News 6 Oct 2023

New-look rider line-up in Yamaha MXGP restructure

Renaux, Geerts and Vlaanderen headline 450 class 2024 roster.

Image: Supplied.

Yamaha Motor Europe will restructure its operations for the 2024 MXGP World Championship, as Maxime Renaux, Jago Geerts and Calvin Vlaanderen headline its 450 class roster next year.

Starting in 2024, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team will be based in Genk, Belgium and will be managed by the highly-experienced Hans Corvers.

Both the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams will field three riders. Leading Yamaha’s premier class efforts will be long-time Yamaha rider Maxime Renaux. Renaux will be joined on the gate by Jago Geerts, who steps up from MX2 to write the next chapter in his career, and Vlaanderen, the best-performing satellite rider in MXGP who has earned a well-deserved opportunity to race with factory support.

In the MX2 category, the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 Team will step up to the World Championship in 2024 as the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team. Yamaha and the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team have retained Thibault Benistant and Rick Elzinga for 2024 and will add to their line-up this year’s EMX250 Champion, Andrea Bonacorsi, as he takes the next step up the Yamaha Racing pyramid.

This restructuring is designed to strengthen Yamaha Motor Europe’s presence in the FIM Motocross World Championship by providing a fresh platform to fully maximize the potential of Yamaha’s MXGP and MX2 riders.

“Obviously, our focus now is on finishing an incredible 2023 season on a high, but we’re also preparing for the future,” said Yamaha Motor Europe off-road racing manager Alexandre Kowalski. “Again, we have followed our long-term strategy of the step-up program, which rewards success with promotion to the next level of the Yamaha racing pyramid.

“Following an impressive stint in MX2, where he’s been a regular championship contender aboard the YZ250FM, Jago Geerts will move up to the MXGP class with the same team in 2024, where he’ll be reunited with former teammate, Maxime Renaux. Joining them in the premier class will be Calvin Vlaanderen, who earned his place as a Yamaha Factory rider with impressive performances racing for the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha MXGP Supported Team over the past four seasons.

“In MX2, former EMX250 champions, Thibault Benistant and Rick Elzinga, will again lead our assault on the championship title. For 2024 they will be joined by Andrea Bonacorsi, who steps up to MX2 as the reigning EMX250 champion. We are pleased to have put together such a strong rider line-up for the 2024 season, especially as all six factory riders come from within our own ranks, and we are confident that, once again, we will be at the forefront of both classes next year.”

One event remains in the 2023 season, which is the prestigious Motocross of Nations (MXoN) that takes place this weekend at Ernee, France.