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MXLarge - World Top Ten

MXLarge - World Top Ten

May 23

  • News

While the last 20 years we see legends moving on, or great riders reaching the end of their era, I have to admit, I am pretty excited for the next decade with so many young talents coming through, be it Jett Lawrence, Jorge Prado, Jago Geerts, Haiden Deegan, Tom Vialle, the Coenen brothers, Liam Everts, Hunter Lawrence, the list just goes on and on.

The 2024 season in both AMA supercross and MXGP/MX2 has been sensational until this moment and for the first time in years, I enjoyed the indoor racing in America right up until the series ended a week or so ago.

That brings me to my MXLarge Top Ten riders in the World, as of this month. Last month I had Jorge Prado at number one, with his four straight MXGP overall victories and his total domination of the sport in Europe. Of course, things have changed this month and while Prado still won his home GP with a 1-1-1 performance and looked like the KING of Lugo in Spain, his other results have been less impressive.

Jett Lawrence won his first AMA supercross championship, took some main event wins. Tom Vialle did the same in the 250 class as did R. J. Hampshire, while in MXGP, Pauls Jonass and Tim Gajser joined the list of GP winners in 2024. So, here goes the MXlarge Top Ten for the last month.

1. Jett Lawrence: How can you not have him at number one after his brilliance in the AMA supercross title race. Saw some statistics recently about his rookie season (mentioned in another article on MXLarge, and the numbers made his season look even more impressive. For me, the most casual, cool rider in the sport, and going on last year, he will be adding to his already impressive stats. He joined Mark Barnett, Jeff Emig, David Bailey and Mike Kiedrowski as a four-time (major titles not regional) AMA champion and if he wins the Outdoors, he goes to five titles, to join James Stewart in 11th place on the all-time championship list for AMA competitors. In all time total main events wins for motocross and supercross, he is 17th with Cooper Webb, but if he does a 2023 in motocross, he could very easily end the season with a similar amount to Ken Roczen, who has 44 main event wins in total, and not far ahead (for passing in the near future), are Broc Glover with 45 and Chad Reed with 55. Damn, no wonder I am excited for the next 10 years, he might just pass them all.

2. Jorge Prado: I am sticking with Jorge Prado at number two, and while he dropped from first place in the MXGP points, and has had some really horrible mud results, in the dry, I think he is still the man to beat. He picked up his 43rd MXGP overall on his home track in Lugo a couple of weeks ago, and he is slowly climbing closer and closer to the magical 50 of Joel Robert, a number that is so important to so many of us older people and was for many years the benchmark of the GP records. Prado is a class act and his beautiful style, very cool looking gear and bike, make him a pleasure to watch. I can see him coming out in Germany and wanting to make a statement again, like he did in Lugo and guys like Tim Gajser, Romain Febvre and Jeffrey Herlings, who are all riding amazingly, will need to bring something very special. As much as I hate to see a World motocross champion heading to USA, as its our loss and their gain, I can’t wait to see him and Lawrence going head-to-head in the AMA Nationals, or even a little closer, at the Matterley Basin circuit in England, for the October held Motocross des Nations.

3. Tim Gajser: Now Tim might not have really deserved his MXGP overall in France last weekend, and we all feel for Romain Febvre, who had earnt the overall, only to have it stolen from him after riders jumped the yellow, handing the victory to the always friendly Slovenian. What Gajser does deserve is the red plate and I think we all just keep getting reminded how good this guy is. Already five World titles and 46 GP wins, already one of the greatest of all time. I would love to see this guy get his sixth World title and pass Robert for the 50 GP wins and it is very possible it happens. Always a gentleman, always easy to talk with and always a major part of why MXGP is the toughest motocross series in the World. While I think Prado will be tough to beat in Germany, the circuit will without question suit the always reliable HRC man, and his mental game is right on track. First and foremost, Tim Gajser is a very nice person and that really makes our sport a pleasant place to be.

