Moto News Weekly Wrap

July 28, 2015 by Darren Smart

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Australasian News

Price Racks Up Another AORC Title: After round 10 of the AORC was finished at Kyogle last weekend Toby Price ended up with a 55 point lead in the championship and with two rounds remaining has been crowned the AORC Champion for the fifth time.

Price took second place on Saturday behind Chris Hollis but the KTM star dominated the Sunday round. “We’re stoked.” Said Price. “That’s the result we were looking for, and we had a good weekend. Saturday I didn’t quite fire into gear straight away and there were a few mistakes. We weren’t allowed to walk the track and it was meant to be cross country, but it ended up being sprints, so I came in not too prepared on Saturday and it took me a little bit to get going. But we still had a pretty good result finishing second yesterday and coming away with the win today and my fifth Australian off-road championship is just a dream come true.”

Toby Price wraps up fifth AORC title
Toby Price wraps up fifth AORC title

2015 Australian Supercross Championship Info: Motorcycling Australia has offered more information regarding the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship and 2015 Arena X Series with entry forms now available on the ‘Supp Regs’ page of the MA website.

The six-round Supercross Championship will be held in four states and will feature SX1 (450), SX2 (250), SXD (250) and Junior classes. This year’s edition of the Championship will also feature the Arena X Series, which will run alongside the Supercross in Rounds 1 and 6 respectively.

Who Wants to Race the Motocross of Nations?: Motorcycling Australia is now calling for applications from riders to be part of the Australian team for the 2015 Motocross of Nations (MXoN) to be held in Ernee, France on 27 September, 2015. I hope someone sends a couple of application forms over to Todd Waters and Dean Ferris.

Tasmanian Motocross Championships: Round 4 of the Tassie Champs were held at Oatlands last weekend and young Jonte Reynders won the Senior Lites class while Baylee Davies won the Senior Open class.

Victorian Motocross Championships: Round 4 of the Vic champs were held at Albury last weekend and it was Luke Clout who took out the Pro-Lites class ahead of Jed Beaton and Wilson Todd while Dylan Long took the Pro-Open class win ahead of Ross Beaton and Tomas Ravenhorst.  Former factory riders Troy Dorron and Craig Rutherford went toe-to-toe in the over 40s class with Dorron taking the overall.

WAMX Senior State Championships: The Beverley Districts Motorcycle Club hosted the latest round of the WAMX champs and it was Jayden Rykers who took out the MX2 class ahead of his arch rival Connor Tierney while Dean Porter took the MX1 round win ahead of Robbo Lovett and Tierney.

Jayden Rykers took out the MX2 class ahead of his arch rival Connor Tierney
Jayden Rykers took out the MX2 class ahead of his arch rival Connor Tierney

2015 Capel Enduro: 109 riders turned up for the annual Capel Enduro held just south of Bunbury, WA and this year Justin Parker took out the win by finishing just 13 seconds ahead of Max Vlasich who in turn just pipped Jesse Lawton for the runner up spot

Golden Beach Six-Hour: The famous Kooweerup & District Motorcycle Club hosted the annual Golden Beach Six-Hour held near Sale last weekend and the only news through so far is that Sherco rider Justin Carafa won the Ironman class by a country mile.

American News

Riders Back from Injury: Washougal saw the return from injury for Trey Canard, Andrew Short, Martin Davalos, Michael Leib, Austin Politelli and we finally got to see for GP star Arnoud Tonus in action.

Canard carded 8-9 moto results for a credible 8th overall while Short could only manage 19-13 moto results but that was well ahead of Politelli who spent the whole weekend just inside the top 40 (out of 40).

Davalos struggled to 20-17 moto finishes while Leib only rode one session before calling at a day but the sensation had to be Tonus who scored third in moto one before crashing out of contention in moto two.

Mellross Sits Out Washougal: Financial restraints saw Aussie Harden Mellross sit out Washougal but by all account the Honda privateer will be in action over the final three rounds of the series (August 8 – Unadilla, NY, August 15 – Miller Motorsports, UT and August 22 – Crawfordsville, IN)

Alessi SHOULD HAVE Sat out Washougal: Transient motocrosser Mike Alessi turned up to Washougal for his first AMA Motocross National for the year and could only manage 29-19 moto finishes while his teammate Vince Friese carded 10-10 moto results for 11th outright.

Jarryd McNeil’s Washougal Experience: Aussie Jarryd McNeil took a little time off from his busy Freestyle commitments to have a crack at Washougal and was able to score 28th overall with 26-30 finishes.

Russell Gets Beaten Again: After getting beaten by Aussie Daniel Milner last weekend in South Carolina, Kailub Russell finished a disappointing sixth at round seven of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series held at Cross Fork, Pennsylvania last weekend. Oh yeh, Steward Baylor won the event and is now just 24 points shy of Russell in the points standings with three rounds remaining.

Loretta Underway: By the time you are reading this the annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships will be underway at the famous Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee. If you don’t know the significance of this event you are either very new to the sport of motocross or you have had your head up your bum for the last 34 years. I will have the full results for you next week.

Canadian Motocross Championships: Round 7 of the Canadian Motocross Championships was held Deschambault, Quebec last weekend and Matt Goerke stretched his championship lead in the MX1 class over Brett Metcalfe by to 22 points after going 1-2 over the two motos. Metcalfe carded 3-2 moto scores.  In the MX2 class local hero Kaven Benoit continues to dominate the class with 1-1 finishes and is now 63 points in front if Yank Jimmy Decotis who could only manage 2-6 over the two motos.

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Euro News

Jump Straight OR Else!!!: I just about jumped out of my seat when I witnessed yet another dumb-arse move while watching the Czech Republic GP. Brit Shaun Simpson was in a battle with Todd Waters and as the two crested a very fast drop-off jump Simpson changed lines on take-off right into the front wheel of Waters causing the Aussie to spectacularly hit the deck and DNF the race.

So, this time Waters walks away and is lucky to be able to continue racing but he must be absolutely spewing at the stupidity of Simpson, I know I would be. We are seeing more and more incidents like this happening with riders ‘scrubbing’ jumps right into the line of their fellow competitors and as I have said in the past, IF I get taken out by a rider trying to scrub a jump or by changing lines on a jump face, be he friend or foe, it will be his last ride for the day and more than likely several weeks after – these dickheads need to be accountable for their stupidity!!!

By the way, Simpson went on to score 30 points for the GP while poor ol’ Todd has dropped to 11th in the championship – ‘poor form old chap’!!

Todd Waters
Todd Waters

Herlings OUT for the rest of 2015!! Jeffrey Herlings season is over after crashing out of the MX2 qualifier in the Czech Republic and picking up a hip injury he gave these comments.

“How much bad luck can a person have?? Im out for the season. And guess what? I am HAPPY this season is over!!! F*** 2015!!!!! Now I am gonna heal up. The next couple of months I dont wanna have ANYTHING to do with Motocross anymore. But, I will come back next year. And guess what.. I’m going to beat the shit out of everybody. So for the second year in a row I lost the championship due to injuries. Thank you Pit Beirer for believing in me. I didnt deliver a championship, But I will in the future. Thanks to the rest of the team, and all my sponsors and partners. Sorry, I fighted as long as I could. But I think I had the devil with me the last 369 days !! Seems God hates me. Thanks to my parents and brother and Ruubs and everybody close to me for sticking behind me. Big thanks to my girl she always stayed behind me. I love you so much babe. Sorry for letting everyone down. I just got no words for this.”

Jeffrey Herlings
Jeffrey Herlings

Cairoli OUT for the rest of 2015!! This is incredible, never in the history of the World Motocross Championships has so many title contenders been forced out of contention with injury. First it was Ryan Villopoto, then Clement Desalle and Max Nagl crashed out of the series and now Antonio Cairoli is taking a break from riding to allow his elbow injury to heal. Cairoli sustained a fracture below the left elbow while competing in the MXGP in Maggiora, Italy on the weekend of June 14.

Everts to Suzuki?: With the help of ‘significant investors’, Stefan Everts could well take over from Sylvian Geboers as the owner of the factory Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP team.

Petrov Signs for 2016 and 2017 Seasons: On the back of another top five finish at the Czech Republic GP, the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team announced that Petar Petrov has been confirmed for two more seasons with the team.

