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Moto News Wrap for October 10, 2017 by Darren Smart

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Latest News

  • Doyle Takes 14 Point Lead into Melbourne SGP – Fricke in Doubt
  • Supp Regs for 2018 Yamaha A4DE Released and Entries Open
  • Pre 1986 Vintage Class Set to Roar in 2018 A4DE
  • Dean Wilson Confirmed for AUS-X Open
  • Australia vs USA battle continues for ASX Rnd 2
  • EOI to host Post Classic MX Championship in 2018 open
  • Neville Cutts Inducted into Motorcycling WA’s Hall of Fame
  • Josh Green Wins Yeppoon Enduro-X
  • Wade Young to Race Wildwood
  • Robbie Maddison is Set to Ride Sydney Harbour
  • Suzuki Australia reveal Contingency Program for 2018
  • Reed-V-Villopoto at 2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm
  • 2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule Announced
  • Pre-Entry List for Monster Energy Cup Announced
  • Seely Out of MEC – Craig In
  • Justin Hill Signs for JGR Suzuki
  • Jacky Martens and Husky Re-Sign
  • Honda Puts a Stop to 150 Euro Championship
  • KRT Kawasaki Team Folds
  • Polisport and Preston Petty Team Up
  • UK Arenacross Tour Dates Announced
  • Soubeyras Wins Round 1 of French SX Tour

This Week’s Race Reports

  • Rd 18 – AMA Flat Track – Perris Short Track – Perris Auto Speedway, Calif.
  • Rd 12 – GNCC – Powerline Park, St. Clairsville, OH
  • Rd 11 – Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Torun)
  • 2017 Australian Junior Motocross Championship – Horsham
  • 2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally – Rd 5 – FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship

Doyle Takes 14 Point Lead into Melbourne SGP – Fricke in Doubt

Jason Doyle - Image by Chris Horne
Jason Doyle – Image by Chris Horne

Aussie hard charger Jason Doyle will take a 14 point lead in the FIM Speedway World Championships when it hits Melbourne for the QBE Insurance Australian SGP in Melbourne on October 28 but young Max Fricke is in doubt after a spectacular crash at the Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland.

Jason Doyle - Image by Chris Horne
Jason Doyle – Image by Chris Horne

Doyle struggled in the wet condition to only score 10 points after his six rides while championship rival Patryk Dudek won his home Grand Prix and scored 18 points while Max Fricke had scored four points after three solid riders before the Aussie was left dazed thanks to a heavy fall in heat 15. Max caught the back wheel of Martin Vaculik while entering turn three of lap one, subsequently going over the high side of his bike and landing heavily on his shoulder.

Max Fricke crash in Poland - Image by Chris Horne
Max Fricke crash in Poland – Image by Chris Horne

Though the youngster was keen to continue, Australian team manager Mark Lemon revealed he had been stood down from the meeting following the re-run and whether Max rides in Melbourne or not will be decided in the coming days. See the full report and results below:


Supp Regs for 2018 A4DE Released and Entries Open

The Supplementary Regulations for the 2018 Yamaha Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) have been released and entries are now open and available at http://www.a4de.com.au/.

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the A4DE, the event will return to where it all began in 1978 in Cessnock (NSW) between Tuesday the 3rd of April and Saturday the 7th of April, 2018 where the Outright winner will awarded the ‘John Hall Perpetual Trophy’ named in honour of the mastermind and original organiser of the first A4DE while the ‘Stefan Merriman Award’ will be awarded to the highest placed rider who is under 19 years of age as at 1st, January 2018.

2018 A4DE entries now open!
2018 A4DE entries now open!

Since 1978, the A4DE has blossomed into one of Australia’s premier Off-Road events and despite the 2017 event being cancelled due to lack of entries the 2018 event is expected to attract up to 350 riders so make sure to get your entry in before the 6th of February for a saving of 80 dollars – in fact, at the time of writing there were 30 riders who had paid their money and entered the main draw including living legend Murray Tainton.

The 2018 A4DE will for the first time ever host a Vintage Class in memory of the man who was behind the initial A4DE in 1978 and the first ISDE in Australia in 1992, John Hall. A full press release is in the making but according to the supp regs the class is for machinery older than 1986 models and for riders over 45 years of age with extra trail time given throughout the event.

At the time of writing 29 of the available 50 places were already accounted for in the Vintage Class with former Queensland enduro stars Ricky Madden and Wayne Litzow locked and loaded to do battle with their southern rivals.

As well as the award of trophies to the top three riders in the Vintage Class, an additional first place trophy will be awarded to each of the Vintage categories: Classic 79 (motorcycles up to 1979) and Classic 82 (motorcycles up to 1982).

A first place trophy will also be awarded to the highest placed rider who competed in the original A4DE in 1978 – this will be known as the ‘John Hall 78ers’ and there are some exciting announcements coming as to who will be on hand for this class.

Celebrated off-road personality Geoff Udy has been instrumental in getting the Vintage class into the 2018 A4DE: “We now have the pleasure of mustering as many of the original ’78ers to return to celebrate this 40th anniversary by being involved at any level. I’ll be setting up one of my Suzuki PEs to enter in the ‘John Hall 78ers’, an invitation class within the Vintage class. We will be posting the original entry list very shortly so anyone who rode in 1878 or knows anyone on this list please contact me on 0407 025 700.”

Malcolm Hall, the son of John and an off-road enthusiast in his own right had this to say of the event.

Malcolm Hall

“When we (Cessnock Motor Cycle Club) realised that 2018 was going to be the 40th Anniversary then we thought, yep let’s do it! Bring it back to its home and let’s get some passion back by adding a Vintage Class for the first time. What we didn’t realise is the enormity of the enthusiasm from the Vintage Enduro community. Fantastic! Looking forward to doing dad proud. Bring on next April.”

It is pretty obvious that IF you were ever going to compete in the A4DE OR check out the action and the atmosphere this is an event not to be missed and Smarty’s Moto Wrap will continually have all of the breaking news on everything to do with the 2018 A4DE.


Dean Wilson Confirmed for AUS-X Open

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson is joining Chad Reed, Jason Anderson, Josh Grant, and Ricky Carmichael to compete against the Australian Supercross Championship regulars at the AUS-X Open in Sydney on November 11-12.

