News 7 Oct 2016

Yamaha announces Barcia replacement for SMX Cup

French teenager Yannis Irsuti joins Febvre and Van Doninck.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Yamaha will field an updated rider line-up for this weekend’s inaugural Monster Energy SMX Cup event at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

American rider Justin Barcia, initially slated to contest the event for Yamaha, was forced to withdraw due to ‘a conflict with team contracts’, forcing an 11th-hour shuffle of riders.

It’s been widely-rumoured that Barcia’s JGRMX squad will switch from Yamaha to Suzuki for the 2017 season, which could be the instigator in his last-minute exit from the unique event.

The Yamaha squad will now be made up of last year’s MXGP world champion Romain Febvre, Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Brent Van Doninck and 19-year-old replacement rider Yannis Irsuti.

MX2 World Championship regular and part of the winning French Motocross of Nations winning team in 2016, Benoit Paturel, was also on the radar to join the Yamaha SMX roster, but was forced to sit out the event due to logistical reasons.

The first-ever stadium-based motocross race will follow a similar format to the MXoN teams event, however it will see riders combine forces in hopes of claiming victory for their manufacturer rather than country.