Moto News Wrap for January 22, 2019 by Darren Smart
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Moto News Latest
- Congrats to Toby – KTM 1-2-3 at Dakar
- KTM sweeps Anaheim
- French Riders win Belfast Arenacross
- Toni Bou wins Budapest X-Trial Round
- KTM’s Taylor Robert wins Primm WORCS
- Norton third at AMA Hare Scrambles
- Australian Junior Solo Speedway Championships
- Old Bar Twilight Dirt Track
- Willowbank successfully hosts Junior Solo Titles
- Woffinden wins Rob Woffinden Solo Classic
- Yamaha backs AORC for 14th Year
- Kirkness and Whale headline Newcastle Supertrack
Congrats to Toby – KTM 1-2-3 at Dakar
The Toby Price legendary status continues to grow after winning the 2019 Dakar Rally in the most trying of circumstances you would be hard pushed to find any off-road enthusiast who doesn’t admire the skill and tenacity of this genuinely humble Aussie.
Price went into Dakar 2019 under a cloud after breaking the scaphoid in his right wrist on the 12th of December and after getting it operated on by Dr. Mir in Barcelona the long-time KTM rider flew back to Australia to recuperate before the start of Dakar on January the 6th.
Once recuperated enough to start riding (well before doctor’s orders) Price got together with Stephen Gall and they went out to Queensland Moto Park, West of Brisbane to try out some wrist support via the CTi Custom Wrist Brace.
Toby initially rode without any support before he tried some taping which apparently helped but the breakthrough came when Gall fitted the Carbon ‘All Sport Dynamic’ OH2 Wrist Brace which really helped his confidence and this is the brace that helped Toby though to the end of the world’s most gruelling off-road motorcycle race.
Gall, himself a tough competitor who shares the distinction of multiple Finke Desert Race wins with Price, said, “I’m so happy to able to help him win this huge race.”
The 2019 Dakar win adds to Price’s resume which includes his 2016 Dakar win, five AORC wins, two A4DE wins, six Finke Desert Race wins, five Hattah Desert Race wins, ISDE class wins, A Day in the Dirt Motocross Grand Prix win, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge win, Rallye OiLibya du Maroc wins and the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Coming into the final Stage 10, race leader Price was faced with a 359-kilometre trek, including a 112-kilometre special and 247-kilometre liaison around the city of Pisco and it couldn’t have gone better for Price who finished the stage in first place, two minutes and 21 seconds ahead of second place holder Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (Monster Energy Honda Team 2019).
Overall, Price has finished a staggering nine minute and 13 seconds ahead of reigning title holder Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) while Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Team), clocking in 13 minutes and 34 seconds behind Price, rounded out the podium.
With a podium filled to the brim with KTM bikes, the Austrian brand can now comfortably brag that the last time a KTM bike did not win the Dakar Rally was back in 2000!
“It feels amazing to stand here knowing I have won the Dakar, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I thought at the beginning of the event I would be lucky to even make the rest day. My Red Bull KTM bike has been amazing, I want to say a big thank you to my mechanic for that. The whole crew here do an amazing job – without them I would be no one.”
Fellow Australians Ben Young and James Ferguson finished Stage 10 in 55th and 67th place respectively while ending the 2019 Dakar Rally in 51st and 67th overall – great effort boys!
KTM Sweeps Anaheim 2
Round three of the 2019 AMA Supercross Championship at Anaheim featured the first of the ‘Triple Crown’ formats and it was KTM riders Cooper Webb and Shane McElrath who came out on top in the 450SX and 250SX classes respectively.
If you were telling anyone before the series kicked off that the first three 450SX round winners were going to be Justin Barcia, Blake Baggett and Cooper Webb you would have been scoffed at but the fact is that you would have been dead right and as arsy as they come.
Cooper Webb got 10th place the week before at Glendale but his performance at Anaheim 2, in particular race one against Roczen backed with his second race win and a solid third in the final race for the overall has put the former 250SX champion on the map as a title contender.
“Last weekend I was tenth and that wasn’t what I wanted, so I had some redemption this week. But to win is insane – to win two races and be on the podium in the last one is incredible! I really have got to give it up to the group at KTM, they took me under and they changed everything for me. It’s been a struggle the last two years, so those guys just constantly pushing me to get back to where I was and reminding me that I still got it. I can’t believe it and I’ll never forget this day. I hope to keep it going, this is an incredible feeling. Man, I’m speechless.”
Right now Marvin Musquin is managing a knee injury and he admits that the triple crown format is not his strong point but the Frenchman managed three sold races for second overall.
“It’s not always been my strongest point on the start but I’ve been very consistent today. This week I only rode a little bit on Monday. I stayed in California and we got a lot of rain, but obviously it helped on the knee. I tried to work on it the whole week and I felt good getting on the bike compared to last weekend, so it was important and that’s what I need – to feel good and not have any pain. It was great racing tonight, I didn’t win any motos but I got second overall, I was consistent and I was able to battle for the lead and for the podium.”
Eli Tomac had never finished outside of the top five in any of the nine Triple Crown main events he has been part of and at A2 he kept that streak alive by going 4-4-1 for third place overall.
“In the first two main events I didn’t do myself any favours off the start but I was happy that we were able to charge forward both times into fourth place. The third race was awesome because I was able to get out in clean air and just ride. The track tonight was technical and even sketchy in some parts, but I am happy to be leaving here healthy and only two points back in the championship.”
“Overall, it was a good night of racing. We showed a lot of speed and are happy with this Triple Crown race. We got off to a great start in the first race, getting the holeshot and leading the whole race until I made a mistake in the one of the last rhythm sections, which unfortunately cost me the win. We still came in second, which was great. I didn’t get the best start in the second race but weaseled my way through and felt like I was going really fast. I found myself in third and was catching the guys up front but I made a mistake and went down in the whoops and had about five guys go by me. I didn’t let that distract me, rode strong and worked my way back up to fifth. We were just trying to get through the third race, where I finished fourth and unfortunately, just missed the podium. It was a bummer not to be on the overall podium, but we still have the points lead and red plate so that’s awesome.”
“Once again, there are a lot of positives to take away from tonight. My starts were much better in two out of the three races, and I was able to run more toward the front of the pack. Being up there and feeling the pace of the front group was huge. The Triple Crown format is definitely a challenge because the turnaround time is really short and you’re basically doing three sprint races, so you have to be on it. I’m getting back into the flow and am excited to go racing each weekend, so seventh is another step in the right direction.”
Class rookie Aaron Plessinger suffered poor starts all night but he improved his position each event with 12-9-6 moto finishes for seventh outright to hold down ninth overall in the championship points.
“Anaheim 2 was a pretty good race for me. I kind of was struggling with bike setup all day and then after the last practice we made a shock change, and it was great. I got a few bad starts in the first two main events, which hurt my results, but I felt good all night. I rode what I thought was the best that I have ridden. I went 12, 9, 6, for seventh overall. So, I think I did pretty good for it only being my third 450 race. I’m really amped for Oakland next weekend. I’m going to go back and work on my starts, practice them all week and get it down pat so hopefully we can get up front and get a podium.”
As for Plessinger’s Yamaha team mate, Justin Barcia went 7-3 for the first two races but the A1 winner spewed over the bars in one of the rutted rhythm section and was taken to hospital with a bruised tail bone – Barcia is expected to be at the gate this weekend.
Joey Savatgy, who is known as a good starter, looked to use the Triple Crown format to his benefit to achieve the results he has been looking for and in the three main event format, Savatgy was able to surge out front in nearly all three races, which helped him score 8-13-8 results to capture eighth overall.
“It has been a shaky past two weeks for me, so to bounce back from last weekend and land inside the top 10 tonight is something we’ll take. We set out to be consistent today and we did that for the most part, so overall I am happy with where we are. We will clean up a few things this week and come out swinging in Oakland.”
Like many, Jason Anderson suffered from poor starts but managed a pair of sixth place finishes in the opening two races but in the third race he tangled with Chad Reed early and was forced off the track leaving the defending champ to finish back in 17th for ninth on the night to now be 17 points back from championship leader Roczen.
“I was able to get a top-10 overall, it wasn’t a horrible weekend, but I’m going to keep pushing and I’ll try to be better next weekend.”
Chad Reed came home in 10th in the opening race but his bike had an issue on the start lije of race two leaving the Aussie as a spectator but Chad bounced back for a solid fifth in the final race of the night for 13th outright.
- Cooper Webb 1 – 1 – 3
- Marvin Musquin 3 – 2 – 2
- Eli Tomac 4 – 4 – 1
- Ken Roczen 2 – 5 – 4
- Dean Wilson 9 – 8 – 7
- Cole Seely 5 – 7 – 13
- Aaron Plessinger 12 – 9 – 6
- Joey Savatgy 8 – 13 – 8
- Jason Anderson 6 – 6 – 17
- Justin Barcia 7 – 3 – 22
- Justin Hill 13 – 11 – 9
- Vince Friese 11 – 12 – 10
- Chad Reed 10 – 22 – 5
450SX Points Standings
- Ken Roczen – 63
- Eli Tomac – 61
- Cooper Webb – 57
- Marvin Musquin – 56
- Justin Barcia – 56
- Dean Wilson – 52
- Jason Anderson – 46
- Aaron Plessinger – 45
- Blake Baggett – 45
- Cole Seely – 44
Despite Adam Cianciarulo being the fastest man on the track and championship leader Colt Nicolls getting blazing starts, McElrath maintained a solid pace throughout the evening, placing on the podium in the first two mains before winning the final race of the night for the overall.
“We’ve been learning a lot throughout the season so far. I mean, we had a really good off-season but you can’t really do bike setup without going to the races and that’s my comfort – that’s really what we’ve been searching for. The last two weekends have been upsetting because of the way I’ve been riding but we’ve just kept pushing – perseverance produces hope, so this is good for us.”
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing pairing of Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols weren’t too far apart all weekend and at the end of the three main events they were separated by just two points with Ferrandis coming home in second overall while Nicoll rounded out the podium and more importantly maintain his championship points lead, albeit only two points over McElrath.
“The short amount of time between each main event made it physically demanding, but I felt good and strong all night. All the rain from the week, made for a really technical rhythm section, but the bike was awesome. My teammate and I were able to put the bike up front at every start. I’m a bit disappointed to finished second again, but me and my team are going to analyze our race and work on what we need for the win.”
“The track was very difficult. It got really rutty and soft during the third main event, so made it very hard to continue to jump the rhythm sections and keep everything consistent. The bike was incredible, got off to three really great starts. I’m a little bummed with the way I rode in the last main event after getting the holeshot, but overall it was a good night. Still came out with a podium, can’t be mad at that. It was also pretty tough to bounce back in between each race, with there being a short time in between each one of the main events. Made it physically demanding, but happy with the way I rode. Just have to get a little bit better.”
Cianciarulo once again showed flashes of speed and brilliance as he was able to be a front runner in all three main event races but the Kawasaki rider crashed in the opening two races before being run down by McElrath in the final race to finish with 4-14-2 for fifth overall and he now sits fourth in the point’s standings.
“Nights like tonight are frustrating as a racer because we did everything right, but ultimately some small mistakes cost us. We qualified fastest again and in the first race we got out to an early lead but unfortunately, I tucked the front end. In Main Event 2, I had a big get off which really hurt my overall score, but I was happy I was able to bounce back in the third race and come away with a second place. Overall, we are healthy and only eight points back in the championship. We’ve got work to do, but this Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is coming for you Oakland.”
Poor old Thomas Ravenhorst was leading the LCQ before dropping back to the final qualifying spot and was just two corners away from making it to the main event before sliding out in the right hand berm.
250SX West Results
- Shane McElrath 3 – 2 – 1
- Dylan Ferrandis 2 – 1 – 3
- Colt Nichols 1 – 3 – 4
- J. Hampshire 5 – 4 – 5
- Adam Cianciarulo 4 – 14 – 2
- Cameron McAdoo 9 – 5 – 6
- Jacob Hayes 6 – 7 – 9
- Michael Mosiman 10 – 6 – 7
- Chris Blose 8 – 8 – 8
- Mitchell Harrison 12 – 9 – 11
250SX West Points Standings
- Colt Nichols – 70
- Shane McElrath – 68
- Dylan Ferrandis – 63
- Adam Cianciarulo – 62
- J. Hampshire – 57
- Jimmy Decotis – 44
- Chris Blose – 44
- Cameron McAdoo – 41
- Michael Mosiman – 39
- Jacob Hayes – 37
French Riders Win Belfast Arenacross
The opening round of the UK Arenacross Series was held in Belfast last weekend and it was the French rides Greg Aranda and Cedric Soubeyres who drew first blood in the 450 and 250 Main events respectively.
The Pro 450s was all about Aranda with the Team Green Kawasaki rider remained unbeaten all day, from free practice right through to the Main Event Super Final but he had to work for the win as Soubeyras tore off the start line, grabbing the holeshot and leading the race right up until two-thirds race distance.