Dean Wilson

“I’ve heard a lot about the AUS-X Open and am pumped to head down for it this year! I love Australia and can’t wait to see the Aussie fans and go bar to bar with Chad, Jason, Justin [Brayton] and the rest of the field. I’ll be giving it my all to take down the champ in his home town!”

Dean Wilson
Dean Wilson

Australia vs USA battle continues for ASX Rnd 2

Final plans are now locked in for Round two of the Australian Supercross Championship set to be hosted at the Bacchus Marsh Motocross Club on Saturday October 14th.

Round two of the National Championship will see a true international battle with the Aussies taking on riders from the USA in SX1 and SX2 classes with great support from the Intermediate, Clubman and Junior divisions raring to go.

Round one of the Series attracted a full house in Jimboomba, Queensland, a few weeks ago with riders providing world class racing.

Recently crowned Australian Motocross Champion, Dean Ferris was the first Australian to cross the line at round one, coming in a close second to American import and defending Supercross champion Justin Brayton.

Dean Ferris
Dean Ferris

Ferris was happy with the performance of his CDR Yamaha and looks forward to returning to Melbourne in 2017 after taking pole position in the event last year. Ferris has had a busy run over the past few months and made comment on the international battle that is about to take place in Melbourne.

Dean Ferris

“It’s been a really busy time off the back of an intense MX season, becoming a new Dad, jumping virtually straight into Supercross as well as MX of Nations last weekend. I look forward to battling against Justin and Dan (Reardon) and all the other teams in Melbourne next weekend and putting on a good show for the fans”

Dan Reardon, aboard his Kawasaki, enjoyed his start to the season and is one of the Aussie favourites tipped to create tough competition for the American riders after coming in third at round one.

Justin Brayton
Justin Brayton

Justin Brayton, one of many visiting American riders leads the Championship after a convincing performance at round one. The win boosts Brayton’s confidence as he heads to Melbourne with the Penrite Honda Racing Team. The likeable tourist loves this country so much he brings his wife and family over for an extended working holiday each year.

Brayton promises to bring his world-class speed and style to Victoria for the fans and finish better than he did in 2016 and continue the defence of his Australian SX1 Title.

The 2017 ASX will also return to Jimboomba X Stadium in south-east Queensland, when the popular venue plays host to the sixth and grand final round of the series on Saturday, November 18.

Tickets to both Round 2 and advance purchase tickets to the Jimboomba X Stadium final round of the 2017 Australian Supercross Championship – are on-sale via the www.ticketbooth.com.au web site. General admission, Stadium seating and discounted Family Pass tickets are available.


EOI to host Post Classic MX Championship in 2018 still open

Motorcycling Australia (MA) is calling for expressions of interest from suitably qualified clubs and promoters who are interested in hosting The 2018 Australian Post Classic Motocross.

This Australian Championship is the pinnacle of competition for pre 1985-1990 in Australia and a great way to promote your club and your community whilst providing an opportunity for your local riders to compete amongst the best in Australia. These meetings not only bring competitors and spectators from all over Australia, but in some cases competitors from all over the world.

EOI to host Post Classic MX Championship in 2018 still open
EOI to host Post Classic MX Championship in 2018 still open

The 2017 Australian Post Classic Motocross Championships were held at Crystal Brook, SA this year the weekend after the Australian Classic Motocross Championships. With 2018 fast approaching we are asking for clubs to contact Motorcycling Australia as soon as possible and put in their interest to host this iconic championship event.

Please return completed Expression of Interest form to: Motorcycling Australia’s Event Coordinator – Off-Road, Matthew Falvo at offroad@ma.org.au.

Expression of Interest forms for Australian Motorcycle Sport National Championships can be found by clicking here (link), or by visiting the ‘Forms’ section (link) of the Motorcycling Australia website. For more information head to www.ma.org.au.


Cutts and O’Leary Inducted into Motorcycling WA’s Hall of Fame

Motorcycling WA are pleased to announce the induction of Neville Cutts and Robert (Bob) O’Leary into the Motorcycling Western Australia Hall of Fame for 2017.

After winning multiple state championships as a junior, Cutts won the 125cc and 250cc WA Championships in 1977 and was second in the 125 cc Australian Championship before going on to win the 250cc and Unlimited WA Championships in 1978. The 1979 season was very successful with Neville winning the 500cc and Unlimited WA Championships and the Australian Unlimited Championship.

Neville Cutts
Neville Cutts

After celebrating seven WA Championships and one National Championship, Neville retired in 1984 to pursue varied business interests and raise a daughter with his partner, Beverley.

Neville Cutts

“I am honoured to be inducted into Motorcycling Western Australia Hall of Fame and to know that I have my name alongside people that I idolized as a child is quite amazing. If you said to me as a 12 year old boy, that one day I would be inducted into the Hall of Fame, I would have laughed and said no way. Along the way a lot of good people have helped and guided me to achieve this award, to those people I would like to thank you with all my heart and I want you to know, it’s as much yours as it is mine. It takes years of blood, sweat and tears but to finally be awarded with this honor, makes it all worthwhile”.

O’Leary won Australian Championships in the 250cc and 500cc scrambles classes at Archerfield, Queensland in 1963 and in the Unlimited Class at the Short Circuit in Forrestfield in 1969. His passion for Speedway saw him finish second in Australian Speedway Solo Championship in 1971 before he captained Australia to win a Test Match against England in 1973 and was awarded the Australian Speedway Association Sportsman of the Year.

Robert (Bob) O’Leary

“To be inducted into the Motorcycling WA Hall of Fame, alongside some of W.A’s greatest riders and sportspeople that I tried to copy, and on many occasions beat is the greatest honour, WOW! This was made possible by the huge help my sponsors over the years that supplied motorcycles, equipment and transport.  Something that I always appreciated and tried to give them the best advertising I could.  If a bike failed, I had the art of falling off and pushing it back to the pits and nobody was aware of a mechanical problem. Special thanks to my wife Margaret and kids Steven, Bradley and Kathryn who did the leather cleaning, entering me in events, and all the rough travelling and camping that went with racing motorcycles.  Without their help and patience, not to mention Margaret’s scrap books that let me trace back the history of it all, none of this would have happened.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Josh Green Wins Yeppoon Enduro-X

The small coastal town of Yeppoon near Rockhampton hosted the 2017 FSA Yeppoon Enduro-X last Saturday and it was Josh Green who took out the Pro-All Powers class over veteran Broc Grabham and young-gun Fraser Higlett.

