Yamaha Backs Budding Talent in All Supporting Categories of the FIM Motocross World Championship
Presenting a strong strategy to develop a new generation of motocross stars Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. is proud to confirm an official team in each supporting category of the FIM MXGP World Championship; EMX250, EMX125 and WMX.
Inside the European Motocross Championship, SDM Corse Yamaha EMX250 - formerly titled 'ASTES4-TESAR Yamaha Official EMX250' - is bound to be a force to be reckoned with. The Italy-based team mentored by former MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts will enter the fray with Gianluca Facchetti, Ruben Fernandez, Rick Elzinga and Caleb Grothues. Each rider will line up on a GYTR kitted YZ250F.
In addition, MJC Yamaha's 2018 EMX125 Champion Thibault Benistant has swapped his GYTR kitted YZ125 two-stroke machine for a GYTR kitted YZ250F four-stroke. Benistant won the EMX125 title with the support of MJC Yamaha and will remain with the team as he enters his rookie season in the EMX250 class.
Despite having Benistant in the EMX250 ranks, MJC Yamaha EMX125 will still support three young riders looking to make waves on the world stage. This year's line up will consist of Florian Miot, Luca Diserens and the eventual winner of the 2018 YZ125 bLU cRUCup, Magnus Smith.
Completing Yamaha's bid for success, six-time FIM Women's Motocross World Champion Kiara Fontanesi will remain on her own team, MX Fonta Yamaha WMX, as she sets her sights on her seventh World Title. The defending champion will be joined under the MX Fonta awning and on the gate for the five round WMX series by the current WMX world 'number three' Larissa Papenmeier.
Yamaha Motor Europe MX Racing Manager
Our EMX250 lineup is strong with the SDM Corse Yamaha EMX250 team and the 2008 MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts taking care of the riders and their program. They have four talented riders, two have already proven they have potential to challenge for victory, Ruben Fernandez and Gianluca Facchetti, while Rick Elzinga and Caleb Grothues have a good opportunity to add to their experience and grow. Thibault Benistant will also be racing in the EMX250 class but will remain with the MJC Yamaha team as the combination has proven to be successful in the past with Thibault winning the 2018 EMX125 Championship with the support of MJC Yamaha. As last year's EMX125 Champion, everything is looking good for Thibault. He is looking fast and strong, so hopefully he can be near the front but of course we need to remember it will be his first year in that class and many of those riders are already in their second or third seasons. It will be a challenge although if anyone is ready for that challenge, I believe it is him.
The MJC Yamaha EMX125 team won the championship last year with Thibault and this year they will line-up with three new riders with the potential to do well. Luca Diserens, Florian Miot and Magnus Smith, who won his place through the Yamaha bLU cRUYZ125 Cup program.
This year we will have one Official WMX team and this will consist of Kiara Fontanesi and Larissa Papenmeier. The link between Kiara and Yamaha is really strong and is already a proven success story with Kiara winning six World Titles onboard Yamaha's YZ250F. Kiara will be joined on her team MX Fonta Yamaha WMX by Larissa this year, they are great friends and strong competitors, it will be a good season for them."