The Motocross World Championships season is set to kick off in Losail, Qatar, this weekend with the first of 19 rounds for the 2017 series.
Round two is set for Indonesia just a week later and that is where the Women’s World Championships will have their series opener, a competition that will again include New Zealand’s Courtney Duncan, one of the favourites for the title win.
While everyone seems eager for the first gate drop of the season, a media opportunity was held at the AL SHAQAB, an equestrian centre in Qatar specialising in Arabian horses.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle and Jordie Tixier, Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos, Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer, Hunter Lawrence and Bas Vaessen, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado Garcia, Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus and Shaun Simpson, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie, and TM Factory Racing’s Samuele Bernardini were in attendance and were able to look around and interact with the horses inside the centre.
The first press conference of the season took place in front of the national and international media, a handful of riders, as well as a multiple teams.
Taking the stage, Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo opened the welcome press conference: “I want to thank the Losail Circuit for welcoming us here once again and to the QMMF for the great organization of this race, everything is perfect, everything is clean, the track is prepared very well, and we are set to have another fantastic opening to the season.”
The riders talked about their winter and their expectations about the 2017 season with these statements:
“We had a really good winter, we had a new bike from Honda and we tested a lot. I’m looking to do my best here, just try to forget about the pressure and ride like I know how to and we will see come Saturday” – Team HRC’s Tim Gajser.
“We had a perfect run in the off season, riding was good, we really dialled in the bike and I was super comfortable for my rookie year. As you know I crashed 2 weeks ago and broke a bone in my hand which has been pretty devastating but tomorrow It will be my first test and hopefully I can be racing smoothly” – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings.
“It’s a long season so I think the most important thing is to be consistent all season, every point counts, I want to minimize mistakes, and I would rather take 5th or 4th than crash. We will see what will happen tomorrow night” – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre.
“My off season went really well, we didn’t make many bike changes this year over last which I was quite happy about, I was able to train and spend time riding on the bike.” – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl.
“With the new bike I feel good, it feels a lot lighter and it handles even better than before. I had some decent preseason races and look forward to racing here. I think top 5 here would be good to start the season.” – Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos.
“I’m here to do my best of course, as myself and the others know it is a long season and we will need to be consistent at all the races but at the same time at every race I will go for the win.” – Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle.
“The pre-season races were really on point this year and I’m very grateful that I’m feeling back at almost my best of all time, I’m really looking forward to the races coming here in Qatar.“ – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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THE 2017 CALENDAR
|2017 FIM MXGP / MX2 MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR|
|DATE||GRAND PRIX||VENUE||ADDITIONAL RACES|
|25 February (Sat)||QATAR||Losail|
|5 March||INDONESIA||Pangkal Pinang||Women|
|19 March||PATAGONIA ARGENTINA||Neuquen|
|2 April||LEON – MEXICO||Leon|
|16 April||TRENTINO||Piatramurata||EMX125, EMX250, Women|
|23 April||EUROPE||Valkenswaard||EMX125, EMX250|
|7 May||LATVIA||Kegums||EMX125, EMX250|
|21 May||GERMANY||Teutschenthal||EMX150, EMX300|
|28 May||FRANCE||Ernée||EMX125, EMX250, Women|
|11 June||RUSSIA||Orlyonok||EMX125, EMX250|
|25 June||ITALY||Maggiora||EMX250, EMX300|
|2 July||PORTUGAL||Agueda||EMX125, EMX250|
|23 July||CZECH REP.||Loket||EMX65, EMX85, Women|
|6 August||BELGIUM||Lommel||EMX125, EMX150, EMX300|
|13 August||SWITZERLAND||Frauenfeld/Gachnang||EMX300, EMX250, Women|
|20 August||SWEDEN||Uddevalla||EMX150, EMX125|
|3 September||MONSTER ENERGY MXGP OF USA||Charlotte|
|10 September||THE NETHERLANDS||Assen||EMX150, Women, Veteran|
|24 September||PAYS DE MONTBELIARD (F)||Villars sous Ecot||EMX250, EMX300|
|1 October – Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations – GREAT BRITAIN, Matterley Basin|
|30 July – FIM Junior Motocross World Championship – ESTONIA – Lange Motokeskus|