News 22 Oct 2016

Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP signs Simpson and Tonus

All-new line-up announced for 2017 grand prix season.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Yamaha Motor Europe has revealed Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP team will step-up into the MXGP category for the 2017 FIM World Motocross Championship, expanding Yamaha’s efforts in the premier class.

The team will field MXGP regular Shaun Simpson, while also drafting in Arnaud Tonus, who has been contesting the prestigious US supercross and motocross championships for the past two years. Both riders have been signed to two-year deals.

Simpson is pleased to be joining the team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons alongside Tonus, a rider who he has worked with in previous years.

“I can only look at the next two years with optimism – I’m happy,” Simpson expressed. “Louis has built a good team and support structure and knows the importance of the rider in the whole setup. Arnaud is a great guy and we’ve worked together before – I’’m sure the atmosphere of the team and the way to work will be on-point.”

Tonus, a former MX2 rider in the world championship, explained that 2017 will see him step-up into a completely new class aboard the Yamaha YZ450F.

“It’s a different class for me and even a different championship now with 20 GPs,” said Tonus. “I’m happy to be back and of course I have my base over here so things are easier from that side. It will be a long season with a lot of competition on the 450 and a big challenge, but I’m really pleased to be with Yamaha again and Louis was very motivated to make this deal happen.”

The Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP is planning on attending the 2016 Geneva supercross in December, before taking part in a series of pre-season races across Europe at the beginning of next year.