Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap for November 24, by Darren Smart
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Team Australia Sweeps ISDE
Two months after the 2016 FIM International Six Day Enduro finished the FIM has decided that their original decision to disqualify the riders that missed the check point on day three was correct, which means Team Australia has swept the Senior Trophy, Junior Trophy and Women’s classes against the best riders in the world.
The Australian team of Matthew Phillips, Josh Green, Daniel Milner, Beau Ralston, Lachlan Stanford and Glen Kearney actually took the top step of the podium in protest during the trophy presentation because there were several French riders who missed the check point in question and with this decision by the FIM we now see that team France is no longer in a podium position as second now goes to Italy with Finland in third.
Todd Waters to Wilson Suzuki
As I predicted, Todd Waters will return to the Australian motocross and supercross scene in 2016 after signing with the Wilson MX team with factory Suzuki support.
The 24-year-old Queenslander has raced MXGP for the past two years with the highlight being a podium finish in the 2015 Italian grand prix at Maggiora, and was a consistent top 10 performer, so the fact that Waters couldn’t secure a ride for 2016 is a surprise to many.
Waters will be joined by Luke Wilson on the team while it’s understood Jay Foreman will have an involvement in developing the team’s RM-Z450 race bikes.
Chad Reed’s 2016 Plans
As Chad Reed readies himself for his return to the Australian Supercross Championship this weekend in Sydney the former AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion is dealing with the fact that he is struggling to find a full time ride for the 2016 AMA Supercross series so it looks like the veteran will only contest selected supercross rounds as well as the UK and Italy MXGP rounds.
If I was a betting man I would put my money on a major team rider getting injured and Chad filling in for the season…..in the mean time Chad is training with Michael Byrne on Yamaha machinery on a daily basis and keeping fit with cycling and gym work.
Stewart In or Out for Sydney?
There is still plenty of conjecture around the place as to whether James Stewart will compete at the Sydney Aus-X Open and at the time writing (sparrows fart on Tuesday morning 24/11) all is quiet on JS7’s social media with his Twitter feed and Facebook page not being up-dated since November 19. There is even talk of Josh Grant, Davi Milsaps or another big name Yank taking his place…..time will tell.
SXD at Jimboomba
GYTR Yamaha rider Jordan Hill made his return to the SXD series a winning one by taking the overall win ahead of Trent Wheatly, Lachlan Holroyd and Brock McLeary while championship front runner Mitch Evans (GYTR Yamaha) finished eighth overall after crashing heavily in the final moto of the night.
Finke Desert Race Wins Tourism Award
The Tatts Finke Desert Race has won the Festivals and Events category at the 2015 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards.
At a gala awards ceremony held in Alice Springs attended by representatives of the Northern Territory tourism industry, Finke Desert Race President and life member Antony Yoffa received the coveted award to the cheers of many Finke supporters. “This award recognises that the Tatts Finke Desert Race is so much more than a sporting event; it is a successful tourism event”, said Mr Yoffa. “This year we had 22,000 paying spectators across the weekend at various events with 15,000 people camped along the track.”
Former Serco Yamaha and Monster Energy Kawasaki race team mechanic Michael Marty has teamed up with Quinten Milton to form Brisbane Dirt Bike Services at Unit 2/16 Hook Street, Capalaba. Milton is one of the most respected motorcycle mechanics in the industry so with a combined 25 years of throwing spanners at dirt bikes of all brands it looks like the dirt biking fraternity in South East Queensland has a new place to take their pride and joy to get service, repaired or tuned. The new venture will open on January the 4th.
