Moto News Wrap for Jan 6, 2015 by Darren Smart

Australasian News

The 2015 KTM Off-Road Racing Team will see Toby Price return alongside South Australian desert racer Ivan Long while Victorian Daniel Sanders and former pro motocrosser Tye Simmonds will join the team.

The team, managed by Ben Grabham, will see Price, Simmonds, and Sanders target all enduro and off-road majors, with Price, Simmonds and Long will look after the desert racing duties. 

DPH Motorsport has signed Lawson Bopping and Ross Beaton for the 2015 MX Nationals and Australian Supercross Championships to compete in the premier class on board the Yamaha YZ450F.

American News

With so many Aussie racers lining up for the opening round of the 2015 AMA Supercross Championships held at Anaheim last weekend we were all hoping that we would see Chad Reed, Brett Metcalfe, Jake Moss, Matt Moss, Adam Monea and Jackson Richardson ride out of their skins and make us proud.

Well, it all turned to poo in the week leading up to the event for Jake Moss when he cracked a bone in his ankle while practicing at Lake Elsinore in preparation for Anaheim. Moss and Adam Monea were pumping out laps on their KX450Fs when Jake over-jumped a large triple and cracker a bone in his ankle on impact. Moss’ racing is over for now but he will be ready for the opening round of MX Nationals at Horsham on March 29.

Monea faired only marginally better as far as Anaheim goes as he didn’t make it to the main program after having to pull out of the event thanks to a ‘niggling injury’ and by all account he will be on deck this coming weekend at Phoenix.

Matt Moss qualified 27th out of the 40 who transferred to the night program (out of 62 hopefuls), finished 10th in his heat (top 4 go straight to main), then finished 16th in his semi (top 5 go straight to main), before being involved in a huge pile up in the LCQ thus ending his night.

Brett Metcalfe qualified 22nd, finished 8th in his heat then went on to win his semi-final ahead of Blake Baggett but in the main event Metty was sitting back around 15th for most of the race before crossing the line in a disappointing 17th.

Chad Reed qualified in 9th before finishing a solid 4th in his heat but a poor start in the main saw Chad back in 12th and he moved up to 9th quickly but couldn’t get by the Mike Alessi/Broc Tickle battle and was passed by Barcia with 8 laps to go so the former champ had to settle for 10th place. 

Reed twittered this after the race: ‘Gotta love going all off season with no issues than showing up at the 1st race and its a disaster Get it outta the way I guess’

Jackson Richardson qualified in 13th before missing out on going directly to the main event by one place with a 10th place finish in his heat and in a stacked LCQ Jackson could only manage a 9th place after a poor start.

See the full Report and Results from Anaheim below but bring on Phoenix where I am sure our guys will fare a lot better.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Wil Hahn went down just a few laps into the first timed qualifying session at round 1 of the AMA Supercross Championships and was immediately transported to a local hospital. Early but unconfirmed reports say that the former 250 Supercross Champion suffered a broken arm.

Euro News

After Stage 2 of the 2015 Dakar Toby Price is sitting in a very impressive 5th outright. It’s a long way to go so let’s cross our fingers for this amazing rider. See the full Report and Results from the first two stages below.

Eight-time FIM Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli has been voted as the Sportsman of the Year in a competition run by popular Italian broadcasting network ‘Sportmediaset’.

Cairoli netted 40% of votes to take the win over the likes of football hero Cristiano Ronaldo, F1 star Lewis Hamilton, Tour De France winner Vincenzo Nibali to name a few.

Race Reports and Results for the Weekend of the 3rd and 4th of December

  • – FIM SuperEnduro Series – Round. 2 – Riesa, Germany
  • – 2014 Australian Solo Speedway Championships – Round 1 – Gillman SA
  • – 2015 Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 1 – Anaheim, California
  • – 2015 X-Trial Championship – Round 1 – Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • – 2015 Dakar Rally

FIM SuperEnduro Series – Round. 2 – Riesa, Germany

Red Bull KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak was in solid form on Saturday to take his second overall win in the FIM SuperEnduro series in Rd. 2 at Riesa, Germany. The Polish rider led in a three-way KTM podium sweep with David Knight in second and KTM factory rider Jonny Walker of Britain in third.

Blazusiak, a Red Bull athlete heavily supported by 10,000 enthusiastic fans also won the Holeshot Award to round off a good night on the track at the SachsenArena in Riesa. He finished with a 1-3-2 result in his three races and now leads the championship by 13 points after two of the six rounds. Taddy was riding the KTM 300 EXC 2-stroke.

