Smarty’s Moto News Wrap for Aug 26, 2014

Kirk Gibbs
MX Nationals Gladstone | top four only separated by 2 points as Gibbs took a narrow 1 point round win.

I will mention this out of my duty to cover all of the moto events each week but I must say, what the? Italy has won the Motocross of Europe Nations over the weekend ahead of the Netherlands, France and the Czech Republic. Basically we have a heap of Euro based nationally rated riders representing their country so I won’t go through the individual results because you won’t recognise any of the riders names.

We knew this already but Davi Millsaps will race for the Factory Kawasaki team in 2015 so now the question is whether it will be Brett Metcalfe or Ryan Villopoto as his teammate? Metty is as keen as mustard but Villopoto is choosing between taking on the MXGP circuit in Europe or returning to the AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships OR retiring.

Ken Roczen is leaving KTM to go with the RCH Suzuki team so Dean Wilson has been given the chance of a life time and will join Ryan Dungey on the factory KTM in the 450 class. For what it is worth I think Suzuki knows that the James Stewart phenomena is over so they wrote a huge cheque to secure Roczen BUT I have no idea why KTM would want Wilson. He may prove me wrong but I simply don’t rate the guy.

Cole Seely will join Trey Canard at the official Factory Honda team while Justin Barcia will move over to the JGR Yamaha team but wether Josh Grant and/or Justin Brayton stay on board is still to be announced.

On the local front, former MXD red plate holder Jed Beaton (GYTR Yamaha) has broken his leg and will be sidelined for the remainder of 2014 season and you can count KTM privateer pilot Brenden Harrison out for all national and state motocross events while the Queenslander recovers from a knee injury in order to be ready for the Australian Supercross Championship.

New Zealander Brad Groombridge has been signed to do the Gladstone and Coolum rounds of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals for the Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team after Brock Winston walked away from the team in disgust midway through the Raymond Terrace round of the series.

As a footnote, Winston managed a 10th overall at Gladstone last Sunday despite some bad luck in both motos while Groombridge finished outside the top ten.

With all three of last year’s MXoN competitors (Cody Cooper, Kayne Lamont and Rhys Carter) out with injury AND with Josh Coppins quitting as team manager, Motorcycling New Zealand has announced that Hamish Dobbyn (MX1), Hamish Harwood (MX2) and Scott Columb (Open) will represent Team NZ at the Motocross of Nations in Latvia in a month’s time. At the time of writing the team manager hasn’t been announced.

Team Sweden has been announced with Filip Bengtsson (MX1), Fredrik Noren (Open) and Eddie Hjortmarker (MX2) looking to up-hold the Swedes great history in this event while Portugal announced that Rui Goncalves (MX1), Paulo Alberto (MX2) and Hugo Basaula (Open) as the team that will go toe-to-toe with the best countries in the World including the Japanese team which will consist of Akira Narita (MX1), Takashi Katsuya (MX2) and Yoshitaka Atsuta (Open).

The latest round of Belgian MX1 Championship held at the Orp la Grand circuit last weekend and there were plenty of GP stars on hand and they obviously dominated with Jeremy Van Horebeek scoring the overall with 1-1 results ahead fellow Belgian Kevin Strijbos, Italian Davide Guarneri while Romain Febvre, Alexandr Tonkov and Shaun Simpson finished in fourth, fifth and sixth positions. We are just two weekends away from round 16 of the World Motocross Championships being held in Trindade, Brazil and all of the riders above will be in good form.

According to several reliable sources in Europe, controversial American racer Mike Alessi is currently looking for a deal to race the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championships. This is a rider who can’t win a championship in America or Canada so why he thinks he will get a decent ride among the MXGP teams has me beat. I would put money on the Moss twins kicking Alessi’s arse if he decided to come to Australia to race.

Moto News Wrap for the weekend of Aug 23/24 includes:

  • – Round 12 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Utah
  • – Round 9 of the Australian MX Nationals at Gladstone
  • – Round 4 of the 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross at Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, Georgia
  • – Round 4 of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Pretoria, South Africa

AMA Motocross Championships – Round 12 – Utah

Ken Roczen became the first German native to win an American motocross title. (Photo: Matt Rice)
Ken Roczen became the first German native to win an American motocross title. (Photo: Matt Rice)

It all came down to the final two motos in the AMA 450cc Motocross Championship and despite his very best effort Ryan Dungey has come 15 points short of taking the title from his team mate Ken Roczen.

