Following the announcement of Yamaha Motor Europe’s reformed Racing Strategy that will see the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP and Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 take on Factory status in 2020, it is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. can confirm that next season’s rider rostrum will consist of Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin, Arnaud Tonus, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson.
Currently making up the top-four in the 2019 MXGP World Championship with four rounds remaining, Seewer, Paulin and Tonus have put in some outstanding performances this season where between them they have accumulated 14 podium finishes in as many rounds.
Seewer has enjoyed a second full season with Yamaha inside the premier class, where he has taken his YZ450FM to four podium finishes and is currently second position in the Championship Standings with a 37-points advantage over Paulin.
Paulin is currently third and has also accumulated four podium successes onboard his YZ450F, while teammate Tonus is 6-points further adrift in fourth position and has crested the podium on six occasions this season.
All three riders will make up the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team where they will line up on YZ450FM machinery determined to challenge the MXGP crown in 2020.
Strengthening Yamaha’s 2020 Strategy, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team has retained its strong contingent of MX2 riders for yet another season, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson.
Widely recognized as one of the most promising young talents in the world, Geerts is one of only three race winners this season. The 19-year-old is in his second full MX2 season and has managed to celebrate five podium finishes this year. He is currently 3-points from securing a place inside the top-three in the 2019 MX2 World Championship with four rounds remaining.
Fresh off a maiden podium in 2019, Watson has proven he still has what it takes to challenge the crown despite facing some adversity this season. The 22-year-old is currently seventh in the championship standings after suffering from a broken hand that required surgical repair.
Both riders are looking forward to the 2020 season where they aim to challenge a place on the top step of the podium on Yamaha’s cutting edge YZ250FM.
Jeremy Seewer: “It feels really good to stay with Yamaha for another season, especially after what happened to me at the end of 2017, I really feel like Yamaha helped me out of that situation and gave me an opportunity to grow into the MXGP class, and also to grow with a Factory team again. I really enjoyed my time with the Rinaldi team where I had a really good relationship with everyone there and we’ve had a good season. Going into 2020, I am happy to remain on the Factory team even though the team will be different. It will be a new chapter and I look forward to building on it.”
Gautier Paulin: “Already this season, Yamaha and I have made some really big goals and have put together a big testing plan that we feel will get me back to the top. We have worked hard to have a good feeling on the motorcycle, which I have, and I am now third position in the championship. There have been many races where my Yamaha has been up front, and I have a lot of confidence in the brand and in my team. It feels really good to continue with Yamaha. One year moves quickly, and it is always a positive feeling to sign another year where we can improve the plan by making it stronger. Yamaha have put in a huge amount of effort to restructure the strategy for 2020, and I am very excited to move in this direction with them, and I am excited for what is yet to come.”
Arnaud Tonus: “It feels amazing to stay with Yamaha. We have been through a lot together, many highs, many lows. Yamaha supported me at my lowest, and this year we were rewarded with many good times and a lot of success too. I am so happy to continue with the team for another season. It feels like home to me. I feel it’s very important to have the Yamaha Family behind me, and with extra support in 2020 as a Factory team. This will mean we have access to even better material, and extra technical support which will help us evolve the bike further. I am super excited for the 2020 season!”
2020 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team Owner Louis Vosters: “I am really really happy with our line-up for 2020. Gautier brings a lot of experience with an amazing attitude. This season he has achieved four podiums and is third in the championship, which has been good, and what is more exciting is that we believe he can achieve even more. Arnaud has been unbelievable this year with six podium finishes and is fourth in the standings. I think in the years to come he will bring even more success. And joining Gautier and Arnaud, Jeremy who is the current runner-up in the MXGP championship will be welcomed back to our team as an exciting young rider that is constantly growing and improving. For me, having these three riders on Factory bikes will be one of the best teams in the world.”
Jago Geerts: “I am happy to sign with Yamaha for another season. I really look forward to 2020 where we will receive extra support from Yamaha as the Factory MX2 team, which will mean we will receive special material and added technical support. This will make a big difference in the development of the bike. I can’t wait to ride the Factory bike, and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve next season.”
Ben Watson: “It’s great to sign a new contract with Yamaha for next season, and that they still believe in me. I have always dreamed of being a factory rider, and next year I will have the opportunity. I am already looking forward to 2020 where I hope to achieve what I know I am capable of achieving. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the new deal is that we will have Factory support and I look forward to developing the YZ250FM and taking the bike to the next level. I am really grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it.”
2020 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team Owner Hans Corvers: “We are happy to continue with Jago for another year, he is obviously an enormous talent and a rider that is more than capable of challenging for victories, and we are also happy to reach a new agreement with Ben for 2020. I feel both of these riders have potential to do well next season and myself, and the whole team, is happy support them in 2020.”