Moto News Weekly Wrap
August 21, 2018 by Darren Smart
Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
What Went Down Last Weekend?
- AMA Motocross Championship – Round 11 – Budds Creek
- Masterpool Wins Budds Creek 125 All Star Race
- World Motocross Championships – Round 16 – Switzerland
- Guyon and Boisrame Take EMX Victory in Switzerland
- 2018 X-Trial Australian Championship Cancelled
- Benavides Claims Atacama Rally Win Ahead of Price
- Aussies Swamp Wade Farm Sprint Enduro
- WA Senior Motocross Championships – Maylands
- Australian MXoN Team Announced
- Villopoto Set for Monster Energy S-X Open in Auckland
- Smith Wins Sunraysia Rally
- Rhys Carter to Yamaha NZ
- Husqvarna extends contract with Billy Bolt
AMA Motocross Championship – Round 11 – Budds Creek
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship made its annual visit to Budds Creek Motocross Park in Southern Maryland for the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National and it was championship leader Eli Tomac who won the 450 class while RJ Hampshire capped off a stellar weekend to take the 250 class win.
Aaron Plessinger entered the penultimate round of the season with an opportunity to clinch his first professional motocross title, and he successfully hoisted the Gary Jones Cup for the 250 Class following an opening moto victory and third place overall effort.
The first 450 Class moto saw Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia going toe-to-toe at a scintillating pace in the early laps while Tomac was buried in the field to finish the opening lap in seventh.
Roczen was able to get to the lead but the gap between Roczen and Musquin stayed at around two seconds for the majority of the moto then with five minutes remaining Musquin closed in on the rear wheel of Roczen and began searching for a way around. On Lap 12, Tomac entered the battle for a podium position and blasted his way around Barcia for third.
As the race entered its final laps, Roczen managed to up the pace and stretched his lead back out on Musquin, whose charge to the front came to a halt. Roczen remained unchallenged as he crossed the finish for his second moto win of the season with 13.8 seconds to spare on Musquin. A hard-fought effort from Tomac put him third.
The final 450 Class moto Musquin, Barcia, and Roczen were the front runners while Tomac once again found himself behind his championship rivals but he did manage to work his way into sixth by the end of the first lap.
Musquin quickly opened a lead of a couple seconds on Roczen but the German began to find his stride near the halfway point of the moto and passed Musquin for the lead then it was Tomac’s turn to shine with the Kawasaki rider picking off Blake Baggett, Barcia and Musquin to take over second.
On Lap 12, Tomac muscled his way around Roczen to take the lead, while Baggett was able to make the move on Musquin for third so at this point Roczen was still in possession of the overall, but Baggett’s late charge carried him around Roczen for second with three laps to go and shifted the overall into Tomac’s favour.
As the chequered flag waved, Tomac brought home his 15th moto victory by 5.4 seconds over Baggett. Roczen held on for third.
With their identical scores Tomac (3-1) and Roczen (1-3) finished in a tiebreaker, but the better second moto gave Tomac the advantage for his 17th career victory. Musquin completed the overall podium in third (2-4).
“It was a different Budds Creek track today. The track was kind of a combo of hard pack and soft dirt, but overall it was decent and made for some good racing lines. I was eating a lot of roost early on in Moto 2, but held my composure and waited for the right time to attack. It was nice to rebound in the second moto and get the job done. I’m feeling good heading into the final round at Ironman next week.”
Tomac holds a 20-point advantage over Musquin in the 450 Class standings with one round remaining. Roczen’s efforts on the day helped him surpass Barcia for third in the standings. Roczen is 70 points behind Musquin.
Jason Anderson made his return to racing and carded a fourth in the opening moto but the Husqvarna rider didn’t front up to the starting line for moto two while Cody Cooper continues to rack up top 20 finishes with 18-15 moto results at Budds Creek and enters the final round in 11th place in the championship, 10 points behind 10th placed Cody Cooper and 13 points behind ninth placed Kyle Cunningham.
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (3-1)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (1-3)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-4)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (5-2)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (6-5)
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna (7-6)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (8-7)
- Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (9-8)
- Dylan Merriam, Corona, Calif., Yamaha (12-10)
- Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (14-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 493 Points
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 473 Points
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 403 Points
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 394 Points
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 370 Points
- Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 291 Points
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna – 282 Points
- Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM – 278 Points
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki – 159 Points
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 156 Points
The opening 250 Class moto saw Plessinger capture the holeshot ahead of RJ Hampshire and Mitchell Harrison. With a star-studded field behind him, Plessinger immediately sprinted in an attempt to distance himself from the competition, while Austin Forkner jumped his way past Harrison into third.