Dungey scored two second place finishes behind the blindingly fast Trey Canard in both motos while Roczen survived almost going down with a lapped rider in the opening moto to score 3-4 moto finishes which earned him fourth on the day but more importantly the 450 title.

“My results were pretty solid throughout the whole year, even though at one point I didn’t go as well as I wanted to, but in the end the points standings are the way they are. It’s just a big monkey off the back now and I honestly can’t wait to have some chocolate and all the kind of fun stuff,” said Roczen of his season.

Eli Tomac managed to sneak in for the final podium position with 4-3 results while Brett Metcalfe finished the year off with 7-5 moto finishes to end the season in fourth overall while Chad Reed had 10th place overall in series in his grasp until he was involved in a spectacular multi-rider crash at the start of the final moto of the championship.

Jeremy Martin book-ended his championship winning season with a pair of dominating rides in the 250 class but there was some bad news for the Yamaha team with Blake Baggett taking second overall in the championship from Cooper Webb by just two points.

“It’s good. I won the championship a round early. I had [Blake] Baggett and [Cooper] Webb and a bunch of people who were putting up a fight halfway through the season, and I got picked for Team USA and stuff, so to be able to go 1-1 here today is nice because it was kind of like this is why I’m the champ, and this is why they picked me for des Nations, so it was nice,” said Martin of his season.

It is worth noting that two of the stars of the future Chris Alldredge and R.J. Hampshire finishes 6th and 10th overall in Utah so there are two more contenders to look out for when the 2015 season get underway.

450MX Overall – Rd12: 1. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (1-1). 2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-2). 3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (4-3). 4. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (3-4). 5. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki (7-5). 6. Ryan Sipes, Flaherty, Ky., KTM (9-6). 7. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (6-12). 8. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda (10-9). 9. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (13-7). 10. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (12-8). 14. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki (8-30).

450MX Final Points Standings: 1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 532. 2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 518. 3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 468. 4. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki, 334. 5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 319. 6. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM, 302. 7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 290. 8. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 259. 9. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 226. 10. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda, 207. 11. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 198.

250MX Overall – Rd12: 1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-1). 2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (3-3). 3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (2-4). 4. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (6-2). 5. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (4-5). 6. Chris Alldredge, Powell Butte, Ore., Kawasaki (5-8). 7. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM (8-7). 8. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki (10-6). 9. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Honda (7-9). 10. R.J. Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (9-11).

250MX Final Points Standings: 1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 500. 2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 421. 3. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha, 419. 4. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 408. 5. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda, 368. 6. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha, 355. 7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., KTM, 276. 8. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda, 260. 9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 252. 10. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki, 230.

Monster Energy Australian MX Nationals – Round 9 – Gladstone

Luke Arbon took out the 250 class at Gladstone
Luke Arbon took out the 250 class at Gladstone

The trip north to honour the late Jono Porter was well worth it for the MX National circus with the Gladstone Club and the event promoters putting on a sensational track and conditions for the 9th round of the MX Nationals and once again it wasn’t the championship leaders who took the round wins in the MX1 and MX2 classes.

CDR Yamaha’s Jacob Wright picked up where he left off at Raymond Terrace by winning Superpole and the opening 450 moto but at the end of the day it was Gibbs who claimed the round win by a single point with 3-2 moto results ahead of Billy Mackenzie (5-1), Adam Monea (4-2) and Jacob Wright (1-6).

“I’m pretty happy with today. The track was really technical and the ruts got really deep. I got two great starts but got a little bit of arm pump in the first and faded back a little, which I’m disappointed about. In the last race I got a great start again, and was holding second pretty well, but had a little tip-over, so that was disappointing to slip back to third, but I charged back through and nearly made it past for second on the last lap. I’m really happy with the way I’m riding, and hopefully I can carry that momentum into next weekend,” said Gibbs.

Matt Moss rode smart to end the day in fifth overall is now 37 points ahead of Gibbs with 75 points up for grabs at the final round at Coolum this coming weekend.

As I predicted in last week’s Moto Wrap Luke Arbon took out the 250 class at Gladstone ahead of Kiwi speedster Hamish Dobbyn and the Serco Yamaha pairing of Jay Wilson and Luke Clout.

“I’m definitely pumped to get my third round win. Today I sort of struggled in practice, but qualifying eighth gave me a decent enough gate pick. Two holeshots helped a lot but in the first Moto I kind of hit a wall after 10 minutes and my arms pumped up really badly. I just didn’t want to drop it and go backwards when I couldn’t feel the handlebars so I faded to third. Then in the last moto I felt great and led from start to finish. I’ve got good people around me, so a massive thanks to everyone involved,” said Arbon.

With a gaggle of young guns out to prove themselves and riding like every corner is their last Clout managed 5-2 results in Gladstone for fourth on the day and will have  a 32 point lead going into the three moto format at Coolum.

With Nathan Crawford suffering from a mechanical DNF while leading the opening MXD moto we saw Wilson Todd score maximum points with a pair of wins ahead of the new championship leader Egan Mastin and Jayden Rykers.

Mastin will take a 30 point lead over Jack Simpson heading into Coolum next weekend but look for Crawford to come out swinging.

MX1 Superpole: 1) Jacob Wright – 2:08.411  (5 points). 2) Jake Moss – 2:09.875  (4 points). 3) Adam Monea – 2:10.213 (3 points). 4) Matt Moss – 2:23.806 (2 points). 5) Kirk Gibbs – 2:33.546  (1 point).

Round 9 Results: 1) Kirk Gibbs 62 (32, 30). 2) Billy Mackenzie 61 (26, 35). 3) Adam Monea 60 (28, 32). 4) Jacob Wright 60 (35, 25). 5) Matt Moss 58 (30, 28). 6) Hayden Mellross 46
(23, 23). 7) Jake Moss 45 (19, 26). 8) Sam Martin 45 (24, 21). 9) Jesse Dobson 44 (22, 22). 10) Brock Winston 40 (20, 20).

Overall Championship Standings after 9 of 10 Rounds: 1) Matt Moss 713. 2) Kirk Gibbs 676. 3) Billy Mackenzie 632. 4) Adam Monea 615. 5) Jake Moss 528. 6) Jacob Wright 525. 7) Kade Mosig 500. 8) Hayden Mellross 472. 9) Sam Martin 436. 10) Brock Winston 415.

MX2 Round 9 Results: 1) Luke Arbon 65 (30,35). 2) Hamish Dobbyn 60 (32, 28). 3) Jay Wilson 59 (35, 24). 4) Luke Clout 58 (26, 32). 5) Kale Makeham 58 (28, 30). 6) Caleb Ward 51 (25, 26). 7) Josh Cachia 47 (22, 25). 8) Hamish Harwood 47 (24, 23). 9) Dylan Long 42 (20, 22). 10) Joel Evans 41 (21, 20).

MX2 Overall Championship Standings after 9 of 10 Rounds: 1) Luke Clout 606. 2) Luke Arbon 574. 3) Hamish Harwood 567. 4) Kale Makeham 543. 5) Jay Wilson 537. 6) Caleb Ward 492. 7) Brenden Harrison 464. 8) Kayne Lamont 395. 9) Errol Willis 395. 10) Josh Cachia 310.

MXD Round Results: 1) Wilson Todd 70 (35, 35). 2) Egan Mastin 62 (32, 30). 3) Jayden Rykers 58 (30, 28). 4) Jack Simpson 52 (26, 26). 5) Zac Small 47 (25, 22). 6) Dylan Wilson 47 (28, 19). 7) Brock McLeary 45
(22, 23). 8) Aaron Tanti 44 (20, 24). 9) Jett Anderson 43 (18, 25). 10) Bailey Coxon 43 (23, 20).

MXD Overall Championship Standings: 1) Egan Mastin 513. 2) Jack Simpson 483. 3) Nathan Crawford 468. 4) Jed Beaton 459. 5) Wilson Todd 444. 6) Jayden Rykers 395. 7) Aaron Tanti 386. 8) Brock McLeary 354. 9) Kyle Webster 343. 10) Jett Anderson 263.

GEICO AMA EnduroCross – Round 4 – Atlanta, Georgia

Taddy on the gas
Taddy on the gas

After coming under pressure from some of the young guns of the sport Red Bull KTM Factory rider Taddy Blazusiak has returned to top form to pick up another win in the third round of the AMA EnduroCross Series held in Atlanta last weekend.

“I am happy with my start but then I made a few mistakes and Cody got by me” said Blazusiak. “Fifteen laps felt like two forty five minute motos back to back out there on that track so it was great to come out with the win”.

