Moto News Wrap for April 4, 2017 by Darren Smart
Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
- Dungey V Reed
- Reed fined after Decision of the Race Director St Louis AMA SX
- 2017 Yamaha AORC Rounds 1 and 2 Postponed
- Christian Craig fills for Team Honda HRC
- Barleigh Ranch track to host Trackmasters
- Canard out of remainder of the Supercross season
- Smith Wins Charlotte Half Mile
- AMA Pro Racing mourns the loss of Jamison Minor
- Bou Wins 11th X-Trial Title
- Irwin and Pocock Wins UK MX Nationals
- Gonçalves Leads Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
- Jett Lawrence Continues to Win
- NRGTV Struggles
- Women’s Class added to Manjimup 15000
This Week’s Race Reports
- AMA Supercross – Round 13 – The Dome at America’s Center | St. Louis, Missouri
- AMSOIL Arenacross Championship – Round 4 – Sacramento, CA
- FIM World Motocross Championships – Round 4 – Leon, Mexico
- Australian Motocross Championship – Round 1 – Wonthaggi, VIC
Dungey V Reed
After a weekend of sensational racing all over the world, the biggest talking point is the Dungey V Reed stoush at the St Louis round of the AMA Supercross.
It all started with Chad leading the opening 450SX heat and while Dungey was the faster rider, Chad gave it his all to win the heat which included a bit of bumping. Dungey went on to win the heat and during the post-race interview gave Reed a light spray and even insinuated that Chad had it in for him and the team.
Then, during the main event Dungey was closing in on race leader Eli Tomac when he came upon Reed who was a lap down and this is when it went a bit crazy. The Aussie ignored the waving blue flags and held Dungey at bay for several laps – Chad obviously doing this on purpose.
While I don’t agree with Dungey’s dig at Reed after their opening heat battle it was dumb on the defending champion’s behalf to make it an issue, even if he believed it to be one – and sure, I am disappointed in Reed’s actions in the final but none of this would have happened if Dungey had simply kept his mouth shut after the heat race.
As a racer, there are fewer acts in racing that are lower than purposely holding up a rider who is lapping you and Chad is copping the flack accordingly….. And now he has officially been reprimanded…
Chad Reed fined after Decision of the Race Director – St Louis AMA SX
On April 1, 2017, during the 450SX main event, while being lapped by the 2nd place rider, 16th place rider #22 Chad Reed failed to follow the direction of the AMA officials indicated by the blue flag. In doing so, rider #22 did impede the faster rider’s progress. This is a violation of rule 4.17.a.
4.17 Flags and Lights: It is the rider’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings at all times while on track. Safety is a main priority and the riders must obey all official signals and directions given to them. Any rider failing to do so may be penalized.
a. Solid Blue Flag: 1. Indicates you are about to be overtaken by faster riders; 2. When conditions allow, move out of the fast line; 3. Hold your line (do not ride erratically) and do not impede the faster riders progress; 4. Riders disregarding the blue flag may be black-flagged at the discretion of Race Director.
The decision of the Race Director is to impose a fine of $5,000.00 and the loss of five Championship points earned in the race. All fines collected are donated to the Alpinestar Mobile Medical Unit.
No appeal has been presented; the decision of the Race Director is final.
2017 Yamaha AORC Rounds 1 and 2 Postponed
The opening two rounds of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship that was scheduled for Dungog, New South Wales, was postponed due to extreme weather conditions as a result of Cyclone Debbie.
The Dungog area and surrounds have been and will continue to be affected by ongoing extreme weather events currently in place on the East Coast of New South Wales and Queensland.
Presently, the tracks are un-rideable and road access to the event is in doubt in line with current weather predictions.
“Whilst we understand there may be frustrations surrounding the decision to postpone the event, we must ensure the reasonable safety of everyone involved in the AORC rounds. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Further information on the new dates will be announced at a later stage and Motorcycling Australia will keep competitors informed. AORC Rounds 3 & 4 at Rawson, VIC on April 22-23, 2017 will go ahead as planned.
Christian Craig fills for Team Honda HRC
Team Honda HRC announced that current GEICO Honda rider Christian Craig will fill in for the injured Ken Roczen throughout the entire 12-round AMA Pro Motocross series. Craig will pilot a factory CRF450R alongside Cole Seely beginning with the Hangtown season opener on May 20.
