Moto News Weekly Wrap – December 1, 2015 – By Darren Smart
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Cooper Webb a class Act
Since as far back as the 1960s Australia has hosted 100s of international motocross and supercross riders and while some have embraced the experience others just fly in, race and fly home without really appreciating their trip Down Under. Some don’t even make the effort to show up!
Cooper Webb’s post AMA season started at the Motocross of Nations at Ernee, France where he helped Team USA almost topple the local favourites before beating 2015 MXGP Champion Romain Febvre at the final round of the All-Japan Motocross Championships at Sugo. Webb then flew across to Europe to win the Genoa Supercross (Italy) and podium at the Bercy Supercross in France.
Unlike most American riders, Webb has been out enjoying the local food, language and culture throughout his travels and right here in Australia he has openly admired the Aussie fans and our peculiar vernacular so after blitzing his way from last to fourth on Saturday night then winning Sunday’s main event ahead of Chad Reed it is clear that this kid is a class act on and off the track and is a breath of fresh air for American motocross and supercross – here is what he post on his Twitter feed: ‘What a night at @ausxopen By far the craziest race I’ve ever raced! Since I was a kid I wanted to ride like Chad Reed and would watch countless videos to try to be just like him. Last night was a dream come true to be able to not only race him but to battle him to the last turn for the win! By far the most exciting race I’ve ever raced. Thanks to all the aussie fans and hope you guys enjoyed one hell of a race! Learned a lot from the guys last night @crtwotwo @danreardon122 thanks everyone one for the support!’
Reed V Carmichael
There was a time when Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael were mortal enemies as they battled for the AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships but as the years have worn on they are now great mates. The Reed V RC three lap races over the two nights was like stepping back in time and although Chad won both nights you have to take your hat off to Carmichael, he can still throw a dirt bike around as good as any on the planet.
In fact, his lap times were the fourth fastest of every rider on show over the weekend – here is what RC Tweeted: ‘I truly had a great time the final night at the @ausxopen and cutting it up with @crtwotwo as well as jumping in with them during Superpole. You fans were amazing to all of us and we really appreciate it, thanks for making it fun!!! Thanks for opportunity and all the peeps behind the scenes’
An international freestyle MX Best Trick comp was staged over the two nights at the AUS-X Open and as crazy as it sounds Jackson Strong pulled off not one but two front flips to win both nights of competition….insane!!
Marshall Back Flips in 20 Lap Main Event
There aren’t too many riders in the world that are professional motocross, supercross and freestyle riders but Robbie Marshall manages all three disciplines at the highest level so after making the SX1 main event on both nights Robbie though he might combine his talents and after battling hard for 20 laps the Queenslander threw down the perfect back-flip over the finish line jump.
Marshall was warned by the officials about his back flip on Saturday night but did it again on Sunday – he posted this on FB: ‘Not everyone saw this one tonight, but I was a little bit more sneaky with a flip at the end of the 20 lap final. Was stoked to finish my first 20 lapper in a long while and in 7th place too. Hope you enjoyed the view behind me there @danreardon122’
SD3 Husqvarna racer Luke Arbon’s 2015 season has drawn to a close with the South Australian rider sustaining a broken ankle at the fifth round of the Australian Supercross championship in Sydney. The Husqvarna FC 250 rider, who shared second place in the SX2 championship entering the round, had an awkward fall in a triple/tabletop combination section during qualifying and dabbed a foot in at an awkward angle, causing the bone to break.
Brody Cassidy Injury Up-Date
West Aussie privateer Brody Cassidy is in an induced coma at Brisbane’s Westmead Hospital after crashing during the non-seeded SX2 qualifying session at the AUS-X on Sunday. Cassidy has been cleared of neck and spinal injuries but has slight bruising of the brain so he will remain sedated until days after surgery which will take place later in the week. Donations can be made now and are greatly appreciated by the family, via https://www.gofundme.com/BrodyCassidy.
The fifth round of the Australian Supercross Championship held at Allphone Stadium in Sydney took its toll on many of the top SX1 campaigner with Matt Moss (Team Motul Suzuki), Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) and Adam Monea (NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki) all pulling out of Sunday’s AUS-X Open to undergo immediate surgery or on-going tests in the bid to fully heal for the 2016 season.
Serco Yamaha’s dominance in the 250 class has taken a huge hit in 2015 and that trend continued in Sydney with Luke Clout and his teammate Jed Beaton bowing out of Sunday nights racing with injuries while Wade Hunter and Dylan Wills followed suit for similar reasons.
