The long, winding road of the MXGP series is finally complete and Tony Cairoli on his factory Red Bull KTM showed everyone that he still has what it takes to win championships. For Cairoli, he was lucky that his teammate, Jeff Herlings, started off the series injured because I think it would have gone down to the wire. The MX2 class was won by Pauls Jonass on the factory Red Bull KTM. There are 19 events on the world championship schedule; what a long, taxing series that must have been. I think I know why some of the teams have already notified the FIM that they will not be involved for 2018. Did you know that the riders are not given any purse money from the promoter each weekend? Did you know that it cost approximately 500 USD per round to sign up for the GP class? These are things that leave us scratching our heads.
Next weekend we have the MXoN on the schedule and this year it’s back in England. The location is Matterley Basin where the event was held back in 2006 when the USA team won the overall. Back then the US riders consisted of James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and Ivan Tedesco. That was 11 years ago; somehow it doesn’t seem that long ago. That was the last big race for Stephan Everts on his factory Yamaha. I remember hearing how Everts smoked right past James and rode the ruts standing up. He was incredibly fast in those conditions. This year I feel the Americans will have a tough time again against the European riders. Herlings showed everyone at the last AMA National at Ironman that he is possibly the fastest man on a 450 right now. Okay, Tony Cairoli might be a little faster and a little more consistent, but I would put Herlings right near the top. The week after in Jacksonville everyone thought Tomac would show the world that he is the man. Well, that program came up short as Herlings once again showed who was the boss. The track in Britain is not sandy in any way. It’s a pretty hard packed track with lots of elevation changes. I think it will make for some great racing. My prediction is France will win the overall with the USA second and Great Britain third. I also think Tony Cairoli and Herlings will win motos with Osbourne in the MX2 class.
Where will the Canadian team finish? That is always the $100,000 question. First they need to make the A finals, which is not so easy. The riders pick the gate from a lottery system. This sucks because you can have a really good rider that is given a gate pick that’s in the 30’s. That gate is usually way out to the side, and you would need a miracle to get a good start. I remember Cole Thompson and Tyler Medaglia commenting on that a few years ago. They had to ride their asses off just to make it to the A final. I think that year they had to go into the B final Sunday morning. That meant it was just one more moto that guys had to race that day. Anyway, back to where I think the boys will finish, well, fingers crossed and everything goes to plan – I can see them finishing top 10. Colton Facciotti is incredibly fast on this type of dirt so I hope he can get good starts and ride like we know he can. Tyler Medaglia had a good season on his Hondas and I feel he will be extra motivated to hang it out. Riding in the MX2 class is the Canadian MX2 Champ, Shawn Maffenbeier. I think Shawn has really matured and will ride smart at this event. He has a fast Yamaha, and his mechanic at his side. Look for solid results. Best of luck to the whole team!