RIP Jennifer Potter
The sad new came through last week that Taylor Potter’s mother passed away and just this morning Craig Anderson’s wife Katrina posted this photo and words on her Facebook page and after reading it I figured this is as good a tribute one could find: ‘This photo sums us Jen’s zest for life and love of her family…..Today family, friends and the Moto community will farewell one of the most passionate mums & supporters we know. Jennifer Adair Potter your infectious smile, big heart and enthusiasm will be missed at the track. I would stand fingers crossed with Jenny bouncing up n down until that last lap board would fly, no matter the outcome she would cheer, smile and clap her #1 rider Taylor. I loved all the stories about her family she was so proud of .. from Adair at uni to her grandkids helping her decorate the Christmas tree with Beenie kids she had collected throughout the years … Jen thank you for sharing with me, I am a lucky lady to have called you my friend. Our deepest condolences to the entire POTTER family and Jenny’s friends today. RIP Jenny as you watch over your precious family from the clouds – #neverforgotten #ripjen #lovekatrina xxxx LOVE THE ANDOS XOXOXOXO’
The results are unofficial but it appears that the OX Motorsports team of Colton Udall, Mark Samuels and Justin Jones have taken the win at the 2015 Baja 1000 on their 5X Honda. SCORE International is currently reporting that the 45X team led by Fancisco Arrendondo finished second ahead of the 1X team led by Ricky Brabec.
New Suzuki Team for AMA SX and MX
Motorcycle Superstore has announced the formation of a new team that will compete in the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross championship series. The Motorcycle Superstore / Suzuki team will be operated by Albertson Enterprises and is planning to include four riders competing on Suzuki RM-Z250’s.
“This is just the opportunity that we have been waiting for. After sitting down with the crew at Motorcycle Superstore, our plans and visions aligned perfectly. I couldn’t be more excited to start this relationship” stated Jimmy Albertson.
Herlings to Stay in MX2 – Or Not
After some talk that Jeffrey Herlings may move to the MXGP class in 2016 the KTM star confirmed at the Milan Show last weekend that he will stay in the MX2 championship BUT just a few days later the Dutch star was called by MXLarge and he said this: “Obviously I would love to race the 450 guys, but at the same time I have something to prove in the MX2 class. Winning two titles in the last two years should have been possible, but due to injuries I didn’t win. I still want to win another MX2 championship, that was always my goal, but of course I don’t want to be a pussy and not move up to the MXGP guys and battle the big guns.”
The famous Dakar Rally kicks off in Buenos Aires for its 38th edition on the 2nd of January and all of the major teams and their riders are locked and loaded for the toughest race in the rally world.
The Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team’s British rider Sam Sunderland fractured his femur in training but is doing everything possible to be fit for the rally while Toby Price, Matthias Walkner, Jordi Viladoms and rally rookie Antoine Meo are all fit and ‘Ready To Race’ for KTM.
The official Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team will feature veteran campaigner Ruben Faria, two-time Enduro World Champion Pierre-Alexandre Renet and the team’s newest addition Pablo Quintanilla while Joan Barreda, Michael Metge, Paolo Ceci, Ricky Brabec and Paulo Goncalves will be on board the powerful Honda CRF450 RALLY for the HRC team.
ADAC Supercross – Munich, Germany
American Ben Lamay took out Friday nights SX1 final at the Munich round of the ADAC Supercross series ahead of Gregory Aranda, Filip Neugebauer, Nick Wey, Jace Owen and Jeff Alessi but on Saturday night Aranda won a closely fought final ahead of Owen, Alessi, Mathew Bayliss, Dominique Thury, Filip Neugebauer and Wey.
Suzuki rider Thomas Ramette had a cracker of a night at the Milano Supercross after winning the SX1 Final and the Superfinal. Ramette easily accounted for Matteo Bonini, Angelo Pellegrini and Marco Maddii in the SX1 final but in the Superfinal Ramette was hounded by Bonini all of the way to the finish line while Pellegrini and Nick Kouwenberg rounded out the top four.
Last Weekend’s Racing
Australian Supercross Championship – Round 4 – Jimboomba, Qld
In front of a large crowd of parochial Queenslanders CDR Yamaha’s Dan Reardon and Davey Motorsports KTM’s Lewis Woods have won the SX1 and SX2 Championship classes respectively at the fourth round of the Australian Supercross Championships held in Jimboomba last Saturday night.
For SX1 Championship leader Reardon it was all about making the most of the home crowd advantage and the gutsy Queenslander was in blistering form setting the fastest qualifying time and winning both SX1 heat races.
In the main event defending champion Matt Moss grabbed the holeshot but Reardon was immediately running beside the Suzuki star going into the next corner and over the first half a lap there was plenty of bar banging until Moss lost control of the front end coming into a right hand bowl turn and fell.
Reardon immediately gapped his fellow Yamaha riders Lawson Bopping and Kade Mosig and looked incredibly smooth and fast on his way to his third straight round win to etch out a 10 point lead ahead of Moss with just two rounds left to run. “This one is a really critical round in the championship, so I’m rapt to get the win for all the fans here in Queensland that have come out to support me, as well as keep the momentum and open up a few more points lead in the series,” Reardon explained. “We’ve got two more rounds to go in the championship and the next one next weekend at Sydney is indoors at the AUS-X Open event, which I’m really looking forward to. My plan is to keep doing whatever it takes to get this championship won.”
With Reardon motoring away to another win Moss was left with no other option but to put his head down and charge back through the pack and at the end of 20 laps the super fit Suzuki pilot worked his way to a second place finish. “That’s three straight rounds I’ve been on the ground,” said Moss. “When you’re racing for a championship, you can’t afford to do that. But I’ve just got to cop it on the chin and come back stronger at the next one.”
Behind Reardon and Moss the second CDR Yamaha rider Kade Mosig nailed down a well earned third place finish ahead of NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Adam Monea and DPH Motorsports Peter Stevens Yamaha’s Lawson Bopping.
SX2 Report: Lewis Woods used a blistering start in the SX2 main event to garner an early lead while championship leader Jimmy Decotis was running top five in the opening laps but more importantly for the championship we saw Luke Clout and Jackson Richardson recovering from first lap crashes.
The American slowly but surely making his way forward until catching second placed Dylan Wills when Decotis ran off the track, rejoined the track illegally then to add insult to the situation raced Wills to the next corner and swept across Wills front wheel causing the young KTM pilot to crash heavily. Decotis managed to keep his place, while Wills had to fight back to an eventual fifth place finish.
In the closing laps of the race Decotis put in a big effort to keep his win streak alive but Woods managed the gap to take the win. “It’s been a great night,” Woods said. “Getting a great start in the final makes all the difference and then all I had to do was get into a rhythm and just keep it going. I knew late in the race Jimmy would be coming, because that’s what he does, but I just kept at it and that’s what got me the win and it feels awesome.”
“Lewis rode so good tonight,” Decotis offered. “I got close there at the end but not close enough, simple as that. “Second tonight keeps me right at the top of the Championship, and I’m happy with that, but that’s not to take anything away from Lewis, as he absolutely earned that win tonight.”
Fresh from a very productive weekend up in Toowoomba for the 40th anniversary of the inaugural Mountain Man of Motocross meeting, South Australian SD3 Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon finished third ahead of Penrite Honda Wilson MX’s Geran Stapleton, Wills and CRF Honda Racing’s Joel Wightman.
Jackson Richardson made his way to 10th place to take over 2nd place in the championship points while Clout staged a valiant comeback from the start line mishap with Wade Hunter to get back up into the top five before crashing again and being forced out of the race – Clout is now 6th in points and out of the championship hunt.
SX1 Overall: 1. Dan Reardon. 2. Matt Moss. 3. Kade Mosig. 4. Adam Monea. 5. Lawson Bopping. 6. Luke Styke. 7. Daniel McCoy. 8. Gavin Faith. 9. Danny Ham. 10. Joel Newton.
SX1 Championship Standings after 4 of 6 Rounds: 1. Dan Reardon – 137 Pts. 2. Matt Moss – 127 Pts. 3. Kade Mosig – 112 Pts. 4. Adam Monea – 107 Pts. 5. Lawson Bopping – 99 Pts. 6. Luke Styke – 93 Pts. 7. Daniel McCoy – 92 Pts. 8. Danny Ham – 78 Pts. 9. Gavin Faith – 77 Pts. 10. Kirk Gibbs – 54 Pts.
