Moto News Wrap for March 29, 2016 by Darren Smart
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This Weeks Racing Overview
- FIM X-Trial Championship – Round 4 – Marseille
- World Motocross Championships – Round 3 – Valkenswaard, Holland
- WMX World Motocross Championships – Round 2 – Valkenswaard, Holland
- EMX 250 World Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Valkenswaard, Holland
- World Two-Stroke Motocross Championships – Glen Helen
This Week’s News Overview
- Treloar and Cox Win World Cup
- MX Nationals Kick-Off
- Legends Indicted Into Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame
- Flat Track Returns to X-Games
- Townley’s Tough Weekend in Holland
- Lawrence Impressive in Holland
- Duncan Toughs It Out in Holland
- Covington Has a Shocker in Holland
Treloar and Cox Win World Cup
Darrin Treloar and Blake Cox have won a drama filled 2016 FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup ahead of Trent Headland and Darryl Whetstone at Gillman Speedway last weekend.
The Treloar/Cox combination were at the pointy end of the racing throughout the heats as was Headland and Whetstone but when push came to shove Treloar put his many years of experience to good use to win the final.
MX Nationals Kicks Off
FINALLY! This weekend we get to see the cream-da-la-cream of Australian top motocross racers do battle at Horsham and now that Brett Metcalfe has joined the SD3 Husqvarna crew we have another contender ready to do battle in the MX1 class with Dean Ferris, Todd Waters. Kirk Gibbs, Dan Reardon, Jacob Wight, Matt Moss, Jay Wilson, Kade Mosig and Jesse Dobson.
The MX2 class favourite for my mind is Caleb Ward, now on the factory KTM250SX-F, but he will have his work cut out for him with Jed Beaton, Jake Moss, Luke Arbon, Nathan Crawford, Wade Hunter, Wilson Todd and Luke Wilson all looking to put their case forward for the number one plate by seasons end.
The mega cool thing for us moto-heads is that season 2016 for the MX Nationals is looking to be a dead-set cracker and to pick a clear favourite is tough going BUT there will be one consistent place to come to for a no-fuss, no-bullshit account of what went down at each round and that is right here – at Smarty’s Moto News Wrap!!
Motorcycle Legends Inducted Into Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame
At a gala awards ceremony held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Stephen Gall and Kel Carruthers have been indicted into the inaugural Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame and despite a life of major sporting accomplishments Gall was beside himself at the event. “To be standing beside this group of legends is one of the major highlights of my sporting life,” Gall said on the night.
250cc World Champion Carruthers joined Gall and a number of fellow two and four-wheel motorsport legends at the induction. Formula 1 champions Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones were inducted alongside touring car luminaries Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Allan Moffat and Frank Matich. And a number of motorcyclists were honoured including world champions Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner, Gregg Hansford and Troy Bayliss.
Billy Van Eerde wins two Dirt Track Titles
Exciting young Husqvarna Factory Support racer Billy Van Eerde may be only 13, but he has just expanded his career tally of Australian championship victories to 7 following the weekend’s Australian Dirt Track Championships in Brisbane.
Held at the Brisbane Junior Motorcycle Club’s Mick Doohan Raceway, the event saw Van Eerde face off against the cream of Australia’s future flat-surface motorcycle racers aboard his Husqvarna FC250 and TC125 machines.
Van Eerde confirmed why he is considered one of Australia’s hottest junior prospects when he won the 13-16 years 250cc class by almost two seconds ahead of Max Whale and Mackenzie Childs.
In the combined 125cc-250cc Van Eerde’s Husqvarna FC250 again did the trick, winning by 2.215 seconds over Whale and Childs.
Such was Van Eerde’s dominance at the event, that he almost made it three Australian championships, finishing less than four hundredths of second behind Mack Childs in the 125cc class after a poor start, and the last corner passing attempt that went ever so close to success.
Still at just 13 years of age, Van Eerde was the youngest rider to stand on the podium across all three classes.
Billy Van Eerde
“This feels really good because last year I didn’t get any titles, so I was happy to get a few early in the year. The track was pretty grippy but the bottom corner was really rutty and technical. A few people were struggling there, so it was good because if you could get it right, you could make a lot of ground through the corner.
“My bike won a lot of starts, had good power through and out of the corners, and was handling really good, I love it. It all just worked really well for me. In the 125 & 250 race, I just got the start, led the whole race, and in the 251, it was the same thing. But in the 125 one, I got a pretty good start, but stuffed up in the first corner and went back to fourth. I came through the pack and in the last corner went to go around Mack Childs, and he only just beat me.
“I’d like to thank dad, Mum, Jon Hafey, and Steve Nagle for setting the bike up so well. Caso and Deirdre have been helping me to feel good on the bike so it’s been a good build up.I’m feeling a bit more confident now since I’ve got a few wins.”
Flat Track Returns to X-Games
AMA Pro Flat Track stars return to the stage for another year at ESPN’s Summer X Games in Austin, Texas for the Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing event at Circuit of The Americas on June 2 – 5. The X Games will be broadcast live on both ESPN and ABC.
Townley’s Tough Weekend in Holland
Ben Townley entered round three of the World Motocross Championships held in Valkenswaard, Holland last weekend with an illness that left the Kiwi struggling for strength and stamina yet the factory Suzuki pilot managed 14th in the opening moto before pulling out of the second moto due to the illness.
Here is what Townley said after Saturday’s qualifying race: “I got ill at the start of the week and I had to take a lot of medication to get better. I feel absolutely ‘zumped.’ I don’t have any energy and do not feel good at all. I wasn’t actually going to ride today. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.” – Read the report and results below.
Hunter Lawrence Impressive in Holland
Hunter Lawrence made his debut on the international stage at the opening round of the European 250cc Motocross Championship held in Valkenswaard, Holland last weekend and came away with an impressive second place in the opening moto before having to fight back to fifth after a poor start in the second moto.
It was only the second time in his young career that the Australian teenager had raced a 250cc machine and he made a great impression from the word go as he raced to a strong second place, less than two and a half seconds behind the winner, in the opening moto of the series. Weather conditions deteriorated dramatically midway through the second moto and, after briefly taking the lead Hunter made a couple of mistakes as conditions became more slippery, but he showed resilience to finish fifth and earn fourth place in the event and the series, just two points behind second place. Lawrence had been the fastest rider on the track by a full second.
“It was good weekend. I got a good start in the first race and was happy with my second place. Today was different as I crashed twice; the first one when I came back from my twelfth position from the start, and then when I was trying to pass a lapper. I scored a top four for my first European MX250 event, which was my second ever race on a KX250F. The track was rough and became slippery for the second moto with the rain, and it was awesome to start the season with such a good result.”
Lawrence is now fourth in points and has cemented himself as one of the title contenders – read the report and results below.
EMX250 Overall Top Ten: 1. Conrad Mewse (GBR, HUS), 50 points; 2. Even Heibye (NOR, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40 p.; 4. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, KAW), 38 p.; 5. Kevin Wouts (BEL, KTM), 30 p.; 6. Anton Lundgren (SWE, HUS), 30 p.; 7. Nick Kouwenberg (NED, HON), 26 p.; 8. Bas Vaessen (NED, SUZ), 25 p.; 9. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 23 p.; 10. Ken Bengtson (SWE, YAM), 21 p.
Duncan Toughs It Out in Holland
Courtney Duncan was leading the opening moto of the second round of the Women’s World Motocross championships held in Valkenswaard, Holland last weekend and was thrown from her Yamaha in mid-air causing the Kiwi to land heavily but the plucky Yamaha pilot remounted to finish in an impressive fourth place before blitzing the second moto – read the report and results below.
Covington Has a Shocker in Holland
American Husqvarna rider Thomas Covington scored zero points in Valkenswaard and after the race announced on social media the reasons behind his poor showing so far this season. “Not how I pictured this season starting. Electrical problem in Qatar, food poisoning in Thailand and then testing last week broke my ankle. Tried to race with it this weekend in Valkenswaard but the pain was holding me back too much. Hopefully it will be healed up a bit for Argentina in a couple weeks.”
Suzuki MotoGP star Maverick Vinales also dropped into the MXGP at Valkenswaard
Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales was a guest of Team Suzuki World MXGP at Valkenswaard.
The young Spaniard, who is a big motocross fan, but normally rides the factory Suzuki GSX-RR at the top-level of Grand Prix road racing, met-up with Suzuki MXGP General Manager Stefan Everts, Senior Consultant Sylvain Geboers, along with riders Jeremy Seewer and Ben Townley.
“I’m happy to have Maverick here at our set-up. It’s really nice that he took the time to come and see what the Suzuki World MXGP and MX2 teams are all about and I’m hoping we can go and have a look at the Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP team sometime in the future.”
Everts also suggested that Viñales – who is a keen motocross rider on his RM-Z Suzuki – should come together again sometime in the future for some motocross training with his team riders; an offer that Viñales was happy to accept.
Smarty’s Race Reports and Official Results from last Weekend
FIM X-Trial Championship – Round 4 – Marseille
Toni Bou has clinched his third round win of the season and sealed his tenth X-Trial World Championship title after winning the fourth and final round in the Palais des Sport, Marseille ahead of rivals Albert Cabestany and Adam Raga.
Bou picked up a rare five-mark penalty during the second section but from then on the Spaniard made it through the next five sections without picking up as much as a single mark. “Today went super-well. I’m thrilled because we suffered such a lot – it was a really complicated trial,” Bou said. “In the final, not only did Adam pressure me, but also Albert Cabestany was there throughout to complicate the evening. I should remind you that Adam Raga has been really competitive all season, really piling the pressure on. When you come up against a rival of this quality, the titles have much more merit.”
Next port of call for the world’s elite trails riders will be in two weeks’ time with the start of the FIM Trial Outdoor World Championship in Barcelona on the 9th and 10th of April.
World Motocross Championships – Round 3 – Valkenswaard, Holland
Valkenswaard is one of the longest serving and toughest tracks on the GP circuit with the deep rut-infested sand a trap around every inch of the undulating layout but when you throw in a shower of rain you have conditions that can make even the best riders in the world look out of sorts and that is what was on offer at the MXGP of Europe last weekend.
MXGP Race Report
Romain Febvre has won the MXGP of Europe with 3-1 results despite crashing in both motos but the defending champion was absolutely wrapped to have taken the round in such tough conditions. “I was so disappointed with the first moto, I was so hungry to pass all of the riders in the second moto, then I crashed and was third for the whole moto but passed Cairoli and my team mate Jeremy (Van Horebeek), to take the win I am very happy.”
Max Nagl took advantage of great starts and two solid rides for second outright ahead of Tim Gajser who convincingly won the opening moto but bike problems in the second moto saw the class rookie finish back in 8th place.
“We had a really positive weekend and we managed to step it up to the next level. My riding was good on both days despite the rain making the track slippery and difficult. In the first heat I was fighting for third place for a long time but managed to make some passes and end up second. Then in the second heat I had a bad start putting myself in 15th position. I don’t know what happened. I really wanted to be on the overall podium, for myself and for the team, so I kept pushing hard until the end of that second race. I’m really happy I ended on the podium. If I could get another good start in moto two, I’m sure I could have fought for the overall win. We take all the positive things and move on. I’m feeling good on the bike and the track in the following round in Argentina is one of my favourites.”
“The first race was really good, I got a good start and I was riding well so I won that moto,” said Gasjer. “In the second moto I got a good start behind Tony (Cairoli) and passed him for the lead but the bike stalled, I lost a lot of places and made my way to 5th and the bike stalled again so we have a problem with the bike but I am happy to finish on the box and now look forward to Argentina.”
There was a time when Antonio Cairoli could win at Valkenswaard with ease, in fact Cairoli won this round from 2010 to 2014 and even a holeshot in the second moto couldn’t earn the former World Champion a moto victory with Febvre making the pass on the final lap.
After three rounds Febvre and Gasjer are the stand out performers with Febvre now leading the series by 13 points over Gasjer who in turn has a 17 point advantage over Evgeny Bobryshev who could only manage 6th at Valkenswaard.
1. Romain Febvre 20-25
2. Max Nagl 22-18
3. Tim Gajser 25-13
4. Antonio Cairoil 14-22
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek 16-20
6. Evgeny Bobryshev 18-15
7. Kevin Strijbos 15-16
8. Shaun Simpson 11-12
9. Glenn Coldenhoff 8-14
10. Tanel Leok 10-9
11. Tommy Searle 13-3
12. Harri Kullas 4-10
13. Valentin Guillod 9-5
14. Clement Desalle 12-2
15. Christophe Charlier 0-11
18. Ben Townley 7-0
MXGP Championship Standings
1. Romain Febvre 137pts
2. Tim Gajser 124pts
3. Evgeny Bobryshev 107pts
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek 104pts
5. Antonio Cairoli 100pts
6. Max Nagl 84pts
7. Shaun Simpson 80pts
8. Kevin Strijbos 79pts
9. Tommy Searle 63pts
10. Glenn Coldenhoff 55pts
MX2 Class Report
Way back in 2010 a young 15 year old local kid by the name of Jeffrey Herlings won his first GP at Valkenswaard and since that day Herlings has yet to lose a moto – that’s right, as of yesterday Herlings racked up his 14th straight moto win and seventh GP victory on the world’s toughest track and is now the fifth man do win more than 50 GPs in his career – Stefan Everts (101), Antonio Cairoli (74), Joel Smets (57) and Joel Robert (50).
Herlings’ lap times around Valkenswaard are faster than everyone at the event including all of the top MXGP riders.
“It is pretty amazing to do this in front of my home crowd, 50 GP wins is one of the big numbers, the weather wasn’t great but we did it!
“It was a really good weekend. We were fast in each practice and I had three good starts. That was important on this track especially with the heavy rain we had before the first moto. I took my time in the first moto to get into the lead and once I was there I rode my own race. The second moto I took the holeshot and checked out. I’m really pleased with my riding and happy and grateful that I won. Now I’m looking forward to the next GP.”
Herlings’ team mate Paul Jonass had his best GP for 2016. “I felt really good, after Thailand we did a lot of riding and I think that paid off, I got a holeshot in the first race but the track was so gnarly, it was slippery and muddy so when Jeffrey passed me I didn’t try to follow, I just rode my own race but in the second moto I didn’t get a great start but made my way to second and am really happy with my weekend.”
Jeremy Seewar scored third on the day and reflected on previous days at Valkenswaard. “I am really happy because when I think back a few years ago I got lapped by those guy in the sand but I did a lot of hard work in the sand and finally it paid off.”
Last year’s championship contender Max Anstie was expected to do particularly well at Valkenswaard but the Brit scored only two points after spending most of the weekend on the ground.
1. Jeffrey Herlings 25-25
2. Pauls Jonass 22-22
3. Jeremy Seewer 18-20
4. Brent Van Doninck 16-18
5. Benoit Paturel 14-15
6. Alvin Ostlund 7-14
7. Michele Cervellin 7-14
8. Vsevolod Brylyakov 9-12
9. Aleksandr Tonkov 11-10
10. Davy Pootjes 15-6
11. Petar Petrov 20-0
12. Ben Watson 13-5
13. Calvin Vlaanderen 0-16
14. Roberts Justs 6-9
15. David Herbreteau 8-7
MX2 Championship Standings
1. Jeffrey Herlings 150pts
2. Pauls Jonass 112pts
3. Jeremy Seewer 112pts
4. Aleksandr Tonkov 91pts
5. Brent Van Doninck 78pts
6. Petar Petrov 76pts
7. Benoit Paturel 75pts
8. Samuele Bernardini 60pts
9. Alvin Ostlund 60pts
10. Vsevolod Brylyakov 59pts
Women’s World Motocross Championships – Round 2 – – Valkenswaard, Holland
Kiwi flyer Courtney Duncan has established herself as the fastest (and toughest) female motocrossers in the world after coming back to fourth after a huge crash while leading the opening moto before blitzing the second moto in convincing style to extend her championship lead to seven points.
Nancy Van De Ven took out the overall with 1-3 finishes while Euro legend Livia Lancelot managed third overall with 3-2 finishes.
Round 2 Results: 1. Nancy Van De Ven – 25-20. 2. Courtney Duncan – 18-25. 3. Livia Lancelot – 20-22. 4. Amandine Verstappen – 16-18. 5. Stephanie Laier – 14-13. 6. Larissa Papenmeier – 12-14. 7. Julie Dalgaard – 10-15. 8. Shana van der Vlist – 13-12. 9. Natalie Kane – 7-16. 10. Frida Ostlund – 11-11.
WMX Series Standings: 1. Courtney Duncan – 93pts. 2. Livia Lancelot – 86pts. 3. Nancy Van De Ven – 83pts. 4. Larissa Papenmeier – 60pts. 5. Amandine Verstappen – 57pts. 6. Natalie Kane – 53pts. 7. Kiara Fontanesi – 52pts. 8. Britt Van Der Werff – 42pts. 9. Shana van der Vlist – 40pts. 10. Anne Borchers – 39pts.
European Motocross Championships – 250cc – Round 1 – Valkenswaard, Holland
16 year old Brit Conrad Mewse has won the opening round of the European Motocross Championship ahead of Even Heibye, Olsen Kjer and Aussie Hunter Lawrence.
Mewse won both motos while Heibye scored 4-2 moto results to sneak ahead of Kjer’s 3-3 results while Lawrence narrowly missed out on victory in the opening moto and had to come back from a poor start in the second moto but the Aussie has cemented himself as a title contender.
EMX250 Championship Standing after Round 1: 1. Mewse, Conrad – GBR – 50. 2. Heibye, Even – NOR – 40. 3. Kjer Olsen, Thomas – DEN – 40. 4. Lawrence, Hunter – AUS – 38. 5. Wouts, Kevin – BEL – 30. 6. Lundgren, Anton – SWE – 30. 7. Kouwenberg, Nick – NED – 26. 8. Vaessen, Bas – NED – 25. 9. Sanayei, Darian – USA – 23. 10. Bengtson, Ken – SWE – 21.
World Two-Stroke Championships – Glen Helen
With the two main classes littered with current and former pro motocrossers and enduro guns the 2016 World Two Stroke Championship held at Glen Helen last weekend was bound to be a hard fought affair and that is exactly how it panned out but when the champaign was being sprayed it was Mike Alessi who took out the Open Class outright win ahead of Scott Champion, Zach Osbourne and Ryan Surratt while Surratt took out the 125cc class ahead of Justin Hoeft, Robbie Wageman and Mike Brown.
Open Class: 1. Mike Alessi. 2. Scott Champion. 3. Zach Osborne. 4. Ryan Surratt. 5. R.J. Wageman. 6. Sean Collier. 7. Austin Howell. 8. Colton Haacker. 9. Stuart Edmonds. 10. Killy Rusk.
125 Class: 1. Ryan Surratt. 2. Justin Hoeft. 3. Robbie Wageman. 4. Mike Brown. 5. Timmy Weigand. 6. Michael Blose. 7. Kristoffer Palm. 8. Shaun Rhinehart. 9. Matt Smith. 10. Casey Casper.