Lewis Phillips on 2025 MXGP Silly Season – The battle for signatures!

MXPG Spain 2024, Arroyomolinos Rider:

The 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship has jumped into life with a fascinating trio of events across two continents and three countries. 17 events remain on the calendar and there is no telling how the two title battles will develop – Jorge Prado is, however, making a case for the fact that MXGP is all but over.

Words | Lewis Phillips

Turn attention to the hidden corners of the paddock and one will observe critical conversations about the rider market for 2025’s FIM Motocross World Championship. It is rare for these discussions to happen as early as April, but the ‘battle’ for signatures will be more pivotal than prior seasons. Why? The introduction of Triumph and Ducati to the MXGP division means that there will be more elite seats than there are stars.

The likeliness of Prado, the reigning world champion and face of Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing, moving onto pastures new in the United States adds to this, because there is no clear replacement for him. There are countless rumors about Prado’s future and most point to Monster Energy Kawasaki. No matter whether that comes to fruition or not, it seems certain that he will exit Grands Prix and attempt to bolster his long list of achievements in a new environment.

Jeffrey Herlings is off the table for MXGP teams, as his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing contract runs through the conclusion of 2025, then both Maxime Renaux and Jago Geerts have similar commitments at Yamaha. The Team HRC duo appear to be quite set as well, although the manufacturer is distant when it comes to a conversation about contract durations. The rest of the paddock appears to be rather flexible and Ducati has started conversations with some elite riders, as has Triumph.

Romain Febvre is a significant target for both. The Triumph effort, led by Vincent Bereni, has history with ‘3’ and so it was natural that they would fixate on the former world champion. Rumors suggest that some progress was made with that deal at the Grand Prix of Spain, which would leave Ducati searching for their title contender. Ducati has identified their intention to enter the premier division with a podium contender and then a consistent top ten force in the second seat. Who could they possibly sign?

If the rumored movements of Prado and Febvre evolve, GASGAS and Kawasaki would need to secure their lead riders too. There are just not enough riders with the potential to win Grands Prix and so it is realistic that there could factory efforts that must accept their fate of battling in the depths of the top ten. This is set to help the riders, of course, as it should lead to more substantial bids for the elite riders. Their market value will only soar.

Teams could bet on MX2 starlets like Kay de Wolf and Andrea Adamo in 2026 – Image: JP Acevedo

Riders like Pauls Jonass and Calvin Vlaanderen have a superb opportunity to surge forwards as the leading rider beneath a factory tent, but it does feel like 2025 could be a transition year of sorts. This ‘boom’ has almost come a season too soon. Teams could bet on MX2 starlets like Kay de Wolf and Andrea Adamo in 2026, but it is much too early to consider either of those riders for a prominent role on a 450F squad. It is redundant anyway, as both riders are under contract for 2025.

It feels like the 2025 FIM Motocross World Championship will be a time to understand the new diameters and take stock of how to approach talents in MXGP. Gone are the days when riders would clamor for one or two of the prominent seats – options are in existence now. Besides those obvious headaches for teams, the health of Grands Prix will benefit the entire ecosystem.

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