Josh Green - Yeppoon
Josh Green – Yeppoon

Wade Young to Race Wildwood

Former Roof of Africa and Hells Gate winner Wade Young will line up at the annual Wildwood Rock Extreme enduro on Sunday, October 29 at 227 Feehans Road, Wildwood.

Red Bull Romaniacs 2016 - Wade Young
Wade Young

Wildwood Rock Extreme is very much in the extreme category of off-road motorcycle racing. The duration of the race is four hours around an excruciating course comprising of steep hills riddled with rocks, man-made obstacles such as an old school bus that competitors must ride through, bog holes, log crossings and the infamous ‘Rock Garden’ where riders face an impossibly-steep hill made up of rocks piled upon rocks. Young will race a Sherco 250 SE-R at Wildwood.

Stephen Tuff – Sherco Australia

“Wade Young is widely regarded as one of the biggest names in the sport of extreme enduro. We’re very excited to have him racing here in Australia. Wade can do things on a dirt bike most of us can’t even dream of. He’s either won or been close to winning the biggest events including Erzberg where he placed fourth this year. Wade has only seen the Wildwood course on You Tube clips so it will be all new to him but we expect he’ll be hunting for the win. It’s just the way he is. Wade is tough as nails. He’s won Hells Gate, King of The Hills and been on the podium at Romaniacs. Just last week he was leading the Sea to Sky race in Turkey until the very last hill of the three-day race, only to fall back to third so he’ll be fired up for Wildwood.”


Robbie Maddison Set to Ride Sydney Harbour

Australian Robbie Maddison will ride his modified KTM water-bike at Cockle Bay in Sydney’s Harbour on 24-26 November in conjunction with the Sydney Motorcycle Show, which is slated to be hosted at the Sydney International Convention Centre.

Robbie Maddison to ride motorcycle on Sydney Harbour at Sydney Motorcycle Show
Robbie Maddison to ride motorcycle on Sydney Harbour at Sydney Motorcycle Show

It will be the first time worldwide that Maddison’s will ride on water in front of the public, with demonstrations set to take place on the Darling Harbour at midday on the Saturday and Sunday.

Robbie Maddison

“I am pretty excited to be coming to the Sydney Motorcycle Show and riding the waterbike in the heart of Sydney at Cockle Bay. This will be my first ever fully publicised waterbike ride and I hope everyone comes down to check it out. We will be creating a full-blown flat track style layout on the water in Cockle Bay with viewing for spectators from all sides of Darling Harbour which will be incredible. I remember going to the exact location years ago for the Red Bull City X and it was huge, hopefully, we can replicate that.”

The Australian made headlines two years ago, when he rode the waterbike on a wave near Teahupoo in Tahiti, adding to his list of crazy displays that include the Corinth Canal jump, Arc de Triomphe jump, and a backflip over the Tower Bridge in London.


Suzuki Australia reveal Contingency Program for 2018

Suzuki Australia have revealed details of a new contingency program that will be known as the Suzuki Support Rider (SSR) Contingency program for 2018

Suzuki are giving racers a real chance at being rewarded for their commitment and results by offering up to $900K in available contingency for National and State Motocross and Supercross, National and State Superbike and Supersport, Australian Off-Road Championship, Finke and Hattah desert races.

Registration to the SSR Contingency program is free, riders can register multiple machines in different capacity classes with cash rewards available in both on and off road racing categories.

Riders who compete on a current generation Suzuki motorcycle are eligible to register as a SSR. The rider must register on the form, only one rider can register per VIN.

Suzuki will send each rider an acceptance letter, which includes a SSR Registration Number. One number will be issued per rider, even if the rider competes on more than one machine or in multiple capacity classes. This Registration Number will be used in all claims for contingency or other correspondence with Suzuki.

Only the nominated Motorcycling Australia sanctioned events will be eligible for contingency. Suzuki Support Riders registered for claiming contingency must use the Claim Form attached. Results will be verified by Suzuki against official M.A. results.

Contingency payments will only be made to riders who satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Compete on current generation RM-Z250, RM-Z450, GSX-R600 or GSX-R1000/R.
  2. Registered for SSR and have received acceptance including their Registration Number from Suzuki Australia.
  3. Lodge a claim form within 7 days of the event to Suzuki Australia including their race support number. Suzuki will verify through official race M.A results.
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Suzuki Australia's Contingency Program for 2018
Suzuki Australia’s Contingency Program for 2018

Reed-V-Villopoto at 2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm

Red Bull Straight Rhythm will return to Fairplex in Pomona on October 21 for the fourth year in a row with the usual 450cc and 250cc classes joined by an 8-man Two-Stroke Shootout hosted by Ken Roczen featuring Chad Red and Ryan Villopoto.

Chad Reed - Image by Hoppenworld
Chad Reed – Image by Hoppenworld

This will mark the first U.S. race for Villopoto since his retirement in July 2015 – and the first time he’s ever raced a two-stroke in competition since his junior racing days while Reed hasn’t raced a two-stroke in twelve years – since the 2005 Supercross season. Other riders in the two-stroke class include motocross/endurocross rider Mike Brown, Ronnie Mac and former Supercross/motocross and current GNCC racer Ryan Sipes.

In addition, the event will once again contain a Lites Class (250cc and below) and an Open Class (greater than 250cc), and this year these classes will contain eight riders each. In the Open Class, the riders announced today include 2016 Red Bull Straight Rhythm Open Class Champion Marvin Musquin, newly minted Red Bull KTM rider Broc Tickle, returning racer Josh Hansen and 2016 AMA EnduroCross National Champion Colton Haaker.

2016 Kawasaki KX450F - Ryan Villopoto
Ryan Villopoto

The Lites Class will feature 2016 Red Bull Straight Rhythm Lites Champion Shane McElrath, 2016 third place finisher Jordon Smith, Alex Martin and Josh Hill. Josh Hill will once again be at the helm of the Alta Motors Redshift MX electric bike, which has received chassis development, weight reduction and suspension tuning since taking fourth place last year.

The remaining riders for the Two-Stroke, Open and Lites classes will be announced shortly.


2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule Announced

The schedule for the 2018 Amsoil Arenacross Championship was released by Feld Motor Sports this week with the tour beginning on January the 6th in Dayton, Ohio and wrapping up 11 rounds later on May the 4th, the Friday night before the Las Vegas Supercross finale.

