Tuesday 18th December: All tracks closed today.

2016 Preview MXGP

FIM MX World Champs 2016

maddix park mx

The opening round of the 2016 FIM World Motocross Championship begins on Friday with qualifying taking place from Qatar at 11:50 a.m. eastern. On Saturday, racing action kicks off at 8:10 a.m. with the first WMX moto. You can watch the action live on mxgp-tv.com on both Friday and Saturday or catch delayed coverage on CBS Sports Network on Sunday.

While the 2016 season has lost some of its luster in the United States without Ryan Villopoto attempting to become the first American since Bobby Moore in 1994 to win a world championship, there are plenty of storylines to track. Romain Febvre looks to defend his surprising MXGP crown from a season ago. Eight-time world champion Antonio Cairoli looks to shake off an injury-plagued 2015 season and add another title in his quest to dethrone Stefan Everts. Meanwhile, title contender Clement Desalle will attempt to race the opener with a broken arm! In MX2, all eyes are on Jeffrey Herlings and his attempt to return from two years of injuries and claim a third title.

We’ve complied a spotters guide for the weekend, which should help you along the way.

MXGP

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team

#461 Romain Febvre

Home country: France
2015: MXGP World Champion
Moto podiums: 23
Moto wins: 15

Notes: Hardly considered a title contender in his first MXGP season, Romain Febvre shocked the Grand Prix landscape with a dominating 2015 season, culminating in his first championship. A crash in the Italian Motocross Championship earlier this month that resulted in a deep cut to his arm has limited his bike time, but he should be 100 percent for the weekend.

#89 Jeremy Van Horebeek
Home country: Belgium
2015: 5th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 4

Notes: A year after a runner-up finish to Antonio Cairoli, the Belgian never got going in 2015, securing just four moto podiums. He’s off to a much better start in 2016, winning the Italian Motocross MX1 Championship over GP regulars Evgeny Bobryshev, Max Nagl and Glenn Coldenhoff, among others.

Team HRC

#21 Gautier Paulin

Home country: France
2015: 2nd in MXGP
Moto podiums: 11
Moto wins: 3

Notes: On paper, Paulin’s first season with Honda was a success—a runner-up finish to Romain Febvre that included three moto wins. In reality, it wasn’t that close, as Paulin struggled adapting to the Honda. Following off-season knee surgery, Paulin traveled to Florida to train with Aldon Baker.

#777 Evgeny Bobryshev
Home country: Russia
2015: 3rd in MXGP
Moto podiums: 10

Notes: One of the few GP regulars to stay healthy in 2015, Russian Bob had his most consistent season in recent memory. He’s off to a good 2016 as well, winning the Italian Motocross Championship Elite title.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

#222 Antonio Cairoli

Home country: Italy
2015: 7th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 12
Moto wins: 5

Notes: The eight-time world champion is looking to reclaim his crown after an injury plagued 2015 season that saw him miss five rounds. Cairoli sustained a rib injury in January that halted his preparations and hasn’t competed in any pre-season races.

#259 Glenn Coldenhoff
Home country: Netherlands
2015: 8th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 3
Moto wins: 1

Notes: Coldenhoff moves over from Suzuki to replace Tommy Searle as AC’s teammate. In Latvia last year, Coldenhoff won his first ever MXGP race over Paulin and Febvre.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team

#25 Clement Desalle

Home country: Belgium
2015: 10th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 13
Moto wins: 1

Notes: A long time Suzuki man, Desalle moves to Kawasaki this year. He’s always a title contender, but injuries usually snap his title hopes. Last year was no different, as he hurt his shoulder while in the thick of the points hunt. Now he’s dealing with a broken arm, suffered on February 14 at the Valence International. He will travel to Qatar in hopes of racing the opening round. Here is a statement from his team:

“Clement has a clean break, and Doctor Claes considers that it’s similar to a collarbone injury and he can recover faster than expected. He did some cycling this weekend, and is working daily to recover. He will ride the practice sessions and, depending on how he feels and the results, we will then decide whether or not he will race the GP. 

#911 Jordi Tixier
Home country: France
2015: 8th in MX2
Moto podiums: 12

Notes: Tixier’s rookie MXGP season will be put on hold as he recovers from off-season wrist surgery. The 2014 MX2 champion is expected to miss at least the first two rounds in Qatar and Thailand.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#12 Max Nagl
Home country: Germany
2015: 6th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 13
Moto wins: 5

Notes: Nagl led the MXGP series for nine rounds last year before fracturing his ankle at his home GP in qualifying. Although he returned for the last four rounds, he wasn’t the same rider.