Craig is not new to the premier class, having campaigned 450s during the 2009 ’11, ’12 and ’14 Pro Motocross seasons. The Californian has a career-best 450 outdoor finish of seventh and is hoping to improve with help from the factory squad.
“Honestly, when I got the call that factory Honda wanted me to fill in, I couldn’t stop smiling. To have this opportunity is an honor. Obviously, everyone including me is so bummed Kenny got hurt, and I’ll do everything in my power to make the team and Kenny happy they chose me as the guy to ride his bike while he recovers. I’ll be going into the season open-minded and as prepared as I can be. The 450 class is more stacked than ever, but hopefully after the first couple rounds I’ll be able to learn the pace and see where I fit in. Thanks to the entire Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda crews for allowing this to happen, and to Kenny for letting me borrow his bike for the summer. I’m beyond grateful.”
Dan Betley – Team Honda HRC Manager
“We’re really excited to have Christian riding for us in the AMA Pro Motocross series. He’s shown notable speed in the 450 class in previous years, and I think he has the potential to deliver solid results. GEICO Honda is our extended family; we have a great relationship, so we appreciate them allowing us to have Christian for the season.”
Barleigh Ranch track to host Trackmasters
Dirt track motor cycle racing has a long and rich history in the Hunter region and two big names associated with the sport are to be honoured at this weekend’s race meeting to be staged at the Barleigh Ranch track.
The Hunter Motor Cycle Club will host the Chris Watson Motorcycles and Honda Australia 28th staging of the Trackmasters meeting at the Barleigh Ranch Raceway this coming weekend, Saturday April 8 and Sunday April 9.
Two of the classes of racing at this meeting will remember legends of the sport from both sides of the fence. Riders in the Pro Open class will be racing for the Rod Allen Memorial Solo Open Trophy, honouring the race announcer who was ‘the voice’ of speedway and dirt track racing in the Hunter region for over three decades.
As well as being the long-serving track announcer at the Newcastle Motordrome Speedway, Allen traveled all over New South Wales to dirt track meetings. The Allen name lives on with son Ross and grandson Joel following in Rod’s footsteps as race announcers.
What is most pleasing is the line-up for the Pro Open class includes the two best credentialed riders in Australia over the past few years – Luke Richards of Singleton and Jarred Brook of Gympie, who at the Australian Championship meeting at Barleigh Ranch last August shared the wins across all five senior classes of racing.
Paul Caslick is 50 years young but still a threat whenever he races , while former Australian champion Damien Koppe from Townsville is entered along with the local contingent including several teenagers, like Boyd Hollis of Thornton and Mackenzie Childs of Valentine, who are in the next wave of exciting young talent to move in to the senior ranks.
Dirt Track Sidecar racers will be chasing the George Watson Memorial Trophy, honouring the multiple title winning star of the 1970s and 1980s. While George built up his great record, in the late 1970s he was accompanied to race meetings by his son Chris Watson who went on to be the most successful rider in this discipline of the sport.
On top of the older teenagers in the senior ranks, all the junior classes will show off the rich vein of talent who are progressing through the ranks. Billy Van Eerde from Singleton has been the outstanding junior rider in the country over the past two years but will face tough opposition from riders from as far afield as the Whitsunday and Melbourne.
This will be the Hunter club’s only open meeting for the year to follow on the success of the 2016 Australian Championship meeting.
Action starts at 10am both days. Admission is free on Saturday and just $10 per car on Sunday. Fans can check meeting details on either on the website or Facebook page of the Hunter Motor Cycle Club.
Canard out of remainder of the Supercross season
Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider Trey Canard will miss the remainder of the Monster Energy Supercross Series after struggling with a virus the past few weeks.
Given that Canard is not in championship contention the team and he feel it is best that he sit out the remainder of the Supercross season in order to focus on getting healthy for the outdoor series which will start in May.
“I am extremely saddened to sit out the rest of the series; it has been a disappointing season for me to say the least. I’ve been dealing with severe fatigue issues and need to figure my body out so that I can race at 100 per cent not only for myself, but for everyone who continues to support me. Competing at the level we do requires you to be at your healthiest in order to remain competitive and safe on the track. I just don’t feel like I’m there and I think its best I fully recover so I can give the outdoor series my undivided attention. I want to thank everyone for being so understanding and assure those who continue to believe in me that I will do everything within my power to be at my very best as soon as possible.”
Roger De Coster – Red Bull KTM Factory Team Manager
“We fully support Trey’s decision to focus on getting healthy and turn his effort toward being ready for the motocross season. We look forward to being able to get an early start on motocross testing with Trey to make sure he along with his teammates have their KTM 450 SX-F’s dialed-in from the start of the series.”
Smith Wins Charlotte Half Mile
Defending American Flat Track Grand National Champion Bryan Smith scored his first victory of the season in the AFT Twins class during last Saturday night’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Smith scored the win over fellow Indian Motorcycle rider Jared Mees by 3.769 seconds to put an end to his rival’s win streak going into the break.
“We didn’t qualify fastest, but once we got racing, I felt comfortable. I feel like in any race if I can beat Jared (Mees), I can win the race, and if I beat him, I can win the championship. I’ve got to get back to doing it more often. I especially wanted to win today, because we’ve got some bragging rights going into the mini off-season before we get to the miles. Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off last year in the miles—winning.”
“You can’t win them all, and I was glad to see Bryan (Smith) get the job done on the Indian Motorcycle. So far, Indian’s won all three Grand Nationals. It’s a shame for Brad (Baker), because I think we would have had an all-Indian podium again. Tonight I knew we were a tick off, so we made some changes to try to turn it around. I got a good start but had a bad first lap. When Bryan got up to the lead that kind of left it to Brad and I to dogfight for second. I just started clearing Brad when his bike went off, but by that time, Bryan was already 10 bikes ahead. I tried moving around the race track to catch up, but I was losing ground. The best guy won tonight, and it was Bryan.”
Joining the Indian Motorcycle duo on the podium was Sammy Halbert on the Estenson Logistics Harley-Davidson XR750R.
“It felt good to get up on the podium. First podium of the year, first one with the new team. These guys, Estenson Racing, have been putting in so much hard work so it feels great to reward them with a podium.”
After competing on three consecutive weekends, American Flat Track now takes a six-week break before its next event, the Arizona Mile on May 13 which kicks off a four-week stretch of consecutive races on Mile tracks. Last year, Smith scored three of his four victories en route to the title on Mile tracks.
AMA Pro Racing mourns the loss of Jamison Minor
AMA Pro Racing is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of American Flat Track competitor Jamison Minor (21) and extends heartfelt condolences to his family.
Minor, a New Hampshire native, was involved in a multi-bike accident on the first lap of the AFT Singles race during Saturday’s event in Charlotte. Emergency medical personnel were on scene and responded to the incident within seconds. Minor was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
Michael Lock – CEO of AMA Pro Racing
“Jamison exemplified the spirit of the sport and the entire American Flat Track community is in mourning today. He was impressive on and off the race track, with a positive, upbeat attitude that showed the markings of a future star. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Bou Wins 11th X-Trial Title
Toni Bou has predictably won the final round of the FIM X-Trial World Championships which was held in Nice, France last weekend and in doing so wrapped up his 11th title in the indoor discipline and takes his total World Championship tally to 21.
Toni Bou put on a dazzling display of high-level riding prowess in the glamorous French city to claim victory on the day with no penalty marks. At the end of qualifying, the Montesa Cota 4RT rider had already mathematically sealed the title with the points necessary to take him through to the final.
In the final itself, Bou was clearly enjoying himself. With the win, the champion celebrated a full-house of wins in 2017 that takes his tally of wins in this competition since February 2016 to seven.
Toni Bou’s eleven X-Trial/Indoor titles plus the ten in the outdoor discipline add up to a total of twenty-one consecutive titles, a unique achievement, not only for motorcycling, but unmatched in virtually any other sport.
“I’’m really happy, this is a special title. After winning the first three races we knew that we had to get through to the final to be able to celebrate the title. But we also knew that the race was going to be easy, so we had to work very hard in the qualifying as we knew we could have a tough competition. We ended up winning the event and finishing with no marks, which was a good job as Adam always puts the pressure on. We have won all the races – it’s been two years since we were able to do that – it’s an incredible sensation. I would also like to thank the team which has worked so hard. Winning the title is a way of giving them back a little of everything that they have done to help achieve it.”
