Moto News Weekly Wrap
May 15, 2018 – By Darren Smart
Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Latest News & Reports
- Herlings and Olsen Wins Latvian MXGP
- Bolt to a Win at Portugal WESS
- 2018 Australian Supercross Championship Overhaul
- Kailub Russell Wins Indiana GNCC
- Woffinden Slam Dunks FIM Speedway GP of Poland
- Australia OUT of SGP for 2018
- Todd Waters Breaks Collarbone at Latvia
- Dean Wilson Blows Knee Before AMA Nationals
- MXGP to Asia in 2019 and Beyond
- Mellross to Race AMA Outdoor Nationals
- Ferrandis Re-signs with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha
- Wonthaggi Hosts ‘Double Header’ of MX Nationals This Weekend
Herlings and Olsen Wins Latvian MXGP
The challenging Kegums circuit hosted round 7 of the 2018 FIM World Motocross Championship and for the second year in a row Jeffrey Herlings and Thomas Kjer Olsen have won the MX1 and MX2 classes respectively.
The MXGP of Latvia also saw two FIM Europe classes in action and it was Honda’s Mathys Boisrame and KTM’s Rene Hofer who won the EMX250 and EMX125 classes respectively.
See the full report here: Herlings & Olsen win Latvian MXGP | Lawrence concussed (Link)
Bolt to a Win at Portugal WESS
Husqvarna’s Billy Bolt has claimed victory at the opening round of the inaugural World Enduro Super Series – the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal and in doing so the Brit takes an early lead in this year’s search for the Ultimate Enduro Champion.
In what was a thrilling and at times unpredictable battle, Bolt was followed home by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker in second with Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler completing the podium in third.
Following two days of intense qualification action from Friday’s Endurocross and Saturday’s Urban Prologue, 252 competitors from 20 nations took to the start of Sunday’s Main Race with the Pro riders facing two laps and all other classes one lap of slippery, rocky riverbeds, high-speed forestry trails and technical climbs
Starting in 15-second intervals, top qualifier Walker was the first rider flagged away, followed by KTM’s Cody Webb and Bolt. Despite facing the tough task of opening the course, Walker quickly settled into a fast rhythm, setting the pace up front. Behind him Bolt reeled in and passed Webb as the duo tackled the opening stages of the race.
With a significant hurdle to overcome, Poland’s Taddy Blazusiak was one of the later riders to start the race due to a poor qualification result. Working his way through traffic at a considerable rate, the Polish star fought his way from outside the top 40 on lap one to become a possible race winner – on corrected time – as riders began lap two.
For Walker, a clean refuelling stop saw him begin the second lap with a six-minute advantage over his closest rival Bolt. Further back Lettenbichler, Webb and Graham Jarvis were engaged in a tight battle for a place inside the top five.
Struggling to overtake some of the Hobby riders ahead of him on the course, Walker saw his race lead diminish as Bolt upped his pace. With one-quarter of a lap to go the Husqvarna rider took control of the race lead and charged his way into the finishing arena to take the chequered flag, ahead of Walker.
However, with Blazusiak challenging for the win on corrected time Bolt faced a nervous wait for the KTM rider to arrive. But Blazusiak wasn’t able to finish on the podium as Bolt secured the win and the opening victory in the 2018 World Enduro Super Series. Despite his best efforts, Blazusiak had to settle for fourth, with Jarvis rounding out the top five.
“I’m so happy to win round one of WESS at Extreme XL Lagares. There were some tense times at the end when I was waiting for the results but it’s a great feeling to stand on the top step of the podium. I started third today and tried to find a comfortable pace early on. The riverbeds were incredibly slippery but I just took the course as it was and remained focused on a long race ahead of me. On the second lap I pushed on and worked the back-markers to my advantage and caught Jonny as a result. Winning the opening round of WESS is fantastic and with just three weeks to go until round two at Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble I’m excited to keep this momentum rolling in Austria.”
Jonny Walker was happy to make the podium in the opening event and place himself in a good position for the championship.
“It’s really good to get onto the WESS podium with second. Of course, I’d loved to have won, but Billy just had that extra bit of pace towards the end. My opening lap was great and I managed to build a six-minute advantage over everyone. But as the first rider on the course that played against me on lap two when I had a lot of traffic to deal with. But I guess that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s nice to have round one in the bag and I know based on my speed today I can be a contender at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble.”
