Cody Webb wins 2017 Clipsal Super Enduro-X
Fellow American Mike Brown hot on his heals, as Tye Simmonds won both 1V1 events
KTM-mounted trials rider turned two-time AMA EnduroCross Champion Cody Webb has dominated the weekend’s Super Enduro-X at the V8 Supercar championship opener, the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
On the fast and challenging course which combined highly technical enduro-x obstacles with faster supercross-style jump lanes, the Californian made his intentions clear right from the start, taking the overall victory in Friday’s opening encounter ahead of Husqvarna-mounted duo Mike Brown and Kyle Redmond.
Anyone who thought that former Australian Enduro-X Champion Mike Brown was in Adelaide for the appearance money received a rude shock as the Tennessee rider blew almost everyone off the track during the weekend’s Super Enduro-X event at the V8 Supercar Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
At 44-years-of age the 2001 AMA motocross champion remains a fast-moving contradiction to conventional concepts of a rider’s ‘prime’, and at Adelaide, he finished top-two in nine out of ten races (in the tenth he was third).
Webb won Saturday night’s battle from Brown and Aussie Cheyne Boyd, before finishing second in the final hitout, after crashing in the opening race and carving spectacularly through the pack to fourth, then wrapping up with another top-of-the podium performance to finish.
“I’ve had a blast, it was a really cool format, and everyone’s getting more and more comfortable throughout the weekend. You’ve got the moto guys mixing it up and getting more and more comfortable on the enduro-x section, and though it’s my first time hitting supercross style rhythms, it’s cool to look back on it and see how I’ve gotten more comfortable throughout the weekend. We’re a little side show off to the side of the main event here, but everyone’s really psyched on the show we’re putting on. It’s been close racing, and a couple of times I’ve had to come through the pack after going down on the first start straight – I think the crowd’s gotten a good show and I’ve had a blast myself too. I’m hoping they put my name on the list if they have the event again.”
Brown finished second in Friday night’s overall tally behind KTM’s Cody Webb and ahead of Husqvarna team mate Kyle Redmond, then repeated the trick on Saturday, again behind Webb, but this time leading Aussie Cheyne Boyd home in third.
Brown went out on top, wrapping up his fourth stint for Husqvarna Australia with a win and a second in the final two events.
“I was pretty consistent, but some of the wins I wanted – the big money ones – I never got. But it’s alright. The track was good for me, but it equalled out; Cody was good on the technical parts and I was a little better on the jumps and stuff, so it was good racing. I enjoy this kind of racing better than the stuff we have in America. It’s a big crowd here. I’ve travelled around, been to a lot of races, and this is one of the biggest ones I’ve ever done, because you’ve got the car racing, and it brings a lot of different people along to the motorcycle side. It’s good to have those people coming and seeing what’s going on. There were lot of kids here too, which was good.”
On the team’s second Husqvarna FC350, Redmond was back with a flurry, the 28-year-old finishing off with 2-3 results.
The two Americans were in town to fly the Husqvarna flag at Australia’s highest-profile enduro-x event, after Victorian 2016 Clipsal 500 Enduro-X Champ Mitch Harper became unavailable with a leg infection.
In his first enduro-x outing and two years, Aussie KTM rider Tye Simmonds couldn’t quite match it with the full-time enduro-x professionals, but with a bag of supercross experience and plenty of determined aggression, he was the last man standing in the 1V1 shootouts on both nights.
Despite a complete lack of race exposure since last year, the contract musterer from Bourke took two more race podiums over the course of the event and set the second fastest lap time in SuperPole yesterday.
“It’s been a bloody good weekend. We’ve had plenty of riding from Press Day on Wednesday to today. The track’s been a whole lot of fun, it’s been technical with all the logs and rocks, and then some super-cool supercross stuff as well. I’m looking forward to next year. I had an absolute ball feeling like I was back in my supercross days with the big crowds. Me and Cody had a couple of good races in the man-on-mans, he tried to muscle me on the inside in the first turn in the final, so I gave him the ‘welcome to Australia’ and put him on the ground and managed to sneak away with the win and won $1000 so that was cool. We were okay though, he’s been really good, he’s been kicking our arses all weekend. We’re racing, making a bit of coin out of it, and it’s just a fun weekend on and off the track, so, bloody good.”
Spanish Dakar champion Laia Sanz earned herself a legion of admirers as she tried to match it against the boys on a track containing the kind of enduro-x obstacles she relishes, but also the supercross obstacles she has very little experience on, and made plenty of progress as the event unfolded.
“I’m enjoying and also learning. It’s not my normal kind of riding, but I’ve learned a lot from the first day until now, so I’m enjoying the experience. I was trying not to be the last one against the boys, but it was a difficult track for me with the jumps, so I was just trying to enjoy and to learn. The first day it was so hard for me, but now I’m getting better every time and I’m much faster in those sections than when I arrived here. Everybody’s really nice here and it’s nice to be a part of this event and so many people are coming to see us. It’s big and it’s a nice experience.”
With over 200,000 spectators at the Clipsal event and the enduro-x scheduled not to clash with the other events the moto men (and woman), thousands of new fans got to experience Webb’s KTM dominance.
South Australian Husqvarna-mounted desert racing specialist Ivan Long battled with the technical demands of his home town event, but was unable to upstage the more established enduro-x competitors.
Christian Horwood – Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager
“It’s been a great week being over here for the Clipsal 500 Super Enduro-X, and we’ve had a lot of success. Both Mike and Kyle have ridden exceptionally well, and in every race they’ve put on a great show for the huge crowd. Both the boys had wins and the American boys showed why they’re among the best in the world on these types of tracks. Mike continues to impress, being so aggressive and determined right from the gate drop, he probably led more laps than anyone and finished no worse than second in every race. It was Kyle’s very first race for Husqvarna, yet came up with two race wins this week. The 350s have been the perfect bikes for this track and been faultless all week. The track was very technical and challenging and it’s been hot and demanding on the riders, so it’s just great to get through the week and not have injuries, and have such big success.”
Glenn Kearney – KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager
“Cody’s been pretty impressive, He’s only been off the podium once, and that was today when he crashed in the first log section when he and Cheyne Boyd came together off the start – he gave them half a lap start and still managed to catch back up to fourth! It’s been great having him here, he’s easy to work with, doesn’t damage anything and just looks comfortable out there. Laia’s been unreal getting the job done against the boys and beating quite a few of them. She was still going too, when quite a few guys had gone out. She’s nice, and really funny, and didn’t require much to get the job done – you couldn’t ask for better riders to have here. Tye showed a lot of his supercross skill and was the last guy standing in the 1-V-1 heats on both Friday and Saturday. He had the aggression up when he pushed Cody out on Friday, but they had a laugh about it, it’s all fun and a bit of racing. It was really good to see Tye on the podium a few times as well.”