 class is stacked with talent. So, where would a rider like Jake Nicholls fit in? In the FIM Motocross World Championship, I can see Jake finishing around the same sort of positions as his teammate, Matiss Karro did this year.
What I find most interesting about the deal is that Jake will be returning to the Maxxis British Championship, in 2014. Jake has been very vocal about his disdain for our domestic series, as he does not believe that having three twenty-minute motos is great preparation for the MXGP series. However, he obviously did not have a better offer on the table, so he just decided to return to the Maxxis British Championship. Jake should be a favourite for the MX1 crown though, which will great for both him and STR KTM.
The 24MX Honda team [formerly LS Motors] has come under criticism from a lot of their former riders, as money issues and disappointing machinery has left a sour taste in the mouths of most. The Belgian team has just come off of their worst season yet, as they failed to make an impression on the top fifteen. So, it was surprising to see that they have acquired the signature of Xavier Boog for next year, despite being on a downward spiral. Boog has been affected by injuries this year, but he is still capable of great things if he has a competitive bike beneath him. Time will tell what kind of environment Xavier will be working out of, but for the sake of his career, I hope it’s a positive one.
2014 MXGP Changes Announced:
Interestingly, both Youthstream and the FIM seem to be making some major changes to the look of the FIM Motocross World Championship. On Friday, a new logo was revealed to the press at Teutschenthal, as well as a new website. Obviously, the current branding has been around for quite a while now, so it is time for a change. Youthstream see this as a way to reach new, and younger, audiences.
It was also announced that a new videogame, entitled ‘MXGP’ would be released in Spring 2014. ‘MXGP’ will be a sequel to ‘MUD’ it seems. However, some major changes will be made. When ‘MUD’ was released, most were disappointed with the tracks, as they did not resemble the real ones in the slightest. However, it has been confirmed that ‘MXGP’ will feature all of the real tracks, thankfully. Hopefully, the new game will be much more realistic, as that is all we want from a motocross game, right? You can find the trailer on YouTube now. Although it does not reveal much, you can see evidence of real tracks.
There was much bigger news that was revealed, also, as three news GPs were announced. Mexico, Ukraine and a second Brazilian GP have made their way onto the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship calendar. Obviously, we all knew that the series would return to a new venue in Mexico. The track that will supposedly host the GP of Ukraine, Dimitrov, was recently refurbished for the MX3 series. But, with the demise of that championship, Youthstream has obviously welcomed them into the premier series, so that their hard work will not go to waste. Motocross has always been big in Brazil, and Youthstream have always been in favour of the Brazilian GP. So, a second trip to South America isn’t much of a surprise. But, it is peculiar, as you would think that they would have tried to find a new country to visit, if they were thinking about introducing another flyaway race.
The Ricky Carmichael Award Recipient:
In 2007, the very first Ricky Carmichael award was handed out to the youngest rider at the Motocross des Nations. Arnaud Tonus was the recipient at Budds Creek. Now, a handful of years later, another Swiss rider has taken the award home, Jeremy Seewer. Seewer finished eleventh overall in the MX2 class, despite the fact that he had to push forward from the back in the final moto. Seewer stated that he was surprised to be handed the award, as it was unexpected. Jeremy will be making a full-time switch to MX2 next year.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Obviously, winning the Motocross des Nations is a big deal for any rider. So, it is unfortunate that Clement Desalle could not enjoy the experience. The Belgian had looked very fast all weekend; his speed was instrumental in the success of the Belgians. However, he could not celebrate with his teammates, as he had to go to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Desalle sustained the injury in a first turn crash in the final moto of the day, and his final moto of the season. Thankfully, he was still present to join his teammates on the podium, so he could taste the champagne. However, his facial expressions said it all. Clement is having surgery to remove the plate in his left shoulder that was inserted back in 2011, when he sustained a similar injury.
Coming Soon! New British Motocross series:
When it was announced that the popular British Masters series was no more, most were saddened by the news. However, it also led most to question whether anyone would attempt to fill the void. Well, MX Vice have heard that a new British Motocross series could be on the horizon. Obviously, this is great news for the sport, as there is room for another high-quality professional series in the UK. Although we cannot release all of the details at the moment, it sounds like this all-new series is going to be big, as it will cater to both the younger riders (for 85s up) to the professionals. Seeing as the number of Red Bull Pro National rounds has been shortened for 2014, also, this will be welcome news for all riders. We are hearing that this series could be backed by a well-known, mainstream sponsor, as well.
2014 Gear Changes:
When Eli Tomac signed a 450f deal with the Geico Honda team, he ensured that the contract allowed him to do his own gear deal, rather than adhere to the team deal with Alias. Obviously, this allows Eli to put some more money in his pocket. But, despite this, most presumed that he would just sign with Alias, as it is a company he has represented since the very beginning. However, Tomac revealed earlier this week that he will be sporting Alpinestars next year, alongside Justin Barcia. Some questioned the decision by Alpinestars, as it is a peculiar situation, seeing as they do not actually sell the gear in the United States. But, it is certainly positive to see some top American athletes representing the brand, as they have a strong global following. So, despite the fact that the gear is not available to buy in America, it undoubtedly helps their marketing around the world.
Maxxis British Championship, Round Eight – Farleigh Castle
Well, here we are, the Maxxis British Motocross Championship finale is just around the corner. Although both titles are still up for grabs, it would take something drastic happening for either Elliott Banks Browne (MX2) or Kristian Whatley (MX1) to not clinch their respective title. Interestingly, the track could be a factor this weekend, as it is quite different to anything else on the calendar. When our domestic series was last there, the rider’s were not a fan of the circuit, stating that the wooded section resembled an enduro. Obviously, this has not been changed, so it will be intriguing to see how that effects the racing this weekend.
Words by Lewis Phillips