SX2 Overall: 1. Lewis Woods. 2. Jimmy Decotis. 3. Luke Arbon. 4. Geran Stapleton. 5. Dylan Wills. 6. Joel Wightman. 7. Luke Wilson. 8. Tomas Ravenhorst. 9. Jesse Madden. 10. Jackson Richardson.
SX2 Championship Standings after 4 of 6 Rounds: 1. Jimmy Decotis – 138 Pts. 2. Jackson Richardson – 111 Pts. 3. Luke Arbon – 111 Pts. 4. Lewis Woods – 104 Pts. 5. Geran Stapleton – 104 Pts. 6. Luke Clout – 92 Pts. 7. Dylan Wills – 88 Pts. 8. Jesse Madden – 82 Pts. 9. Joel Wightman – 82 Pts. 10. Wade Hunter – 77 Pts.
AMA Pro Grand National – Las Vegas
The finale was anticlimactic since Mees’ two closest rivals faltered earlier in the evening, but Mees wasn’t worried about how he won, he was just glad that he took home the prestigious AMA Pro Grand National No.1 plate, his third in the last four years.
The championship was decided even before the main event when second-ranked Bryan Smith crashed out of his Semi. Third in series Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. could only manage to make it to the B Main, so that meant no matter where Mees finished in the final he had enough points in hand to claim the title.
“It awesome,” Mees said when asked how it felt to win the championship. “I said last year that that one meant the most to me then, but this one feels like it means the most to me now. It just gets sweeter and sweeter. The was pressure coming in of course, just because it’s a short track and what happened to Bryan (Smith), that was my biggest fear, kind of like beating yourself. I’ve done a lot of these indoor races and I know that sometimes the fastest guy can end up sitting on the bumper of his truck watching the race.”
The championship battle between Mees and Smith was intense all season and at times became contentious, but Mees went on to say how bad he felt about Smith’s crash earlier in the program.
“Bryan’s a good competitor and deep down a good friend,” Mees said. “There’s a rivalry there of course, because we’re all going for the same thing. We live about 25 minutes from each other, so we have a lot of the same friends and we meet up sometimes at functions or to go riding. Definitely this season there was some animosity there, but at the end of the day when the dust settles I hope that we can all get that friendship back tight again and bring it on again next year. I enjoy racing with Bryan.”
In the end Mees won the title by 23 points over Smith (204-181). Sammy Halbert, who finished fourth tonight, moved past Coolbeth for third in the final standings with 172 points.
Almost overlooked in the big story of Mees winning the title was the victory by Bauman, the 20-year-old from Salinas, Calif. Bauman looked flawless early in the race on his Honda, but said when he looked back and realized his had a big lead he started making riding errors.
“I did some of the best laps I’ve done all night and kind of felt like I had some breathing room,” Bauman explained. “I took a glance at one point as I was going into (turn) one and I just saw blue and yellow (Kopp’s colors) going through four. I thought I was OK and couldn’t do anything wrong, well then you start doing a lot of things wrong. I was hitting holes and hanging off the side of the thing and just making a lot of mistakes. Eventually I slowed down. It was one of those racetracks where whoever could make the least amount of mistakes was going to win.”
The victory, Bauman’s first of the season, punched his ticket into Saturday night’s Superprestigio of the Americas. Bauman was the seventh winner this season in the 13-race AMA Pro Flat Track Championship.
Kopp, 46, came out of retirement for this race. His goal was to try to win so he could race in the Superprestigio, but he realized it was a next to impossible task. Still he ran a remarkable race for a retired guy, taking second on his Husqvarna. “I kind of wanted to run the Prestigio tomorrow night,” said Kopp, the 2000 AMA Grand National Champion. “I knew you had to win it to move on, so it was kind of my goal, but realistically I knew it was a long, long shot. The best thing about racing now is I come here to have fun.”
AMA Pro Flat Track Results: 1. Briar Bauman, Honda. 2. Joe Kopp, Husqvarna. 3. Jared Mees, Honda. 4. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha. 5. Jake Johnson, Honda. 6. Dominic Colindres, Yamaha. 7. Mike Rush, Honda. 8. Jake Mataya, Honda. 9. Kayl Kolkman, Suzuki. 10. Henry Wiles, Honda. 11. Danny Eslick, Honda. 12. Brandon Robinson, Honda.
