Tony Cairoli (ITA) Red Bull KTM
Undoubtedly the bookies’ favourite for the MX1-GP world championship Antonio "Tony" Cairoli is the Italian five-time Grand Prix world champion. Cairoli began his dazzling Grand Prix career in 2002 riding a Yamaha. He quickly rose to prominence becoming the FIM world champion in the MX2-GP class in 2005. He won it again in 2007 as well as winning that year’s English Supercross championship. In 2009 Cairoli claimed the MX1-GP title for the first time. After a move to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, he successfully defended his title in 2010 and 2011. The charismatic Italian is certainly the man to beat in the MX1 class.
Clement Desalle (BEL) Suzuki
With an impressive list of GP wins to his name Desalle has been knocking on the door of the MX1 championship for two or three years now. In the 2009 season he placed third in the championship, riding for the LS Motors/Honda Team. After a move to Suzuki in 2010 he placed second behind Cairoli and in 2011 he won four races between April and August before bowing out due to injury. This year he will be looking to take crucial step towards becoming champion for the first time. His team will be hoping he can do it too: this is Suzuki’s ninth season competing in the championship and so far they have only won it once, way back in 2007, with another Belgian, Steve Ramon.
Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bull KTM
‘Flying’ Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings is the man to catch in the MX2 category. Strongly tipped to win his first FIM World MX2 Championship, Herlings showed his speed last season winning several times. Unfortunately he narrowly lost the rider’s championship to the formidable German Ken Roczen. But with Roczen now racing Supercross in America, Herlings has a great chance to go and grab his first FIM World Motocross Championship.
So strap on your helmet, your boots and don’t' forget to pack your windshield repair kit – with this kind of talent in the field, the rest of the season should be one hell of a ride!