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The FIM Motocross World Championship series was created in 1957 with a class for motor cycles with a maximum of 500cc engine capacity; a 250cc class was added five years later and a championship for 125cc machines in 1975.
As the sport entered the 21st century it became clear that technical development required a modification of the traditional class structure and since the 2003 season the premier MXGP series has been open to two-stroke motor cycles with an engine size between 176cc and 250cc or four-strokes between 291cc and 450cc; within a couple of years the four-stroke motorcycles established their pre-eminence and it is now rare for a two-stroke machine to participate. The MX2 class for four-strokes between 197cc and 250cc or two-strokes of 101cc to 125cc provides a stepping-stone to the "class of kings". In 2008 a Women’s World Championship (WMX) was added; this series races at five GPs and contestants use MX2 machinery.At each GP, riders contest two races (motos), each of thirty minutes in time plus two additional laps in duration, and the first 20 finishers in each moto score points. The Grand Prix winner is the rider with the greatest combined points total from the two motos; in the case of a tie the better placing in the final moto is decisive. Riders must be at least sixteen years of age in the MXGP class and fifteen in MX2; an MX2 champion may only defend the title once and the series is restricted to riders who have not attained their 23rd birthday by January 1 of each respective year. There is no upper age limit in WMX and each moto has a duration of twenty minutes plus two laps.Kawasaki’s involvement in the FIM Motocross World Championship dates back as far as 1972 when the Swede Olle Pettersson was signed as development rider in the 250cc class and two years later Kawasaki also officially entered the 500cc class with his compatriot Christer Hammargren. After several near-misses Kawasaki finally secured its first world title when Stefan Everts won the 250cc series, then the "premier" class, in 1995, and Sebastien Tortelli followed this by taking the title three years later, the French teenager having already clinched the 125cc title in 1996. This honour was repeated in 2002 by Mickael Maschio and Christophe Pourcel claimed the MX2 world title in 2006. France’s Livia Lancelot won the initial WMX world title for Kawasaki and New Zealand’s Courtney Duncan has been victorious in each of the last three seasons since joining Kawasaki.Eight major manufacturers enter official teams in the premier off-road world series, and Kawasaki is a major player, having secured medals as a manufacturer ten times during the last decade with innumerable GP victories annually throughout the same period.Combined with a substantial presence in the highly popular Supercross events in the USA, Kawasaki’s commitment to off road sport is cemented by its entry in MXGP with an official factory team plus numerous supported teams across all classes.
The MX2 World Motocross Championship, which fulfills the role as the final feeder class before the ultimate MXGP series, can trace its roots back to 1973...
... when the world governing body FIM recognised the necessity to cater for the ever-growing interest in racing by the younger generation.In the 1970s virtually all off-road racing was with two-stroke machines and Kawasaki, in common with all of the leading Japanese and European manufacturers, had the perfect machine for younger riders during the final stages of their youth career and also for their entry to the adult ranks with the KX125. The FIM’s initial international series for 125s was a European Championship, restricted to riders up to 25 years of age, before promoting it to World Championship status in 1975. The highly-popular series regularly attracted more than one hundred entries in qualification to challenge for the forty places at the gate and Kawasaki played a significant role with world titles for Sebastien Tortelli in 1995 and Mickael Maschio in 2002 on the KX125. In 2001 the world governing body recognised the trend towards four-strokes in motocross and allowed 250Fs in direct competition with 125cc two-strokes; by 2004 the class was renamed MX2 and in 2006 Christophe Pourcel raced to gold aboard the KX250F. Kawasaki has dropped the „F“ suffix in recent year as the company now produces exclusively four-strokes and the KX250 has continued to be a major player, securing innumerable moto and GP victories through the officially-supported teams F&H and DRT. Norwegian Kevin Horgmo will represent the former this year in the MX2 world series and Dane Mikkel Haarup will be the spearhead for the latter team.