Irwin and Pocock Win UK MX Nationals
Graeme Irwin and Mel Pocock have won the MX1 and MX2 classes at the opening round of the UK MX Nationals held at Preston Docks last weekend. Irwin got the win in the MX1 class ahead of Martin Barr and Kristian Whatley while Pocock got the nod ahead of the flying duo of Jake Millward and Josh Gilbert.
Gonçalves Leads Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the first of five rounds in the 2017 FIM Cross-Country World Rally Championship and after nearly 390 km of dunes, Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna), Sam Sunderland (KTM) and Matthias Walkner (KTM) arrived at the finish TC (time check) of Stage 2 together, but it was Pela Renet (Husqvarna) who took the laurels of this second stage.
The French rider won the Special with a lead of 2’17 over Paulo Gonçalves (Honda), who crashed hard, and 3’48 over Matthias Walkner, who moved to the top of the leader board.
Pela Renet – Stage 2 winner
“It was good. When you win, it’s always a good day. But it was not an easy stage and again very long. I started fifth so I had some lines in the dunes, but I still had to push. I rode all day alone and I only caught Pablo about 50 km before the end. But I’m very happy with the result.”
Paulo Goncalves – Second overall
“We have finished the second day with a fairly long stage. It was 100 per cent off track – all dunes. I did well and before arriving at CP 1, I had already reached the riders in front. I was up with the main group until kilometre 70 where a dune ‘swallowed’ me. I had to stay there for a minute to get my breath back before continuing. Luckily it was nothing and I was able to continue. Tomorrow I will try and attack again, although I have seen that the rivals are really strong. The bike is going really well in such difficult conditions. We have to keep going.”
Jett Lawrence Continues to Win
Aussie Jett Lawrence is racking up wins over in Europe and here is what he posted on his FB page:
“Raced my first EMX (European MX qualifier) round at Naestved Denmark on the weekend. In time practice I went first, then qualifying race I got first, so I wanted a win-win in the races. But the first Moto I got a pretty good start and I was in fourth, but I made a mistake and crashed, so that wasn’t even much into the first lap. I got going way down the pack and only got to 20- something by the first lap whilst the leaders were gone. I only had enough time to get back to second but closed the gap to only a few seconds off the winner. Next Moto I got a bad start so put my head down and just did my laps and eventually caught first and second riders, so had a cool little battle and fought to the front for first, which gave me first overall for the weekend. So I’m going to work on my mistakes and starts and hopefully come back stronger for next round. Thanks to the Suzuki World MXGP team and the Everts family and Dad for being my mechanic this weekend.”
The opening round of the MX Nationals was the launch of MX Live via the live streaming on NRGTV and it was a disappointing debut with streaming problems throughout. As you would expect there has been some serious criticisms on social media – time will tell whether the problems will be fixed for round two.
Women’s Class added to Manjimup 15000
The Manjimup 1500 has released the following statement regarding adding a women’s class, thanking sponsor WA Assett.
“We have so many requests to include classes that we do not generally cater for and this year was no different. We have heard you and in 2017 can finally add the Women’s class. It will be run on the Saturday we thank WA Assett’s who have come on board particularly to sponsor this one class they have some great ideas that we will share at a later date.”
Smarty’s Race Reports:
AMA Supercross – Round 13 – The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Monster Energy AMA Supercross made its annual visit to the “Gateway to the West” on Saturday night, with a crowd of 53,049 on hand inside The Dome at America’s Center for the 13th round of the 2017 season and it was Eli Tomac who took yet another 450SX main event win to close within four points of the championship lead while Jordan Smith took his second win in a row in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class.
450SX Main Event:
Dungey pulled the all-important holeshot just ahead of Tomac but the Kawasaki pilot wasted little time in getting out front and made an aggressive pass on Dungey on the opening lap to take the lead. Dungey gave chase, while his teammate Marvin Musquin settled into third.
Tomac pushed the pace early to put some distance between he and Dungey, who was pressured heavily by Musquin. After fending off his teammate, Dungey set his sights back on Tomac and worked to erase the deficit. As the race passed the halfway point Dungey started posting quicker lap times than Tomac and got the gap down to less than two seconds.
