Moto News Wrap for February 4, 2019 by Darren Smart

Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Moto News Latest

  • Great night for Kawasaki at San Diego AMA SX
  • French riders continue to dominate UK Arenacross
  • Cairoli and Prado continue top form at Ottobiano
  • Raga beats Bou at Barcelona X-Trial
  • Cooper and Harwood storm Taranaki
  • Nathan Watson claims French Beach Race title at Enduropale du Touquet
  • Suzuki Australia continues contingency program in 2019
  • Yamaha bLU cRU backs 2019 A4DE
  • Toowoomba to host opening round of AORC
  • Mountain Man just a few week’s away
  • King of MX receives manufacture’s backing
  • 2019 bLU cRU Off-Road Racing increases USA contingency program
  • Jeffrey Herlings injury update
  • Italy disqualified from 2018 MXoN

Great night for Kawasaki at San Diego AMA SX

Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo have won the 450SX and 250SX main events respectively in sloppy conditions at round five of the AMA Supercross Championships which was held in San Diego last weekend.

AMA SX Rnd Podium JK SX SanDiego
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo dominated the San Diego AMA SX round – Image by Hoppenworld

450SX Report

San Diego was soaked with unseasonal rain all week as well as on race night so the main event was shortened to just 15 minutes and on a completely water logged circuit Tomac survived the treacherous conditions to not only score his first win of the season, he became the fourth Red Plate holder for the 2019 season.

AMA SX Rnd Starts JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

Marvin Musquin played it safe all race to steadily climb up to second place over Ken Roczen on the very last lap and now sits just tied with Roczen in second place, just four points back from Tomac.

Eli Tomac

“Today was kind of wild with the conditions, we weren’t on the normal dirt but overall it was the direction we wanted to go, qualifying good, getting better starts to put ourselves in the right position but when the rain stopped the mud got thicker so the bike got heavy and each section was sketchy, it had to stop to make sure a track marker didn’t get sucked into my rear wheel and then had to stop to clear my goggles on the last lap so it was the hardest by far.”

AMA SX Rnd Podium JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld
Marvin Musquin

“It was a tough day, in the heat race I don’t know what happened but I almost did a 180 off the start but managed to get back to third then in the main I just tried to get a decent start but I didn’t so I was pretty far back, my helmet was heavy, my goggles were full of mud so I almost pulled my goggles off on the first lap but I didn’t which is awesome because it saved me and the roll-off worked out so towards the end, I had no idea where I was (placing wise) so I just kept on passing but you couldn’t attack or you could make a mistake, I got by Bogle, then I saw Kenny and got around him then when we crossed the line I looked at the board and I was in second.”

AMA SX Rnd Musquin JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld
Ken Roczen

“I thought I was in third, then I got passed my Marvin with one turn to go which wasn’t that happy about, I made some changes this week and we made some improvements on the starts which really paid off because today the tarts were really important, I got a super-good holeshot (in the main) but sure enough, I threw it away and went back to fourth of fifth then ended up third, for the championship we are only four points behind and it’s super tight so for my mind the season doesn’t really start until around round 10 and to somewhere near the front is good and I am just picking my battles right now, I just want to get out of the West Coast because it has been a long time since I accomplished that.”

AMA SX Rnd Roczen JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

It was mayhem all race causing Justin Barcia’s Yamaha to fail while Justin Bogle was unlucky not to land on the podium but the fill-in KTM rider managed fourth place ahead of Chad Reed, Aaron Plessinger, Joey Savatgy, and Cooper Webb who went over the handlebars while taking evasive action when Musquin momentarily stalled between two muddy jumps.

AMA SX Rnd Reed JK SX SanDiego
Chad Reed – AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

Webb lost the red plate in San Diego but remains in contention for the championship to sit in 4th, just eight points behind Tomac.

As for Reed, the veteran finally cracked the top five and has moved into ninth in the championship, just 15 points behind fifth placed Blake Baggett.

AMA SX Rnd Bogle JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

450 Main Event Results

  1. Eli Tomac
  2. Marvin Musquin
  3. Ken Roczen
  4. Justin Bogle
  5. Chad Reed
  6. Aaron Plessinger
  7. Joey Savatgy
  8. Cooper Webb
  9. Blake Baggett
  10. Tyler Bowers
  11. Vince Friese
  12. Dean Wilson
  13. Cole Martinez
  14. Cole Seely
  15. Ben Lamay
  16. Carlen Gardner
  17. Kyle Chisholm
  18. Theodore Pauli
  19. Cade Autenrieth
  20. Alex Ray
  21. Justin Barcia
  22. Heath Harrison
AMA SX Rnd Podium JK SX SanDiego
450 Main Event podium – AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

450SX Points after Round 5 of 17

  1. Eli Tomac – 106
  2. Marvin Musquin – 102
  3. Ken Roczen – 102
  4. Cooper Webb – 98
  5. Blake Baggett – 80
  6. Dean Wilson – 80
  7. Justin Barcia – 74
  8. Aaron Plessinger – 66
  9. Chad Reed – 65
  10. Cole Seely – 65
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

250SX Report

There was only one rider on the track in the 250SX main that looked remotely comfortable in the slippery conditions and it was Cianciarulo who led from go-to-woe to not only convincingly take the win but the Kawasaki rider has moved into the championship lead after his closest rivals faltered.

