Moto News Wrap for April 18, 2017 by Darren Smart
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Latest News
  • Tomac, Dungey and Reed – three round to go!
  • Christian Craig to compete Team Honda HRC for Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Mark Willingham announced as Australian Team Manager for World Junior MX
  • MX Nationals hit Appin this weekend
  • Luke Clout confident heading to Appin
  • 2017 Casey Stoner Cup
  • Gatorback to Host USGP
  • Strong Pre-Entry list for the 92nd edition of the FIM ISDE
  • Australian ISDE Team update, support request 
  • Hellsten to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna
  • Knee injury rules Max Anstie out of Italian MXGP
  • KTM’s Junior Program shines at Wonthaggi 
This Week’s Race Reports
  • FIM World Motocross Championships – Round 5 – Piatramurata Trentino
  • World Two-Stroke Championships – Glen Helen, CA
  • 2017 Horizon Power Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash Race Report

Tomac, Dungey and Reed – Three Round to Go!

If I told you at the beginning of the 2017 AMA Supercross Championship that Eli Tomac and Ryan Dungey would be tied on points after 14 rounds you would have thought I was back on the Rum and Cokes.

Well, here we are with just three rounds to go and we have the top two riders sitting on 294 points each with Dungey only winning three main events to Tomac’s eight wins.

Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac

So over the next three weekends we have Salt Lake City, New Jersey and Las Vegas and it would be a brave man to bet against Dungey who despite not winning a race since February is unbelievably consistent, or Tomac’s blazing speed and form. We are just waiting to see who will falter or shine, either way, the final three rounds are going to be barn-burners!

Ryan Dungey
Ryan Dungey

And, this could be the final three races of Chad Reed’s career so let’s hope that CR22 can put his Yamaha on the podium at least once over the next three weekends.

Reed made his long-awaited return to the podium. Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Chad Reed – Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
2017 AMA Supercross 450 Points Standing after 14 of 17 Rounds
  1. Eli Tomac (Kaw) – 294
  2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) – 294
  3. Marvin Musquin (KTM) – 252
  4. Cole Seely (Hon) – 211
  5. Jason Anderson (Hus) – 208
  6. Blake Baggett (KTM) – 177
  7. Davi Millsaps (KTM) – 176
  8. Broc Tickle (Suz) – 158
  9. Dean Wilson (Hus) – 147
  10. Chad Reed (Yam) – 143

Christian Craig to compete Team Honda HRC for Salt Lake City, Utah

Team Honda HRC announced today that Christian Craig will ride a factory-prepped CRF450R at round 15 of the AMA Supercross series in Salt Lake City, Utah. The substitution is for one race only, as Craig will rejoin GEICO Honda to finish out the 250SX East series, in which he currently sits sixth in points.

Craig Christian
Christian Craig

However, the Salt Lake City race serves as an opportunity for Craig to get a head start on preparing for the AMA Pro Motocross series, the entirety of which the Californian will spend with the factory squad. A final decision has yet to be made on participation at Salt Lake City by Cole Seely, who pulled out of the last round with a groin injury.

Craig Christian will fill in for Ken Roczen for the Utah AMA SX round
Christian Craig will fill in for Ken Roczen for the Utah AMA SX round
Craig Christian

“I’m really excited to debut on the Honda CRF450R this weekend in Salt Lake. The only time I’ve ridden a 450 in supercross was at Monster Cup in 2012 and 2015. I’ll only have three days on the supercross bike going into the weekend, so my expectations are to have fun and try my best to put in some good results for the team. I’m thankful for this opportunity that HRC has given me.”

Mark Willingham announced as Australian Team Manager for World Junior MX

Motorcycling Australia has announced Mark Willingham as the Australian Team Manager for the 2017 FIM World Junior Motocross Championship, which is to be held at Lange Motokeskus in Estonia on the July 30, 2017. Willingham has extensive experience as previous Team Manager in the past and should be well suited to the demanding role.

Mark Willingham

“It’s fantastic really, I last took the role on in 2012 for Bulgaria which was a really challenging, yet successful event. I decided to take a break after that one as I was just starting out at a new job, plus my wife was pregnant, so the priorities obviously had to head in that direction. I haven’t been to the last four events, so it has been a while, and I have missed it. Glenn Macdonald was doing a fantastic job and now he’s decided its time for him to take a break too. If I’m completely honest, I did take a little while to be sure I wanted to put my application in. I had the discussion at home and work, to make sure everything was going to be ok for me to go ahead. Now that I’ve been confirmed as Team Manager, I’m really looking forward to it. We have seen a solid amount of riders that have represented Australia at these events over the years receive excellent opportunities both at home and abroad, partly, if not mostly, due to their achievements at the World Junior Motocross Championships. Any rider in a position to be able to attend should be applying, you never know what may happen!”

Caleb Grothues with Team Manager Mark Willingham after he won the championship in Bulgaria in 2012
Caleb Grothues with Team Manager Mark Willingham after he won the championship in Bulgaria in 2012

“I feel we’re in a really good place as a team this year, as we are able to have a mixture of riders based here in Australia plus some now based in Europe. It’s definitely important to make sure junior riders from Australia are able to represent their country well, while also learning all they can from the experience. On the flip side, it’s fantastic that we have some European based riders who already have experience with the culture and riders that can be expected at the event, and they will be able to assist the group from their experiences too. Essentially for the Australian based riders in particular, we’ll need to get there a few days prior to the event to have a solid practice session to shake out some travel nerves and make sure they’re all happy with the bike set ups. When it comes to any rider preparations between now and then, it’s mostly making sure they are getting themselves ready for the race duration, track conditions and climate. It’s more of a supportive role, we can offer any assistance in getting the best out of what they currently do.”

Keep an eye out for the list of riders for the 2017 FIM World Junior Motocross Championship, which will be announced by MA in the coming days. 

MX Nationals hit Appin this weekend

The 2017 Motul MX Nationals makes its way to New South Wales for round two of the series being held at the McCarthur Motorcycle Club’s world class facility at Appin where a solid contingent of local and international riders will try to cement their chances in the MX1, MX2, MXD and the Yamaha 250cc Junior championships.

MX Nationals head for Appin
MX Nationals head for Appin

Motul MX Nationals Series Promoter Kevin Williams explained that the venue is well equipped to welcome thousands of motocross fans, and that just as in previous years, the track will be prepared to a world class standard.

Kevin Williams – Motul MX Nationals Series Promoter

“We always put in a lot of work when the MX Nationals heads to Appin, and I think fans and spectators will be very pleased with what they see. The Motul MX Nationals is a very important event for not only the club, but also for the region. With Appin hosting a national event of this size it keeps the venue on the radar, and provides the sport in the area with fantastic national exposure. We of course have a number of riders competing from Australia such as defending MX1 champion Dean Ferris, but also international competitors from New Zealand such as Hamish Harwood, and even as far as Russia with Aleksandr Tonkov racing, which is fantastic for our series and also for the local fans who are planning on coming out to watch the races next weekend. In addition to the Thor MX1, Motul MX2 and Pirelli MXD classes racing at Appin, we will also have the Yamaha 250cc Junior riders taking part in the event as the support category. The junior riders are the future of our sport, and having the class race alongside the country’s best provides a great opportunity for them to see what racing at the top level is like.”

Dean Ferris
Dean Ferris leads the MX1 class after Round 1

Yamaha current leads all three of the major classes after the opening round with Dean Ferris taking maximum points the MX1 class, Wilson Todd in the MX2 Class and Cooper Pozniak in the MXD class so you can expect the riders on the blue bikes to come out swinging on the fast and flowing circuit at Appin which by the way, traditionally gets extremely rough so bike setup and fitness will be key on race day.

Wilson Todd
Wilson Todd won the MX2 opening round

For my mind, I expect the MX1 class to be an absolute cracker with Kyle Peters, Todd Waters, Kirk Gibbs, Luke Styke, Luke Clout, Nathan Crawford and Tonkov all looking to and capable of knocking Ferris off his perch while I expect Jackson Richardson to use his AMA Motocross Championship experiences to win the MX2 class but Wilson Todd, Egan Mastin and a gaggle of other hard charging 250cc riders will have something say about that.

Thor MX1 Round 1 Championship points
  1. Dean Ferris – 70 points
  2. Kade Mosig – 64 points
  3. Kirk Gibbs – 58 points
  4. Luke Styke – 52 points
  5. Luke Clout – 51 points
  6. Todd Waters – 51 points
  7. Kyle Peters – 47 points
  8. Nathan Crawford – 46 points
  9. Dylan Long – 45 points
  10. Aleksandr Tonkov – 40 points
Motul MX2 Round 1 Championship points
  1. Wilson Todd – 67 points
  2. Egan Mastin – 57 points
  3. Mitchell Evans – 56 points
  4. Jackson Richardson – 56 points
  5. Jayden Rykers – 55 points
  6. Kyle Webster – 53 points
  7. Hamish Harwood – 52 points
  8. Richie Evans – 46 points
  9. Dylan Wills – 45 points
  10. Aaron Tanti – 44 points
Cooper Pozniak won the season opener and leads the MXD points tally into Appin
Cooper Pozniak won the season opener and leads the MXD points tally into Appin
Pirelli MXD Round 1 Championship points
  1. Cooper Pozniak – 70 points
  2. Jy Roberts – 62 points
  3. Cody Dyce – 60 points
  4. Kaleb Barham – 55 points
  5. Benjamin Broad – 53 points
  6. Morgan Fogarty – 52 points
  7. Justin Hart – 46 points
  8. Riley Dukes – 43 points
  9. Hugh McKay – 43 points
  10. Isaac Ferguson – 40 points

If you can’t be at the track to watch all of the action in person, you can catch all of the races via

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Luke Clout confident heading to Appin

New South Welshman and Appin local Luke Clout is one rider who will be heading to the second round of the Motul MX Nationals this coming weekend with plenty of new-found confidence.

2017 MX Nationals - Luke Clout
2017 MX Nationals – Luke Clout

After a top five finish on debut in the Thor MX1 class only two weeks ago, and being somewhat of an Appin Motocross Track regular, Clout has high expectations for when the series heads heads to south New South Wales for it’s second outing on Sunday.

Clout, who has signed with the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team for the 2017 race season, shared that he met his expectations at round one three weeks ago, and that this weekend he’ll be looking to achieve more of his goals set out for 2017.

Luke Clout heads to Appin confident, following a strong start to the season at Round 1
Luke Clout heads to Appin confident, following a strong start to the season at Round 1
Luke Clout

“Honestly I was hoping for a top five at round one, that was the goal of mine, but I didn’t really know what to expect jumping in with the top guys. I’m pumped I’ve already kicked a goal and can’t wait to keep progressing. I thought I was going to be up there but you still don’t really know until you’ve been and raced, so round one was a great learning round for me. For Appin this weekend I just want to go there and learn, and still kick my goals of being in the top five consistently for the first few rounds. I love being at Appin just because it’s my home town crowd and my family is there. The atmosphere is awesome so can’t wait to get there and see how we go.”

2017 Casey Stoner Cup

Another battle between two of Australia’s best dirt track racers looms as the highlight of the annual Casey Stoner Cup meeting to be staged this weekend, April 22 and 23. Kurri Kurri Junior Motor Cycle Club honours its former member who went on to become Moto GP world champion at their Loxford Park Raceway, situated in Dickson Road, Loxford, this Saturday and Sunday.

Jarred Brook
Jarred Brook

Jarred Brook continued his great run of success at the recent Trackmasters meeting when he won all three senior classes, but his toughest opposition came in the Rod Allen Memorial Pro Open final when he only passed Damien Koppe on the final corner.

Koppe, a former national champion at both dirt track and long track, is taking a far more serious approach to racing this year and left his bikes locally after the Trackmasters and is flying back from Townsville for the Stoner Cup keen to exact revenge on Brook. Accompanying him is teenager Kayden Downing, who made a big impression at the Trackmasters meeting.

The youthful nature of the line-up for the feature events is further shown with local teenagers Boyd Hollis, Mackenzie Childs and Connor Ryan all looking to build on their recent good form. Former outstanding junior Sean McLellan is also among the entries.

While the senior racing will take the spotlight, junior action should be equally intense particularly as riders will use this weekend as a warm-up for the New South Wales Junior Track Championships to be staged at the same venue on the June long weekend. The junior entries include numerous state and national champions, including a large contingent from north of the border.

Billy Van Eerde will be competing
Billy Van Eerde

Local club member, Billy van Eerde heads the entries for the older junior classes, with his toughest opposition again likely to come from Harry Maxwell.  The Proserpine rider, Maxwell completes the travelling trio along with Koppe and Downing in the senior events.

In the younger age classes, local riders like Ryan Smith, Luke Bush and Cameron Dunker will need to use all their local knowledge in the face of opposition form Queensland and other New South Wales clubs.  

Riders’ briefing and practice gets underway at 9.30 am Saturday and action continues on in to Sunday. For fans it is a cheap day out, either Saturday or Sunday, with just a $5.00 per car entry, and a gold coin for motorcycles, with full canteen facilities available.

Gatorback to Host USGP

Youthstream and MX Sports Pro Racing have announced that the Monster Energy MXGP of USA scheduled on September, the 3rd will be held at Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, Florida.

Gatorback Cycle Park has already hosted professional motocross racing in the past as a stop on the AMA Pro Motocross schedule from 1983 to 1997. Throughout those years Gatorback saw some very historic moments, including 1989, when two-time FIM Motocross World Champion Jean-Michel Bayle won his first race in US in dramatic fashion. That win was a sign of things to come as he would later claim both the AMA Motocross and Supercross Championships.

Gatorback Cycle Park, Florida
Gatorback Cycle Park, Florida

In 1993 Jeremy McGrath won his first national at Gatorback, topping the 125cc Class, while in the middle of his march to the first of his many AMA Supercross Championships.

Another remarkable moment was when Florida’s own Ricky Carmichael won his first of what would grow to an all-time record 102 AMA Motocross Nationals here in 1997. Like most aspiring young motocross riders in the U.S, Carmichael visited Gatorback Cycle Park often for the annual THOR Winter Olympics, one of the biggest and longest running motocross amateur events in the world.

Now, 20 years later, Gatorback Cycle Park is set to make history once again being the 17th stop of 2017 FIM World Motocross Championship. Both Youthstream and Gatorback Cycle Park are excited for the spectacular racing this event and venue will provide and look forward to the Monster Energy MXGP of USA on September 3rd, 2017.

David Luongo – Youthstream Vice-President and Head of Operations

“We are very excited to come back in the United States of America for the Monster Energy MXGP of USA. Gatorback is one of the most historical track out there, the venue is beautiful and the MXGP fans in America will have the opportunity to watch the best Motocross Riders in the World to race on a classic US Track which will be very exciting for everybody. I really want to thank MX Sports and the AMA that helped a lot to make this event to happen and also Mr. Kern, the owner of Gatorback facility, to take this opportunity to bring back the MXGP World Championship in USA.”

Wyn Kern – Unlimited Sports MX

“We are excited that Youthstream and MX Sports are working together to bring the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA to Gatorback Cycle Park this fall. We are going to give motocross fans the rare opportunity to see the best racers from AMA Pro Motocross line up against the best riders from the FIM’s MXGP World Championships, on a classic American motocross track.  Add the fact that Unlimited Sports MX will host national-caliber amateur racing on this same Labor Day Weekend and Gatorback Cycle Park is going to be the capitol of the entire motocross world come the first of September.”

Davey Coombs – President of MX Sports Pro Racing

“This is very exciting for American motocross, and also for MX Sports, finally having a chance to work with Youthstream to build a successful new race together here in the U.S.  Our fans, not to mention most of the top riders, have long been familiar with what a great motocross track Wyn Kern and the Unlimited Sports MX crew has at Gatorback Cycle Park, so there is a lot of buzz already building about bringing the best professional motocross riders in the world here once again for a new MXGP in the USA.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Strong Pre-Entry list for the 92nd edition of the FIM ISDE

With still five months to go before the 2017 FIM International Six Days of Enduro (FIM ISDE) in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France from 28 August to 2 September, the pre-entry list for this historic event is already incredibly strong with almost seven hundred riders signed up.

Defending FIM World Trophy class title holders Unites States of America headline this list and will return to Europe to attempt to win this most prestigious prize for only the second time in the long history of an event that is the most venerable of the FIM’s competitions. A total of thirty-one riders from the USA will descend on the French town of Brive-la-Gaillarde later this year.

FIM International Six Days Enduro
FIM International Six Days Enduro

A contingent of sixteen Swedish riders will also be present including three members of their FIM Junior World Trophy class who will again look to secure this hotly fought for title. With thirteen competitors listed, Australia will also be well represented as they have teams entered in all three main classes including the FIM Women’s World Trophy class, which they will look to retain for yet another year.

There are currently more than seven hundred riders on the pre-entry list but only 650 will be selected at the end of June to take part in the event. They will represent thirty-two different nations from as far afield as South America and Asia and with a healthy showing from all the European countries that have had a long association with this event.

These include Italy, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands and of course the host nation France, that boasts almost two hundred riders who will proudly fly the famous three coloured flag. Typically, the Scandinavian countries are well represented by Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Alongside the main event, the second edition of the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy also has an equally impressive tally of riders on its pre-entry list and over ninety competitors out of a possible 150 have already confirmed their participation.

After the highly successful and widely applauded inaugural edition held in Spain last year, this event for motorcycles of yesteryear will again take place over the last three days of the ISDE and will include an acceleration test, an enduro and a cross test to determine the eventual winners.

Yamaha Blu Cru Women's team celebrating on the ISDE podium - Mad Dog Images
Yamaha Blu Cru Women’s team celebrating on the ISDE podium in 2016 – Mad Dog Images

All the competitors of the 2017 ISDE will be aware of the area’s sporting reputation. The region of Correze is well known to Enduro, having hosted the FIM Enduro World Championship in Servières-le-Château (1994) and in Uzerche (2008), plus the ISDE in 2001, which was declared a success by all who took part in it. The dynamic town of Brive-la-Gaillarde itself has played host to many sporting events and will provide the ideal set-up for the 2017 FIM ISDE.

Australian ISDE Team update – Support request

Motorcycling Australia (MA) releases update for all competitors and teams of the current status of the Australian Team leading up to the 2017 International Six Day Enduro (ISDE), held in Brive, France from August 28- September 2, 2017:

MA advises that Australian Team rider applications for the 2017 International Six Day Enduro (ISDE), have now closed and that MA intends on announcing the finalised team later this month (April).

As a matter of courtesy, MA wishes to inform 2017 ISDE applicants that while MA has significantly increased its funding for the ISDE from previous years, there is unfortunately still a substantial shortfall in overall funding required to cover the costs of all participants travelling to France.

Jemma Wilson, Jessica Gardiner and Tayla Jones - Mad Dog Images
Jessica Gardiner, Jemma Wilson and Tayla Jones won the 2016 ISDE Women’s World Trophy – Mad Dog Images

At this stage, the shortfall means that only the World Trophy Team (four riders) and the Womens World Trophy Team (3 riders) will be able to participate with full funding. Unfortunately, without additional external funding, there is no scope for the Junior World Trophy Team to represent Australia at the 2017 ISDE without the need for the Junior World Trophy Team members to individually self-fund.

Therefore, MA is seeking expressions of interest for all types of sponsorship including naming right sponsorship, for the World Trophy Team, Womens World Trophy Team and Junior World Trophy Team, so that Australian riders can travel to and compete in the 2017 ISDE. As funds increase through sponsorship and or donations will contribute to our overall shortfall and help send the all three teams fully funded.

The expected duration away for riders competing in this year’s FIM International Six Day Enduro will be approximately 17 days – departing on the 20th of August and returning on the 5th September 2017.

Hellsten to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing are pleased to welcome Antti Hellsten who joins the team for the upcoming EnduroGP of Spain. Standing in for the injured Mathias Bellino, who picked up a shoulder injury prior to the GP of Finland, Hellsten will race the team’s FE 350 machine in the premier EnduroGP class.

Antti Hellsten joins the Husqvarna Factory Racing team
Antti Hellsten joins the Husqvarna Factory Racing team

Kicking off the 2017 EnduroGP season by claiming two impressive class victories, Hellsten currently leads the provisional EnduroGP series standings. Strengthening the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team, the 27-year-old Finn will look to continue his impressive form in the highly-competitive EnduroGP class at round two in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain.

No stranger to Enduro World Championship competition, Antti Hellsten made his debut appearance in the Enduro Junior class of the series back in 2010, securing a very strong fifth place position in the championship’s final standings. Competing in the EWC full-time for the next two season the Finn wrapped up his first season of senior class competition in 2012 with 12th in the Enduro 1 class.

The second round of the 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship takes place in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain this coming weekend.

Andreas Hölzl – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager

“We’re really looking forward to working with Antti Hellsten as Mathias Bellino continues his recovery from injury. Positively surprising us with his double class victory at the season opening GP of Finland, we strongly believe Antti will be a perfect fit to our team as a replacement Mathias. Antti will be racing the team’s FE 350 machine in the EnduroGP class.”

Knee injury rules Max Anstie out of Italian MXGP

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie did not compete in last weekend’s MXGP of Trentino, Italy – round five of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship after the Brit picked up an injury to his left knee during the second moto in the Dutch Motocross Masters in Harfsen two weekends ago.

Max Anstie
Max Anstie

In his debut season of MXGP class competition, the FC 450 mounted rider has so far enjoyed three top 10 results with his highlight being a seventh-place moto result at the MXGP of Argentina. Currently sitting 11th in the MXGP championship standings the young Brit is expected to return to competition at the MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard, on April 22/23.

Max Anstie
Max Anstie
Antti Pyrhönen – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager

“It’s always disappointing when a rider is unable to compete due to injury, but that’s a part of our sport. Max has enjoyed a good start to the season, and has been steadily improving his speed and consistency. We’re thankful his injury isn’t a serious one, with a little time to recover he will soon be back to full fitness.”

KTM’s Junior Program shines at Wonthaggi

When KTM Factory Junior Team racers Regan Duffy and Mason Semmens finished 1-2 in the first round of the Yamaha 125cc Gold Cup at Wonthaggi’s MX Nationals opener after taking a moto win apiece, they once again confirmed the validity of KTM’s junior program.

Mason Semmens
Mason Semmens

Two-time Aussie junior champ Semmens, in his fourth year with the factory squad, and Duffy in his second, are part of the next generation of Aussie schoolboy motocross stars.

Mason Semmens

“Finishing equal first with my team mate at the first round at Wonthaggi was something I can’t complain about, it was a good day! I wasn’t sure whether to race that round or not because I’d fractured my shinbone, but I’m glad I did. The KTM Factory Junior team has been a positive thing in my life. It’s a good confidence boost and it makes you train a little bit harder and want it more. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. It’s helped me heaps and I appreciate it. The goal for me this year is to go to the next 125 rookie round and win, and to come home with that championship. Also, I’ll go to Appin in a few weeks’ time for the 250 junior rookies class round and try to win there. Then the Vic state titles, and then I’ll try to win the Aussie titles back-to-back.”

Regan Duffy centre
Regan Duffy centre on the podium at MX Nationals Round 1 at Wonthaggi
Regan Duffy

“I was hoping to do well at Wonthaggi with all the training I’ve been doing, but winning it was a bit of a surprise, particularly winning the second moto with a lap time a second quicker than the U19s. I’m hoping to go overseas this year for the worlds, but I think Dad would prefer if we went to the mini Os in America. It’s like two days of national racing and two days supercross in Florida and I could handle that! It feels good to be back on the team this year. The first year it was a bit daunting being under the awning of a big team truck, but I understand how it all works now and I’m feeling comfortable. The bikes are the best. The power is great, and they’ve been reliable to me my whole life – and I’ve ridden them since I was four. This year I’ve stepped up the training; I’m going to the gym three times a week and riding three times a week. I just have Saturday off to get bikes ready.”

KTM has already in the last six months seen 2016 team members Caleb Grothues and Noah Smerdon graduate to overseas rides. After a successful 2016 in which the team claimed three Australian championships and five podiums, the team has brought two fresh faces on board for season 2017, 13-year-old Blake Fox from Dubbo, NSW and 12-year-old Deegan Mancinelli from Ingham in Queensland.

Blake Fox
Blake Fox

Fox is the current Australian Champion in 85cc 11-12 years and will race a KTM 85 SX and KTM 125 SX in the 12-14 Years division in 2017. Mancinelli will compete aboard the KTM 85 SX big-wheel and was the Australian Vice Champion in 65cc 11 Years in 2016.

Deegan Mancinelli
Deegan Mancinelli

KTM has a highly-competitive range of Ready to Race motocross machines that stretches right from the KTM 50SX Mini right through to the KTM450 SX-F ridden by Kirk Gibbs, and Junior development has always been an important part of KTM’s philosophy.

The team will continue its key partnerships with Troy Lee Designs, Motorex, and Dunlop tyres KTM Genuine Parts, KTM Power Parts and KTM Power Wear continues.

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Smarty’s Race Reports:
FIM World Motocross Championships – Round 5 – Trentino, Italy

KTM riders Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado have won the MX1 and MX2 classes at the spectacular MXGP of Trentino last weekend with the highlight being Cairoli’s 25th to 2nd place ride in the final moto of the day.

[youtube id=”jKudLy41bIw” width=”560" height=”315"]


MX1 Report

The 2017 MXGP of Trentino could well be Antonio Cairoli’s greatest GP victory ever. After winning the opening moto the massive crowd were licking their lips at the prospect of a Cairoli clean sweep at his home GP but a crash in the second turn put the eight time World Motocross Champion back in 25th place.

Over the next 30 minutes the Red Bull KTM Factory rider put together a masterclass as one by one he passed the best riders in the World including Evgeny Bobryshev on the last lap to steal the GP victory from Tim Gajser.

Antonio Cairoli
Antonio Cairoli

Going 1-2 the Italian was running on adrenaline and as he sang his national anthem on the podium while Tim Gajser who went 3-1 in Trentino continues to lead the championship by 18 points over Cairoli with third placed rider in the championship Clement Desalle a full 50 points back from Gajser.

Antonio Cairoli crashed in Race 2, fighting his way back to a win from 25th place
Antonio Cairoli crashed in Race 2, fighting his way back to a win from 25th place
Antonio Cairoli

“You know, I got pushed off the track from Tim in the first corner and I didn’t appreciate that, but its racing, then I crashed on the second corner and I made some good passes. I had to win this GP, and I am so happy for the fans.  I think this was my best GP victory, or right up there. The start was important and I got stuck and crashed and I got hit by some riders. I worked hard and I was angry and I kept going and I saw it was possible to win, passing on this track is so difficult.”

Tim Gajser retains the championship lead leaving Trentino
Tim Gajser retains the championship lead leaving Trentino
Tim Gajser

“I am really happy, you know, even if I finish second. Tony was fast today. I had arm pump in the first raced and the second moto I had the holeshot and controlled the race and really enjoyed that race. I could hear the crowd in every corner, the crowd was just amazing. I am really looking forward to Valkenswaard.”

Arnaud Tonus
Arnaud Tonus

Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus was the surprise packet in the opening moto when he passed Gajser for second and started catching Cairoli in the dying laps to finish second before coming from outside the top ten to finish 7th in the second moto for his first MX1 podium.

Arnaud Tonus

 “It was great, a little surprised to finish on the podium. They told me I had to pass Gautier to get on the podium, so I was surprised I got it. I am really happy for the team and thanks to everyone for supporting me.”

Evgeny Bobryshev overcame a crash during qualifying to end the GP in fourth place.

Evgeny Bobryshev

“Considering what happened yesterday with my crash and injury the weekend was ok. My foot was really painful this morning so I had a trip to the medical centre to get some painkillers. In the first race it was a bit tough for me as I couldn’t find the speed, I had a good start for sure. I was just slow in the beginning and then I couldn’t find a second to stay in the front. I wasn’t happy with seventh place but we made some changes for the second race which made my confidence and riding much better. In the second race I had a good start out of the gate with Tim and I rode a consistent race. Antonio passed me on the last lap which made me narrowly miss the podium but I am overall happy with the performance. Team HRC have done a really good job this weekend and the team have all worked together which is really important for me. I look forward to Valkenswaard which is a bit closer to home for me.”

Gautier Paulin
Gautier Paulin

Gautier Paulin is getting more comfortable on his Husqvarna and ended the GP in fifth.  

Gautier Paulin

“We had a good feeling throughout the weekend here in Italy. From the qualifying races to the final motos we showed the speed was there to battle for the top three. We’ve done a tremendous amount of work during the last few months and I feel that we deserve to be on the podium. I’m also very happy that my starts were good in both motos. The plan is to continue working as hard as we do and I’m pretty confident results will slowly start coming our way.”

Jeffrey Herlings
Jeffrey Herlings

Jeffrey Herlings went 14-4 in Italy and had this to say to RacerX.

Jeffrey Herlings to RacerX

“I underestimated the class, the bike, the competition and I’m paying for it now. All winter I was thinking “I’ll do this, do that” [win[winning] I quickly realised I was on a 450 program now and it is tough. All those years winning in 250s … it’s different here, man. It’s hard. Different guys, different attitude. It will take some time. I don’t know a date when it will happen.”

As for Romain Febvre who finished back 13th place….. “I don’t know what to say. I just feel like I don’t know why the speed is not there. I will keep working.”

Jordi Tixier missed the MXGP of Trentino and was replace by Maxime Desprey who finished 18th overall with 20-15 finishes. Desprey will also do the next GP for Kawasaki team while Tixier continues his rehab.

MXGP Podium - Tim Gajser, Antonio Cairoli, Tonus Arnaud
MXGP Podium – Tim Gajser, Antonio Cairoli, Tonus Arnaud
MXGP – Overall Classification
  1. Cairoli, Antonio – 47
  2. Gajser, Tim – 45
  3. Tonus, Arnaud – 36
  4. Bobryshev, Evgeny – 34
  5. Paulin, Gautier – 33
  6. Desalle, Clement – 32
  7. Van Horebeek, Jeremy – 28
  8. Herlings, Jeffrey – 25
  9. Nagl, Maximilian – 22
  10. Jasikonis, Arminas – 19
  11. Simpson, Shaun – 18
  12. Butron, Jose – 17
  13. Febvre, Romain – 17
  14. Coldenhoff, Glenn – 15
  15. Strijbos, Kevin – 12
MXGP – Points after 5 of 17 Rounds
  1. Gajser, Tim – 201
  2. Cairoli, A – 183
  3. Desalle, C. BEL KAW 151
  4. Bobryshev, E. RUS HON 145
  5. Paulin, G. FRA HUS 145
  6. Van Horebeek, J. BEL YAM 144
  7. Febvre, Romain FRA YAM 106
  8. Tonus, Arnaud SUI YAM 101
  9. Nagl, M. GER HUS 95
  10. Strijbos, K. BEL SUZ 90
  11. Simpson, Shaun GBR YAM 88
  12. Herlings, J. NED KTM 84
MX2 Race Report

Spanish rider Jorge Prado battled hard throughout both motos where there was plenty of aggressive racing to earn 2-1 results to win the Grand Prix of Trentino ahead of fellow KTM riders in Pauls Jonass and Julien Lieber.

[you[youtube id=”jpgy_VgBrBA” width=”560" height=”315"]


MX2 Start
MX2 Start
Jorge Prado

“You know, it was a really good win, first time in hard pack and it gives me more confidence. I got the holeshot and Pauls caught me and on that last corner, I can’t believe I am the guy winning it. First moto was already good, the second moto I needed to win it, and I got mixed up with some lappers and I was so emotional at the end.”

Jorge Prado
Jorge Prado

Pauls Jonass now leads the championship by nine points over Seewer.

Pauls Jonass holds a nine-point championship lead of Seewer heading out of Trentino
Pauls Jonass holds a nine-point championship lead of Seewer heading out of Trentino
Pauls Jonas

“In the first race I got the holeshot and got the win, but in the second Jorge got the holeshot and its so difficult to pass. Big thanks to all my supporters to fans and I am glad to take the red plate. I got a good start with my team-mate Jorge Prado (in the first moto). We had a really good race, this morning we made some changes to the bike, to the suspension.”

Julien Lieber

“Good weekend for me, we made some changes to the bike and in the first moto I made a mistake and second moto two Husqvarna riders took me out really hard, and I was really disappointed about that.”

Thomas Kjer-Olsen won Saturday’s qualifying race before earning fourth overall in the GP.

Thomas Kjer-Olsen

“I’m really satisfied with how things are going at the moment. After winning the qualifying race I secured a good starting position and managed to earn two very good starts in the final motos. Despite an early crash in moto one I came back from eighth to cross the line in fifth place. Then in moto two I was there again battling for the top for most of the race but a fall before the finish dropped me to sixth. Overall, we keep on making big steps forward in each GP.”

Thomas Covington
Thomas Covington

Thomas Covington pushed hard all weekend for fifth overall.  

Thomas Covington

“It was a good GP for us. We had some ups and downs but we showed the speed is there. I had a bad start in the opening moto and then it was really hard work to come through the pack. I made some good passes but as I was battling to get inside the top six I went over the bars so had to settle for 11th. Then in moto two my start was a lot better. I was fourth for most of the race but felt really good and pushed hard for third. Overall, I’m really happy with my riding in Italy. The goal is to minimise mistakes so that we can consistently fight for the top three in each of the coming GPs.”

Jeremy Seewer
Jeremy Seewer

Jeremy Seewer had a tough day and lost the red plate to Jonass in the championship.

Jeremy Seewer

“I try to be positive but it’s hard to be too positive about my races today. We struggled so much with the start which is just so frustrating as that’s the most important thing, especially at a track like this. My confidence was like 200% after yesterday, I did well in all practices, then again in the qualifying race and also this morning in warm-up, I felt so amazing on the bike and I knew that if I was there from the start I was going to beat them because this is the kind of track that I’m good at. It’s just so frustrating not to be able to show what you can due to having a bad start and getting stuck behind riders from the beginning. I got up to ninth but I know I could have done so much better. I was then able to forget about that for the second moto and got a good start and made the best out of it. From fifth though, it’s very difficult to get to first on this track as everyone is the same pace more or less. Prado was a little quicker as he had a clear track but for me, it’s frustrating to battle the whole moto and finish only in fourth place.”

Hunter Lawrence
Hunter Lawrence

As for the Aussie contingent, Hunter Lawrence started the opening moto in 16th place and was in a heated battle with Thomas Covington for 15th right up to lap 9 when he was forced to pull off with a mechanical issue but in the second moto Lawrence bounced back from a 20th place start to end with an 11th place finish.

Lawrence was forced to pull out from the first Moto on Lap 9
Lawrence was forced to pull out from the first Moto on Lap 9
Hunter Lawrence

“The first moto I was feeling good and although I didn’t get the best start, I made as many passes as I could and was really trying my best and giving 100% as I always do. Unfortunately, I had a bike issue, which could happen to anyone, so that was disappointing as I had to pull off. In between the motos we swapped to a new engine so the bike was good to go for second race. Once again though I got a mid-pack start which really makes it difficult but I worked really hard to do the best I could again. I feel my riding isn’t the issue and I think during the moto I have the speed and the fitness to do really well. I finished 11th this moto and overall it was good. There were no crashes that were my fault but this isn’t where I want to be. I know what I’m capable of, and so do the people around me, and we’ll keep working until we get there.”

Hunter Lawrence
Hunter Lawrence

Jay Wilson started the opening moto in 18th place and was looking at securing more GP points before dropping back to 23rd late in the race but his day didn’t get any better with Wilson only completing one lap in the second moto before retiring from the race.

MX2 Podium at MXGP Round 5 - Dominated by KTM
MX2 Podium at MXGP Round 5 – Dominated by KTM
MX2 – GP Classification
  1. Prado Garcia, Jorge – 47
  2. Jonass, Pauls – 47
  3. Lieber, Julien – 36
  4. Olsen, Thomas Kjer – 31
  5. Covington, Thomas – 30
  6. Seewer, Jeremy – 30
  7. Brylyakov, Vsevolod – 29
  8. Van doninck, Brent – 21
  9. Bogers, Brian – 16
  10. Mewse, Conrad – 16
  11. Lawrence, Hunter – 10
MX2 – Points after Round 5
  1. Jonass, Pauls – 192
  2. Seewer, Jeremy – 183
  3. Lieber, Julien – 175
  4. Olsen, T. – 158
  5. Paturel, B. – 147
  6. Van doninck, B. – 123
  7. Prado Garcia, J. – 117
  8. Covington, T. – 113
  9. Brylyakov, V. – 110
  10. Cervellin, M. – 99
  11. Bernardini, S. – 93
  12. Bogers, Brian – 76
  13. Sanayei, D. – 74
  14. Sterry, Adam – 72
  15. Vlaanderen, C. – 70
  16. Lawrence, H. – 61
EMX250 Race Report

The first 250cc European Motocross Championship round concluded with the local fans treated to another Italian winning in Trentino but this time it was Yamaha SM Action’s Simone Furlotti who ran away with the opening moto before coming from 13th to 3rd in the second moto to take the round win and earn early bragging rights with the points lead.

EMX250 Start
EMX250 Start

Another Italian, Morgan Lesiardo, who went 5-1 over the two motos ended the day second outright ahead of Miro Sihvonen, Karlis Sabulis and Dutch rider Nick Kouwenberg.

Simone Furlotti
Simone Furlotti

The Australasian trio of Dylan Walsh (13-25), Jed Beaton (14-26) and Josiah Natzke (27-30) didn’t have the start to the series that they had intended but Trentino in 2017 was brutal so all three will be looking forward to future rounds.

EMX250 Podium -
EMX250 Podium –
EMX 250 Overall Results
  1. Simone Furlotti – 1-3
  2. Morgan Lesiardo – 5-1
  3. Miro Sihvonen – 4-2
  4. Karlis Sabulis – 2-5
  5. Nick Kouwenber – 10-9
  6. Alberto Forato – 3-29
  7. Ruben Fernandez – 39-4
  8. Filippo Zonta – 11-13
  9. Ken Bengtson – 8-18
  10. Jere Haavisto – 28-6
    …22. Dylan Walsh – 13-25
    …24. Jed Beaton – 14-26
    …38. Josiah Natzke – 27-30
EMX 250 Championship Standings
  1. Simone Furlotti – 45
  2. Morgan Lesiardo – 41
  3. Miro Sihvonen – 40
  4. Karlis Sabulis – 38
  5. Nick Kouwenber – 23
  6. Alberto Forato – 20
  7. Ruben Fernandez – 18
  8. Filippo Zonta – 18
  9. Ken Bengtson – 16
  10. Jere Haavisto – 15
    …22. Dylan Walsh – 8
    …24. Jed Beaton – 7
    …34. Josiah Natzke – 0
WMX Race Report

The FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship provided great action for all the fans throughout the weekend and eventually it was the Italian, Kiara Fontanesi, who came out ahead of championship leader Courtney Duncan.

[youtube[youtube id=”pnaCcA6AWf0" width=”560" height=”315"]style="text-align: center;"> 

Saturday’s race saw Fontanesi edge out the competition capitalizing on the mistake of Duncan who was later able to fight her way back to second followed by Nancy Van De Ven.

WMX Race 2 Start
WMX Race 2 Start

In race two it was Van De Ven came off the starting grid better than anyone else grabbing the holeshot and leading the early stages. Fontanesi applied pressure to Van De Ven passing her, but a few moments later Fontanesi made a mistake by going down in a corner over a berm. The challenges for Van De Ven continued to grow as Courtney Duncan was next to make a pass.

Courtney Duncan
Courtney Duncan

Duncan was riding a blistering pace but it was unable to maintain it, going down while leading for the second time this weekend. Nancy Van De Ven also went down in the race but both recovered, Van de Ven to 4th and Duncan to 3rd.

Livia Lancelot
Livia Lancelot

Livia Lancelot’s consistency out shined the rest being the only rider to lead who did not fall in race two. Her riding was much improved from Saturday and her shining performance gave her a well-deserved win.

Kiara Fontanesi
Kiara Fontanesi

For the overall podium Kiara Fontanesi’s 1-2 finish was the best of anyone, she was followed by a frustrated Courtney Duncan who finished 2-3 and the final spot on the podium went to Livia Lancelot after fighting her way back into contention with a 5-1 result. Nancy Van De Ven took 4th overall and Larissa Papenmeier took the last of top 5 finish positions.

[youtube id=[youtube id=”QNAbCWkJYhQ” width=”560" height=”315"]

Duncan Courtney

“I put myself in good positions in both the races. I was in the lead halfway through each race and made a silly mistake in both of them which cost me dearly. The speed was really good and I still have the red plate [for the WMX point[for the WMX points lead] before the next round to learn and get better and hopefully come back swinging and in fine form for France.”

Aussie Emma Milesevic made her first appearance in the championship to finish a credible 14-35 while Madison Brown ended the day 20-38 finishes to remain inside the top 20 in the points.

WMX Podium
WMX Podium – Courtney Duncan, Kiara Fontanesi, Livia Lancelot
WMX Overall Results
  1. Kiara Fontanesi – 1-2
  2. Courtney Duncan – 2-3
  3. Livia Lancelot – 5-1
  4. Nancy Van De Ven – 3-4
  5. Larissa Papenmeier – 4-6th
  6. Amandine Verstappen – 6-7
  7. Stephanie Laier – 8-11
  8. Virginie Germond – 13-8
  9. Joanna Miller – 12-10
  10. Francesca Nocera – 18-5
    …18. Emma Milesevic – 14-35
    …26. Madison Brown – 20-38
Courtney Duncan
Courtney Duncan
WMX Championship Standings
  1. Courtney Duncan – 83
  2. Kiara Fontanesi – 77
  3. Liva Lancelot – 67
  4. Nancy Van De Ven – 63
  5. Larissa Papenmeier – 63
    …19. Madison Brown – 14
    …24. Emma Milesevic – 7
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

World Two-Stroke Championships – Glen Helen, CA

Glen Helen once against hosted the World Two-Stroke Championship and with classes for riders from beginner to pro, in every engine size the 2017 event was the biggest ever but it was second generation Pro racer Ryan Surratt won the premier Open Pro class ahead of Mike Sleeter and Jon Ames.

Pro Open race start at the 2017 World Two-Stroke Championship
Pro Open race start at the 2017 World Two-Stroke Championship
Open Pro
  1. Ryan Surratt (Hon) 4-1
  2. Mike Sleeter (KTM) 3-2
  3. Jon Ames (Yam) 2-4
  4. Zach Bell (Hon) 1-6
  5. Johnny Jelderda (TM) 7-5
  6. Sean Lipanovich (KTM) 10-7
  7. R.J. Wageman (Suz) 9-9
  8. Jordyn Scalvini (Hon) 13-10
  9. Travis Bell (Hon) 6-17
  10. Sean Collier (TM) 16-8
125 Pro
  1. Robbie Wageman (Yam) 1-1
  2. Carson Carr (Yam) 2-2
  3. Robby Schott (TM) 5-3
  4. Jake Osborne (Yam) 4-4
  5. Brian Medeiros (Yam) 3-8
Over-30 Pro
  1. Billy Jurevich (KTM) 2-1
  2. Charles Castloo (Hus) 3-2
  3. Dustin Nowak (Yam) 4-3
  4. Philip Suhr (Suz) 5-4
  5. Justin Reese (Suz) 6-6
2017 World Two-Stroke Championship
2017 World Two-Stroke Championship
Over-40 Pro
  1. Scott Mooney (Yam) 1-2
  2. James Lavender (Suz) 4-1
  3. Kevin Barda (Yam) 2-3
  4. Troy Cardiel (Yam) 3-4
  5. Ralf Schmidt (TM) 5-4
Over-50 Pro
  1. Rodney Smith (Bet) 1-1
  2. Andy Jefferson (Hus) 2-2
  3. Pete Murray (Yam) 3-3
  4. Jon Ortner (Yam) 4-4
  5. Steve Butler (Yam) 5-6
Over-60 Pro
  1. Bob Casper (KTM) 1-1
  2. Val Tamietti (Yam) 3-2
  3. Joel Harriott (Yam) 2-3
  4. Chris Cumbo (KTM) 4-4
  5. Gary Jones (Yam) 6-5
  1. Ginger Lee Hill (Yam) 1-2
  2. Michelle Horton (Yam) 4-1
  3. Lauren Thompson (Hus) 2-3
  4. Christina Watteyne (Yam) 5-4
  5. Vanessa Heredia (Yam) 6-5

2017 Horizon Power Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash Race Report

The Horizon Power Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash sprung back into life over Easter, returning with a new look loop race format based out of Carnarvon, 1000km north of Perth. The festivities commenced with scrutineering and a display at Carnarvon’s Civic Centre on Good Friday, before the 28 Bikes and Quads in the moto division and 28 Cars hit the track for five laps of the 70km course over the next two days.

Fresh from wins at the 2016 Baja 1000 and 2017 San Felipe 250, Daymon Stokie brought his good form to Western Australia for the Gascoyne Dash. Stokie stamped his authority on the event during Saturdays prologue then continued on to take the outright win in a time of 3hr 41min 50.9 seconds on his #4 Yamaha YZF450.

Damon Stokie
Damon Stokie

While there was plenty of clean air out in front, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Territorian with Stokie breaking two bones in his hand 10km from the start on day two. With the best part of 3 laps remaining and a 59 second lead up his sleeve Stokie pushed on, to set up an epic finish with 2015 winner Cody Upton hot on his heels.

By the time the pair greeted the chequered flag, the margin had closed to a slender 3.6 seconds in Stokie’s favour, leaving Upton to finish second on his #1 Honda CRF450R. Rounding out the podium in third outright was Veterans Class winner, Stephen Mitchell on the #737 Yamaha in a time of 3:53:25.

All three riders on the outright podium took their respective class wins, with #4 Damon Stokie dominating Class 3 ahead of #3 KTM 500EXC rider Matt Lettey in second and Glen Taylor in third on his #501 Husqvarna. While #1 Cody Upton was the victor in class 2 by over 14 minutes from #544 Daniel Pratt and #640 Graham King in third.

Yamaha rider #737 Stephen Mitchell continued the trend, cleaning up in the Veterans class ahead of the KTM’s of #122 Rob Pollard and #5 James Doherty. #240 Somers was unchallenged for the Masters Class win, completing the 5 laps in 4:15:14, while #777 Kenny took the Seniors Class honours ahead of #612 Knight and #73 Tamas.

19 out of the 28 Motos that started completed all 5 laps of the 70km Carnarvon track, which threaded its way through flowing station tracks and swept across limiter bashing clay pans.
Looking ahead, 2018 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the Horizon Power Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash with the organisers set to introduce an exciting new race format.

An ‘Outback and Back’ point to point race at Easter between the coastal centre of Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction which will tie together some of the best desert racing terrain the region has to offer.

2017 Gascoyne Dash Overall Results
  1. Daymon Stokie – 3:41:50.9 (Class 3 winner)
  2. Cody Upton – 3:41:54.5 (Class 2 winner)
  3. Stephen Mitchell – 3:53:25.1 
2017 Gascoyne Dash Seniors Results
  1. Kenny – 4:17:44.9
  2. Knight – 4:25:48.5
  3. Tamas – 3:30:58.7 (4/5 laps)
2017 Gascoyne Dash Veterans Results
  1. Stephen Mitchell – 3:53:25.1
  2. Rob Pollard – 4:02:40.3
  3. James Doherty – 4:21:09.9
2017 Gascoyne Dash Masters Results
  1. Somers – 4:15:14.0


Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S