When the FIM World Motocross Championship was first staged in 1957 (won by the Swede Bill Nilsson on an AJS) it used a 500cc engine displacement formula, but a 250cc class was added in 1962 and a 125cc class in 1975. In 2004 the classes were revamped to reflect the shift towards 4-stroke engines, and renamed MX1, MX2 and MX3.
Up until the end of 2013, the most successful rider in the history of the Championship was the Belgian Stefan Everts, who won ten titles between 1991 and 2006. Not far behind, and surely with an eye on catching Everts sometime over the next few years, was the Italian Antonio Cairoli who had won seven titles, including five consecutive MX1 titles between 2009 and 2013, and two MX2 titles.
For 2014, the MX3 class was abandoned, leaving the MXGP class for 2-stroke bikes of between 175cc and 250cc and 4-stroke bikes of between 290cc and 450cc, and MX2 (with a maximum age limit of 23) for 2-stroke bikes of between 100cc and 125cc and 4-stroke bikes of between 175cc and 250cc. The series was due to visit 17 venues around the world, including Matterley Basin in the UK, between March and September.
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Cairoli once again proved unbeatable in the premier class, and heads into the penultimate round in Brazil with an 81 point lead over his closest rival, Belgian Jeremy Van Horebeek. In MX2, Dutch teenager and reigning champion Jeffrey Herlings had a 57 point lead over Frenchman Jordi Tixier.