Manuel Lettenbichler’s third place was the result of his career according to the German.
“I’m so happy with my result today, I was riding strong all weekend and coming into the main race I knew I could produce a surprise result, so to finish third at round one of WESS is amazing. It’s honestly the biggest result of my career to date. This gives me a lot of confidence now for the rest of the championship and I’m determined to continue showing what I’m capable of.”
After a difficult opening lap, Cody Webb regrouped to end his day in sixth, while South African Wade Young placed seventh. Britain’s Paul Bolton crossed the finish line as top privateer in eighth with Beta Factory Racing’s Travis Teasdale ninth and Spain’s Pol Tarres 10th. Adding in Yamaha mounted Blake Gutzeit and Austrian Lars Enockl in 11th and 12th respectively, six manufacturers placed inside the top 12 at round one of WESS.
The 2018 World Enduro Super Series continues with round two at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble in Austria on June 1-3.
World Enduro Super Series, Round 1
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB)
- Jonny Walker (KTM – GB)
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – Germany)
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – Poland)
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB)
- Cody Webb (KTM – USA)
- Wade Young (Sherco – RSA)
- Paul Bolton (KTM – GB)
- Travis Teasdale (Beta – RSA)
- Pol Tarres (Husqvarna) – Spain
- Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha – RSA)
- Lars Enockl (Gas Gas – Austria)
- Josep Garcia (KTM – Spain)
- Michel Bosi (Beta – Italy)
- Diogo Vieria (Yamaha – Portugal)
World Enduro Super Series Standings (after round 1)
- Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 1000 points
- Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 850 pts
- Manni Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 770 pts
- Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 690 pts
- Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 610 pts
2018 Australian Supercross Championship Overhaul
The Australian Supercross Championship is set for an overhaul in 2018, as AUS SX Holdings takes the reigns, with a new long term strategy being formulated to boost Supercross sustainability heading forward, with Troy Bayliss Events also coming on board.
Adam Bailey – Director of AUS SX Holdings & AME Management
“Having been so focussed on the delivery and promotion of the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney event, since late 2013, we felt the timing was right for us to expand our operations and focus on the long-term growth of the entire Australian Supercross Championship. Our goals are really simple; to grow the championship across all aspects and help develop the sport and its future superstars. Our strategy will be focused on engaging with other Promoters that have the operational capability to deliver high-quality events and a shared passion for Supercross and its fans.”
Scott Bannan Promotions will continue the delivery of championship events in Queensland, with a brand new addition in Troy Bayliss Events, engaged to deliver events in South Australia and Victoria.
“We’ve always had a great relationship with both Scott Bannan Promotions and Troy Bayliss Events, we are absolutely certain that together we can deliver a fantastic series that our riders, teams and the industry deserves. Troy Bayliss Events will be a fantastic addition. Troy’s knowledge and passion for racing, is going to be an amazing asset for the series. We are extremely excited to work with both organisations on an amazing series for 2018 and beyond.”
Another addition to the 2018 calendar will be an all-new Amateur Supercross Cup, set to run in conjunction with the Australian Supercross Championship events, spanning Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and executed by Scott Bannan Promotions and Troy Bayliss events, the day following their Supercross events. The series, run on a modified version of the same track competed on by the pro’s, is aimed at increasing Supercross participation and developing future talent, by giving all Australian motocross athletes a pathway to full-blown Australian Supercross Championship racing, starting with juniors all the way to the premier category.
Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle, said he feels confident they have found the right direction to return Supercross to the Australian motorsport mainstream and give Australian riders the best possible opportunity for future success both in Australia and overseas.
Peter Doyle – Motorcycling Australia CEO
“Motorcycling Australia is excited to work with AUS SX and see Supercross taken to the next level. We have spent the last few years reviving Supercross and bringing it back to the forefront as a blue ribbon Australian Championship. It’s all about getting Supercross back to the success it deserves and providing a pathway for the riders to be able to compete on the world stage.”
The venue for the Victorian round is still to be confirmed (October 13) but is slated to be run during the same weekend as the Australian Superbike Championship. Initiatives such as cross-promotion and member discounts are in the pipeline for a motorsport extravaganza weekend.
Entry forms and further information for both the Australian Supercross Championship and Amateur Supercross Cup series will be released in the coming months.
2018 Australian Supercross Championship Calendar
- Round 1 – Jimboomba, Qld – September 15
- Round 2 – Coolum, Qld – October 6
- Round 3 – TBC, Vic – October 13
- Round 4 – Adelaide, SA – October 20
- Round 5 – Sydney, NSW (AUS-X Open) – November 10
2018 Amateur Supercross Cup
- Round 1 – Coolum, Qld – October 7
- Round 2 – TBC, Vic – October 14
- Round 3 – Adelaide, SA – October 20
Kailub Russell Wins Indiana GNCC
The 2018 Amsoil Grand National Cross Country ( GNCC ) Series continued last weekend with the second annual X-Factor Whitetails GNCC and at the conclusion of the seven-lap race, it was Kailub Russell who took home the win in Peru, Indiana.
Steward Baylor Jr. jumped out to the early lead over Ricky Russell, Kailub Russell and Josh Strang as they headed out of the first turn and into the woods.
Russell made an early pass on R. Russell for the second-place position, and after coming through timing and scoring on lap one, S. Baylor Jr. remained first with a seven-second lead over the two Russells while the Husqvanra duo of Thad Duvall and Strang were next in line.
Halfway through the second lap, news came that K. Russell had moved into the first-place position, with Duvall making the move into second just 13 seconds behind the leader. As lap three began, K. Russell, Duvall, and R. Russell checked in, with S. Baylor dropping back to fourth and Trevor Bollinger coming through in fifth.
As the front of the pack made their way around, it was Grant Baylor moving up and into the second-place position, but after pitting for gas on lap three, Duvall would make the move around him. R. Russell and S. Baylor Jr. continued to battle for the fourth-place position; however, S. Baylor would make the pass stick and continue to push on for the remaining three laps.
When the white flag flew, it was K. Russell leading Duvall by ten seconds, with G. Baylor behind them in third. S. Baylor Jr., followed by Bollinger and R. Russell, were battling with Strang, who sat in the seventh-place position during the last lap.
Russell earned his fifth win of the season, as he crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of Duvall. G. Baylor had his best finish of the season, earning him a spot on the podium in Indiana. S. Baylor held on for fourth, while Bollinger came through in the fifth spot. Strang made the pass for the sixth-place position, putting R. Russell back to seventh at round six. Cory Buttrick finished eighth while Andrew Delong and Layne Michael rounded out the top ten.
In the XC2 250 Pro class, Josh Toth would take his third win of the season, but not without some intense battles throughout the three-hour race. When the green flag flew, it was Joseph Ferraro who took the holeshot but as the XC2 pack came through on the second lap, it was Austin Lee leading the way, followed by Toth and Delong. After a mid-pack start, Ben Kelley made his way through into the fourth-place position before picking off riders and making his way to the second-place position.
Toth would make the pass on Lee and remain in the lead until taking the chequered flag on lap seven. Kelley would come in eight seconds behind Toth, followed by C. Delong rounding out the podium. Lee would hold on for fourth, while Indiana-native Mike Witkowski had his best finish with a fifth in the XC2 250 Pro class.
The FMF XC3 125 Pro Am class saw Jason Raines take his first win of the season after battling with Jesse Ansley throughout the day. Ansley would finish runner-up, but still remains in the points lead for the class while Cody Barnes rounded out the FMF XC3 podium.
In the WXC class, it was an Aussie 1-2 with Tayla Jones taking her fifth win of the season in Indiana this time ahead of Mackenzie Tricker who battled through for a second-place finish ahead of Brooke Cosner who rounded out the WXC podium.
The 2018 Amsoil Grand National Cross Country Series will heads to Millfield, Ohio on May 26 and 27 for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC.
X-Factor Whitetails – Overall
- Kailub Russell
- Thad Duvall
- Grant Baylor
- Steward Baylor Jr
- Trevor Bollinger
- Josh Strang
- Ricky Russell
- Josh Toth
- Ben Kelley
- Craig Delong
GNCC Overall Standings
- Kailub Russell – 175
- Thad Duvall – 151
- Steward Baylor Jr – 117
- Trevor Bollinger – 106
- Ben Kelley – 91
- Josh Strang – 86
- Josh Toth – 74
- Ricky Russell – 65
- Pascal Rauchenecker – 53
- Layne Michael – 52
X-Factor Whitetails – XC2 Pro
- Josh Toth
- Ben Kelley
- Craig Delong
- Austin Lee
- Michael Witkowski
- Evan Smith
- Nick Davis
- Jonathan Johnson
- Pascal Rauchenecker
- Jonathan Girroir
GNCC XC2 Pro Standings
- Ben Kelley – 165
- Josh Toth – 140
- Pascal Rauchenecker – 112
- Craig Delong – 96
- Austin Lee – 83
- Liam Draper – 79
- Evan Smith – 74
- Nick Davis – 65
- Jonathan Johnson – 64
- Trevor Barrett – 60
Woffinden Slam Dunks FIM Speedway GP of Poland
Double world champion Tai Woffinden has topped the BOLL Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland podium ahead of home hero Maciej Janowski and last year’s winner Fredrik Lindgren, with Artem Laguta finishing fourth on his first SGP appearance since 2011.
Woffinden cruised through the heats with 10 points, before chasing Laguta all the way in semi-final two, with the Russian just coming out on top and despite having third choice of gates for the final, Woffinden got the best of an epic battle with Janowski in front of 55,000 passionate fans to add to his 2016 Warsaw triumph.
The Scunthorpe-born star left Warsaw with 15 points – putting him one behind series leader Lindgren, who has 16.
“Everything went really well and, to be honest, I don’t feel really comfortable on the bike at the moment. It’s the start of the season and we have only done one meeting in Sweden. For me to win a Grand Prix and not feel like I’m 100 percent means it’s going to be an exciting season. There’s a lot more to come from me. I’m feeling really good. I needed this. Thanks to Maciej for a good race and thanks to the Polish fans. We put on a good show for the fans and what more can you ask for?”
Janowski was pleased to overcome some mechanical issues to finish as Warsaw runner-up for a second straight season.
“That was a very tough night. We worked a lot with the bike. We had some problems with the clutch. But we tried to focus and in the end my bike worked really well. Maybe I needed to go a little wider in the final, but Tai was very quick and Freddie was quick. That was a good meeting.”
Lindgren has started the season in the form of his life, topping the PGE Ekstraliga averages in Poland.
“Obviously when you’re in the final, you always want to win it, but I’m very proud of myself and how I rode all meeting through, I collected points in all my heats and I am very happy with my start to the season.”
There was bad news for triple world champion Nicki Pedersen, who withdrew from the meeting with concerns over the broken hand he suffered in Gorzow two weeks ago while 2017 champion Jason Doyle started the night with a disqualification for hitting the tapes in his first heat before bouncing back for a 2nd place in heat 8 behind Greg Hancock, 3rd in heat 16 and 2nd in heat 20 to score just 5 points to open up his title defence.
Fellow Aussie Chris Holder scored a solid 10 points on the night with a heat win backed by three second places before narrowly missing out on a place in the final after finishing 3rd in semi-final 1.
Next up for the SGP stars is the ANLAS Czech SGP in Prague on May 26.
World Championship Standings
- Fredrik Lindgren 16
- Tai Woffinden 15
- Maciej Janowski 13
- Artem Laguta 13
- Patryk Dudek 10
- Chris Holder 10
- Bartosz Zmarzlik 9
- Matej Zagar 9
- Emil Sayfutdinov 8
- Greg Hancock 8
- Krzysztof Kasprzak 7
- Jason Doyle 5
- Niels-Kristian Iversen 4
- Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3
- Nicki Pedersen 2
- Craig Cook 2
- Maksym Drabik 2
- Bartosz Smektala 2
Australia OUT of SGP for 2018
The calendar for the 2018 FIM Speedway GP has been released and despite several years of hosting the final round, Australia is not on the calendar with Torun, Poland now hosting the grand finale.
See the revised calendar below:
- R1. 12/05 – Warsaw
- R2. 26/05 – Prague
- R3. 30/06 – Horsens
- R4. 07/07 – Hallstavik
- R5. 21/07 – Cardiff
- R6. 11/08 – Malilla
- R7. 25/08 – Gorzow
- R8. 08/09 – Krsko
- R9. 22/09 – Teterow
- R10. 06/10 – Torun
Todd Water Breaks Collarbone at Latvia
Bugga – Todd Waters crashed during Saturday’s qualifying race in Latvia and has broken his collarbone so his debut for Honda’s official factory HRC team has been less than perfect BUT the Queenslander can take some solace from his performance with 20th place in timed practice before running as high as 8th in the Qualifying race.
Todd has undergone more extensive medical evaluations since the crash and more information will follow when available.
Dean Wilson Blows Knee before AMA Nationals
The Yanks are a weird mob – during the prime time of testing for all of the national riders Glen Helen is open to anyone who wants to enter the track no matter their speed or experience and this ended up being the demise of factory Husqvarna rider Dean Wilson who was testing for the Outdoors Nationals last Thursday when he hit a much slower rider mid-air only to crash out and tear his ACL.
You won’t see Wilson until the 2019 AMA Supercross Championship next January UNLESS he comes over to Australia for our supercross championships.
Hong Kong and China to host MXGP in 2019 and Beyond
Youthstream head honcho Giuseppe Luongo has announced that the 2019 MXGP calendar will include rounds in Hong Kong and China with the two current Indonesian rounds to be run earlier in the calendar with Hong Kong and China later in the year.
“The Asian market is really growing and market for us. And to have countries like Hong Kong and China is great for our series”.
Mellross to Race AMA Outdoor Nationals
Aussie Hayden Mellross has scored a full tie ride with the Cycletrader/Rock River Yamaha team to contest the whole 2018 AMA Motocross Championship that kicks off at Hangtown this weekend.
Mellross wrote this on his Instagram page: ‘Im so excited to announce that I have been given an amazing opportunity with @cycletraderrockriver to race the entire @promotocross season. I’m beyond excited and looking forward to what the season brings’.
Ferrandis Re-signs with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha
Dylan Ferrandis has agreed to a further two years with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha but after being injured during the supercross season it is unclear whether the French star will be at Hangtown this weekend – here is what Ferrandis posted on Instagram:
‘Happy and thankful to announce I re-sign for a 2 year deal with @starracingyamaha @monsterenergy @yamahamotorusa @yamalubeusa’
Wonthaggi Hosts ‘Double Header’ of MX Nationals This Weekend
This weekend will see the Victorian town of Wonthaggi host Rounds Three and Four of the MX Nationals with the fast and flowing track on West Area Rd welcoming hundreds of riders and thousands of fans to see the first of this year’s Double-Headers.
MX Nationals Series Promoter Kevin Williams today explained that the venue is well equipped to welcome thousands of motocross fans and the track will be prepared to a world class standard.
“The Pirelli MX Nationals is a very important event for not only the club, but also for the region. With Wonthaggi again hosting a national event of this size it will bring a staggering Three Hundred and fifty thousand dollars into the local region as well as keeps the venue on the radar, and provides the sport in the area with fantastic national exposure. We of course have a number of riders competing from Australia such as two time defending MX1 champion and current red plate holder Dean Ferris, but also international competitors from New Zealand such as Hamish Harwood, Kane Lamont and Rhys Carter which adds that extra level of depth to the racing and is fantastic for our series and for the local fans who are planning on coming out to watch the races this weekend.”
So, who will finish on top when gates drop this coming Sunday? Will it be the 2017 stars or will the local heroes dominate once again?
2016 and 2017 Thor MX1 champion Dean Ferris won an exceptional 17 races throughout the 2017 season, and will come into the first double head round this weekend holding the red plate after a flawless first two rounds, but one rider who won’t be letting the CDR Yamaha rider out of his sights, is 2016 and 2017 MX1 runner up and current second place holder in the series Kirk Gibbs, Kirk looked extremely fit and comfortable on board his factory KTM machine at Round 1 and 2 but was unsuccessful in taking the top spot on the podium, will he have what it takes this weekend.
That depth of talent isn’t limited to the MX1 class, this year MX2 has a world class level of skilled talent spread across the gate with the likes of 2017 MX2 runner up Wilson Todd, who struggled with the conditions at round one, but managed to get on the podium at round 2 in Appin two weeks ago, he will be hoping to make up valuable lost points this weekend, in Wonthaggi. 2016 MX2 runner up Nathan Crawford walked away with a close second place at round 1 and got the top spot at round two and now holds the Red plate, as well as our home grown talent you can never overlook the international talent of Hamish Harwood finishing 3rd at round one.
Finally, the Pirelli MXD category will showcase plenty of future talent this weekend then throw in the Yamaha 125cc Rookies, factory trucks, entertainment for the kids, and the fastest riders in the country, Round 3 and 4 of the Pirelli MX Nationals this weekend is an event not to be missed.