-- KTM 2-stroke Cup update
Well the feedback is in, and it seems spectators to the first round of the KTM Two-Stroke Cup held in conjunction with the weekend’s Monster Energy MX Nationals round were definitely treated to a spectacle of sight and sound.
Tested as a one-off ‘national’ at Coolum last year the concept of pure two-stroke racing has, with the backing of KTM, become a four-round series in 2013, and kicked off to a great reception at the famous Wonthaggi circuit in Victoria.
One unabashed fan is MX Nationals promoter Kevin Williams. “Certainly walking around at the end of the day and listening to the talk there were a lot of people who enjoyed it,” Williams said.
“Definitely it brought a smile to the face of anyone who's been in the sport longer than 15 minutes.”
“As busy as I was on race day I personally walked to the fence just to get a whiff of the 2 stroke oil! Fantastic.”
The top man in orange on the day was Top Gear Motorcycles racer Alex Stephenson, who despite describing himself as ‘an enduro racer taking it easy this year after a scaphoid operation’, posted two fourth places on the day and thought it was “an awesome class”.
“There were definitely a lot of people walking past my pit just loving seeing all the 2-strokes back out there. It was great to race with all of us on the same style of bikes and there was a broad spread of ages and abilities - anyone can participate.
“There were a few quick boys in there too so you had to be honest and know how to ride one if you wanted to get anywhere. The bikes are at their best in the sand but on the hard pack the guys with throttle control really stand out.”
Back at the Cup sponsor’s head office, the 2-stroke waves have continued to reverberate, “We've been getting calls from our dealers interstate,” said KTM Marketing man Brendan Drage, “all asking how it all went because they're excited or they’ve got customers who are excited and they all want to participate. There might be a lot of big bangers getting dragged out of the shed in the coming rounds.”
For the moment though, the smaller field numbers in conjunction with cheaper running costs have made the class a broad point of inclusion, as Kevin Williams notes. “It's really great for those of us out there who can’t be Todd Waters but still have the aspirations to see what it feels like to be on the national stage and ride on a national level track in front of all the spectators. It’s a great and a memorable day for those people to be a part of.
In fact I got a text from one competitor from the weekend whose bike seized on the start line before he even got to race and he thanked me and said, even though he didn't get to race it was one of the most memorable races he'd ever been involved in.
“To me though, and you can quote me on this,” said Williams, summing up, “the KTM Two Stroke Cup has brought the music back to motocross.”
The KTM 2-Stroke Cup continues on July 14 on the hard-pack of Appin, before going on to the famed red clay of Echo Valley on August 25, then into the dark sands of Coolum on September 1 for the season finale.
KTM 2 Stroke Cup Round 1 and Championship Standings: Results
1. Errol Willis Yamaha 70 Pts
2. Cameron Taylor Yamaha 62 Pts
3. Tyson Cherry Yamaha 62 Pts
4. Alex Stephenson KTM 56 Pts
5. Tauri Onus Yamaha 50 Pts
6. Ryan Perry Yamaha 49 Pts
7. Jake Vella Yamaha 48 Pts
8. Luke Ablitt Yamaha 45 Pts
9. Jake Williams KTM 42 Pts
10. Jarrad Grierson Yamaha 42 Pts
11. Joel Barry Honda 38 Pts
12. Chris Hunter Honda 35 Pts
13. Justin Nicol 33 Pts
14. Steve Hunter Honda 32 Pts
15. James Jafer Yamaha Suzuki 31 Pts
16. Paul Murphy KTM 28 Pts
17. Jayden Archer Yamaha 26 Pts
18. James Cook KTM 12 Pts
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