Moto News Weekly Wrap for Dec 23, 2014 with Darren Smart

Australasian News

Some of our brightest young stars were present at Motorcycling Queensland’s Under 21 training camp last week on the Sunshine Coast and from all accounts it was extremely successful. Rod Jenner and Chris Urquhart put the program together to help the up and coming stars with their fitness and according to young Caleb Ward it was beneficial and fun. ‘Had a sick week at the MQ under 21s elite training camp, huge thanks to the coaches and everyone that made it possible. Met some new people, got a heap of solid training in and had a good time’ wrote Caleb on his FB page.

Williams Event Management (WEM) recently announced the race formats for all ten rounds of the 2015 MX Nationals series. The MX1 class competitors will race the traditional 2 x 30-minute motos plus a lap while the MX2 class riders will compete in 1 x 30-minute moto plus a lap and 1 x 20-minute moto plus a lap.

New to the 2015 series will be the addition of the Under 19’s (MXD) class at all ten rounds racing 2 x 20-minute motos plus a lap.

Vet racers will compete at two rounds of the MX Nationals in 2015. The V3 class will be open to all riders aged 30-39 years, with the Championship race being at the sixth round of the MX Nationals in Coolum, Queensland, on May 24.

The V4 class will be open to racers aged 40 years and over with the Championship staged at the fifth round of the series in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

Two other support classes will be on show in 2015 with the KTM Australian Amateur Cup and the Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Cup competing at three round each. The KTM Amateur Cup has been created to cater for those racers who may not race full time, and previously would not have had the opportunity to compete at the MX Nationals while the Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Cup will be open to riders aged 13-15 years.

KTM Australian Amateur Cup

  1. R1: March 29th – Horsham (VIC)
  2. R2: July 15th – Raymond Terrace (NSW)
  3. R3: August 29th – Coolum (QLD)

Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Cup

  1. R1: April 12th – Appin (NSW)
  2. R2: July 19th – Shepparton (VIC)
  3. R3: August 29th – Coolum (QLD)


In the final bit of MX National news, the Yamaha Australian Women’s Motocross Championship will be staged over two rounds in 2015 with the first round at Broadford, Victoria on April 26 and the second round at Nowra, New South Wales on August 2.

Husqvarna has announced that they are backing 17-year-old Sunshine Coast racer Jesse Dobson to race the FC 450 in the MX1 class in 2015 while SD3 Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon will look after the MX2 duties and Nathan Crawford will stay in the MXD class on a Husqvarna FC250, changing from the 2-stroke.

Team Suzuki has signed Victorian Kale Makeham to compete alongside reigning national champion Matt Moss in the 2015 MX Nationals and the Australian Supercross Championship season.

Tayla Jones will be riding the all new YZ250FX for Yamaha-Motor Australia in the Australian Off Road Championships (AORC), the Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) as well as the up-coming Australian Enduro –X and other selected events throughout the year.

James Stewart isn’t the only rider being dicked around by the FIM. Australian Speedway star Darcy Ward failed a breath test after a big night on the booze with his mates last July and he still hasn’t been informed of his fate leading up to the 2015 World Speedway Championships.

Euro News

After announcing last week they had confirmed British Champions Shaun Simpson and Matiss Karro, HIMX announced that they have signed 2014 MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier to compete at the Hawkstone International on the 8th February.

There has yet to be a Moto News Wrap without a race report so I went searching MYLAPS and found out that Christos Tsaggaras has won the 2014 Motocross Festival in Poamia, Greece so MCNEWS is the only website in the entire world reporting on this race. See the full report and results below.

American News

The FIM continue to show their complete incompetence at every level after completely derailing Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart’s 2015 season with an over the top penalty for a very low level anti-doping violation.

Not surprisingly the news came a staggering eight months to the day from the Seattle round of the AMA Supercross Championships where Stewart tested positive for amphetamines from his prescribed Adderall.

“I’m extremely disappointed to say the least,” said Stewart who is banned until August 11, 2015 and his 2014 results are void. “We plan to appeal as I personally feel that the punishment far outweighs the situation, especially since I received both WADA and USADA approvals that prove I’m not cheating. I’m bummed for everyone involved, my family, my team, my sponsors, the promoters and most of all the fans.”

In an unprecedented move, AMA CEO and President Rob Dingman has written a scathing letter to FIM President Vito Ippolito about the penalty handed to Stewart and the way the matter was handled. Dingman’s latter contains the words and phrases like ‘mismanaged’, ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘chronic poor handling’, ‘unprofessional’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘intolerable’, ‘FIM’s unreasonable delays’.

Dingman also goes on to say that the ’16 month penalty is arbitrary and capricious’ before finishing his letter with, ‘It is my expectation, indeed it is my hope, that Mr Stewart will appeal the FIM’s decision in the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland’.

My personal take on the situation is obvious, the FIM are an organisation full of self-serving halfwits and why the AMA doesn’t just wipe it’s hands of the FIM is beyond me, there is only one supercross outside America (Canada) so just dump that round and go back to being just an AMA sanctioned event and let the FIM fumble with the events they oversee in Europe.

And I will leave the final words on this saga to Jeremy McGrath. “I think it’s a shame that regardless of if he committed a foul or broke a rule, he’s paid the penalty already. He’s labelled or whatever. It just sucks. In my mind he should be racing, period. I don’t know who’s trying to have a contest with who about who’s going to penalize one of the biggest names in the sport, but to me as a fan I don’t think it’s cool. I don’t think it’s good for the sport.”

On a brighter note for Suzuki, RCH Factory Racing has re-signed Broc Tickle to ride the Suzuki RM-Z450 alongside 2014 AMA Motocross Champion Ken Roczen for the 2015 FIM/ AMA Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Josh Strang, Mike Brown, Andrew DeLong and Jacob Argubright will represent Husqvarna’s American Off-Road effort throughout the 2015 season. Strang will be contesting the 2015 GNCC Series aboard a Husqvarna FC 450 in the XC1 Pro class and will also race the National Enduro series aboard an FC 350.

DeLong will be defending his title in the AMA National Enduro series as well as looking to make strides in the GNCC XC1 Pro ranks on his favoured Husqvarna FC 350.

Brown will once again take on the AMA EnduroCross Series along with other select events in 2015 while Argubright will defend his AMA West National Hare Scrambles Championship.

Another rider who will be on Husqvarna machinery in 2015 is former motocross star turned off-road racer Ryan Sipes who has negotiated a deal for AirGroup Racing to be the title sponsor of his racing program for the 2015 season. Sipes will also be backed by Rockstar Energy to contest the 2015 GNCC series as well as the Kenda AMA National Enduro series. In addition to his off-road commitments, Sipes is also contracted to race three AMA Motocross Championship rounds, and will be available for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna motocross team should any of its riders suffer an injury during the season.

Moto News for the weekend of December 20/21

2014 Motocross Festival in Poamia, Greece

In front of a hoard of screaming fans the gates dropped for the final race of the 2014 Motocross Festival held in Poamia, Greece last weekend and it was the brilliant (if not a little quirky) Christos Tsaggaras who had the crowd on their feet with a brilliant come from behind ride in the MX1/MX2 combined final.

Tsaggaras has the looks of Robert Redford, has the riding skills of Danny ‘Magoo’ Chandler and the table manners of a rogue elephant yet the fans simply adore the brashness of his riding style and the fact that he is riding a 1978 Bultaco 360 gives the older fans and even bigger incentive to back this modern day matador.

Probably the unluckiest rider in the field was Kleanthis Tsiatalos who was leading from the get-go and looked to have the race won until his helmet fell off half way through the final lap and was stolen by an overzealous fan leaving Tsiatalos no choice but to knock down his good mate Neofitis Kanaris and steal his helmet to finish the race in a disappointing sixth place.    

Tsiatalos vows to return in 2015 and take home the winning cheque, the HUGE trophy and Tsaggaras’ girlfriend. Stay tuned for next year’s race……..


Motorcycling Queensland Under 21 Training Camp
Motorcycling Queensland Under 21 Training Camp
James Stewart will appeal his 16 month ban
James Stewart will appeal his 16 month ban
American Husqvarna Off-Road Team
American Husqvarna Off-Road Team
Tayla Jones moves to Yamaha in 2015
Tayla Jones moves to Yamaha in 2015