Winner of the MX2 title stepping straight up from 2022 season.
Current MX2 world champion Maxime Renaux will step up to the premier class of MXGP with Monster Energy Yamaha for the 2022 season after signing a two-year deal with the factory team.
The 21-year-old Frenchman will partner Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff on YZ450FM machinery from next year, replacing the outgoing Ben Watson.
“I’m really excited for the new challenge and the next chapter, to move to MXGP,” Renaux commented. “I know it’s going to be an all-new challenge and it is the most important part of my career because once you reach MXGP you are at the top – there is no class to move forward.
“I feel ready for it and I am really looking forward to making this experience a good one and a long one. I have tested the bike and I feel already really good and really comfortable. I’ve been riding a 450 in the past, so it’s not a new bike for me, but it is the first time on a factory YZ450FM.
“I already feel super-ready for it, so now we will spend the winter testing and developing the bike to suit me as best it can, so that we are ready for next season. I’m looking forward to everything.”
Renaux has been with Yamaha for more than a decade and has worked his way up the Yamaha Racing pyramid. He won the Junior 125cc World Championship in 2015, later debuted in MX2 during 2019 and took a podium on his way to P7 in the standings.
The following year, in 2020, Renaux quickly established himself as a title threat. He eventually finished third in the standings after claiming his first-ever GP race and overall victories at the MXGP of Italy in Faenza.
After many notable performances throughout his first two years in MX2, Renaux was drafted into the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for 2021 and went on to 10 race wins, 14 podiums and five overall wins on his way to the title.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team owner Louis Vosters added: “We are very pleased to be welcoming Maxime into the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team alongside Jeremy and Glenn. The MXGP World Championship is hugely competitive, but Maxime has the speed and skills to have a promising rookie season.
“He has spent all of his career inside the Yamaha family and Maxime is an example of the successful Yamaha pyramid, which focuses on bringing a rider through the junior ranks to the pinnacle of motocross racing. I look forward to a great collaboration.”