AMA SX Rnd Cianciarulo JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

Cianciarulo’s teammate Garrett Marchbanks rode well to finish second ahead of Jimmy Decotis while championship contenders Shane McElrath, Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols finished 4th, 7th and 10th respectively.

Cianciarulo now holds an eight point lead in the championship over McElrath while Nichols is 10 points back and Ferrandis 12 as the 250SX West riders head into a three week break.

Adam Cianciarulo

“It is good going into the break with my mind at ease but when you have a stressful day like this with all of the unknowns and things that can happen out of your control it is tough but I felt better than usual so now happy to build on this.”

AMA SX Rnd Cianciarulo JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld
Garrett Marchbanks

“It’s been a big learning curve riding with these guys and I have been working on my starts and my speed so to end up here in second is beyond where I thought we would be when the day got started. My dad and I use to flood a little turn track at our place which made me a pretty good mud rider.”

AMA SX Rnd Marchbanks JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld
James Decotis

“I didn’t know I got third, I thought I got another fourth place, I am over fourth place, then I was told I got third, I was trying to stay up, my little legs I was dabbling and struggling so I just stood up, hit my marks to end up third so I am thankful for it.”

AMA SX Rnd Decotis JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

In his final race before heading home, Australian privateer Thomas Ravenhorst did not qualify for the night program after an electrical gremlin put an end to his night in San Diego but the good news for us Aussie’s is that Hunter Lawrence will be in action when the AMA Supercross Championship heads to Minneapolis this weekend.

AMA SX Rnd McElrath JK SX SanDiego
AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

250 Main Event Results

  1. Adam Cianciarulo
  2. Garrett Marchbanks
  3. James Decotis
  4. Shane McElrath
  5. Jess Pettis
  6. Martin Castelo
  7. Dylan Ferrandis
  8. Mathias Jorgensen
  9. Cameron McAdoo
  10. Colt Nichols
  11. Chris Blose
  12. Michael Mosiman
  13. Jacob Hayes
  14. Carson Brown
  15. RJ Hampshire
  16. Scott Champion
  17. RJ Wageman
  18. Devin Harriman
  19. Enzo Lopes
  20. Deegan Vonlossberg
  21. Ludovic Macler
  22. Mitchell Harrison
AMA SX Rnd Podium JK SX SanDiego
250 Main Event podium – AMA Supercross 2019 – Round 5 – San Diego – Image by Hoppenworld

250 Points after 5 of 10 Rounds

  1. Adam Cianciarulo – 114
  2. Shane McElrath – 106
  3. Colt Nichols – 104
  4. Dylan Ferrandis – 102
  5. RJ Hampshire – 75
  6. James Decotis – 73
  7. Cameron McAdoo – 72
  8. Garrett Marchbanks – 71
  9. Chris Blose – 70
  10. Jess Pettis – 66
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

French riders continue to dominate UK Arenacross

The Resorts World Arena, Birmingham hosted the fourth round of the six-round UK Arenacross Tour and it was the French pairing of Cedric Soubeyras and Greg Aranda who continued to dominate the series.

Soubeyras won the Superfinal over Aranda and Valentin Teillet and then the Pro-Lites final ahead of Teillet and Julien Lebeau before Aranda won the Pro 450 final over Charles Le Francois and Adam Chatfield.

UK Arenacross Super Final Podium
UK Arenacross 2019 – Birmingham – 1) Cedric Soubeyras, 2) Greg Aranda, 3) Valentin Teillet

Aranda now has a four point lead over Soubeyras in the Pro AX class, Soubeyras already has a healthy 48 point lead in the Pro Lites class and Aranda has a 49 point lead in the Pro 450 class while it is the Team FRO Systems Suzuki who is leading the team points chase.

