There is so much that goes on in the second half of the season. The exciting action keeps rolling on, of course, and then contracts are being discussed behind the scenes. In order to stay on top of the latter, this column is going to feature all of the decisions that have been made. There will be no rumours in here, as this is solely for the facts. Speculation will be in additional columns on MX Vice.
Ivo Monticelli has snatched the second seat beneath the Standing Construct KTM awning, one that a lot of riders were chasing, in a surprising move. The team commented that they think that they can help him push for a position in the top ten when their partnership begins, which would be quite an improvement. Monticelli currently runs twenty-third in the championship standings and has only missed two rounds.
Tommy Searle will move on from the Bike It DRT Kawasaki outfit next year, following three seasons with the team, and join the relatively-new BOS GP squad. BOS had no support from a manufacturer this year but will receive some backing from Kawasaki when their second term in the FIM Motocross World Championship fires into life. It was also revealed that Jean Jacques Lusietti, who has spent a lot of time with Searle in the last ten years, will act as the team manager.
Evgeny Bobryshev put a lot of faith into the BOS GP team when he joined them before the start of the current term and it was clearly a positive move. Bobryshev has already signed an extension for next season and will receive support from a manufacturer, as he too will jump on a Kawasaki. There is still a chance that Bobryshev could finish eleventh in the standings this year, as he is nine points down on the rider who currently occupies that position.
Jeremy Seewer took a chance when he joined Wilvo Yamaha MXGP in the off-season and it has paid off in a big way. Seewer will join the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing next year and sit alongside Romain Febvre, so take the seat that Jeremy Van Horebeek will evacuate. Seewer has enjoyed a successful maiden term in the premier division, despite the fact that he has not spent much time in the top five, and this move will only help him charge forward.
Arnaud Tonus was expecting to achieve a lot with the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad this year, but a shoulder injury ruled him out for the entire term. The two parties are still committed to those goals, hence why an extension for next year has been signed. It will mark the third consecutive season that he has spent with the relatively-new squad, who will continue to make strides in the coming years. A new rider will join the team and sit alongside Tonus next year.
Michele Cervellin did not have too much time to adapt to the SM Action Yamaha team when he first made the move, as it occurred mid-season and days before the Grand Prix of Great Britain. It has still been a success, despite those issues, so the pair will be looking to build on that when the new season fires into life. An extension was confirmed in August that will ensure that he spends another twelve months beneath the awning.
Julien Lieber was an unknown quantity when he entered the premier class with Monster Energy KRT at the start of the year, but he has actually been a pleasant surprise. The last two months have been rough, as he has suffered from some knocks and therefore his results have not been quite as noteworthy, but he already made it quite clear that he has potential when the term fired into life. It is not yet known when his new contract will expire.
Maxime Renaux was the first rider who SM Action Yamaha signed for next season and that is hardly surprising. It has also been confirmed that he is set to move up to the MX2 class on a full-time basis. Renaux has actually already completed some wildcard outings in the division and enjoyed some success, hence why the team locked up his services rather early on. It is unclear who his teammates will be at the time of writing.
Darian Sanayei was hot property earlier in the season, as he was one of the few contenders who needed a new contract for next year. Steve Dixon eventually stepped up and re-signed Sanayei for what will be his final term in MX2. The contract with DRT actually ensures that Sanayei will have a ride in the premier division the year after as well, but he can opt out if an opportunity in the USA arises. Sanayei is currently recovering from a torn ACL in his homeland.
Alessandro Lupino, the lead rider on the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki team, became hot property earlier this year, as he strung together some impressive results in the premier division. The finishes prompted the Dutch squad to present him with another deal and caused some other guys who were lined up to take the spot to look elsewhere. Lupino will have a new teammate next season, but that announcement has not been made yet.
Maxime Desprey has been out with an injury in recent weeks but broke through before that with some noteworthy results. It is tough to secure a ride in the premier division nowadays though and, bearing that in mind, he opted to take a deal in France. The Honda SR squad will take him on to contest both supercross and motocross next season. It is likely that he only contest one or two international events though, seeing as the French schedule is rather busy. Desprey is just twenty-four-years-old.
Glenn Coldenhoff eventually stole the primary seat underneath the Standing Construct KTM awning that a handful of different riders desperately wanted. Coldenhoff was informed by the factory outfit that his services would no longer be required, hence why he is moving to a satellite team. The contract with Standing Construct will run for two years, so he will have some security when transfer season begins again in twelve months. There will be a number of high-profile names vying for a deal at that point.
Jeremy Van Horebeek is in a similar spot to Max Anstie. After confirming that Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing squad would not have room for him next year, he has had a tough time finding a contract and has nothing arranged at this time. Van Horebeek was chasing a seat at Standing Construct KTM, but that went to Glenn Coldenhoff, and has had no serious talks since then. Although he has not had a podium finish thus far this season, there have been flashes of brilliance recently.
Max Anstie confirmed exclusively to MX Vice at the Grand Prix of Lombardia in June that there would not be room beneath the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing awning for him next year. There have been no developments since then, sadly, so it appears to be a waiting game at this point in time. It is now out there that the USA is an option though. Anstie had a tough start to the season, after a concussion, but has recorded two podium finishes in the last two months.
Antonio Cairoli signed an extension with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing before the year had even begun. The deal will ensure that the nine-time champion continues to lead the Claudio De Carli side of the awning into action for two more seasons at the very least. There were some who speculated that he would consider pulling out early, after a difficult season, but he told MX Vice exclusively at the recent Grand Prix of Turkey that he is raring to get another season underway.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer