Rounds 11 and 12 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship to be held in Omeo, Victoria have been officially cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 State border closures and lockdowns.
Under the current regulations, with border closures and continued lockdowns in several states, it is not possible on the scheduled dates of October 16-17 in Omeo, Vic to proceed.
The AORC management team have worked closely with Victorian Off-Road Championship (VORC) and the VORC event in conjunction with AORC, will be cancelled.
All remaining AORC events are currently postponed with new dates yet to be announced, a final decision on the status of running the remainder of the Championship rounds will be announced no later than 15th October 2021.
2021 Yamaha AORC Championship Calendar
Round 3 & 4
Round 5 & 6
Round 7 & 8
Round 9 & 10
Kingston SE, SA
Round 11 & 12
2021 ProMX Championship remains on hold
The ProMX Management Team has advised that all Penrite ProMX Championship presented by AMX Superstores events continue to remain on hold due to the current national landscape around COVID-19 State Border Restrictions.
With all remaining championship events postponed, a final decision on the status of running the remainder of the championship rounds will be announced no later than 15th October 2021.
ProMX is continuing to examine the environment around COVID-19 State Border Restrictions, relying on information from state governments on plans to reopen borders.
Planning for the 2022 ProMX Championship is also underway, with an aim to begin in March 2022 with eight Championship events. Further updates and information will be provided in the coming weeks and months.
ProMX Management is also monitoring the changing landscape of potential vaccine passports which may be required by State and Federal governments for future air travel, entry to venues, and as a condition of inclusion in some situations. Some sporting venues in Australia have already made announcements where proof of double vaccination will be required for entry, whilst other are considering their position on this topic.
ProMX respects the choice of individuals when it comes to the topic of COVID-19 vaccination. However, it is highly likely that proof of vaccination or vaccination passport may be required for entry into some states and venues moving forward. ProMX Management provides this as information only.
2021 Penrite ProMX Championship Calendar
Round 7 & 8
Round 9 & 10
2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Calendar
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship is set to expand to nine rounds for 2022. Build on what’s been a successful inaugural season of racing for the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, the series will provisionally expand to nine rounds for 2022, while introducing a host of new events to the calendar.
Further strengthening its grip as a truly international offroad motorcycling world championship, the series will see races in Israel, Serbia and Canada added to an already bustling schedule.
An early start at the beginning of April will see the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship season commence in Israel. Venturing to Asia for the Minus 400, the best Hard Enduro riders in the world will showcase their talents in front of enduro fans in the Middle East.
Returning to Europe for round two, Xross is a Hard Enduro Rallye in the Serbian mountains of Zlatibor, Tara and Mokra Gora. A long-established event, Xross has been running since 2014 and prides itself on featuring some of the most remote and technical Hard Enduro terrain in the southeast of Europe.
The return of Red Bull Erzbergrodeo in Austria for 2022 is sure to set fans and competitors hearts racing. On hold for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic, everyone is waiting for the Iron Giant to roar back into life in spectacular fashion next June.
Following its successful debut this year, the Abestone Hard Enduro returns to the championship for 2022. The distinct Tuscany venue has already become a much talked about race. Busily preparing trails for 2022, organiser Michele Bosi is eager to deliver something special next year.
Synonymous with Hard Enduro, it would be impossible not to feature the iconic Red Bull Romaniacs in the 2022 schedule. Now a mecca for Hard Enduro competitors from across the world, organisers are currently working on the 19th edition of this world famous Hard Enduro Rallye.
From Romania, the series will take a trip across the Atlantic to North America for a double header in the USA and Canada. Kicking things off for round six will be Red Bull TKO in Tennessee. The venue produced some spectacular racing and many memorable battles this year and will be eagerly anticipated next August.
Two weeks later, the championship heads north to Canada for the already established Red Bull Outliers in the Badlands of Alberta. The feature race is a multi-lap extreme cross-country event across a rugged wasteland with plenty of near-vertical climbs.
HERO Challenge will play host to the penultimate round in mid-September. A welcomed addition to the 2021 series, its format twist of motocross, superenduro and hard enduro elements pushed competitors to their physical limits. Now, with 12 months to prepare for the next edition, expect organisers to raise the bar even higher.
Seven months after round one in Israel, the championship will draw to an exciting conclusion at Spain’s Hixpania Hard Enduro in Aguilar de Campoo, as a spectacular end to the 2022 season is guaranteed.
Winfried Kerschhaggl – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Manager
“It’s great to already have the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship provisionally in place. I would like to thank all event organizers for their commitment to the championship, and for the energy they have. Being so early with this provisional calendar gives everyone the advantage of being able to market each particular event professionally, as well as giving competitors an early look at the exciting championship we have. Pushing so hard in 2021 earned us a lot of interest from fans, media and potential event organizers all around the world. With Israel, Serbia and Canada added to an already diverse calendar we aim to strengthen our grip as a true offroad motorcycling World Championship.”
2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Provisional Schedule
Round 1: Minus 400 – Israel, April 5/6/7
Round 2: Xross – Serbia, May 19/20/21
Round 3: Red Bull Erzbergrodeo – Austria, June 16/17/18/19
Round 4: Abestone Hard Enduro – Italy, July 8/9/10
Round 5: Red Bull Romaniacs – Romania, July 26/27/28/29/30
Round 6: Red Bull TKO – USA, August (date TBC)
Round 7: Red Bull Outliers – Canada, August (TBC, two weeks after TKO)
Round 8: HERO Challenge – Poland, September 10/11 (location TBC)
Round 9: Hixpania Hard Enduro – Spain, October 7/8/9
HRC Manager Erik Kehoe retires
Just over a week after Jett Lawrence wrapped up the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross 250MX Championship, Erik Kehoe announced that he will step down from the position of Manager of Team Honda HRC, the manufacturer’s U.S. factory motocross/supercross squad.
Kehoe was a Honda-backed professional racer in the late ’80s and early ’90s before managing the Honda of Troy/Yamaha of Troy race program for seven seasons. He served an earlier stint managing the factory team from the 2002 season through 2012. During Kehoe’s management tenures, Team Honda HRC earned five AMA Pro Motocross National Championships and two AMA Supercross Championships.
“This decision to retire was very difficult, but at the same time, I know it’s time to slow down my pace. I would like to thank American Honda, and [Manager of Sports & Experiential] Brandon Wilson in particular, for giving me the chance to return to the team this last time. I really wanted to help get Honda some positive momentum in supercross and motocross, and this past season, I think the team has enjoyed many successes. I’ve truly enjoyed my time here, but it’s time to focus on some personal projects that I’ve been putting off for some time.”
Takahisa Fujinami retires from Trial World Championship in Portugal
After 26 seasons in the Trial World Championship, a record number of participations, 168 podiums, 34 victories, 7 runner-up finishes and one world championship title, Repsol Honda Team rider Takahisa Fujinami (Mie, Japan, 13/01/1980) will bring his career to a close this coming Saturday in Portugal.
Since his debut in Navacerrada, Spain in 1996 at the age of 16, he has spent over a quarter of a century fully dedicated to trial competition, collecting several key achievements along the way including the world championship title sealed in 2004.
In addition, the Japanese rider has also broken several records in the specialty, such as the youngest rider to win a world championship event (Talheim, 1997) at the age of 17, as well as the record for the most elderly rider, attained earlier in 2021 with a win in Italy aged 41. Indeed, this kind of longevity has led him to become the rider with the highest number of participations in elite competition, with a tally of 355, including this Saturday’s event in Gouveia.
With 34 victories – always with Montesa-Honda – Takahisa Fujinami is the rider with the fifth highest number of triumphs in world championship trials and is fourth in terms of number of podiums, surpassed only by Adam Raga, Toni Bou and Dougie Lampkin. He has also finished in the world championship top five over 20 consecutive seasons.
Fujigas’ has also been world championship runner-up on seven occasions. The number rises further with the indoor competition tally: one runner-up, one victory and 36 podiums out of 139 trials. In Japan, he also won five national titles between 1995 and 2001. Finally, he took part in 15 Trial du Nations events representing the Japanese team, contributing to five runner-up finishes.
“I firmly believe that the time has come to close the curtain on my career as a world trial championship rider after 26 years in the competition. Thanks to everyone’s support, over this period, I have been able to make trial my profession and perform at a more than satisfactory level for over a quarter of a century. Thank you very much. They have been 26 great years. And I have to also thank my family, who supported me from the first moment, my team-mates, the brand, the sponsors and also the fans who have cheered me on throughout. I would like to greet each of my fans one by one, and I hope to do it someday, to thank them for the enormous support they have given throughout this time. Honda Racing and Montesa-Honda gave me a bike to participate in the world championship when I was 16 years old and, since then, I am proud to have battled with this team right through to the very end.
“I still remember the shouts and applause of support at my debut in Japan and also in Spain: ‘Fujigas’ was born there! The first victory in Germany, the tough, complicated years, but also the joy of the world title in 2004. It’s a long time ago, but it’s my particular treasure… I would also like to particularly remember the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, which started in 2000 and has always had such an enthusiastic crowd. Thank you again. As for what I will do from now on… I don’t really know yet. I haven’t made up my mind yet what I will do after retiring from competition, but I hope to stay involved in trials in some way. I’m confident that everything will go well in my new life.”
Toni Bou wins a 29th Trial World Championship title in Portugal
Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou has been proclaimed the 2021 TrialGP World Champion, also winning the day’s trial in Portugal – taking his GP palmares to 125 triumphs and 15 consecutive TrialGP titles, plus 14 indoor – 29 championship wins for the greatest rider of all time.
The Repsol Honda Team ace set the benchmark from the start in a trial filled with natural yet demanding sections, where the first 12 sections had been made quite slippery by the water which flows through the Portuguese town of Gouveia. Bou made it through to the end of the trial with sufficient advantage to claim a 125th victory in the Trial World Championship for the Montesa Cota 4RT rider. This season saw him victorious in seven 2021 Trial World Championship events to clinch the top TrialGP World Championship honours for a 15th time in a row.
Today was also a very special event for Japanese Repsol Honda Team rider Takahisa Fujinami who brings to an end his career in the Trial World Championship. Fujinami rode a trial that went from strength to strength, improving considerably on the second lap before eventually posting seventh place on the day. “Fujigas” thus wraps up the world championship in sixth place overall.
With this final trial in Portugal, Repsol Honda Team bids farewell to this year’s TrialGP campaign. The next appointment for Toni Bou will be tomorrow, held in the same Portuguese town, where the champion will represent the Spanish national team in the Trial des Nations event.
Toni Bou – P1
“This year has been very special for me because at the beginning things were very complicated with the injury just a month before the start of the championship. In the end there will come a year when I will not be able to win – I’ve won for 15 consecutive years – but the fact that I got injured just before the start of the world championship made it special and I didn’t want to lose a championship in this way. Once again we battled 100%, I tried to get into shape as the championship progressed and the fact that I had a very good work rate before I got injured also helped me to recover faster. I am very happy to be able to win another world championship. Once again, many thanks to the whole team. Today was also a very special day for everyone as it was Fujinami’s last trial. It is very difficult to think of Team HRC without him. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Takahisa Fujinami – P7
“First of all, I want to thank Honda, HRC and the whole Montesa team, including mechanics, minders and all the people who have helped me over these 26 years. Without all of them I could not have been in the world championship for 26 years. Today I wanted to get a good result, in the end I finished seventh, but I’m still happy with the way I rode today. I battled until the end. Today I close this stage, but I am sure that the future will be promising. Today was a really special day, thanks to the whole trial family, all the brands and all the people who were in Portugal today. I am very proud to have shared this day with all of them.”
GasGas’s Laia Sanzs wraps up 2021 TrialGP Women title
After eight years away from the Trial World Championship, Laia Sanz has returned to the top of the podium once again, winning the final round of the 2021 season on her GASGAS TXT GP 300 to become TrialGP Women World Champion for an incredible 14th time.
“It’s been an incredible day, to win is amazing. It wasn’t the hardest trial of the championship, but the hard thing for me was to stay 100% focused, so mentally it wasn’t easy at all. Coming back to TrialGP after so many years away, to return and finally be successful and win another world title, it’s amazing. Apart from section three on the first lap, I think I had one of my best days of the championship today. It’s not been an easy year for me, so I am proud that I have been able to do what I hoped I would. Also, I want to thank the team and GASGAS, they have been so, so good to me. It’s the result that we all worked really hard for.”
Proving once again that she’s unquestionably the queen of trial, Laia Sanz did exactly what she needed to do at the all-important final round of the 2021 TrialGP World Championship, winning the day and claiming an incredible 14th trial title.
Coming into the Portuguese event one point behind her closest championship rival Emma Bristow, Laia set her sights on winning from the moment she entered the day’s opening section.
Knowing that there was no room for error, she completed the opening lap having lost just four marks. In doing so she put one hand on the women’s title. Holding her nerve, her best was yet to come as she dropped just two marks on the second lap and delivered her best ride of the season, when it mattered most.
Securing her third win of the championship, in never finishing lower than second this season Laia’s composure and consistency ultimately ensured she won her 14th trial world title.
Spain’s male and female teams dominated the premier World Championship classes at today’s 2021 Hertz FIM Trial des Nations at Gouveia in Portugal as Norway took top honours in the International category.
Competing over a reworked route adapted from the previous days final round of the TrialGP series with three extra hazards extending the course to 15 sections, the world’s top trial nations – 16 in total – along with a delegation from FIM Latin America went head-to-head.
The majority of teams fielded three riders with the best two scores through each section counting towards the final total which makes it a true team effort and Spain’s men – winners of every TdN staged since 2004 – completely dominated. It was always to be expected – Toni Bou (Montesa), Adam Raga (TRRS) and Jaime Busto (Vertigo) finished 1-2-3 in this year’s TrialGP championship – but the winning margin was devastatingly conclusive.
“Today was a special day for us because last year we weren’t able to compete in the TDN because of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are happy to be back in this team competition. We have a great team and we have enjoyed it a lot. The first sections were very easy and we were able to enjoy a very different trial to yesterday’s. After the stress of winning the world championship, it’s always great to have an event like this, without any pressure. Adam, Jaime and I had a great time together and we barely made any mistakes, picking up just one mark between the three of us. I would like to thank the Spanish Federation for counting on me for another year and I am very happy to win another world title.”
In fact, the Spaniards parted with just one mark all day to end the event 35 ahead of the French trio of Benoit Bincaz (Beta), Teo Colairo (Beta) and Alexandre Ferrer (TRRS) with Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Beta), Lorenzo Gandola (Beta) and Gianluca Tournour (GASGAS) completing the podium a further seven adrift.
Unlucky for some, section 13 on the second and final lap was all that stood between Spain and a clean sheet. Plotted on a super-steep banking with mud dragged out of the river that ran through it, it was here the Spanish team parted with its one and only mark.
“It has been a really good day. All the team – the riders, the minders and the managers – worked perfectly. The reality was at the start it was quite easy so everything was equal but when the difficult sections started we made a big difference. We are very happy.”
Great Britain’s inexperienced team of Toby Martyn (TRRS), Jack Peace (Sherco) and Billy Green (Scorpa) was a distant fourth but the young trio all showed great fortitude as they navigated a steep learning curve.
It was much closer in the women’s class but the Spanish ladies took control midway through the first lap and refused to loosen their grip on the title they won in 2019, the last time the event was staged.
With newly-crowned TrialGP Women champion Laia Sanz (GASGAS), Berta Abellan (Vertigo) and Sandra Gomez (TRRS) arriving at the halfway mark on five – three clear of Great Britain’s Emma Bristow (Sherco), Alice Minta (Scorpa) and Alicia Robinson (Beta) – they then checked out with a faultless second lap.
“It’s been a really nice weekend. Today we did an amazing job, especially on the second lap. It’s the perfect way to finish the trial season.”
Great Britain consolidated second with a very respectable lap-two total of four as Norway’s Seline Meling (Beta), Huldeborg Barkved (GASGAS) and Ingveig Hakonsen (TRRS) completed the podium on 22.
Norway has topped the International class on two previous occasions – in 2002 the last time the event was held in Portugal and 2010 – and Jarand-Matias Vold Gunvaldsen (TRRS), Sondre Haga (Beta) and Hakon Pedersen (GASGAS) made it a hat-trick on a final score of five, all incurred on the first lap.
“We’ve all been feeling really good today,” said Vold Gunvaldsen. “We worked well as a team with good riding from everyone. There were some mistakes but we recovered and we’re very happy with the win.”
Best of the rest a further seven marks behind was the Czech Republic’s Martin Matejicek (GASGAS), Martin Kroustek (TRRS) and David Fabien (Beta) with the Andorran trio of Jordi Lestang (Montesa), Gaudi Vall Ingles (Sherco) and Xavi Casas Blanc (TRRS) another seven off the pace in third.
After the qualifying races on Saturday at Circuit Carole in Tremblay-en-France, it was for the race day of the FIM Supermoto of Nations, edition 2021. The track of Circuit Carole features fast long straights and a technical off-road sections, all perfectly prepared.
The public found their way to the track in the morning ensuring a great atmosphere and after three very exiting races full of tension and action.
RACE 1 (Riders 1 + Riders 2)
In warm weather conditions, the first race of the day started at 13:30 hours with riders one and two from each team on track. At the start it was Team Italy rider Diego Monticelli who took the hole-shot into the first off-road section of Circuit Carole.
In second position was Team France rider Germain Vincenot followed by Team Spain rider Ferran Cardus and Team France junior rider Youry Catherine. Team France rider Thomas Chareyre had to start from fifteen position on the grid in this race, but the after one lap the fast Frenchman was already in third position after passing Cardus, Catherine and many other riders.
A lap later the reigning Supermoto World champion passed his fellow countryman for second position. Monticelli was still in the lead but knew that he had to pick up some speed to stay in front. In lap three disaster struck for Vincenot and the second French rider had to restart the race from fifteenth position. Vincenot tried to get back in front but couldn’t find the speed anymore and finished fourteenth.
These issues gave third position to Cardus from Spain who was chased by Team Czech Republic rider Milan Sitniansky, second Team Spain rider David Gimenez, Team France junior rider Axel Marie-Luce and Team Italy rider Gioele Filippetti who was having a good race from the back of the starting grid.
In front Chareyre didn’t waste any time and two laps later he passed Monticelli and took over the lead. The Frenchman kept the speed high and after a few laps Chareyre had opened up a gap to the rest of the field.
Meanwhile Cardus, in third gave all he could to catch Monticelli who was too far out of reach, however Team Spain was doing well for the overall standings as countryman Gimenez was in fourth position after great battles with Sitniansky, Marie-Luce and Catherine.
After 12 laps Chareyre crossed the finish line in first position, 11:996 seconds in front of Diego Monticelli. The top three was completed by Ferran Cardus. With their third and fourth place Spain led the overall standing after race one.
RACE 2 (Riders 2 + Riders 3)
Race two remained warm and dry with a big crowd gathered around the racetrack in Tremblay-en-France. Team Italy took the early lead with rider Diego Monticelli followed by France’s Germain Vincenot and France junior Youry Catherine. Fourth was Czech Milan Sitniasky with Estonia’s Eero Madisson close behind.
France’s Sylvain Bidart, Italy’sElia Sammartin and French junior Steve Bonnal had to fight their way up from the back of the starting grid. In front Monticelli had good pace and created a little gap to Vincenot, who held a similar advantage on Catherine.
Behind Catherine a group of five riders, Elia Sammartin, Sylvain Bidart, Milan Sitniansky, Spain’s David Gimenez and Swiss rider Raoul Tschupp were closing in fast. After a few laps they reached Catherine and the battle for third position began.
The fight went on for laps at almost every corner and straight, with the positions changing constantly, giving the two leaders a chance to get further gap their competitors. With four laps to go Vincenot passed Monticelli in the off-road sections and the French went crazy, but the Italian wasn’t impressed and a lap later was back in the lead after an mistake from the French rider.
His fellow countryman Sylvain Bidart was running third and the leader of the group fighting for the final podium position. With mistakes easily made and hard but fair passes nobody was safe and positions were still changing. With three laps to go Bidart made a small mistake costing him three positions.
His problems weren’t over as a lap later he passed the finish line in tenth position behind Hampus Gustafson. Third position went to Sitniansky and the Czech was determined to hold it, but Sammartin wasn’t far behind him.
Meanwhile the battle for the lead was over and Diego Monticelli controlled the race for Italy. Second place was Germain Vincenot taking valuable points for France. Sitniansky completed the top three in this second race in front of Elia Sammartin. Fifth was Swiss rider Raoul Tschupp who managed to keep Spain’s David Gimenez in check. After the race, Sammartin and Gimenez got a five positions penalty for failing the noise test. Despite the penalty for Team Italy, the country took over the lead in the overall standing from Spain.
RACE 3 (Riders 1+Riders 3)
Last and final race of the 2021 FIM Supermoto of Nations was for the riders of group one and three. The start saw France’s Sylvain Bidart take the last hole shot of the day in front of Sammartin and Spain’s Cardus. Fourth was Yannick Bartschi followed by France’s junior Steve Bonnal.
France’s Thomas Chareyre and Italy’s second Gioele Filippetti had to start from the back of the starting grid. By lap two, Chareyre was already in seventh position and Filippetti in tenth. After three laps Sammartin took over the lead from Bidart. Immediately the Italian tried to get away and this was the sign for Chareyre to open the throttle of his TM.
Two laps later Chareyre was passing his teammate, claiming second position behind Sammartin. Cardus from Spain was still fourth in front Bonnal and Vorlicek from the Czech Republic. With Chareyre closing on his teammate, the pressure was on Filippetti to move up through the field but the gap to the top six was too far for the young Italian who had to settle for eighth.
Chareyre was all over the back of Sammartin, and lap after lap the two top riders tested each other in every corner of Circuit Carole. With two laps to go Chareyre passed Sammartin in the last corner before the finish line but the Italian rider countered in the long straight to overtake first again. Sylvain Bidart in the meantime was settling for third taking valuable points for Team France.
With only one lap to go Sammartin was still in the lead but in the very last corner, Thomas Chareyre used all the power of his TM and passed Sammartin in the Michlin comer. The fast Italian couldn’t counter back and Chareyre took the victory in the final race on Sunday here in France. Elia Sammartin finished second.
With their first and third place, Team France took the overall victory and won the FIM Supermoto of Nations for the 10th time in history.
2021 Supermoto of Nations Overall
Australia win FIM Speedway of Nations spot
Australian skipper Jason Doyle was delighted with how his team carried the burden of being qualification favourites as they won Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Semi-Final 2 in Daugavpils on Saturday.
The Roos topped the score chart on 35 points to book their place at the Monster Energy SON Final in Manchester on October 16 and 17, with the 2017 world champion scoring 23 points from a possible 24, while Aussie champion Max Fricke added 12.
They are joined by Saturday night’s hosts Latvia and Final Qualifier winner France, as both countries prepare for their first-ever appearances in a world team championship final, where they join hosts Great Britain, plus Semi-Final 1 top trio Poland, Sweden and Denmark.
“That win takes a lot of pressure off,I hate going into a meeting as the favourite. I knew it was going to be tough. We had to work hard in the last couple of heats. Obviously the Latvians are so good around here. It’s their home track. We worked our bums off to get to where we were. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because of the riders that were here. We really needed to dig deep in the last couple of heats. Fricke did an amazing job to get us back in there. Getting the win and not having to worry about going through the Final Qualifier is a much easier way to qualify for the heart rate! “We all love riding for our countries. I can speak for every rider here. If you get the opportunity to ride for your country, it means so much. We don’t do it for a lot of money; we just do it for the race suit and we are honoured to do it. This showed for every rider. Everyone worked really hard.”
Doyle now heads to Manchester with his Aussie side chasing their first world team title since they won the 2002 FIM Speedway World Cup.
Before the Monster Energy SON Final takes place, all eyes turn to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series, which concludes with the epic eWinner Torun SGP of Poland double-header on October 1 and 2. SGP World Championship leader Artem Laguta and Bartosz Zmarzlik battle it out for the gold medal with just one point separating them ahead of two tense final rounds.
Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations
Semi-Final 2 Scores
AUSTRALIA 35: 1 Jason Doyle 23, 2 Max Fricke 12, 3 Keynan Rew 0.
FRANCE 30: 1 David Bellego 15, 2 Dimitri Berge 13, 3 Steven Goret 2.
GERMANY 27: 1 Kai Huckenbeck 22, 2 Valentin Grobauer 0, 3 Nick Blodorn 5.
MFR 25: 1 Sergei Logachev 10, 2 Vladimir Borodulin 13, 3 Mark Karion 2.
ITALY 19: 1 Nicolas Covatti 7, 2 Paco Castagna 12.
UKRAINE 19: 1 Aleksandr Loktaev 15, 2 Vitalii Lysak 0, 3 Marko Levishyn 4.
Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations
World champion Bartosz Zmarzlik declared it mission accomplished as Poland booked their place earlier at the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Manchester as Semi-Final 1 winners in Daugavpils on Friday night.
The Poles topped the score chart on 37 points, sealing victory with a 6-3 heat advantage over Finland in race 19 as Zmarzlik stormed to 21 points from a possible 24, while partner Dominik Kubera added 13 and under-21 Jakub Miskowiak chipped in with three.
This left the Danes on 32 and forced them into the Final Qualifier against the USA, who were fourth on 28. But Madsen and Michelsen held their nerve when it mattered most to book their tickets to Manchester on October 16 and 17.
Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations
Semi-Final 1 Scores
USA 28: 1 Broc Nicol 7, 2 Luke Becker 21, 3 Blake Borello 0.
FINLAND 24: 1 Timo Lahti 18, 2 Tero Aarnio 6, 3 Timi Salonen 0.
SLOVENIA 17: 1 Matic Ivacic 10, 2 Nick Skorja 7, 3 Anze Grmek 0.
CZECH REPUBLIC 17: 1 Vaclav Milik 11, 2 Josef Franc 4, 3 Petr Chlupac 2.
2021 MXGP of Sardegna Round 10 Wrap
The 2021 MXGP of Sardegna ran over the weekend in Riola Sardo, and it was a Red Bull KTM Factory Racing dominated event across both classes, with Jeffrey Herlings taking top honours in the MXGP class going 1-1, while Tom Vialle won the MX2 class in the same fashion.
Arriving in Sardinia following a strong run of MX2 class results recently, Jed Beaton’s chances of another overall podium finish quickly unravelled following an unfortunate crash early in moto one. A race-long charge with no front brake saw the Australian ultimately claiming 13th aboard his FC 250.
For race two, Beaton emerged from the first turn well placed inside the top-10. After making a number of passes during the opening laps, the 23-year-old would continue to maintain his strong pace, catching up to teammate Kay de Wolf and chasing him across the finish line for a well-deserved fifth-place finish.
Jed Beaton – P7
“A bit of a frustrating day today. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in moto one as Jago Geerts crashed and then his bike bounced up and hit me off of mine. The crash damaged my front brake, so it wasn’t ideal, but I gave it everything I had and managed to score some points. I found a pretty good flow in race two and maintained a good pace. It was easy to make mistakes and I overexerted myself a little in the first one, so a fifth place wasn’t too bad. The next two rounds are back on hardpack and tracks that I really like so I’m looking forward to those and getting back up on the podium.”
Bike It MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd raced to his third consecutive top-ten finish despite a collision halfway through race two which cost him a probable top six on the day. The Australian fluctuated between sixth and seventh throughout the first moto, surrendering a place only to absolute sand experts on a couple of occasions but recovering the positions as others paid the penalty for riding over their heads in the demanding deep sand.
He held a solid fifth place through the early laps of race two but a collision with another rider resulted in him crashing over a berm; rejoining the race sixteenth he pulled back one position before the end of the race to secure tenth overall on the day.
Wilson Todd – P10
“I didn’t have the best gate-pick but I got out of the gate good and came round the first corner well so I was up near the front at the start of both motos. I stayed up there the first one, but around about lap three of the second race I came together with another rider, went over a berm and put myself on my head. It was hot and the track was rough, so I guess it was hard work for everybody today.“
MXGP Race 1
In the first MXGP race of the day, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings with the Fox Holeshot as he led the way ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Watson, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer and Calvin Vlaanderen of Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was one of the unlucky riders to crash in the first turn and then pushed his way to 19th position by the end of the race to score two vital championship points.
Though back at the front of the field Herlings was looking comfortable as he pulled a gap to Watson and Prado. Seewer remained close by as Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre charged through on Vlaanderen and started to chase down the Swiss.
Watson continued to guard his second-place position from Prado but eventually succumbed to the pressure by lap four as he dropped to third.
As Febvre looked to go around Seewer, Vlaanderen made the most of this opportunity and caught the pair out, to steal two positions and get into fourth. It was then game on for the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing rider as he got around Watson for third pretty quickly too.
Herlings then stretched the lead to 9.487 seconds as Prado couldn’t do anything to stay close.
Watson then came under more fire as both Seewer and Febvre forced their way through and as Febvre climbed up the field, Seewer did the opposite and eventually finished the race in sixth position as Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Brian Bogers made a close pass on the Swiss on the final lap.
In the final few laps of the race, we saw Febvre catch up with Vlaanderen as the pair battle for third, though eventually it was the Frenchman who came out on top, as Herlings won the race 42.419 seconds ahead of Prado. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and Arminas Jasikonis had a strong race to finish eighth and ninth respectively.
MXGP Race 2
In the second MXGP heat it was Prado with the Fox Holeshot that time around as he edged out ahead of Herlings, Febvre and Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
Vlaanderen had another good start and was running seventh on the opening lap, while Gajser started much better that time around and was 12th. Watson also had another good start in sixth place.
Much of the second MXGP race saw Prado being chased by Herlings, with the Bullet trying all that he could to get around the young Spaniard. Prado was riding defensive which made it extremely hard for Herlings to get around and after countless failed attempts the Dutchman was able to make a pass stick 12.
While Prado and Herlings were busy battling at the front, Febvre was not too far behind as on several occasions the Frenchman was within striking distance of the pair.
Further down the field Gajser was fighting for every single championship point as he worked his way up the field passing the likes of SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Alberto Forato, SS24 KTM MXGP’s Shaun Simpson, Olsen and Bogers on the final lap to get up into eighth by the chequered flag.
Vlaanderen was also chasing another strong race as he got around Watson for fifth. He was also able to pass Jonass and Seewer to finish the race fourth.
In the end Herlings was the race winner with Prado second and Febvre closely behind in third. With a 1-1 result, Herlings took to the top step of the podium, with Prado there in second and Febvre third. Vlaanderen narrowly missed out on the podium after a solid 4-4 in the races.
The biggest shock of the weekend came from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli who had an unfortunate crash in the MXGP Time Practice and did not line-up for the day’s races.
The nine-time World Champion had a scan which showed no injuries but just as a precaution the team made a decision to withdraw from the day’s races and focus for the upcoming weeks while Team HRC’s Tim Gajser entered the Sardinian Grand Prix nursing an injury, making today’s races a real challenge for the defending champion.
With Gajser only scoring 15 points in the races, this has allowed Herlings to take the championship lead by just a single point, as Gajser drops to second and Febvre remains third a further three points behind.
Jeffrey Herlings – P1
“I am Happy from one side and unfortunate from the other because it’s a sad way to take the red plate. The points have never been so close before after 10 races, as it is right now, we are super close. For today, I was first in time practice and then the first race I managed to get the holeshot, that was a surprise and then managed to control the rest of the race. The second race I started behind Jorge, I tried to overtake him, and it was tough to pass. I tried many times and eventually I managed to pass him, pull a gap and control the rest of the race. It was a picture-perfect weekend and I hope I have more of those throughout the season. For now, we keep going and be the best every weekend. We have improved on many occasions this season, like the starts, we have worked hard on this. Speaking of the MXON, with the team we have for Holland, I think we have a chance to win, and I will do my best to help my team to come out on top but Italy also has a strong team but we will see.”
Jorge Prado – P2
“It was a very good day, and I am super happy. The last round we had problems with the crash, lost many points and I knew this weekend would be important. I had extra motivation because I like the sand and I was expecting to do what I did today. It was a perfect day, two solid races, it was perfect. I was thinking I really need to get the holeshot and try to manage to keep the Bullet behind me and I think I managed quite well for a lot of time. I gave it everything I had. I tried to block him when he was trying to pass but he made a really clean pass on me and flew by. Then I just managed to stay second because already I was suffering a lot and that’s what I did. I am very happy, I made a good step in the second race in terms of my riding and I’m taking all the positive and we will see at the next round in Germany.”
Romain Febvre – P3
“It’s a good weekend for us. Turkey, I didn’t feel so comfortable. That’s the past and today I managed to get 10th in time practice, we were all very close, but I just couldn’t get a clean lap and I had to manage the start. First race, my start was not that good, I was in around 10th or something. I managed to come back to third so, I was pretty happy about my riding, and I knew in the second one I had to get the start and it was definitely better. I was in the group with the top three riders, so I thought now it’s time to fight. It was a nice race, and I was just behind watching as Jeffrey was putting a lot of pressure onto Jorge and I thought maybe if they make a mistake, I could pass them. They didn’t and I was not in the position to pass them so managed to get third again which is good for the championship.”
Jeremy Seewer – P5
“Turkey was super low for me, but for some reason, after that, things have started improving. I didn’t do anything crazy, I just tried some new things and then after that, things started to improve. Before this race, I managed to do two days of riding, which I couldn’t do before Turkey, so there is some improvement. I am still not where I want to be or as sharp as I should be, but today’s results show that I am not too far off even with this sickness. I am feeling positive we can fight this virus out of my body, and we will see how I feel next week recovering from this race as it was one of the toughest of the season with the heat and the track. I’m looking forward to another solid two weeks and hopefully will be better again in Teutschenthal.”
Ben Watson – P6
“There are positives to take away from today, but also room for improvement and areas that still need work. After Turkey, I came into today with a goal of two motos inside the top-10, and I know I can do better than that, but after last weekend, I wanted to make a realistic goal. It’s not always easy to bounce back. I had my best qualifying of the season; it still wasn’t great, P.14, but still a small step forward. Looking forward to next week now.”
Brian Bogers – P7
“I really enjoyed today, racing in the sand again. My first moto was really good, starting in eighth and working my way up to fifth, so I was really happy with that one. I was hoping for more of the same in the second moto, but I didn’t get a great start, somewhere mid-pack, but I was able to make my way up to ninth pretty quickly. Frustratingly, I got stuck behind another rider and it was a little one-lined today. I just couldn’t find a way past him and spent all my energy trying to do so. Seventh-overall today isn’t too bad, but it should have been better.”
Pauls Jonass – P8
“Not my best of days and I’m a little disappointed with my riding. After Turkey we did a lot of great work but it just didn’t seem to translate when I was out on track. My starts were good though and it was really disappointing to have a little get together in race one just after the start. I was lucky to stay up but I lost a lot of positions. Overall, it was a really tough track and I’m happy to be leaving here healthy. Up next is Teuschenthal and that’s been a good track for me in the past, so I’m going there aiming for a strong result.”
In the opening MX2 race of the day, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who grabbed the Fox Holeshot from his teammate Mattia Guadagnini as well as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rene Hofer followed behind with Wilson Todd of Bike it MTX Kawasaki Racing and Maxime Renaux of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing.
Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez went down in the first corner and did not re-join the race as the first lap also caught out F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Mathys Boisrame, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts who went down later in the lap. He was ninth before the crash.
Vialle then got his head down and focused on leading the race as Renaux began his charge up the field. The first rider to come under attack of the Frenchman was Hofer.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf had a nice battle with Isak Gifting of DIGA PROCROSS GASGAS FACTORY RACING for seventh position, with the youngster eventually going through. De Wolf finished the race in fourth after some nice moves on Todd and Benistant.
As Renaux pushed to pass Hofer, the pair caught onto the back of Benistant who was third at the time. The pressure must have gotten too much for the MX2 rookie as he crashed out allowing Hofer and Renaux through.
By lap 10 Renaux was finally able to get Hofer who went down, as the Frenchman set his sights on Guadagnini who was second. Just two laps later the factory Yamaha got around the KTM rider to move into second and start his charge for the win.
Meanwhile Vialle had an almost five second lead which quickly started to come down as Renaux continued to push. By the final few laps Renaux was all over Vialle, with Vialle managing to keep control and take the race win. Renaux was second and Guadagnini third.
MX2 Race 2
As the gate dropped for race two, it was once again Vialle with the Fox Holeshot ahead of Guadagnini, Bastian Beogh-Damm of WZ Racing Team as well as Todd, Benistant, Renaux and Geerts.
Boisrame and Hofer had an unlucky start to the race. The pair crashed on two separate occasions, with Boisrame not finishing the race while Hofer fought back to 14th place. Simon Längenfelder of DIGA PROCROSS GASGAS FACTORY RACING was another rider to retire from the race early on.
As Vialle continued to lead, Boegh-Damm was coming under pressure from Renaux, who managed to pass the Dane by lap three and focus on going for the win.
De Wolf then had the fastest lap time of the race, a 1:52.600 as he looked to pass Benistant for fourth. Though Benistant was focused on his own thing as he got Boegh-Damm for third position.
Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee’s rider Conrad Mewse was having a good race as he fought his way inside the top 10. The Brit eventually finished the race in ninth.
Boegh-Damm then dropped a couple more positions as Geerts and De Wolf went through, while Benistant caught onto the back of Renaux. Several laps later Geerts was able to get past Benistant and focus his efforts on catching Renaux, while De Wolf was looking to do the same.
Benistant then crashed which also caught out De Wolf who could not avoid him, with the pair dropping a few positions. De Wolf got going fairly quickly behind his teammate Beaton who he passed not long after.
Guadagnini then took his day from bad to worse as he crashed for the second time and did not finish the race as he struggled to fire up his factory KTM machine.
Vialle went on to win the race, while Renaux was caught out by Geerts in the final four laps thus having to settle for third in the race as his teammate finished second.
With a 1-1 result, Vialle made it his third GP victory in a row, while Renaux occupied the second step of the podium, and De Wolf joined the pair to round out the top three of the Sardinian Grand Prix.
With Guadagnini having an unlucky day, this has allowed Renaux to edge out in the championship standings by 71 points, with Geerts remaining third and Benistant moving up to fourth.
Tom Vialle – P1
“First time for me in Sardegna, it was pretty tough but very good. I liked the track but I didn’t feel so good, so my time practice was not my best one. But I had a great start, holeshot in the first race and cleared every lap to win the first race. I was pretty confident after that. In the second race, I felt really good on the track and I could pull a gap on Maxime and Jago. It was pretty nice to win again. Two race wins, I am really happy. It is pretty exciting. First time for me representing Team France at the Motocross of Nations. Mantova is a track I really like, so it is going to be nice. It’s the first time so I don’t really know what is going to happen. We will see. We have a good team in France, so I am pretty excited to race there.”
Maxime Renaux – P2
“I got a bad start in the first race, so I had to really push until the end. I really tried to go for the win. The last five or six laps were really good, so I was really happy with the rhythm and I could catch Tom. I tried to make a pass in the later stages, but I couldn’t make it happen. Overall, I was satisfied with my first race. Second race, I had a better start. I think I was around fourth, then I got to second place really quick. I tried to catch Tom. In the beginning it was okay but then I was a little bit tired, and my legs were burning a lot. I tried to handle it to the end and that’s what I did. Jago got closer to me, then I saw Mattia next to me and thought I should also think about the championship. So, I played it safe. I finished third and it was enough. Now I extend my lead at the championship and that’s a really good thing. There is still eight races to go, which is quite a lot. But I really want to keep pushing, but also to be smart about it. I know Tom is back to fitness. But I will not take any crazy risk for it because I also have the bigger picture in mind. But yeah, it is going to be a really nice battle with him.”
Kay De Wolf – P3
“I had a really bad start in the first race. Then I managed to get back to fourth place. My race was really good in that first one. I kept pushing till the last lap. I managed to pass Thibault in the last turn, so I was really happy with the riding. I was also confident going into the second race, I had a better start but still not how I would like it to be. Then I had a few good opening laps, then made some small mistakes, then I went behind Thibault. He made a small mistake right in front of me. I couldn’t avoid him, and I crashed into his bike. I was stuck but stood up as fast as possible and still managed to get fourth in that second race. It wasn’t an easy day, but we fought till the end and it paid off. The goal in the beginning of the year was top 15 and we’ve been there every single race almost. So, I am pretty happy of how my debut season is going. But we still have to focus on the main thing which is to do our best and see where we end up.”
Jago Geerts – P4
“I’m a little bit disappointed. I crashed in the first heat on the first lap and then I was more than 20-seconds behind everyone, but my riding was really good and I got back to eighth. So, I had to be happy with that. In the second race, I took too long to get past some of the guys in front of me, so the gap was too big by the time I got to second place. I am happy with my riding; I just hope to get better starts in the next GPs.”
Isak Gifting – P5
“It was hot and rough today! But I quite like it like that as I know my fitness is good and it showed in both races. I felt great on the bike in both motos and I think in race two I could have maybe pushed for fifth, but I didn’t want to take any risks. To finish fifth-overall is a great day for me and the team. Now I’m looking forward to the Motocross of Nations next weekend in Mantova.”
Thibault Benistant – P6
“The day was not so bad in the end. My lap times were close to the guys in the front, which is good. I am really happy with my starts today; we managed to improve a lot. We worked on this, changed the engine, and it worked well. I am really happy about this. I showed good speed and good technical skill, but I felt I missed some physical condition today, so we will go back and keep working hard.”
Roan Van De Moosdijk – P8
“In the first moto I crashed at the second turn when my holeshot device stayed down, but in three laps I was almost in the top ten. The second moto I didn’t quite find my normal rhythm so I’m a little disappointed as I felt so good when we went training on Wednesday.“
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