Main Event Super Final

  1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras FRO Systems 15 Points
  2. #20 Greg Aranda Team Green Kawasaki 13
  3. #737 Valentin Teillet SR75 Suzuki 11
  4. #3 Charles Le Francois SR75 Suzuki 9
  5. #6 Adrien Escoffier Buildbase Honda 8
  6. #9 Adam Chatfield Buildbase Honda 7

Pro AX Championship

  1. #20 Greg Aranda 56 Points
  2. #1 Cedric Soubeyras 52
  3. #737 Valentin Teillet 31
  4. #4 Fabien Izoird 30
  5. #3 Charles Le Francois 25
  6. #6 Adrien Escoffier 24

Pro Lites
Main Event Overall

  1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras FRO Systems 28 points
  2. #737 Valentin Teillet SR75 Suzuki 28
  3. #259 Julien Lebeau Wooldridge Demolition 20
  4. #1x Joe Clayton Team Green Kawasaki 17
  5. #6 Adrien Escoffier Buildbase Honda 16
  6. #744 Diogo Graca Castrol Power1 Suzuki Motobase 15
  7. #13 Nolan Cordens KTM 13
  8. #337 Glenn McCormick Unique Fitout Husqvarna 11

Pro Lites Championship

  1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras 170 Points
  2. #737 Valentin Teillet 122
  3. #6 Adrien Escoffier 106
  4. #259 Julien Lebeau 102
  5. #1x Joe Clayton 72
  6. #744 Diogo Graca 60

Pro 450
Main Event Overall

  1. #20 Greg Aranda Team Green Kawasaki 30 Points
  2. #3 Charles Le Francois SR75 Suzuki 26
  3. #9 Adam Chatfield Buildbase Honda 19
  4. #64 Nique Thury Fro Systems Honda 17
  5. #33 Ashley Greedy FRO Systems Honda 17
  6. #8 Hugo Basaula Shocktech Kawasaki 14
  7. #200 James Dunn Castrol Power1 Suzuki Motobase 13
  8. #17 Matt Bayliss Wooldridge Demolition Honda 12

Pro 450 Championship

  1. #20 Greg Aranda 174 Points
  2. #3 Charles Le Francois 125
  3. #4 Fabien Izoird 93
  4. #64 Nique Thury 89
  5. #8 Hugo Basaula 73
  6. #33 Ashley Greedy 62

Team Championship

  1. Team FRO Systems Suzuki 259 Points
  2. SR75 Suzuki Suzuki 247
  3. Team Green Kawasaki 246
  4. Shocktech Kawasaki 166
  5. Wooldridge Demolition 161
  6. Buildbase Honda 151
  7. Castrol Suzuki MBC 84

The next stop of The Arenacross Tour is in two weeks’ time The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of February 2019.

x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Cairoli and Prado continue top form at Ottobiano

The second round of the Italian Motocross Championship was held on a rain soaked Ottobiano circuit last Sunday and once again KTM riders Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado have not only won their MX1 and MX2 races respectively but they also finished 1-3 three in the MX1/MX2 combined Superfinal.

Italian Championship Ottobiano Tony Cairoli
Tony Cairoli – Image by S. Taglioni

Cairoli won the MX1 moto after a hard fought battle with Yamaha’s Romain Febvre but by moto end the Italian had etched out a three second gap to take with win over Febvre, Tim Gajser, Gautier Paulin and Tanel Leok while in the MX2 class Prado won the moto by over seven seconds from Calvin Vlaanderen, Max Renaux, Michelle Cervellin and Ben Watson.

Italian Championship Ottobiano Jorge Prado
Jorge Prado – Image by S. Taglioni

The Superfinal lived up to expectations with Cairoli and Gajser battling tooth and nail for much of the race but Cairoli got the nod by a narrow margin over Gajser, Prado, Febvre and Mikkel Haarup.

Italian Championship Ottobiano Tony Cairoli
Tony Cairoli – Image by S. Taglioni

Cairoli lead the MX1 championship by 40 points over Febvre and the Superfinal class by 40 points over Gajser while in the MX2 class Prado holds a 90 point lead with one round remaining at Mantova this weekend.

Italian Championship Ottobiano Jorge Prado
Jorge Prado – Image by S. Taglioni

Italian MX1 Standings

  1. Cairoli Antonio (Ita) 240
  2. Febvre Romain (Fra) 200
  3. Gajser Tim(Slo) 160
  4. Paulin Gautier (Fra) 130
  5. Leok Tanel (Est) 115

Italian MX2 Standings

  1. Prado Jorge (Spa) 240
  2. Haarup Mikkel (Den) 150
  3. Cervellin Michele (Ita) 125
  4. Watson Ben (Gbr) 125
  5. Renaux Maxime (Fra) 112

Raga beats Bou at Barcelona X-Trial

Adam Raga has taken a rare victory over Toni Bou at the second round of the FIM X-Trail World Championship held in Barcelona, Spain last weekend.

X Trial Barcelona Adam Raga scored a rare win over Toni Bou
Adam Raga – X-Trial Barcelona

It was an up and down night for all riders on a very technical circuit but when it was all said and done Raga got the win over Bou with Jaime Busto coming home in third place so after two rounds Raga and Bou are tied on 35 points with Busto tied for third place in the championship with Jeroni Fajardo on 21 points.

The third round of the seven round series will be held in Bilboa, Spain on February 16.

Cooper and Harwood storm Taranaki

The Taranaki Motorcycle Club hosted the opening round of the highly anticipated New Zealand Motocross Championship and in perfect racing weather is was Cody Cooper and Hamish Harwood who came away with first blood in the MX1, MX2 and 125cc classes respectively.

MX1 Report

On the slippery Taranaki layout Cooper dropped the opening MX1 moto to defending champion Kirk Gibbs but the veteran was in no mood to give the Aussie any more fanfare to go on and win the final two motos for the overall win and the points lead heading to the second round of the four round series.

After narrowly winning the opening moto, Gibbs led most of the second moto only to lose the lead to Cooper late in the race but in the third race Gibbs was forced to come through the pack and found speed he had missed earlier in the day to finish just behind Cooper at the line.

Kayne Lamont was right in the mix in all three motos but dropped off the pace as the motos wore on to finish with three third place finishes for third overall ahead of Brad Groombridge        (4-4-6), Cohen Chase (5-5-5), Hadleigh Knight and Blake Gillard (6-7-9) who was sizzling around Taranaki on a KTM250SX 2-stroke.

Cody Cooper

“Obviously this is not my favourite track but I am slowly getting to like it and riding it better, my bike is working way better too so we can only get better at the tracks that I like with more traction and speed.”

Kirk Gibbs

“I really enjoyed that last moto, obviously it was a shame having to come from behind but I feel like that is the best I rode all day, that first moto I rode just to protect (from Cooper) the best I could so I was lucky to get that win and obviously in that second race I didn’t flow that well which allowed Coops to get away but in the last moto I felt really good, I was hitting all my marks, I love and bike and it is onward and upwards from here.”

Kayne Lamont

“Today I just tried to get some decent seat time and do some long motos at a high intensity so that was good to get that under my belt but we have a two week break now to Rotorua and I get myself around there pretty good so I will go there pretty confident after today so we will see what we can do there.”

MX1 – Total Points Round 1

  1. Cody Cooper 2-1-1 – 72p
  2. Kirk Gibbs 1-2-2 – 69p
  3. Kayne Lamont 3-3-3 – 60p
  4. Brad Groombridge 4-4-6 – 51p
  5. Cohen Chase 5-5-5 – 48p
  6. Hadleigh Knight 12-6-4 – 41p
  7. Blake Gillard 6-7-9 – 41p
  8. Tyler Steiner 7-10-8 – 38p
  9. Mason Wilkie 10-10-7 – 34p
  10. Jacob Steel 11-8-9 – 33p
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

MX2 Report

The MX2 class saw three different moto winners with Max Purvis winning the opening moto from Harwood and Brad Groombridge after Aussie Wilson Todd crashed out of the lead but Todd bounced back to win the second moto over Harwood and Joel Meikle but in the final moto it was all Harwood who complete his sixth moto and his third back-to-back race to take the win over Todd and Purvis.

Harwood was forced to race a 4-stroke KTM this year after Motorcycling New Zealand banned the 250cc 2-srokes from the MX2 class but the three-time MX2 champion proved that it wasn’t the power of the 2-stroke that gave him the advantage in previous years.

Hamish Harwood

“The day panned exactly how I wanted it, real happy to win both classes, I am kind of lucky that even when I am tired I can hold a good pace but my main goal is to be healthy, this track can catch you out so now it is on to Rotorua.”

Wilson Todd

“The tracks here are a lot better than what we race on back home and there was plenty of good racing out there today with all of the lines and the way the track forms up but we will fly home tomorrow, do some training and get back for round two.”

MX2 – Total Points Round 1

  1. Hamish Harwood 2-2-1 – 69p
  2. Wilson Todd 8-1-2 – 60p
  3. Maximus Purvis 1-6-3 – 60p
  4. Brad Groombridge 3-6-5 – 51p
  5. Joel Meikle 9-3-7 – 46p
  6. Wyatt Chase 7-7-4 – 46p
  7. Morgan Fogarty 6-4-10 – 43p
  8. Micah McGoldrick 4-15-5 – 38p
  9. Broc Martens 10-9-11 – 30p
  10. Sam Cuthbertson 13-10-8 – 29p

125cc Report

Hamish Harwood works all week as a builder, completes his physical training after work and races on weekends with his father by his side so the three time NZ Champion decided to ride the 125cc class in 2019 and his three wins from three rides proved the decision to be sound.

Brodie Connolly came home with three second places and a name that we will be hearing from in the future is Ben Broad who at the tender age of 15 earned a podium finish in his first senior national outing.