Loss of Faith
After finishing a sensational second on Saturday night, Gavin Faith’s Sunday night ended early after going over the bars on the finish line jump on the final lap of his heat race. The crash has left the Honda rider with a broken collarbone, three broken ribs, a punctured lung, cracked vertebrae, and a concussion. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Matt Moss hoping to be able to race this weekend’s Supercross Finale
Suffering a heavily corked leg and a big head knock Moss was forced to sit out the second day of racing action in Sydney on Sunday, but is hopeful of a return to action at the final of the 2015 championship this Saturday night in Victoria.
“The day could not have gotten off to a better start, we were the fastest in practice and qualifying and I was feeling great.” Moss commented.
“The heat race win in front of that massive crowd was an amazing feeling and at that point I knew if everything went to plan we could take the win later in the night when it counted.”
“Obviously things didn’t go to plan in the main event, that second crash left me pretty beat up and unable to continue.
“I banged my head pretty bad, but that is feeling all right now. The leg is still very sore at the moment, I will have physio every day this week and will hopefully be ready to race on Saturday.”
“The championship is out of reach for us now, but it would be great to finish my time with the team with a round win and we are still in a position to finish second in overall. There is still a lot to race for at the last round.” Moss added.
We Are Going Live!
Sunday’s AUS-X Open was beamed live across the nation on the free to air 7Mate channel with Mark Beretta hosting the coverage and it was great to see Lee Hogan and Grant Langston doing the race calling – it was sensational to see all of the action and the camera angles etc were perfect – my only criticism was the track side comments and interviews by some old guy who knows nothing about supercross.
MXGP Safer in 2016?
MXGP promoters Youthstream recently hosted their annual organizers meeting in Jerez, Spain and one of the key points of interest was rider safety and possible changes to the tracks to make them safer for the riders. Mr. Giuseppe Luongo opened the presentation, “First of all I would like to thank all of you who are here today. Without you, the organizers, it would be impossible to have a world championship,” he said. “However, this year we had many injuries, and this is something we want to reduce in the future,” Mr Luongo added
It appears that Youthstream and the FIM have agreed that the tracks need to be ripped deeper so that the ground is softer, which will in turn become rougher and more technical which they believewill slow the riders down and offer a safer racing environment.
Well, for mind I disagree with their tactics – making the track rougher may well slow the riders down slightly but speed isn’t the key issue behind the injury toll, it is the commitment of the top riders to brake as late as possible and carry a high corner speed no matter the conditions, and when you throw a dirt bike into heavily rutted corners over and over again it is only a matter of time when things don’t go to plan and the rider hits the deck – and don’t start me on the way these riders are jumping on rutted jump faces – Jeffrey Herlings took himself out a couple of times over the last two season with ‘scrubs’ that have gone wrong, as did Romain Febvre this season and Shaun Simpson cross jumping in front of Todd Waters during the season could have been disastrous for Waters’ future.
Time will tell but I believe that Youthstream is once again leading the FIM up the garden path, be it ripped or not……
The Next Generation 1
Josh Grant, Nick Wey and Ryan Morais are all household names in the world of AMA Motocross and last weekend they were all out with their young sons who were cutting laps on Yamaha PW50s so when you add Chad Reed’s son Tate, Stefan Everts son Liam and Brian Deegan’s son Haiden to the list of the ‘next generation’ we are guaranteed of some great rivalry on and off the track in the future.
One AMA rider who would like to join the list above is Jimmy Albertson who Tweeted this when he saw what Grant and Wey were up to on the weekend: ‘I want to make one and race it but @georgiaalbertson won’t have sex with me’….One could hardly blame her…..
Next Generation 2
Speaking of the next generation, the last ‘big’ event for America’s fastest young guns is the annual Thor Winter Mini Olympics held in Gainesville, Florida – here are the stars of the future and the results over the weekend.
Footnote: Aussie Egan Mastin managed two top five finishes in the highly competitive 450A class.
