Born on 19 June 2007 in Novi Ligure, Italy
The FIM 85cc Junior Motocross World Championship has a long and illustrious history as a stepping stone for some of the biggest names in the sport.
Future World Champions Ken Roczen, Jeffrey Herlings and Paul Jonass have all put themselves on the global motocross radar here – along with current MX2 front-runner Rene Hofer – and let us not forget multi-time AMA indoor and outdoor kingpin Zach Osborne who claimed the title all the way back in 2004.
Of course, they all had a long way to go – and a lot of work to do – to realise their full potential, but one rider who is determined to follow in their footsteps is Italian hot-prospect Mattia Barbieri (GASGAS) who made the title his own at Megalopolis in Greece on 1 August.
The fourteen-year-old, who was born less than an hour’s drive north of Genoa, now has the honour of being GASGAS’s first-ever motocross World Champion following his gritty performance in Greece.
True to the saying that ‘quitters never win and winners never quit’, Barbieri shrugged off the disappointment of trailing home a distant third in the opening moto – over twenty seconds behind race winner Vitezslav Marek (KTM) – to turn the tables in race two.
In a winner-takes-all second moto he hardly put a wheel wrong to claim victory and with Marek finishing third the title was his on a tie-break.
FIM 85cc Junior Motocross World Champion - 2021