With Tomac in his sights it appeared as though Dungey was going to make a late run on his rival, but as the leaders encountered lapped riders it was Tomac who took advantage, navigating through the back markers more efficiently. As Dungey spent multiple laps trying to get around lappers, in particular Chad Reed, he lost several seconds to Tomac.
The Kawasaki rider easily took his eighth win of the season, and the 12th of his career, by 6.7 seconds over Dungey, becoming the first rider since Ryan Villopoto in 2013 to win five races in a row.
“I’m not giving up. It’s all I can do. Just go out there and give it my best. Today was a little bit rough. I may not have shown it, but I didn’t do a whole lot of good. I didn’t get a good start in the Heat Race, but I nailed it in the Main Event and made the pass early. From there I tried to do what I could to open up some space, but Ryan was riding good and kept me honest the whole time. We just kept pressing on.”
Dungey’s runner-up effort was his championship-leading 11th podium result of the season, but he’s been unable to keep pace with Tomac.
“I’m so excited about tonight. I felt like I rode awesome. You don’t win them all sometimes, but I felt so good. We were catching Eli a bit and I was really happy with my riding. He just got away there at the end. Overall, I’m really happy with tonight. Not disappointed at all. Of course I really want to win, but Eli’s tough right now. He’s riding really good. It’s the challenge of racing, and pushing myself to be better. It’s a good thing.”
Just four points sit between Tomac and Dungey with four rounds remaining, after being separated by as many as 29 points earlier this season. Musquin is third, 49 points behind Dungey.
450SX Class Results
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
- Josh Grant, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
…16. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 276
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 272
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM – 227
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 211
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 188
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 163
- Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM – 160
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 143
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 136
- Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna – 136
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event
When the gate dropped on the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event it was Dakota Alix who narrowly secured the holeshot over Savatgy, who then moved into the lead with Smith following into second. Alix settled into third briefly, but then gave up the position to Gannon Audette. That early battle for third allowed Savatgy and Smith to pull out to more than five seconds ahead of the field.
While the lead pair asserted themselves out front, the battle for third intensified between Audette, Adam Cianciarulo, and Zach Osborne. Cianciarulo and Osborne battled for fourth on Lap 3, with Osborne diving to the inside of the Kawasaki rider, taking his line, and moving into the position. He then made a charge on Audette for third and was able to move into podium position on Lap 4.
Out front Savatgy had established a comfortable margin over Smith, but on lap 7 Savatgy lost control of his Kawasaki which forced him off the side of the track and allowing Smith taking advantage to take the lead wih Osborne now closing in on the leading duo.
Savatgy regained his composure and charged to the back fender of Smith, clearly the faster rider. However, Savatgy was forced to start his challenge over again after making contact with a lapped rider, which forced him to fend off a heavy challenge from Osborne for second. Savatgy withstood the challenge and pulled away from Osborne, once again closing on the back end of Smith as the time in the Main Event wound down.
Just a couple bike lengths separated the lead duo over the closing stages and Savatgy made a major challenge on the final lap, diving to Smith’s inside with a couple corners remaining, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get by. Smith crossed the line just four-tenths ahead of Savatgy.
“The racing this year has been crazy. The top five riders are so close. it was about the start and minimizing the mistakes. The track was really tough. My team made some changes to my bike and they worked out great.”
Savatgy’s fourth straight runner-up finish is the third in a row in which he led laps but came up short of the win. Osborne rounded out the podium in third.
“We rode good and did what we had to do. I executed off the start, put ourselves in a good position , and started to pull away. It seems like I want to just give these things away. I can’t even begin to explain it. I’m frustrated, obviously. We’ll go into the break, regroup, and come out swinging .”
Savatgy maintained control of the championship lead with his second-place effort, but Smith closed the deficit to just six points. Osborne is third, 12 points behind Savatgy.
The Eastern Regional Championship will now take its lone break in action for the 2017 season, returning to the track at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 29.
The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season continues next Saturday, April 8, for the 14th round of the championship and an anticipated return to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field for the first time since 2014.
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha
- Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 146
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 140
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 134
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 128
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha – 104
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda – 81
- Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha – 70
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha – 69
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha – 66
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki – 62
AMSOIL Arenacross Championship/ Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup – Round 4 – Sacramento, CA
The fourth round of AMSOIL Arenacross’ Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup continued the championship’s west coast swing from the new, state-of-the-art Golden 1 Center on Saturday night.
Following his most dominant outing of the entire 2017 season, Chris Blose earned his first overall victory in the Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup with a perfect night of maximum points while in the Western Regional AX Lites Class, Jared Lesher took his second Main Event win of the season.
Blose started his night by claiming the maximum two points in the Head 2 Head Challenge over Gavin Faith while in the first of two 250AX Class Main Events, Blose put his Yamaha out front immediately, with Faith and Jace Owen in tow. The top three riders in the championship standings were able to keep pace with one another in the early laps, which allowed them to break away from the field.
Blose established a margin of just under a second over Faith, and the two would trade fast laps throughout the 15-lap Main Event. Faith would gain a bike length on Blose and appeared poised to make a challenge for the lead, but Blose would respond on the ensuing lap and re-establish his comfortable gap.
This seesaw battle continued until the final few laps when Faith got to within a half-second of Blose. The defending AMSOIL Arenacross Champion ultimately didn’t have enough momentum to make a serious bid for the lead and Blose took the opening Main Event win by four-tenths of a second over Faith. Owen followed with a solid third-place finish, with Jacob Williamson in fourth and Ben Lamay in fifth.
When the field stormed out of the gate to start the second 250AX Class Main Event, Owen and Blose battled side-by-side for the lead on the opening lap. Blose edged out front to take the lead, while Faith was able to sneak by Owen and take over second, ultimately duplicating the starting order from the first Main Event.
This time Blose upped the pace and moved out for a comfortable lead of over a second on Faith, who settled into the spot with another second back to Owen in third. While Faith would at times inch closer to Blose, the Yamaha rider was in full control of the race and had his sights set on victory.
Blose capped off his dominant night with a sweep of the Main Events, taking the chequered flag two seconds ahead of Faith. Owen rode to another strong third-place performance, with his teammate Lamay in fourth and Daniel Herrlein in fifth.
The overall podium classification was as orderly as it comes, with Blose (1-1), Faith (2-2) and Owen (3-3) posting identical finishes. Lamay landed fourth overall (5-4), while Williamson rounded out the top five (4-7).
Blose became the third different winner in the Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup, joining Faith and Owen. Faith remains the championship leader with his runner-up effort, and now holds an eight-point lead over Blose, who surpassed Owen in the standings thanks to scoring the maximum number of points. Owen is just nine points out of the lead in third.
250AX Class Overall Results (Main Event Results)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha (1-1)
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (2-2)
- Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (3-3)
- Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (5-4)
- Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki (4-7)
- Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM (8-5)
- Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM (6-10)
- Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki (7-11)
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki (12-6)
- Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki (10-8)
RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge Results (Bonus Points)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha (2 points)
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (1 point)
- Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki (1 point)
- Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (1 point)
- Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (1 point)
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki (1 point)
- Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki (1 point)
- Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM (1 point)
Race to the Championship Standings
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki – 135 (8 Main Event Wins)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha – 127 (3 Main Event Win)
- Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda – 126 (15 Main Event Wins)
- Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM – 101 (1 Main Event Win)
- Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki – 96
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki – 76 (1 Main Event Win)
- Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM – 74
- Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda – 48 (1 Main Event Win)
- Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Florida, Yamaha – 40 (1 Main Event Win)
- Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki – 37
The Western Regional AX Lites Class Main Event got underway with Scott Zont out front early ahead of Lesher, but Lesher seized control of the lead on the opening lap and proceeded to control the Main Event from there on out.
Behind him, Zont faced heavy pressure from championship leader Hunter Sayles, who put his KTM into second on Lap 2. The battle for the podium continued for Zont just a couple laps later when Jacob Williamson fought his way into third on Lap 5 after starting fifth.
Lesher continued to lead and was able to maintain a multiple-second advantage throughout the 15-lap Main Event. Williamson continued his charge forward and engaged in a battle with Sayles for second with just a handful of laps remaining.
Williamson successfully made the pass on Lap 10. Lesher went on to take the win 2.2 seconds ahead of Williamson, while Sayles soldiered home to third, just ahead of his championship rival, Ryan Breece.
Sayles’ slim margin over Breece in the Western Regional Championship standings sits at just two points with two rounds of racing remaining. Lesher’s win helped him gain valuable ground on both riders in third, now just five points out of the lead, setting the stage for a thrilling three-rider battle to the finish.