Thor Winter Mini Olympic Supercross Results
51cc (7-8) Limited Overall
1. Daxton Bennick
2. Haiden Deegan
3. Casey Cochran
4. Krystian Janik
5. Owen Covell
65 (10-11) Overall
1. Matt Leblanc
2. Kyle Smith
3. Justin Allen
4. Ivan Aldama Jr.
5. Jackson Craig
85cc (12-13) Overall
1. Hardy Munoz
2. Jack Rogers
3. Max Miller
4. Jarrett Frye
5. Aiden Tijero
Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C Overall
1. Brock Papi
2. Logan Stokes
3. Marco Cannella
4. Maxwell Sanford
5. Carter Halpain
250 B Overall
1. Garrett Marchbanks
2. Challen Tennant
3. Jayce Pennington
4. Jordan Bailey
5. Jake Masterpool
250 A Overall
1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Dakota Alix
4. Bradley Taft
5. Cameron McAdoo
250 A Pro Sport Overall
1. Austin Forkner
2. Lorenzo Locurcio
3. Justin Cooper
4. Henry Miller
5. Dylan Merriam
450 A Overall
1. Austin Forkner
2. Lorenzo Locurcio
3. Cameron McAdoo
4. Egan Mastin
5. Blake Neiheiser
Thor Winter Mini Olympic Motocross Results
65cc (7-9) Overall
1. Nick Romano
2. Ryder Difrancesco
3. Haiden Deegan
4. Daxton Bennick
5. Jordan Renfro
85cc (9-11) Overall
1. Matt Leblanc
2. Nick Romano
3. Jett Reynolds
4. Luke Kalaitzian
5. Jordan Biese
Mini Sr. (12-15) Overall
1. Max Miller
2. Ty Masterpool
3. Seth Hammaker
4. Jeremy Ryan
5. Aiden Tijero
250 C Overall
1. Salvatore Cusimano Jr
2. Locky Kennedy
3. Trevor Pavlik
4. Sean Swett
5. Brandon Yates
Women 14+ Overall
1. Kylie Fasnacht
2. Jordan Jarvis
3. Hannah Hodges
4. Marissa Markelon
5. Kaitlyn Morrow
Supermini 2 (13-16) Overall
1. Jalek Swoll
2. Pierce Brown
3. Palmer Neely
4. Chase Fasnacht
5. Joshua Gibbs
250 A Overall
1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Lorenzo Locurcio
4. Bradley Taft
5. Dylan Merriam
250 Pro Sport Overall
1. DJ MacFarlane
2. Dylan Merriam
3. Lorenzo Locurcio
4. Henry Miller
5. Justin Cooper
450 Pro Sport Overall
1. Austin Forkner
2. Egan Mastin
3. Bradley Taft
4. Henry Miller
5. Lorenzo Locurcio
Junior 25+ Overall
1. Ricky Renner
2. Ezequiel Fanello
3. Casey Clark
4. Garrett Edmisten
5. David Callihan
Jim O’Neal Injured in Baja 1000
While contesting the annual Baja 1000, veteran Jim O’Neal ran into what appears to be a barbed wire booby trap that was across the race course. The barb wire locked up the rear wheel and the ensuing high speed crash caused severe injury to O’Neal leaving the American stuck under the bike for some fifteen minutes.
Thankfully he was eventually spotted by another rider who helped O’Neal untangle the bike and get him going towards the next pit stop – from all reports Jim is recovering in the UCSD trauma centre.
Unfortunately booby traps like these are common and go back many years.
FMF Winter Indoor Series
Then opening two rounds of the FMF Winter Indoor Series was held in Fletcher, NC last weekend and young Kyle Bitterman won three of the four finals over the two nights of racing and leads the 250cc and 450cc championships classes.
The opening round of the AX Tour was held in Bowling Green last Saturday night and Daniel Herrlein took the Pro Lites class overall ahead of Travis Sewell while Sewell won the Pro Open overall and the Clash For Cash.
Axel van de Sande Wins Red Bull Knock Out
Little known Belgian Axel van de Sande has beaten 1,500 riders to win the Red Bull Knock Out held at The Hague last weekend. Van de Sande wasn’t one of the seeded riders and didn’t get a spot on the frontline at the start yet the 22-year-old was the surprise winner of the classic beach race despite close attention from race favourite Nathan Watson (UK) who took second ahead Camille Chapeliere and 21-year-old Dutch punter Lars van Berkel.
Herlings to Race MX in 2016
It was confirmed this week that Jeffrey Herlings will try to win his third MX2 World Motocross Championship in 2016 before heading to MXGP in 2017…..um, like we didn’t know that was going to happen!
ADAC Supercross – Chemnitz
Austin Politelli, Jace Owen and Ben Lamay made it an all American podium at Friday night’s final at the Chemnitz round of the ADAC Supercross Championships while French star Greg Aranda won Saturday nights final ahead of Owen and Lamay.