#23 Christophe Charlier
Home country: France
2015: 16th in MXGP

Notes: This is Charlier’s first season with the team.

Team Suzuki World MXGP

#8 Ben Townley
Home country: New Zealand
2015: Did not compete

Notes: Townley’s return almost ended before it started after he injured his knee at the Valence International. Luckily for the oft-injured Kiwi, tests revealed no major damage and he will race this weekend. The 2005 MX2 World Champion was lured out of retirement after strong rides at last year’s Glen Helen USGP and the Motocross of Nations.

#22 Kevin Strijbos
Home country: Belgium
2015: 12th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 4
Moto wins: 1

Notes: Another GP veteran that spent most of last year on the sidelines. Strijbos underwent surgery on his wrist after Round 3 last year and missed nine rounds total.

Honda Gariboldi

#243 Tim Gajser

Home country: Solvenia
2015: MX2 World Champion
Moto podiums: 16
Moto wins: 4

Notes: With Jeffrey Herlings on the sidelines, Tim Gajser took advantage, holding off Pauls Jonass to claim the 2015 MX2 championship. This off-season he made the decision to move to MXGP saying, “It’s a new beginning, a new class, and something new for us all, so for the first season there is no pressure and I will just try to do the best possible.”

KEMEA Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team

Guillod moves to MXGP in 2016.
Guillod moves to MXGP in 2016.Yamaha

#92 Valentin Guillod
Home country: Switzerland
2015: 4th in MX2
Moto podiums: 9
Moto wins: 3

Notes: Guillod will move to MXGP this year and ride with KEMEA Yamaha after ahighly publicized split with his former team this off-season.

Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki

#100 Tommy Searle

Home country: Great Britain
2015: 24th in MXGP

Notes: Searle spent most of his last year with Red Bull KTM on the sidelines, competing in just nine rounds.

Wilvo Virus Performance KTM

Simpson is hoping for a repeat performance in 2016,
Simpson is hoping for a repeat performance in 2016,Wilvo Virus Performance KTM

#24 Shaun Simpson
Home country: Scotland
2015: 
4th in MXGP
Moto Podiums: 8
Moto wins: 3

Notes: Everyone’s favorite European privateer had a breakout season last year, winning three motos en route to fourth overall. He also showed his speed in the States, finishing fourth overall at Unadilla. Simpson will receive direct technical support from factory KTM this season.

24MX Honda Racing

Big Ken (above) and Karro will miss most of the season.
Big Ken (above) and Karro will miss most of the season.Bavo Swijgers/24MX Honda

#9 Ken de Dycker (Injured)
Home country: Belgium
2015: 17th in MXGP

Notes: The former Red Bull KTM rider suffered a fracture to his right upper leg in France last weekend. No timetable has been set on his return.

#191 Matiss Karro (Injured)
Home country: Latvia
2015: Did not compete

Notes: Karro tore his ACL and damaged his meniscus last weekend at the Lacapelle-Marival International in France. The team is trying to find replacement riders, but will not race in Qatar.

DP19 Racing

#19 David Philippaerts
Home country: Italy
2015: 15th in MXGP
Moto podiums: 1

Notes: The former world champion is back for another year, racing under his own efforts.

Hitachi Construction Husqvarna

#45 Jake Nicholls
Home country: Great Britian
2015: 51st in MXGP

Notes: Was injured most of last season, only competing in two rounds. Nicholls will not contest the flyaway races.

MX2

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Herlings is looking for his third MX2 title in 2016.
Herlings is looking for his third MX2 title in 2016.Ray Archer/KTM Images

#84 Jeffrey Herlings
Home country: Netherlands
2015: 7th in MX2
Moto podiums: 16
Moto wins: 14

Notes: Recent injuries, which have been well publicized, cost him the last two MX2 championships. The two-time MX2 champion has done well in off-season races, and is the clear favorite to win a third title—assuming he can stay healthy.

#41 Pauls Jonass
Home country: Latvia
2015: 2nd in MX2
Moto podiums: 12
Moto wins: 1

Notes: In Herlings’ absence, Jonass nearly won the MX2 championship—taking Gajser down to the last race. He should contend for podiums.

#46 Davy Pootjes
Home country: Netherlands
2015: 24th in MX2
Moto podiums: 1

Notes: Pootjes moved to MX2 late in 2015 and showed some bright spots with a podium in Latvia. He’s probably a year or two away, but keep an eye out on him.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Anstie and Covington move over from Kawasaki.
Anstie and Covington move over from Kawasaki.Bavo Swijgers/Husqvarna Images

#99 Max Anstie
Home country: Great Britain
2015: 3rd in MX2
Moto podiums: 14
Moto wins: 9

Notes: Made a run at the MX2 title last year, winning eight of ten motos late in season. It wasn’t enough though, as an early season hole did him in. This will be Anstie’s last season in MX2 due to the age rule. He signed a three-year deal this off-season with Husqvarna, moving from Kawasaki, for MX2 and MXGP.

#64 Thomas Covington
Home country: United States
2015: 12th in MX2
Moto podiums: 1
Moto wins: 1

Notes: Covington will fly the American flag once again. Like Anstie, he signed with Husky this off-season, moving over from Kawasaki.

Team Suzuki World MX2

#91 Jeremy Seewer
Home country: Switzerland
2015: 5th in MX2
Moto podiums: 3

Notes: Seewer had his best MX2 season last year, finishing fifth overall. Can he take the next step in year three?

#81 Brian Hsu (Injured)
Home country: Germany
2015: 38th in MX2

Notes: Like Pootjes, he is one to watch for the future. This is his first full season in MX2. Hsu injured his hand this off-season and won't return until at least round four.

Team Monster Energy Kawasaki

#4 Dylan Ferrandis

Home country: France
2015: 15th in MX2
Moto podiums: 5
Moto wins: 1

Notes: Before he sustained a torn ACL, Ferrandis appeared to be the main challenger to Herlings. Most expect the same this year.

#152 Petar Petrov
Home country: Bulgaria
2015: 10th in MX2
Moto podiums: 1

Notes: The Bulgarian moved over to this team prior to the MXGP at Matterley Basin and returns for another year.

Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha

Tonkov (above) returns after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury.
Tonkov (above) returns after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury.Yamaha

#59 Aleksandr Tonkov
Home country: Russia
2015: 14th in MX2
Moto podiums: 1
Moto wins: 1

Notes: Missed most of last season due to a shoulder injury.

#33 Julien Lieber (injured)
Home country: Belgium
2015: 6th in MX2
Moto podiums: 6

Notes: Lieber will miss most of the season due to a hip injury. The team has signed Alvin Ostlund to fill-in.

This is not a comprehensive list of every team competing in the 2016 FIM World Motocross Championship. To view a full list, visit mxgp.com. 

MXGP of Qatar TV and Online Schedule

Online Schedule | mxgp-tv.com

Friday, February 26
10:30 a.m. - LIVE Studio Show Free Content 
11:50 a.m - LIVE MX2 Qualifying 
12:40 p.m.  - LIVE MXGP Qualifying

Saturday, February 27
8:10 a.m. - LIVE WMX Race 1
9:00 a.m. - LIVE MX2 Race 1
10:00 a.m. - LIVE MXGP Race 1
11:05 a.m. - LIVE WMX Race 2
12:00 p.m. - LIVE MX2 Race 2
1:00 p.m. - LIVE MXGP Race 2 

All the times are relative to your computer clock (EST).

TV Schedule | CBS Sports Network

Sunday, February 28
MX2 Race 2 - 10.00 pm EST
MXGP Race 2 – 11.00 pm EST

2016 FIM Motocross World Championship Schedule

Round Date Grand Prix Venue
Round 1 Feb. 27 Grand Prix of Qatar Losail
Round 2 March 6 Grand Prix of Thailand Suphan Buri
Round 4 March 28 Grand Prix of Europe Valkenswaard?
Round 5 April 10 Grand Prix of Argentina Neuquen
Round 6 April 17 Grand Prix of Mexico Leon
Round 7 May 1 Grand Prix of Latvia Kegums
Round 8 May 8 Grand Prix of Germany Teutschenthal
Round 9 May 15 Grand Prix of Trentino Pietramurata
Round 10 May 29 Talavera de la Reina Spain
Round 11 June 5 Grand Prix of France St. Jean d’Angély
Round 12 June 19 Grand Prix of Great Britain Matterley Basin
Round 13 June 26 Grand Prix of Lombardia Mantova
Round 14 July 24 Grand Prix of Czech Republic Loket
Round 15 July 31 Grand Prix of Belgium Lommel
Round 16 Aug. 7 Grand Prix of Switzerland Frauenfeld
Round 17 Aug. 28 Grand Prix of the Netherlands Assen
Round 18 Sept. 3 Grand Prix of Americas Charlotte Motor Speedway
Round 19 Sept.11 Grand Prix of the USA Glen Helen
 
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