The fourth round of the Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup continues next Saturday, April 1st at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Western Regional AX Lites Class Results
- Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM
- Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki
- Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM
- Ryan Breece, Athol, Idaho, Kawasaki
- Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Kawasaki
- Connor Pearson, El Dorado, Calif., KTM
- Richard Jackson, Holdenville, Okla., KTM
- Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha
- Deegan Vonlossberg, Palmdale, Calif., Yamaha
- Chance Blackburn, Newman Lake, Wash., KTM
Western Regional AX Lites Class Championship Standings
- Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM – 100
- Ryan Breece, Athol, Idaho, Kawasaki – 98
- Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM – 95
- Hunter Hilton, Youngsville, La., Husqvarna – 51
- Jeramy Taylor, Canton, Ohio, KTM – 36
- Parker Fleming, Quinlan, Texas, Husqvarna – 36
- Austin Walton, Sparks, Nev., Yamaha – 34
- Connor Pearson, El Dorado, Calif., KTM – 32
- Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha – 32
- Kinser Endicott, Red Bluff, Calif., Yamaha – 26
FIM World Motocross Championships – Round 4 – Leon, Mexico
Tim Gajser and Thomas Covington have won the MX1 and MX2 classes respectively at round four of the FIM Motocross World Championship held on the technical circuit in Leon, Mexico.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came into Sunday after qualifying first on Saturday for the second GP in a row. Gasjer won both races in textbook form on Sunday. The Slovenian rode at an unmatchable pace winning both races with a 15 second gap on second and registering the fastest laps in both.
“I felt good all weekend, I was enjoy it and having fun on the bike. Actually, in the second moto it was tough as Cairoli was pushing me all the way and also the track became really hard and slick in some places but I am really happy that I won that one and the overall as well. I am really looking forward to the next one already. I haven’t changed anything that I do, I am just having fun on the bike and I think that is key.”
Antonio Cairoli came into the weekend knowing that he needed to perform in order to keep the championship points manageable before heading to Italy for the first race in Europe. The KTM pilot managed 4-2 results for second outright and now sit 20 points back from Gajser in the championship.
“I did my best, I finished 4th in the first moto which is good for the championship. Tim and I were a little faster than everyone else today and I want to be closer in the races because it is fun to race with him.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin won the MXGP of Leon – Mexico in 2014 and this time around he found the podium once again with 3-3 moto finishes.
“I can’t thank all my team enough for all their hard work. I’m having fun on my bike at the moment and our goal now is to consistently battle for the podium at each GP.”
Arnaud Tonus has struggled so far this season and today he posted 6-4 moto results which put him one spot off of the podium but more importantly he gains some confidence before heading to Europe.
“My weekend has been really good. I was feeling really good on the bike even though my starts were not so good but I found some solutions and managed to come back for sixth and fourth for fourth overall. I am really happy.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek rounded out the top five two weeks after being on the podium in Patagonia-Argentina.
Jeremy Van Horebeek
“Overall my weekend was not too bad, I didn’t get the best starts but I managed to get through the first lap really clean and into the top five straight away. It was like a battle all the way, and there was only one good line on the track. In the first moto I was okay with the altitude but in the second moto I struggled a bit. I was pushing for third but I got really tired in the last laps because of the altitude and dropped back to fifth. But two times inside the top five is good and is also good for the championship.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle stays third in the points with 8-6 moto results.
“Now we go back for the European rounds of the series; I’m third in the standings and we’ll continue to work hard with the team.”
So, what happened to Jeffrey Herlings?
“I don’t know what happened today. I want to thank Red Bull KTM because they have supported me so much and through all those days when we went 1-1 but now we need to keep on working and we will keep fighting and soon be up with the front-runners. We’ve had a couple of top tens so now we have to look to top five, top threes and up to the front.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:45.401
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:14.909
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.434
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:15.718
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:17.615
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:17.676
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:36.880
- Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:38.837
- Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:41.562
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:42.542.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:03.806
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:15.224
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:26.064
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.677
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:28.892
- Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:47.894
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:56.358
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:58.109
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +1:00.181
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +1:01.851.
MXGP Overall Top Ten
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40 p.
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 40 p.
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 33 p.
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 32 p.
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 29 p.
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 28 p.
