As one of the few from the 2014 batch of MX2 riders that have reached the age ceiling of 23 years and have to leave the MX2 category, former European Champion Christophe Charlier is allegedly close to agreeing a contract for 2015.
The quiet Corsican is one of the last to find an MXGP saddle and will apparently announce a deal with either Honda Motor Europe or a Kawasaki Grand Prix team in the coming days.
Charlier does not have too many options after another campaign blighted with injury problems. He won his first MX2 moto in 2013 (on two occasions the first in Sweden and another at the British GP) and represented France at the Motocross of Nations but a broken leg in Thailand for round two threw his season with Yamaha Factory Racing into the mire.
He added another chequered flag in the Czech Republic this year but his potential has yet to be fully realised after four terms in Grand Prix.
Other athletes in the same age bracket and whom have to depart MX2 include Arnaud Tonus, Romain Febvre, Jose Butron, Glenn Coldenhoff and Alessandro Lupino and only the latter, together with Charlier, are as yet unconfirmed with a team or manufacturer for 2015. Lupino could well join a new Italian Honda team – Assomotor – in MXGP.
As one of the tallest riders in the category Charlier was hampered by his size on the 250 despite one of the most dominant European Championship wins of the modern era when he ruled the 2009 EMX250 competition with the likes of Herlings, Roczen and Tonkov for company.
Whether he turns out in Kawasaki colours or becomes a new rider for the 24MX Honda team the news should be known by the time of the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend. He has only raced Yamahas in Grand Prix. Incidentally, if Charlier does race the CRF450R then the rider who he will replace, Xavier Boog, is rumoured to be look for a contract to compete in Enduro for 2015.
“At the moment I don’t know,” Charlier said in Brazil last weekend. “There are a couple of options but I know that it is finished with Yamaha. There was a chance of riding for Kawasaki but then also with Honda. I think we will know by or before Mexico.”