While British rider David Knight, now back on a KTM, was in consistent form picking up a 2-1-3 result, Walker, after winning the SuperPole early in the evening, got stronger as the evening went on, picking up a win in the final of three races to boost his points for the evening. Walker, also a Red Bull athlete said later: “Another roller coaster night in SuperEnduro but all came good in the last race and I finally took a win. Hopefully this is a turning point.”

KTM Enduro Factory Team Manager Fabio Farioli said it had been a good night for his riders. “Taddy and Jonny were a bit unlucky in the second heat, which starts in reverse order. They both got tangled with back markers at the start and Taddy was only able to scramble back to third after he crashed right at the start.”

It was also a solid night out for KTM riders from the US with Taylor Robert taking a fourth overall and Cody Webb finishing sixth. Both are adjusting well to the smaller more compact tracks in Europe and can expect to get stronger as the season progresses.

Overall Results (individual race results): 1, Taddy Blazusiak POL, KTM 54 points (1-3-2). 2, David Knight, GBR, KTM 53 (2-1-3). 3, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM 46 (6-4-1). 4, Taylor Robert, USA, KTM, 39 (4-2-7). 5, Alfredo Gomez, ESP, Husqvarna 35 (3-9-4). 6, Cody Webb, USA KTM 31 (5-7-5).

Overall Standings after Rd 2: 1, Blazusiak 116, KTM. 2, Knight 103, KTM. 3, Walker 81, KTM. 4, Robert 69, KTM

5, Webb 68, KTM. 6, Gomez, 67, Husqvarna.

Superpole: 1, Walker, KTM. 2, Blazusiak, KTM. 3, Knight, KTM. 4, Webb, KTM. 5, Gomez, Husqvarna

Round 3 of the series will Helsinki, Finland Feb. 1, 2015

Taddy Blazusiak took the win in Germany
Taddy Blazusiak took the win in Germany

2015 Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 1 – Anaheim, California

Ken Roczen came through with flying colours and scored his second consecutive Anaheim 1 victory and in the process giving RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns Suzuki its first Monster Energy Supercross victory. Roczen took the lead early on the first lap and pulled away to a convincing 4.199 margin of victory. It marked his third-career AMA Supercross victory and gives him the early lead in the championship chase.

While Roczen was the big story, almost equal news was the standout ride turned in by Jason Anderson in his 450 Supercross debut. Anderson, the only rookie to qualify straight out of his Heat race, got a solid start in third, promptly got by Andrew Short on the second lap and went on to look totally comfortable en route to his runner-up finish. It was an amazing return to Supercross racing for Husqvarna, after the Rockstar Energy-backed squad Anderson rides for switched from running KTMs in 2014.

Third at Anaheim 1 went to Team Honda’s Trey Canard. Canard charged hard all night after a lackluster start that saw him running eighth in the early going. Showing the experience of a veteran, Canard never hit the panic button, but instead put his head down and worked his way past a slew of talented riders including the likes of Davi Millsaps, Eli Tomac, Ryan Dungey, holeshot winner Mike Alessi and Andrew Short.

“I was bummed on the start. I felt like I had a little bit more I could have given if I had started with Kenny, but I think overall a good night. I can’t be too bummed. I’m really excited about leaving with a third and healthy after the first round,” said Cannard.

Dungey and Short had nearly a race-long battle that concluded with former series champ Dungey getting the nod late in the race over fellow KTM rider while Justin Barcia took sixth ahead Weston Peick, Broc Tickle, Mike Alessi and Chad Reed who rounded out the top 10 finishers.

Roczen was happy with his ride. “My team has been doing a great job and I adapted to the bike pretty quick,” said Roczen, who was named Cycle News Rider of the Year for 2014 last month. “It felt awesome. It feels good to get the first one out of the way and everything went as planned. I felt like I had a solid ride out there.”

For second-place Anderson, he sounded like he expected to be on the podium. “I put in the work and I felt solid out there,” he said. “I’m pretty stoked on how everything went tonight. I’m just looking forward to more of this as the season goes on. I’m just going to try to be solid all season and hopefully come out with good results. I’m pumped about putting Husqvarna up there and Rockstar Energy. I just thank everybody who’s been behind me. It’s been good.”

Behind Anderson, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett was second among the highly-talented 2015 rookie class. He recovered from a conservative start and steadily chipped away to end up 12th, just behind a torrid Chad Reed/Jake Weimer battle. The other high-profile rookies Cole Seely and Dean Wilson finished 14th and 15th.

Eli Tomac, whose evening started on a high note as the fastest qualifier, ended up having a hard endo crash on lap three, landing on his head and then being pounded by his own motorcycle. “Great day that just didn’t finish as we had hoped,” said Tomac, who easily won his heat. “The GEICO Honda was so good and the riding was effortless. It was just some bad racing luck in the main that cost us a top finish. Starts are everything and I thought I was on my way to a holeshot in the main, but a bike came in from the outside and pushed a wave of bikes over. We all fell into place, but there were a lot of bikes pushing up front and I ended up crashing. I got back up and was making up ground feeling like I could catch up, but I had a bigger crash two laps later and that pretty much ended it for me.” Tomac finished 20th.

Former Anaheim 1 winner Davi Millsaps was battling up in the top five when he toppled off the whoops into the tuff blocks and crashed. He was up, but quickly crashed again, ending his shot at a strong opener. He was 19th.

450SX Results:

1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki

2. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna

3. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda

4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM

5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM

6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha

7. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha

8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki

9. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki

10. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki

17. Brett Metcalfe Suzuki RM-Z450

450SX Class Season Standings

1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 25

2. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 22

3. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 20

4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 18

5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 16

6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha,15

7. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 14

8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 13

9. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki, 12

10. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 11

17. Brett Metcalfe Suzuki RM-Z450, 4

Roczen carries a three-point lead into Phoenix next weekend - Photo Credit: Simon Cudby
Roczen carries a three-point lead into Phoenix next weekend – Photo Credit: Simon Cudby

Western Regional 250SX Class Report

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil KTM’s Jessy Nelson broke through for his first victory in the first Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event of the season at Angel Stadium. Nelson captured the Holeshot Award ahead of GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne.

The advantage Nelson garnered with the holeshot proved to be all he needed as he went on to lead all 15 laps of the Main Event and secure the first victory of his career in his 16th career start. “This is a great way to start season and hopefully there’s more to come,” said Nelson, who became the 97th different 250SX Class Main Event winner in history. “It was a great night and I can’t complain. I think the team’s switch to KTM has been huge and I think it’s a big part of this. This [win] is just a big shock.”

Behind Nelson, Osborne asserted himself into second and ultimately maintained the runner-up spot throughout the entirety of the Main Event. “I felt good all day and I was feeling good on the bike. Things were going well, and then in the heat race I had an unfortunate run-in with another rider [Tyler Bowers] and fractured my thumb. I gutted out the rest of the night. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to line up for the LCQ, but I ended up winning it. Then I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the main, and I got second in the main. It’s an awesome feeling to salvage what I did.”

The battle for third, however, became a three-rider showdown in the early stages between Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen, Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers.

Hill was able to make the move past Hansen for the position on lap four and Bowers followed suit a short time later. Hill appeared to have a comfortable margin over Bowers, but the reigning four-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion closed the gap and eventually made the pass on Lap 10, carrying it through to the finish to claim the final spot on the podium.

Amazingly Osborne raced with a broken left thumb, suffered in a crash earlier in the evening.

Nelson sits three points ahead of Osborne in the Western Regional 250SX Class standings and five points ahead of Bowers.

Western Regional 250SX Class Results: Anaheim

1. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM

2. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Husqvarna

3. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki

4. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM

5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha

6. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM

7. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha

8. Alex Martin, Millville., Minn., Yamaha

9. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki

10. Michael Leib, Menifee, Calif., Honda

Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings:

1. Justin Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 25

2. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., KTM, 22

3. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 20

4. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM, 18

5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha, 16

6. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 15

7. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 14

8. Alex Martin, Millville., Minn., Yamaha, 13

9. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki, 12

10. Michael Leib, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 11

Monster Energy Supercross continues next weekend with its second stop of the 17-race season from Phoenix.

Nelson earned the first 250SX Class win of his career - Photo Credit: Simon Cudby
Nelson earned the first 250SX Class win of his career – Photo Credit: Simon Cudby

2015 X-Trial Championship – Round 1 – Sheffield, United Kingdom

Eight times world champion Toni Bou’s unbeaten spell continued in the indoor competition after the Spaniard posted his twenty-seventh consecutive triumph in the discipline at round 1 of the 2015 X-Trial World Championship held in Sheffield, UK last weekend.

