The FIM has now clarified the situation on the qualification criteria for champions to continue their MX2 career until the 23-year-old cut-off.

It was initially understood that Pauls Jonass, still 21 so not eliminated for 2019 on age grounds, would have to move up to MXGP next year as the ruling was initially announced as ‘a champion may only defend his title once’.

CMS rule 2.2.9 has now been amended to ‘riders who have won two FIM MX2 World Championships or reached the maximum age of 23 are not eligible to participate in the MX2 class’.

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The wording now clarifies that a rider is first eliminated in the year after he has won a second MX2 title, not automatically two years after he has been crowned for the first time.

Should the Latvian successfully defend his title this year then he must definitely move to MXGP but, should he lose out to Jorge Prado, Jonass can continue in MX2 for one more year until he ages out.

With a lack of suitable talent after KTM were pipped to the signature of Jed Beaton by Husky, Factory KTM could continue in 2019 with Prado as their sole MX2 rider if Jonass is ruled out by a successful title defence this summer.

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