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MXGP – The Beginning

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With around a week before we all head down to Doha, Qatar for the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championships, riders, mechanics, team owners and managers, the media and a big crew from Youthstream will be packing their bags for what is expected to once again be a special event.

Travel is different for everyone. Riders like Antonio Cairoli or Tommy Searle seem to love the experience of other countries, and enjoying every moment of the experience, while some, like Jeffrey Herlings would prefer to be back home, in the comfort of their own bed.

“Last year I flew home on Sunday morning (after Qatar)” Herlings said. “I was home on Sunday at 1pm, so I could spend four days at home riding, while I can do my normal food, sleep in my normal bed and that’s best for me. The travelling is hard on your body. We do a lot of training and after two moto’s last year in Thailand, yes, I was tired, but it’s kind of normal. It shows I did what I had to do and that’s work hard.”

Adventure and the unknown though is something that most enjoy, and the higher temperature in Qatar and Indonesia will be welcomed by everyone coming from this cold winter in Europe.

The opening round at the Losail circuit on the outskirts of Doha is the perfect start to the Grand Prix season. One of the best motorsport facilities in the world, combined with the night race, gives it a special atmosphere, and one everyone seems in good spirits.

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We had the arrival of Ryan Villopoto in 2015, and the surprise victory by Tim Gajser last year, but this year with the likes of Jeffrey Herlings, Tim Gajser, Romain Febvre and Antonio Cairoli going head to head, we will see fireworks in the darkness of night of Qatar. Not to mention a very competitive MX2 class.

A week after Qatar we will return to Indonesia, a place we haven’t been to since 1997, when Alessio Chiodi won the 125cc Grand Prix at the Yogyakarta circuit, and Yves Demaria won the 250 GP at Bandung. This year it’s the small Island of Pangkal Pinang that will give us a taste of Asian hospitality. An unknown circuit, and a bit of a mystery for the GP paddock.

Of course Patagonia in Argentina follows. For those who have visited this circuit, its known as a special place. A brilliant circuit and breath-taking scenery. It’s pretty much all you need to make a motocross event perfect.

Closing down the overseas start to the 2017 season is Leon in Mexico, a place that has fond memories for young American Thomas Covington who won there in 2015. It was Jeffrey Herlings in MX2 and Tim Gajser in MXGP who won last year, and you can be sure both those riders will want to continue their love affair with Mexico this year.

I for one can’t wait to board my Qatar Air flight to the middle east, enjoy the experience of another country, and the start of yet another classic MXGP series.


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