-- 2009 World Junior Motocross Championships - Final Comprehensive
Report (By, KAJX Communications for MCNEWS.COM.AU)
The 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship was held at the Digger McEwen Track, Taupo, New Zealand on the 15th and 16th of August, 2009.
69 riders were drawn to the event from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, Great Britain, the United States and Australia, plus a contingent from New Zealand competing in two classes the 85cc and 125cc.
“I am very happy that MNZ will host the most important junior motocross event in the world in Taupo,” said the head of the FIM, the world governing body for the sport, Dr Wolfgang Srb, “It is a very important step for this championship, as it will be for the first time outside of Europe. I am happy that this task was given to New Zealand.”
The Taupo venue, home track of New Zealand’s 2004 MX2 World Champion Ben Townley, consists of natural and man made jumping obstacles, encompassing two sawdust sections, and a sand section. The 85cc class had 32 competitors from 12 to 15 years of age, while the 125cc class had 37 competitors, 15 to 18 years of age.
When asked about the sand section, American Eli Tomac commented “it’s pretty gnarly, it is really technical.” Australian Tye Simmonds further commented, “It gets really rough, you have to try and hold on all the way through it, it is a great thing to have on the track.”
Australia’s attendance at the 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship represented the first time Motorcycling Australia (MA) has sent a contingent to the event. The selection process was vigorous with riders competing as a support class at the MX Nationals; round one in Albury/Wodonga for the 85cc class, and the 125cc selection race was held in the Nation’s Capital Canberra during round two.
The final selection, being made after 24 hopefuls had completed a training stint at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), for the selection of eight riders and two non-travelling reserves in each of the two classes.
Finally, Luke Clout, Dale Fear, Jarred Jeffcoat, Dylan Long, Hayden Mellross, Scott Mann, Joel Dinsdale and Jay Wilson jetted off to New Zealand to compete in the 85cc class. While Ross Beaton, Josh Cachia, Dylan Peterson, Matthew Phillips, Harley Quinlan, Jason Reed, Tye Simmonds, and Luke Styke made up the 125cc class.
In a pre-event interview, Team Coach Greg Moss stated that “We’ve never won a World Motocross Championship, Jeff Leisk could have been our first all those years ago, Chad [Reed] was second in the world before heading to America, Andrew McFarlane came so close and got hurt, so we’ve certainly had guys capable... but this team will hopefully get one this weekend, it’s all within their ability.”
Excitement in the Australian camp for a world title grew after Saturday’s 85cc first free practice with Jay Wilson, Dylan Long and Hayden Mellross lodging top 10 lap times. The fastest youngster was Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis.
In the 125cc free practice, American Eli Tomac was quickest. Australia’s Dylan Peterson, Tye Simmonds, Josh Cachia, Luke Styke, Harley Quinlan all in the top ten.
In wet conditions, the Taupo track started to deteriorate as the day wore on. During Saturday’s 40-minute Qualifying sessions, Australia continued to dominate with top ten placings in the 85cc and 125cc class.
In 85cc qualifying Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis posted the fastest lap time of 2:12.094. Australian’s followed with Jay Wilson second fastest, Dylan Long fourth, Luke Clout fifth and Hayden Mellross ninth fastest.
In the 125cc qualifying, Australian Tye Simmonds posted the fastest lap time of 2:09.671 ahead of Team Netherlands Glenn Coldenhoff and American young gun Eli Tomac. Josh Cachia was fourth fastest, Ross Beaton seventh, and Luke Styke tenth fastest. All 16 Aussies qualifying inside the top 24.
“I think we’re learning a little bit more as we go along,” Said Team Coach Gregg Moss.
“You look at Eli Tomac [in the 125cc class], he was still setting good lap times later on in the mud, and Glenn Coldenhoff was jumping into the corners extremely fast, so we won’t get over-excited, it’s going to be a real race [tomorrow]. It’s going to come down to the starts and a good race, but we’re in there... we’re in there probably a lot more than some people expected.”
Moss was also extremely impressed with young French rider Dylan Ferrandis, the fastest qualifier, over four seconds quicker than any of his rivals in the 85cc class.
“He’s a class act on the bike,” Moss said, “but I think their lifestyle means they are on their bikes more, and the young Aussies will definitely learn from him which will set them up well for the future.”
Saturday’s qualifying results determined the gate pick for Sundays races, two races of 20 minutes plus two laps in the 85cc class and two races of 25 minutes plus two laps in the 125cc class.
Sunday Morning would see the 85cc pole position qualifier Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis, crash during the Warm-up session, injuring his arm; putting him out of the competition before it started.
The withdrawal of Ferrandis left Australian Jay Wilson with number one gate pick.
In the 85cc first race, 15 year old Jay formed as Aussie trifecta with Dylan Long (14) second and Hayden Mellross (13) third.
125cc race one, saw 16 year old American Eli Tomac finish ahead of 17 year old New Zealander Hamish Dobbyn and Australia's Tye Simmonds.