As the 2015 X-Trial World Championship got underway, the adversaries of Toni Bou were forced to witness a high-level display that they were unable to match in any moment of the event. By the end of a first lap that took in six sections, Bou was leading the scoreboard, and making an exhibition of his extraordinary style onboard his Montesa Cota 4RT, clearly showing that possessing the lengthiest tally of triumphs in the sport’s history, has in no way diminished his appetite for winning.

A fairly demanding final lap, saw Bou once again in command, although picking up a five-point foot-fault in one of the sections meant repeating the same score as the first time round. This, however, ended up working to his advantage when all the champ’s rivals dropped points on the obstacle too.

The result propels the Repsol Honda Team rider to the top of the competition’s leader-board. “I’m really pleased about how the year has begun. I was a little nervous and wanted to start off aggressively. I think I did really well. We’ve worked really hard over the last few months of the year, and I’m really happy with the work that we’ve got done, and the way it all went today, with a very strong ride.”

Round Results: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 1; 2: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 10; 3: Adam Raga (GasGas-ESP) 11; 4: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 12; 5: Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco-FRA) 18; 6: James Dabill (Vertigo-GBR) 20; 7: Michael Brown (Gas Gas-GBR) 26; 8: Eddie Karlsson (Honda-SWE) 30.

Championship Standings: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 20 Pts. 2: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 15 Pts. 3: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 12 Pts. 4: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 9 Pts. 5: Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco-FRA) 6 Pts. 6: James Dabill (Vertigo-GBR) 4 Pts. 7: Michael Brown (Gas Gas-GBR) 2 Pts. 8: Eddie Karlsson (Honda-SWE) 1 Pts.

Next 2015 X-Trial World Championship outing is to be held in Marseille on January 31.

Toni Bou was in a class of his own
Toni Bou was in a class of his own

2014 Australian Solo Speedway Championships – Round 1 – Gillman SA

Jason Doyle has got his Australian Speedway Championship assault underway in in the best possible fashion with a dominant performance at the opening round held at Gillman in South Australia last weekend.

Round 2 was held yesterday at Mildura (VIC) and am awaiting results while round 3 will be held at Undera (VIC) on Jan 7 with the final round being held at Kurri Kurri (NSW) on Jan 10 so I will have the full report and results next week.

Round 1 B Final: 1. Justin Sedgmen. 2. Max Fricke. 3. Chris Holder . 4. Josh Grajczonek.

Round 1 Final: 1. Jason Doyle. 2. Justin Sedgmen. 3. Rohan Tungate . 4. Dakota North.

Championship Standings After Round 1 of 4: 1. Jason Doyle (NSW) 18 Pts. 2. Rohan Tungate (NSW) 16 Pts. 3. Dakota North (Vic) 14 Pts. 4. Josh Grajczonek (Qld) 11 Pts. 5. Justin Sedgmen (Vic) 14 Pts. 6. Max Fricke (Vic) 10 Pts. 7. Chris Holder (NSW) 8 Pts. 8. Tyson Nelson (Qld) 8 Pts. 9. Sam Masters (NSW) 8 Pts. 10. Jake Allen (Qld) 6 Pts. 11. Jack Holder (NSW) 6 Pts. 12. Kieran Sproule (NSW) 3 Pts. 13. Brodie Waters (Vic) 3 Pts. 14. Joey Ringwood (NSW) 2 Pts. 15. Jack Fallon (Vic) 2 Pts. 16. Josh Coyne (Qld) 1 Pts.

2015 Dakar Rally – Stages 1 and 2 – Argentina

Stage 1 – Jan 4: The 2015 Dakar Rally officially got underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday, January 4, and after the first stage, Red Bull KTM Factory Rally rider Sam Sunderland of Great Britain is showing the way. Seasoned Dakar veteran Paolo Goncalves of Honda’s HRC squad followed in a close second place, only five seconds behind, while Sunderland’s KTM teammate and accomplished champion Marc Coma riding patiently in third after day one. Goncalves’ HRC teammate Joan Barreda finished fourth on the day aboard his CRF450 RALLY, followed by Sherco-mounted Alain Duclos of France in fifth.

Riders took to the streets of Buenos Aires among thousands of fans watching the racers take to the 5600-mile (9000km) course that will take them through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia over the next two weeks. The opening stage was a short one at just over 100 miles (175km), followed by a sizeable liaison section of over 300 miles (nearly 500km).

Although KTM’s Sunderland is happy to take the early lead, the young Brit remains realistic about his expectations after day one.

“It’s difficult to judge your strategy based on the first day because you still don’t know who’s pulled out all the stops,” Sunderland said. “It’s also important not to go all in; you’ve got to leave something for the other stages. However, I think I had a good special and that’s always a reason to be happy. I’m a contender for the first day… I hope I’m also a contender at the end but there’s still a long road before us.”

Goncalves shares the sentiment, saying, “The first special served as a good warm-up. It went well, with a second place, which was great. But it’s a very long and hard rally. You must have great teamwork, be very focused, not make any mistakes and keep the mechanical and physical aspect in as good shape as possible, as this is not only a very long race, but a very tough one, too.”

Riders know that the Dakar Rally “gets serious” on Monday for stage two, which will take them from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, Argentina in the longest stage of the rally. Riders will face hard, rough terrain in the beginning, dusty sections in the middle and end the day in the first dunes of the rally.

Toby Price finished 11th overall and posted this on Instgram. “Today went really well, I’m still just learning at the moment and the navigation wasn’t to hard today, we ended up 11th today after the first stage so I’m stoked! Tomorrow is the longest stage of the @dakarrally 518km, the first 300km look a little tricky but fairly fast with some technical navigation sections judging from my road book. I hope everyone is well back home in Australia!”

Rider Humphrey Sennvanbasel fell and was taken to the medical bivouac with a traumatic brain injury.

Standings After Stage 1: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR) – 1h18m57s. 2. Paulo Gonvcalves (PRT) +00:00:05. 3. Marc Coma (ESP) +00:01:12. 4. Joan Barreda (ESP) +00:01:41. 5. Alain Duclos (FRA) +00:02:08. 6. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL) +00:02:16. 7. David Casteu (FRA) +00:02:36. 8. Matthias Walkner (AUT) +00:02:42. 9. Pablo Quntanilla (CHL) +00:02:58. 10. Ruben Faria (PRT) +00:03:02. 11. Toby Price (AUS) +00:03:31. 84. LLewellyn Sullivan-Pavey (AUS) +00:22:04. 85. Simon Pavey (AUS) +00:22:10. 129. Clayton Jacobsen (AUS) +00:36:05.

Stage 2 – Jan 5: After a careful first stage, Joan Barreda has made a big impression today by winning his 11th stage on the Dakar with a fine lead over his rivals which is synonymous with first place in the general standings. A steady performance from Paulo Gonçalves, 6 minutes behind at the finish nonetheless, helps the Portuguese to consolidate his provisional second place.

“I am really happy. Today was amazing. It was really hard, really tough in the last part of special with a lot of tracks and a lot of bumps and it was so physical. But today was one of these days where it is important to get to the finish and we’ve got here so we are really happy,” said Barreda. “I was alone in some parts, but the most important was to remain calm over the first kilometres and finally we did a really good job. I think it’s a good opportunity for victory but the race is really close, so if we can perform like today and gain some minutes and seconds, then it’s very important”.

Perfectly on the pace until the end of the special, Marc Coma had to ease off in the last 60 kilometres due to a tyre that didn’t last the distance on this long special stage. By riding at 60 kmph to avoid any further mishaps, the Spaniard has lost more than 12 minutes on the day’s winner. “We know that today was a very tough day. We started in the morning with a good feeling, not pushing too hard because we knew it was a long day. But on the other side, I felt that 60 km from the end my rear tyre was finished and I started to ride no faster than 60 kmph, no faster than that. Ok, we lost some time today, but at the end I’m lucky because normally I could have stayed stuck in the desert all the day”.

Both participating in their first Dakar, Toby Price and Matthias Walkner are perhaps future candidates for victory. The Australian and Austrian rider both finished in the day’s top 6 on completion of a stage which did not particularly appear likely to smile on debutants.

Stage 1 winner Sam Sunderland spent more than two hours trying to find the correct route and eventually finished the stage in 72nd place, 2.26 hours behind Barreda.



Joan Barreda Bort takes the lead of Dakar 2015 on stage two
Joan Barreda Bort takes the lead of Dakar 2015 on stage two
Toby Price pictured before Dakar. He moved up to fifth outright after a great stage two
Toby Price pictured before Dakar. He moved up to fifth outright after a great stage two