Albie Wilkie experienced his first ride of the Honda CRF250R with the Honda Jtech Racing team earlier this month,
The 2014 season in all respects should again be controlled by the all-mighty Red Bull KTM Factory teams, as Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings are heavy favorites to retain their FIM MXGP and MX2 Championships, although there will always be riders who suddenly emerge as contenders.
The MXGP class is pretty much loaded with guys who can win a Grand Prix, battle with Cairoli, but until now not one has been able to collect an FIM World Motocross Championship.
Names like Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin, Steven Frossard, Ken De Dycker, Max Nagl, Evgeny Bobryshev, Kevin Strijbos, Tommy Searle and Jeremy Van Horebeek have looked strong in both the GP series and in the Motocross of Nations, and has been proven that they can battle and beat riders like Justin Barcia, Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett from America. As for beating Cairoli on a regular basis, until now that has been the most difficult proposition.
The Italian just gets better and better and his 1-1-1-1 tally from the last two MXoN events in Lommel, Belgium, and Teutschenthal, Germany, have proven that there is nobody in his class at the moment, only really Clement Desalle making life a little difficult for the 7 times FIM World Motocross Champion.
In the MX2 class the distance between first placed man Jeffrey Herlings and second placed rider Jordi Tixier is huge. Tixier failed to win a Grand Prix in 2013, and with Herlings at the front of the pack it doesn’t look any easier in 2014.
Riders who did win a Grand Prix thanks to Herlings missing two due to injury were Australian Dean Ferris and another Dutchman, Glenn Coldenhoff. Ferris is of course out of the 2014 MX2 series and Coldenhoff has moved to a Factory Suzuki ride, leaving his KTM team and leaving many wondering if he can duplicate his 2014 success on the yellow bike.
Outside of Tixier and possibly (returning from injury) Arnaud Tonus it is hard to see anyone coming close to Herlings in 2014 and as the Dutch teenager continues to improve his move to the MXGP class is looking sure to happen in 2015. It might be then that we finally see a really tough battle for the premier class MXGP championship.
Jose Butron, Christopher Charlier, Romain Febvre and Alessandro Lupino should also cause some surprises, but a GP victory doesn’t look likely to be on their program for 2014, but as we all know in Motocross anything can happen and probably will.
Who can forget the battle Febvre had with Herlings in Thailand, or the surprise moto wins by Butrón in Brazil, this year and last. Whatever happens in 2014, with a brilliant calendar, countries all around the World involved, and some new exciting stops in Europe,
the 2014 FIM World Motocross Championships should be even bigger and better than our 2013 season, which was in itself loaded with close racing and large crowds.
Photo: Antonio Cairoli - Ray Archer image
The leading British team in the FIM Motocross World Championship and also on the domestic UK off-road motorcycle racing scene,