The FIM Motocross Commission started working on a Motocross Championship for very young riders in 1998. Some of the guidelines for the project were that it should be one single event in order to attract young riders from all over the world. Last but not least: riders participating in the FIM Junior must not have scored any FIM MXGP/MX2 Motocross World Championship points in the same year.

In 1999 the first edition of the FIM Junior Motocross World Cup was run in Gaildorf/Germany and Belgium's Kevin Strijbos 85cc class (12-15 years at the time/currently 12 to 14 years). The 125cc class (15-18 years/currently 13 to 17 years) was added as of 2001.

The FIM Junior Motocross World Cup was upgraded to a World Championship as of 2004.

In 2006, a Championship for national teams counting the best overall result of each nation's rider in each class was added. Just like their elders do in the prestigious FIM Motocross of Nations, these young riders will defend their country (based upon their passport).

As of 2010, the event has been restricted to 2-stroke motorcycles only. Not only are they cheaper to maintain and easier to work on (very often, "dad" is the mechanic), they also are the ultimate weapon to learn how to race.

The 65cc class (10-12 years) joined the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship ranks in 2010. It continued as a European event from 2014 to 2017 and came back as a FIM World Cup in 2018.

Actually, by participating young riders get a first bite of FIM Motocross regulations and competition. And very often, it tastes like "more"…Previous winners and participants are now household names in FIM World Championships or the sport.

Apart from Kevin Strijbos, other winners in the 85cc class are Ryan Villopoto (2003), Zack Osborne (2004), Steven Clarke (2005), Alessandro Lupino (2006), Ken Roczen (2007), Jeffrey Herlings (2008), Henry Jacobi (2010), Pauls Jonass (2011), Brian Hsu (2012), Conrad Mewse (2013) and René Hofer (2016).

Ryan Villopoto (SX/2011-2012-2013-2014), Ken Roczen (MX2/2011) and Jeffrey Herlings (MX2/2012-2013-2016 + MXGP/2018), Pauls Jonass (MX2/2017) took more FIM World Championships later in their career.

The 125cc class winners' circle includes: Tanel Leok (2000), David Guarnieri (2002), Joël Roelants (2006), Matiss Karro (2008), Eli Tomac (2009), Jordi Tixier (2010), Joey Savatgy (2011, Tim Gajser (2012), Pauls Jonass (2013), Brian Hsu (2014), Maxime Renaux (2015), Jago Geerts (2016) and Mattia Guadagnini (2019).

Jordi Tixier added another FIM Motocross World Championship to his name (MX2/2014), whereas Tim Gajser went out to score four more FIM Motocross World Championships (MX2/2015 + MXGP 2016-2019-2020). And Eli Tomac finally got “his” other FIM World Championship last year (SX/2020)

The 65cc class winners' circle includes: Jorge Prado (2011), Caleb Grotheus (2013) and Jett Lawrence (2014).

Spanish wonder kid Jorge Prado made his way through the Junior ranks without ever winning another Junior title… Well, with another two FIM World Championships to his name (MX2/2018-2019), he is now the idol of many young riders.

And then there are the “others”… The list of FIM Motocross World Champions who participated in the FIM Junior but never won a Junior title include Antonio Cairoli (MX2/2005-2007 + MX1/2009-2010-2011-2012-2013-2014), Christophe Pourcel (MX2/2006), David Philippaerts (MX1/2007), Tyla Rattray (MX2/2008), Pierre-Alexandre Renet (MX3/2009), Marvin Musquin (MX2/2009-2010), James Stewart (SX/2007-2009-2010) and Tom Vialle (MX2/2020).

Finally, there are the ones that have not won any FIM World Title (yet) but at one point in their younger days where behind the start gate of a FIM Junior Motocross event: Nicolas Aubin, Xavier Boog, Steven Frossard, Gert Krestinov, Gareth Swanepoel, Davy Millsaps, Rui Gonçalves, Evgeny Bobryshev, Max Nagl, Clément Desalle, Glenn Coldenhoff. Jeremy Seewer, Dylan Ferrandis, Hunter Lawrence, Thomas Kjer Olsen, Davy Pootjes, Alvin Östlund, Calvin Vlaanderen, Brian Bogers, Mikkel Haarup, Jordan Smith, Roan Van de Moosdijk, Chase Sexton, Artem Guryev, Benoit Paturel, Vsevolod Brylyakov, Austin Forkner, Arminus Jasikonis, Michael Mosiman, Enzo Lopez, etc. The list is impressive and does not stop there…

By the way, girls can also participate in the FIM Junior Motocross World Championsps/Cup) and compete against the boys of their age. And there have been some who took up the challenge. FIM Women’s Motocross World Champion Courtney Duncan (WMX/2019-2020) took bronze in the 85cc class in Taupo (2009/New Zealand) and Dutch hopeful Lotte Van Drunen showed what she is capable of by scoring a fourth overall in the 65cc class in Horsham (2018/Australia) and a third overall in the 85cc class in Pietramurata (2019/Italy). Watch out for that name when she moves up to the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, possibly in 2022…

Other “guest stars” in the FIM Junior Motocross include:

  • FIM SuperMoto World Champion Adrien Chareyre (S1/2007-2011 + S2/2008-2009).
  • Can and Deniz Öncü. Yes, the two brothers who dominated the 2018 Red Bull Rookies Cup… Yes, the same “Can Öncü” who - racing as a “Wild Card” - became the youngest ever Grand Prix winner in Valencia last year at the age of 15 and his little brother who is stepping up in the Moto3 class.
  • 2015 FIM Enduro Junior World Champion Jamie McCanney.
  • FIM FreeStyle Motocross World Championship rider Filip Podmol.

Still have doubts to come and watch the “Juniors” racing in Megalopolis?