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 27 p.
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 24 p.
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 22 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 156 points
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 136 p.
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 119 p.
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 116 p.
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 112 p.
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 111 p.
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 89 p.
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 78 p.
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 73 p.
- Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 70 p
Thomas Covington showed he was ready to compete after winning Saturday’s qualifying race and the Husqvarna rider backed that up with 4-1 moto results on Sunday to take the overall win.
“It was one of the best GPs of my career. I felt good throughout the weekend and that helped me stay focused and do my own races. Following our qualifying race win we had a great gate pick for the final motos. I didn’t get the best of starts in moto one but got my head down and managed to get fourth. My start was a lot better in moto two. I got the holeshot and soon found myself in second behind Jonass. I spotted some good lines and was able to make my move for the lead a few laps later. Winning the second moto and getting the overall victory is a great confidence booster. We had a rough start to this championship but things are a lot better now. I’m looking forward to the races to come.”
Jeremy Seewer had no issue in race one with the championship leader taking a convincing win but in race two the Suzuki pilot was 5th on lap one and he fought his way past Brent Van doninck and Julien Lieber to reach the third position by lap 9, which would have given him the overall, but 3 laps later he had a near get off and miraculous save. His close call caused him to lose a position to Lieber and cost him the overall.
Seewer finished second and maintained the point lead heading to Europe. The Swiss later in the press conference said, “I turned my weekend around today, I did what I was looking to do all season in race one, I was there on the start and then raced at my speed.”
Julien Lieber was battling throughout the day with the likes of Jonass, Seweer, and Paturel. He swapped position with the other riders multiple times but at the end he finished 3rd in both races getting himself and his privateer KTM on the podium once again.
“It was really good, it was two tough races and I will continue to try to ride like that.”
Pauls Jonass may have had the grittiest performance of all at the MXGP of Leon – Mexico after falling in Warm-Up and injuring his arm , the KTM pilot pshed on to go 5-2 for 4th overall.
“I was really disappointed about my crash on the last lap of warm-up, and had to have some stitches and aesthetic so in the first race my hand was a bit numb. I made a few mistakes and it was difficult to ride. I had a really good start in the second race and led for a while. So fourth overall and it could be better but I salvaged some points.”
Benoit Paturel rode strong all weekend to finish a solid second place in the opening moto before a come from behind ride to finish 8th in moto two for 5th place overall to keep the Yamaha rider 3rd in the championship points.
Australian Hunter Lawrence struggled with illness and finished with an 11-14 score card and now sits 16th in the MX2 Championship.
“First moto I didn’t have too bad a start, and with this illness I was just trying to last the full moto. It wasn’t too bad, I picked up a couple of positions, made some passes and finished 11th. No crashes, so I was happy with that. I then came back in, tried to reboot, recover as much as possible and come out for moto two. I got a similar start as moto one, mid-pack and tried to ride as best as I could, giving everything I had; the same sort of mentality as the first race. At the fifteen minute mark though, I was pretty already done, I had no energy or strength left so I ended up 14th. Not a bad weekend overall, today was good all things considered. Two motos in the top 15 with no crashes is not great but it gives me something to build on for when we get back to Europe.”
The next round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in two weeks’ time in Pietramurata, Trentino on the 15th and the 16th April.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), 35:36.310
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.922
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:13.091
- Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:18.551
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:19.913
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:22.157
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:23.285
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.453
- Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:33.194
- Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.775
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
- Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 34:03.198
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:03.814
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:05.294
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:07.037
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:18.147
- Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:28.602
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:32.223
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:34.034
- Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.675
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:46.280
MX2 Overall Top Ten
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 43 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 43 p.
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 40 p.
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 38 p.
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 35 p.
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 29 p.
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 28 p.
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 24 p.
- Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 23 p.
- Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 22 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 153 points
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 145 p.
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 139 p.
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 139 p.
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 127 p.
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 102 p.
- Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 84 p.
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 83 p.
- Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 81 p.
- Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 80 p
Australian MX Nationals – Round 1 – Wonthaggi, VIC
The Yamaha trio of Dean Ferris, Wilson Todd and Cooper Pozniak have won the MX1, MX2 and MXD class wins respectively at the challenging opening round of the Australian MX Nationals held in the Victorian town of Wonthaggi last weekend. You can read the full race report at the following link: