Argentina hosts the opening round of the world series for the second year in succession and after a couple of pre-season events all of the teams and riders are excited to start the campaign at Villa La Angostura in the first of nineteen rounds all over the world for the premier off-road series. While many teams confirm their final sponsors and clothing close to the season opening round, Argentina is where many MXGP fans see that favourite riders in full 2019 livery for the first time
The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, the official factory representative in the premier MXGP class, retains the same successful rider line-up as 2018 and Clement Desalle and Julien Lieber will race the new Kawasaki KX450–SR which they have thoroughly tested during the off-season. Both riders enter the new season with confidence after a solid shakedown last weekend in an international race at Lacapelle Marival in France.
“I had a good winter preparation, and I could complete my programme in good weather conditions in southern Spain. We had several interesting testing sessions with the team in November to discover the new bike. It really is a new one; the frame and engine are all new, and I’m very happy with the results. Last weekend in Lacapelle I got some good starts and we know how important that is; now we are in Patagonia to open the championship on a nice track where I have some good memories,” said Clement Desalle who raced onto the podium in Patagonia one year ago. Teammate Julien Lieber also enjoyed a great winter preparation: “This winter was the first time since 2015 that I could train without interruption, and we had time to get used to the new bike which is different to the previous one. I have a great feeling on this bike; I had time to set up the bike to my riding style and both the frame and the engine suits me even better. I now have one year of experience in the MXGP class, and my goal is to be close to the top five, even if we are maybe fifteen riders who will be chasing top five or podium results. I have all the keys to succeed; now it’s up to me to do it.”
In the MXGP class two further teams will have the support of Kawasaki Motors Europe - Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki and BOS Factory. The Dutch team will line up again with Alessandro Lupino, who scored some strong results last season, while team newcomer Benoit Paturel, who recently underwent surgery for arm pump, will enter the series later. Tommy Searle, a loyal Kawasaki rider for many years, has moved to the BOS Factory team where he will have Evgeny Bobryshev as teammate; 2019 will be the Russian's second season with this squad.
F&H Kawasaki, Bike It DRT and Bud Racing will be involved in the MX2 class with support from KME and five riders have travelled to South America. Brian Moreau, entering his first GP season just a few days after he turned seventeen, will be the single representative for Bud Racing this weekend as Brian Hsu recently suffered a lower back injury while practicing. American Darian Sanayei and Brazilian Gustavo Pessoa will represent Bike It DRT again, while German Henri Jacobi joins Britain's Adam Sterry in the F&H Team.