The tagline for this year’s tour is “Motocross, More Intense.” Below is the full schedule:

2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule
2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule

Pre-Entry List for Monster Energy Cup Announced

On the back of announcing one of the most unique track layouts in the history of supercross, the pre-entry lists for this Saturday’s Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been released with Eli Tomac, Dean Wilson, Davi Millsaps, Justin Bogle, Broc Tickle, Jason Anderson, Marvin Musquin, Josh Grant, Justin Barcia and many more confirmed as starters.

Unlike any other Supercross race, the unique format at Monster Energy Cup challenges riders with three, 10-Lap Main Events, and any racer who wins all three Main Events takes home $1 million, the largest purse in motorcycle racing.

2017 Monster Energy Cup Track
2017 Monster Energy Cup Track

This year’s Monster Energy Cup features a split starting gate with 44 feet of separation between the two ends, which will leave 11 racers on each side. Additionally, the starting gate will be elevated 12 feet in the air allowing for maximum speed heading into the first turn.

Another unique change to this year’s track involves the Joker Lane, which racers must take once during each Main Event. “The Joker Lane has always been a disadvantage to the athletes as it traditionally takes longer to complete,” said Carmichael, who has helped design every Monster Energy Cup track since its inception in 2011. “However, this year’s Joker Lane design has been modified to play into the racer’s advantage, creating a shortcut through the track to shorten the lap time.”

Past winners of the Monster Energy Cup dating back to its inception
  • 2011: Ryan Villopoto – 2011 (only $1 million winner)
  • 2012: Justin Barcia – 2012
  • 2013: James Stewart – 2013
  • 2014: Davi Millsaps – 2014
  • 2015: Ken Roczen – 2015
  • 2016: Eli Tomac – 2016
Check out the full entry list for Cup, Amateur All-Stars and Supermini
CUP CLASS
  • 3 Eil Tomac
  • 11 Kyle Chisholm
  • 15 Dean Wilson
  • 18 Davi Millsaps
  • 19 Justin Bogle
  • 20 Broc Tickle
  • 21 Jason Anderson
  • 25 Marvin Musquin
  • 33 Josh Grant
  • 37 Fredrik Noren
  • 45 Jordon Smith
  • 48 Christain Craig
  • 51 Justin Barcia
  • 55 Vince Friese
  • 59 Cole Martinez
  • 60 Benny Blos
  • 61 Heath Harrison
  • 67 Justin Hoeft
  • 69 Tyler Bowers
  • 73 Brandon Scharer
  • 81 Chase Marquier
  • 90 Dakota Tedder
  • 91 Alex Ray
  • 102 Chris Blose
  • 120 Todd Bannister
  • 124 Bobby Fitch
  • 190 Jacob Hayes
  • 211 Tevin Tapia
  • 222 Chris Howell
  • 240 Bryce Stewart
  • 243 Tim Gajser
  • 256 James Milson
  • 277 Kordel Caro
  • 282 Theodore Pauli
  • 374 Cody Gilmore
  • 50 Scotty Wennerstrom
  • 505 Cyrille Coulon
  • 526 Colton Aeck
  • 542 Johnnie Buller
  • 608 David Pulley
  • 713 Chad Cook
  • 722 Adam Enticknap
  • 723 Tyler Enticknap
  • 726 Gared Steinke
  • 740 Lane Staley
  • 792 Bracken Hall
AMATEUR ALL-STARS
  • 11 Ciaran Naran
  • 14 Brock Papi
  • 16 Enzo Lopes
  • 17 Carter Halpain
  • 29 Zane Merrett
  • 33 Derek Drake
  • 47 Jo Shimoda
  • 57 Kameron Barboa
  • 63 Pierce Brown
  • 99 Lance Kobusch
  • 101 Jake Pinhancos
  • 133 Jordan Bailey
  • 222 Ramyller Alves
  • 223 Paker Mashburn
  • 282 Garrett Marchbanks
  • 288 Conner Mullennix
  • 382 Tanner Stack
  • 510 Seth Hammaker
  • 522 Johnny Garcia
  • 612 Mitchell Falk
  • 777 Dylan Greer
  • 972 Cole Barbieri
SUPERMINI
  • 10 Jeremy Ryan
  • 24 Joshua Varize
  • 26 Parker Earl
  • 30 Jordan Jarvis
  • 32 Kaeden Amerine
  • 34 Tayler Allred
  • 41 Alexander Vestal
  • 46 Charles Tolleson
  • 51 Jace Kessler
  • 60 Mark Stone
  • 68 Branden Walther
  • 71 Hunter Cross
  • 79 Jett Reynolds
  • 80 Preston Kilroy
  • 122 Carson Mumford
  • 171 Talon Hawkins
  • 222 Caden Braswell
  • 329 Matthew LeBlanc
  • 351 Jack Rogers
  • 411 Crockett Myers
  • 428 Nate Thrasher
  • 552 Larrey Reyes
  • 711 Max Vohland
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Seely Out of MEC – Craig In

Following the recent Motocross of Nations, Cole Seely opted to undergo surgery to remove a plate and four screws from the pinky finger of his right hand so the factory Honda riders will miss the upcoming Monster Energy Cup.

Team Honda HRC will be represented by GEICO Honda rider Christian Craig, who this time will race alongside Team HRC rider and 2016 MXGP Champion Tim Gajser.

Christian Craig

“I was planning on having the surgery done right after the motocross season ended but obviously had to postpone it when I was selected for the Motocross of Nations. It was a really minor procedure, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do because the hardware has been bothering me for a while now. It was hard to make a tight fist and would get sore after races, so I think this will help. I also want to take some time off, which is why I decided to do it now and miss Monster Cup. I’ll have a couple weeks to relax, recover, and let my body rest before diving full-speed into supercross training.”

Craig Christian will fill in for Ken Roczen for the Utah AMA SX round
Craig Christian

“After spending the entire outdoor season with them, we have a really cool relationship, so I’m happy to get the opportunity to keep racing the CRF450R. I’ve always liked MEC because it’s a different format and is exciting for both racers and fans. The team and I started testing a couple weeks ago, and everything has been going awesome. I’m used to the bike, but we just had to tweak a couple things to change it over for supercross. I’ll have a couple more weeks of practice, and then we’ll be in Las Vegas!”