Back in fourth Aranda first picked off Adrien Escoffier and then Valentin Teillet before he closed on Soubeyras and then charged through to the front.
Behind him Soubeyras kept his cool to take second and with Teillet in third, placed two 250s on the podium while Brit Jack Brunell had a storming ride to finish fourth.
Northern Ireland’s Martin Barr crashed earlier in the evening and sadly, a broken hand ruled him out of continuing through to the final, he promised to be back at Birmingham and added; “Despite the injury, I really enjoyed the whole evening. The crowd were unbelievable and I’m now concentrating on getting fit in time for Birmingham.”
Pro Main Event Super Final
- #20 Greg Aranda, Team Green Kawasaki
- #1 Cedric Soubeyras, FRO Systems, Husqvarna
- #373 Valentin Teillet, SR75 Suzuki
- #10 Jack Brunell, Team Green Kawasaki
- #6 Adrien Escoffier, Buildbase Honda
- #4 Fabien Izoird, Shocktech Kawasaki
- #64 Nique Thury, FRO Systems
- #3 Charles Le Francois, SR75 Suzuki
- #744 Diogo Graca, Castrol Power1 Suzuki
- #17 Matt Bayliss, Wooldridge Demolition
Pro 450 Championship
- #20 Greg Aranda, 90 points
- #3 Charles Lefrancois, 58 points
- #4 Fabien Izoird, 56 points
- #64 Nique Thury, 49 points
- #10 Jack Brunell, 45 points
- #8 Hugo Basaula, 42 points
Pro Lites Overall
- #1 Cedric Soubeyras
- #737 Valentin Teillet
- #6 Adrien Escoffier
- #744 Diogo Graca
- #259 Julien Lebeau
- #1x Joe Clayton
Pro Lites Championship
- #1 Cedric Soubeyras, 82 points
- #6 Adrien Escoffier, 56 points
- #259 Julien Lebeau, 54 points
- #737 Valentin Teillet, 48 points
- #1x Joe Clayton, 35 points
- #744 Diogo Graca, 31 points
Arenacross now heads back to the mainland for the third and fourth round of the Tour at The Resorts World Arena, Birmingham on Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd of February 2019. Doors open at 6pm and the evening’s entertainment gets underway at 7.00pm. Tickets are available directly from the Arena Box Office on 028 9073 9074 or on the door.
Remaining Arenacross Tour dates
- 1st February – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham
- 2nd February – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham
- 15th February – The Fly DSA Arena, Sheffield
- 16th February – The Fly DSA Arena, Sheffield
Toni Bou Wins Budapest X-Trial Round
The FIM X-Trial World Championship kicked off in Budapest last weekend and as one would expect Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou took the win from arch rival Adam Raga and Jeroni Fajardo.
Bou opened the season in the style with a marked difference by the end of the first round, collecting a single penalty compared to the six of Raga then in the semi-final, where only the top finisher from each group would make it through to the grand finale, Bou again proved unmatchable notching up two solitary marks.
The final showdown saw the champ face Raga, with the riders forced to take the same sections but in the reverse direction. Bou started the final losing ground to his opponent before some deft handling eventually moved the Spaniard up into first place and despite picking up a five in the penultimate hazard the defending champ secured the first victory of the 2019 FIM X-Trial championship.
“I’m super happy to start off winning. It was amazing to get this victory after the rib injury, which I’m still not recovered from totally. We must continue working to improve because I believe that I am not yet where I could be. I trained a little this year and I think I’m not at my usual level. There is still quite a way to go and I want to get there as soon as possible. Yes, in 2018 we won, but I suffered a lot because of the injuries. That is why I want to thank Joaquim Terricabras and all his medical team for the help they have given me, especially for the recent treatment for the rib injury.”
Results X-Trial Budapest 2019
- BOU Toni – 20
- RAGA Adam – 15
- FAJARDO Jeroni – 12
- BUSTO Jaime – 9
- BINCAZ Benoit – 6
- CASALES Jorge – 4
- DABILL James – 3
- FUJINAMI Takahisa – 2
- PEACE Dan – 1
KTM’s Taylor Robert wins Primm WORCS
The opening round of the 2019 Rocky Mountain ATV-MC WORCS Series got underway in Primm, Nevada last weekend and it was Taylor Robert (FMF/KTM) who came away with the victory over the Kawasaki pairing of Zach Bell and Blayne Thompson.
Robert, who was still sore from a big crash the day before while practicing, was dogged most of the way by Bell while Thompson made it two Precision Concepts/Kawasaki Team Green bikes on the podium.