Petar Petrov
Petar Petrov

Bou Gets Win Number 75: The seventh round of the Trial World Championship was held at the Stepping Stone Ranch, in Rhode Island, United States last weekend and multi-World Champion and current points leader Toni Bou racked up GP win number 75 with a dominant performance over the two days and now has a massive 34 point lead in the series. The guy is a freak!

Smarty’s Race Reports and Official Results from last Weekend

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World Motocross Championships – Round 13 – Loket, Czech Republic
MX1 Race Report

Romain Febvre grew up racing on hard packed, super slippery tracks and it showed at Loket, the Frenchman was in a class of his own and now leads the championship by 88 points over Gautier Paulin, “I am excited for the title, but I was already happy with third place in MX2 last year, now I am battling for the title in MXGP on my first year. So it is exciting but I know there are still five rounds to go and anything can happen if it’s in training or at the GP, so it’s not finished.”

Romain Febvre
Romain Febvre

Evgeny Bobryshev made the most of his patience and throttle control to earn two second place finishes for second overall. “Romain was on fire today so it was difficult to follow him,” he said, “but I am happy that I had two consistent races because the track was quite tricky in both motos, so I am really happy to go home in one piece and to be on the podium.”

It was a solid return for Clement Desalle who rounded off the podium with his third place in both races. “I am really happy to still be up front but on the other hand I am sad that my championship has gone like this, but I am happy to be back and I am really happy to take a holeshot.”

Clement Desalle
Clement Desalle

Kevin Strijbos rode hard all day to make up for a couple of poor starts for fourth overall while Jeremy Van Horebeek made for three Belgians inside the top five and the third member of the Suzuki team and Latvian GP winner Glen Coldenhoff could only manage 8-11 moto finishes.

Dean Ferris struggled in the opening moto to finish back in 16th place and only managed three laps in the second moto putting pay to a series of solid GPs for the Aussie.

Dean Ferris
Dean Ferris

For the first time this year Todd Waters has dropped out of the top ten in the championship points after spectacularly crashing out of the opening moto while running in 8th place thanks to Shaun Simpson jumping right across the front of the Aussie on a high speed jump. Todd could only manage 13th in moto two after crashing on lap five. “The team’s been working really hard in preparation for this GP – my first on the 2016 Husqvarna. I felt great on the bike and had a good Saturday qualifying race. I didn’t get a great start in the first moto, but was coming through ok. The track was really slippery, so it was easy to get caught out. I was taking my time to get passed riders, and then a rider jumped in front of me. I crashed really hard, that was it for the first moto. I didn’t feel great in the second race after that crash. I fell a few times and ended 13th. It’s disappointing but I’m looking forward to racing in Belgium next weekend.”

Todd Waters
Todd Waters

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 35:06.583; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:09.363; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:12.260; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.651; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.952; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:32.926; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:35.421; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:37.532; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:42.624; 10. Nathan Watson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.118

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 35:24.379; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:05.230; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:07.968; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.308; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:15.326; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:21.997; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:31.230; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +0:34.031; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:36.966; 10. Nathan Watson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:44.246

MXGP Overall: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 50 points; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 44 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 40 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 34 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 28 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 23 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 22 p.; 10. Nathan Watson (GBR, HUS), 22 p. 17. Todd Waters (Aus, Hus), 8 p.: 20. Dean Ferris (Aus, Hus), 5 p.:

MXGP Championship: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 507 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 419 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 389 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 360 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 331 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 306 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 294 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 266 p.; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 257 p. 11. Todd Waters (Aus, Hus), 250 p.: 12. Dean Ferris (Aus, Hus), 189 p.:

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MX2 Race Report

Swiss rider Valentin Guillod threw caution to the wind around the tricky Loket circuit and despite crashing a number of times the Yamaha rider managed to go 1 – 2 and is now tied with Tim Gajser for second in the championships, just 24 points back from Jeffrey Herlings who is out of the 2015 championships.

“I felt good throughout the weekend and the more I rode the better I became and it was the same story in the race,” said Guillod. “I took it easy in the beginning and waited for the track to dry a bit from the watering and when the good lines popped up I started to push really hard. I lost the rear wheel when it slid out of the line in the first moto and had to work to third. On the last lap I tried to pass Jordi and almost made it to Max. My start was better in the second moto and when Max had his crash I had a nice fight with Tim. It felt really good to get that third victory. When I saw that Tim did not take points in the first race then I wanted to push to finish in front of him and get as close as I could in the championship. Now we will see. We have five GPs left and two of those are overseas. I need to make big points every GP. For sure I am thinking about the title and working towards having it at the end of the year.”

Pauls Jonass kept his head and finished an impressive second overall with third and fourth place finishes. “I didn’t expect to be on the podium this weekend because it is hard pack and a lot of guys are fast on the hard tracks, but I put in a lot of work in the winter with Stefan Everts and it’s paying off.”

Pauls Jonass
Pauls Jonass

Jordi Tixier had a tough weekend despite being the fastest time in timed practice but the defending World Champ required stitches after a crash in the qualifying race (he was the one who hit Herlings) but he did bounce back to land on the third step of the podium. “The weekend started well with the pole position in the timed practice session, but then in the qualifying race I crashed and opened a wound on my arm. Later I hit Jeffrey (Herlings) as he was on the ground with no yellow flags. I could finish only nineteenth, and after the race I went to the hospital to have stitches in my arm. In the first GP race I moved to second behind Max (Anstie) and we had a good speed; I was pretty happy to finish third place even though I lost a place on the final lap. In the second race I could never find a place to pass Jonass so I was a little unhappy with my riding, even if I’m finally back on the podium.”

Jordi Tixier
Jordi Tixier

Benoit Paturel and Petar Petrov each put in season best performance to round out the top five in that order.

Max Anstie put in a phenomenal ride in race one for a convincing victory but crashed out of the lead in race two when his hand came off of the handlebars on the approach to the waves which saw him hit the deck hard, whereas Gajser DNF’d the first race after crashing in front of Jeremy Seewer with the ensuing impact damaging Gajser’s Honda beyond repair but he multi GP winner bounced back to lead the second moto and end the race second place.

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), 35:30.895; 2. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:02.493; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.887; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:14.885; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.002; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +0:25.674; 7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.789; 8. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +0:39.944; 9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:41.393; 10. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:45.660.

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), 33:51.527; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:06.630; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:17.841; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.020; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.207; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +0:22.043; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:22.646; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.050; 9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:28.311; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:45.160.

MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 47 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 38 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 36 p.; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 30 p.; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 27 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 25 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 24 p.; 9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 24 p.; 10. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 22 p.

MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 399 p.; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 399 p.; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 389 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 370 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 369 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 337 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 305 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 256 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 236 p.

MX2
MX2
AMA Motocross Championships – Round 9 – Washougal MX Park, Washougal

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450 Moto 1

Justin Barcia took his sixth consecutive holeshot ahead of his teammate Phil Nicoletti who in turn nudged out Christophe Pourcel and Ryan Dungey through the fast first corner. Defending Champ Ken Roczen was left to fight his way forward from a start outside the top 10.

Barcia immediately opened a comfortable margin that would never relinquish while Nicoletti fended off Pourcel and Dungey for a few laps and finally succumbed to their superior speed on lap four. Three laps later Pourcel was passed by Dungey who quickly pulled away, eventually settling into the runner-up spot.

Barcia took his third moto win of the season with a flawless effort, 29.523 seconds ahead of Dungey. Pourcel followed in third while Roczen managed to battle his to seventh.

Barcia was untouchable in the first moto. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Barcia was untouchable in the first moto. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
450 Moto 2

Barcia pulled another holeshot on his 1800cc, Turbo Charged Yamaha (JOKE!) just ahead of Dungey and Vince Friese and as you would expect the two hottest riders in the series established themselves out front with Jason Anderson in third which turned out to be a ninth after a crash at the start of lap two allowing Roczen to take over third.

The lead trio checked out on the field and sat within a handful of seconds of one another for the majority of the moto with Dungey putting the pressure on Barcia for several laps but never close enough to attempt a pass.

Barcia was merciless on the throttle all of the way around the Washougal layout maintaining a torrid pace that allowed him to gradually extend his lead over Dungey, who in turn consistently distanced himself from Roczen.

Despite a third-place finish in Moto 2, Roczen has dropped into a tie for second in 450MX points. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Despite a third-place finish in Moto 2, Roczen has dropped into a tie for second in 450MX points. (Photo: Matt Rice)

And then the inevitable happened, Barcia carried too much speed into a downhill, off-camber turn and tipped over as he attempted to correct his YZ450F. The small bobble allowed Dungey to make the pass for the lead and eventually cross the line 6.757 seconds ahead of Barcia, with Roczen finishing a distant third.

Dungey’s overall win made him the most successful rider in history at Washougal MX Park with seven career wins (combined 450 Class and 250 Class). Barcia took second overall with Pourcel rounded out the podium with 3-5 moto finishes.

Dungey has more wins at Washougal than any other rider. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Dungey has more wins at Washougal than any other rider. (Photo: Matt Rice)

Dungey’s lead in the championship standings now sits at 69 points over Barcia and Roczen, who now sit in a tie for second. “I didn’t have the best practice, but we got a decent start in the first moto. I was able to make some quick passes but there weren’t a lot of lines to make passes. By the time I got into second Barcia was gone,” explained Dungey. “I got another good start in the second moto but couldn’t make the pass on Barcia because he’s riding so good right now. I lost some ground when we hit lappers, but I was able to make up some ground again, then he made a mistake that allowed us to take the win.”

“I think it was a good day, for sure. I’ve gotten starts down so it feels good,” said Barcia. “The first moto was great and we won pretty comfortably. The second moto was a barnburner. I could tell Ryan [Dungey] was behind me, but I was able to keep him behind me and still ride my lines. Then I pretty much just blew it in one turn and gave it away. It hurt [to not win] today. This was the hardest loss for sure because I felt like I had this one, but it was still good.”

Barcia has had plenty of reason to celebrate lately. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Barcia has had plenty of reason to celebrate lately. (Photo: Matt Rice)

Christophe Pourcel had this to say to RacerX: “The day was good. Being on the box is always good. First moto, I got a good start. I was kind of stuck in second place, and Dungey was kind of pushing. He was a little bit faster than me. He made an aggressive pass and I tried to fight back, but I think he was concerned with going after first place. It’s good. Third in the first moto is good. Any time you have the chance to be on the podium for the overall is good. Second moto, I got bad start, and I really had work hard. It felt good. The team is pretty amazing. The bike worked very good. I don’t know why, it was going good for me. Felt good on the bike. Came back fifth, almost fourth. A good fight with Weston Peick. I wish I passed him.”

450 Class Overall: 1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-1). 2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (1-2). 3. Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (3-5). 4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (7-3). 5. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (4-6). 6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (12-4). 7. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda (9-7). 8. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (8-9). 9. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (5-12). 10. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (11-8).

450 Class Championship Standings after Round 9 of 12: 1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 400. 2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha, 331. 3. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 331. 4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 275. 5. Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna, 247. 6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 242. 7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 226. 8. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha, 209. 9. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha, 198. 10. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda, 187.

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250 Moto 1

Christian Craig blasted out of the first corner ahead of his teammate RJ Hampshire who had Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin on his back wheel. Championship leader Jeremy Martin completed the opening lap in 16th.

By lap two Craig had opened a margin of over five seconds on the field but crashed out of the lead on a muddy downhill left hand corner which allowed Webb to take control of the moto ahead of Musquin, Euro Arnaud Tonus and Craig.

Christian Craig (68) pulled the holeshot in the first moto, but a fall knocked him out of the lead a few laps later. (Photo: George Crosland)
Christian Craig (68) pulled the holeshot in the first moto, but a fall knocked him out of the lead a few laps later. (Photo: George Crosland)

The top three riders sat within a few seconds of one another for the majority of the moto, but Webb and Musquin soon pulled ahead in what became a thrilling showdown for the win. As the leaders encountered lapped traffic, Musquin closed in on Webb’s rear fender and was able to make an aggressive pass for the lead on Lap 10.

Webb and Musquin were both forced to remove their goggles yet they battled tooth and nail and going into the final lap there was less than a bike length between them but lapped riders forced Webb to alter his line in the slowest part of the track, almost sending him to the ground and allowing Musquin to open a small gap that he carried through to the finish. Webb was second, 2.305 seconds back, with Tonus hanging on for third. Martin managed to work his way into the top 10, finishing ninth.

Webb gave Musquin a verbal spray after the first moto saying that the KTM riders was riding dirty and that he was going to knock him down in the second moto – here is what Musquin said about the incident to RacerX: “I heard the “F” word when he walked by me on his way back to the pits. But I know Coop. I don’t know him really that well, but I know him enough to know that he can be crazy sometimes. That’s racing, and then you realize that maybe it was stupid to say stuff like that. And then he apologized to me after the second moto. Obviously he was happy to win the overall—getting that win calmed him after the second moto. But it’s exciting for the fans and for the championship, too.”

Webb has embraced the role of spoiler in the 250 Class since returning from injury. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Webb has embraced the role of spoiler in the 250 Class since returning from injury. (Photo: Matt Rice)

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250 Moto 2

Martin grabbed the holeshot ahead of Webb, Daniel Baker and Musquin but Webb wasted no time and passed Martin immediately for the lead and took control of the moto on the opening lap. Musquin asserted himself into third shortly thereafter and looked to pressure Martin for second.

Webb established nearly a three-second lead after the completion of the first lap, but Martin slowly chipped away at the deficit and less than a second separated the teammates when the moto reached its halfway point. The Yamaha duo paced one another with near identical lap times and the distance between them stabilized before Webb picked up the pace in the late stages of the moto. As soon as Webb appeared to have the upper hand Martin fought back, and when the two riders hit lapped traffic Martin took advantage of an opportunity to make a pass and snuck by at the slowest section of the track.

With just a few laps remaining Martin crashed out of the lead and lost multiple positions as he attempted to restart his Yamaha. Webb reclaimed the lead with Musquin charging hard in second. Martin resumed in fourth, but quickly passed his rookie teammate Aaron Plessinger to move into third. Webb capitalized on Martin’s late error to take the moto win by 5.063 seconds, with Musquin finishing off a good day in points in second. Martin recovered to finish third.

When the overall results were tallied Webb (2-1) and Musquin (1-2) sat tied for the overall win with identical moto scores, but Webb’s second moto triumph awarded him the tiebreaker and second straight victory. Aaron Plessinger earned his first career overall podium finish in third (5-4). Craig finished fourth overall (4-5), while Martin’s late crash dropped him to fifth (9-3).

Webb and Martin battled for the lead throughout the second moto. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Webb and Martin battled for the lead throughout the second moto. (Photo: Matt Rice)

“The day was good and we were able to make some good changes after practice that really helped,” said Webb. “I got a good start in the first moto and led most of it, but had a goggle issue that allowed Marvin to get around me. We came up short there, but got another good start in the second moto and made our way around Jeremy early. He was able to get around me, but made a mistake that put us on top of the box. I feel like I’ve been a competitor every race and I’m proving I can win.”

Musquin’s runner-up effort gave him 15 points on Martin and now just four points separate the two riders in the 250 Class championship standings with three races remaining. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne, who finished ninth (7-11), sits third, 116 points back.

“It felt good to be myself today. The last two races have been tough with my [injured] wrist, but this week was really great and I came into Washougal with a lot of confidence,” said Musquin. “I went 1-1 here last year and I wanted to do that again today. The first moto was tough because it was easy to make mistakes, but I was able to win. In the second moto I made too many mistakes early, but we finished second and it ended up being a really good day for the championship.”

250 Class Overall: 1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (2-1). 2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (1-2). 3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (5-4). 4. Christian Craig, Plymouth, Minn., Honda (4-5). 5. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (9-3). 6. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (6-8). 7. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (11-6). 8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM (8-9). 9. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (7-11). 10. Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Kawasaki (3-20).

250 Class Championship Standings after Round 9 of 12: 1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 375. 2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 371. 3. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna, 259. 4. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki, 240. 5. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 233. 6. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 233. 7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha, 203. 8. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 181. 9. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki, 178. 10. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 174.

Martin will hold the red plate for a third consecutive round at Unadilla, but the title fight is still up in the air. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Martin will hold the red plate for a third consecutive round at Unadilla, but the title fight is still up in the air. (Photo: Matt Rice)

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Speedway World Championship – Round 6 – Sweden

The 2015 Speedway World Championships is quickly becoming a two-man race after triple world champion Nicki Pedersen and 2013 champion Tai Woffinden going 1-2 and tying on points at last weekend’s Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix.

Pedersen picked up his second SGP win of the season at Malilla’s G&B Arena after seeing off the hard-charging Woffinden in the final while Swedish wild card Antonio Lindback and Slovenian Matej Zagar finished a distant third and fourth.

Pedersen and Woffinden tied on 17 points and with six rounds remaining Woffinden remains nine points clear at the top of the table while defending champion Greg Hancock had a shocker in Sweden to score only nine points and is now a distant 13 points back from Pedersen and 22 points back from Woffinden.

Pedersen is not the most popular rider among his fellow competitors and his post-race speech shows why. “I had the speed and thought I could make a good first and second corner. I did and I won it.” Pedersen said. “I could feel Tai there. He’s going in the right direction and he’s fast. He is not the best gater in the world, but he makes good cutbacks and things like that. At the moment, the luck is going his way.”

“But I’m just enjoying myself and scoring my points. It’s still a long season and I’m in for the battle. It’s my second Grand Prix win of the year, and it’s definitely enjoyable. It’s hard to pull away or pull back points, but it is still a long season. We’re halfway. It would have been nice to get a couple of points on him in Malilla, but I scored what I needed to and that’s what counts. A win on top of that is good publicity. It’s good for the team and it’s good for me.”

“This year we’ve worked hard. We’re still not there 100 percent, but we’ll get there eventually,” Pedersen added. “The equipment suits me a little bit better this year and I’m enjoying my life better. My team is definitely working hard. They’re doing a great job. We’ll try and lift it better and better and better at every Grand Prix. If I feel something, I tell the boys what we can do better. I can be a hard boss sometimes, but they learn from me every day, which is nice.”

Runner-up Woffinden was pleased to leave Malilla with a hatful of points after being dogged by illness this week. “I’ve felt pretty ill all week. I’ve had a cold and I ate some bad chicken in Poland last week, so I haven’t felt the best. So to come here and ride like I have done, feeling like that, is a great achievement for me. I’m looking forward to the next meeting.” The championship leader said. “Everybody knows how long the season is. I just have to keep my head down and keep focused.”

Woffinden also paid tribute to the army of volunteers in Malilla, who worked wonders to remove the track covers and prepare the world-class race track the G&B Arena is famous for after torrential afternoon downpours. He said: “Full credit to the people who worked here, I woke up and saw rain and it was coming down heavily throughout the day, so to even get this meeting on was an achievement. Congratulations to them; it proved to be a good race track.”

Third-placed Lindback saluted the Swedish fans who braved heavy rain and a delayed start to cheer him on to the rostrum. “I want to be back in the GP. I want to be world champion, so I hope I can qualify for next year. I will do my best.” Lindback said. “It was a great night. The fans were amazing. I could hear them every time I went out. I loved it.”

It wasn’t a bad night for the Aussie contingent with Jason Doyle leading the way with three wins from six rides for 11 points while Chris Holder got two wins for 10 points but Troy Batchelor couldn’t pull a trick all night to score two points.

Swedish SGP Overall: 1. Nicki Pedersen – 17 Pts. 2. Tai Woffinden – 17 Pts. 3. Antonio Lindback – 14 Pts. 4. Matej Zagar – 13 Pts. 5. Jason Doyle – 11 Pts. 6. Chris Holder – 10 Pts. 7. Niels-Kristian Iversen – 10 Pts. 8. Greg Hancock – 9 Pts. 9. Maciej Janowski – 8 Pts. 10. Michael Jepsen Jensen – 7 Pts. 15. Troy Batchelor – 2 Pts.

SGP Points after Round 6 of 12: 1. Tai Woffinden – 80 Pts. 2. Nicki Pedersen – 71 Pts. 3. Greg Hancock – 58 Pts. 4. Matej Zagar – 53 Pts. 5. Niels-Kristian Iversen – 53 Pts. 6. Chris Holder – 51 Pts. 7. Jason Doyle – 48 Pts. 8. Maciej Janowski – 46 Pts. 9. Michael Jepsen Jensen – 41 Pts. 10. Andreas Jonsson – 38 Pts. 13. Troy Batchelor – 30 Pts.

Nicki Pedersen wins Swedish FIM Speedway GP
Nicki Pedersen wins Swedish FIM Speedway GP

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