Smarty’s Moto Wrap for June 3, 2014

There is a massive changing of the guard in the AMA 250 Motocross Championship. Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb are so much faster than anyone else in the 250 class it isn’t funny. Former World Motocross Champions Christophe Pourcel and Marvin Musquin as well as championship favorite Blake Baggett are at least a second a lap slower than the Martin/Cooper freight train.

That Yamaha YZ250F is a dead-set weapon with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Martin winning all four motos in the series so far with his teammate Web scoring four second place finishes and to ram the point home Valli Motorsports/Yamaha’s Pourcel secured an all Yamaha podium at Hangtown. When you consider the fact that these two different Yamaha teams are up again the likes of Pro-Circuit Kawasaki, Geico Honda, Rockstar KTM and TLD Honda you can see that Yamaha is back in the game with their 2014 model.

Round one of the AMA Motocross Championship at Glen Helen saw Pro-Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson end the day with a massive gash in the back of his leg after crashing on one of the huge downhills while Geico Honda’s Zach Osborne also crashed and damaged his thumb. Both riders are going to miss a substantial amount of the series.

Speaking of injured title contenders, current AMSOIL GNCC and Kenda AMA Enduro Series point’s leader Charlie Mullins was having a cracker of a year until last weekend when he suffered a severely dislocated wrist after crashing his KTM. His teammate Kailub Russell will take over as GNCC favorite while Aussie speedster Josh Strang, who is sitting third in the series, is still well and truly in contention for his second GNCC title.

The AMA has announced that Mike Brown, Thad Duvall, Charlie Mullins, Zach Osborne, Taylor Robert and Kailub Russell will make up the U.S. World Trophy Team for the 89th International Six Days Enduro scheduled to be held in San Juan, Argentina, Nov. 3-8.

During a press conference at the GP of France in Saint Jean d’Angely, Mr. David Luongo Youthstream Director, Dr. Wolfgang Srb FIM/CMS Director, Mr Jacques Bolle FFM President and Mr Philippe Lecomte President of the Motoclub Ernée officially announced to international and national media that the 2015 FIM Motocross of Nations will take place in Ernée, France.

Our Aussie international riders had an up and down weekend but lets start with the AMA Motocross Championships where we had Brett Metcalfe, Chad Reed and Jackson Richardson competing.

Metcalfe was in a podium position in the opening moto only to fall back to sixth place and in the second moto Metcalfe held the lead for several laps before being passed by the KTM pairing of Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey. Metty was holding a solid third place before being rammed by Trey Canard late in the moto which dropped the Aussie back to ninth place. Speed wise, Metcalfe has podium written all over him.

Chad on the other hand simply rode to his ‘top ten’ strategy and looks like he is dying to drop the hammer while Richardson came from almost dead last to 21st in the opening moto but in the second moto scored a sensational ninth place finish. Richardson will do one or two more rounds before heading home and will do so with his head held high, top ten finishes in supercross and motocross in the AMA is no easy feat.

Darcy Ward is right in the hunt after the Czech Republic round of the World Speedway Championships while former World Champ Chris Holder and rookie Troy Batchelor had nights that left them scratching their heads.

Ward was the star of the heats and scored 16 points on the night without even making the final while Holder could only manage eight points and Batchelor three. Ward is just one point from the championship points lead while Holder is still well and truly in with a chance six points back.

Luke Styke crashed out of Saturday’s qualifying race at the French round of the World Motocross Championships and didn’t make it to the line to either of the MX2 motos while Megan Rutledge kept herself in the championship hunt by finishing a close third to local hero Livia Lancelot and Italy’s Chiara Fontanesi. Rutledge site four points back from Fontanesi in the points standings.

While on the subject of the World Motocross Championships, Clement Desalle has definitely stepped up to the plate to take it to Antonio Cairoli. For many years now, when Cairoli gets a holeshot it is a foregone conclusion that the diminutive Italian wins each moto by a bloody mile but this year Desalle has decided that be it the Saturday qualifying race or the points paying Sunday motos, he is going to ride his arse off to keep Cairoli in sight and last weekend that paid dividends with a maximum of 50 GP points. There is only 20 points separating Cairoli from Desalle so this isn’t over yet folks!!!!!!!!

Moto Wrap for the weekend of May 31/Jun 1 includes:

  • – Round 9 of the World Motocross Championships at St Jean d’Angely, France
  • – Round 5 of the AMA Enduro Series at Arrington, Virginia
  •  – Round 4of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix at Prague, Czech Republic
  • – Round 2 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Hangtown, Sacramento, Calif.
  • – Round 1 of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships at Nanaimo
  • – 2014 Manjimup 15,000 at the Cosy Creek Circuit, WA
  • – 2014 Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble

World Motocross Championships – Round 9 – St Jean d’Angely, France

MXGP Race Report: Rockstar Energy Suzuki Factory rider Clement Desalle has won the MXGP of France with 1-1 results and in doing so closed the gap a little on series leader Antonio Cairoli to just 20 points.

The opening MXGP moto and not a lot of passing in this one and while it was Cairoli who led early, but a late moto mistake by the Italian handed the lead to Desalle. As much as Cairoli tried to fight back he missed out by just a bike length.

A couple of early surprises as Matis Karro and Dennis Ullrich held top five positions. Both dropped back at the end though. Tommy Searle was fighting with Ullrich for a long time before crashing and dropping back to 17th place. Steven Frossard had a good race starting around 25th place and finishing in sixth.

The second MXGP moto and not a lot happened again as Cairoli took the holeshot ahead of Desalle, Van Horebeek, Frossard, Bobryshev, Pourcel, Goncalves, Searle, Teillet and Karro in 10th.

As with the other motos this race wasn’t seeing too much action as the lead riders pretty much held their positions. Searle did manage to pass both Goncalves and Pourcel early in the race.

After laps of nothing happening Cairoli went down again in the second last lap of the moto and handed the lead to Desalle. Van Horebeek also went past and the final positions were Desalle, Van Horebeek, Cairoli, Frossard, Bobryshev, Searle, Goncalves, Karro, Guarneri and Simpson in 10th.

A racer should always push until the checkered flag and today Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle proved exactly why. After putting himself in a good position in both races, second place behind Cairoli, Desalle wound up the beneficiary of the champ’s errors in not one, but two races allowing him to take two race wins for his second perfect score of the year.
A racer should always push until the checkered flag and today Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle proved exactly why. After putting himself in a good position in both races, second place behind Cairoli, Desalle wound up the beneficiary of the champ’s errors in not one, but two races allowing him to take two race wins for his second perfect score of the year.

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 33:48.880; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.602; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.663; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:37.158; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:41.290; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:45.568; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda), +1:01.240; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:06.237; 9. Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), +1:08.293; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:15.518.

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 33:47.790; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.575; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.774; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.786; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:42.302; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:53.826; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:55.634; 8. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:09.383; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:13.164; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:13.964.

MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 42 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 33 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 32 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 26 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 24 p.; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, YAM), 23 p.; 9. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 23 p.

MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 393 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 373 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 358 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 276 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 197 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 183 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 168 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 166 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 159 p.

MX2 Race Report: Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings has scored a 1-1 overall victory at the Grand Prix of France today. In front of a massive crowd and in beautiful conditions the Dutchman won what was a pretty straight-forward GP. Second overall was Arnaud Tonus who scored 2-2 and third was Jordi Tixier with 4-3 scores.

Herlings how has a 45 point lead over Tonus in the series points.

The opening MX2 moto and Jeffrey Herlings and Max Anstie battled for the holeshot, Herlings just ahead of the British rider. Arnaud Tonus started third but was quickly passed by Valentin Guillod and Jordi Tixier.

Also inside the top ten were Ivo Monticelli, Dylan Ferrandis, Romain Febvre, Tim Gajser and Alexandr Tonkov. Two young riders Jorge Zaragoza and Thomas Covington battled for 11th and 12th position early.

On lap two Anstie dropped back as Guillod moved into second and Tonus into third. Tonus started making ground on Guillod and on lap seven passed for second place.

Herlings lead at this point was seven seconds. Tixier got past Anstie for fourth and Covington and Zaragoza moved up a place as Monticelli pulled out of the race.

Anstie continued to lose ground as he was passed by Febvre and Ferrandis also went past. Zaragoza crashed and dropped back to 27th and Gajser dropped to 12th. Covington was riding well as he moved into ninth position.

In the end Herlings got the win by 19 seconds from Tonus, Guillod, Tixier, Febvre, Ferrandis, Anstie, Tonkov, Seewer, and Petrov in 10th place.

The second MX2 moto and Herlings again holeshots, but this time Tonus is on his back wheel quickly. Despite Herlings making a huge break from the field Tonus follows and tries to keep the Dutchman in his sights. Wild action behind as Lieber goes down and then in another accident Zaragoza and Tonkov also crash while fighting for a top ten place.

After three laps it’s Herlings, Tonus, Febvre, Tixier, Gajser, Ferrandis, Butron, Graulus, Seewer, and Covington in 10th.

Six laps and still Herlings can’t completely shake Tonus who is just two seconds back, while Febvre is passed by Tixier for third place. Then comes Gajser, Ferrandis, Butron, Seewer, Covington and Guillod in 10th. Brits not doing so well as Pocock and Anstie are 15th and 16th.