Dante Oliveira (RPM/KTM) and defending champ Giacomo Redondi (KTM) rounded out the top five overall.
Former WORCS champ Gary Sutherlin and a tough day, and that included running out of gas. The KTM rider still managed to place sixth overall, one spot better than Husqvarna rider Andrew Short, who made it to the track just in time after having just completed the Dakar Rally in Peru.
Clayton Hengeveld (Precision Concepts/Kawasaki Team Green) won the Pro2 class, and Mateo Oliveira (GasGas) won the Pro2 Lites division.
- Taylor Robert (KTM)
- Zach Bell (Kaw)
- Blayne Thompson (Kaw)
- Dante Oliveira (KTM)
- Giacomo Redondi (KTM)
- Clayton Hengeveld (Kaw)
- Tallon Lafountaine (Hon)
- Austin Serpa (KTM)
- Austin Walton (Hus)
- Chance Fullerton (Bet)
Pro 2 Lites
- Mateo Oliveira (GG)
- Brandy Richards (KTM)
- Tyler Nicholson (KTM)
- Dallas Serpa (KTM)
- Parker Wood (KTM)
Norton Third at AMA Hare Scrambles
Aussie Callum Norton is over in America preparing for the 2019 Australian season and last weekend he contested the opening round of the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship and despite the wet conditions and tough competition the KTM rider came home in third place.
Norton was actually leading the race in the early stages but Joe Wasson managed to get by and take the win over Max Gerston and Norton.
Old Bar Twilight Dirt Track
It was an action packed night of racing as the Australian Dirt Track season kicked off at Old Bar, Taree last weekend and in the end it was Jarryd Oram who came home with the win in the main event over Jamie Chapman and Thomas Donnely while pre-race favourite Michael Kirkness was forced to settle with the 450 class win after getting a flat tyre while winning the Open final.
Chapman bounced back from being pipped by Oram in the Open Final to win the 250cc class while Thomas Donnelly (Dash for Cash), Darren Saxon (Clubman), Michael Booth (Over 35s), Dale Austin (Women), Viv Muddle (65cc 7 – U/9s), Thoren Openshaw (65cc 9 – U/13s), Cody Wilby (85cc 4str Mod.7 – U/12s) and Mitchell Bisley (250cc 4str 13-U/16s) all tasted success over the weekend.
- Jarryd ORAM
- James CHAPMAN
- Thomas DONNELLY
- Boyd Hollis
- Sam DAVIES
- Michael BOOTH
- Alec HURST
- Kye ANDREWS
- Jared MYER
- Michael Kirkness (Macleay)
- Thomas Donnelly (Gunnedah)
- James Chapman (Macleay)
- James Chapman (Macleay
- Thomas Donnelly (Gunnedah
- Blake Wilby (Taree)
- Darren Saxon (Hunter)
- Ryan Wilson (Hunter)
- Nicholas Ptolemy (Macleay)
Peter Fahey Memorial Over 35s
- Michael Booth (Macleay)
- Michael Rix (Macleay)
- Jason Griffin (Hunter)
- Dale Austin (Taree)
- Abbey Baker (Taree)
One Lap Dash for Cash
- Thomas Donnelly (Gunnedah)
65cc 7 – U/9s
- Viv Muddle (Gold Coast)
- Nate Jaeger (Gunnedah)
- Chayse Trappel (Macleay)
65cc 9 – U/13s
- Thoren Openshaw (Taree)
- Beau Bailey (Cowra)
- Will Bisley (Taree)
85cc 4str Mod.7 – U/12s
- Cody Wilby (Taree)
- Will Bisley (Taree)
- Alexander Adamson (Kurri Kurri)
85cc 2str/ 150cc 4str 9 – U/12s
- Hayden Nelson (Taree)
- Carter Thompson (Kurri Kurri)
- Will Bisley (Taree)
85cc 2str/ 150cc 4str 11s
- Hayden Nelson (Taree)
- Carter Thompson (Kurri Kurri)
- Thoren Openshaw (Taree)
85cc 2str/ 150cc 4str 12- U/16s
- Mitchell Bisley (Taree)
- Cody Lewis (Kurri Kurri)
- Thomas Bullen (Kurri Kurri)
250cc 4str 13-U/16s
- Mitchell Bisley (Taree)
- Jack Joel (Central Coast)
- Jarred Loveday (Macleay)
Willowbank Successfully Hosts Junior Solo Titles
Willowbank Raceway’s Ipswich Switches Junior Speedway Club hosted the Australian Junior Speedway Championships last weekend and from all accounts it was an exciting three nights of racing as the resurgence of speedway in Australia continues to flourish.