Plessinger went on to take his ninth moto win of the season by 6.7 seconds over Hampshire, who matched a season best runner-up result. Forkner finished strong to complete the podium in third. The moto win effectively locked up the championship for Plessinger, giving him a stress-free shot at victory in the final moto.
Much like the first moto, Plessinger looked to set the pace early in the second moto as he attempted to break away from Hampshire and Forkner who found himself under pressure from Chase Sexton.
Hampshire overtook Plessinger for the race lead on Lap 5, with Sexton making the pass for second just one lap later then on Lap 7, Plessinger lost the front end coming down a hill, which allowed Forkner to inherit third and dropped Plessinger all the way to 10th.
The battle for third was intense as Harrison started creeping up on Forkner, applying heavy pressure as the duo traded positions several times down the final stretch of the moto. On Lap 14, Harrison made an aggressive move on the inside of Forkner to gain the position.
Hampshire held on to take the first moto win of his career by 3.7 seconds over Sexton, giving GEICO Honda a sweep of the top two positions. Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha’s Justin Cooper parlayed a late charge into a pass on the final lap to steal third from Harrison.
The 2-1 moto scores by Hampshire were good enough to give him his first career overall victory, edging out Sexton in second (7-2). With the championship in hand, Plessinger took the final step of the overall podium in third (1-11). Hampshire is the 84th different winner in 250 Class history, and the third first-time winner this season.
“Today felt great and it was a big boost for the team with Chase and I finishing first and second. It seemed like whenever I have been able to get a good moto result, the other moto something freak has happened, whether my fault or not. The team has been busting their butt this season to keep making the bike better and I think that shows with the results. It’s such a relief to finally get the job done.”
Plessinger’s third overall capped off the clinching of his first career motocross championship with one round remaining on the calendar. Alex Martin sits 84 points behind in second, while Justin Cooper trails him by an additional 48 points.
Plessinger becomes the 30th different rider to earn a 250 Class title. It’s also the fourth championship for Star Yamaha in five years.
“I was starting to get jitters on the sight lap for Moto 1 today, I tried my best to not think about the championship and just focus on the race, but it’s tough because the thought is definitely there. I had so much excitement and emotions after the first moto that it was just really hard to focus for the second race. It’s been such an incredible year and I don’t think its really sunk in yet.”
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will continue next weekend for its final round of the season on Saturday, August 25, with its annual visit to Ironman Raceway in Indiana for the Ironman National.
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (2-1)
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (7-2)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (1-11)
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Husqvarna (4-5)
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (3-7)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM (10-4)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (14-3)
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (9-6)
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (5-10)
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna (8-9)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 450 Points
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM – 366 Points
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 318 Points
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 305 Points
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 299 Points
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 287 Points
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 284 Points
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 281 Points
- Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki – 262 Points
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 259 Points
Masterpool Wins Budds Creek 125 All Star Race
The 2018 AMA National series at Budds Creek held the sixth round of the 125cc All-Star race. Each 125cc All-Star race this year has had their stand out riders with ex-factory stars coming out of the woodwork with riders like Ryan Villopoto, Mike Brown, Wil Hahn and more but at Budds Creek the ex-star was Ryan Hughes who placed third to Ty Masterpool and Jack Rogers.
Budds Creek 125 All-Star Results (Round 6 Of 7)
- Ty Masterpool (Yam)
- Jack Rogers (Yam)
- Ryan Hughes (Yam)
- Luke Vonlinger (Hon)
- Steve Roman (Yam)
- Chris Johnson (KTM)
- Chase Yentzer (KTM)
- Johnny Wasco (Yam)
- Levi Wosick (Yam)
- Jordan Jarvis (Yam)
- Tommy Coluzzi (KTM)
- Noah Willbrandt (Yam)
- Dan Raible (KTM)
- Jedediah Haines (Kaw)
- Matt Vonlinger (Hon)
World Motocross Championships – Round 16 – Switzerland
The 16th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship was held in Switzerland last weekend and it was MXGP and MX2 points leaders Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado who won the overall on a rut infested hard packed circuit.
See the full report: Herlings takes Swiss MXGP double | Prado tops MX2 (Link)
Herlings won the opening moto by 4.8 seconds over a much improved Desalle with Romain Febvre, Glen Coldenhoff and Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer rounding out the top five then in the second moto Herlings dished out a hiding to win by by 14 seconds over Febvre, Gajser, Desalle, Anstie, and Cairoli. The championship lead of Herlings now extends to 58 points over Cairoli whose condition at the moment remains unknown.
“I felt good all weekend I must say, we had a good weekend, obviously a little bad luck in Qualifying. It is a great day for the championship going 1-1 for the full 50 points, my nearest rival didn’t have the best of GPs, he crashed but I hope he is ok. I am looking forward to Sevlievo in 7 days.”
“This weekend was really great! To start at the front is much easier, I knew I had the speed and I have had the speed all weekend long… I’m looking forward to next week.”
“It was a really positive weekend, the whole weekend with good starts and consistent riding. I am disappointed about the second half of the second race but I had a consistent result and I am happy about the podium, I want more.”
Todd Waters scored two top 20 rides to earn 17th outright.
“Yesterday’s qualifying race was not good, so the poor gate pick did not help. I woke up this morning and I was motivated to do everything I could to make a difference. We were battling around the top-15 in both races – despite not so great starts – and whilst in the first race I was able to maintain the position until the end, in the second one my form faded out towards the end. Nevertheless, we made some baby steps and my feeling with the bike has improved a little bit, so the goal is to continue in this direction and keep improving in the next two rounds.”
MXGP Overall Top Ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points;
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 42
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 32
- Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 31
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 29
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 28
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 24
- Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 24
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 21
…17. Todd Waters (AUS, HON) 9
MXGP Championship Top Ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 733 points;
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 675
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 543
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 510
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 507
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 455
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 420
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 371
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 350
- Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 298
…23. Todd Waters (AUS, HON) 42
Defending champion Pauls Jonass won the opening moto by 5.1 seconds with Prado, Thomas Covington, Anthony Rodriguez and Hunter Lawrence rounding out the top five but in the second moto Prado managed to fight through physical issues to hold on the lead and win by 4.7 seconds over Jonass, Lawrence, Calvin Vlaanderen and Thomas Kjer Olsen.
In the overall result for the GP, Prado took the win but tied in points with Jonass in second while Lawrence finished on the podium since the first round of the year at the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina.
“The weekend went pretty well for me, I felt good on the track and the bike. I am really happy with the 2nd race since I managed to push really hard in the last laps.”
“This weekend went okay actually. It feels good to be back on the podium… I still feeling good and there is still 4 GP’s to go so I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
“It is refreshing, it feels like last year that I was on the podium last. It is one of the first races that I am feeling good with the bike and fitness with no injuries. We have been working hard to keep improving and finish the season strong.”
MX2 Overall Top Ten
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points;
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 47
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 36
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 35
- Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 31
- Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 29
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 27
- Marshal Weltin (USA, KAW), 25
- Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 23
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 18
MX2 Championship Top Ten
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 692 points;
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 664
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 519
- Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 482
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 462
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 452
- Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 346
- Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 314
- Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 278
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 229
Guyon and Boisrame Take EMX Victory in Switzerland
The FIM Motocross World Championship was joined by the EMX125 and EMX250 Championship classes where Tom Guyon and Mathys Boisrame took the respective overall wins.
Boisrame scored the overall on the back of 4-1 moto results while Kiwi Dylan Walsh won the opening moto but a fall in the second moto saw the flying Kiwi finish back in 12th for 4th outright.
“I am very happy with how the weekend went. Yesterday I was fast, but I made some mistakes which I think cost me the chance of a win, however today I rode really well and got the race win and overall and extended my lead in the championship to 18 points.”
The overall win went to Guyon for the first time in his career with 1-2 scores, while Mattia Guadagnini took 2nd with 3-1 results, and Rick Elzinga rounded out the podium with a 2-4 moto finshes.
“I’m really happy with my weekend, it’s my first race win and my first podium, I am now hoping for another podium in Assen.”
