Moto News Weekly for October 15, 2019
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What happened this week
- 2019 Australian Supercross Championship kicked off in Brisbane
- Justin Brayton puts Penrite Honda on top defending his title
- Strong showing from Yamaha at Australian Supercross opener
- Highly successful Australian Supercross opener for Dunlop
- Kailub Russell claims his seventh GNCC Championship title
- Andrew Short leads Husqvarna 1-2 at Rally du Maroc
- Repsol Honda Team join 2019 Montesada celebration
- Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships Wrap – Barleigh Ranch
- KTM America announce 2020 Factory and Support SX teams
2019 Australian Supercross Championship kicked off in Brisbane
The 2019 Australian Supercross Championship kicked off at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre over the weekend with Americans Justin Brayton and Jacob Hayes claiming top honours across the SX1 and SX2 classes, ahead of Port Adelaide’s Round 2.
Penrite Honda’s Brayton took both the SX1 Finals wins, in Final 1 ahead of Brett Metcalfe and Daniel Reardon, and in Final 2 from Reardon and Luke Clout. Brayton heads to Round 2 on 25-points, with Reardon second in the standings on 22, while Clout completed the top three with 20-points.
Jacob Hayes topped the SX2 class in Brisbane, despite Josh Osby taking the Final 1 win from Aaron Tanti, with Hayes in third. Final 2 saw Hayes take the win from Chris Blose and Tanti, with Osby in fifth, landing Hayes the round win. Hayes heads into Round 2 on 25-points, with a consistent Tanti second on 22, and Chris Blose completing the top-three on 20-points.
For the full 2019 Australian Supercross Round 1 Brisbane Report see:
Americans share the spoils at Australian SX season opener in Brisbane
The Australian Supercross Championship now heads to Port Adelaide in South Australia on 19 October.
2019 Australian Supercross SX1 Standings (after Round 1)
2019 Australian Supercross SX2 Standings (after Round 1)
Justin Brayton puts Penrite Honda on top defending his title
Reigning SX1 Champion Justin Brayton raced flawlessly in Brisbane over the weekend, winning his heat race, super pole and the two finals on his way to the overall win on board the Penrite Honda CRF450R.
Brayton was strong from the outset, qualifying first while teammate Brett Metcalfe took fifth. In the heat, Brayton and Metcalfe finished first and second respectively, setting a blistering pace that was unmatched. Brayton took first in super pole while Metcalfe placed fourth.
In the first of two finals, Brayton and Metcalfe went one and two, breaking away from their nearest rivals. In the final race of the night, Brayton took the lead from the opening lap and cleared away, winning convincingly. Metcalfe was sitting in second until he was pushed wide on the final corner. He remounted and finished fifth.
The results of both races combined gave Brayton the overall win and saw Metcalfe placed equal third on points, receiving fourth on count back.
“I couldn’t have scripted this any better, what a dream start. The whole team worked well and I just enjoyed being back down under in front of the crowd. Also I can’t explain how cool it was to see all of the Brayton FLY jerseys out there; it’s something I will remember for a long time.”
“I am bummed with the overall result but I blame myself, I was pushed so wide in the final turn that there was no track left. The first final was good but I need to be better so I will be for Round 2, I’ll work to make that happen.”
SX2 riders Chris Blose and Mitchell Oldenburg kicked off their campaigns with positive results in their heat races. Blose qualified first, won his heat race and looked poised for a great result in the finals.
Mitchell Oldenburg also looked strong early on for his Australian debut, winning his heat race and showing grit and determination as he fought his way to the front. When the two lined up for the first of the two finals, as soon as the gate dropped, disaster struck with a pile-up that left Blose and Oldenburg fighting their way back to fourth and fifth respectively.
In the second of the two finals, both riders were determined to close the point gap on their rivals. Blose pushed to take second which gave him third overall. Oldenburg’s night ended with a collision with another rider so he had to work hard to get back to the front, relegating him to eighth overall.
Yamaha kick off 2019 Australian Supercross strong
The CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team built a strong foundation for their championship challenge after a positive start at the opening round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, with the team of Dan Reardon and Luke Clout finishing second and third respectively in the premier SX1 class.
Reardon, a home town favourite, raced to second place in his first race back since injury at last years’ Auckland Supercross. Over-coming some pre-races nerves, Reardon had to scramble in his heat race to qualifying directly to the main event after he fell early in the race. Once in the main event, Reardon was a model of consistency charging to 3-2 results in each of the 12 lap affairs and snaring second overall.
The second final saw Reardon settle into second place but come under fire from team mate Clout in the middle stages of the race. Clout was all over Reardon and was looking to make a move when he clipped Reardon’s rear tyre and went down. Reardon held on for second while Clout was able to remount for third.
“Its good to be back and racing again and this was just what I needed to blow the cob webs out and get the blood pumping again. There is only so much practice and training you can do and sometimes you just need to get out on the race track and see what happens. I didn’t ride great as I was a bit stiff and tight from being sidelined for so long, but I will be better for the experience and will improve from here. It was awesome to be back under the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team awning again and surrounded by great people and look forward to getting after it in the coming rounds.”
Clout was able to overcome some average starts and on track issues to land on the podium and kick his supercross season off in solid fashion. Ever the competitor, Clout is happy with the podium position at the opening round but believes there is way more in the tank and hopes to unleash it starting this weekend in Adelaide.
“You go into the opening round of the championship looking for a positive and safe start and that’s exactly what we did. We are in the hunt and things are looking good. But I also believe I can be better and now we are out of the tight nature of indoors, the real racing can begin. Racing indoors can throw up lots of things but we were able to handle them and now we have full sized tracks at the remaining four rounds where we have time and space to make the racing better and I can’t wait to get to Adelaide this weekend.”
In the SX2 (250cc) class, the Serco Yamaha team produced the ideal start to the 2019 Australian Supercross season taking a 1-2 finish, with Jacob Hayes and Aaron Tanti charging to the top two steps of the podium respectively.
Hayes only landed in Australia a fortnight ago, with the small confines of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre right in the hitting zone of the 2018 US Arenacross champion, as he looked comfortable from the moment he hit the track on Saturday afternoon.
After easily qualifying for the 10 rider final, Hayes charged into the first turn of Final 1 and became tangled with other riders before falling from his YZ250F and hitting the dirt. He remounted and had 10 laps to claw back as many positions as possible, making it to third in a stirring ride. The second final saw Hayes get to the front from the opening lap and never surrender it until the chequered flag. His 3-1 scores were enough to give him the round victory and have him perfectly placed for the five round championship.
“I was so pumped to finally get a race and round win here in Australia. Last year here I was close but never able to get it done so its good to get it done here in Brisbane and in front of a lot of the Serco Yamaha fans and supporters. Racing in a venue like this is what I’m accustomed to in the US and I felt at home pretty quickly. The Serco Yamaha team did a great job and with both Aaron and I on the podium it shows the team has done the work and we got a good reward with tonight’s results. We are off to Adelaide next week and hope to get the ball rolling at round two.”
Aaron Tanti finished second with 2-3 results after the two finals, in a very tight race for the podium. Tanti was never outside of the top three all night and adjusted well to the tight confines of the indoor circuit.
“It feels good to get back up on the podium again. In the MX Nationals I finished fourth more times than I can remember so it was good to reset for supercross and then come out strong at the opening round and get on the box. My day was pretty smooth all round as I was able to qualifying in third, was in the top three for mu heat race and then finished 2-3 in the main events so it was a really consistent night for me and my starts allowed me to be up the front every time. Anything can happen on a tight track like this but I’m happy to finish second tonight and look forward to getting on the bigger circuits in the coming rounds.”
The Brisbane round also proved a challenge for the Yamalube Yamaha Team of Jay Wilson and Richie Evans but both battled to top-10 positions, ensuring a strong position heading into Round 2.
Wilson, the current SX2 champion, started the day strongly, finishing second in his heat race, giving him a direct transfer to the 2 x 10 lap main events. But not getting the jump at the drop of the gate in final one saw Wilson and several other riders locking handlebars and elbows down the short start straight.
As the 10 rider field converged on the first turn, Wilson was sent flying from his bike and three riders went down in the carnage. He picked up his bike and returned to the race well behind the pack but was able to scramble his way back to seventh place by race end.
Despite not getting a great start in Final 2, he stayed on two wheels and got through the first lap safely. He was then able to make passes and move forward as the race progressed to eventually wind up in fourth position and his combined 7-4 results were good enough for fifth overall on the night.
“Fifth isn’t ideal but I’m in the mix and left round one healthy but determined to do better. I didn’t get the middle rhythm section as good as I would have liked all night and it proved a little costly. It was the one section of the track where I let myself down but I will be better next weekend. My bike is good and the team were great again so we will take the positives from the weekend, work on a few things and come out swinging in Adelaide where we are back to a more traditional format of racing with a 15 lap main event.
Richie Evans claimed a respectable eighth place finish by nights end in the SX1 class. Evans raced under duress after injuring his shoulder a few weeks back but showed plenty of spirit on the night. He finished with 8-8 results in the two finals and took eighth overall. His highlight was a booming holeshot in the last main from the outside gate but it quickly turned sour for the North Queensland rider when he fell from his bike on the opening lap.
“Considering my preparation and the injury I had, I’m happy with eighth and look forward to getting stringer and back to good health in the coming weeks. I have never raced on a track as tight and small as this so the whole night was a real learning experience for me. I had a good time and the team were great in passing on advice and helping me through. Riding a 450 in there is a lot to handle and it’s a big bike for a small track but the bike was awesome and as my shoulder gets better, hopefully the results can continue to improve.”
Highly successful Australian Supercross opener for Dunlop
Dunlop riders have dominated the Supercross season opener, with Americans Justin Brayton and Jacob Hayes taking overall wins in both the SX1 and SX2 classes, while not to be outdone by the imports, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy riders Dan Reardon and Luke Clout secured second and third overall respectively in SX1. Serco Yamaha’s Aaron Tanti also backed up his teammate for second in SX2, with the Dunlop Geomax MX33 front and rear the tyre of choice across the day.
Robbie Bugden – Dunlop Motorsport Manager
“It’s great to get behind a championship that brings racing to the heart of the city. Although the track was tight, any other venue would’ve had us in the elements tonight. Congratulations to Jacob Hayes and Aaron Tanti for the 1-2 finish in SX2, and of course Justin Brayton, Dan Reardon and Luke Clout for their 1-2-3 finish in SX1. Supercross always gives us some incredible stories, and, judging by tonight, not only will we see these five guys in the mix, but Jay Wilson, Jesse Dobson and Richie Evans have all shown that they have the potential to factor into these two championships. Adelaide is the next stop, and I’m looking forward to some more incredible racing.”
Kailub Russell claims his seventh GNCC Championship title
The 2019 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series continued over the weekend with the Yamaha Mountaineer round, where despite being unable to finish the day due to injuries sustained in a practice crash earlier in the week, Kailub Russell would still secure his seventh-career GNCC Overall National Championship one round early.
Coming through to earn his first-ever overall win, and after only his second time competing in the premier XC1 Open Pro class was Ben Kelley. Kelley would start at the front of the pack, coming through in third on the opening lap, and he would remain consistent throughout the duration of the three-hour race.
On the last lap Kelley made the pass for the lead and pushed himself to the finish line, coming through the checkered flag two minutes ahead of the competition. Kelley is the first competitor to earn an XC2 National Championship, and XC1 overall win in the same season.
Grant Baylor worked his way into second overall after starting in the sixth place position and earning the final spot on the overall podium at the Mountaineer was Josh Toth. Toth returned at round 11 after injuring his leg halfway through the season and was determined to return to the front of the pack.
Ricky Russell came through fourth in West Virginia, with a fifth place for Trevor Bollinger, while returning from a two-race hiatus due to an injury was Josh Strang, who found himself just outside of the top five, finishing sixth in XC1 and seventh overall on the day.
Taking his first XC2 250 Pro class win of the season was Craig Delong. Coming through from fourth on the opening lap, Delong was on a mission to take a class win. Delong put his head down and pushed throughout the entire race, and by lap four was in the lead, which he held for the win.
Michael Witkowski earnt his fifth XC2 podium finish of the season in second, while Ryder Lafferty rounded out the podium, marking his first podium appearance of the season.
Earning the class win, and his second-straight FMF XC3 National Championship was Jesse Ansley. Ansley would return to the center of the podium after battling the terrain and fellow competitors in the XC3 class. Joining him on the podium was Jake Froman, while Jason Lipscomb rounded out the top three.
In the WXC class, Tayla Jones earned her eighth win, currently sitting second in the points standings as the series heads to Ironman for the season finale in two weeks. Mackenzie Tricker came back after missing the last round to land a second place finish, while current points leader Becca Sheets rounded out the WXC class podium in third. Sheets and Jones will go head-to-head at the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC in two weeks to see who will take home the WXC National Championship.
XC1 Pro Event Results
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Grant Baylor (KTM)
- Joshua Toth (KTM)
- Ricky Russell (YAM)
- Trevor Bollinger (HQV)
- Josh Strang (KAW)
- Andrew Delong (HON)
- Jordan Ashburn (KAW)
- Layne Michael (HQV)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
Overall National Championship Standings
- Kailub Russell (295)
- Thad Duvall (258)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (198)
- Ben Kelley (196)
- Trevor Bollinger (178)
- Ricky Russell (141)
- Andrew Delong (134)
- Josh Strang (127)
- Josh Toth (127)
- Jordan Ashburn (117)
XC2 250 Pro Event Results
- Craig Delong (HQV)
- Michael Witkowski (BET)
- Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
- Austin Lee (HON)
- Dylan Yearbury (YAM)
- Jesse Groemm (KTM)
- Evan Smith (HQV)
- Alex Teagarden (HQV)
- Philippe Chaine (KTM)
- Bradley Cox (KTM)
XC2 250 Pro Series Standings
- Benjamin Kelley (300)
- Craig Delong (218)
- Michael Witkowski (214)
- Evan Smith (197)
- Austin Lee (182)
- Liam Draper (180)
- Ryder Lafferty (166)
- Jonathan Johnson (137)
- Alex Teagarden (136)
- Ben Parsons (120)
Andrew Short leads Husqvarna 1-2 at Rally du Maroc
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short has won the Rally du Maroc, securing his place as runner-up in the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Earning a second consecutive podium result, Pablo Quintanilla finished second at the tough Moroccan race. The result marks Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s first ever one-two in a world championship rally event.
With a new style road book that riders often only received minutes before the start of each stage, the Rally du Maroc once again lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest events on the cross-country rallies calendar. Adapting superbly to the new regulations, Andrew Short made the most of his ever-improving skill and experience to put in a consistent ride that ultimately took him and his Husqvarna FR 450 Rally to the event win.
Following a strong showing in the race Prologue, Short made the best use of his strengths on the mixed terrain of the Moroccan desert stages, pushing hard when comfortable while maintaining a solid pace on the more technical sections. With navigation proving key to a strong result on all of the stages, Andrew rode intelligently to minimise any errors and successfully complete each stage in good time.
Leading the overall standings going into the final day of racing, Short knew he would still have to attack the 168-kilometre timed special to defend his position from the riders behind. A crash early on in the stage couldn’t slow the American’s progress and despite the added pressure of being one of the first riders on track the Husqvarna FR 450 Rally mounted rider put in another excellent ride to complete the stage in fifth.
Coming into the rally with the goal of securing second place in the overall 2019 championship standings, Short not only accomplished that but claimed his first world championship victory and confirmed his place amongst the sport’s very best riders.
“I can’t believe it – it doesn’t seem real right now. My main goal coming to Morocco was to finish second in the championship, but to take the win feels unreal. I was second at the Silk Way, which was huge for me but there were a few of the top riders missing. Now all the guys are here at this event getting ready for Dakar and to take the win with such stiff competition is amazing. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team and the opportunity they have given me over the last couple of years.”
Second overall to Short coming into the final day, Pablo Quintanilla was only 28 seconds behind his teammate as they took to the long 456-kilometre stage. Pushing hard and trying his best to make up the small gap, the Chilean star couldn’t quite match the pace of his hard-charging teammate. Ultimately posting the sixth-fastest time on the gruelling stage, less than one-minute behind Andrew, Quintanilla claimed second place in the overall event standings and secured Rockstar Energy Husqvarna their first ever one-two cross-country rallies result.
“The race was really good for me. I hurt my leg right at the beginning, which slowed my pace a little but after getting used to the new style of road book I found I was able to put in some good times. In the end I finished second, which I am really pleased about as it’s only my second race of the year. It shows the work we have been doing with the team and also preparation with the bike is really paying off. I’m also really happy for Andrew for getting his first win and finishing second in the championship. He has been working so hard to achieve his goal and it’s nice to see a teammate and a friend succeed like this. I’m really motivated for the future now and would just like to thank the whole Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team for all their support. We have two months to go till Dakar and I think we are really strong as a team and I’m looking forward to it – it’s a really important race for all of us.”
Repsol Honda Team join 2019 Montesada celebration
The Montesa annual party brings fans together, year in year out, as the aficionados, Montesa owners and fans of the marque get to enjoy an activity-packed day, rounded off with an exhibition from their favourite riders themselves.
Repsol Honda Team, with its two official riders Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami were present at the annual event; thrilling hundreds of aficionados, moving freely among the aficionados wishing to have their photos taken or get the autographs of the two Montesa champions.
During the 19th Montesada, fans of the Montesa marque were able to get a close-up view of the new Cota 301RR, a revamped trial bike with the bulk of the innovations and specifications from the bike that triumphed in the FIM World Championship and Trial2.
Montesa is already preparing the next edition of the Montesada, the 20th, which will also coincide with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the brand.
Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships Wrap
Words by Peter Baker
Six weeks and 1200 kilometres apart, the outcome was the same with Jarred Brook scoring three class wins at the 2019 Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships staged by the Hunter Motorcycle Club at its Barleigh Ranch track. That was a repeat of what the Gympie based North Brisbane club rider, Brook had achieved previously at Mildura in this year’s Australian Senior Track Championship meeting.
While the results show that Brook triumphed in the MX Open, Pro 450 and Pro Open classes, it cannot show how hard Brook had to work against the classy line-up of assembled talent, and how good Brook was in achieving another hat-trick of title wins.
Of his 12 heat races Brook won 10, he had a flat tyre while leading another and suffered one defeat at the hands of Townsville rider Kayden Downing. The three finals produced some memorable racing with positions constantly changing as Brook was forced to come from behind more than once. At the end, only three other riders joined Brook on the presentation rostrums.
Another Townsville rider Damien Koppe split Brook and Downing in the MX Open, before Downing and Cowra rider Daniel Wicks chased Brook home in the other finals.
It was Brook’s first win in the Pro 450 title so he now gets him name inscribed on the Duke of Edinburgh Trophy for that success. Downing was left with the most to lament as he spent more time leading Brook than any other rider, but could not beat him home in the finals.
The most disappointed rider must have been Lake Macquarie rider Michael Kirkness who won three classes in the 2018 title meeting at Gunnedah. This year he recorded a fifth placing, fell while leading the repechage in another and was excluded for jumping the start in the other final.
Kempsey rider James Chapman stood atop the rostrum for the Pro 250 class after beating Kurri Kurri duo Angus Hutchinson and Harrison Ryan, the latter having been unbeaten in the heats. Harrison Ryan did have some consolation as he shaded clubmate Hutchinson to win the Under 19s title.
In the Womens class Brisbane rider Briony Hendrickson continued her domination, albeit after overall placegetters clubmate Brooke Goulding and Albury-Wodonga rider Tayla Street of North Brisbane both made Briony work hard.
The crown in the Dirt Track Sidecars did not change hands in 2019 after Darren Fien was a cut above his rivals, this year with former champion rider Adam Liebke as his passenger with their name also being inscribed on the Duke of Edinburgh Trophy. Veteran combos David Grainger/Trevor Gaze from Maryborough and Darryl Woodhead/Sean Fuller from Gunnedah filled the minor placings, in both cases many years after the riders had first won the championship.
In support classes Jason Griffin topped the Over 35s while junior winners were Victorian Max Berry in his last junior meeting, Cameron Dunker and Lachlan Russell.
KTM announce 2020 Factory and Support SX teams
KTM North America have officially unveiled the 2020 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and support team lineups in Murrieta, California.
Headlining KTM’s premier factory effort is the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo of Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin, who are both set to contest the 2020 AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships aboard the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition. Webb debuted his coveted number one plate to the press on Friday as he prepares to defend his 2019 450SX Championship come January.
As for Musquin, the French rider signed a recent two-year agreement to compete through the 2021 season. Musquin sustained a knee injury at the final round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship and he continues to mend his injury as he prepares to line up for the Anaheim SX season opener in January. Led by Team Manager Ian Harrison for the second year, the now veteran Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is ready to take on the 2020 race season.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM will once again serve as the official KTM 250 factory team with a four-rider roster in 2020. The young team has undergone big changes this season with a brand-new lineup of riders, all competing aboard the KTM 250 SX-F.
Recent Red Bull Straight Rhythm runner-up, Brandon Hartranft, officially joins the team wearing the #30 in his second full year in the 250SX class. Hartranft finished sixth overall in the 2019 250SX East Championship and the 21-year-old looks to expand on his success this year.
Seventeen-year-old French rider, Brian Moreau, will make his full-time U.S. debut with the TLD squad riding aboard the #104 machine. Moreau, the 2017 European 125 Class Champion, placed fifth in the Amateur All-Star Class at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup, proving his potential in the highly competitive field.
Making his professional debut last season in the Pro Motocross Championship, longtime KTM Orange Brigade amateur rider Derek Drake will continue his seventh season with the KTM brand as he joins the team full-time for 2020.
Drake, now 20-years-old, will be joined by longtime amateur teammate Pierce Brown, who has also been with the KTM brand since 2014. The seventeen-year-old Brown made an appearance at the Florida National last season before making his full-time pro debut in the 250SX class aboard the #163 in 2020. Team Manager Tyler Keefe will continue to oversee the team’s operations, while working closely with KTM to achieve the ultimate success in 250cc competition.
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM team, which will field two riders in the 450cc division for both AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross, continues its association with KTM for 2020. With Team Manager Michael Byrne back for a third season and Team Owner, Forrest Butler, injecting his many years of professional experience, team riders Blake Baggett and Justin Bogle look to put all the pieces together for a successful season aboard the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition.
In 2019, Baggett claimed his first and the team’s first-career 450SX and 450MX wins and he is primed and ready to attack additional wins as he goes after a championship title. Bogle, who joined the team last season as a fill-in rider, is now set to compete in the full AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships in 2020 aboard the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition.