2020 marks the first time since 2014 that Yamaha will field two Factory teams inside the FIM Motocross World Championships. One team will contest the MXGP World Championship while the other will compete in MX2. Both championships coincide with each other and will be held over 20 rounds. Each round takes place throughout the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, with the riders racing a Qualifying Race on Saturday which determines the order in which the riders will go to the gate for the championship races. Each class will race two championship races on Sunday. The duration of each championship race is 30-minutes plus two-laps.
Spearheading the effort will be the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team with firm MXGP podium threats Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus. Over the course of 11-years, there have been around 104 pieces of Grand Prix silverware accumulated between the three riders as a result of more than 35 Grand Prix race wins and 19 Grand Prix victories throughout their careers.
12 of the aforementioned Grand Prix wins and 56 of the podium finishes belong to 29-year-old Frenchman Paulin, a rider who is extremely familiar with the podium in Great Britain after celebrating from the third step in Matterley Basin at the British Grand Prix last year.
Bolstering those figures with five Grand Prix victories and 32 podium appearances throughout his career is last year’s MXGP runner-up Seewer. Going into the new season, the 25-year-old Swiss rider is determined to maintain his astonishing record of consistency. Over the past seven years, the ‘91’ has not missed a single Grand Prix, which means the 2020 season opener will mark his 111th consecutive Grand Prix attendance.
Coming off of his most successful MXGP season ever where he took his YZ450F to six podium finishes in 2019 and boosted his overall podium tally in MX2 and MXGP to 16, Tonus is confident the small thumb injury he sustained earlier this month has healed and is looking forward to getting back behind the gate.
All three Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders will be campaigning the works version of Yamaha’s proven YZ450F, the YZ450FM, while the YZ450F will still be well represented by three exciting young rookies, Calvin Vlaanderen, Thomas Covington and Henry Jacobi who are excited to enter their first season inside the premier class. Vlaanderen and Covington will be joined on the YZ450F by MXGP veteran Alessandro Lupino. The trio will make up the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Supported MXGP team, while Jacobi will joinYamaha’s MX2 title threat and YZ250F ace Maxime Renaux under the SM Action M.C. Migliori Yamaha Supported MX team awning.
Building on a fruitful 23-year relationship, the previously named Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team has been renamed the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for the 2020 season and has retained its strong contingent of MX2 protagonists Jago Geerts and Ben Watson for a third season.
Both riders will campaign the works version of Yamaha’s popular YZ250F, the YZ250FM.
After finishing third in the 2019 MX2 World Championship where he proved his promise as one of only three race winners, 19-year-old Belgian sensation Geerts is a hot favourite for the title. Unlike Geerts who has four years left in MX2, Watson will turn 23-years-old in June and due to the class’ age restriction will be forced up into the premier class at the end of the year.
Both riders feel fit and ready for the season to start, although Watson has encountered a minor mishap with an old injury flaring up earlier this month. After taking three-weeks off the bike with a fractured right hand, the Brit has tested his strength last weekend and has confirmed he will be lining up at the opening round in Matterley Basin, Winchester, where he hopes to do his home crowd proud.
Joining the MXGP and MX2 paddock for the opening round of the EMX125 Championship this weekend is the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team. The team will line up two of their three riders, new recruit Ivano van Erp and the winner of the 2019 YZ125 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup Mairus Pumpurs. The third of the MJC Yamaha trio, Kay Karssemakers, is still recovering from the broken wrist he sustained while training in Spain, an update on his return to racing will be shared when available.
Last but by no means least, the fastest ladies in the world will also line up for the first round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. Last years WMX silver and bronze medalists Nancy van de Ven and Larissa Papenmeier are both using Yamaha's cutting-edge YZ250F in hopes of clinching a maiden world title.