EMX250 Overall Top 10
- Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 43 points
- Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 36
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 36
- Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 34
- Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 31
- Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 29
- Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 27
- Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 26
- Josh Spinks (GBR, KTM), 24
- Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 20
EMX250 Championship Top 10
- Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 299 points
- Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 281
- Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 246
- Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 222
- Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 219
- Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 216
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 209
- Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 168
- Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 163
- Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 153
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Overall Top 10
- Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 47 points
- Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 45
- Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 40
- Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), 30
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 30
- Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 28
- Mario Lucas Sanz (ESP, KTM), 25
- Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 25
- Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), 22
- Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 20
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship Top 10
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 235 points
- Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 202
- Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 196
- Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 170
- Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 168
- Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 151
- Emil Weckman (FIN, KTM), 150
- Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 134
- Lion Florian (GER, KTM), 121
- Raf Meuwissen (NED, KTM), 120
2018 X-Trial Australian Championship Cancelled
Motorcycling Australia (MA) has announced the cancellation of the upcoming X-Trial Australian Championship round set to be hosted in Adelaide later this year. The original round of the X-Trial Australian Championship took place at HBF Stadium, Western Australia in March this year and was a booming success.
Promoter Neil Price had been working hard behind the scenes to get the next round up and ready to back up the WA round, but with personal circumstances changing, there was no other choice but to cancel.
Neil Price – Promoter
“We are really disappointed that we can’t go ahead with the event, my wife Jessica is a third of the team and with her diagnosis of breast cancer, our lives have been thrown into chaos. At this time, we are at the early building stages of the event and with all that is happening in our personal life we just can’t go ahead. We are absolutely gutted about this. That being said we have significant plans for next year with the series kicking off in the Eastern states, and just to let everyone know we will definitely be back next year.”
Benavides Claims Atacama Rally Win Ahead of Price
After a full week of racing Kevin Benavides has convincingly won the Atacama Rally in Chile by over 4 minutes ahead of former Dakar winner Toby Price and World Champion Pablo Quintanilla.
Benavides was in a class of his own and the win takes the Honda pilot to the head of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship leader board, where he now shares the same points as the incumbent world champion Pablo Quintanilla.
“I’m very happy; it has been an amazing Atacama Rally for me. I won three stages and I felt very comfortable on the bike, which has worked perfectly throughout the even. The team has worked very well and this has given me the tools needed for the victory. I was able to stay very focused and was confident in myself. Winning here is not easy – Quintanilla is very strong. I’ve been looking forward to this victory for a long time and I’m really savouring it!”
Price was happy to come away with second place.
“It was a good day today, it was always going to be tough to make up enough time to take the win, especially over such a short stage. Nevertheless, I’m happy with how the day and the whole rally has gone, I set out at the beginning of the event to ride consistently and get back up to speed with the bike and the navigation and I think I have managed that. To finish second after such a tricky race is good and sets me up well for Argentina. Hopefully I can deliver more of the same, stay fit and healthy and put in another good performance.”
“I felt good throughout the week and I’m happy with third overall, following my small injury a few weeks ago, the goal entering this event was to get back my confidence and that is exactly what I did. I won a stage and lead the overall until my mistake on stage four. I’m satisfied with third at this race, but the most important thing is that I’m back on the right track and I can keep on pushing hard for the World Championship. I want to thank all the members of our team for all their hard work during the week and I am confident we will come back stronger next week in Argentina.”
Aussies Swamp Wade Farm Sprint Enduro
Josh Strang, Tayla Jones and Mackenzie Tricker all found themselves on the podium at the latest round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series held at the Wade Farm recently.
Josh Strang claimed his second overall victory of the season with an impressive performance at the Wade Farm Sprint Enduro in Campbellsburg, Indiana, topping runner-up Thad DuVall (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) by 28 seconds after two days of racing.
Strang got things started by winning the opening test—a Cross test—and then added two more test wins to complete the event, although it was his consistently fast second- and third-place finishes that clinched the victory for him.
“It was a good weekend, I enjoyed Sunday the best because I was out in front of the dust and I was able to use lines that other people didn’t use. I picked lines that put me in the grass instead of in the silt and I was able to make up a lot of time—it was good.”
Ryan Sipes held the series point lead going into the Indiana event, however the Kentucky rider skipped the event to be in New York were he was presented as a member of the Puerto Rico Motocross des Nations team at the Unadilla National Motocross. Sipes’ absence opened the door for Strang to take over the series point lead with his win.
“I’ve been off the bike for a month and a half and I just wanted to come out and have some fun and see where I was at, but it quickly turned into a competition to try to win, I had a blast, I really love these events. I was in the mix until the final test, but I fell into a deep rut and got stuck for a long time and that put me out of the running.”
Layne Michael (Coastal Racing Husqvarna) rounded out the podium. He won one of the Cross tests and was in contention to win a few others.
“I started off well; Saturday was good for me. Grant and I were close going into Sunday and I just tried to do what I did on Saturday, but I had a few bad rides in the Enduro test, but I was able to overcome it. I had a fast time going for me in the final test but I ended up falling and I thought maybe I gave up a place but I was able to hold onto third. Overall, it was a good weekend for us.”
In the Women’s Pro division, Tayla Jones (KR4/Husqvarna) claimed another win, topping rider Mackenzie Tricker (Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM) by just under two minutes.
“The track got extremely tough with the dry, silty conditions, but I stayed off the ground for the most part and had a good weekend, I got the win both days so it was good points and I’m looking forward to the next round.”
The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes action with round seven of its series at Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina on September 2-3. CN
- Josh Strang (Hus)
- Thad DuVall (Hus)
- Layne Michael (Hus)
- Grant Baylor (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
- Evan Smith (Hus)
- Liam Draper (Hus)
- Braxton McGee (Hus)
- Mike Witkowski (Bet)
WA Senior Motocross Championships – Maylands
Maylands hosted the latest round of the WA Senior Motocross Championships last weekend and it was Josh Adams who won the MX1 class over Steve Heilers and Charlie Creech while Matt Fabry won the MX2 class over Billy Middleton and Mitchell Outram.
Tahlia O’Hare (Women), Chris Bosnakis (Quads) and Callan Murphy (Amateurs) won the support classes on the day.
Australian MXoN Team Announced
Motorcycling Australia has announced that Kirk Gibbs, Hunter Lawrence and Mitch Evans will represent Australia at the 2018 FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) team which will be held at RedBud in the USA on October 6-7.
Despite an injury riddled season Gibbs is back and ready to pull on the Green and Gold jersey while Lawrence is fresh from another podium finish in the MX2 class at Switzerland just last weekend.
2018 National #2 Mitch Evans will once again represent Team Australia after making his debut appearance in 2016, when he was called up as the replacement rider for the injured Jed Beaton. One of Australia’s brightest motocross prodigies, Evans will thrive in his second opportunity to test himself on the world stage.
For the first time, Michael Byrne will fill the Team Manager role, while long-time Australian TM, Gary Benn, will still be present in an Assistant role. Byrne is excited with the crop of riders representing Australia and feels as though this MXoN will be one for the record books.
“I’m really happy with the group of guys selected this year. I think we have a strong team of riders who all have previous experience at MXoN and will all bring their best efforts in representing Australia. RedBud is always such an awesome atmosphere, add the fact that it’s hosting an MXoN, it will no doubt be one for the record books, so I’m excited for the guys and hope we do the Green and Gold proud this year.”
One of the world’s best Supercross riders, four-time World Champion Ryan Villopoto is set to line up behind the gates at Mt Smart Stadium for the inaugural Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland on November 24.
Villopoto Set for Monster Energy S-X Open in Auckland
With four World Supercross and five AMA Motocross titles to his name, Villopoto will arguably be the biggest name on two wheels to ever race in New Zealand and the 30-year-old Washington native is excited to compete at the Monster Energy S-X Open in Auckland which already has an impressive line-up of confirmed riders including New Zealand’s Ben Townley, Australia’s Chad Reed, and fellow American, Justin Brayton.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Auckland, and with the calibre of riders heading to the event, I think fans will be stoked to witness an event of this magnitude, I think it’s going to blow their minds.”
With six World Championships between them, Villopoto and Reed will go head-to-head for the first time since they banged bars back at the 2016 AUS-X Open Sydney, with Villopoto believing he’s ready to take Reed down at this year’s event. “If Chad’s out front I’ll take him down, watch out Reed, I’m coming for you.”
Villopoto and Townley were teammates during the AMA 250cc Motocross Championship in 2007 and it is still to this day one of the most epic championship battles of the series history, and Villopoto says discussions were also had during this period about one-day racing alongside each other in New Zealand.
“I had an awesome time racing with BT in the States, we were always talking about heading to New Zealand to race together there, and it’s finally going to happen.”
Villopoto will also head to the AUS-X Open Sydney on November 10, which will see the American as a contender for the inaugural S-X Open Supercross FIM Oceania Championship, with hopes of taking down the likes of Reed, Brayton and a whole host of international supercross challengers, for the title.
“When the opportunity came up to race at both Auckland and Sydney, against all top guys, on some sick racing tracks, I couldn’t wait to line up behind the gate again and compete for the all-new S-X Open International Supercross Championship.” Villopoto said.
Smith Win Sunraysia Rally
Penrite Honda’s Jacob Smith pushed hard over five long days of competition to take out the overall win at the Sunraysia Rally.