Justin Hill Signs for JGR Suzuki

Justin Hill will compete in the 250 class for 2018 before turning his attention to the 450 class in 2019 after signing with Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. The 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 Western Regional Champion is excited about the new team. Justin Hill is no stranger to Suzuki, having raced on a RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 as an amateur in 2010.

Justin Hill

“It’s an honor to be a part of the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing effort. I have known [team manager] Jeremy Albrecht for a while now, and have always respected the JGRMX program. I was blown away after taking a tour of the team’s headquarters in Huntersville, N.C. It’s amazing how they invest so much time and money into finding solutions in an effort to gain a competitive edge. I knew immediately that I needed to be involved with them.”

Justin Hill 250SX Champion
Justin Hill has signed with JGR Suzuki for 2018

“I won my first big bike championship on a Suzuki and have fond memories of the brand. Comfort on the bike, as well as confidence in the team, are crucial to a rider’s success. JGR expressed their faith by offering me a multi-year deal that extends into the 450 class. I’m looking forward to defending my 250 West Supercross title on the Suzuki RM-Z250, making a big push outdoors in what will be my last year in the 250 class, and then taking the pathway up to the 450 class with JGRMX in 2019.”


Jacky Martens and Husky Re-Sign

Husqvarna Motorcycles have announced that the Jacky Martens run JM Racing team will continue as Husqvarna Motorcycles’ official MX2 representatives in the FIM Motocross World Championship following the agreement of a new two-year deal, which will run to the end of the 2019 season.

Thomas Kjer-Olsen
Thomas Kjer-Olsen

Team riders Thomas Kjer-Olsen and Thomas Covington finished third and fourth respectively in the 2017 MX2 World Championship and will obviously look for a run at the title in 2018.

Jacky Martens – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 team manager

“It’s a great honour for us to be the official Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 team, with this new agreement further extending our great working relationship with Husqvarna Motorcycles. This season has been filled with many highlights, with our riders producing many winning results and showing their fighting spirit until the end of a long and demanding championship. With Kjer-Olsen wrapping up the season third in the MX2 World Championship standings and Covington following in fourth, we can’t wait to see our two riders battling for more winning results next season. With these two riders in our team we firmly believe we will be strong contenders for the MX2 title in 2018.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Honda Puts a Stop to 150 Euro Championship

As part of its new strategy for Motocross racing, Honda has taken the decision to cease the 150 European Championship after five successful seasons to increase its support of the EMX250 and MX2 championships on the back of the introduction of the all-new Honda CRF250R. The increased investment in the 250 class of racing exemplifies Honda’s ongoing commitment to supporting up and coming talent in Motocross.

EMX150 Start
EMX150 Start

Honda would like to extend its thanks to all the riders, their families and our sponsors and partners over the years that have helped make the 150 European Championship such a successful programme.

Gordon Crockard – Off-road Manager, Honda Motor Europe

“I am proud to have been involved in the Honda European 150 Championship which provided such a fantastic opportunity for the young riders of tomorrow. I can only imagine how amazing it must have felt for them to be racing on the same MXGP circuits as their heroes on the same day in front of a global audience.


KRT Kawasaki Team Folds

Owner of the KRT MX2 Team (former CLS) Jacques Luisetti has announced that the team will fold and no longer be part of the World motocross scene.

The KRT has only just finished celebrating the European title of Morgan Lesiardo in the last GP of the season when the Kawasaki factory and Monster Energy announced a reduction in support for the MX2 teams.

Jacques Luisetti

“The season ended pretty well with the title of Morgan Lesiardo, and we are proud to offer this title to our partners and Kawasaki. It’s our first International title, and also the last one for the moment as we have to stop our team activities. Monster stopped its involvement in the MX2 class so the Kawasaki factory had to make choices, and they decided to privilege the MXGP so we have no other solution than to accept this decision. I’ve been working since nearly three decades with Kawasaki as a dealer and later with the team, and we claimed many success, winning GP’s in the MX2 and MX1 class so I have many good memories from all those experiences. Next year I will put all my experience to help some riders as an agent (Petar Petrov, Iker Larranaga, Stephen Rubini, Morgan Lesiardo, the Miot brothers, Thibaut Maupin or Tommy Searle just to name a few), and also to help several teams. Some of our partners want to stay involved in racing, and ask me to provide them advices so I will be a link between riders, teams and sponsors as I know pretty well this racing world.”

Over the past decade the Luisetti owned KRT/CLS Kawasaki team has supported riders like Jordi Tixier, Petar Petrov, Dylan Ferrandis, Arnaud Tonus, Alessandro Lupino, Christophe Pourcel, Joel Roelants, Maxime Desprey, Tommy Searle, Max Anstie, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Steven Frossard


Polisport and Preston Petty Team Up

Polisport and Preston Petty Products have formally announced the new partnership for the future with the two brands, founded by pioneers of the Off-road business, finding common ground to cooperate and bring the Preston Petty Products to the place they deserve in the Off-road Market.

By the end of this year, all the Preston Petty Products will be produced in Polisport’s injection facilities in Portugal and distributed through its worldwide network of distributors.

Polisport and Preston Petty Team Up
Polisport and Preston Petty Team Up

Preston Petty current owner, Paul Stannard, found in Polisport the production quality, attention to detail and the care for the brand needed to bring Preston Petty Products to another level.

For now, the brand’s range will comprise two front fenders (MX front fender; Muder Front Fender), two rear fenders (IT Rear Fender; MX rear Fender – this was already developed and produced by Polisport), Number plates and Headlights (halogen and LED units). New products for the growing vintage Off-road market will soon be in the forge.

The goal is clear. Keep the essence and quality Preston is known for and let everyone around the world have access to these fantastic plastics. Most important of all is keeping the plastics as unbreakable as ever and the fenders “guaranteed unbreakable” with a one-year warranty, just like Preston Petty did during his days at the helm of the brand.

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Arenacross World Tour Dates Announced

Over the last couple of seasons the Arenacross Tour has been full of drama and agro between to top riders and 2018 is expected to be much of the same with 10 rounds of racing taking place over a 12 week period as it criss-crosses the United Kingdom before heading to Belgium and Germany for the final three rounds.

2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule
2018 Amsoil Arenacross Schedule

Three-time AX Pro Champion Thomas Ramette, relishes the opportunity to take on the world, and is already geared up for 2018.

Thomas Ramette

“Arenacross is a great championship and I’m really happy to see that it is now heading to Europe. A lot of hard work has gone into winning three times, and I’m more than ready to put the effort in again to make it a fourth. I’m excited to see how the rest of the world reacts to Arenacross.”

The Arenacross Tour 2018
  • Saturday 6th January, Manchester Arena, Manchester
  • Saturday 13th January, The Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
  • Saturday 20th January, The Genting Arena, Birmingham
  • Friday 26th January, The SSE Arena, Belfast
  • Saturday 27th January, The SSE Arena, Belfast
  • Saturday 10th February, Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
  • Saturday 17th February, The SSE Arena, Wembley
  • Friday 3rd March, Ethias Arena, Hasselt, Belgium
  • Saturday 4th March, Ethias Arena, Hasselt, Belgium
  • Saturday 10th March, The Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany – AX World Tour Finals

Soubeyras Wins Round 1 of French SX Tour

The opening round of the French Supercross Championship was held in Montpellier last weekend and predictably France’s most celebrated supercross rider Cedric Soubeyras easily took the win from fellow Suzuki rider Thomas Ramette and Fabian Izoird on a Honda.

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Smart’s Race Reports

Rd 18 – AMA Flat Track – Perris Short Track – Perris Auto Speedway, Calif.

Grand National Champion Jared Mees wrapped up his 2017 American Flat Track season with another win at the final round held at Perris Auto Speedway in California last weekend.

Jared Mees - Image by Brian J. Nelson
Jared Mees – Image by Brian J. Nelson

In front of a packed house at the SoCal State Fair, Mees put the No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750 at the front from the start and etched out a three second lead while the remainder of his rivals waged battle over second in a freight train that stretched 10 riders deep.

Mees ended the year with 10 wins including 17 podium finishes in 18 attempts.

Jared Mees

“I just had a phenomenal night, the Indian Motorcycle Scout was really good, like it’s been all year long. It was a solid day to end a solid, solid year. I don’t know what else to say — it’s fantastic… It was a record-breaking, career year for me. I’m happy to have the Indian Motorcycle guys on my side. I’ve got to thank my whole team. We opened the season with a win at Daytona and closed the year with a win here. I’ve got to give it all to the whole Indian Motorcycle team.”

As Mees said, he was in fact joined in his celebration of domination by Indian Motorcycle. The Indian Wrecking Crew combined to earn 14 of 18 wins and locked down six podium sweeps.

Jared Mees - Photo by Dave Hoenig
Jared Mees – Photo by Dave Hoenig

The four victories beyond Mees’ 10 were obtained by 2017 championship-runner up Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750). Additionally, Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) held on to third place in the title fight to sweep the championship top three for Indian despite Baker missing the final two rounds due to injury.


Rd 12 – GNCC – Powerline Park, St. Clairsville, OH

The penultimate round of the 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series travelled to St. Clairsville, Ohio last weekend for the 17th Annual Polaris Ace Powerline Park GNCC and in a rain effected race it was Kailub Russell who not only notched up the win he also wrapped up his fifth consecutive NCC championship.

XC1

Grant Baylor didn’t let the rain bother him as he raced his way to the lead through the endurocross section with Australian star Josh Strang, Jordan Ashburn and Kailub Russell in tow.

Baylor came through timing and scoring on the first lap still in the lead, while Strang went from second to fourth just one turn before the checkpoint, allowing for Russell to move into the runner-up position with Ashburn behind him in third.

Josh Strang - Image GNCC
Josh Strang – Image GNCC

Russell made the pass for the lead after Baylor took a bad line and got stuck. Ashburn capitalized on Baylor’s misfortune and also got by him for second. As they came out of the woods in a field section, Strang was back into third.

Another lead change occurred when Russell hit a log and went down, allowing for Ashburn to slide by. The crash caused Russell’s front fender to fall off creating another added obstacle to the already treacherous track. Russell got back past Ashburn and then Ashburn had more trouble at the creek jump where he went over the bars and couldn’t get his bike unstuck. Strang used this to his advantage and once again found himself in second.

Ricky Russell had worked his way into third, but also had issues at the creek jump allowing Baylor to move back up to third. Russell seemingly ran his own race up front and came to the finish ahead of Strang who had one of his best rides of the season in second.

Russell’s win was enough for him to wrap-up his fifth-straight title in addition to tying Scott Summers on the all-time win list.

Ricky Russell

“Today was a good day, it looked like it was going to be really awesome this afternoon before it started raining and got slick. I made a dumb mistake and fell over and broke my front fender off, and then I was just roosting myself out. But yeah, it’s been a great a year and I’m happy to get number five and tie the all-time win record today.”

Kailub Russell - Image GNCC
Kailub Russell – Image GNCC

Russell Bobbitt was continually pushing through the pack and was in fourth when the two-lap card came out. Baylor looked to be in a good position for the podium until taking a bad line through the creek jump just one mile before the finish. Bobbitt took the main line and made the pass on Baylor to land his first ever podium finish in third.

XC1 Result

  1. Kailub Russell
  2. Josh Strang
  3. Russell Bobbitt
  4. Grant Baylor
  5. Ricky Russell
  6. Jonathan Girroir
  7. Trevor Bollinger
  8. Ryan Sipes
  9. Andrew Delong
  10. Jordan Ashburn
XC1 Podium
XC1 Podium
XC1 Championship Standings
  1. Kailub Russell – 290
  2. Thad DuVall – 202
  3. Ricky Russell – 199
  4. Steward Baylor – 193
  5. Grant Baylor – 162
  6. Trevor Bollinger – 141
  7. Russell Bobbitt – 124
  8. Ryan Sipes – 122
  9. Josh Strang – 114
  10. Jordan Ashburn – 113
XC2

When the green flag waved for the second row, Mike Witkowski grabbed the XC2 250 Pro holeshot but Layne Michael quickly took the lead. Michael led majority of the race in an overall podium position until having a small tip over just before the white flag came out.

Michael’s teammate, Craig Delong, was right there to make the pass and continued leading until the chequered flag flew – claiming his first win of the season. Michael and Josh Toth finished second and third with Ben Kelley and Witkowski rounding out the top-five.

