MXGP in 2021- Who, When, Where
Posted on February 23, 2021
There is no doubt, with at least three months before the start of the 2021 MXGP championship and no races run yet, we don’t have a clue what might happen this year as far as favourites and GP winners, but let’s try anyway.
We can guess a fully fit Jeffrey Herlings will be nearly unbeatable, as he was at the start of the 2020 season and in the 2018 season, but we don’t really know. Video of “The Bullet” recently makes me believe he might be in all-time good form, and after his operation to fix a stuffed foot might see him improve by 20% on his 2020 form. Will he remain injury free in 2021, I sure hope so, as do most of the motocross World? A fit Jeffrey Herlings is something special to watch.
Defending MXGP champion Tim Gajser also looks strong in the video content flying around from him in practice and we don’t know if he has reached his peak, or still has some improving to do. I hate to say he won’t match Herlings going by the early part of 2020, or at least when we returned from the COVID-19 19 lockdown, because at Matterley Basin and Valkenswaard, he looked damn good.
How about Jorge Prado, the 2020 rookie showed that he could be the future, but can he beat Gajser and Herlings on a regular basis in 2021, I doubt it, but he might beat them on a handful of occasions and that could set up a magical final part of the season. No doubt he will still improve a lot on last year, but how much, we don’t know yet. I can’t wait to see Herlings vs Gajser vs Prado once the season starts, because in my opinion, these are the three guys who will fight for the title.
Antonio Cairoli has struggled with injuries eight GP wins from the last three seasons; it is hard to see him be the King again in MXGP. At 35 years of age and with the competition that is now in MXGP, it just can’t happen. This isn’t a 30 something Stefan Everts racing the 2006 field of riders, and with all respect to that 2006 championship winning season, there were very few World champions racing Everts, and for an aging Cairoli, it is a totally different story.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of other riders also pass the Italian legend when it comes to the championship. Jeremy Seewer in my eyes and those of many other will be the guy who hangs around, wins a GP or two, and gives the big three major problems. Seewer looked capable of being the 2020 World MXGP champion at one-point last season, until it all fell apart and he dropped major points, but he was still one of the men to shine in 2020 and I think 2021 will be another season of improvement for the Yamaha factory rider.
I think those guys above will be the main stay of the MXGP class in 2021, but the second list of guys will maybe make the best racing. I mean Glenn Coldenhoff, Thomas Olsen, Ben Watson, Romain Febvre and maybe Arminas Jasikonis will be on it, you might even be able to add the names of Pauls Jonass and Mitch Evans to that list of these two can stay away from injury.
I don’t even want to pick who is next in this group, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yamaha boys shine, as Seewer, Coldenhoff and Watson training together is going to be a massive advantage on their confidence and progress this year. This team will also have a great vibe and that might help all three relax and enjoy the experience a little more.
Will Febvre be amongst the top five guys, that is very possible, but he continues to find a way to be outside the top three and since his World championship in 2015, he has gone 4-6-6-9-4 and that makes me wonder if he can have a consistent enough season to be a top three guy. On his day though, he can beat anyone in the top five, so let’s hope he can have more good days than bad in 2021.
I have mentioned it before, but I am so excited to see how Ben Watson and Thomas Olsen go in 2021. Both these guys have GP wins in MX2 and Watson started showing brilliance at the end of 2020. Both are clearly 450 guys and I think for rookies, they could both make regular podium appearances and maybe even get a GP win. It would be a surprise, but why not.
The guys close to the top ten will be my first privateer tip in Shaun Simpson. The Scotsman was impressive at the start of 2020 and only injury derailed his season. Can he stay fit in 2021 and no doubt, as one of the veterans, it will be hard work running with the youngsters, but Simpson loves hard work, and while I won’t tip him to win a GP this year and shock the World, I do tip him to surprise many on the odd occasion.
Then you have Beta factory rider Jeremy Van Horebeek, factory Kawasaki rider Ivo Monticello, factory GasGas rider Brian Bogers and Calvin Vlaanderen and Arnaud Tonus. All these guys are a mystery on what they might do in 2021. Some might make the top ten, and some might make the top 15, but it might also be a tough year for them.
So, if I had to guess, I am going with this as the top 20. 15 Factory riders inside the top 20 and a class that just oozes class and experience. I might add, I could do this list tomorrow and it could be totally different, the class is that competitive. Cairoli could just as easily be in third place, Coldenhoff 10th, Watson 12th or Jasikonis 5th, but the list I have below is my gut feeling for now.
Of course this list is also if riders stay fit, and there have been enough seasons some guys who stay rather fit have finished high in the championship, while not as fast as a few guys who do get injured. Seewer and Cairoli are two guys who know how to get to the end of the season with consistency.
MXGP - Top 20 in 2021
1. Jeffrey Herlings - KTM Factory
2. Tim Gajser - HRC Factory
3. Jorge Prado - KTM Factory
4. Jeremy Seewer - Yamaha Factory
5. Glenn Coldenhoff - Yamaha Factory
6. Romain Febvre - Kawasaki Factory
7. Antonio Cairoli - KTM Factory
8. Ben Watson - Yamaha Factory
9. Thomas Olsen - Husqvarna Factory
10. Mitch Evans - HRC Factory
11. Arminas Jasikonis - Husqvarna Factory
12. Pauls Jonass - GasGas Factory
13. Shaun Simpson - KTM Privateer
14. Jeremy Van Horebeek - Beta Factory
15. Ivo Monticelli - Kawasaki Factory
16. Arnaud Tonus - Yamaha Privateer
17. Brian Bogers - GasGas Factory
18. Calvin Vlaanderen - Yamaha Privateer
19. Nathan Watson - Honda Privateer
20. Adam Sterry - KTM Privateer
MXGP Calendar 2021
23 May MXGP Championship - Oss The Netherlands
13 June MXGP Championship - Orlyonok Russia
20 June MXGP Championship - Kegums Latvia
4 July MXGP Championship - Borobudur, Indonesia
11 July MXGP Championship - Bali, Indonesia
25 July MXGP Championship - Loket Czech Republic
1 August MXGP Championship - Lommel Belgium
8 August MXGP Championship - Uddevalla Sweden
22 August MXGP Championship - Iitti-KimiRing Finland
29 August MXGP Championship - Igora Drive Russia
12 September MXGP Championship - Afyonkarahisar Turkey
19 September MXGP Championship - Tba
26 September - Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations – Italy TBA
3 October MXGP Championship, Teutschenthal Germany
10 October MXGP Championship - St Jean d’Angely France
17 October MXGP Championship - Intu Xanadu-Arroyomolinos Spain
7 November China TBA
14 November MXGP Championship - Neuquen, Argentina
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