Moto News Weekly for March 24, 2020
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What happened this week
- Ricky Brabec triumphs at the 2020 Sonora Rally
- 2020 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) cancelled
- Brad Groombridge claims two NZ MX top 10s
- Kota Toriyabe joins Wilson & Rogers at Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team
- MA to review international team events
- 2020 AORC Rounds 5 & 6 postponed
- 2020 Merzouga Rally cancelled
- WESS Round 2 Trèfle Lozérien AMV cancelled
- 2020 Hangtown Motocross Classic cancelled
- 2020 MXGP Calendar Updated
- 2020 Motocross of European Nations date change
- Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship amended schedule
- 2020 American Flat Track events postponed
- 2020 Silk Way Rally route updated
- 2020 Championship Calendars – Updates
Ricky Brabec triumphs at the 2020 Sonora Rally
Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec took victory in the Sonora Rally, held in the Mexican Sonora Desert on the border of the United States. For Brabec this is a third win in the event, and the second in a row.
The rally featured 1358 km of racing, including some 1078 kms of timed special stage, on some very Dakaresque terrain: high-speed hard ground, sand, dunes and stony terrain.
The Monster Energy Honda Team rider claimed four out of the five stages and even managed to pull back from a 13-minute penalty which had been meted out after the first stage.
The American went on to win the rally with a margin of less than a minute over the nearest rival Skyler Howes, also from USA, with Bill Conger completing the top three, just nine-seconds in front of Wes Van Nieuwenhuise.
“I always look forward to the Sonora Rally in México. It’s the only rally in North America that simulates a Dakar style rally raid. It has all the ingredients; fast pistes, mountains, washes and mountains dunes! This year the organization laid out a route that took us to new places and new faces. I had a set back in stage 1 that left me with large penalty and I had to claw my way back to the top, day by day. It made the final stage interesting when I needed to make up over a minute and only have 142km to do it. Thanks to my Team and my Factory CRF450 RALLY, I was able to overcome and finish on top for the third time in the Sonora Rally. It was an incredible event, well organized and looking forward to coming back in 2021. I wanted to also give my condolences to all the victims of the current Covid-19 virus. Everyone please be safe and stay healthy so we can get back to normal soon.”
2020 Sonora Rally Overall results
|9||Taye Perry||South Africa||Pro||15:17:35|
2020 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) cancelled
In response to ongoing developments and health concerns in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Government imposed restrictions on travel, mass gatherings and social distancing, Motorcycling Australia (MA) and Dandenong Motorcycle Club have made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 Australian 4 Day Enduro (A4DE) which was set to be run in Erica, Victoria, May 6-9, 2020.
Government restrictions imposed have now made it impossible for the event to continue.
With daily Government policy and guideline changes in relation to COID-19, travel, mass gatherings and social distancing, MA and Dandenong Motorcycle Club have agreed to cancel A4DE for May 2020 and start planning for the 2021 and 2022 events.
Following discussions between MA, Trail and Enduro Motorcycle Club of WA and Dandenong Motorcycle Club, Victoria, it has been agreed that the 2021 A4DE will be held in Western Australia as previously announced and the 2022 event will now be held in Erica, Victoria, MA sharing, “Together with the clubs we have made this tough decision, and they should be congratulated for being proactive in moving forward and agreeing on the future event timetable.”
The 2019 A4DE event was also cancelled, following government approval delays surrounding the environment in which the 41st edition was to be held.
Brad Groombridge claims two NZ MX top 10s
By Andy McGechan
Brad Groombridge raced his RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 in both MX1 and MX2 classes in this years New Zealand Motocross Championships and came away with two top-10 places.
The 29-year-old locksmith was one of just two individuals to tackle more than one class at the just-completed series. Although entered in twice as many races as any other rider in the premier MX1 class, Groombridge still managed a top-six result at the end of the four-round series.
It could have been so much better for the Kea Trailers-sponsored Suzuki RM-Z450 rider if it hadn’t been for a small element of bad luck, a factor well beyond his control, with his bike suffering a flat tyre in the opening MX1 race at the final round in Taupo last weekend.
“I had to stop and change the tyre, which left me a hopelessly long way behind. I managed to get back to 19th, which was worth only two points, but that ruined my chances of finishing fifth for the championship. I had been fifth overall in the standings and with a good points buffer over sixth, but the flat tyre wiped that out. It was a very tough class, with the top two guys at least being full-time professionals. I work 9am until 5pm, five days a week and I don’t get much time left to myself to do training. It was hard too with the recent dry weather meaning there were not many places where it was okay to ride.”
Groombridge also raced his Suzuki RM-Z250 bike in the MX2 (250cc) class this year, settling 10th overall in what was arguably the toughest MX2 championship class in many years.
With Kiwi internationals and top racers from Australia too, this season’s MX2 class was a virtual “Who’s Who” of South Pacific talent, the depth of quality so great that any one of a dozen riders could have been expected to win races.
Groombridge achieved his ranking among the nation’s top-10 MX2 riders despite skipping two races at round three of the series at Fernhill, near Hastings.
“I had a few problems at Fernhill. The skin on my hands was rubbed raw, so I opted to sit out two of the day’s three MX2 races, figuring I could jump a couple of positions when racing at the final round at Taupo, my home track. But then I had two crashes early on and then jammed my foot on a trackside sprinkler at Taupo and that all slowed me down a bit. I’m pretty satisfied with my rankings this year. I finished top-10, so I can’t complain. I raced two different classes at the motocross nationals because I was using this as a build-up to the (separate) enduro and cross-country nationals. It all helped me build my fitness.”
Groombridge was New Zealand Enduro Champion twice, in 2016 and again in 2018, and he also three-times consecutively won the New Zealand Cross-country Championships (in 2016, 2017 and 2018).
Groombridge will ride exactly the same RM-Z450 bike in the enduro and cross-country events that he raced at the motocross nationals, perhaps the only alteration being to fit a larger fuel tank or change the tyres.
“The bikes I race are standard, unmodified machines and they’re super reliable. I can’t thank Suzuki enough for all the support they’ve given me.”
2020 NZ Motocross MX1 Standings
2020 NZ Motocross MX2 Standings
Kota Toriyabe joins Wilson & Rogers at Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team
2020 will see the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team expand to three riders as Japanese rider Kota Toriyabe joins Jay Wilson and Levi Rogers on the team, contesting the MX Nationals.
21-year old Toriyabe will contest the MX2 class on Australian soil and be mounted on a YZ250F as part of a program to fast track the development of Japanese riders that will further bond Yamaha Motor Corporation and Yamaha Motor Australia.
Finishing third in the all Japan Motocross Championships in 2019, Toriyabe landed in Australia in January to look over the Yamalube Team and some training facilities but is now in Australia until the end of August and already began working closely with Wilson and Rogers to bring on his speed and race intensity.
Scott Bishop – Yamaha Racing Development Supervisor
“Its quite an honour to have Yamaha Japan approach us about assisting Kota and work with him to bring out his full potential. He finished third in the Japanese National championship last year and he is a rider that we believe has not reached his full speed or potential. Since landing in Australia, he has ridden and trained alongside both Jay and Levi and has fitted in perfectly. He is just finding his feet with our tracks and getting acclimatised to Australian conditions. He left Japan, he had been unable to ride as it was snowing, and he walked into a 35 degree heat wave in Brisbane the moment he landed.”
Toriyabe can be seen regularly at the practice tracks around Brisbane preparing for the season ahead and already has contested the Mountain Man event in Toowoomba where he finished inside the top 10.
Joining him as his full time mechanic will be Tsuyoshi Watanabe. Watanabe just spent the summer working with the JCR Yamaha team in New Zealand where he spun the tools on the Maximus Purvis YZ250F as he raced to the MX2 New Zealand championship.
MA to review international team events
With the current activity surrounding COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus) including governmental imposed restrictions on National and International travel and mass gatherings, Motorcycling Australia (MA) have announced they are reconsidering involvement in all domestic and international activity over the next few months, with several events and activities already cancelled.
In relation to International teams, ISDE, MXON, WJMX, TDN and Speedway of Nations, MA is in constant communication with the FIM about the status of these events.
Due to the logistics involved in sending these teams to compete in Europe, the timelines required to activate the necessary travel, and the current uncertainty around international travel, MA have set deadlines of Mid-April to confirm our Australian Team’s participation in these international events.
MA’s current position is that they believe it is inevitable that they will have to cancel Australia’s participation in some these team events for 2020, and are waiting further information from both the Australian Government and the FIM.
