Portugal’s leading motocrosser Rui Gonçalves insists he still has form and speed to run with the best in the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship and is hoping to confirm a ride soon for the 2015 season.

The former MX2 championship runner-up has enjoyed sustained factory rides with KTM and also Honda and this year has been diligently working as part of the British Bike it Yamaha Cosworth although somewhat marginalised with the majority of the team’s resources being poured into development of the new YZ250F for their MX2 racing programme.

Gonçalves, who will again represent Portugal at the Motocross of Nations this weekend as one of the longest serving riders in the entire field, accrued nine top 10 finishes from 34 motos this year and also battled small injury issues and illness.


He came into the team late after confirming the saddle in the depths of winter. “It is not a good season – it is not the highlight of my career – but I have learnt a lot,” the veteran felt compelled to say after the recent Grand Prix of Leon in Mexico.

“We do not have the R&D of the factory teams so it was just pretty much me and my mechanic doing what we can,” he explained. “I want to thank Yamaha for all their support. The bike has a really good base and it was nice to figure out the best settings for me.”

A sensitive rider with a good feeling for set-up and penchant for testing, Gonçalves brings a high level of experience thanks to a GP career that begun at the start of the century.

He is adamant that he can still fulfil a role in MXGP. “It is unbelievable. I am 29 now and I have been doing this for 13 years. When I was a kid I knew I was working so much [on his riding] and I imagined losing the motivation one day, but the older I get the more energy I have to carry on to prove I am still here,” he reveals. “I am not old and I am not young but I have 13 years of experience behind me. I am definitely looking ahead to 2015.”

Gonçalves is rumoured to be talking with Italian Team Owner Illario Ricci concerning Husqvarna machinery from next year but could be expected to bring his own funding to the deal. Bike it Yamaha Cosworth is almost certainly going to be focussing on MX2.