MXGP Insider No.17: Early Silly Season?
Transmoto’s weekly web-exclusive column, the MXGP Insider, penned by David Bulmer, presented by KTM Australia.
Last weekend I was watching the French GP with respected MXGP journalist, Adam Wheeler, with us chewing the fat and fixing the world, as is the norm with media people. During the racing we got talking about the upcoming “silly season” as they call it in football with all the rumours about what rider is going where. And it seems right now the key component and one who’s the first domino in line is Clement Desalle as the Suzuki man’s time could be up on the yellow bike. Obviously Cairoli is set, Nagl is good on Husqvarna and Febvre and Paulin have only just got on their respective blue and red bikes. This leaves the Belgian rider as the one teams will be looking at first when they are trying to sign a future world champion. Of course, he won’t be signing anything until he either has or hasn’t won this year’s title because that will change things dramatically in any negotiations.
Riders like Jeremy van Horebeek, Ken de Dycker, Valentin Guillod, Jordi Tixier, Max Anstie and a few others could all be switching brands in the near future due to the age rule and the restructuring of teams and indeed down to Desalle’s decision. Guillod is aging out of the MX2 class but Yamaha would like him to stay with them, but it seems JvH will stay blue if Desalle stays yellow, so that means Guillod could well be on a Standing Construct 450 team on his own in 2015. So far KRT have zero riders in line (still no news on RV) so their obvious choice is Tixier. However, there are still question marks regarding his talent so they would love to get their hands on a “bigger name” if they could. There are a few rumblings that KTM may switch to one-man teams next year which means that big Ken will be on his way (and possibly retiring) and Tommy Searle will also be seeking new employers. It’d be a big shame if that was the case because he did everything right to get the deal, by not only accepting a lot less money but even moving to Italy. Unfortunately this is a results-driven business and he just hasn’t been getting it done (due to injury).
It seems Dylan Ferrandis can’t seem to make up his mind on whether he’ll be switching to the USA in 2016 or 2017 with his current team adamant that he won’t cross the Atlantic without their permission. Apparently the contract requires four separate parties to sign off on it, but with him not exactly having the best of times over here in 2015 (in terms of disputes with authorities), we could well have seen the end of his MXGP career. This may change again though if Jeffrey Herlings does finally make the decision to move to big bikes because no doubt Ferrandis would be a big favourite for the title if the #84 wasn’t in the mix. Having spoken to the Dutchman in France though, his future still seems a long way from being decided unfortunately as it looks like he is trying not to plan too much into the distance in case disaster strikes once more. No America and no lining up at Lommel on a 450 is what he said to me, but I’m sure that could change if he wraps up this MX2 title early.