Italian Samuele Bernardini took the line honours in the second 85cc moto. Dutchman Michaboy de Waal second with Jay Wilson rounding out the top three. A third placing was enough for New South Welshman Jay Wilson (15) to clench the number one plate, and Australia’s first Motocross World Championship.
“It’s amazing, I don’t know if this is real or not... I’m just speechless at the moment, I never thought I’d be here right now,” an ecstatic Wilson said.
“The whole weekend went great, I got a good start in the first Moto then in the second Moto the gate jumped a bit on me and I didn’t get the reaction time I wanted to.
“I got back up though, battled for first before crashing, and then managed to get back to third... and now here I am.”
Samuele Bernardini’s race two victory secured him second position overall. Australian Dylan Long finished the second moto in seventh position which was strong enough to earn him the final step on the overall podium.
“It’s been a lot of fun being here in New Zealand, I had a really good ride in the first [Moto] after a bad start, and then in the second race I got another bad start. I worked my way up a little bit before crashing twice, but overall I was really happy with my weekend,” said Victorian Dylan Long.
Tye Simmonds take the line honours in his second moto ahead of Eli Tomac, Luke Styke third. Simmonds displayed great talent to lead from start to finish and claim a sensational victory. Fast finishing Eli Tomac’s second placing - coupled with his first moto win – was enough to secure the Championship for the highly rated American rising star.
After finishing second in the Pro Lites class at the 2009 Australian Motocross Championship, Simmonds, from Bourke, New South Wales, entered the competition full of confidence and was thrilled to have qualified in pole position for Sunday’s final races despite struggling with arm pump for the majority of the weekend. Simmonds was left wondering what might have been after finishing third in Race One behind Tomac and New Zealand rider Hamish Dobbyn. “Yeah I suppose if only I was able to pass Hamish in that first race,” Simmonds lamented.
“I felt really good [in Race Two],” Simmonds said, “I didn’t get arm pump which helped out a lot, it meant I could focus on my own thing. I had a bit of a gap on Eli at the start but he slowly wound me in over the whole Moto, but it was great just to ride my own race and he kept me honest, which was great. I’m second in the World for Australia, I think we’ll take that for sure,” said a satisfied Simmonds.
Australia also captured the Nations Trophy at the 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand, after 85cc rider Jay Wilson became the country’s first ever Motocross World Champion.
125cc rider Tye Simmonds finished second in class to ensure the title for Australia. The Nations Trophy is awarded after taking into account the best result for one individual rider in each of the two classes with, and Australia took out the overall title ahead of Italy and New Zealand.
Australian Team Coach Greg Moss was ecstatic with the overall results in Taupo.
“Things couldn’t have gone much better,” a delighted Moss said. “I felt for Tye with the arm pump in that first race, but he went out and showed them [in the second race] – he beat the World Champion in that race and you’re only as good as your last race. So I feel a bit for Tye and other than that it would have been a clean sweep – but we’ve won as a team, so Aussie Aussie Aussie!”
Motorcycling Australia President Ron Kivovitch was another MA representative on hand at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motocross Park over the weekend, and he was equally as thrilled with the outcome.
“What a great day – not only did we get a World Championship, we got second place in another one as well,” Kivovitch said. “I’m very pleased for the team because they put it together very well indeed. We got a World Champion and that’s great, but every rider out there today deserves credit because they all rode well, from the fastest to the slowest, and it was really good to watch. The Juniors are our future and if we don’t look after juniors now we won’t have seniors in the future, so they are a very important part of the sport.”
Junior Development has certainly been a major focus for MA in the recent past, and Cameron Schueber is currently the Chairman of MA’s Junior Development Commission.
“We’ve put a lot into the development of Motocross in probably the last 14-15 months, and the work in the lead up has paid off,” Schueber said. “A huge thank you goes to the Australian Government and Motorcycling Australia for backing us and getting our team here. I was hoping for a podium so that funds could potentially be put aside for future years and teams, but this result has just blown me away,” Schueber concluded.
Rain throughout the weekend did not deter crowds in what was the first time the Junior Motocross World Championship event was staged outside of Europe.
Continuing a year of firsts, Hamish Dobbyn became the first Kiwi ever to finish on the junior podium.
In the 85cc class Jay Wilson won Australia’s first ever motocross World Championship ahead of Italian Samuele Bernardini and Australian Dylan Long. Wilson won the first race, while Bernardini topped the second. It was also the first time Jay had beaten his GMR Motorex KTM teammate Dylan Long.
Australia conquered the first place in the Nations Classification. Italy second, New Zealand third and Netherlands fourth. A sensational result for 14 year old Kiwi girl Courtney Duncan, her sixth place contributed to New Zealand’s third place overall in the Nations Trophy. The best result for a female in the history of the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship. She further demonstrated her talent by finishing fourth in the second 85cc race.
The FIM Junior Motocross World Championship 2010 will take place in France, with the introduction of a 65cc World Championship class for competitors aged between 10 and 12 years.
2009 Junior MX World Championship Report
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