Round 4 Overall Results: 1, Taddy Blazusiak – KTM. 2, Cody Webb. 3, Colton Haaker. 4, Taylor Robert – KTM. 5, Geoff Aaron – KTM. 6, Kyle Redmond – KTM. 7, Max Gerston. 8, Ty Termaine – KTM. 9, Wally Palmer. 10, Bobby Prochnau – KTM.

Championship Points: 1, Blazusiak 94 points. 2, Webb, 93. 3, Haaker 92. 4, Robert, 67. 5, Aaron, 56.

Red Bull X-Fighters – Pretoria, South Africa

Josh Sheehan
Josh Sheehan – “I’ve been wanting this for years, and it’s a dream come true. I’m on top of the world.” said an overwhelmed Sheehan.

The 14th Red Bull X-Fighters season held their first-ever World Tour final in Africa and in front of 22,000 frantic fans it was Australia’s Josh Sheehan who sensationally took out the final and his first Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour title.

The 28-year-old Aussie dominated the competition, winning every heat by unanimous decision to earn his first championship but it was a heart breaking day for Levi Sherwood who came into the event clear leader in the points but the Kiwi damaged his ankle in qualifying and could only manage 12th on the night for second in the series.

“I’ve been wanting this for years, and it’s a dream come true. I’m on top of the world.” said Sheehan as he was handed the trophy.

Final Round Results: 1. Josh Sheehan (AUS), 2. Dany Torres (ESP), 3. Adam Jones (USA), 4. Rémi Bizouard (FRA), 5. Thomas Pagès (FRA), 6. Clinton Moore (AUS), 7. Taka Higashino (JPN), 8. Maikel Melero (ESP), 9. David Rinaldo (FRA), 10. Alastair Sayer (BOT), 11. Nik De Wit (RSA), 12. Levi Sherwood (NZL).

Final Standings: 1. Sheehan 360 pts. 2. Sherwood 270 pts. 3. Torres 265 pts. 4. Pagès 235 pts. 5. Higashino 180 pts. 6. Bizouard 165 pts. 7. Jones 140 pts. 8. Rob Adelberg (AUS) 120 pts. 9. Moore 90 pts. 10. Melero 85 pts.

WA Desert Tri-Series – Round 3 – (Indee 500) Port Headland

Toby Price
Toby Price added to his trophy collection at WA Desert Tri-Series – Round 3 – (Indee 500) Port Headland

After finishing a close second place at the A4DE last weekend Toby Price made his way to the final round of the WA Desert Tri-Series being held near Port Headland in Western Australia and the journey bore fruit with the factory KTM pilot winning the round and the championship in convincing fashion.

“It all started well with a win in the Prologue, the first time I’ve done that this series.” Price commented. “I didn’t really want to start first but it came out that way. So the first day I pulled a bit of a gap, the run went pretty clean and pretty smooth”.

“The track was rough to start with so that made it tough straight away, and on day two I had about a minute-45 lead, so that meant that Longy (Ivan Long) would have had to catch and pass me and pull a 45 second lead. Longy pulled in about 40 seconds but I still had the outright lead, and I was happy with that. I was on a good pace, comfortable. So I nailed down a second lap pretty much the same as the first, and started pulling a gap again.

“I can’t thank the KTM desert racing team enough, the guys worked hard and came away with the good result for both myself and Longy. I really enjoyed the Tri-Series, it’s a bit of everything rolled into one, high-speed, rough, dusty, awesome countryside out in the middle of nowhere, and without this series I probably would never have come up here in my lifetime.

“Hopefully they’ve got it all happening again next year, and we’ll be back again next year.” Price added.

Round 3 Results: 1. Price. 2. Long. 3. Smith. 4. Stokie. 5. Clay. 6. Calvin

Championship Results: 1. T.Price. 2. I.Long. 3. (eq.) T.Smith & J.Smith. 5. R.Faggotter. 6. B.Black

Moto News Wrap for the weekend of Aug 30/31 will include:

  • – Round 10 of the Australian MX Nationals at Coolum
  • – Round 9 of the FIM Speedway World Championships (Grand Prix of Poland) in Gorzow
  • – Round 6 of the AMA WMX Championships at Millington, MI
  • – 2014 Baja Brawl

Moto News Wrap for the weekend of Sept 6/7 will include:

  • – Round 16 of the World Motocross Championships (MXGP of State of Goias) in Trindade, Brazil
  • – Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2014 Australian Off-Road Championships at Heathcote
  • – Round 10 of the Amsoil GNCC at Unadilla, New Berlin, NY