Last Weekend’s Racing
Australian Supercross Championship and AUS-X Open – Allphones Arena, Sydney
The inaugural AUS-X Open Supercross roared into life over two nights of racing before sell-out crowds at Sydney’s Allphones Arena in the Homebush Olympic precinct and it was Aussie Chad Reed along with Ricky ‘The Goat’ Carmichael and fellow Yank Cooper Webb who put on a show that saw Australia become the epicentre of the motorcycling world for 48 hours.
AUS-X Open SX1 Saturday Night
Saturday nights racing was round 5 of the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship and on a track that featured the 360Fly-by passing lane, a two-turn tunnel section and a steel ramp take-off for the finish line jump it was Reed who won the SX1 main event with a start to finish win.
“That feels awesome!” said Reed. “I always love coming back home to Australia and racing in front of so many fans, and tonight was great. The new AUS-X Open event was a total blast and I’m just so happy to be back on a Yamaha and back atop the podium again in Australia.”
“I’ve got to say thanks to everyone who made this ride possible, and in particular thanks to the guys who have made the whole AUS-X Open event happen – this event has been so good so far, and we get to go racing again tomorrow!”
Reigning SX2 Australian Supercross Champion Gavin Faith came home with a solid second place finish behind Reed while current SX1 Championship point’s leader Dan Reardon rounded out the podium in third.
“So to finally get a great start and put together 20 solid laps feels really good, I’m stoked,” said Faith of tonight’s event. “It‘s been a while coming and I’m just rapt for the Penrite Honda Racing team, who have stuck by me and kept working so hard to achieve the result we all knew was possible.”
Defending SX1 Australian Supercross Champion Matt Moss started his night with a heat race win but the Suzuki pilot crashed twice in the opening laps and required Racesafe medical assistance after the second tumble so with Moss scoring zero points Reardon now has a 31-point lead in the Championship standings over his CDR Yamaha team mate Kade Mosig, who finished the Saturday event in seventh place.
“I’ll take the third spot on the podium tonight,” said Reardon, “because that was a tough race as Chad and Gavin both made great starts and got out in front and we all got into a consistent rhythm and just kept knocking off the laps.
“But to come away with a 31 point lead in the Championship, well, I couldn’t ask for much more. That’s a great position to be in with just one more round to go next weekend. 2015 has been an awesome season for me, and to now be so close to the Supercross Championship feels so good.”
American import Cooper Webb and privateer Daniel McCoy rounded out the top five in the final. Webb posted this on his Twitter feed: ‘Bit of a disappointing night last night for me. Got tangled up with some people on the start and had a peg in my wheel. Started last and tried to come back. Ended up 4th. Looking forward to racing today”
Saturday SX1 Superpole results: 1. Daniel REARDON 30.869s. 2. Chad REED 30.903s. 3. Gavin FAITH 31.247s. 4. Lawson BOPPING 31.311s. 5. Matt MOSS 31.352s. 6. Kade MOSIG 31.607s.
Saturday SX1 final results: 1. Chad REED. 2. Gavin FAITH. 3. Daniel REARDON. 4. Cooper WEBB. 5. Daniel McCOY. 6. Lawson BOPPING. 7. Kade MOSIG. 8. Kale MAKEHAM. 9. Cheyne BOYD. 10. Luke STYKE. 11. Robbie MARSHALL.
SX1 Championship: 5/6 rounds
1. Daniel Reardon – Yamaha. 167
2. Kade Mosig – Yamaha. 136
3. Matt Moss – Suzuki. 127
4. Lawson Bopping – Yamaha. 124
5. Daniel McCoy – Yamaha. 118
6. Gavin Faith – Honda. 109
7. Adam Monea – Kawasaki. 107
8. Luke Styke – KTM. 93
9. Danny Ham – Suzuki. 78
10. Kirk Gibbs – KTM. 54
AUS-X Open SX2 Saturday
In SX2 racing, which also paid Australian Supercross Championship points on the Saturday night, the final evolved into a Jimmy Decotis benefit once the pint-size American ace motored into the lead, after early race leader Luke Clout (Serco Yamaha) crashed out of contention, and then young gun Wade Hunter (DPH Motorsports Peter Stevens Yamaha) succumbed to the charge forward by Decotis.
“I got a bad start but I felt like I rode strong all race and once I got in front, I just kept at it and rode clean and smart and brought it home,” said Decotis, who notched up his fourth win in the five rounds of the Championship to date. “All the team at Penrite Honda Racing have been working so hard to make this possible and I just hope I can wrap up the Championship at the final round in Melbourne next weekend.”
Hunter rode solidly behind Decotis to take a well deserved runner-up finish, helping to make up for the disappointment the Yamaha rider suffered at last weekend’s fourth round at Jimboomba in Queensland, when his race was over barely after it began following a start line crash with Clout.
“Finishing second tonight feels so good,” pumped Hunter. “The whole night and the whole event has been awesome and I’m rapt to get this result as I came into this ride with the DPH Motorsports Peter Stevens Yamaha team pretty late, so to be up on the podium is a great result for the team, who have put so much support behind me.”
Third place in the SX2 Final eventually fell to Penrite Honda Wilson MX rider Jackson Richardson, who was another to come through from a poor start. “I got a bad start and was a fair way back to begin with,” explained Richardson. “So to be able to come through and make the podium in third is pretty good overall, I’m happy.”
Geran Stapleton and Lewis Woods rounded the top five.
Like Reardon, Decotis also enjoys a 31 point lead in the championship and with 35 points up for grabs at the final round in Melbourne next weekend it would be a brave man to bet against the American wrapping up the title.
SX2 Final Results: 1. Jimmy DECOTIS. 2. Wade HUNTER. 3. Jackson RICHARDSON. 4. Geran STAPLETON. 5. Lewis WOODS. 6. Jack SIMPSON. 7. Joel WIGHTMAN. 8. Luke WILSON. 9. Luke CLOUT. 10. Tomas RAVENHORST. 11. Dylan WILLS. 12. Kyle WEBSTER.
SX2 Championship: 5/6 rounds
1. Jimmy Decotis – Honda. 172
2. Jackson Richardson – Honda. 141
3. Geran Stapleton – Honda. 132
4. Lewis Woods – KTM. 130
5. Dylan Wills – KTM. 122
6. Luke Clout – Yamaha. 113
7. Luke Arbon – Husqvarna. 111
8. Wade Hunter – Yamaha. 109
9. Joel Wightman – Honda. 105
10. Jack Simpson – KTM. 97
Sunday Night (No Championship Points)
It was a Yamaha freight train when the riders entered the stadium for the first time in the 20 lap final with Lawson Bopping leading Dan Reardon, Chad Reed and Cooper Webb and after just a handful of laps Reardon was out front with Reed and Webb hot on his heels but that is when it all turned to poo up front.
In the sweeping left hander after the finish line steel ramp jump Reardon lost the front end and hit the deck causing Reed and Webb to avoid the crashing Yamaha and each other so while the three Yamaha were getting untangled Bopping inherited the lead heading into the tunnel and when they emerged it was Webbin second some four seconds in front of Reed.
Webb and Reed relegated Bopping back to third and for the remaining laps it was an enthralling battle of youth versus experience and it all came down to the last two corners where reed pulled along side Webb twice and crossed the line just half a bike behind the ecstatic Webb. “I’m stoked to be crowned the AUS-X Open champion in Sydney, It was a crazy race to say the least!” Webb exclaimed. “I knew it was going be a tough race to win, you know Chad’s the fastest guy here and I knew he was going to be extremely hard to beat but I just put my head down and tried to be smart and I held him off, barely.”
“Win or lose it’s a win for me this weekend and thanks so much to the fans out here for making the AUS-X Open such an awesome event,” said Reed. “This event is a real boost for Supercross in Australia and I just want to thank Ricky and Cooper for coming out and most importantly the fans who came down to Sydney or watched the broadcast on 7mate, it’s been an awesome weekend back home.”
Sunday Main Event Results: 1. Cooper WEBB. 2. Chad REED. 3. Lawson BOPPING. 4. Daniel McCOY. 5. Daniel REARDON. 6. Cheyne BOYD. 7. Robbie MARSHALL. 8. Aaron TANTI. 9. Jono KRUSIC. 10. Josh SPANOS.
In the SX2 final things were looking up for the Aussie fans with Jackson Richardson sitting in second behind Jimmy Decotis and just as we settled in for a 15 lap battle Richardson lost the front end went down handing Decotis his second SX2 final victory at the AUS-X Open weekend.
Richardson recovered from his first lap off to finish second ahead of Geran Stapleton, Joel Wightman and Tomas Ravenhorst..
Sunday Main Event Results: 1. Jimmy DECOTIS. 2. Jackson RICHARDSON. 3. Geran STAPLETON. 4. Joel WIGHTMAN. 5. Tomas RAVENHORST. 6. Jesse MADDEN. 7. Jake VELLA. 8. Lewis WOODS. 9. Jack SIMPSON. 10. Jake WILLIAMS.
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