Round 7 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross made its first trek east, with Eli Tomac capturing his third 450SX win of the season and taking control of the championship points lead, with Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen unable to match his pace.
Rookie Adam Cianciarulo kicked the day off by qualifying with the fastest lap time (47.704) with his teammate Eli Tomac hot on his heels in second, for the seventh week in a row. The duo were the only riders to break into the 47 second range on the Tampa layout.
Similarly, to the heat race, Cianciarulo shot out front in the 450SX Main Event leading the 22-rider field. Cianciarulo led 10 of the 26 laps before his teammate took over the lead.
Nailing the start in the Main Event, Tomac settled into second place behind his teammate Cianciarulo. For the next several laps, Tomac would close the gap and begin hunting for places to make a pass for the lead.
Tomac found that opportunity in the one section that separated riders all day long as he began to make the pass in the split-lane sand section and then sling shot his KX450 around the outside of the next corner completing the pass for the lead. Tomac went on to build a nine second lead over second place to take the win.
Tomac finished well clear of KTM’s Cooper Webb, while Honda’s Ken Roczen completed the Main Event Podium. Justin Barcia was fourth, and Justin Hill fifth. Australian Chad Reed finished 19th.
The standings now see Tomac holding a four-point lead over Ken Roczen, with Webb a further seven-points in arrears.
Tomac’s dominant win in the sandy soil of Tampa earned him the highly coveted red plate, while the victory also marked Tomac’s 30th career 450SX win, as he became the fourth rider in history to win twice in Tampa.
Eli Tomac – P1
“Today could not have gone much better. All day I felt comfortable on Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450 and it showed. Our starts tonight were as good as they have ever been, which put us in a good position right from the start of the race. I was able to follow Adam for the first part of the race and the difference maker for me and a lot of riders out there tonight was the sand section. It could either help you or hurt you depending on the lap or if there were lapped riders in the way. I was able to get through there cleanly one time to get past my teammate and from there I was able to ride my own race. It is always nice to have the points lead, but we will not settle for anything less than wins from this point forward.”
Cooper Webb – P2
“It was tricky all day and it was easy to make mistakes out there. I’m happy with a second, obviously I wanted to be up there for that win tonight, I felt great all day but it’s a good night overall. I felt like I rode good and I just need to be better on my starts.”
Ken Roczen – P3
“It’s a bummer to lose the points lead but there’s a whole lot of racing left, and overall I’m happy with how my day went. I was pretty consistent throughout the day – I just didn’t get the starts I needed. I lifted my body up too much, so I was a bit deeper in the pack and had to work my way up to the front. Then, ultimately, I tucked the front off the triple, which cost me a lot of time. I’m still happy to be back on the podium. I appreciate being up here because on weekends like last weekend, when I’m far away from it, it’s not so nice. No red plate for right now, but I’ll keep trying to fight back for it and keep a positive mindset. We’ll keep working during the week to get some consistency in and try to be up there from the beginning, because the lead guys were just too far gone by the time we got into fourth or fifth.”
Justin Barcia – P4
“I had a pretty scary crash in practice so it was good to walk away from that. My hand just slipped off the bar over the triple and I went flying. This track was a difficult track. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard packed. We made some good changes going into the night, but I got another one of those bad starts in the Main. I was able to charge through the pack and got fourth place. My bike was working well on the track, it was awesome. It was hard to pass out there, but I was able to make it work. All in all, I gained some confidence going through the pack like that. I’m looking forward to being back at home this week before the next round in Texas.”
Dean Wilson – P6
“The Main Event went pretty good, I think it was a step in the right direction,” Wilson said. “It’s been pretty tough coming back from injury to a class that’s so stacked but I’ve been pushing through and it’s nice to see a half-decent result. I’m going to use this for next weekend and build off of it and keep it going.”
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing continued its win-streak with Shane McElrath putting on a dominating performance to take the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East win inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. McElrath’s win was the seventh of his career and he’ll take the red number plate into next weekend at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
McElrath has been confined to the west coast for most of his 250SX career but proved that he could handle the dirt of the east with a commanding ride in Tampa. The track was challenging and tested the riders’ ability to handle the ever-changing conditions.
With the first gate drop of the night, the North Carolinian collected the Heat race win in convincing fashion. As the Main Event got underway, McElrath wasted no time getting to the front and quickly gapped the rest of the field. When the checkered flag flew, it was McElrath with the win almost three seconds ahead.
Defending east coast champion Chase Sexton was runner up, closing down the gap to McElrath in the closing stages of the race, with the leader relaxing and slowing his pace. Jeremy Martin made a triumphant return from injury with the final position on the podium, with Garrett Marchbanks and Jordan Smith completing the top five.
Shane McElrath – P1
“This win was a big relief to be honest. All off season we’ve been steady, we’ve been working. Anything I could improve on, we’ve worked on it. I’ve changed everything having to do with my racing, so it would be easy to question it. I had to trust in those changes and believe we could be up here. I worked as hard as I could and in the end it paid off. The track was not easy. It was technical. But that’s what we have worked for, so I felt prepared for this.”
Chase Sexton – P2
“Round one in the books!! Overall not a bad way to start the season with a heat win and P2 in the main. I didn’t execute the main event start like I wanted which led to having to make some passes early on in the race so just need to clean that up for the future. Thoroughly excited with the team and the bike overall and where we are compared to where we were last year first round! Onto Dallas.”
Jeremy Martin – P3
“Third overall at Tampa SX, it hasn’t been fun or easy to get back to this level after the last two years of dealing with my back but I want to give a massive thank you to the key people that stayed loyal and helped me get back to this level!”
Garrett Marchbank – P4
“I was really hoping for a podium this weekend, but I made things a bit hard on myself when I started outside the top 10. Starts are going to be crucial next week with the triple crown so we’ll look to work on those this week to come better prepared. Overall still a good night and glad to be in the top 10 on such a tough track.”
Jordon Smith – P5
“This wasn’t exactly the finish I had in mind when we made our preparations for the start of the season, but I have to look at the positives and we are out of here healthy. Sometimes that’s half the battle when you face a track that is tough. After so much time away from a race track, it’s great to be back and we plan to make the most out of the triple crown next weekend.”
RJ Hampshire – P6
“I was pretty nervous coming into it, in the Main Event, I had a better start but I got caught up in the first turn. The opening laps were rough but once I got into a flow I was feeling the best I’ve felt all day. I made a pretty good charge but I crashed with two laps to go while going for the podium. We made a lot of improvements throughout the day and I think we’re in a good spot.”
Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou has taken his fifth victory of the FIM X-Trial season in Bilbao, increasing his leadership in the series, in a dominant performance ahead of Adam Raga and Benoit Bincaz.
This is the second occasion that Bilbao has hosted a race of the FIM X-Trial World Championship and the crowds saw Toni Bou make a hesitant start collecting, eight penalties – four more than his arch-rival Adam Raga. Even so, he successfully qualified for the second phase.
Bou made the second round count with better precision, making 12 points in the five zones which demanded highly technical level of riding. With this result, and being the best of his group, Bou moved on to the final where he faced off with Adam Raga.
In a great final that saw very tight racing, Toni Bou won the victory with precision through the very demanding areas, with the Montesa Cota 4RT rider finishing with nine penalties against the 12 of Raga.
The triumph leaves the Repsol Honda Team rider as the leader of the World Championship, with a growing 35-point advantage.
The sixth race of the X-Trial World Championship will be held on March 21 at Wiener Neustadt, in Austria.
“It was a really demanding X-Trial right to the end and that makes this fifth victory of the season even sweeter. In the Final I probably took too many risks in some sections so I ended up suffering more than I needed to. But this season has been really competitive; Adam is riding really well, so this victory is really important as it leaves me in a great position to fight for the title.”
X-Trial Bilbao 2020 Results
Repsol Honda Team
TRRS Factory Team
Beta Factory Racing
Sherco Factory Team
Gas Gas Factory Team
Vertigo Factory Team
TRRS Factory Team
2020 X-Trial Standings
Beaton leads Husqvarna results at Mastercross Lacapelle Marival
Bringing their pre-season racing schedule to a positive close, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton, Kay de Wolf and Pauls Jonass have all successfully completed their final warm-up race ahead of the start of the 2020 MXGP Championship.
Competing in the Mastercross Lacapelle Marival event in France, Beaton secured the overall runner-up position in the MX2 class, with Pauls Jonass returning to competition following illness to finish fifth overall in the MX1 class.
With the recent Hawkstone International largely an exercise in survival due to the hugely challenging weather and track conditions in England last weekend, the Mastercross Lacapelle Marival delivered near-perfect track conditions and close racing across all classes.
Securing Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s best result in the MX2 class, Jed Beaton enjoyed two positive outings to claim a deserved overall runner-up result. Placing comfortably inside the top 10 off the start in each of the two MX2 motos, Jed spent much of the opening race in fourth before moving ahead of Jago Geerts with two laps to go.
Race two saw Jed start well, completing the first lap in fourth. Taking some time to find his rhythm around the French track, the Australian settled into a strong pace during the second half of the moto to finish just four seconds behind eventual overall winner Tom Vialle. In the combined 450/250 Super Finale, Jed placed 12th, the third-highest MX2 class rider.
“Yeah, I’m pretty pleased with the way today went. It’s really nice to get to race a pre-season event that’s not super wet and is in good condition and has good grip. The two motos went well enough for me. In the first race I didn’t get the best of starts, I think I was down in fifth or sixth before getting up to third. I stayed there for quite a few laps, before the top two guys got into the lappers. It got pretty intense there for a while and I was able to close up a lot. Third was a good result. I took a little while to get into a rhythm in the second race although I was in second for most of the time. I felt like I rode a lot better in the second half and to finish second overall is positive ahead of the first GP in a couple of weeks.”
Returning to action following several weeks away from competition due to sickness, Pauls Jonass secured fifth overall in the MX1 class aboard his FC 450 following fifth and fourth place results, before rounding out his participation at the French event with sixth in the Super Finale.
“It’s been good to be back racing after a few weeks off, but I feel like things could have gone a little better today, still a few too many small mistakes. I got a good start in the first race and went too hard too soon, and that cost me mid-race. There were some pretty deep lines on the track and you needed to be smooth – I pushed a bit too hard. Things were better at the end of the race but there was no time left to really improve my result then. I got a great start in the second moto and really tried to be smooth. I made a few small mistakes, but things were better than race one. Overall, the event’s been great – really good conditions and apart from some small mistakes I’m happy. Two weeks before the first GP now so I’ll keep up the work and look forward to Matterley Basin.”
The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team completed its preparation for the motocross MXGP season in style with podium finishes for both Romain Febvre and Clement Desalle at the Lacapelle Marival Masters, with glorious weather and a stunning track in central France greeting teams for a perfect final shakedown before the start of the World Championship in two week’s time.
Both KRT riders commanded a top five start in the first twenty-five-minute moto, the Belgian moving up the leaderboard from fifth on lap one to claim third place, just over a second from runner-up, at the chequered flag while the Frenchman recovered from a mid-race incident soon after claiming third to cross the line just a few seconds back in sixth.
Regrouping from a first turn incident which left him initially ninth in race two Desalle maintained his composure to advance to sixth at the finish while Febvre showed that he is already in perfect accord with his new mount as he pushed his KX450-SR up the leaderboard to finish second, even closing down the race-long leader mid-moto.
The two MX1 motos gave the KRT riders third and fourth overall before the final outing of the day which combined the leading riders from MX1 and MX2 in the SuperFinal. Desalle again missed a clean run through the first turn but took the opportunity to show his ability to run down the opposition as he advanced from fourteenth first time past the timekeepers to secure a stunning fourth at the close.
Febvre was even more impressive as he advanced rapidly from fourth to second, setting the fastest lap of the race as he chased down the leader and, like his teammate, confirming that he is ready both in terms of physical fitness and bike set-up prior to the opening round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Matterley Basin in southern England on March 1st.
“It’s a great feeling to have such a strong day with good starts, good lap time and podium results. We have worked a lot with Jacky (Vimond) and I have made a lot of progress since Riola three weeks ago. I love my KX450-SR and we saw today that I got good starts even if this one here is really short to the first turn. I can say that tonight I am reassured; now we’ll go back home and practice on several different tracks to be ready for Matterley Basin.”
“It was a good experience today, even if I didn’t get such good starts. We made some changes on the bike settings – that’s also why we do some pre-season races – and the time schedule was tough with three races but overall the day was OK. I hit my ankle in the first race but it’s nothing serious and I had a good race. This year I want to do a full season so it was not necessary to take risks today; I’m happy with the bike, we are right on schedule with our preparation and we’ll continue to work before the first GP.”
American Motorcyclist Association honour Greg Hancock
AMA Charter Life Member Greg Hancock, from Costa Mesa, California, announced his retirement from professional racing on Feb. 15, having won his most recent Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme Speedway World Championship in 2016.
His other FIM Speedway titles came in 2014, 2011 and 1997. In the United States, he won eight AMA Speedway National Championships. Hancock also won FIM Team and Pairs World Championships, as well as many European domestic league titles during his career.
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone at the AMA and the FIM for providing me the many years of incredible speedway racing, which basically became my life school. Although I am stepping away from competing, I do not plan to exit the scene. I have plans that will keep me close to the sport, and we’ll see where that goes in the weeks ahead.”
The history of American Speedway competition dates to the mid-1920s. One of the sport’s early stars was America’s first world champion, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jack Milne, who won the 1937 Individual Speedway Championship in London.
2020 Yamaha AORC kicks off in Toowoomba
The 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore is only days away from firing up on track, across eight senior classes.
The Championship kicks off this Saturday and Sunday in Toowoomba for Rounds 1 & 2.
A reinvigorated championship sees big numbers of competitor’s right across the senior classes with a number of contenders in each class in with a chance of holding the Australian Off-Road Championship trophy at the end of the year.
Two Stroke (2T) Cup
Moutl Pirelli Sherco rider Dalton Johnson and Yamaha rider Brad Hardaker return for a shot at the Two Stroke (2T) Cup title which will be hotly contested this year. Queenslander Harry Teed will also look to stir up the class aboard his KTM.
In the E1 class defending champion Luke Styke aboard his Yamaha Active8 Yamalube will be hoping for a repeat performance in 2020, while he will be challenged by EJ Champion Kyron ZBacon aboard the MXstore backed Yamaha and Mason Semmens from the KTM Enduro Team who has come across from motorcross as well as Corey Hammond who also has jumped from the EJ class on a KTM.
In the hotly contested E2 class KTM Enduro Team’s Daniel Milner will be hard to beat, but Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Factory rider Josh Green, who is returning from a recent injury and was second to Daniel at each round last year will have his race face on come Saturday morning.
Beau Ralston hopes to be in the mix as well aboard his Kawasaki and will be wanting an injury free year, while the Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team’s Michael Driscoll has moved from E1 class which will no doubt suit him better this year.
Jeremy Carpenter who was on the podium last year in E2 will be onboard the Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team bike and will also be fighting for the championship win podium position.
AORC will also be announcing a major Australian talent will be joining the class in the coming days and is expected to be right up there fighting for the championship win.
In the E3 class Daniel Sanders will be hoping to continue where he left off 2019 taking his Husqvarna 501 to the top step, however Jonte Reynders on his Motul Pirelli Sherco 300 2 Stroke and Fraser Higlett aboard his Husqvarna will take the fight up to the world champ.
Jesse Lawton on a privateer Husqvarna and Geelong Motocrosser Callam Norton aboard a KTM will definitely be challenging the more fancied riders with Kawasaki Rider Matt Mury looking to go one better in 2020 and be on the podium after placing 4th in 2019.
In the EJ under 18 class Blake Hollis aboard his Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team bike will be hard to beat coming from the J4 class, and Korey McMahon will battle for the podium top spot, while Samuel Pretscherer and Kobe Conley will also be in the mix.
In the Women’s class Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team’s Jess Gardner is going for her third straight title win (sixth altogether), while Emma Miliesevic, who finished second last year aboard her Honda hopes to upset the champions run in 2020 in only her second full-season after switching from motocross.
Emilie Karlsson also aboard a Yamaha will be in the mix as well as young Queenslander Ebony Nielson who scored a number of podiums last year and will be hoping to take that next step and go one better in 2020 on her KTM.
In the Veterans class KTM rider Lee Stephens returns as 2019 Champion but will feel the heat from KTM riders Jason Pearce, Christopher Thomas and 2018 champion Richard Chibnall who will return from a year off.
In the Masters class, 2019 Champion Kirk Hutton will not be racing this year as he looks to help support his kids coming through the junior ranks which opens up the championship to a potential multi-rider battle for the top step. KTM mounted Peter Rudd who was second in 2019 and Tim Martin on a Honda are expected to fight it out all year long, with Queenslander Craig Treasure expected to be in the mix.
Murray Bridge confirmed for 2020 AORC Rounds 7 & 8
South Australia’s Murray Bridge has secured Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) presented by MXstore, to be held on August 1 and 2, 2020, with the support of Rural City of Murray Bridge and Velocette Motorcycle Club.
Motorcycling Australia Off-Road Events Manager, Matthew Falvo, said the 2020 Yamaha AORC, presented by MXstore was shaping up to be the best year yet.
“With World champion riders returning for action in 2020, we will have the best riders in the world competing at Murray Bridge. There has been plenty of interest from South Australian riders and we are very pleased with the enthusiasm, excitement and support not only from the riders but also round hosts – the Velocette Motorcycle Club and the Rural City of Murray Bridge. With new exciting venues in the 2020 AORC we are sure to again field upwards of 200 plus riders for each event in every state, we are sure the championship can only grow further.”
This announcement now finalises all venues for the 2020 Championship which will continue to use a double-header format when the Championships kicks off in just 8 days’ time.
Revised dates announced for 2020 King of MX
Motorcycling NSW has taken the unavoidable step of rearranging the 2020 King of MX qualifier schedule, swapping the Bathurst and Lakes qualifier events after it became clear that other events in the Bathurst region would make logistics especially difficult for entrants.
Lake Macquarie will now host qualifier 3 on March 14-15, while the Panorama Motorcycle Club will shift to the qualifier 5 dates of April 18-19.
Dave Cooke – Motorcycling CEO
“We were made aware of some regional events in Bathurst that were going to have some impacts on entrants’ ability to find cost-effective accommodation, among other things, and so we began looking at our options. It became clear quite quickly, with some FIM events along with other local date restrictions, that a date change just wasn’t possible. After consulting with our partner clubs, the team at Lakes were able to come to the party, and essentially trade dates with Panorama to allow as little impact as possible to those planning on racing the events. While I agree it’s not ideal to have to change the calendar, I’m grateful to everyone involved who’s helped to find, what is a great solution. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who travelled to Bega over the weekend for the first qualifier. As all of Australia knows, the far south coast region of NSW was heavily fire affected, and I’m really proud that our sport could play a small role in bringing people back to the area and contribute to rebuilding this beautiful part of the state.”
With the King of MX firmly underway for 2020, all focus now turns to Narrabri, where, in just two weeks’ time, the second qualifier will get underway. There, another 126 Golden Tickets will be on offer, and over $1000 in prizes.
2020 King of MX Calendar
Qualifier 1 – February 15-16, Bega – Top 7 qualify for final **Run & Won**
Qualifier 2 – February 29-1 March, Narrabri – Top 7 qualify for final
Qualifier 3 – March 14-15, Lake Macquarie -Top 7 qualify for final
Qualifier 4 – March 28-29, Wagga Wagga – Top 6 qualify for final
Qualifier 5 -April 18-19, Bathurst – Top 6 qualify for final
Qualifier 6 – May 9-10, Dargle – Top 7 qualify for final
Final – June 6-8, Cessnock
2020 Championship Calendars
2020 AMA Motocross race schedule
May 17 – Hangtown Motocross Classic – Rancho Cordova, CA
May 24 – Fox Raceway National – Pala, CA
May 31 – Thunder Valley National – Lakewood, CO
June 7 – Florida National – Jacksonville, FL
June 21 – High Point National – Mt. Morris, PA
June 28 – Southwick National – Southwick, MA
July 5 – RedBud National – Buchanan, MI
July 19 – Spring Creek National – Millville, MN
July 26 – Washougal National – Washougal, WA
August 16 – Unadilla National – New Berlin, NY
August 23 – Budds Creek National – Mechanicsville, MD
August 30 – Ironman National – Crawfordsville, IN
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Calendar
Jan. 4 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
Jan. 11 – The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Jan. 18 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
Jan. 25 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Feb. 1 – Ringcentral Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
Feb. 8 – Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
Feb. 15 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
Feb. 22 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Feb. 29 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
March 7 – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Fla.
March 14 – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis, Ind.
March 21 – Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
March 28 – Centurylink Field, Seattle, Wash.
April 4 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, Co.
April 18 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
April 25 – Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
May 2 – Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
2020 MXGP Calendar
March 1 – Great Britain, Matterley Basin (EMX125, WMX)
March 8 – The Netherlands, Valkenswaard – (EMX250, WMX)
March 22 – Patagonia, Argentina, Neuquen
April 5 – Trentino I, Pietramurata – (EMX250, EMX 2t)
April 19 – Spain, (TBA) – (EMX125, WMX)
April 26 – Portugal, Agueda – (EMX125, EMX250)
May 10 – France, Saint Jean d’Angely – (EMX125, EMX Open)
May 17 – Italy, Maggiora – (EMX Open, WMX)
May 24 – Germany, Teutschenthal – (EMX250, EMX Open)
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.