By lap 10 the distance between Herlings and Tonus was four seconds as Herlings made the better use of passing lapped traffic. Pocock and Anstie had moved up to 13th and 14th and Tonkov who was nearly last after his crash was up to 21st place.

Herlings eventually got well away from Tonus and won, Tonus was second, Tixier third, then came Febvre, Gajser, Ferrandis, Seewer, Petrov, Guillod and Butron in 10th.

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:07.083; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:19.178; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:20.249; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:30.491; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:41.655; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.313; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +1:01.818; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:09.508; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:13.405; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:15.163.

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:38.863; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:08.844; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:42.104; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:48.795; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:55.255; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:24.411; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:25.905; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:26.927; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:27.220; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:41.044

MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 34 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 32 p.; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 30 p.; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 26 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 26 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, YAM), 24 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, YAM), 22 p.

MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 394 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 349 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 297 p.; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 291 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 278 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 235 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 216 p.; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 205 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 199 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 176 p.

WMX Race Report: The French crowd never lacks enthusiasm, they are some of the most passionate fans in the world and thanks to French legend Livia Lancelot this was bought to full fruition this morning as the talented beauty took a pair of awe inspiring wins this weekend to win round four of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in dominating style.

In race one yesterday afternoon, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot took the holeshot and checked out, looking at home on the circuit of St. Jean d’Angely to win race one eleven seconds clear of Yamaha MX Fonta Racing’s Chiara Fontanesi. Coming home in third, Team Dragon Moto’s Stephanie Laier held off a hard fought challenge from Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge, while Larissa Papenmeier rounded out the top five.

With the drop of the gate for WMX race two, Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge seemed to be the most hungry for a good start flying out of the gate to take the holeshot ahead of the fan favorite Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot. The early season red plate holder was in the prime position to show one of the biggest motocrossing nations, France, what she’s got although having race one winner Lancelot hot on her heels was never going to be an easy feat.

After pushing hard on the first three laps, Rutledge gave an inch and Lancelot took a mile a couple of corners before pit lane to take over the lead. Upon doing so the crowd went wild, chain saws were screaming, horns were blowing as Lancelot went on to win her second race of the weekend for a perfect score.

As for Rutledge, the Australian talent kept Lancelot honest the entire race with lapped traffic obstructing what could have been a magnificent last lap challenge for the lead. Nevertheless, the effort of the Bud Racing Kawasaki rider was inspiring as she finished less than one second behind the hometown hero for second.

Meanwhile the fight for third between Team Dragon Moto’s Stephanie Laier and Yamaha MX Fonta Racing’s Chiara Fontanesi was hot. Initially Laier occupied third but couldn’t hold off the attack from the defending champion Fontanesi. With Fontanesi going through, Laier was left to eat roost the entire race, which she did as she planned a retaliation that would never amount.

Rounding out the top five, a whopping thirty seconds back from Laier in fourth, Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Natalie Kane couldn’t come to grips with the track here in St. Jean d’Angely, meaning she would have to be happy with a fifth and a sixth this weekend for fifth overall.

With the combination of results from both races, French fans were stoked to listen to their national anthem which was played thanks to the wins of their female motocross star Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot. Rounding out the podium Yamaha MX Fonta Racing’s Chiara Fontanesi put together a second and a third for second while Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge rounded out the top three with a second and a fourth.

WMX Overall Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 50 Pts. 2. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 42 Pts. 3. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 40 Pts. 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, SUZ), 38 Pts. 5. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 31 Pts. 6. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 31 Pts. 7. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 26 Pts. 8. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 24 Pts. 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 23 Pts. 10. Marianne Veenstra (NED, HUS), 21 Pts.

WMX World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 163 Pts. 2. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 159 Pts. 3. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 151 Pts. 4. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 149 Pts. 5. Stephanie Laier (GER, SUZ), 142 Pts. 6. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 119 Pts. 7. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 116 Pts. 8. Marianne Veenstra (NED, HUS), 96 Pts. 9. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 92 Pts. 10. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 88 Pts

AMA Enduro Series – Round 5 – Arrington, Virginia

Brad Bakken grabbed his first-ever national victory with an impressive performance at the Jester National Enduro in Arrington, Virginia, taking advantage of the absence of point leader Charlie Mullins who dislocated his wrist earlier in the week.

The Jester National Enduro was a new addition to this year’s Kenda AMA National Enduro schedule, held on the 5000-acre Oakridge estates and featuring never before used single-track. The event quickly sold out its 600-entry allotment.

Bakken got of to a quick start in the 65-mile race, winning the opening test of the day and building a cushion that he would rely on for the rest of the race. Test one would be the only test the N-Fab/Am Pro Yamaha rider would win all day, but it gave him just enough of an edge to hold off runner-up finisher Nick Fahringer by 15 seconds at the end of the day to claim his first-ever series win.

“I’m just really excited to get my first overall win, and especially to get it here in Virginia,” said Bakken. “I knew going in it was going to be a fun event because it’s kinda like a home race for me, since I live in Virginia.”

Bakken’s win marked the first for Yamaha since Mullins won the championship in 2010. Bakken’s win was also the first for a 250F.

Fahringer came on strong in the end to secure second after getting off to a slow start. The AirGroup Husqvarna racer was eighth fastest in the six-and-a-half-mile opening section, which put him in a hole from the get-go. However, the Ohio rider won tests two, four and five to move up into contention for the win.

“I dug down deep and I think I beat Brad in all the rest of the tests, but I just put myself in too deep of a hole in that first test,” said Fahringer. “But honestly, this was a home race for Brad and he made me work for it and I just came up a little short.”

Grant Baylor rounded out the podium. The KTM factory support rider finished 24 seconds behind Fahringer.

“This was my second time on the podium and it was a really good day for me,” said Baylor. “I started out a little bit slow, I was sixth at the beginning of the day, but I finally loosened up and the trail started flowing a lot better for me and I started twisting the throttle a little bit more and making up positions.”

Fourth went to Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Andrew DeLong, who finished the event with the third-fastest time in the first two tests, however, a mistake in test five dropped the FE-350 rider to fourth at the end of the day.

“I was feeling really good and I was in a solid position overall,” DeLong said. “But on test five, things took a turn for the worse. I made a wrong turn at some point and I think I finished seventh in that test.”

Jesse Groemm was second in the first test, but was 14th in test two, which put him out of the running. The Maxxis/Klim/DirtWise KTM rider was strong in tests four and five and was able to salvage fifth for the day.

Sixth went to eight-time National Enduro champion Mike Lafferty, who ran a fairly consistent race all day.

American Beta’s Cory Buttrick had one of his best rides of the year for seventh, finishing 33 seconds ahead of AirGroup Racing’s Ryder Lafferty in eighth.

Craig DeLong was ninth overall and first in the Rekluse AA-Expert class, with KTM rider Paddy Holloway rounding out the top 10.

Despite the absence of Mullins, the FMF/KTM rider still holds the lead in the series points standings due to the fact that he held a 40-point lead in the series heading into the Virginia race. However, after the Jester National Enduro, Fahringer now sits just 15 points out of the lead, with Bakken another six points back, meaning the series has all of a sudden tightened up.

OVERALL: 1. Brad Bakken (YAM); 2. Nick Fahringer (HSQ); 3. Grant Baylor (KTM); 4. Andrew Delong (HSQ); 5. Jesse Groemm (KTM); 6. Michael Lafferty (KTM); 7. Cory Buttrick (BET); 8. Ryder Lafferty (HSQ); 9. Craig Delong (HSQ); 10. Paddy Holloway (KTM); 11. Zach Ingram (SUZ); 12. Jason Greer (YAM); 13. Stephen Edmondson (KTM); 14. Justin Sode (BET); 15. Jeff Melik (SCO); 16. Zach Klamfoth (KTM); 17. Tanner Thomas (KTM); 18. Michael Mcginnis (KTM); 19. Drew Higgins (KTM); 20. Travis Teasdale (KTM).

Brad Bakken
Brad Bakken

The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series resumes on June 29 for round six of the series in Marquette, Michigan.

FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Round 4 – Prague, Czech Republic

World champion Tai Woffinden admits he has never had to work harder to dig himself out of a “pretty deep” rut after his second straight Czech FIM Speedway Grand Prix win in Prague on Saturday night.

The Team Great Britain skipper made a sublime start in the final to leave double world champ Greg Hancock, Matej Zagar and triple champion Nicki Pedersen trailing.

This result puts him top of the World Championship on 46 points – level with Hancock.

The second SGP win of Woffy’s career holds extra significance as seven of the last 10 world champs have won in Prague in their championship year, just as he did in 2013.

But the Scunthorpe-born rider is keen to make his own luck and not rely on omens. After struggling for speed at the opening rounds in Auckland and Bydgoszcz, he admits getting back into top gear has taken some hard graft.

After a second place in Tampere on May 17 and now a victory in Prague, Woffy is delighted his efforts have been rewarded.

“It was a great night for me,” Woffinden beamed. “I made starts and I worked hard. The rut I was in at the start of the season was pretty deep. I’ve never worked so hard to get out of it.

“I’m out of it now, but I need to keep building and get faster and faster. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.

“I didn’t expect to be leading at this point. The points at the moment are so close. We’ve still got a long way to go, though. I can’t count my chickens before they’ve hatched. I’ll keep pushing hard, working hard and make things right.

“I won’t do anything stupid. It’s all the same stuff a million people have said before me. But I’m going to try and do it and I’ll see how I get on.”

Woffinden is happy to see his league scores with Wolverhampton in the UK, Vetlanda in Sweden and Wroclaw in Poland on the rise as he bids to build the form needed to secure back-to-back titles.

“When you start collecting points in your league racing and then you get to the Grand Prix, I can’t explain how good it feels,” Woffinden added.

“When you do Poland on Sunday, Britain on Monday and Sweden on Tuesday, it can be hard to get pumped to race. But I take one meeting at a time. I’d love to win another championship this year, but it’s going to be hard.”

Woffinden had no shortage of fans in the Czech capital. And he was delighted to pick up tonight’s gold medal for one of his biggest – his late father and mentor Rob.

Tai said: “I stood on the podium, looked up, and said ‘I wish you were here, Dad’. I wish he could see what’s going on. I’m sure he’s watching from up there.”

After fourth-place finishes in Bydgoszcz and Tampere, Hancock was happy to leave Prague with a medal. “I’ve had a couple of decent runs in the last two. I’ve had some ups and downs, and I’ve had some downs in some important finals,” Hancock said.

“I got things going a little bit better tonight. My scoring wasn’t the best, but I got second, and I’m happy to have been on the rostrum.”

Zagar was delighted to build on his maiden SGP win in Tampere two weeks ago as he surged from 10th to fifth in the standings.

“I’m pretty happy I got 16 points,” Zagar said. “After winning in Finland two weeks ago, all I want to do is bang in points. Points make prizes at the end. Winning prizes is my aim. Of course it would have been brilliant to get back-to-back wins, but congratulations to Tai and Greg for some great riding.”

Next on the calendar is Malilla’s return to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series as venue for the Swedish SGP on June 14.

PRAGUE SCORES: 1 Tai Woffinden 18, 2 Greg Hancock 12, 3 Matej Zagar 16, 4 Nicki Pedersen 10, 5 Darcy Ward 16, 6 Niels-Kristian Iversen 13, 7 Chris Holder 8, 8 Fredrik Lindgren 8, 9 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 10 Andreas Jonsson 7, 11 Martin Smolinski 6, 12 Chris Harris 6, 13 Kenneth Bjerre 4, 14 Troy Batchelor 3, 15 Vaclav Milik 2, 16 Jaroslaw Hampel 2, 17 Zdenek Holub DNR, 18 Michal Skurla DNR.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 46, 2 Greg Hancock 46, 3 Darcy Ward 45, 4 Nicki Pedersen 44, 5 Matej Zagar 43, 6 Krzysztof Kasprzak 42, 7 Chris Holder 40, 8 Fredrik Lindgren 38, 9 Martin Smolinski 37, 10 Niels-Kristian Iversen 35, 11 Jaroslaw Hampel 31, 12 Andreas Jonsson 31, 13 Kenneth Bjerre 22, 14 Troy Batchelor 21, 15 Chris Harris 12, 16 Adrian Miedzinski 5, 17 Joonas Kylmakorpi 5, 18 Kauko Nieminen 4, 19 Jason Bunyan 2, 20 Vaclav Milik 2.

Darcy Ward
Darcy Ward
World champion Tai Woffinden admits he has never had to work harder to dig himself out of a "pretty deep" rut after his second straight Czech FIM Speedway Grand Prix win in Prague on Saturday night.
World champion Tai Woffinden admits he has never had to work harder to dig himself out of a “pretty deep” rut after his second straight Czech FIM Speedway Grand Prix win in Prague on Saturday night.

AMA Motocross Championships – Round 2 – Hangtown, Sacramento, Calif.

The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its second and final stop in the state of California on Saturday for round two of the 12-race championship series. The 450 Class saw an all-new winner as rookie Ken Roczen captured his first career victory in the premier class, while Minnesota’s Jeremy Martin extended his winning-streak to two-in-a-row at the 46th running of the GoPro Hangtown Motocross Classic.

After last weekend’s season opener at southern California’s Glen Helen Raceway, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey held the early points lead in the 450 Class, but his teammate Roczen trailed close behind with a pair of second place finishes in his 450 Class debut. The two were poised to do battle at Hangtown but Roczen heightened the pace to a level that the veteran Dungey just couldn’t match on Saturday.

And it all began in the morning’s timed qualifying sessions, where Roczen laid down the fastest lap in qualifying and had the luxury of first gate choice in Moto 1. Roczen would soon build off that momentum in Moto 1, but first it was the two-time 450 Class Champion of Dungey that earned the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award before Roczen stole back the lead on the opening lap

Roczen created a gap over Dungey that couldn’t be matched in the first moto, en route to his first career Pro Motocross 450 Class moto win. Behind Dungey was Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard, who jumped in behind the KTM duo early on. Canard was followed by his teammate Justin Barcia in fourth, while Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart rounded out the top five in Moto 1.

In Moto 2, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer claimed the MotoSport.com Holeshot, immediately followed by his teammate, Brett Metcalfe. Metcalfe wasted no time in getting himself out front, followed by Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey. Metcalfe and Barcia went back and forth for the lead early on but Roczen eventually staked his claim on the lead and never looked back.

Dungey followed suit, where he quickly settled into the second place position behind Roczen. Despite a valiant charge, the round one winner finished in the runner-up position, where he surrendered his early points lead after two rounds of racing.

“Today was pretty good, I got good starts which helped out. The first and second moto kind of played out the same, got into second and Kenny [Roczen] was riding really well today. I know I can improve in a few little areas, but overall it wasn’t too bad. It’s going to be a long year.”

It was a big day for Roczen and the KTM brand, as the world champion from Germany earned his first career overall in the 450 Class, giving KTM its first 450 Class win at Hangtown throughout the event’s 46-year history. As the 2013 250 Class winner as well, Roczen adds his name to a select list of riders to ever win the Hangtown Motocross Classic in both classes. Roczen will carry the red number plate background and the points lead into round three next Saturday.

“I really had a good time out there,” Roczen said. “It was good racing, I don’t think I have anything to complain about. I always have done well at Hangtown and I have good memories here. This weekend I was comfortable on the bike and once you have that little bit you need, it’s going good.”

As the second moto wore on, the racing action became more intense as former 450 Class Champion James Stewart began pushing his way through the pack, eventually getting around Metcalfe and Barcia for third. And Canard soon followed, making up nine positions to overtake fourth place from Barcia by the end of the second moto. Canard ran down Stewart on the final lap and although he wasn’t able to make the pass on Stewart in Moto 2, the Shawnee, Oklahoma native was able to secure third overall with 3-4 moto scores with an impressive charge in the second moto.

“I was trying to do the best that I could and I got more and more comfortable as the race went on,” Canard said. “It feels good to ride a motorcycle that you’re comfortable on and having fun. Every point is going to count come August so I’m going to make the best of every moment while I’m out there.”

Stewart finished the day with 5-3 moto scores to capture fourth overall for the day, followed by Barcia in sixth with 4-5 scores. California native Westin Peick put in a season-best sixth place finish aboard his RCH Racing/Soaring Eagle Suzuki.

It was once again a marquee day for Factory Yamaha racing in the 250 Class, as the brand swept all three positions on the overall podium. Coming off Yamaha’s first 250 Class victory in exactly one decade at the opening round, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin once again led the way with his second straight victory-and 1-1 sweep-of 2014.

“This is what I’ve been focusing on,” Martin said. “Great motos today, my teammate and I went 1-2 and the Yamahas were strong. It was pretty cool for Yamaha that we swept the podium. I don’t think it’s been done in a long time.”

Martin was once again joined atop the podium by his Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb, who seemingly picked up where he left off as a front-runner at the opening round.

In the first moto, Webb battled with GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle for the second place spot, a battle that sent the Newport, North Carolina rider to the ground once. Webb bounced back, though, eventually passing Bogle to capture second place in Moto 1. There was no catching Martin, though, as he gapped the rest of the field by nearly 20 seconds.

GEICO Honda’s Zach Bell captured the MotoSport.com Holeshot in the first moto, where he hung on for a top five finish behind Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill, who took fourth in Moto 1.

While he’s been extremely close in the first three races, Martin captured his first MotoSport.com Holeshot of the season in Moto 2, where he led every lap start to finish. The top two positions unfolded just as they did in the first moto, but the turn of events came in the third place position with Valli Motorsports/Yamaha’s Christophe Pourcel. Pourcel, who hasn’t raced a full season of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross since 2011 in the 450 Class, captured a season-best third place finish in Moto 2, which was good enough to earn the Frenchmen third overall for the day.

Justin Hill put forth a consistent effort to capture fourth overall with 4-6 moto scores, while California native Jessy Nelson rounded out the top five with moto finishes of 7-5 aboard his Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda machine.

Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Lakewood, Colorado for the Toyota Thunder Valley National on Saturday, June 7.

Metcalfe and Barcia
Metcalfe and Barcia

450 Class Overall: 1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (1-1). 2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-2). 3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, (3-4). 4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (5-3). 5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (4-5). 6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (8-6). 7. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (7-8). 8. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki (6-9). 9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (10-7). 10. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki (11-12).

450 Class Championship Standings: 1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM – 94. 2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 89. 3. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda – 72. 4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki – 66. 5. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki – 61. 6. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda – 52. 7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 52. 8. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 52. 9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki – 51. 10. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha – 43. 11. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki – 43.

250 Class Overall: 1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-1). 2. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha (2-2). 3. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha (8-3). 4. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki (4-6). 5. Jessy. 6. Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda (7-5). 7. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM (10-4). 8. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (9-7). 9. Zach Bell, Cairo, Ga., Honda (5-12). 9. Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda (13-8). 10. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (3-35). 16. Jackson Richardson, Australia, Honda, 21-9.

250 Class Championship Standings: 1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 100. 2. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha – 88. 3. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha – 63. 4. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda – 51. 5. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 50. 6. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM – 49. 7. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda – 48. 8. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrance, Calif., Kawasaki – 48. 9. Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda – 45. 10. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki – 43. 16. Jackson Richardson, Australia, Honda, 23.

CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Nanaimo

Well, he did it. After much controversy Mike Alessi has made it to Canada and won the opening round of the CMCR Canadian Motocross Championships held in Nanaimo last weekend.

Alessi could only manage third place in the opening moto but bounced back to win the second moto to tie with local hero Colton Facciotti while Josh Hill managed third overall on the KX450 that was built for Brett Metcalfe until the Aussie got the gig to fill in for the injured Ryan Villopoto. Got that?

Local Kaven Benoit dominated the 250 class ahead of Shawn Maffenbeier and Austin Politelli.

450 Class Overall: 1. Mike Alessi 3-1. 2. Colton Facciotti 1-3. 3. Josh Hill 4-2. 4. Teddy Maier 2-6. 5. Bobby Kiniry 7-4. 6. Kyle Chisholm 6-5. 7. Tyler Medaglia 5-7. 8. Dylan Kaelin 8-9. 9. Morgan Burger 12-8. 10. Austin Kouba 10-11.

450 Class Points (After 1 of 10 Rounds): 1. Mike Alessi (Suz) – 45. 2. Colton Facciotti (KTM) – 45. 3. Josh Hill (Kaw) – 40. 3. Teddy Maier (Kaw) – 37. 5. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) – 32. 6. Kyle Chisholm (Yam) – 31. 7. Tyler Medaglia (KTM) – 30. 8. Dylan Kaelin (Yam) – 25. 9. Morgan Burger (Yam) – 22. 10. Austin Kouba (Kaw) – 21.

250 Class Overall: 1. Kaven Benoit 1-1. 2. Shawn Maffenbeier 3-2. 3. Austin Politelli 4-3. 4. Jesse Wentland 2-5. 5. Topher Ingalls 9-4. 6. Dylan Wright 8-7. 7. Jeremy Medaglia 12-6. 8. Sylvain Legad 10-8. 9. Jared Petruska 11-9. 10. Dylan Schmoke 14-11.

250 Class Overall (After 1 of 10 Rounds): 1. Kaven Benoit (KTM) – 50. 2. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) – 42. 3. Austin Politelli (Kaw) – 38. 4. Jesse Wentland (KTM) – 38. 5. Topher Ingalls (Hon) – 30. 6. Dylan Wright (Yam) – 27. 7. Jeremy Medalgia (Kaw) – 24. 8. Sylvain Le gad (Kaw) – 24. 9. Jared Petruska (Kaw) – 22. 10. Dylan Schmoke (Yam) – 17.

2014 Manjimup 15,000 – Cosy Creek Circuit, WA

Kirk Gibbs Celebrates 2014 Manjimup Success KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs has etched his name into the annals of Australian motocross history by winning the Manjimup 15,000, at Cosy Creek Circuit, south of Perth.

The famous event blends a picturesque location and an exciting atmosphere driven by passionate locals, with a unique track challenge that combines deep, energy-sapping sand whoops, famous WA pea-gravel over hard pack, and high-quality local riders and invited guests.

Gibbs won the day from New Zealand’s former World Champion Ben Townley and Husqvarna Factory Team rider Brock Winston, with three wins and a third on the day.

A fall to last in the second moto led to an amazing ride through the pack to third place in just six laps, but left the way open for it to go right down to the wire in the final, where Gibbs beat Townley to take the Manjimup 15,000 trophy and the honour of his name on the wall of the club’s Heritage-Listed clubhouse.

Gibbs also took the win in the one-lap shootouts, which take place in the middle of the program.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling to have my name on the wall.” Gibbs said. “It’s such a big thing to be up there with the other people who won it back in the day, the riders before us, so I’m really happy.”

“Physically I’m a little bit buggered, I only had one little first-turn crash, but just the body is a bit banged up. I think I’m ready for that rest now, so it comes at a good time.”

“I rode well, there were a few lines at the end that sort of let me down, real little things but I think I had a step in the right direction, I felt really confident on the bike and some of my starts were really good, so definitely some big positives, and only a few little negatives, so it’s a great day.”

Last weekend’s MX2 round winner Caleb Ward made it a double for KTM, winning the All-Stars Lites classification on his KTM250SX, and taking scores of 9, 4, 9, 6 against the 450s on overall classification.

“I had a little bit of a mixed day with a few bad starts, but that is to be expected when you’re up against the 450s, and I managed to work my way thru in all the motos, so that was good.” Ward commented. “I was the first of the Lites competitors in every moto but one.”

“I had a little bit of a battle with Kirk in the second race after he fell and I tried to stick with him after he passed me to see how he does it, and learn a few lines., racing against the 450s was fun, the roost has given me a few bruises and I think I chipped a tooth, but it was still definitely worth it, I learned a lot.”

Manjimup Overall: 1. Kirk Gibbs. 2. Ben Townley. 3. Brock Winston. 4. Kade Mosig. 5. Nick Wey. 6. Robert Lovett. 7. Mitch Taylor. 8. Louis Calvin. 9. AJ Catanzaro. 10. Oliver James. 13. Brett Cue

Pro-Lites Overall: 1. Kaleb Ward. 2. Luke Arbon. 3. Josh Adams. 4. Jayden Rykers. 5. Josh Cachia.

Kirk Gibbs is the latest name to make it onto the clubhouse wall at Manjimup after winning famous 15,000 at Cosy Creek today.
Kirk Gibbs is the latest name to make it onto the clubhouse wall at Manjimup after winning famous 15,000 at Cosy Creek today.

Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble

Red Bull KTM Extreme Enduro rider Jonny Walker of the UK was in incredible form on Sunday when he tackled and conquered Austria’s notorious ‘Iron Giant’, finishing first in the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the crowning event at the 20th anniversary of the annual Erzbergrodeo.

Billed as the ultimate extreme event, the Red Bull Hare Scramble sees 500 starters attempt to complete the mind-blowingly difficult Extreme Enduro track up and down Erzberg, where iron ore has been mined for centuries. It was the twentieth annual staging of this very special event.

Jonny Walker, who won in 2012 not only took the victory he did it by a winning margin that has rarely, if ever been seen before. He got a near perfect start on his KTM 300 EXC and literally never looked back as he charged up the mountain and over and through obstacles that had other riders dazed and confused.

“I can’t complain,” Walker said in typical understated fashion in the finish area. “I had a perfect race. I wanted to get a good start and battle for the win and I managed to get a break. It feels awesome to have won like that.”

Walker finished the race in a startling 1:37:38 hour and had given the winner’s interview before second placed Graham Jarvis of Britain passed through the winner’s arch, registering a time of 1:50:50 hours.

Jarvis was followed by KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany about two minutes behind. Alfredo Gomez of Spain and KTM rider Paul Bolton of Britain completed the top five.

Lettenbichler was also happy with his third place finish. “Its amazing to get a podium at Erzberg. Its like a victory to get third and I am happy with the result. It was a physical day and harder than ever.”

KTM supported rider Dougie Lampkin of Britain was sixth across the line on his KTM. and American KTM factory rider Taylor Robert was a strong tenth in his first appearance at Erzberg. Robert also finished second in Saturday’s Generali Iron Road Prologue, which culls the 500 riders to start in the Red Bull Hare Scramble from 1800 hopeful starters.

Jarvis, who won the Hare Scramble in 2013 said: “Jonny rode his socks off. He’s upped his game this year.”

Jonny Walker
Jonny Walker

Results Red Bull Hare Scramble 2014: 1. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 1:37:38 h. 2. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 1:50:50. 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:53:01. 4. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 1:53:53. 5. Paul Bolton (GBR), KTM, 1:55:21.

Moto Wrap for the weekend of Jun 8/9 includes:

– Round 8 of the GNCC (John Penton) at Millfield, OH
– Round 6 of the Dutch Motocross Championships at Oldebroek
– Round 4 of the World Enduro Championships at Heinola, Finland
– Round 4 of the All Japan Motocross Championships at Sugo
– Round 3 of the French Motocross Championships at Gaillac Toulza
– Round 3 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Thunder Valley, Lakewood, Colo.
– Round 2 of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships at Kamloops
– Round 2 of the AMA Endurocross Championships at Austin, Texas
– X-Games from Junes 5 to 8 at Austin, Texas
– 2014 Tatts Finke Desert Race