2020 AORC Rounds 5 & 6 postponed
Motorcycling Australia (MA) and Oyster Bay Motorcycle Club (OBMCC) have made the tough decision to postpone Rounds 5 and 6 at Nowra, NSW, of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore, as restrictions ramp up around the coronavirus outbreak.
The further restrictions recommended by the Australian Government and imposed by the NSW Government have now made it impossible for the event to continue. The Yamaha AORC is a significant championship for MA and OBMCC and organisers have worked hard to find solutions to enable the championship to continue.
It has now become very difficult for riders, teams and officials to travel during this time and now many companies have placed restrictions on travel and a number of medical services required for the event have become too limited for the event to operate.
Peter Doyle – MA CEO
“With daily Government policy and guideline changes in relation to COID-19, both MA and OBMCC have made the tough but right decision to postpone rounds 5 and 6 of the AORC. Together with the club we have made this decision to postpone the event now rather than the day before the race.”
Geoff Braico – OBMCC President
“Obviously it’s disappointing to postpone the event but with everything that is going on at the moment it’s the only option we have. We are still committed to running the AORC event at Nowra and we have a great weekend of racing planned for when we are allowed to return.”
These measures are being adopted in response to an unprecedented situation and AORC management have stated the judgment to postpone any MA National event is not taken lightly, apologising for any inconvenience caused by this required decision.
2020 Merzouga Rally cancelled
Following the decision by the Moroccan authorities to suspend all events until further notice in order to combat the propagation of the Coronavirus (COVID19) epidemic, the organisers of the Merzouga Rally are obliged to cancel the next edition of the rally, which was scheduled to take place from 25 to 29 May 2020, as its organisation could no longer be guaranteed.
Still several weeks away from the event dates, the investments made by the competitors in their preparation will be partly lost if the situation does not improve, with organisers not wanting their participants to run this risk.
Bearing in mind the numerous events postponed until September and October, added to existing events on the Moroccan sports calendar, the Merzouga Rally cannot be postponed, in this case. This means the next Merzouga Rally will be held from from 14 to 18 May, in 2021.
Qualifications for Dakar 2021
For those competitors who wish to validate their participation in the next Dakar Rally, an alternative solution is in the works.
WESS Round 2 Trèfle Lozérien AMV cancelled
Round two of the 2020 WESS Enduro World Championship, Trèfle Lozérien AMV in France, is now cancelled due to coronavirus COVID-19. With France one of the many countries dealing with the fallout of COVID-19, event organisers Motor Club Lozère were left with no alternative but to cancel the Trèfle Lozérien AMV for 2020.
Long regarded as France’s most-prestigious Classic Enduro, Mende and its surrounding countryside were busily preparing to host what would have been the 34th edition of the race. Exhausting all possibilities of securing an alternative date in September, it was with regret that a suitable option could not be found.
WESS Promotion GmbH are in daily contact with all WESS Enduro World Championship event organisers and are monitoring the situation regards any further possible disruption to the current schedule.
2020 WESS Enduro World Championship calendar
- Round 1: Red Bull Erzbergrodeo (Austria) June 10-14
- Round 2: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland ) June 27-28
- Round 3: Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 21-25
- Round 4: Tennessee Knockout (USA) August 15-16
- Round 5: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (UK) September 26-27
- Round 6: Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) October TBC
- Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro (Spain) October 9-11
2020 Hangtown Motocross Classic cancelled
California’s Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club has announced it is cancelling the 52nd running of the Hangtown Motocross Classic from the Prairie City OHV Park, originally scheduled for May 16, 2020.
MX Sports Pro Racing, organizess of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, have been continuously monitoring the ongoing developments surrounding the coronavirus, both domestically and internationally, and have taken a proactive stance in discussing various amendments to the 2020 event schedule.
Alongside event promoters, series partners, and race teams, MX Sports Pro Racing is taking a collective approach to determining a practical and effective course of action for each of the remaining Nationals, and the entire series as a whole. As details regarding the future of the 2020 season become available, official announcements will be issued to notify both series partners and the fanbase.
2020 MXGP calendar updated
Infront Moto Racinghave announced further changes made to the 2020 MXGP racing calendar. As a result the MXGP of Italy, taking place at the legendary Maggiora circuit, will now be rescheduled from the 17th of May to the 5th of July.
The MXGP of Germany in Teutschenthal will move from the 24th of May to the 9th of August.
With the current pandemic of the coronavirus, these changes have been vital in order to ensure the health and safety of the staff, teams, riders and fans. Infront Moto Racing along with the FIM, FIM Europe and the local organisers are working hard in order to preserve the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar as much as possible.
The FIM Motocross World Championship is planning to return with the MXGP of Russia taking place at the impressive Orlyonok venue on the 7th of June 2020.
2020 MXGP Calendar (updated)
March 1 – Great Britain, Matterley Basin (EMX125, WMX) March 8 – The Netherlands, Valkenswaard – (EMX250, WMX)
- June 7 – Russia, Orlyonok – (EMX250, EMX Open)
- June 14 – Latvia, Kegums – (EMX250, EMX Open)
- July 5 – Italy, Maggiora – (EMX Open, WMX)
- July 19 – Trentino, Pietramurata – (EMX250, EMX 2t)
- July 26 – Czech Republic, Loket – (EMX65, EMX85, EMX 2t)
- August 2 – Belgium, Lommel – (EMX125, EMX250)
- August 16 – Sweden, Uddevalla – (EMX125, EMX250)
- August 23 – Finland, Litti-KymiRing – (EMX125, EMX250, EMX 2t)
- September 6 – Turkey, Afyonkarahisar – (EMX Open, WMX)
- September 13 – China, (TBA) –
- September 20 – Emilia Romagna, Imola – (EMX125, WMX)
- October 11 – Spain, intu Xanadu – (EMX125, WMX)
- October 18 – Portugal, Agueda – (EMX125, EMX250)
- November 1 – Indonesia, Jakarta
- November 8 – Indonesia, TBA
- November 22 – Patagonia, Argentina, Neuquen
2020 Motocross of European Nations
- November 1 – Motocross of Nations, France, Ernee
2020 Motocross of European Nations date change
Infront Moto Racing have announced that the FIM Europe’s Motocross of European Nations and Women’s Motocross of European Nations has been postponed to November 2020.
Originally scheduled for the 11th of October, the event will now take place on the 1st of November in Sardinia at the popular Riola Sardo venue. There is no change to the track that will host this year’s MXoEN, as the Riola Sardo circuit, situated in the large Italian island of Sardinia close to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, will gather young talents from all over Europe as they compete for their nation.
The change was made in order to accommodate the current changes to the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar, more specifically the rescheduled MXGP of Spain that will see the penultimate round of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing, as well as the final round of the Women’s World Championship.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship amended schedule
MX Sports Pro Racing has officially announced an amended event schedule for the 2020 season of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Under this revised championship calendar, the 49th season of the off-road motorcycle racing series will commence on Saturday, June 13, beginning with the Florida National from Jacksonville’s WW Ranch Motocross Park.
Davey Coombs – President of MX Sports Pro Racing
“While the whole world is trying to cope with the ongoing global pandemic that is the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have diligently looked at the impending future of our own championship and the impact this will inevitably have on this annual summer tradition. While the series has unfortunately already been affected by this pandemic with the cancellation of American motocross’ longest running event, the Hangtown Motocross Classic, we have developed a condensed and redesigned schedule for the remainder of the championship that will now start a little less than three months from now. It is our hope that in postponing the start of our season for this additional month, the extended period of time will not only allow for us to obtain a clearer picture of the state of the pandemic, but also provide ample opportunity for our series partners, teams, competitors, and fans to plan accordingly. The updated calendar would allow us to still successfully host a complete season of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross competition, in a quick and concise fashion will leave other parts of the calendar open for other racing activities.”
Under the new schedule, the 11-round series would open with seven consecutive weekends of racing, where the Florida National will be followed by the High Point National (June 20), the Southwick National (June 27), the RedBud National (July 4), the Thunder Valley National (July 11), the Spring Creek National (July 18), and the Washougal National (July 25).
Following a two week break, the championship will return for its stretch run, beginning with the Unadilla National (August 15), followed by the Budds Creek National (August 22), the Ironman National (August 29), and the Fox Raceway National, which will end the season on Labor Day weekend (September 5).
2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
- Florida National, June 14 – Jacksonville, FL
- High Point National, June 21 – Mt. Morris, PA
- Southwick National, June 28 – Southwick, MA
- RedBud National, July 5 – Buchanan, MI
- Thunder Valley National, July 12 – Lakewood, CO
- Spring Creek National, July 19 – Millville, MN
- Washougal National, July 26 – Washougal, WA
- Unadilla National, August 16 – New Berlin, NY
- Budds Creek National, August 23 – Mechanicsville, MD
- Ironman National, August 30 – Crawfordsville, IN
- Fox Raceway National, September 6 – Pala, CA
2020 American Flat Track events postponed
Due to the ongoing unprecedented situation regarding COVID-19 and expanding restrictions on domestic and international travel, and in accordance with national, state and local governments prohibiting large group gatherings, American Flat Track has decided to postpone its March 28 Atlanta Short Track and April 4 Charlotte Half-Mile events until further notice.
The May 2 Texas Half-Mile at Texas Motor Speedway and the May 9 So-Cal Half-Mile at Southern California Fairgrounds have also joined the list of postponed events, with all pre-purchased tickets to be honoured on the rescheduled date.
2020 American Flat Track
- Round 1. March 14: Daytona 200 & TT – Daytona Speedway, FL
- Postponed – March 28: Atlanta Short Track – Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA
- Postponed – April 4: Charlotte Half-Mile – Charlotte Speedway, Concord, NC
- Postponed – May 2: Texas Half-Mile – Texas Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
- Postponed – May 9: So-Cal Half-Mile – Perris Speedway, Perris, CA
- Round 6. May 16: Sacramento Mile – Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA
- Round 7. May 30: Red Mile – Red Mile, Lexington, KY
- Round 8. June 13: Laconia Short Track – New Hampshire Speedway, Loudon, NH
- Round 9. June 20: OKC Mile – Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK
- Round 10. June 27: Lima Half-Mile – Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH
- Round 11. July 4: New York Short Track – Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY
- Round 12. August 9: Buffalo Chip TT – Buffalo Chip, Sturgis, SD
- Round 13. August 11: Black Hills Half-Mile – Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD
- Round 14. August 22: Peoria TT – Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL
- Round 15. September 5: Springfield Mile I – Illinois Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
- Round 16. September 6: Springfield Mile II – Illinois Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
- Round 17. September 12: Williams Grove Half-Mile – Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA
- Round 18. September 26: Meadowlands Mile* – Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ
2020 Silk Way Rally route updated
To prevent the risks linked to the COVID-19 epidemic (Coronavirus) and to guarantee the organisation of the next edition of the Silk Way Rally, the FIM and the event directors have modified the itinerary of the 2020 edition.
The stages that were planned for the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People’s Republic of China have been cancelled. The rally will be run entirely on Russian Federation territory, with a start from the Red Square in Moscow on 3 July and a finish in Kazan on 11 July.
The new route will offer eight stages and feature all types of terrain: steppes, sandy, rolling and forest tracks. Demanding and packed, the 2020 edition will offer participants 2700 km (approx.) of selective sections for a total distance of 4200 km (approx.) and in so doing will respect the requirements for a marathon round of both the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.
Vladimir Chagin – Organisation Director
“We have taken a wise and responsible decision; we have to 100 per cent guarantee that the Silk Way Rally 2020 will be held in good conditions. The media and participants will be able to discover extraordinary places in Russia. The rally will be a very high-level competition and a formidable voyage.”
2020 Championship Calendars (Updated)
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Calendar
- Jan. 4 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
- Jan. 11 – The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Mo.
- Jan. 18 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
- Jan. 25 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
- Feb. 1 – Ringcentral Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
- Feb. 8 – Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
- Feb. 15 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
- Feb. 22 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
- Feb. 29 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
- March 7 – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Fla.
- March 14 – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis, Ind.
- March 21 – Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
- March 28 – Centurylink Field, Seattle, Wash.
- April 4 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, Co.
- April 18 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
- April 25 – Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
- May 2 – Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
2020 AMA Supermoto National Championship Series
- April 4-5: Primm, Nev.: Anthony Hart Memorial Race
- May 2: Honolulu, Hawaii: Aloha Stadium
- May 30: Dacono, Colo.: Colorado National Speedway
- June 12-13: Austin, Texas: 25th Annual Republic of Texas Rally
- July 31-Aug. 2: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada: 51st Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (CMA/FIM North America sanctioned)
- Sept. 11-12: Sturgis, S.D.: 8th Annual Streets of Sturgis (AMA/FIM North America sanctioned)