Hamish Harwood

“Obviously the goal is to win but if I am feeling a little fatigued (because of the back-to-back races) I will settle for what I can get but if I am feeling good I am happy to take the win,

Brodie Connolly

“I am just trying to enjoy it (my racing), the track held up well today, the club did a great job, it was technical and hard which is what you want to get the technical riders on top, it was a good day overall.”

Ben Broad

“The track gets really rough compared to the junior days because they don’t groom it as much and there is more competition.”

125cc 2 STROKE – Total Points Round 1

  1. Hamish Harwood 1-1-1 – 75p
  2. Brodie Connolly 2-2-2 – 66p
  3. Benjamin Broad 3-3-3 – 60p
  4. Joshua Bourke-Palmer 4-4-5 – 52p
  5. Tommy Watts 6-7-4 – 47p
  6. Clayton Roeske 7-9-6 – 41p
  7. Jack Dunlop 11-5-8 – 38p
  8. Scott Barr-Smith 12-8-7 – 37p
  9. James Rountree 5-15-10 – 33p
  10. Charlie Richardson 10-11-12 – 33p

MX3 – Total Points Round 1

  1. Steve Craig 1-2-2 – 69p
  2. Lucas Gisler 4-1-1 – 68p
  3. Jonathan Ellison 3-4-3 – 58p
  4. Ivan Boehlen – 6-3-7 – 49p
  5. Patrick Straub 2-13-4 – 48p
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Nathan Watson claims French Beach Race title
at Enduropale du Touquet

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Nathan Watson has claimed victory at the Enduropale du Touquet beach race, crowning the British rider champion of the Championnat de France des Sables series. Victory at the 44th edition of the iconic beach race also secured KTM’s first French Beach Race Championship title.

Le Touquet Beach Race Nathan Watson PH
Nathan Watson – Image by Pascal Haudiquert

With the world-renowned Enduropale du Touquet playing host to the sixth and final round of the Championnat de France des Sables, Nathan Watson arrived at the legendary beach race third overall in the points standings. Knowing that a race win would offer him the greatest chance of championship success, the British rider set about doing exactly that.

A slow start to the race saw Watson lose considerable time on the leaders during the opening hour. Taking things too cautiously on the fast and smooth course, he began to find his rhythm as the event moved past the halfway point. With the track deteriorating, the KTM 450 SX-F mounted rider rapidly cut his way through the field, jumping from sixth to second in just two laps.

Le Touquet Beach Race Nathan Watson PH
Nathan Watson – Image by Pascal Haudiquert

Battling hard with race leader and championship rival Milko Potisek, the duo went head-to-head during the closing stages of the race. With the final pitstop complete, Watson attacked hard for the last two laps and managed to break clear. He eventually crossed the finish line as the 2019 French Beach Race champion with a comfortable five-minute margin of victory.

Nathan Watson

“It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to not only win Le Touquet for the first time but also take the championship. We’ve worked incredibly hard this season, so to get a result like this is beyond words. During the first hour of the race I actually thought that I might not be able to do it. A lot of people overtook me early on and I was riding far too cautiously because the course was so fast and smooth. When it grew rougher that’s when I began to come into my own and really find my speed. I was just able to push hard and feel confident in the big sand holes and the slower traffic around me. When I caught Milko we battled for a while and then for the final pitstop we pitted at different times, so I didn’t know where he was after that. All I could do was give it 100 per cent during the final two laps until the finish line. This is the biggest victory of my career – it’s been my dream since I was a child to win this race and now I’ve become the first British rider to do so. I’m also the first KTM rider in over 30 years to win Le Touquet, too. Now, winning the championship as a result is perfect end to a fantastic season. Finally, I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for the support they’ve put into me – it’s amazing to get the result we’ve all worked so hard for.”

Le Touquet Beach Race Nathan Watson PH
Nathan Watson – Image by Pascal Haudiquert

Results – Championnat de France des Sables, Round 6

  1. Nathan Watson (GBR) KTM, 15 laps 3:30:20.951
  2. Daymond Martens (BEL) Yamaha, 3:08:16.441
  3. Richard Fura (FRA) Honda, 3:10:14.311
  4. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA) Yamaha, 3:11:17.183
  5. Stephane Watel (FRA) Honda 3:14:05.210

Final Championship Standings

  1. Nathan Watson (GBR) KTM, 735 points
  2. Milko Potisek (FRA) Yamaha, 625
  3. Jeffrey Dewulf (FRA) KTM, 615
  4. Maxime Sot (FRA) Yamaha, 590
  5. Stephane Watel (FRA) Honda, 566
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Suzuki Australia continues contingency program in 2019

Suzuki Australia has announced the continuation of its Suzuki Support Rider (SSR) Contingency program for the 2019 MX Nationals, Australian Superbike Championship and recognised state motocross and road racing premier class championships.

Riders who compete on current generation Suzuki motorcycles are eligible to register as for the free SSR contingency program but the rider must register with Suzuki while only one rider can register per VIN.

Suzuki Australia Continues with Contingency Program in
Suzuki Australia continues contingency program in 2019

Suzuki will send each rider an acceptance letter, which includes a SSR Registration Number. One number will be issued per rider, even if the rider competes on more than one machine or in multiple capacity classes. This Registration Number will be used in all claims for contingency or other correspondence with Suzuki.

Only the nominated Motorcycling Australia sanctioned events will be eligible for contingency. Suzuki Support Riders registered for claiming contingency must use the Claim Form attached. Results will be verified by Suzuki against official M.A. results.

Contingency payments will only be made to riders who satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Compete on current generation RM-Z250, RM-Z450, GSX-R600 or GSX-R1000/R.
  2. Registered for SSR and have received acceptance including their Registration Number from Suzuki Australia.
  3. Lodge a claim form within 7 days of the event to Suzuki Australia including their race support number. Suzuki will verify through official race M.A results

For further information on the 2019 SSR Contingency Program, interested customers should visit

Yamaha bLU cRU Backs 2019 A4DE

Motorcycling Australia has announced Yamaha bLU cRU as the official naming rights sponsor of the 2019 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) which will once again showcase the current world class talent residing in Australia.


Ray Howard – Yamaha Motorsports Division Manager

“2018 was a spectacular year for Yamaha bLU cRU and the A4DE and we are pleased to continue our relationship with the historic event in 2019. Last year’s Championship saw impressive developmental growth and strategic initiatives that propelled the event to more prestigious level. We are seeing these strategies and developments continue into the 2019 season, strengthening the reputation of this highly respected and much anticipated event. Yamaha bLU cRU looks forward to continue working closely with MA and the A4DE promoters to further develop the Championship, which has proven time and time again to be a fertile platform on which to produce and launch Australian riders onto a world stage.”

The 41st edition of the A4DE will be held in Moruya, NSW on May 1-4. Entries are available until the 17th April, so be sure to secure your place in the historic event here!

x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Toowoomba to host opening round of AORC

Motorcycling Australia (MA) has advised all competitors and teams entered into the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) racing season that the location of Round 1 and 2 at Gympie, Queensland (QLD) will be relocated to Toowoomba on the 9th and 10th of March.

Daniel Milner will be heading to Toowoomba for the opening round of the AORC
AORC heads to Toowoomba for 2019 opener

To ensure the least amount of disruption to riders and teams alike, the competition has been amended to continue successfully incorporating the state of QLD into the Championship whilst also making a conscious effort to minimise the necessary distance to travel.

Moving slightly South to Toowoomba, riders will be presented with picturesque backdrops contrasted by the challenges of the Great Dividing Range and its Western slopes. Both days will still feature continuous sprints where riders will race against the clock as they race to come out on top. Further information on the round and accommodation can be found on the competitor information page of the AORC website.

Mountain Man Just a Few Week’s Away

The Toowoomba Motocross Club is excited to serve up a brand new circuit when the KTM and Motorex backed Mountain Man Motocross hit the iconic Echo Valley facility on February 23-24.

This time round the club has settled on a new track designed to increase both the fun and technical quotient, while still facilitating the vintage racers and bikes with experienced track builder and former champion in his own right Sam Kendall designing the track.

Since the 40th anniversary epic in 2015, top MX1 contenders Kade Mosig, Kirk Gibbs and Dean Ferris have all joined the Mountain Man Honour Roll, and Toowoomba Motocross Club President Ojai Maguire is hopeful of a big turnout for this year’s event.

With a date just three weeks out from the start of the MX Nationals, another part of the attraction is the event’s status as a very useful hit-out for the riders, and a shakedown for the machines, on one of the country’s few world-class motocross tracks.

Toowoombas Mountin Man is only a few weeks away
2019 Mountain Man

The other lure is Australia’s biggest prize pool. While the winner will walk away with $1500, the prizemoney pool will pay all the way down to 40th place in the title class.

With the event’s 40+ years of history the club is mindful of its strong heritage appeal and will continue the popular vintage racing during the Saturday program, while other support classes include Women’s, Junior and Sidecar racing.

With the resurgence of interest in two-stroke machines, this year the traditional 125cc Gold Cup has been renamed the Premix class and expanded to include two-stroke powered machines right up to the 500cc monsters which ruled the slopes of Echo Valley in years gone by.

The club has also moved to increase spectator value of Mountain Man, by providing access to the infield for a closer look at the action, offering a $10 weekend pass to access both days racing, and welcoming kids under 13 for free.

Tickets are available at the gate, and for more details please check out the Mountain Man Motocross Facebook page, or contact club President Ojai Maquire on (0428) 159 989.

x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

King of MX receives manufacture’s backing

Kawasaki, KTM, Honda, Suzuki and Husqvarna have banded together to support what is arguably Australia’s richest motocross race series, the King of MX NSW State Titles.

With six individual qualifying events spread around NSW, the King of MX series gives an unprecedented number of racers the chance to test their skills, meet more like-minded racers and their families, and earn their chance to race for their own NSW State Title.

NSW King of MX

Dave Cooke

“The King of MX is designed to give riders of all ages and abilities the chance to compete and be rewarded when they excel. We’re excited to see most major manufacturers find common ground in supporting this initiative where we actively promote the sport and reward those racers who rise to the top of their class. I can’t thank our partnering manufacturers enough for seeing the vision we have at Motorcycling NSW to support and grow the sport and keep producing, not only champions of the future, but a healthy sport that we can enjoy at all skill levels.”

With 21 classes representing riders of all age groups and skill levels, the beauty of the King of MX is that you don’t have to sacrifice any other championship to be in with a chance. Just race a qualifier that doesn’t clash with your schedule and race your way to the final, just like the 2018 Queen of MX Meghan Rutledge did.

Event Calendar

  • Qualifier 1: February 16-17, Appin
  • Qualifier 2: March 2-3, Moree
  • Qualifier 3: March 23-24, Condobolin
  • Qualifier 4: April 6-7, Leeton
  • Qualifier 5: April 20-21, Canberra
  • Qualifier 6: May 18-19, Maitland
  • King of MX Final: June 8-10, Goulburn

Racers need to enter one of the six qualifier events where the top six or seven finishers in each class earn their Golden Ticket to the final. Once a rider has qualified, they can still ride the other qualifier events, but they can’t win another Golden Ticket, giving even more riders a chance to qualify. At the final, State Title Champions will be decided over three motos for each class.

2019 bLU cRU Off-Road Racing increases USA contingency program

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A have increased its 2019 bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Contingency Program to nearly $5 million for Yamaha bLU cRU riders competing in off-road motorcycle racing.

In addition to coverage of the AMA Professional Supercross and Motocross, National and Regional Amateur MX and Off-Road events, Yamaha has expanded its support of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, with $467,350 available, almost five times as much as offered in 2018 for Yamaha bLU cRU GNCC racers. The Contingency Program also boasts increases in support to Yamaha bLU cRU riders in the American Flat Track (AFT) series, including those bLU cRU riders who will compete in the all-new AFT Production Twins class.

In addition to the professional championships, Yamaha continues to support the sport’s future stars at various national and regional amateur motocross races across the U.S., as well as the newly created “Supercross Futures” series.

Mike Guerra – Racing Department Manager for Yamaha

“Our bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Contingency Program has proven to be hugely popular, and this year, we’ve increased the program by 15%, with total funds of nearly $5 million available to Yamaha riders who excel in competition. We have made huge increases in all classes of the GNCC series, the largest off-road series in the country, by boosting the contingency for Yamaha bLU cRU riders fivefold for 2019! We also have increased our support of the American Flat Track (AFT) series, including its all-new Production Twins class and have also stepped forward to support the new Supercross Futures” series that focuses on emerging supercross talent.”

Riders who compete in supercross, motocross, flat track, or off-road aboard any qualified Yamaha motorcycles are invited to register for the 2019 bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Contingency Program.

All bLU cRU Contingency money will be paid directly to riders’ reloadable bLU cRU Debit Cards. In addition, each bLU cRU rider will receive a $45 credit on, as well as discounts on Yamaha GYT-R parts and accessories.

x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Youthsteam sold to Infront

Swiss sports marketing company Infront has announced the acquisition of Youthstream, the owner of the exclusive television, marketing and global promotional rights to the FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship until the 2036 season.

Infront has purchased Youthstream the promoters of MXGP
Youthsteam sold to Infront –  Infront’s President & CEO Phillippe Blatter & Youthstream President Giuseppe Luongo

The agreement covers several other events including the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, the FIM Snowcross World Championship, the European Motocross Championship and the Motocross of European Nations while the management of the Monaco-based company will remain unchanged under the direction of President Giuseppe Luongo together with David Luongo as CEO and Daniele Rizzi as COO.

Phillippe Blatter – Infront’s President & CEO

“We are very glad to welcome the Youthstream team to the Infront Group. Under the proven management and expertise, the FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship has become the premier event of off-road motorsport. Following the successful ownership and management of the FIM Superbike World Championship from 2007 to 2012, this acquisition provides us once again with a long-term property ownership in international motorsport further strengthening our comprehensive portfolio. We will collaborate very closely to further optimise fan experience, content offering and ultimately grow the global community in motocross.”

Giuseppe Luongo – Youthstream President

“We have been successfully building this company over more than three decades and are now very much looking forward to continue to further develop our ambitious vision for motocross together with Infront as one of the leading players in global sports business. This agreement comes at the right moment for the FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship and allows Youthstream to accelerate its international development. I am sure that the synergies we will generate will be of great benefit for all properties we represent.”

Julien Ternisien – Infront Vice President Summer Sports

“The FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship is an exciting property with a clear potential to grow even further. We are looking forward to taking the sport to the next level of commercial success by activating our extensive media and sponsorship network as well as our full suite of innovative sports solutions. This goes hand in hand with improving media sales and accelerating digital marketing activities, including further improving the MXGP-TV OTT platform for fans all over the world.”

Jorge Viegas – FIM President

“The FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship series is one of motorsports’ fastest growing and most promising properties. We are confident that Infront’s strong market position, resources and marketing capabilities combined with the strong track-record and proven expertise of Youthstream will help raise the bar even higher in terms of growth and popularity for the series.”

About Infront

Infront is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events, including the distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 1,000 staff working from 39 offices across more than 14 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year.

x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop

Jeffrey Herlings injury update

Jeffrey Herlings is obviously hoping for a swift and comprehensive rehabilitation period after surgery to repair a broken right foot but it looks like the defending MXGP World Champion will miss the opening round in Argentina on March 3.

MXoN Herlings MX JK MXON
Jeffrey Herlings – Image by Jeff Kardas
Jeffrey Herlings

“I landed strangely from a jump and was at an angle when I went too close to the track ‘wall’ of dirt at Albaida. I got my foot caught between the bike and the mud. I knew we were in trouble, and we had the operation as soon as possible when we saw the foot was starting to swell. This is obviously not the best way to start 2019 but we’d been riding and preparing well and we have to work now to get back to that level. The good news is that Dr Claes and his team were really happy with how the operation went and I don’t have any more pain or swelling. In six weeks time we’ll know more and it all depends how the bone heals. Thanks for all the messages from the fans. We’ll be back strong!”

MXoN Herlings MX JK MXON
Jeffrey Herlings – Image by Jeff Kardas
Dirk Gruebel – MX2 Team Manager & Technical Co-Ordinator, Red Bull KTM

“This is obviously a disappointing situation for Jeffrey and the team and also for fans of MXGP because we all want to see the guys fit, healthy and ready to go for a new season. It is a shame the way the crash happened and if it hadn’t been for that part of the track then maybe he would have escaped without a problem.  Jeffrey had some first class treatment by Dr Claes in Belgium to fix the breaks in what is a tricky part of the body for injury. Everything went well though and there is nothing wrong with his ankle or anything else that could have made the injury more serious. Now he’ll look to recover again and come back to MXGP close to the form we saw in 2018.”

Italy disqualified from 2018 MXoN

Four months after the running of the 2018 Motocross of Nations at RedBud in America, the second placed Italian of Antonio Cairoli, Alessandro Lupino and Michele Cervellin has been disqualified after Cervellin failed the fuel test.

During the event on the 6th and 7th of October, Fuel samples were taken to be tested in accordance with the 2018-1 FIM Technical Rules Motocross (Art.63.04 and 63.05) and it was the ‘fuel tests of No. 20 Michele Crevellin (Italy) attested non conformity with the FIM fuel specifications provided for in Art. 63.01.2 of the 2018-1 FIM Technical Rules Motocross, regarding the properties for unleaded fuel’.

Team Italy was disqualified from the Motocross of Nations after Michele Crevellins machine failed a fuel test. Photo by Youthstream
2018 MXoN – Team Italy

On this basis, the FIM Race Direction has decided to impose upon Mr Crevellin’s team (Team Italy) a disqualification from the entire event, in accordance with Art. 63.05.13 of the 2018-1 Technical Rules Motocross.

No appeal against the decision of the FIM Race Direction has been lodged before the International Disciplinary Court (CDI) within the set deadline so the final results of the 2018 Motocross of Nations have been updated accordingly and it now sees the Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia and USA rounding out the top five behind the winning French team.

2018 Motocross of Nations Top 10

  1. France – 32 (Dylan Ferrandis, Gautier Paulin, Jordi Tixier)
  2. The Netherlands – 39 (Glenn Coldenhoff Jeffrey Herlings, Calvin Vlaanderen)
  3. Great Britain – 41 (Ben Watson Max Anstie Tommy Searle)
  4. Australia – 43 (Hunter Lawrence Mitchell Evans Kirk Gibbs)
  5. USA – 43 (Justin Barcia Eli Tomac Aaron Plessinger)
  6. Belgium – 47
  7. Spain – 57
  8. Estonia – 63
  9. Germany – 70
  10. Canada – 90
x Dunlop Gen Web Banner
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop