Moto News Wrap for September 1 by Darren Smart
Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Darcy Ward Up-Date: Doctor Robert Zapotoczny says Australian star Darcy Ward’s condition has improved but no further details on his injuries were released. At the time of writing the 23-year-old has no lower body feeling and he underwent a wrist operation on Tuesday while his Aussie team manager Mark Lemon confirmed that he is stable enough to be flown to the UK on a private medical flight.
Gibbs to American MXGP Round: Newly crowned Australian MX1 Champion Kirk Gibbs has been rewarded by KTM with a ride at the final round of the World Motocross Championships in the MXGP class at Glen Helen. “I just got some news that I’ll be racing the MXGP at Glen Helen in a couple of weeks so, I’m excited to chase over there and see what it’s all about.”
Gibbs will join Dean Ferris, Todd Waters and Ben Townley at Glen Helen so there will be plenty of interest for us Aussies to see how our boys fair against the best Euro and Yank riders on one of the world’s toughest tracks.
MXD Champion Crowned: JYTR Yamaha’s Wilson Todd entered the final round with a 22 point lead on KTM privateer and the Greg Moss coached Jayden Rykers and after getting to a solid start in moto one the two championship leaders were putting it all on the line for the moto win but Rykers hit the deck handing the win and the championship to his arch rival.
“I’m super pumped to get this championship win. I came into the season with a lot of injuries and I just stepped it up as we went on,” said Todd. “I have to thank the Beaton family so much, without them this really wouldn’t have been possible, so it’s nice to reward them with this title after everything they have done.
Crump Wins Again: Jason Crump came out of retirement last weekend to ride the M.E.M HANDLEBAR HERO’S SPEEDWAY BIKE SEPECTACULAR held in Rockhampton. Crump got the win against Jake Allen, Alan Macdonald and the multi-talented Damien Koppe.
Qld 500cc Solo Championships: After the success of the Handlebar Hero event it was announced that Rockhampton will host the 2015 Queensland 500cc Solo Championships on the 5th of December and according to the club they are going to make the event into the most spectacular Queensland Championship ever.
Classes set for Australian Supercross Championship: Race fans are set to enjoy a feast of high-flying action in the fast-approaching 2015 Australian Supercross Championship, as not only the country’s top professional racers will take to the track, but so too will numerous supporting classes, which importantly include Junior racers, who are the future of the sport.
Headlining the bill, the sport’s premier SX1 (Open) and SX2 (Lites) racers will compete at all six rounds of the four-state national championship chase, as follows:
- Round 1: October 10, Bathurst, NSW
- Round 2: October 17, Jimboomba, Queensland
- Round 3: October 31, Adelaide Showground, Wayville, South Australia
- Round 4: November 21, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
- Round 5: November 28, Allphones Arena, Homebush, NSW
- Round 6: December 5, Knights Stadium, Sunshine, Victoria
Meanwhile SXD (Under 19s) class riders will compete at four rounds: round one at Bathurst, round three at Wayville, round four at the Sunshine Coast and the sixth and final round in Melbourne.
Junior Lites, Junior 85/150cc (14 to under 16 years of age), SX1 Intermediate/Clubman and SX2 Intermediate/Clubman class riders will all get to strut their stuff and gain valuable on-track experience at no less than five of the six rounds. These events include round one at Bathurst, round two at Jimboomba, round three at Wayville, round four at the Sunshine Coast and the final round at in Melbourne. Further, Womens class racing will be held at the final round at Knights Stadium, Melbourne.
Finally, Arenacross stadium-motocross racing for Junior and Senior classes will also be held at two rounds, which include round one at Bathurst and the final round at Knights Stadium in Melbourne.
“All six Australian Supercross Championship events are set to deliver spectacular racing,” enthuses Mark Luksich, Series Co-Ordinator for the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship.
“It is vitally important for the future of the sport that as many classes as possible have the opportunity to experience racing before large crowds at high-profile events, and that is especially so for Junior racers, which this year are being welcomed back to Supercross.”
In recent years only limited Junior classes have been approved for racing at Supercross events, which in most cases has been Junior Lites (250cc) racing for riders aged 14 to under 16.
Junior Lites (250cc) riders will compete at five rounds of the Australian Supercross Championship this year, but will be joined by Junior 85/150cc class riders also aged 14 to under 16.
“Australia has long been a highly productive breeding ground for top-level Supercross racers to pursue a career in the prestigious AMA Supercross Series in the USA,” Luksich explains.
“Riders like Chad Reed, Michael Byrne, Craig Anderson, Brett Metcalfe, Matt and Jake Moss and the late Andrew MacFarlane all had the opportunity to hone their Supercross skills as young riders from the great platform that Australia’s Supercross Masters series offered through the 1980s, ’90s and ’00s.
“Having Juniors on the track at five rounds of the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship is the next step in seeing a strong program for the development of Supercross training in each state of Australia, as well as the implementation of a national stadium motocross (Arenacross) series to help build a stepping stone from traditional motocross events to the Australian Supercross Championship.”
Barcia Stays Blue till 2018: JGRMX has announced that they have extended Justin Barcia’s contract with the team through to the 2018 racing season. After a rough start o the 2015 season Barcia has strung together six consecutive podium finishes and two wins during the second half of the 2015 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series and is considered a contender for the 2016 AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross titles.
Husky Re-Sign Anderson and Pourcel: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing is pleased to announce the extension of Jason Anderson’s contract through the end of the 2018 season while Christophe Pourcel has signed to the end of the 2017 season.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team”, said Jason. “To have my deal go through 2018 makes it easy for me to focus on the goal of delivering results, and nothing else.”
“I’m really excited to continue with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team and look forward to starting my 450 Supercross career,” said Pourcel. “I am also looking forward to racing the new 2016 Husqvarna Motorcycles and bringing even more success to the brand and team.”
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort’s Edge of Summer MX: On a purpose built hybrid motocross/supercross track right in the grounds of the Souring Eagle Casino Broc Tickle has taken the win in the Pro-Class ahead of Mike Alessi and Jacob Hayes
Pro Overall: 1. Broc Tickle. 2. Mike Alessi. 3. Jacob Hayes. 4. Austin Forkner. 5. Jesse Wentland. 6. Travis Sewell. 7. Gavin Faith. 8. Nick Wey. 9. Marshal Weltin. 10. Blake Savage.
Third for Tricker: I don’t know how I missed this but Aussie Mackenzie Tricker went 3-2 at the final round of the AMA WMX series held at Ironman last weekend. The two solid rides gave Tricker second overall on the day and third in the championships behind Kylie Fasnacht and Marissa Markelon.
2015 AMA Pro Flat Track – Round 10: With Bryan Smith winning the GNC1 class at the Charlotte Half Mile last weekend and championship leader Jared Mees suffering a bike failure while vying for the win the championship is now down to just six with Mess still leading over Smith (158-152).
Walker Wins The Wall Extreme Enduro Race – KTM’s Jonny Walker has topped the first running of The Wall Extreme Enduro Race held at the Off Road Park in Pietramurata, Trento, Italy. Bringing together many of the extreme enduro world’s best racers with Enduro World Championship regulars like Alex Salvini, Johnny Aubert and Thomas Oldrati, Walker topped both the morning qualifying race before going on to top the ‘final race’ held under the cover of darkness.
Looking to return to his winning ways having placed as runner-up at the recent Tennessee Knock Out in the States, Walker did exactly that by putting his name at the top of the morning’s multiple special test event. Placing ahead of Italians Thomas Oldrati and Alex Salvini, Walker topped three special tests.
Faced with a completely new track for the final race, Walker again set the pace from the start. Going on to post the fastest time in all of the special tests he topped the final podium ahead of Graham Jarvis and Alfredo Gomez.
Jonny Walker: “The Wall has been a great event, I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s quite a lot different to most other extreme events I race, with the multiple special test format, but starting off by winning the morning race was cool. Racing two special tests – one enduro test and one motocross test made things interesting. I felt like I rode pretty well. Also, to be racing at 100% again makes a huge difference. Being sick before the Tennessee Knock Out a few weeks back wasn’t fun at all. The new test we used for the second part of the race was also really good fun, with a few tricky places that could catch you out. I managed to win all of the tests but I was a bit lucky because I crashed on the last one. I took it a little easy as I knew I didn’t need to go all-out, but right near the finish I crashed. It was a little stressful there for a while but I managed to pull some time back and get the win. It’s been a great event.”
Results – The Wall Extreme Enduro Race 2015
- Jonny Walker (KTM)
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
- Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna)
- Manni Lettenbichler (KTM)
- Alex Salvini (Honda)
- Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna)
MXoN Team List: At the time of writing 35 countries have entered for the 2015 Motocross of Nations to be held on the 28th of September in Ernee, France and team Australia is looking more and more like a top five contender with Belgium, Italy and Switzerland unable to secure their best riders for the event thanks to injury.
- Austria: Lukas Neurauter. Pascal Rauchenecker. Gunter Schmidinger.
- Australia: Todd Waters. Jay Wilson. Dean Ferris.
- Belgium: Jeremy Van Horebeek. Julien Lieber. 3rd Rider TBA.
- Bazil: Thales Vilardi. Fabinho Santos. Jean Ramos.
- Czech Republic: Jaromir Romancik. Filip Neugebauer. Martin Michek.
- Croatia: Marko Leljak. Matija Kelava. Matej Jaros.
- Denmark: Nikolaj Larsen. Thomas Kjer Olsen. Stefan Kjer Olsen.
- Estonia: Tanel Leok. Harri Kullas. Gert Krestinov.
- Finland: Jere Haavisto. Miro Sihvonen. Valtteri Malin.
- France: Gautier Paulin. Marvin Musquin. Romain Febvre.
- Germany: Max Nagl. Henry Jacobi. Dennis Ullrich.
- Great Britain: Shaun Simpson. Max Antie. Dean Wilson.
- Greece: Panagiotis Kouzis. Ionnis Touratzidis. Dimitrios Kontoletas.
- Holland: Brian Bogers. Davy Pootjes. Glenn Coldenhoff.
- Ireland: Graeme Irwin. Martin Barr. Stuart Edmonds.
- Italy: Samuele Bernardini. Michele Cervellin. Ivo Monticelli.
- Japan: Makoto Ogata. Toshiki Tomita. Yohei Kojima.
- Latvia: Davis Ivanovs. Pauls Jonass. Matiss Karro.
- Lithuania: Nerijus Rukstela. Vytautas Bucas. Arminas Jasikonis.
- Luxembourg: Eric Tabouraing. Danile Casoli. Bjorn Frank.
- Morocco: Abdelhalim Soulimani. Said El Mejjad. Houmame Gabari.
- New Zealand: Ben Townley. Kayne Lamont. Cody Cooper.
- Norway: Henrik Wahl. Magne Klingsheim. Lasse Christofferson.
- Puerto Rico: Juan Reyes. Michael Leib. Jason Astudillo.
- Poland: Kukasz Lonka. Gabriel Chetnicki. Tomasz Wysocki.
- Portugal: Rui Goncalves. Sandro Peixe. Hugo Basaula.
- Russia:. Evgeny Bobryshev. Vsevolod Brylyakov. Ivan Baranov.
- Slovenia: Klemen Gercar. Peter Irt. Tim Gajser.
- Slovkia: Martin Kohut. Richard Sikyna. Tomas Simko.
- Spain: Jose Butron. Ander Valentin. Jorge Zaragoza.
- Sweden: Filip Bengtsson. Alvin Ostlund. Jesper Jonsson.
- Switzerland: Valentin Guillod. Jeremy Seewer. 3rd Rider TBA.
- Ukraine: Roman Morozov. Dymtro Asmanov Volodymir Tarsov.
- USA: Justin Barcia. Jeremy Martin. Cooper Webb.
- Venezuela: Carlos Badiali. Hector Rodriquez. Lorenzo Locurcio.
Bellino Stays with Husky: Husqvarna Motorcycles announce this week that it has extended its working relationship with Frenchman Mathias Bellino. The current FIM Enduro 3 World Championship class leader will stay with the Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing team throughout 2016 and 2017, leading Husqvarna’s efforts in the newly created EnduroGP class next season.
Taddy In Strife: Taddy Blazusiak, diagnosed with the debilitating Epstein Barr virus after the 2015 Erzbergrodeo, has announced he will forego competing in international Extreme Enduro events until December.
Frossard Back Injury: Steven Frossard has been transferred to the famous Jean Mermoz hospital in Lyon in a bid to fully recover from the back injury he suffered after crashing during the first moto of the GP of Lombardy two weekends ago.
Despite an operation immediately after the crash the Kawasaki rider had not recovered full feeling in his legs and as soon as possible he was transferred to Jean Mermoz where the specialists began working with him to regain the mobility of both legs. Steven is displaying his usual f
Tixier OUT!: After his crash during a practice session at Mantova, Jordi Tixier underwent a successful surgery on his hand in France. The Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 rider will miss the rest of the season.
Jordi Tixier: “I’m of course disappointed but that’s also part of racing and now I’m focus on my recovery. It has been a tough season, now it’s time to move to the MXGP class and enter a new chapter of my career always with Kawasaki.”