XC2 Result
  1. Craig Delong
  2. Layne Michael
  3. Josh Toth
  4. Benjamin Kelley
  5. Michael Witkowski
XC2 Championship Standings
  1. Joshua Toth – 322
  2. Craig Delong – 268
  3. Layne Michael – 262
  4. Micael Witkowski – 211
  5. Benjamin Kelley – 177
XC3

Coastal Racing’s Jack Edmondson barely edged out Australian ISDE hero Tayla Jones for the holeshot in the XC3 125 Pro-Am class. Edmondson continued leading from start to finish for the class win, with his team manager Barry Hawk racing his way to second, followed by Devan Welch in third while Jones struggled in the mud to finish back in 9th place.

Eleventh overall earned Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Alex Teagarden top amateur honors. Matthew Keefer and Jojo Bowden finished second and third, respectively.

XC3 Result

  1. Jack Edmondson
  2. Barry Hawk
  3. Devan Welch
  4. Christopher Venditti
  5. Shawn Page
    …9. Tayla Jones
XC3 Championship Standings
  1. Jason Thomas – 292
  2. Hunter Neuwirth – 232
  3. Mark Heresco Jr. – 219
  4. Jack Edmondson – 208
  5. Jaryn Williams – 150
WXC

Multi-talented Aussie Mackenzie Tricker secured her first WXC win of the season along Becca Sheets was second while Brooke Cosner capped off the WXC top-three.

WXC Podium - Image by GNCC
WXC Podium – Image by GNCC
WXC Result
  1. Mackenzie Tricker
  2. Becca Sheets
  3. Brook Cosner
  4. Emily Raines
WXC Championship Standings
  1. Tayla Jones – 180
  2. Becca Sheets – 171
  3. Mackenzie Tricker – 166
  4. Brooke Cosner – 140
  5. Rachel Gutish – 100

The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series concludes in three weeks with the popular AMSOIL Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana on October 28 and 29.


Rd 11 – Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Torun)

Home favourite Patryk Dudek has stormed to his first SGP victory in the NICE Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland with a win over Tai Woffinden, Bartosz Zmarzlik, and Matej Zagar in the final..

Dudek takes top position on the podium at the Polish SGP round
Dudek takes top position on the podium at the Polish SGP round

Dudek’s 18 point haul means just 14 points separate him from Aussie Jason Doyle at the top of the standings, while Woffinden boosted his medal credentials by leapfrogging Maciej Janowski to move into third place.

Patryk Dudek

“It’s an amazing feeling. To win a GP in Poland in my first year of GP racing, I’m very proud and happy. Speedway is difficult. It’s a rollercoaster, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. I had a problem in my first heat but we made a change and then things went okay. That sums up speedway this year. When you have a lucky day this is what happens. I’m second in the standings. I won tonight. I hope the next meeting will be the same.”

Patryk Dudek - Image by Chris Horne
Patryk Dudek – Image by Chris Horne

Chris Holder actually won one of the heats ahead of Dudek, Max Fricke and Doyle but that was about as good as it got for the former World Champion who will look to repeat the form that took him to victory in Melbourne in 2016.

The series moves on to its final round, the QBE Insurance Australian SGP in Melbourne on October 28 where either Doyle or Dudek will be crowned champion.

2017 SGP World Championship Standings
  1. Jason Doyle 142
  2. Patryk Dudek 128
  3. Tai Woffinden 115
  4. Maciej Janowski 113
  5. Emil Sayfutdinov 109
  6. Bartosz Zmarzlik 108
  7. Fredrik Lindgren 107
  8. Matej Zagar 97
  9. Martin Vaculik 90
  10. Chris Holder 82
  11. Piotr Pawlicki 79
  12. Antonio Lindback 73
  13. Peter Kildemand 54
  14. Greg Hancock 45
  15. Niels-Kristian Iverson 44
  16. Vaclav Milik 31
  17. Martin Smolinski 19
  18. Max Fricke 11
2017 NICE Torun SGP of Poland scores
  1. Patryk Dudek 18
  2. Tai Woffinden 15
  3. Bartosz Zmarzlik 14
  4. Matej Zagar 11
  5. Vaclav Milik 11
  6. Piotr Pawlicki 10
  7. Jason Doyle 10
  8. Pawel Przedpelski 10
  9. Peter Kildemand 8
  10. Emil Sayfutdinov 7
  11. Chris Holder 7
  12. Maciej Janowski 5
  13. Martin Vaculik 5
  14. Max Fricke 4
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Australian Junior Motocross Championship – Horsham

It is a week that lives in the memories of thousands of motocross riders across Australia and it is also a week that has been the building block to many a professional career and the 2017 Australian Junior Motocross championship held in Horsham will be no different with all classes showing that the future of motocross in Australia is as bright as it has ever been.

2017 KTM AJMX Start - Horsham
2017 KTM AJMX Start – Horsham

Australia convincingly won the FIM Oceania Challenge while New South Wales successfully claimed the title in the Interstate Challenge.

The FIM Oceania Challenge saw an equal number of riders from Australia and New Zealand selected to represent their country and Australia wrapped up the week with 540 points to its credit, defeating New Zealand’s tally of 246.

In the Interstate Challenge, where a number of riders were selected in each division, it was another tight battle for the top spot as New South Wales wound up on 198 points, edging out defending champions Queensland, who closed out the week with 197 points to narrowly miss out on the number one spot.

Western Australia took a comfortable third on 171 points to round out the top three, followed by Victoria on 148, Tasmania with 145, South Australia on 128 and the Northern Territory with 30 points.

Mason Semmen

“It was an awesome week, it started off really well – I qualified fastest on both bikes and won all my heat races on my 250, and won my first three finals on the 125. In the first final on the 250 is where it went a bit pear-shaped, another rider came into me and I think his foot-peg went into my front wheel and ripped all the spokes out, so that sent me into the ground and I couldn’t finish that race. I was pretty sore after that crash and to forget about it and move on, I was leading the 125 championship by 11 points at that stage, and then in the fourth final I got fourth, so I had a four-point lead going into the last one. At worst, I had to get second if Bailey Malkiewicz won, and I came out and won that race and wrapped up the 125 championship. It was awesome to have the team there, Kyle Blunden did an awesome job making sure everyone was comfortable and had everything they needed. To have the truck there for us to pit under and the support, it’s just awesome.”

Regan Duff

“It was pretty tough, I hurt myself five weeks earlier at Coolum and only rode a couple of times in a flat paddock before it. Then I fell ill two days before the event started, I actually had to pull out of one day because I was so sick that couldn’t ride, then I ended up winning. I wasn’t too sure if I could get the 125 title, Meico Vettik who was leading had gone 2-1 and I was 1-7, so I just went into the final race with the mindset of doing my best. I got lucky that he had a bad final moto, I wasn’t sure what to believe when I found out I won it – 1-7-1 is a crazy scorecard to win it. I was pretty stoked really. It looked like it was going to be a really bad week for me, but yeah, that cheered me up a bit.”

2017 KTM AJMX - Horsham
2017 KTM AJMX – Horsham
Overall Championship – 15yo (128-150cc 2st/250cc 4st)
  1. Bailey Malkiewicz
  2. Rhys Budd
  3. Jack Kukas
Overall Championship – 13-U15 (128-150cc 2st/250cc 4st)
  1. Dante Hyam
  2. Liam Andrews
  3. Korey Mcmahon
Overall Championship – 125cc – 15yo
  1. Mason Semmens
  2. Bailey Malkiewicz
  3. Jack Kukas
Overall Championship – 125cc – 13-U15
  1. Regan Duffy
  2. Meico Vettik
  3. Dante Hyam
Overall Championship – Junior Lites – 13-U16 Girls
  1. Tahlia O’hare
  2. Tanesha Harnett
  3. Rachael Archer
Overall Championship – 12-U16 Girls (85cc/150cc 4st)
  1. Charli Cannon
  2. Madi Healey
  3. Holli Geeves
Overall Championship – 14-U16 (85cc/150cc 4st)
  1. Noah Ferguson
  2. Jai Walker
  3. Kai Newbold
Overall Championship – 12-U14 (85cc/150cc 4st)
  1. Alex Larwood
  2. Brodie Connolly
  3. Blake Fox
Overall Championship – 9-U12 (85cc/150cc 4st)
  1. Jett Burgess-Stevens
  2. Ryder Kingsford
  3. Jack Mather
Overall Championship – 65cc – 11-U12
  1. Connor Towill
  2. Jesse Holding
  3. Kobe Drew
Overall Championship – 65cc – 9-U11
  1. Jet Alsop
  2. Kayden Minear
  3. Braden Plath
Overall Championship – 65cc – 7-U9
  1. Seth Shackleton
  2. Ryder Wilson
  3. Heath Fisher
Overall Championship – 50cc Division 2 – 7-U9
  1. Seth Shackleton
  2. Heath Fisher
  3. Max Stevenson

2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally – Rd 5 – FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship

The 2017 OiLibya Morocco Rally is the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and the first leg of the marathon stage was a great success for American Ricky Brabec, scooping his first stage victory in a world championship event ahead of Mathias Walkner and rally leader Pablo Quintanilla.

Ricky Brabec
Ricky Brabec

Brabec proved to be the fastest as the Morocco Rally arrived at its third stage – the first leg of the two-day marathon stage – which took place from Erfoud and the Lihoudi Erg region. Brabec was looking particularly comfortable astride the Honda CRF450 RALLY, hurtling through the special stage at a cracking pace.

The timed section had been reduced to 142.79 kilometres due to the high level of water in the rivers. This marks Brabec’s first triumph in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, adding to the seventh stage victory in the most recent Dakar Rally.

Second place on the day went to Austrian KTM rider Matthias Walkner. For a short time, Malkner was said to be in the overall lead as previous leader Pablo Quintanilla was penalized for missing a checkpoint on day 2. The penalty was later appealed, and the Rockstar Husqvarna rider was given back some of his time. He now holds a 48-second lead overall.

Paulo Gonçalves’ fortunes were the opposite. The Portuguese rider fell heavily yesterday damaging his right hand. After battling his way through today’s stage with considerable pain, both the rider himself and the team have deemed it appropriate to retire the rider from the event. In doing so, Paulo will be able to fully recover the hand before the season’s main objective: the Dakar Rally.

Pablo Quintanilla
Pablo Quintanilla

The penultimate stage of the rally takes place tomorrow, Monday, with the second leg of the marathon stage, which will take the riders back to Erfoud. The stage will feature a total of 170.86 kilometres of special, as the scheduled second part has been cancelled.

For Andrew Short it was another good day of racing aboard the Husqvarna FR 450 Rally machine. Completing the shortened special stage in a total time of one-hour and 45 minutes, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rally team rookie claimed an 18th place result for the day. Currently 17th in the rally’s provisional overall standings, the former MX and SX star has his eyes set on Tuesday’s finish of the Morocco Rally.

Ricky Brabec

“I had a tough time over the previous days with a bad cold that meant that I didn’t feel at all comfortable over the first day, but I think that the heat has done me some good. I’m really happy to have won this first stage in the world championship and for the two final stages we will see if we can help the team get a result. The navigation today was pretty difficult in some spots. It was a really fast track today so it was fairly easy to look down and take your time. Some parts were really confusing with all the tracks going in every direction, which was tough. The bike feels good. The rougher terrain for me is better. I was raised in California and our deserts are pretty rough so I’m used to that and it’s one of my strong points. We’ll see what tomorrow has to bring. I can open the track well and get a top five in the stage. The speed is there for us; it just comes down to navigation at that speed, which is tough. We’ll get there eventually. I’m still learning how to go fast and read the roadbook at the same time. We’re working on it.”

With Paulo Gonçalves’ retiring from this rally the championship is almost assured for Quintanilla who was leading the championship from the Honda rider after the fourth round.

Motocycles – Provisional stage 3 classification
  1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 1hr 30mins 15secs
  2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) @ 0’10
  3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) @ 0’42
  4. Adrien Ven Beveren (Yamaha) @ 2’40
  5. Kevin Benavides (Honda) @ 2’57
  6. Joan Pedrero (Sherco TVS) @ 4’00
  7. Antoine Meo (KTM) @ 6’24
  8. Laia Sanz (KTM) @ 7’38
  9. Joachim Rodrigues (Hero) @ 7’54
  10. Alessandro Botturi @ 9’17
Provisional Standings after Stage 3 of 5
  1. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 6:07:33
  2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 6:12:21
  3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 6:21:18
  4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 6:22:05
  5. Joan Pedrero (Sherco) 6:27:38
  6. Antoine Meo (KTM) 6:29:19
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S