Moto News Wrap for November 17 – Darren Smart
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MMM Charity Dinner
The final figures are in and the Charity Dinner held in Toowoomba as part of the Mountain Man Motocross weekend netted over $11000.00 for R4D (Racing for the Disabled) and Beyond Blue’s ‘Riders Against Depression’.
Bob Johnston ripped the microphone all night auctioning many items donated and/or arranged by living legend Rosco Holden while former MMM champions Peter Boyle, Pelle Granquist, Robert ‘Beetle’ Bailey, Anthony Gunter, David Armstrong, Jeff Leisk, Craig Dack, Glen Bell and Troy Carroll all help out with the proceedings (and winning a few of the auctions themselves). A great night for two sensational causes.
James Stewart IN for ASX the Now OUT!!
After James Stewart announced that he will not compete in the Sydney round of the ASX the backlash from fans worldwide was loud enough for the Suzuki pilot to back flip and confirmed that he will be here as planned……BUT, a crash in the early portion of the main event at the Bercy Supercross in Paris last weekend saw Stewart being carried off so the chances of ‘Bubba’ coming to OZ are now next to zero….
Footnote: James needs to sack his personal trainers: From what I have seen, every time he falls over (forget major cartwheels or multi-bike pile-ups) he injures himself and I have inside information that Stewart wears gloves during sign-on in the fear of a paper cut…I mean…really???
King of Bercy to Aus-X Open?
Fresh from winning King Of Bercy in France Weston Peick has hinted that he may come to Australia for the Aus-X Open – here is what he had to say to RacerX: “Yeah, it’s good to come over here (Europe) and do some racing, make some good money and get some different kind of experience over here. I had fun. I’m not sure yet about Australia. It’s just kind of one of those things where it’s crunching into my prep time for next year and it just takes so much time out of my days and weeks to go over there. I’ll figure it out in the next week and see if I’m going to end up going over there.”
Aus-X Open Track Design
Check out the cool design for the Aus-X Open track – There are tunnels, split lanes, a massive whoops section and steel ramps – all of this innovation is going to make or break the event – even without Bubba, bring on the 28th and 29th of November.
Lawrence Brothers Off to Europe in 2016
Multi-Australian Junior Motocross Champions Hunter and Jett Lawrence will spend a chunk of the 2016 season in Europe with a new youth structure set up by the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team.
Bell Joins Mellross at Yamaha
Former Geico Honda and Rockstar Husqvarna rider Zach Bell will join Aussie Hayden Mellross at the 51FIFTY Yamaha team to contest the AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships in the 250 class. “I’m fired up to be part of the 51FIFTY team,” says Bell. “The program is strong and from the first day I rode the practice bike, I adapted right away to the YZ. As a team we have the same realistic goals and, personally, it’s great having confidence in the bike, team staff, and total program. I feel this can be a break-out year for me and just ready to keep moving forward.”
West for Superprestigio of the Americas
Aussie Anthony West has been asked to join a star studded field of riders for the annual Superprestigio of the Americas being held in Las Vegas’ New Orleans arena this weekend. West is a former Australian Junior Flat Track Champion and will put those skills to use and hopefully beat the likes of Tony Elias, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr, Jared Mees, Josh Hayes, Sammy Halbert, Roger Hayden, Henry Wiles, Justin Jones and Larry Pegram. Superprestigio is held in conjunction with the final round of the AMA Flat Track Championships.
Bud Racing In America and Europe for 2016
Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki have announced that the team will contest the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross 250SX West Region series before heading to Europe to contest the European Motocross Championship in the EMX250 class.
Former Team Green standout Darian Sanayei signed with the team last week and will be joined by France’s 2015 Motocross National Champion Maxime Desprey. Both riders will be coached by former World and AMA Champion David Vuillemin.
Musquin to THOR
Thor announced this week the return of former World Motocross Champion and factory KTM rider Marvin Musquin for the 2016 race season and beyond.
Surgery for Partridge
According to a post on his Instagram page, American motocross and supercross racer Kyle Partridge sustained a broken C6 and C7 in a practice crash and has undergone surgery. Partridge, who has raced in Australia in the past, had signed to ride for the CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha team for the 2016 season.
