Let’s talk MX around the Globe
With Todd Jarratt
In amongst a busy lifestyle it’s difficult to keep up to date with the various motocross championship chases going on around the globe. So, in this article I’m giving you all a run down on where things sit in the world of motocross at the moment and what craziness has been unfolding lately! Sit back and pay close attention so over the weekend you can be that guy sitting around the campfire letting everyone know what’s really been happening in the world of motocross.
AMA Pro Motocross Championships – 7 of 12 rounds (Millville next weekend)
Our American counterparts are now seven rounds through their 12 round outdoor series and it seems someone has recently lit a fire under the butt of Justin Barcia. ‘Bam Bam’ took his first victory at the mud bath Budds Creek just two weeks ago and many stated as they do, that he got lucky and that mud races are more about survival than speed… Well, didn’t Barcia silence the critics last weekend, when at the infamous Red Bud he straight up beat Ryan Dungey and walked away with the overall – no mud excuses for the online trolls that weekend.
Overall though, after 7 of 12 rounds Dungey holds the red plate (303 points) and a 44 point championship lead over defending champ and former teammate Ken Roczen (259 points). After two solid point scoring weekends from Justin Barcia he has now moved into third in the championship standings, trailing Roczen by only 19 markers (240 points). Following Barcia are best mates Blake Baggett in fourth on 212 points and Jason Anderson in fifth on 197 points.
In the small bore division, a two way, back and forth fight for the red plate that started at round one has continued through the first half of the outdoor series. After taking both moto wins at Red Bud, defending series champion Jeremy Martin now sits on 298 points and holds a seven point buffer over title rival Marvin Musquin, who was only able to card 4-6 results over the July 4th weekend. Impressively, Martin is the only rider who has been able to finish inside of the top ten in every moto so far this season, but Musquin has already accumulated seven race wins – so who will come out on top in five rounds time? In third place overall, but seemingly light years behind our lead duo is Zach Osborne, who is 84 points adrift in the championship hunt. Joey Savatgy sits in fourth overall with 191 points, only three markers ahead of our equaled fifth Alex Martin and Jesse Nelson on 188 points.
Remember guys, because this is your weekend ‘goss’ you also need the team scoops! So, to help you out, it is already confirmed that Alex Martin will join the factory Star Yamaha team in 2016 alongside his brother Jeremy, and latecomer to the outdoors series, Christian Craig has inked a deal with Geico Honda for the entire 2016 season. Also, if you have been living under a rock, Adam Cianciarulo has been forced to sit out the remainder of the 2015 season due to a shoulder injury – and no it is not the same shoulder he has injured previously. From all reports Cianciarulo suffers from a hereditary condition where his shoulder is prone to injury and this can only be dealt with by surgery. Let’s hope 2016 brings better luck for the talented 18 year old.
MXGP – 11 of 18 rounds (Latvia this weekend)
Heading into the 2015 MXGP season there were four names being thrown around the ring as MX1 class favourites – Antonio Cairoli, Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin and of course Ryan Villopoto. So who would’ve thought that 11 rounds through this 18 stop tour, that they’d all be at least 39 points back in the championship hunt and chasing 23 year old rookie Romain Febvre?! Well that’s exactly what’s happening at the moment as Villopoto was injured at round four following this crash…..
Villopoto has been missing in action ever since and overnight RV officially anounced his retirement from motorcycle racing.
Paulin suffered from a mechanical DNF at the French round and has only made it to the podium six times in 22 races. Cairoli suffered from a DNF at the Valkenswaard round and is currently dealing with some broken bones in his left hand, Desalle has been out of the series since round eight due to injury, and stand out early series points leader Max Nagl was injured prior to round 10 leaving his title hopes hanging in the balance.
Series leader Febvre sits on 419 points and has now tallied up six moto wins, which he has taken all in the last five rounds, so to say he has championship momentum would be a massive understatement. In fact, if any rider other than Febvre were to end up with the number one plate bolted to the front of their bike come 2016, they would have to find some chinks in his armour, because this kid’s roll doesn’t look like it is stopping any time soon.
For the first time in years Cairoli is playing bridesmaid and currently sits 39 points back in the championship chase, followed by Nagl who, as mentioned previously, is not going to be making up ground any time soon. Paulin sits in fourth overall on 351 points and his teammate Evgeny Bobryshev rounds out the top five on 319 points after suffering from a DNF at the last round in Sweden.
On a domestic note, Dean Ferris, currently sitting 13th and Todd Waters currently sitting 9th overall, both finished inside of the top five in Sweden last weekend with 4th and 5th overall respectively. Additionally, only two rounds prior Waters made his way onto the overall podium for the first time in his career with a third place finish behind Febvre and Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos.
In the MX2 division, every rider within the top 1o in points has now suffered from at least one DNF, but as expected Jeffrey Herlings holds a sizeable 78 point championship lead. Funnily enough though, that’s not the talking point of the KTM rider’s season. The injury streak that has plagued him over the last few years has continued through his 2015 campaign as he entered the season still suffering from the ill effects of his broken femur in 2014. At the time he was managing to decimate the field most weekends with a few off results here and there as expected from the number 84. Then came his crash in the opening moto of the German GP….
That crash left Herlings with a broken collarbone and zero points for the weekend.
In true Herlings style though, against the odds, he entered the Swedish GP and won the opening moto with a freshly plated collarbone, but then in the first turn of race two he high sided and did some serious damage to his left pinky finger (image here) carding another DNF. So it seems the trend continues – Herlings either wins (and has done so in 14 of 22 races thus far) or crashes out whilst winning.
Despite suffering from three DNF’s, Honda’s Tim Gasjer currently sits second in points, after standing atop of the overall podium at the last two rounds of the series. Vallentin Guillod, now with two race wins and an overall under his belt, sits third in points, only ten markers back from Gasjer. Guillod is trailed by Jeremy Seewer, who sits on 311 points in fourth and Herlings’ teammate Pauls Jonass rounds out the top five on 307 points.
On the topic of Pauls Jonass, he somehow managed to walk away from this horrific crash at the last round of the GP series in Sweden and is looking to line up again this weekend at Latvia for round 12.
Canadian Motocross Nationals – 4 of 10 rounds (Courtland this weekend)
Up above and neighbouring the USA, believe it or not is a pretty big country called Canada (trust me, I’m stunned too) and it’s four rounds through its ten stop series. Matt Goerke currently leads the MX1 title chase ahead of Colton Facciotti and Australia’s Brett Metcalfe. Goerke and Facciotti are both yet to win an overall, but due to their consistent top five results and Metcalfe’s DNF at round three of the series, they hold a 12 and five point lead respectively over our South Australian rider. Cole Thompson currently trails Metcalfe by two points in fourth overall and Tyler Medaglia rounds out the top five on 169 points. The series returns to racing this weekend in Courtland, Ontario for round five so be sure to keep your eye on the results as they become available over the weekend!
In the Lites division after taking two overall round wins and a podium, defending champion Kaven Benoit holds the red plate on 217 points. Jeremy Medaglia’s consistent podium finishes sees him sitting in second ahead of everybody’s favourite two stroker Jimmy Decotis. ‘Jimmy D’ has taken two overall round wins and a second, but a 14th at round two of the series has him sitting 23 points behind KTM’s Benoit. Rounding out the top five are Shawn Maffenbeier and Morgan Burger who hold 162 and 156 points respectively. The series returns to racing this weekend in Courtland, Ontario, for round five.
MX Nationals – 6 of 12 rounds (Shepparton next weekend)
Back on home turf…. over the weekend at round six of the MX Nationals although Kirk Gibbs took the overall win, we witnessed the return of the ‘real’ Matt Moss. The defending champion took out the GoPro Super Pole and moto one win, before finishing fourth in moto two after a late race charge.
Gibbs was still able to trump the number one Suzuki though and currently holds the red plate with a 60 point series lead over rookie KTM teammate Luke Styke. 17 points behind Styke is Kawasaki’s Adam Monea who sits on 334 points, ahead of CDR Yamaha’s Kade Mosig (331 points) and DPH Motorsports’ Lawson Bopping (320 points).
One of the main talking points of the mid year break was the movement of Dylan Long from the privateer Tattoo Racing awning to the factory Kawasaki team as a result of Jake Moss’ recent leg injury. In his rookie season Long currently sits seventh in the championship and at Raymond Terrace making his debut on the NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki, he was able to finish sixth overall, just one point shy of the top five. If this result is anything to go by, Long may just surprise a few people at his home town race at Shepparton next weekend.
In the MX2 class KTM’s rising star Caleb Ward continued on his winning ways of late, taking his third straight round win since returning to the series. After struggling with some mechanical issues at the opening round earlier this year and a knee injury that saw him miss rounds two and three many people overlooked Ward, though he has bounced back and been the rider to beat since making his return to the track at Murray Bridge in South Australia. As a result of missing two rounds of the series though, Ward sits back in seventh in the championship, with JCR Yamaha’s Jay Wilson walking away from Raymond Terrace with red plate. Wilson, who sits on 343 points, holds a 5 point lead over former teammate Luke Clout, and sits 20 points ahead of Japan’s Takeshi Katsuya who lost valuable champion sip points as a result of finishing 17th in moto two over the weekend. Rounding out the top five are Serco Yamaha’s Jed Beaton on 300 points, and JBC Motorsports’ Wade Hunter on 288 points.
In terms of talking points, Dylan Wills was the MX2’s ‘that’ guy over the weekend, after grabbing a clear hole shot in moto one and walking away from everyone in the field except Caleb Ward to take his maiden career win. Wills also took the top spot in qualifying, and if it weren’t for getting caught up early in moto two, he may have had something to say about the podium order in that race too.
In the MXD class, much like the AMA MX2 class there is a championship battle brewing between two riders who have been exchanging race wins for the past three rounds. Pre season title favourite Wilson Todd and rookie Connor Tierney are separated by only 10 points heading into round seven next weekend, and only time will tell if anyone else in their field will have an answer for their current speed.