Monster Energy Yamaha are pleased to announce that 2012 European Champion Mel Pocock has been confirmed to represent the factory team in the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship in the MX2-GP class on Yamaha YZ250F Cosworth technology and will race alongside new Australian signing Dean Ferris. The firm emphasis on exciting youth and promising talent is bolstered by the addition of French teenager Maxime Desprey alongside the duo in the Steve Dixon-run division of the squad.
Pocock originally completed a Grand Prix season for Dixon in 2010 as a rookie. It was a tough learning experience but helped towards the English racer’s evolution into the strong and confident professional seen in the paddock today. The starlet emphatically clinched the 2012 European MX2 Championship – the high profile feeder series to Grand Prix – with a fantastic six wins from seven rounds in September and only narrowly missed out on an impressive ‘double’ by taking the eight-round British MX2 Championship to the very last moto several weeks ago.
Pocock also impressed on several MX2-GP substitute appearances in 2012 where his speed was enough to place him in contention for top ten results. “It is a dream,” the twenty year old revealed on his new deal. “When I came here a few years ago I didn’t think I would be signing up for a ride like this and to be ‘factory’. I think I have it in me now to deliver. I am older, more mature and I want to be a part of the front group in the world championship next year. That is my objective and I think I can do it.”
After Grand Prix outings in the last two years in the MX1 class (and two top four finishes in the fierce Australian Championship) determined Aussie Dean Ferris is a bold acquisition for the team in MX2 where he remains eligible thanks to his 22 years. “Obviously I’m super-excited to be a Monster Energy Yamaha rider and this is the best ride I have had so far with a very good and established team,” he said. “I know the YZ250F is very competitive and I feel like I have a great chance to show what I can do in 2013. I know a bit about the Dixon-led team having been part of the GP paddock and also with people like Andrew McFarlane having raced and won for them. I am fully recovered from the shoulder problem I had earlier this year and I’m raring to go.”
Maxime Desprey was one of Pocock’s rivals on the European season this year and was actually the first rider to beat the eventual champion when he ended Pocock’s six moto winning streak across the hills of Loket for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. He then defeated Pocock in both motos at the British Grand Prix several weeks later and was heading for a decent finale to the series when a broken collarbone ruled him out with one meeting remaining. Desprey – another of the stylish and rapid motocross racers to emerge from France in the last decade – is a former junior motocross and supercross national champion and after two years turning heads at European level is now ready for the jump to MX2-GP.
“This is a great opportunity for me and the team and the bike are both proven, and it’s that sort of quality that gives you confidence as a racer,” the nineteen year old commented. “I can’t wait to get started as a Monster Energy Yamaha rider and next season cannot come along quick enough.”
“It’s nice to have these exciting riders onboard for next season as MX2 continues to become a category where we are seeing the cream of youngsters around the world rise to the top,” said Steve Dixon. “We had a great season with Mel and the rate of his development has shown what hard work and the right attitude can do. I see no reason why he cannot aim for a top six finish in MX2. Through the European campaign we have come to learn more about Maxime and he is another prospect we are happy to work with and Dean and brings some valuable experience from MX1 and from leading the Australian Championship. Overall I think we can be very optimistic of what we can do and show in 2013 both through the riders and our machinery that will again be very competitive. We want to add to our growing list of Grand Prix winners and on a personal note I’m already looking forward to my twenty-fourth Grand Prix year with a novel calendar and through the enthusiasm we have through the team.”