Superprestigio of the Americas – Las Vegas
It was a dream weekend for Jared Mees. One night after winning the 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Championship, the 29-year-old from Clio, Michigan, came through to score victory in the first ever Superprestigio of the Americas presented by Yamaha, Saturday night in the Orleans Arena.
Mees, riding a Honda CRF450R, proved the toughest rider among the eight-rider field on the rough and tumble Chris Carr-designed short track. Brad Baker and Kenny Coolbeth rounded out the podium finishers of the special race that brings together riders from various motorcycle racing disciplines.
All three of the podium finishers are former or current AMA Pro Grand National Champions. “It was just an unbelievable weekend for me,” Mees said. “To win the Superprestigio was icing on the cake. There was a lot of bumping and banging going on out there, but it was the kind of racing that leaves you with a huge smile on your face. The track was really racy and if you bumped someone off the line, you pretty much knew they were going to come right back at you. I was impressed with how everyone rode tonight and taking this win against some of the best racers in the world, guys I’ve looked up, makes me pretty proud.”
Mees battled with early leader Baker for the first four laps. The pivotal moment in the race came on lap five when the leading duo made contact coming out of turn four and Baker’s motorcycle nearly climbed the outside retaining wall. Somehow Baker managed to keep from crashing, but he lost touch with Mees, who cruised home to a 1.514-second margin of victory in the 15-lap race.
The top non-flat-track finisher was former AMA and World Superbike competitor Larry Pegram, of Hebron, Ohio, who finished fourth on a Honda. Racing prodigy Joe Roberts, from Los Angeles, also a road racer, rounded out the top five.
Results of the Superprestigio of the Americas: 1. Jared Mees, Honda. 2. Brad Baker, Honda. 3. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., Honda. 4. Larry Pegram, Honda. 5. Joe Roberts, Yamaha. 6. Oliver Brindley, Kawasaki. 7. Roger Hayden, Suzuki. 8. Bryan Smith, Kawasaki.
GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship – Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California
The race for the 2015 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Champion came down to the final race at Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California last weekend and defending champ Cody Webb held on to keep the number-one plate for at least another year.
Webb held a nervous 10-point lead over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker going into the final race of the year. It was, however, reduced to just nine points going into the main event. Earlier in the program, Haaker gained a point on Webb for topping the Hot Lap segment, but, as it turned out, it was all for naught.
Webb got off to a second-place start in the 15-lap final, and Haaker, like the previous round in Idaho, found himself in last place after getting caught up in a first-turn pileup. This all but assured Webb the title.
Although Haaker turned in another impressive come-from-behind ride, it was not enough to catch, or pass, Webb for the championship. (Haaker would have to had have won and Webb would have had to finish sixth or worse in order for Haaker to snatch away the title from Webb.)
Webb was hoping to finish off his championship season with a win, but Taylor Robert played spoiler. Robert had Webb in his sights by the midway point and eventually got around the leader and ran off with the win, his first AMA EnduroCross of the year and the second of his career.
Third on the night went to Haaker, followed by Beta’s Max Gerston and KTM rider Cory Graffunder.
Pro Main Results: 1. Taylor Robert (KTM). 2. Cody Webb (KTM). 3. Colton Haaker (Hus). 4. Max Gerston (Beta). 5. Cory Graffunder (KTM). 6. Geoff Aaron (GG). 7. Ty Tremaine (KTM). 8. Wyatt Hart (Hus). 9. Jamie Lanza (KTM). 10. Ty Cullins (Beta).
Final Championship Points: 1. Cody Webb (215). 2. Colton Haaker (204). 3. Mike Brown (145). 4. Cory Graffunder (136). 5. Taylor Robert (131). 6. Max Gerston (131). 7. Kyle Redmond (131). 8. Ty Tremaine (117). 9. Geoff Aaron (88). 10. Destry Abbott (85).