CLS MONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI
ProX Racing parts and JE Pistons will be official technical sponsors for all teams that operate under the umbrella of Team CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit.
For 2012 the team consists of French racers Christophe and Sebastien Pourcel in the MX1 class riding for Team CP377 and English rider Tommy Searle and Belgian Joel Roelants in the MX2 class riding for Team Floride. The riders are all considered to be favorites for world championship victories during the 2012 season. French racer Maxime Desprey will complete for the team in the EMX2 class riding for team NGS Junior.
The long relation with Harry Nolte, technical manager of all the teams and PMI Europe B.V. has lead to the agreement with CLS. Harry has worked with our brands for many World champions in the past. The trust in the quality parts of ProX Racing Parts and JE Pistons has CLS Kawasaki’s team manager Jean-Jacques Luisetti made decided to choose for those PMI brands.
“PMI Europe B.V. has worked closely with Harry Nolte in the last decennia. As we know each other very well, Harry introduced us with CLS. They are looking for high quality products and especially for a high performance piston that meet the requirements of the demanded riders like Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searl. ProX Racing Parts and JE Pistons are very excited about this partnership. As a top team in the Motocross Grand PriX we expect to have a lot of exposure with our brand names globally.” Said Marketing manager Mattijs te Riele.
Team CP 377
Competition: GPMX, MX1
Riders: Christophe Pourcel (F), Sebastian Pourcel (F)
Christophe and Sébastien Pourcel, one of the most illustrious brotherly duos in the history of motocross, are reunited in a single team for the first time since 2007 as they go for gold in the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship for Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit this year.
The new squad is the MX1 division of the CLS Kawasaki team under direction of Jean Jacques Luisetti, owner of Floride Motos, one of Europe's top Kawasaki dealerships. It was decided early on to equip separate race trucks for the CP377 MX1 effort and the Floride MX2 team; the day-to-day activities of the MX1 team will be managed by Yann Lozano with Harry Nolte acting as technical supervisor for both teams.
The decision to expand the activities into MX1 came about suddenly in the middle of last summer when Christophe Pourcel, the enigmatic Frenchman who has won titles on both sides of the Atlantic and who lends his initials and career racing number to the team, was considering his future after his 2011 ride with another manufacturer and sponsors had come to an abrupt end. Christophe had previously enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Kawasaki, Pro Circuit and Monster Energy and had already been assisted in his formative years by Luisetti. All parties came together to resurrect the career of the 22 year old and, entering the final quarter of the MX1world series under the CLS banner, he raced to emphatic moto victories at each of the last three GPs as moves went ahead to build the infrastructure for a full season of MX1 GP racing in 2012.
Sébastien Pourcel, Christophe's elder brother, has suffered repeated bad luck with injury in recent years but has bounced back each time to prove that he still had the speed to race for the win at the highest level, and there was a certain inevitability that every effort would be made to incorporate his talents too within the new CP377 set-up.
When the Pourcel brothers last raced together in the same team in 2007 they each secured GP victories and, whilst Christophe has not yet ruled out the possibility of returning to race in the USA at some time in the future, he is fully committed to the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship in 2012 and the early season performances of each brother suggest that both of them will be serious contenders for top honours in this year's series.
After an illustrious career on both sides of the Atlantic in the MX2 class Christophe Pourcel returns to the GP scene full-time at the age of 23 years to the Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit assault on the 2012 FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship.
A member of the Kawasaki family since his phenomenal youth career, during which time he won three consecutive French titles in the 85cc class. On stepping up to the MX2 class at the tender age of 15 he initially raced a KX125 against machines twice that size and turned heads by challenging for top ten finishes. For 2005 Christophe and elder brother Sebastien were equipped with KX250Fs and Christophe recorded his first MX2 GP moto win at Loket in the Czech Republic on his way to fifth in the world rankings.
The following season saw Christophe control the MX2 World Championship from early in the summer to clinch the 2006 world title in front of his adoring French fans in the final round at Ernee in September. With victory in only his second-ever US supercross at Phoenix/Arizona the following January as he tried out the US scene prior to the envisaged full season in 2008, the world seemed to be at Christophe's feet but an horrendous accident in Ireland that summer when another rider, not warned by obligatory yellow caution flags, landed on him from a great height over an unsighted jump. The internal injuries sustained in the impact saw Christophe fighting for his life for several days and he was to miss the entire 2008 season before he could return to the saddle.
Prior to the injury Christophe had already signed a contract to race for the legendary Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team in the USA and team owner Mitch Payton was repaid for retaining his faith in his French signing throughout the enforced layoff when the partnership swept the AMA East Coast Lites Supercross title in both 2009 and 2010 with five victories from eight events each year.
Forced to seek alternative employment for his move to the 450cc class in 2011 as Pro Circuit Kawasaki was still in the process of developing the logistics for their entry to the class, Christophe reluctantly accepted an offer from another manufacturer but, after a brief, unhappy association, withdrew from US racing and was immediately approached by CLS Kawasaki team owner Jean Jacques Luisetti to return to the GP scene.
After several weeks of thorough preparation Christophe joined the MX1 World Championship for the final rounds and immediately made a stunning impact as he won a moto at each of the last three GPs to send out a warning shot across the bows of the opposition and also to encourage his enthusiasm for a full-time return to world championship motocross in 2012.
Reunited with elder brother Sebastien for the first time since 2007, Christophe will lead the CP377 division of Team CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit into the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship and has already shown that he is prepared to challenge for the title with a stunning victory in his opening race of the 2012 season.
Sébastien Pourcel returns to the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship this year alongside younger brother Christophe in Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit determined to shrug off several traumatic seasons when serious injuries have continually interrupted a career which had already taken him to four GP victories in the premier world series by the age of 23.
A life-long Kawasaki rider, Sébastien won the French “Minivert” series way back in 1995 and added his first national title in 2001 when he won the French 125cc junior series before advancing through the ranks to record his maiden MX2 GP podium in Germany in 2004, his first full season of world championship racing.
Starting the 2005 season with another podium in the Belgian sand, Sébastien was one of the favourites for the title but a broken arm just a fortnight later in Spain put paid to his hopes and he spent the 2006 campaign in the shadow of younger brother Christophe who clinched the MX2 world title that year for Kawasaki.
A conscious decision to move to the MX1 world series in 2007 aboard the KX450F soon brought dividends with a podium already at round four and a devastating double win two months later in the GP of Italy at Faenza. 2008 brought more victories, culminated in his stunning individual victory at the Motocross of Nations, the world's most prestigious race, to herald the promise of a stellar 2009 season.
The tightrope which the world's top motocrossers continually walk was never more evident than at a year-ending invitational race when Sébastien suffered a devastating double injury to shoulder and hip, the after-effects of which were to plague him for nearly two years.
The Kawasaki Racing Team stuck with Sébastien throughout his long convalescence and he appeared to be nearing his best form again in the summer of 2010 as he posted the fastest time in the opening practice at Teutschenthal in Germany before clipping a haybale in the second session and crashing on his head. The resultant concussion left Sébastien with double vision and after further medical examination several weeks of complete rest were ordered by the medics.
Only returning to race action a few weeks from the end of the campaign his podium performance in the final GP of the year at Fermo in Italy was nothing short of sensational, his charge through up the leaderboard in race two nearly clinching the victory.
His performances during the early warm-up races of 2011 suggested that he would carry this form into the new season, but a crash during a guest appearance at a British Championship race a fortnight berfore the opening GP left Sébastien with vertebrae damage which would put him out of action for the remainder of the season.
Getting back on a bike in the closing weeks of the year, Sébastien has spent the winter working meticulously through a well-conceived physical build-up plan and gave evidence that he has regained the speed necessary to be competitive at GP level when he set the fastest time in qualification at the opening round of the French Championship.
Competition: GPMX, MX2
Riders: Tommy Searle (UK), Joël Roelants (B)
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit go into the 2012 FIM MX2 World Motocross Championship series with confidence and determination; after medal-winning success during the last two seasons, world number three Tommy Searle and his new partner Joel Roelants want nothing less than the world title this year.
For both riders it will be their final year in the MX2 category because of the age-capping rule, and both 22 year olds will be fully-equipped as all partners call on the lessons learnt during the last two years to send both the Englishman and the Belgian to the line perfectly prepared for the task ahead of them.
After running previously under the CLS banner, the MX2 team has taken on the name Floride this year to reflect the involvement of team owner Jean Jacques Luisetti's flourishing Kawasaki dealership of the same name in Marseille; Floride Motos has been one of Europe's most successful Kawasaki dealerships for many years with a reputation for customer satisfaction second to none.
A supporter of French motocross for many years Luisetti took the decision to form his own team as recently as 2006 when former 125cc world champion Mickael Maschio was seeking assistance for his move to the MX1 class and, although the success of that initial effort was thwarted by rider injury, "JJ" remained undaunted and saw the first reward when Anthony Boissiere took second place in the French national championship during the team's second year of operation.
Steven Frossard, a promising rookie, had also been signed that year and the fine judgment in spotting this rising talent was rewarded in 2008 when he clinched the French MX2 title and took several podium placings at the GPs. The team's first moto victories and sixth place in the world rankings followed one year later and in 2010, the team now collaborating with Pro Circuit, America's most successful race team of the last two decades, and mercurial technical supervisor Harry Nolte, a multiple world championship winning mechanic, the success story rolled on as Frossard earnt his and the team's first GP victory in Sweden on their way to the series bronze medal.
With Frossard decision to race MX1 the following year, and the appropriate team structure not yet in place to launch simultaneous attacks on two world series, Luisetti took decisive action to sign young Englishmen Tommy Searle and Max Anstie for 2011 as the team was accorded the status of being Kawasaki's official MX2 GP squad.
Both riders responded magnificently to the support they received, Searle ending the year third in the World Championship, Anstie sixth; Searle won two GPs and raced to no less than 11 podiums, while Anstie also took his first trophy at the final round after missing the podium by just a single place on six occasions in his rookie GP season.
The team has also established a Junior division for 2012 to encourage and assist new talent in their path to the top. This division will run under the banner of NGS with Bruno Losito, the man who guided two-times world champion Marvin Musquin to his initial world championship successes, as manager; Maxime Desprey, a highly-intelligent and capable 18 year old from the Burgundy region of France will chase the European MX2 title for the team.
With the continued high-profile involvement of Kawasaki Motors Europe, title sponsors Monster Energy and Pro Circuit and the dedicated technical crew headed by Harry Nolte, both Searle and Roelants are leading candidates for the supreme goal of the world title in this year's MX2 world series.
Tommy Searle enters his final season in the FIM MX2 World Motocross Championship with Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit as one of the outright favourites for the title, having been amongst the medal placings in each of his last three seasons in the series.
The 22 year old Englishman, who enjoyed a stellar youth career on Kawasaki and has spent most of his professional career in the green family. World series runner-up in both 2007 and 2008 before a two-year interlude in the USA, Tommy made a successful return to the world stage last summer with Kawasaki Team CLS, eventually finishing a close third in the points with no less than 11 podium placings during the 15 round series, the highlights being two GP victories in France and Germany.
Although racing at the front from the word go on his highly reliable and competitive KX250F-SR, Tommy's relative unfamiliarity with the GP scene after two years racing in the vastly different world of US motocross occasionally cost him points during the first half of the campaign, but two freak accidents, the first as he tangled with dislodged track marking in Portugal and the second when he suffered machine damage after being hit by a wayward rival at the first corner in Sweden, eventually cost him a shot at the title itself.
Already on his GP debut for Kawasaki at the tender age of 15 Tommy had displayed the dogged determination which has won the hearts of fans worldwide throughout his career as he twice got back up off the ground to score world championship points, and it was typical of his character that he bounced back at the end of the 2011 world series to outscore all of his rivals with two victories and four second places in the final six motos.
A brilliant display at the season-ending Motocross of Nations, when he jumped aboard an unfamiliar KX450F, rounded off his successful return to the world scene in 2011 and Tommy has already signalled his intention to battle for the 2012 MX2 world title with a stunning second place in his opening warm-up race of the year aboard his KX250F-SR GP machine, headed only by 450cc-mounted Kawasaki colleague Christophe Pourcel in the combined-class race at Lacapelle Marival in central France.
A newcomer to Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit this year, Joel Roelants is no stranger to the green machines, having chosen Kawasaki during his formative years as an amateur. Just under a month older than teammate Tommy Searle, the hard-working Belgian artisan is an ideal partner in Kawasaki's challenge for the 2012 FIM World Motocross Championship.
Joel chose to build his career gradually before entering the GPs full-time in 2008, but had already shown his promise two years earlier with third place in the UEM European 125cc series and a stunning victory in the FIM World Junior Championship before jumping onto a 250cc machine for an impressive late-season top 10 performance in the Dutch MX2 GP.
Electing to again race the European series as he faced his first full MX2 campaign in 2007, Joel recorded a double win during the Dutch round in his native sand before again impressing on the world stage with several late-season wild card GP rides, decisively scoring points on different types of surface.
A solid GP rookie season in 2008 saw Joel finish the MX2 world series in 13th position, the highlight a glorious second-placed moto finish to future teammate Searle at the final round in Italy, and it was no surprise when he shot up the world rankings to seventh in 2009 with a superb second place at his home round in Belgium.
Another podium placing in 2010, this time just across the border in the Netherlands, saw Joel advance to fifth in the world, but multiple mid-season injuries hindered further progress last summer though they could not prevent him retaining a top 10 world ranking with a series of strong second-half performances.
Whilst Joel is undoubtedly at his best on the rugged sand tracks where he has recorded all of his GP podium finishes to date, he has also performed admirably on hardpack as evidenced by top three moto finishes in Spain and France. Kawasaki had no hesitation in signing Joel to further strengthen their challenge for the MX2 world title, and of course the 22 year old jumped at the chance to sign for Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit where he will renew his partnership with the team's technical supervisor Harry Nolte, with whom he worked during his first year on the world stage in 2008.
Team NGS Junior
Competition: EMX, MX2
Rider: Maxime Desprey
With an eye to the future Team CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit has signed the intelligent French youngster Maxime Desprey the 18 year from Saint Remy in the Burgundy region will contest the European MX2 Championship within the newly-established NGS Junior division of the team under the watchful eye of Bruno Losito.
Having started racing at the age of seven Maxime scored his first victory the following year and has enjoyed success, first at regional level, later in national events and recently on the international stage. In 2006 he registered the first of three consecutive regional title in the 85cc class before taking on boys from all over France in 2009 to win both the motocross and supercross national titles in the category.
Maxime's move to 125cc competition was blighted when a fractured bicep caused him to miss four months of the season, but he showed character to record a podium finish on his return to racing in the final round of the national junior championship.
A further career step last year saw Maxime contest the European MX2 series. A broken collarbone in February could not prevent him racing bravely to fourth place in the tortuous sand of the Dutch opener at Easter and, after recording top six results on all types of track throughout the summer, he ended the series seventh with a podium finish in the final round at Gaildorf in Southern Germany. The season was rounded off with best individual performance in the prestigious Coupe de l'Avenir youth contest in Belgium where Maxime led the French team to victory. An intelligent youngster, Maxime even found time during the summer to sit his A level examinations in natural science.
With the full technical support of Team CLS Kawasaki and a sympathetic mentor in Bruno Losito, the gritty youngster is poised to make an even greater impact on the European series this summer, hopefully as a prelude to a long successful relationship with Kawasaki at th highest level.