Question Marks In 2024 - MXGP

Posted on January 17, 2024

We might be coming close to the end of what has been an unbelievable decade in the sport in Europe as some old faces disappear and new faces appear. Back in 2014 we were in the midst of a very special era. Antonio Cairoli had won the last six World MXGP championships, Jeffrey Herlings was a two-time MX2 champion and names like Gautier Paulin, Clement Desalle, Kevin Strijbos and Jeremy Van Horebeek were doing their best to take anything away from Cairoli, but it was hard work. Tim Gajser was about to arrive on the scene with his 2015 MX2 World title and a year later Herlings would also step up to the big bikes.

When the 2015 season started, we had Ryan Villopoto arriving in Europe and many figured it would be the greatest season in Grand Prix history. The MXGP World champion up against this American legend, who had dominated the sport the previous handful of years and led Team USA to MXoN success. It didn't disappoint, but it was a young debut MXGP rider Romain Febvre who stole the show and the championship.

Now as we head into 2024, a decade later, we have already seen the Cairoli vs Herlings, Gajser vs Cairoli, Febvre vs Herlings vs Gajser and last year Prado vs Febvre. All former World champions and four of them legends of the GP scene. Now as we enter this season, there are probably more questions marks than we have had in the last 20 years or 30 years.

Will Jeffrey Herlings be able to recover from two years of injury hell? Can Jorge Prado mount a defence after his busy off-season, how will Tim Gajser do after his own injury riddled 2023 and can the two Kawasaki factory rider, Romain Febvre and Jeremy Seewer do enough to take something away from the multiple World champions I just mentioned?

You add the names Maxime Renaux, Jago Geerts, Ruben Fernandez, Roan Van De Moosdijk, Glenn Coldenhoff, Calvin Vlaanderen and Alberto Forato. The numbers are there, but will the next 10 years be able to duplicate the sensational 2014 until 2023?

I can’t think of a season that has so many question marks and I just hope, we get something similar to 2021, when Herlings, Febvre and Gajser ripped each other to threads on so many occasions. When a fit Herlings show the World, he was the fastest man on the planet, or when Febvre and Gajser showed they were not far off the pace of the Dutchman. It was brilliant and without question a season for the ages.

Whatever happens in the next 10 months, from the pre-season races that start in two weeks, to the final Grand Prix of the season, expected to be in Spain, might just decide how the next decade looks. What is special for this season is the possibilities of riders breaking records and moving up the all-time lists.

Herlings and Gajser going for six World titles, Gajser and Prado trying to top the 50 GP wins by Joel Robert (Gajser has 45 and Prado 38). Can Prado himself become a four-time World motocross champion and join names like Torsten Hallman, Heikki Mikkola and Harry Everts, before he skips off to America to try and do what so many World champions have failed to do in the past?

Will we get a new World champion, a fresh face, and not the old guard of Herlings, Gajser, Prado and Febvre? Those four together with 14 World championships and the only four men to win World motocross championships in the premier class from the last decade.

Yes, I can’t wait for the opening round in Argentina, and to see what 2024 is going to bring us.