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Yamaha Ready For 2014 FIM MX World Championship Launch This Weekend
Posted by: newsla on Feb 25, 2014 - 02:45 PM
Yamaha Ready For 2014 FIM MX World Championship Launch This Weekend

After a brief flurry of pre-season races the Grand Prix paddock of the FIM Motocross World Championship will be in transit this week for the opening rounds of eighteen in the 2014 competition with Qatar (Losail) and Thailand (Si Racha) occurring back-to-back for second year in succession.


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Bikes have already been freighted to Doha and Yamaha’s elite in the MXGP (premier class) and MX2 (250cc four-strokes and age limit of 23 years) will also be travelling in the next two days for the Saturday evening opener under the Losail lights with practice and qualification getting underway on Friday night. A significant change to the FIM series for 2014 has seen the two ‘motos’ per class shortened by five minutes to 30mins+two laps for each sprint.

Yamaha’s racing force comprises of Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha Factory Racing), Rui Gonçalves (Bike it Yamaha Cosworth) and David Philippaerts (DP19 Racing Yamaha) in MXGP and with the 2014 YZ450F. MX2 will see Christophe Charlier (Yamaha Factory Racing), Max Anstie (Bike it Yamaha Cosworth), Luke Styke and Petar Petrov (both Kemea Yamaha) with the YZ250F. Also lining up in Qatar is double FIM Women’s Motocross Champion Kiara Fontanesi who is going for a third straight title on her YRRD (Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development) kitted YZ250F.

Since the start of 2014 various warm-up events around Europe have been beneficial for athletes in the Yamaha collective. Aside from testing and training responsibilities, the likes of Van Horebeek and Charlier have looked in sharp racing form and have claimed Italian MX1 and MX2 titles. Styke is a Grand Prix rookie for 2014 after sweeping the motocross and supercross championships in Australia on a YZ250F in 2013. Inclement weather has washed out other international meetings like Valence in France but the general feeling with the 2014 versions of the YZ family are extremely positive for what has been the most significant shift in the story of Yamaha’s four-stroke story since the turn of the century.

Van Horebeek begins his second term in the premier class and since an impressively solid and consistent first season in 2013 where he finished seventh in the standings. The MXGP division boasts 12 former Grand Prix winners from the Officially Approved Teams list of 27 for 2014. Charlier is on the verge of his third year as a factory racer and under the stewardship of former world champion and YRRD head Michele Rinaldi. The Corsican made the breakthrough to become a GP race winner in 2013 and is expected to be one of the contenders for 2014 glory on the YZ250FM. Anstie and Styke are new to Yamaha, as is Gonçalves whereas Philippaerts claimed Yamaha’s last title in the blue ribbon category in 2008 and makes a welcome return to the Blue family. ‘Fonta’ can rightfully claim to be the world’s fastest female on the dirt and such has been her dominance in the past two years that aims of a perfect season are not beyond the realms of possibility.

The FIM Motocross World Championship can be seen through popular sport TV channel Eurosport as well as pan-European cable station MotorsTV and various national broadcasters. Full coverage can be enjoyed through the official streaming website www.mxgp.com

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “We’ve had a good pre-season but the important thing is that I feel really good on the bike. Last year was a pretty decent year for me in MX1 and I know we can do much better now. I’ve got a few days of riding ahead of me now before we go to Qatar. I’m not saying I can beat Tony [Cairoli] because he is really good but you never know in this sport. I don’t have a team-mate on the same bike but this is not a problem for me. In fact I really like being the only guy and knowing I have such a good team all behind me. The support is fantastic and it really makes me want to put Yamaha and the Rinaldi-led Yamaha team back at the front.”

Christophe Charlier: “The Italian Championship was great and a nice way to start the year. The best thing for me about this year is the new Yamaha 250. It feels much more agile and we have much more power thanks to the work the team has done on the engine. I know we have everything we need to make some good results.”

Max Anstie: “I’m looking forward to next weekend and the season ahead. I’ve got a good group around me, all the support I need and a really positive set-up. The off-season has been mega and there is not much more to say now…we need to get to Losail, do our laps and see where we’ll be.”

Luke Styke: “We’ve just been to the north of France for two days testing some suspension and things are going good and we’ve made some progress. I’ve settled into life over here and the season cannot come soon enough! I feel it will be a development year because everything is so new on the YZ250F. We are getting there. I’m not here to waste anybody’s time and I just want to get comfortable on the bike so that I can go the speed I know I can. I’d like to think I’m capable of the top five and that’s what I’ll be aiming for. We’ll get through these first three rounds

Kiara Fontanesi: “I haven’t changed my training or preparation for this year but I cannot say the same for the new YZ250F! It feels really different and I am getting used to it but the important thing is that I like it a lot. My goal is to defend the title but my aim is to win all the motos this year; I really want a perfect season. I think Steffi [Laier] will be one of the strong competitors along with [Meghan] Rutledge and Natalie [Kane]. It will be a good championship.”

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