The 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship season has official been kicked off today in Neuquen with the opening press conference, signing session, and media event. While the racing starts tomorrow all the riders and teams were present on site today to not only build and test bikes but to join in the media events and amazing atmosphere created by the local fans.
The afternoon of events started at the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina media center where a presentation was held for both national and international media, a handful of riders, and several teams. The presentation was hosted by Youthstream CEO Mr. David Luongo, FIM CEO Mr. Tony Skillington, FIM/CMS Director Mr. Antonio Alia Portela, Local Organizer Mr. David Eli, and Major of Villa La Angostura Mr. Gullermo Caruso.
The first topic was the massive growth by Youthstream in terms of MXGP coverage during the 2018 season. The championship has grown in all areas over the past years from social media presence to television coverage, fan attendance and more.
Youthstream CEO Mr. David Luongo, “I want to thank again Mr. David Eli, for the great organization, it is always a great pleasure for all to start the season here in Neuquen, it is such a quality race and a great track. On the sport side I have to say that we never had a level quite like this. Last season was very very exciting and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in Red Bud is still in fresh in everyone’s memory. I want to thank also the FIM, because the work we have done together over the last years, which was very positive continues to develop the sport. We still have many years in front of us and we are confident that it will be a very good season again in 2019. So, thank you all very much for being here and I wish all teams the best of luck for this season!”
FIM CEO Mr. Tony Skillington, “MXGP is a fantastic series and in this room we have a lot of people who invest an awful lot in MXGP. I would like to personally thank those people for their investments because without you we couldn’t have what we have today which is a really fantastic series. My heart will always be in this sport and I think from that point of view, we have proven that we can do good work together. I hope that we continue in a very good way for 2019.”
FIM/CMS Director Mr. Antonio Alia Portela, “It is such a wonderful event here in Villa la Angostura. It is one of our favorite events in the series. Our lives are very easy down here and it’s due to the incredible amount of effort that these people put into the event every single year. I would like to thank the local authorities because without their support this event would not happen. Thank you also to the magnificent crew that they have on the track which has made this circuit one of the favorites for riders, teams, and experts.”
Local Organizer Mr. David Eli, “I want to welcome everybody with us today, some of them for the first time, many others for the fifth time already. I want to say that I’m only the visible face of this event but behind me there is a big team working very well who have kept these events in a high consideration. This is the first event of the year here and it’s not just the event that opens the season for MXGP but also for us as organizers. Being here for the fifth consecutive year shows the excellent relationship we have not only with Youthstream but also with the FIM and the local authorities. This sport has found an important place in Neuquen, it almost feels as if it was for ever here, the atmosphere is great and people living in Villa la Angostura have taken this event as their own.”
Major of Villa La Angostura Mr. Gullermo Caruso, “My people always have a great party with this event, but this is because they are in love with MXGP. We were all very excited, we are eager to start, and we are also very proud of what we are doing, I want to thank all the people here.”
It was also announced that a new agreement has been signed between Youthstream and the local organizer ensuring the return of MXGP to Argentina for the next two seasons.
Watch the FULL Press Conference Video.
Following the words from the hosts MXGP and MX2 athletes joined in the conference, such Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass. Each of the riders expressed their excitement to return to racing this weekend and especially in Neuquen during their time on the microphone.
Just a few short hours after the press conference the riders and media made a trip to the center of nearby Villa la Angostura for an autograph signing with the fans. Several riders took the opportunity to meet with the locals including Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, Jorge Prado, and Tom Vialle, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle and Julien Lieber, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre and Jeremy Seewer, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus, Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Ben Watson and Jago Geerts, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Brian Bogers, and Calvin Vlaanderen, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass, Arminas Jasikonis, and Thomas Kjer Olsen, Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing’s Alessandro Lupino, BOS GP’s Tommy Searle and Evgeny Bobryshev, VHR KTM’s Jordi Tixier, F&H Racing Team’s Adam Sterry and Henry Jacobi, Bike IT DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei, Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Maxime Renaux, Team Diga Procross’ Davy Pootjes, and BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Brian Moreau.
Countless fans watched as the riders were brought on stage before getting a chance to receive signed posters and programs from their heroes up close. The riders were welcomed by fans both young and old taking selfies and asking for autographs on everything from number plates to old race jerseys. The event wrapped up with an impressive and very entertaining freestyle MX show.
The series of events has brought the mood and hype for tomorrow and Sunday’s racing to a new high. All is set for the first gate drop of 2019 which will bring thousands of fans more to the hillsides of the Neuquen circuit over the next 48 hours!
All the photos from the MXGP of Patagonia – Argentina will be available HERE
TIMETABLE in Local Time (GMT-3)
Saturday: 10:45 MX2 Free Practice, 11:15 MXGP Free Practice, 13:20 MX2 Time Practice, 14:00 MXGP Time Practice, 15:25 MX2 Qualifying Race, 16:10 MXGP Qualifying Race
Sunday: 10:25 MX2 Warm-Up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-Up, 12:15 MX2 Race 1, 13:15 MXGP Race 1, 15:10 MX2 Race 2, 16:10 MXGP Race 2