Jorge Prado

2018 FIM MX2 Motocross World Champion

Born on 5 January 2001 in Lugo, Spain

PRODIGIOUS PRADO MAKES A SPLASH

Jorge Prado García (KTM) followed in the illustrious footsteps of Ken Roczen and Jeffrey Herlings in 2018 as he became an FIM MX2 World Champion at the tender age of seventeen. After a season-long battle with his teammate and defending champion Pauls Jonass (KTM), Prado was actually crowned ahead of the final round at Imola when the Latvian was forced to withdraw from the event in order to undergo surgery on his right knee.

With a healthy advantage over Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) in third place, Jonass’ absence meant that Prado was champion before a wheel was turned in Italy but there could be no denying that the youngster from Lugo, Galicia, had earned it. Signing off with a fourth double, the Spaniard finished the season with seventeen individual race wins, twelve overall victories and seventeen podiums. Prado’s total of 873 points from 20 rounds of racing represents an impressive average of 43.6 points per round - out of a maximum 50 - at the end of a season that also wielded ten pole positions and a total of 331 laps spent in the lead.

Prado, who also pursues a successful swimming career and is a Galician regional champion, is the eighth different rider to have earned MX2 success with KTM in fifteen years and he now lies behind only Herlings and Antonio Cairoli in the all-time MX2 winners’ list. Denmark’s Olsen finished third in the championship for the second successive season after claiming sixteen podium finishes, including a single victory in Latvia.

PALMARES

World title – MX2 2018
Junior Motocross 65cc World title - 2011

Pauls Jonass

2017 FIM MX2 Motocross World Champion

Born on 13 January 1997 in Latvia

JONASS JUMPS INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS

At just twenty years of age Pauls Jonass made motorcycling history in 2017, becoming the first Latvian rider to be crowned as an FIM World Champion. In taking the MX2 title at the final round, Jonass also gave Red Bull KTM their sixth Grand Prix ‘double’ since 2010, adding to the achievement of his factory colleague Antonio Cairoli in MXGP. This landmark extended the Austrian factory’s unmatchable record in the category within the modern era by becoming their sixth different champion since 2008. 

Jonass was marked for glory from his debut term on the works 250 SX-F in 2015 by making the podium at his first attempt in Qatar and then jostling for the #1 plate with eventual winner Tim Gajser while still a rookie that year. 2016 was beset with some hefty crashes and the concussion he suffered while leading at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic prematurely ended his season but forced a re-think of his strategy and approach to racing. 

A more mature, considered and focused Jonass started 2017 with a 1-1 performance in Qatar and set out his stall immediately for overall success. He faced a sustained threat from last year's runner-up Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) but was the most consistent rider from all Grand Prix classes; fifteen podiums meaning that the likeable and joyous youngster could make history in the mud of Villars sous Ecot in the penultimate moto of a long campaign. Pauls will defend his status in 2018 and could be the first rider in all of MXGP to wear a No.1 plate since Marvin Musquin in 2010.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

Jeffrey Herlings

2018 FIM MXGP World Champion

Born on 12 September 1994 in Geldrop, The Netherlands

HERLINGS COMES OF AGE

After a season of astounding consistency, Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) was crowned 2018 FIM MXGP World Champion at the penultimate round of the season, in front of an adoring home crowd at the legendary TT Circuit Assen, becoming the Netherlands’ first MXGP champion. Thirty years ago, when his compatriot John Van Den Berk won the world title in the 250cc class - which has now become the premier class - Herlings was’t even born yet! And he was just nine years old when his current team-mate Antonio Cairoli (KTM) won his first title back in 2005, but the 24-year-old’s determination to emulate his compatriot and deny the legendary Italian a tenth world title was clear from the start.

Winning the first two rounds of the championship in Argentina and Valkenswaard with fights through the pack, the ‘Bullet’ from Geldrop looked unstoppable from the off. He was kept honest by Cairoli, who took the double at round three in Spain, and Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), who snatched his only win of the season in Russia.

However, Herlings responded to the challenge with four consecutive doubles before his season was then thrown into doubt by a collarbone injury just before the MXGP of Lombardia, which he was forced to miss.

Cairoli took both wins at his home round but after allowing the Italian one more victory in the first of two back-to-back rounds in Indonesia, Herlings came back stronger than ever. Eight more double race wins followed, maintaining a 100% podium record for every race he started in 2018 and ensuring he dropped just 17 points on track all season, capping off one of the most dominant campaigns in MXGP history.

PALMARES

1 MXGP World title – 2018
3 MX2 World titles – 2012, 2013, 2016
1 Junior Motocross 85cc World title - 2008

2016 FIM MX2 World Champion

HERLINGS STAYS FIT FOR THIRD TITLE

Just before his 22nd birthday and after a six-year MX2run that has mixed outright dominance with painful injury, Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) has finally bagged a third FIM MX2 World Championship and waved goodbye to the category he has dwarfed since making his debut as a fifteen year old in 2010. The Dutch star was unbeatable in the first twelve rounds of 2016 and claimed twenty-three out of twenty-four race wins, losing only to Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki) in the first race in Italy. A collarbone problem then forced him to sit out three Grand Prix and allowed his rivals a sniff at the vast advantage he had amassed in the standings – almost a repeat of the situation that permitted Jordi Tixier and Tim Gajser to seize the crowns in 2014 and 2015 – as Ferrandis and Max Anstie (Husqvarna) picked up Grand Prix victories.

Thankfully ‘84’ was able to return for round sixteen and got back to winning ways on his home turf at Assen. He won a race but had to settle for the second step of the podium behind wildcard Cooper Webb (Yamaha) at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the USA for the penultimate outing of the championship but confirmed his date with destiny in North Carolina. The distinction allowed Herlings to wear the No.1 plate seven days afterwards in his MX2 swansong at Glen Helen in California, which he fittingly ruled with a 1-1. Curiously, as Anstie paid the price for several DNFs, consistent podium finishers Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) and Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) sealed top-three finishes in the championship without winning a single race in 2016.

PALMARES

3 World titles – 2012, 2013, 2016