Vital MX Pit Bits: 2018 MXGP of Patagonia


Vital MX Pit Bits: 2018 MXGP of Patagonia

The MXGP offers some amazing locations and even more amazing machinery when compared to the US-based series. This year, the championship doesn't kick off in the deserts of the Middle East...but the Southern forests of South America for the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina. Scroll down for some peeks into the racing and bikes of the 2018 MXGP World Championship.

Argentina is quite the change in scenery for the MXGP opener and we approve!

114 Motorsports Honda is a new team for this year, featuring MX2 riders Hunter Lawrence and Bas Vaessan, with prior women's world champ Livia Lancelot managing the effort. The team is on the latest CRF250R with some engine help from the US Geico team along with support from Rekluse, FMF, KYB/Technical Touch, and more. Expect a deeper look into this machine at the next round.

Hunter Lawrence lines up for the parade lap with an Argentina soccer jersey.

Another new team is the BOS GP effort which is operated by BOS suspension....a high-end component brand from Rally, single seater car racing and mountain biking. The team was supposed to debut this season with Jordi Tixier and a few other riders aboard KTMs but they're out with injuries for the first few rounds. The team signed Evgeny Bobryshev to race the season as well but he had already inked a contract with a British-based Suzuki team for the British Championship. With this, the team decided to just field Russian-Bob aboard a RM-Z450 as they don't have any manufacture ties.

Jed Beaton and his F&H Monster Energy Kawasaki had a solid start to the season with fifth overall.

The prior CLS Kawasaki 250 team has bowed out and their support from Kawasaki and Monster was transferred over to F&H Kawasaki for 2018. The new team has a little bit different look to its predecessor, with KYB suspension and HGS exhausts to start.

Prior MXGP champ Romain Febvre left Argentina with some solid points and a better start to the season, placing four-five for fifth overall.

The Rinaldi Yamaha's always have a bit of production and a bit of trickery. This year the bike retains a stock subframe and without the prior crazy shock angle...but it does retain one clean hydraulic clutch and slave unit.

Hunter Lawrence struggled a bit with consistency over the weekend but showed he had some serious speed...he comes away from the opener with a third overall.

Gotta do what you gotta do to get by?

The KRT Kawasaki KX450F-SRs have some serious trickness aboard.

It's the only bike we've seen that has carbon fins to better route the air into the radiators..along with custom onboard fans and a battery to power them.

Julien Lieber's MXGP career started out with a top ten in moto one (eighth) and some solid speed as he makes the move into the bigger class.

Calvin Vlaanderen's MX2 season with HRC Honda started out a little rough with 18-5 moto scores.

Jeffrey Herlings came into his second MXGP season healthy and ready to go, trading moto wins with the defending champion Antonio Cairoli.

Holy seat bump....seat mountain? Tommy Searle's Bike-It DRT KX450F must put out some serious horsepower. Speaking of the team itself, gone is the Monster sponsorship as long-time sponsor Bike-It steps up to title level this year. The team has also jumped around on tires a bit the past seasons seems to have settled on Dunlop for 2018.

American Thomas Covington was out front early. Covington's off-season prep was quite short due to a knee injury and was only able to manage a 10-18 score at the opening round.

MXGP does a weight bias style weigh-in during tech.

Spy the extra welds along the subframe on the Kemea YZ250F? Holy exhaust can by the way!

Max Nagl's TM career started off with 13-8 moto scores in MXGP. It'll be interesting to see how his speed and how the bike changes throughout the year.

Gautier Paulin was a little off the top group, placing six-six for sixth overall. With the next round being in the sand at Valkenswaard, most expect a fight between Cairoli and Herlings, but Paulin could get up in the podium mix as well.

The Dixon racing bikes are always interesting as they produce some over-the-top/high-revving 250Fs. Sanayei didn't quite make it through the first moto aboard this machine but came back with a vengeance in moto two with a third. We'll dive into this bike more in coming rounds as there's some serious rumors about the intake layout of the machine...

The Rockstar Husqvarna MX2 riders are already on the 2019 FC 250s, featuring the new chassis, subframe and complete bodywork.

These two put on a heck of a show the last few laps of the second moto. Having Herlings and Cairoli healthy going into this season has been a blessing as we can finally see how these two stack up for the championship.

The pits at fly-aways are a bit simple to say the least. Although teams definitely work hard to pack everything they can.

Antonio Cairoli's 2019 KTM 450 SX-F looks pretty similar to the US race bikes but one obvious difference is the head-pipe...which is quite a bit longer with different tapers. This is done to produce more low-end torque and along with some other minor engines changes to suit the MXGP riders needs.

The 2019 KTM 250 SX-F of Pauls Jonass. Much like the Husky team, the Red Bull KTM MX2 riders already have 2019 race bikes, with new chassis and bodywork. The engine? We expect the production bike to have some small changes but for the most part it'll be the same technical architecture as the prior year.

Adrien van Beveren is an extremely popular figure down here in Argentina after his performances at the Dakar.

You're taking things serious when you roll out with your own metal grate to practice starts.

Compared to the prior opening round of the MXGP series, Argentina offered up a solid crowd with one heck of a scene.

Antonio Cairoli started the year off with a heck of a challenge for Herlings...this will get interesting.

Jeremy Van Horebeek leads Clemente Desalle and Shaun Simpson...ultimately Desalle would overcome Horebeek as he placed fourth overall...

...to Desalle's third overall.

Samuele Bernardini is back for another go in MX2 with the ultra trick TM 250...he finished the first round with a 15-17 score.

Although Lieber has moved onto MXGP, his team LRT (Lieber Racing Team) is still around and supporting Davey Pootjes in MX2 on KTMs...Pootjes career path has left us scratching our heads.

TKO kicked off his season with a bang, going three-two for second overall.

Darian Sanayei laying it down for our One Lap feature. the American had an up-and-down weekend...kicking off with a moto one DNF...then coming out in moto two with third!

After a couple year break from the sport, Standing Construct is back and supporting Kevin Strijbos and Valtin Guillod aboard KTMs. Strijbos was the only one of the two to make the opening round and it didn't go so well...with 17-21 moto scores.

Calvin Vlaanderen's CRF250RW is a fun one to drool over. Oddly enough, it's equipped with Showa's SFF TAC fork (air forks, not spring).

Rui Goncalves (right) is the “Trey Canard” of the MXGP world, working with the riders to make tracks better. He is chatting with Greg Atkins who makes a lot of the MXGP tracks. After Saturday they changed the track to make the wave section a bit safter.

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