In the premier Under 21 500cc class it was defending champion Jaimon Lidsey who scored a convincing win from Jordan Stewart, Matt Gilmore and Zach Cook while the under 16 250cc class was a red hot affair but in the end it was Keynan Rew who got the win over Patrick Hamilton, Harrison Ryan and Flynn Nichol.
The 2019 Australian 125cc Under 16’s Pairs Championship was won by the NSW team of Cameron Dunker and Lachlan Hayes while in the 125cc Individual Championship it was Maurice Brown who got the win over Patrick Bowes, Luke Kileen and James Person.
Woffinden wins Rob Woffinden Solo Classic
The Rob Woffinden Classic is a premium event celebrating the legacy that Rob left when he helped build Pinjar Park Speedway in WA from the ground up and last weekend it was his son Tai who won the event for the second time to cap off an off-season that saw the 2018 World Champion enjoy a relaxing time back in Australia while keeping his speedway skills sharp.
The three-time World Champion defeated Cameron Heeps, Daniel Winchester and Blake Russell in the final before inviting all of the children on to the track to celebrate his win with a group photo on the presentation tailer.
Woffinden heads back to the UK in the coming weeks to start preparation for the defence of his World Speedway title.
Yamaha Backs AORC for 14th Year
Running into its 14th consecutive year, Motorcycling Australia (MA) have announced the continued relationship between Yamaha Motor Australia and the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) with Yamaha Motor Australia once again the naming rights sponsor for the 2019 season!
With a relationship that has spanned over a decade, MA and Yamaha Motor Australia will continue developing and expanding upon their professional relationship to build a successful 2019 season.
Ray Howard – Yamaha’s Motorsport Manager
“Yamaha Motor Australia are pleased to continue our substantial and positive relationships with the Australian Off-Road Championship. 2018 was a season full of impressive developments and clear progress, and we are seeing more initiatives in place for the 2019 season. We look forward to continue working closely with MA and the promoting clubs to further develop an already prestigious Championship that has proven to be a fertile ground for producing international standard riders that are successful on a world stage.”
With the likes of six-time consecutive Women’s World Trophy Champion at the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) Jessica Gardiner included in the line-up of the Women’s class, the 2019 season couldn’t get any bigger! Alongside Gardiner are Team Australia’s World Trophy ISDE Champions Daniel Milner, Daniel Sanders and Lyndon Snodgrass, who each will contend for AORC Championship titles in their respective classes!
AORC has a long and prestigious history of paving the way for international legends, with the likes of 2019 Dakar Rally title holder Toby Price a former two time winner of the AORC.
The 2019 season kicks off in Gympie, Queensland for Rounds 1 and 2, from 9-10 March and entries are now open.
Kirkness and Whale Headline Newcastle Supertrack
Motorcycle racing action returns to the Newcastle Showground this Friday night (January 25) where the ‘Newcastle Supertrack’ meeting will be staged at the iconic venue and it will bring Michael Kirkness and Max Whale together as they battle for glory.
There will be several classes in a race programmed where fans will see two or three rows of riders at the starting grid which is on par with the Flat Track Racing in America but not normally seen in dirt track racing in Australia.
The appearance of Kirkness is significant as over the past decade he has done more flat track racing in the US than any other Australian rider which may give the former Troy Bayliss Classic winner an edge as the 450cc class features 19inch wheels with no front brakes – just like the American AMA flat track racing uses.
The toughest opponent for Kirkness will be Queensland teenager Max Whale who was a runaway winner of the 2018 Rookie of the Year award in the AMA Flat Track Single class despite missing several rounds due to a shoulder injury. Whale heads back to the US next month where he has signed with a well-established team for the 2019 season.
Harry Maxwell has also lodged an entry and his enthusiasm for the meeting can be judged by the fact that he will be travelling down from Proserpine in north Queensland to take part while multiple Central Coast Cup winner David Smith is also among the entries.
There will also be racing for Twin Cylinder and Supermoto classes, a Pro 250 class and Speedway and Long Track sliders.
Action will get under way with practice and one round of racing on Friday afternoon from 4pm before a tea break, then introductions at 6.30pm and then the big night session.