SX Fans Thumb Their Noses at Terrorists
You have to take your hat off to the fans that fronted up to the two nights of racing at the Bercy Supercross. Less than 24 hours after a terrorist attack in Paris that killed 129 people and injured over 300 we saw 70,000 people turn up over the two nights of racing….Viva La France. See the full report and results below.
Gajser to MXGP
Ok, this is BIG!! Reigning MX2 World Champion Tim Gajser will not defend his title in 2016, instead opting to move to the MXGP Class in the FIM World Motocross Championship. “This year was a dream—it was everything we’ve ever wanted to achieve and I’m so happy to have made that mark in history for myself, Slovenia, the team and for Honda,” Gajser said in a statement. “It feels amazing. It was the plan already—when we are MX2 champion, we go forward to the next class—but we didn’t expect to win the title this year, so I’m a little surprised.
“I always train with the Honda 450 at home, and this season was just riding the 250 at the races, so actually it was a little tricky changing bikes like that. Now I have a full factory 450, but apart from more power it’s not a new bike for me. I’ve already started testing the 450 for next season and I really love it.”
The 19-year-old from Slovenia has a contract until at least 2020 with Honda, and will remain with Honda Gariboldi Racing in 2016.
Everts to Suzuki
We knew this was going to happen but Suzuki has finally announced that 10 time World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts is now in control of the Suzuki World MXGP team.
Everts has reached an agreement with Sylvain Geboers (Geboers Racing Promotions) and with the help of his father Harry the three legendary Belgians will steer Suzuki’s factory riders in the FIM MXGP and MX2 Motocross World Championship as well as the EMX250 European Championship.
“It is a very big challenge and a big responsibility, but actually I think I am ready for it,” Everts commented. “I have the age and the knowledge. I have been retired for nine years and thanks to my former job I was able to build up some experience on the other side of the fence. I feel ready!”
“I love this sport so much and I love to travel and be at the races,” he added. “I love finding new talent. I want success with this team. A lot of things need to change, to move and be pushed forward. I’d like to create a really strong team image. On the multimedia side we can work harder and expand our profile more. The interaction with the fans is important.”
Suzuki World MXGP will contest the 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship with the experienced duo of Kevin Strijbos and Ben Townley in the MXGP class while Jeremy Seewer and Brian Hsu will contest the MX2 class and Bas Vaessen will be RM-Z250 mounted in the EMX250 European Championship.
Husqvarna 2016 MXGP and MX2 Riders Announced
Max Nagl, Christophe Charlier, Max Anstie and Thomas Covington have been signed to race Husqvarna machinery in the 2016 World Motocross Championships. Anstie and Covington will form Husqvarna’s MX2 Factory team managed by Jacky Martens while Nagl and Charlier will have the backing of Husqvarna’s MXGP Factory team managed by Antti Pyrhönen. For 2017 and 2018 Max Anstie has signed to compete in the MXGP class for Husqvarna. Conrad Mewse will compete in the EMX 250 championship for the Husqvarna’s Factory MX2 team while Mikkel Haarup will compete in the EMX 125 class aboard IceOne machinery.
Footnote: The fact that Todd Waters is not on the list above is telling, thus my prediction that he will race Suzuki machinery in Australia in 2016 is looking likely.
Saturday Points Dumped
The Motocross Grand Prix Commission has reversed the decision to give points for the Saturday qualification races. It was a dumb idea and was openly criticised by Antonio Cairoli and many of the top GP regulars.
KTM Announces their Super/Extreme/World Enduro Riders
KTM once again goes into a new season with an impressive line-up of factory riders for the SuperEnduro and Extreme Enduro disciplines and also for the traditional Enduro World Championship (EWC).
KTM will again field a very strong line-up for the indoor SuperEnduro and for the outdoor Extreme Enduro discipline with Taddy Blazusiak, Jonny Walker and newcomers to the team Alfredo Gomez and Taylor Robert.
Leading the KTM Enduro Factory Racing team will be French legend Christophe Nambotin and multi World Champion Ivan Cervantes while Nathan Watson comes to the team after riding motocross at GP level but is expected to make a quick and successful transition to Enduro.
Buildbase Honda to Contest 2016 UK Arenacross Series
Dave Thorpe’s Buildbase Honda team have signed 2013 UK Arenacross champ Adam Chatfield and 2015 runner-up Angello Pellegrini to contest the 2016 UK Arenacross Series that kicks off on the 2nd of January in Manchester and finishes 10 rounds later on the 27th of February at the SSE Arena, Wembly.
Speedway Calendars Confirmed
2016 FIM Speedway Grand Prix Calendar
- Apr 30: Slovenian FIM Speedway Grand Prix Speedway Grand Prix (Krsko)
- May 14: LOTTO Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Warsaw)
- June 11: Kjærgaard Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Horsens)
- June 25: Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Prague)
- July 9: Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Cardiff)
- August 13: Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Malilla)
- August 27: Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Gorzow)
- Sept 10: German FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Teterow)
- Sept 24: Stockholm FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Stockholm)
- October 1: Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Torun)
- October 22: Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Melbourne)
2016 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Calendar
- July 23: Event 1 (Vojens, Denmark)
- July 26: Event 2 (Vastervik, Sweden)
- July 29: Race Off (Manchester, Great Britain)
- July 30: Final (Manchester, Great Britain)
Last Weekend’s Racing
Bercy Supercross – ‘King of Lille’ – France
Bercy is the most prestigious supercross event outside of the USA and as per usual it pulled some of the biggest names in the sport so it was with some surprise to see Weston Peick take the overall win with 1-2 results over the two night’s finals ahead of local Christophe Pourcel and fellow Yank Cooper Webb.
Saturday night’s final saw the Stewart brother James and Malcolm come together in the opening lap which eventuated in James being carted from the circuit and out of the meeting while up front Peick had etched out a handy lead but by the halfway mark Cooper Webb had worked his way into second and was mowing his fellow Yamaha riders down in a great rate of knots.
Over the final three laps the two Yamaha riders had a great battle with Webb slipping by a couple of times and Peick retaliated right away and despite a couple of bumps there were no hard feeling when Peick crossed the line ahead of Webb and Pourcel.
“Getting off the start was hectic. Malcolm (Stewart) sent it in to (Dylan) Ferrandis, T-boned him hard as hell and almost cleaned me out,” said Peick after the race. “Other than that, I led the entire race and then Cooper came on strong. I saw him coming, he was riding well. I had some arm pump also. We almost crashed a few times. I had some good block passes and held him up quite a bit. But a win’s a win and you have to do what you have to do to take the win.”
As far as Webb, he was the man on the move after the halfway mark. “It was a good race, I had a good start but ran off the track. I made some passes, got around Pourcel. I felt like I had good speed and good fitness but I ran out of time,” said Webb. “I was probably a little too patient and it’s tough with no real mechanic’s area to see how many laps were left. Then I got the white flag and was like ‘Oh boy’.”
“I was going to try to make a move in the sand and square him up in there. There was a lapper there and I couldn’t make it stick. I got by him one time and should’ve pulled away. But he was good at blocking my lines and credit to him. It was a little tricky, tight track and I felt good.”
Pourcel rounded out the podium ahead of Valentin Guillod, Cedric Soubeyras and 2015 MXGP World Champion Romain Febvre who looked out of sorts on a supercross track but was getting better with each lap.
Saturday Night Results
- First Semi Final: 1. Peick (USA, Yamaha). 2. Pourcel (Husqvarna). 3. Ferrandis (Kawasaki). 4. Guillod (SUI, Yamaha). 5. Simpson (GBR, KTM).
- Second Semi Final: 1. M. Stewart (USA, Honda). 2. Webb (USA, Yamaha). 3. J. Stewart (USA, Suzuki). 4. Soubeyras (Yamaha). 5. Izoird (Suzuki).
- LCQ: 1. Martin (Kawasaki). 2. Rombaut (KTM). 3.Febvre (Yamaha). 4. Teillet (Honda).
- Super Pole : 1. J. Stewart. 2. Pourcel. 3. M. Stewart. 4. Ferrandis. 5. Webb.
- Main Event Top 10: 1. Peick. 2. Webb. 3. Pourcel. 4. Guillod. 5. Soubeyras. 6. Febvre. 7. Izoird. 8. Martin. 9. Simpson. 10. Rombaut.
Pourcel pulled the holeshot in the main event on Sunday night and pulled a handy lead that looked insurmountable after a handful of laps before Webb and Stewart freight trained their way towards the back wheel of the Frenchman but before either of them could make a move they simultaneously crashed out of contention for the win in separate incidents.
“I was trying to carry my wheel over (the lip),” said Webb. “Basically lifting on the third instead of the fourth and I just barely missed. I just got cross-rutted trying it. I really don’t even know what happened. I just know that it sent me on an endo. I hit the table and I tried to muscle it but just kind of rode the front wheel off the tabletop. It was a pretty good get-off. It was just a weird crash because I’d been hitting that same line.”
Stewart had this explanation: “In the main event it was a big pileup. People were jumping on stuff. I think some dude hit the side of the ramp then Ferrandis went down in the whoops. Somebody else crashed pretty hard. Cooper ended up crashing in front of me. It was just kind of to the point where I was like, all right, just ride. I went down before you knew it. The section that I went down I was the most cautious in. And it bit me. It was one of those things. I’m not sure if I false neutral or not. I’m definitely not going to blame it on my motorcycle, it was clearly my fault. Either I hit false neutral or I hit a really deep rut. They both happened at the exact same time. Before you knew it all I saw was dark and sky. I saw lights and then pitch black.”
Amid all of the turmoil came the shiny blue Yamaha of Weston Peick who after having to score his position in the final via the LCQ had climbed from a poor start up to second place and while Pourcel was cheered on by the 40,000 fans all of the way to the chequered flag the big Yank was counting down the laps on his way to his first major supercross win.
“It was kind of a not that good of a day with going to the LCQ and having to start all the way outside on the last gate pretty much,” Peick said in an interview with RacerX. “Obviously a track like this it’s kind of impossible when you have fast guys up front and they’re checking out when I’m trying to come through the pack, bobbing and weaving through guys that are cross-jumping the shit out of you. But other than that, it’s the kind of track where if you slip up once you’re going to hit the ground. There are so many ruts and so many lines and it’s such a technical race that you can’t push as hard as you can. You have to be smart in the same sense. Bummer for Cooper to crash. He was riding awesome all weekend, and so was Pourcel and so was Malcolm the second night. I came out, played it safe, and ended up with the King of Bercy.”
Supercross veteran Fabien Izoird filled the final spot on the main event podium thus helping the French to win the ‘Nations’ victory over America.
Sunday Night Results
- First Semi Final: 1. M. Stewart (USA, Honda). 2. Ferrandis (Kawasaki). 3. Febvre (Yamaha). 4. Teillet (Honda). 5. Aubin (Suzuki).
- Second Semi Final: 1. Webb (USA, Yamaha). 2. Soubeyras (Yamaha). 3. Pourcel (Husqvarna). 4. Simpson (GBR, KTM). 5.Izoird (Honda).
- LCQ: 1. Peick (USA, Yamaha). 2. Guillod (SUI, Yamaha). 3. Rombaut (KTM). 4. Coulon (Kawasaki).
- Super Pole: 1. Pourcel. 2. Ferrandis. 3. M. Stewart. 4. Simpson. 5. Webb.
- Main Event Top Ten: 1. Pourcel ; 2. Peick. 3. Izoird. 4. Guillod. 5. Webb. 6. Soubeyras. 7. Febvre ; 8. Rombaut. 9. Ramette ; 10. Ferrandis.
- King of Lille: 1. Peick, 3 pts. 2. Pourcel, 4. 3. Webb, 7. 4. Guillod, 8. 5. Izoird, 10. 6. Soubeyras, 11. 7. Febvre, 13. 8. Rombaut, 18. 9. Ferrandis, 23. 10. M. Stewart Malcom.
- Nations Classification: 1.France, 24 points ; 2.USA, 35.
Prince of Lille – France
French Kawasaki star Maxime Desprey won the coveted Prince of Lille title with two wins and two seconds over the four main events while Floretn Richier, Tomas Do, Yannis Irsuti and Josse Sallefranque rounded out the top five – all French and all fast.
ADAC Supercross – Stuttgart
Frenchman Greg Aranda dominated the ADAC Supercross held in Stuttgart last weekend despite having to come from behind in the final to take the win over the Yank pairing of Austin Politelli and Ben Lamay. Aussie Sam Martin was on hand for the event but couldn’t get a good enough start on the tight layout to bother the scorers.
Taylor Potter was signed to ride for the KMP Honda team but went home before the action started and despite searching every social media outlet AND sending a message to the team I couldn’t find out why.
Wildwood Rock Extreme
KTM Enduro Racing Team rider Daniel Sanders and former World Enduro Champion Matthew Phillips completed a memorable KTM 1-2 at the annual running of the Wildwood Rock Extreme.
21-year-old Sanders took the lead on the first lap before relinquishing the lead to English visitor Ben Hemingway by as the race wore on Sanders powered away to a near five-minute win over Phillips and Mitch Harper.
“It’s the hardest race in Australia, a good challenge, and somehow I had fun out there, just because of the challenge aspect,” said Sander. “It’s not really a race, you just soldier on through it. There were some big names there so it was good to beat them, and see that my fitness was right up there. I’ll keep working on it over the off-season, it helped me to know where my weaknesses are and it will help the next year I reckon.
“I was winning it from the start, then Ben Hemingway led from the second lap, and then I passed him just before the third, so it is good to lead from there. I just had to concentrate so hard, and then the sun ended up coming out and started cooking my brain. A tough race.”
“The bike was unreal, straight off the four-day Mick and Grabbo had to build it up, with all the protection, radiator braces and pipe guards, disk protectors. And boy did I test the crash protection today, it went through hell today, she was upside down at times, everyone had some carnage at some point, and on the nasty hill you could be off the bike five times in 50 metres!”
“We were having a bit of a relax in the shed on Friday night and decided at the last minute to come over and give it a crack,” said Phillips. “There’s been no training build up – I’ve been at home doing plumbing so I’ve been pretty busy, but Dad was keen to go and it was a good chance to go to a race with him and the crew, so got off the boat this morning and went out to the track and got straight into it.”
“I started off a little bit tight and lethargic, but I started getting the hang of it and had a good day. Chucky was just strong all day, he led from start to finish and looked really good so I’m really happy seeing him win. My run was all right, I had a bit of trouble in the rock garden but my bike ran very well and I had a good crew with me today with family and friends so it was a good fun day.”
Former Wildwood winner Mitch Harper belied the effects of a year spent on the sidelines when he powered a stock Husqvarna TE 300 to a podium finish in arguably Australia’s most technically difficult enduro event.
2015 Wildwood Rock Pro Results: 1. Daniel Sanders, 2. Matt Phillips, 3. Mitch Harper, 4. Ben Hemingway, 5. Broc Grabham, 6. Robert Nowak, 7. Chris Perry, 8. Dan Hemingway, 9. Tom Scott, 10. Ruben Chadwick.
Kenda Full Gas Enduro – Big Buck Farm – Union, SC
Josh Strang has ended a sensational end to his season with a solid win at the final round of the AMA Full Gas Enduro series held at the Big Buck Farm. Strang has put together a sensational end of season winning streak with four major wins in the States as well as wins in Japan and Sweden. Look out 2016!!
Strang posted this on his FB page: “My last race for the year done! @fullgasenduro run an awesome series! It’s a shame some people high up in the off-road industry are against it! I had a blast and was able to pull off one more win to close out the season. I don’t think I saw anyone without a smile which is awesome so hats off to everyone who makes it work! See everyone at the races next year”
Kailub Russell had already wrapped up the championship ahead of Russell Bobbitt and Aussie Daniel Milner.