Hosted in Horsham, Australia, the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship crowned three champions over the weekend, with Bailey Malkiewicz claiming the 125cc title, Caden Braswell winning the 85cc class, and Braden Plath the 65cc champion.
Temperatures started chilly, with the skies threatening to open, however once racing commenced it turned into an exceptional weekend for the world’s best young racers, with each class competing across two races, testing consistency and focus.
Australia also claimed the Team of Nations Trophy, tying with Team Netherlands on points but taking the overall win thanks to the Championship titles of Malkiewicz and Plath.
125cc Junior Motocross World Championship
Italy’s Mattia Guadagnini was the fastest in the first race of the 125cc class from the start where he took the holeshot and never looked back. Guadagnini created a gap over Australian Bailey Malkiewicz who was the only real threat, however Malkiewicz was unable to come close enough to attack the #101 Husqvarna.
An early battle between two Australian riders, Malkiewicz and Regan Duffy saw Bailey come out in front, with Duffy slipping back to ninth position as Blake Fox snuck ahead of him late in the race to grab eighth.
Three Australian riders in the top ten was a great first race in the 125cc class, and just outside the top ten was Alex Larwood in 12th position on his Yamaha. Larwood led an Aussie charge with Matthew Farby (13th), Korey McMahon (14th), Noah Ferguson (15th), Liam Andrews (16th) and John Bova (17th).
Sadly, Australian Caleb Clifton had a crash on lap two that ended his WJMX campaign.
125cc Junior World Championship Race 1 Top 10
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), 29:13.317
Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Yamaha), +0:12.457
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +0:23.736
Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.252
Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.671
Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:37.682
James Scott (NZL, KTM), +0:41.222
Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), +0:49.101
Miles Duffy (GBR, Yamaha), +0:49.602
Hayden Smith (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:52.137
Race 2 was filled with tighter racing action after Malkiewicz took the holeshot, before Guadagnini took the lead away, however Malkiewicz was closer in terms of pace the second time around forcing the Italian to defend his lead instead of focus forward.
The pressure caused the Italian to make a mistake and crash in the final laps costing him the World Championship title, eventually finishing third. Malkiewicz took the race win and in result the overall and title of FIM Junior Motocross World Champion in front of a highly supportive home crowd.
Bailey Malkiewicz – 2018 Junior Motocross World Champion
“It has been a great event the whole weekend. Winning in front of my home crowd is just fantastic. I am so happy with the result and with my performance.”
Mattia Guadagnini had to settle for being Vice World Champion after a disappointing end to his weekend. Petr Polak from the Czech Republic joined Malkiewicz and Guadagnini on the podium in 3rd place overall after a consistent 3rd and 2nd.
McMahon was the next best for the Australians and just missed the podium grabbing fourth place aboard his KTM. Two Australian rounded out the top ten with Blake Fox in ninth and Noah Ferguson grabbed tenth.
Similar to race one, there was once again a big contingent of Australian riders just outside the top ten. The pack was led by Fabry (12th), Bova (13th), Hyam (14th), Duffy (15th) and Andrews (16th).
Last year’s 85cc Junior World Champion, Eddie Jade Wade from the UK moved up to the 125cc category this year but was unable to line up after injuring himself in Saturday’s Qualifying Practice.
125cc Junior World Championship Race 2 Top 10
Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Yamaha), 30:51.502
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +0:13.831
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:14.023
Korey McMahon (AUS, KTM), +0:22.378
Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:27.227
Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:27.780
James Scott (NZL, KTM), +0:28.433
Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.171
Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), +0:42.810
Noah Fergusson (AUS, KTM), +0:46.775
125cc Junior World Championship Overall Top 10
Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, YAM), 47 points
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 45
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 42
Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 31
Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 31
Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 31
James Scott (NZL, KTM), 28
Korey McMahon (AUS, KTM), 25
Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), 25
Miles Duffy (GBR, YAM), 18
85cc Junior Motocross World Championship
Caden Braswell from Team USA was the fastest of the 85’s off the start but the fastest in the race as a whole was Belgian rider Liam Everts, son of motocross legend Stefan Everts. Liam masterfully led Race 1 to the finish but during race 2 his fortunes changed when he crashed and was unable to finish due to a bike issue.
West handled the conditions the best of the Australian riders to come away in ninth. It was completely smooth from West who’s helmet visor was just hanging on by a thread by the end of moto one.
Zac Watson found his way into the top ten with a smooth ride aboard his Yamaha, finishing just behind West in tenth position. Jackson Camilleri was the next best of the Australian riders as he collected 13th position on his KTM. Not far behind Camilleri was Ty Kean who finished 15th.
The Australian team featured six riders in the top 20, with Ryan Alexanderson (17th), Jesse Holding (18th) and Cambell Williams (20th) also making their way into the top 20.
“Liam had a bad luck, he could have been a world champion, he was the fastest rider on the track in Race 1 but he crashed after the jump and thankfully is not injured.”
The Race 2 FOX Holeshot went to Dave Kooiker from the Netherlands but Caden Braswell made his way into the lead and took the Race 2 victory.
The strong racing from Braswell, including a battle over third in the first race with fellow American, Ryder Difrancesco, earned him the title of 2018 FIM Junior Motocross World Champion.
Similar to race one, Watson on his Yamaha rounded out the top ten. Just outside the top ten came Kingsford in 11th and behind him was Kean in 12th position. The next best for the Australian contingent was Mancinelli who crossed the finish line in 16th position, his teammate Holding was just behind Mancinelli finishing 17th.
A pair of Aussies who rounded out the top 20 with Alexanderson finishing in 19th while Jack Mather just couldn’t chase him down and finished in 20th. A good result for Mather who was a non-starter in the first moto.
Team Netherlands conquered a notable performance in the 85 class with double podiums as Kay De Wolf became Vice World Champion with a second and sixth place while Kay Karssemakers took third overall for the second time in two years at the event after finishing fourth in both of today’s races.
Caden Braswell – 2018 85cc Junior Motocross World Champion
“I am very proud to become a World Champion, my dreams have come true. I am the best in the World! I am really proud of myself and for my country. I would like to thank my family and Team USA for all the support.”
85cc Junior World Championship Race 1 Top 10
Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 24:34.941
Kay de Wolf (NED, KTM), +0:14.211
Caden Braswell (USA, KTM), +0:19.349
Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), +0:26.912
Ryder Difrancesco (USA, Kawasaki), +0:32.923
Andrea Viano (ITA, KTM), +0:57.356
Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, KTM), +0:59.347
Dave Kooiker (NED, Yamaha), +1:05.842
Brad West (AUS, Kawasaki), +1:13.345
Zac Watson (AUS, Yamaha), +1:15.204
85cc Junior World Championship Race 2 Top Ten
Caden Braswell (USA, KTM), 24:23.125
Dave Kooiker (NED, Yamaha), +0:01.941
Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, KTM), +0:03.438
Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), +0:15.012
Ryder Difrancesco (USA, Kawasaki), +0:20.930
Kay de Wolf (NED, KTM), +0:25.963
Raul Sanchez (ESP, KTM), +0:26.213
Brad West (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:46.788
Andrea Viano (ITA, KTM), +0:54.553
Zac Watson (AUS, Yamaha), +0:54.903
85cc Junior World Championship Overall Top Ten
Caden Braswell (USA, KTM), 45 points
Kay de Wolf (NED, KTM), 37
Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), 36
Dave Kooiker (NED, YAM), 35
Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, KTM), 34
Ryder Difrancesco (USA, KAW), 32
Andrea Viano (ITA, KTM), 27
Brad West (AUS, KAW), 25
Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 25
Raul Sanchez (ESP, KTM), 24
65cc Junior Motocross World Cup
Excitement to race from the riders was evident since the early morning and the first 65cc race was led with a FOX Holeshot from Czech Republic’s Vitezslav Marek. A first turn crash took several riders down but all escaped unharmed.
Relative unknown Marek was the big surprise of Race 1, taking full advantage of the FOX Holeshot. The Netherlands’ Lotte Van Drunen is the only female rider in the competition regardless of racing class and she not only impressed but beat every 65cc rider other than Marek in Race 1.
Third in Race 1 was Enzo Temmerman from the USA with the two Australians of Kayden Minear and Braden Plath fourth and fifth while 2018 EMX65 Champion Brando Rispoli from Italy took 6th.
Jet Alsop was another Aussie inside the top ten riding his KTM to seventh position as he led a four-man aussie charge, including Seth Burchell in eighth, Seth Shackleton ninth and Koby Hantis in tenth.
The next Aussie riders outside the top ten wereDeacon Paice (15th), Ty Sharp (16th), Jack Cannon (18th), Thomas Wood (19th) and Thomas Wood (20th).
65cc Junior World Cup Race 1 Top Ten
Vitezslav Marek (CZE, KTM), 19:12.256
Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Husqvarna), +0:19.492
Enzo Temmerman (USA, KTM), +0:28.835
Kayden Minear (AUS, KTM), +0:30.579
Braden Plath (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:32.990
Brando Rispoli (ITA, KTM), +0:41.884
Jet Alsop (AUS, KTM), +0:44.226
Seth Burchell (AUS, Yamaha), +0:46.082
Seth Shackleton (AUS, KTM), +0:51.156
Koby Hantis (AUS, Cobra), +0:53.92
Race 2 started much stronger for Rispoli however as he took the FOX Holeshot. American Logan Best took over the lead and scored the race win but only managed to finish 12th in Race 1 which held him off the podium.
Consistency proved to be the winning attribute as Australia’s own Braden Plath was crowned 65cc Junior World Cup winner after claiming second in Race 2.
Braden Plath – 2018 MX65 Junior World Cup Winner
“I did not know most of the riders because we have never raced together before but I did not expect to finish at the top. I am really satisfied with the result and happy to win this title in my home country.”
Temmerman’s third and fourth place finishes scored him the second spot on the podium while Rispoli took third overall after finished with a 6-3 score.
Another strong ride from Alsop saw him round out the top five on his KTM, while Burchell was the next best Australian in sixth position.
There would be three more Aussie riders crossing the finish line inside the top ten. Cannon on his Yamaha grabbed seventh, in ninth it was Minear who backed up his fourth place in race one, while rounding out the top ten was Hantis.
Outside the top then Australia still featured prominently with Wood (12th), Kingsford (13th), Shackleton (14th), Mcinnes (16th), Owens (18th), Paice (19th) and Pearce (20th).
65cc Junior World Cup Race 2 Top Ten
Logan Best (USA, KTM), 17:50.665
Braden Plath (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:01.537
Brando Rispoli (ITA, KTM), +0:04.006
Enzo Temmerman (USA, KTM), +0:12.985
Jet Alsop (AUS, KTM), +0:19.625
Seth Burchell (AUS, Yamaha), +0:26.068
Jake Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +0:26.863
Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Husqvarna), +0:27.174
Kayden Minear (AUS, KTM), +0:31.092
Koby Hantis (AUS, Cobra), +0:32.970
65cc Junior World Cup Overall Top Ten
Braden Plath (AUS, HUS), 38 points
Enzo Temmerman (USA, KTM), 38
Brando Rispoli (ITA, KTM), 35
Lotte Van Drunen (NED, HUS), 35
Logan Best (USA, KTM), 34
Jet Alsop (AUS, KTM), 30
Kayden Minear (AUS, KTM), 30
Seth Burchell (AUS, YAM), 28
Vitezslav Marek (CZE, KTM), 25
Koby Hantis (AUS, COB), 22
The winning team in the nations qualification was none other than the host country of Australia. Australia’s top performing riders Bailey Malkiewicz, Brad West, and Braden Plath helped the team to 10 points tying with Team Netherlands who were aided by the strong races of Raivo Dankers, Kay De Wolf, and Lotte Van Drunen while Team Italy took third including Mattia Guadagnini, Andrea Viano, and Brando Rispoli with 12 points.
Though Italy didn’t win the overall title as the best team they did claim the 2018 FIM Ride Green Cup as recognition for their promotion of a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to racing.
A massive shout out went to the Kenny Watts and the Horsham Motorcycle Club for putting on a remarkable event, that ran smoothly without a hiccup. This was the first time the WJMX had ventured to Australia.
Mark Willingham – Team Australia Team Manager
“What a weekend it was for the whole team, it had been such a busy build up for us for the event, and for the team to pull together and perform the way they did was great. Our team this year included 51 riders and they all banded together so well on and off the track, making this achievement achievable.”
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