“I am pumped to come away with the win, I really enjoy these events. They test your speed and mental game. Reading maps whilst racing isn’t easy and to come away with the win is awesome.”
The Sunraysia Rally is the predecessor to the Australian Safari and is the largest cross country rally in Australia. The rally is run through the Wentworth Shire in Outback NSW and utilises properties in Wentworth, Pooncarie and the Mildura regions.
2000 kilometres of differing terrain over 5 days makes this event one of the most physical and mentally challenging races on the calendar.
“You come across all types of terrain and wildlife during the race so nothing surprises me out there, it’s god’s country for off-road motorcycle lovers and I’m so happy to come away with the win.” Smith said. “An event of this enormity takes a huge team of people and the Penrite Honda Team rider is elated for everyone involved. “My mechanic, my family and my sponsors all make this possible and I can’t thank them enough.”
Yarrive Konsky – Team Director
“We can’t take much credit for this. Jacob has worked relentlessly with his family and friends for this victory. Honda and Penrite provided some great equipment and Jacob made this happen and we are very thankful for his efforts!”
Rhys Carter to Yamaha NZ
Yamaha New Zealand has announced that Bay of Plenty motocross international Rhys Carter will be joining the boys in blue effective immediately with the 28-year-old professional motocross coach and the 2018 New Zealand MX1 No.4 throwing his leg over his new Yamaha YZ450F first the first time at the upcoming Motocross of Nations in the United States, the most auspicious of all events at which to herald his switch from Kawasaki.
Josh Coppins Racing, in association with Yamaha-Motor New Zealand and Yamalube revealed the new partnership with Carter, who, in addition to racing with success domestically and internationally, operates the Carter Coaching entity.
“I will be working closely with Josh Coppins Racing and, when you see what Josh does with his team and how well he runs it, you just know it’s clean-cut and professional and fantastic to be a part of. The depth of knowledge that Josh has in this sport is very hard to come by. We both want to give back to our sport and I do that with my coaching clinics, so it’s very exciting for both of us. I will be under a separate Yamalube Yamaha banner, but closely associated with Josh’s Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and I believe I can win the national MX1 title. It gives me a huge boost to have Josh supporting me. I’m pleased also to be able to bring my own career-long sponsors on board with me.”
From April next year, at the conclusion of the 2019 New Zealand Motocross Championships season, Carter will pour more focus into his coaching, as well as taking over the role of operating the bLU cRU Racing scene, a function that encourages and helps to equip fledgling Yamaha riders.
Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team manager Josh Coppins said he was proud to welcome Carter on board.
Josh Coppins – Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Rhys will be joining the blue and white world, effective immediately, and, as of April 2019, will be responsible for assisting Yamaha in generating the next world champion. Rhys is a very good racer, but we also have long-term plans for him to be coaching Yamaha riders. He will run demonstrator bikes for us this summer too … offering Yamaha YZ65, YZ85 and YZ125 bikes for young riders to try out.”
With Carter on board, Yamaha is further strengthened as presents an extremely potent force for the 2019 national championships season.
Racing alongside Carter in the MX1 class will be former national MX2 champion and current national MX1 No.3 Kayne Lamont while 2018 national 125cc champion Maximus Purvis will now step up to the MX2 (250cc) class.
Husqvarna extends contract with Billy Bolt
Husqvarna Motorcycles have announced the signing of a new three-year contract between Husqvarna Factory Racing and enduro star Billy Bolt, which sees the young British racer continue to compete with the team until at least the end of the 2021 season.
Enjoying a solid season of World Enduro Super Series competition, Bolt sits third in the series provisional standings. Kicking off the championship with an impressive victory at Extreme XL Lagares, Billy is the highest-placed Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team rider at the halfway mark in the inaugural WESS championship.
At just 21 years of age, Bolt is arguably one of the most promising talents in the global outdoor and indoor enduro racing scene. Together with his impressive results in the ongoing WESS series, in 2018 the Brit also secured his debut SuperEnduro victory in Sweden to become the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship runner-up.
“I’m really happy to renew my contract with Husqvarna for an additional three years. I’m in a great place right now and I am confident the team can provide all that’s needed to take my career to the next level. Extending my contract like this gives me the security and stability to continue improving in the future. The atmosphere within the team is one of the best in the paddock, which is a huge part of why I’m so pleased to be continuing with them. I feel fortunate to be part of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team and I’m super motivated to continue giving my best.”