4. Tom Vialle: Okay, he is a 250 guy, and I am not sure he beats names like Febvre and Herlings, but WOW, this French kid needs major respect. He moved to America, battling with supercross in 2023, but came out swinging in 2024 and has proven, his future is both indoors and outdoors. I sure hope he can go 1-1 at Fox Raceway this weekend, because he deserves it. Already a two-time MX2 World champion, but an AMA 250 motocross championship would probably cement his place in motocross folk-law. While his countryman J. M. Bayle won an AMA 250 motocross championship back in the day, no European had won the 125cc championship, however Dylan Ferrandis did win in 2020 (Dean Wilson won in 2011, but is he really a euro?), then the Lawrence brothers Jett and Hunter in 2021, 2022 and 2023. How cool would it be for that GP/European run continue in 2024 and Vialle to add to his legacy. I think he does it.

5. Romain Febvre: You could easily have Febvre and Herlings inside the top five, I wouldn’t put them above Lawrence or Prado just yet, but they are both without question along with Prado and Gajser, four of the best five in the World. The pace of the MXGP class this year has at times been more than a little scary to watch, as the big four fight over the points, at a pace maybe even higher than ever. This friendly Frenchman always looks just off the mark of the other three of the big four, but then he will put together a performance like last weekend in France and he is right back with them. Very disappointing to see him lose the way he lost it, with no part in the yellow flag drama, but it is what it is, and he will recover, I am sure. You get the feeling the Kawasaki man deserves more than one World title and I sure hope before his season is over, he picked up one or two more, because he is that good.

6. Lucas Coenen: Another 250 guy, but, how good has this Belgian been this year and more so the last two weeks. Victory in the trees of Lugo and then in the mud of St Jean d’ Angely and like so many in the MX2 class, he is just a pleasure to watch. The skills of the MX2 boys are at an all-time high in my opinion and several of the top men are technical better than their predecessors. Its like we have a bunch of Stefan Everts, or Kevin Windham’s racing in this class and Coenen is one of the leaders. I sure hope he doesn’t go to America and after a handful of years in MX2 moves to the MXGP class. Can you imagine how good this guy is going to be on a big bike!!!!

7. Jeffrey Herlings: I don’t like putting “the Bullet” seventh in the list, and while his second moto victory last weekend in France was impressive, it was just his second moto win from 21 starts. He isn’t anywhere near his best, but there are signs he is getting there. Its frustrating to watch, so I cannot imagine how tough it is for the Red Bull KTM Factory rider. Germany will suit his tough approach to racing, but man, if you don’t get a start in Germany, its all over and his starts have been horrible in 2024. Still, one of the best in the World and definitely a top five guy Worldwide, which isn’t bad for a soon to be 30-year-old is it? Let’s hope I can put him inside the top five in a months’ time.

8. Chase Sexton: The best of the rest in America and I am looking forward to seeing him in the AMA motocross championships this weekend. While I don’t rate him in the same class as the 450 guys ahead of him in my list, I do think he has the potential to join them at some point in the next two years. The move to KTM has been a slow process, and while he is the second-best American motocross racer at the moment, he will need all the luck in the World to match Lawrence in the outdoor season.

9. Pauls Jonass: What a year the Latvian is having. A GP win in the 450 class and a top five in the World MXGP championship points. He is riding better than ever, and it would be great to see him finish the season with similar results. Often on and off in his career, but he is on at the moment and no doubt building confidence. What would be amazing, if he could come out in Latvia and win his home GP on the big bike. Now that would be a statement and also a confidence boost to maybe take him even closer to the big four.

10. Kay De Wolf: Not had the best month, but he still had a huge lead in the MX2 points and is riding beautifully. Poor starts, crashes and some up and down scores have seen momentum go to the others in the class, riders like Lucas Coenen and Liam Everts, but the Dutchman hasn’t panics and even with terrible starts, is able to fight his way to the front, which isn’t easy in this super stacked MX2 class. I can’t wait to see him and his team-mate Coenen go up against Vialle at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations in October. What would also be cool is to have an MX2 World champion, without the name of Herlings. The last time it happened was back in 1993 with Pedro Tragter. Its time for another Dutchman taking the gold medal.

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