Riders and teams have once again shown enormous interest in the 2019 ADAC MX Masters. More than 200 riders have already signed up for the four classes, the ADAC MX Junior Cup 85, ADAC MX Junior Cup 125, ADAC MX Youngster Cup and ADAC MX Masters since the start of registration a fortnight ago. The ADAC MX Masters will again hold seven meetings in Germany and Austria next year. The junior ADAC MX Masters classes have been regarded as a route into an international career as a pro ever since the series first began, which is why the limited number of places at the starting gate are in such high demand.
The top flight of the ADAC MX Masters looks extremely strong again and continues to attract plenty of MX stars to Germany. Two top German title contenders, Max Nagl (KTM Sarholz Racing Team) and Stefan Ekerold (Team Castrol Power 1 Suzuki Moto-Base), have already submitted entries for 2019.
31-year-old Nagl changed teams recently and will race for KTM Sarholz Racing Team next season, which means he will be returning to his roots, because the 2012 team world champion used to line up as a novice for the Westerwald-based outfit managed by Burkhard Sarholz and so, will already know what to expect in his new team. He will also be fairly familiar with his new bike, as he has raced before with the KTM factory team. "Of course, a lot has changed since then on the technical front," said Nagl, who completed his first few practice runs on the new KTM 450 SX-F during the last couple of days. "Everything is still relatively new and we have only just begun work on setup." Nevertheless, the Bavarian rider is already highly motivated and confident about the upcoming season. "I didn't have it easy this year with an ongoing injury to a finger," he told us. "But everything is looking good for 2019. I'm in a great team and definitely intend to be a title contender in the ADAC MX Masters."
23-year-old Stefan Ekerold has similar goals for the start of the new season. He will be back racing with Castrol Power 1 Suzuki Moto-Base in 2019, the team that he left at the end of 2017. "In retrospect, that was probably a mistake at the time," he said. "I get on really well with team boss Michi Peters and feel very much at home in the outfit. What's more, the Suzuki RM-Z 450 is definitely my sort of bike." He is quite realistic, though, about his chances. "Riders like Max Nagl represent the benchmark internationally, for sure!" said Ekerold. "I'll have to work on my consistency in order to win the ADAC MX Masters title, and everything will have to slot into place. Still, I'm on the right track. My pace is quite good, and I definitely aim to finish regularly on the podium."
There's also some good news to report about a top rider from the ADAC MX Youngster Cup. Rene Hofer (KTM Junior Racing) had really stood out for being very talented in the first race of the year but sustained serious injury in a crash during the fifth meeting at Tensfeld. However, the young Austrian has been able to train on his bike again for the first time in ages and is confident about next season. "I feel much better now and my injury hardly troubles me anymore," said the 16-year-old schoolboy. "My first couple of outings on the bike went really well and I will be back training hard after Christmas." Hofer will be chasing titles again in the ADAC MX Youngster Cup during 2019 and also plans to contest the European Championship, the EMX250, and the MX2 World Championship.