Aussies at Assen: Dean Ferris and Todd Waters started the weekend at Assen by coming home 8th and 9th respectively in Saturday’s qualifying race and ended the weekend 8th and 9th overall after the two motos on Sunday with Waters pipping Ferris by just one point. Waters is closing in on the injured Belgian Clement Desalle for 9th in the championship points and Ferris can take over 11th in the points over from the injured Kevin Strijbos if he can score 30 points over the final two rounds (Mexico and USA).
Kiwis at Assen: Darryll King and Josiah Natzke were on hand at Assen with DK scoring two second place finishes in the FIM Veterans World Cup to get pipped by just one point by sand specialist Mats Nilsson while Natzke came into weekend just one point off the EMX125 championship leader Jorge Prado Garcia but a crash in the opening lap of both motos put pay to his championship hopes. The young Kiwi came from dead last to tenth in the opening moto then from 36th to 19th in the second moto.
Natzke posted this on FB: ‘Firstly congratulations to @jorgepradomx on winning the championship, you are a great competitor and deserved it. Second in the European championship this weekend. Hurts to know I got beat straight up but it just fuels the fire but I’ll have another crack next year. Can’t thank everyone enough who has been on my side and backed me and helped me get here to achieve what I have. Time to pack up and go home, have a break, eat some sugar and get dizzy on fizzy !’
Kouwenberg Wins Euro 250 Title: Honda Jtech’s Nick Kouwenberg was crowned the 2015 European 250 Champion in Assen on the CRF250R, marking the first European title for Honda since Gautier Paulin in 2007.
Weckman Wins Euro 150 Title: Emil Weckman emerged triumphant with two dominant rides at Assen that saw the Finn take the Euro 150 championship title.
Smarty’s Race Reports and Official Results from last Weekend
World Motocross Championships – Round 15 – Assen
MXGP Race Report
Factory Yamaha’s Romain Febvre has wrapped up the 2015 World MXGP Championship after finishing second overall behind KTM mounted Shaun Simpson at the 16th round of the series held in Assen last weekend.
Taking place on a man-made circuit rather than at one of their beloved and historic sand tracks, the event exceeded all expectations with 37,000 super enthusiastic fans coming out to witness the brand new and spectacular track shape up just as a true sand circuit would.
With his 11th podium result and 12 moto win from the sixteen rounds of the 2015 series so far Febvre secured the title with two Grands Prix to spare. It was the first title for the 23 year old and former European Champion and the first for Yamaha in the MXGP premier class since 2009.
Febvre has headed all charts and statistics this season aside from Pole Positions. The Frenchman has led the most laps, won the most motos (12 from 32), Grands Prix (6 from 16), obtained the most podium results (11) and held the most red plates as series leader (7).
In his first year in MXGP and with the YZ450FM Febvre has left indelible impressions on motocross fans around the world and through owning rounds of the series in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Czech Republic.
“I started slowly on Saturday and showed good speed in qualifying already.” Febvre said. “I knew with some good starts I could be on the podium again and that was the goal. I knew also if I finished in front of [Gautier] Paulin then the championship would be done. It didn’t happen in the first moto but my start was a lot better in the second and I could pass everybody to win and the 2015 world championship! I cannot thank everybody enough. The team did such a good job and gave me a chance last winter. I’m so happy.”
It was also a memorable day for Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson who moved to fourth in the MXGP championship standings after landing on top of the box here in Assen. “I was quite happy with fifth in the first race, considering the way I was feeling at the end of the moto…but looking back: two laps! Arghh! It was painful. That moto was tough and I knew I would have to ground out another one. Everyone has been so supportive this weekend and my brother was here and talking about having a ‘box of matches’ and making sure you had enough to strike another one at the end – some sort of cycling story he’d read – and I think I just about got away with it today. I just managed to hold on in that second moto for third; I just had enough matches to burn and I’m really pumped with third.”
The super charged crowd were right in behind their Dutch motocross sensation Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff who stood on the third step on the podium here at his home grand prix. “An amazing feeling, especially here with the crowd. Yesterday went well and having Pole made things quite a bit easier. I didn’t manage the same starts and when the guys are pulling away at the start of the moto it is hard to come back again. I had a really tough first moto and Romain was pushing me hard all the time and I was happy I could keep him behind me. The second moto was great – the track suited me better – and I felt like I could go on and on until the last lap. It was so special to feel the crowd behind me and I’ve actually not seen something like this in Holland before. I had Goosebumps some laps!”
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev had good speed all weekend but faded in both races while his teammate Gautier Paulin made a few too many errors. The Honda duo went fourth and fifth respectively.
Todd Waters and Dean Ferris had another solid outing by finishing 8th and 9th place respectively over the two motos. “Today was fun, but really different,” said Waters. “The sand was so deep and parts of the track pretty tight – it was really hard to keep momentum up. I rode a little tight in the first moto and struggled as a result. Being able to get a good rhythm going in these conditions is so important, but I just couldn’t make it happen like I wanted. Things were coming together for the second moto but then I made a silly mistake. It was tough after that. I made a few more mistakes and although I felt like I was riding ok I’d lost a lot of time.”
1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 45 points
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 41 points
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 40 points
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 40 points
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 36 points
6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 30 points
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 28 points
8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 24 points
9. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 23 points
10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 20 points.
MXGP points after 15 of 16 Rounds:
1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 638 points
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 536 points
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 499 points
4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 437 points
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 points
6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 414 points
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 394 points
8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 361 points
9. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 331 points
10. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 324 points
12. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 258 points
MX2 Race Report
The looming question in the MX2 class was as to whether Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser could simultaneously up his game in the sand and keep his head calm enough to take the red plate was answered this weekend with the Slovenian taking a win and a second place for the overall and the red plate.
Gajser now leads Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass in the MX2 championship by thirteen points. It was an amazing weekend, big crashes on Saturday, many crashes, but we had two solid starts on Sunday, and that was important. I am happy how I rode and compared to Lommel this was a big improvement. I have the red plate, which is a dream of mine, now we have to go to Mexico and America and just ride the best we can. It was a special event for the series, a different type of circuit, but the crowd was amazing and it made it nice to race here. I want to thank all my team and family.”
Britain Max Anstie only managed to finish ninth in race one after he binned it and struggled to get his bike re-started. Nevertheless, he overcame the adversity he faced today with his convincing moto win in race two for second overall. “It was a difficult day today, we had a few issues in the first race and I crashed and even in this one I struggled in the last 10 minutes,” Max Anstie said right after winning the final race.”
It was an emotionally charged day for Kemea Yamaha Yamalube’s Brent Van Doninck, who claimed his maiden overall podium result at Assen. “I am so happy. It’s really special for me, normally I wasn’t meant to be racing GP’s this year so I didn’t think this would happen in my first year,” the young Belgian said after stepping down from the third step of the podium. “
Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Julien Lieber looked at home on the whooped out sand of Assen today where he missed the podium by one point while Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer rode smooth for fifth.
It was another rough round of motocross for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad with Pauls Jonass going down in race two and smashing off his front brake. Jonass pulled into pit lane for repairs and re-joined the race almost a lap down. Impressively, the young Latvian managed to charge his way all the way back to thirteenth with no front brake. “I got a really good start in the first race, I was second behind Davy (Pootjes) and I passed him after the first lap and went on to ride my own race. I struggled a little bit with the suspension setting but still managed to finish second behind Gajser. I tried to focus on the second moto and again I got a pretty good start but I lost the front at the first turn. I passed many guys and still managed to finish thirteenth. My pace was very good and I was the fastest guy on the track. I’m only 13 points down and there is still 100 points so we can still do it.”
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points
2. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 37 points
3. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 36 points
4. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 35 points
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 31 points
6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 30 points
7. Harri Kullas (FIN, HUS), 29 points
8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 28 points
9. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 25 points
10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 22 points
MX2 points after 15 of 16 Rounds
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 518 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 505 points
3. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 474 points
4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 446 points
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 440 points
6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 points
7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 393 points
8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 391 points
9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 320 points
10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 301 points
Australian MX Natonals – Round 10 – Coolum
450 Moto 1
Luke Styke pulled the holeshot ahead of Kirk Gibbs and Ben Townley and that is the way the top three stayed for the early running and they were soon joined by Dan Reardon and Kade Mosig but Reardon crashed to the back of the pack soon after.
Townley methodically picked off the two KTM riders at around the mid moto mark so when the chequered flag was waved Townley took a comfortable win ahead of Styke while Gibbs third place was who enough to wrap up the 2015 MX1 championship title with one race remaining.
450 Moto 2
Cody Cooper swept through the first corner to earn the holeshot but it wasn’t long before Mosig looked like Mosig was hitting the lead he stalled his Yamaha this handing second and third to Townley and Monea.
Cooper dropped back to third while Townley and Monea showed the speed that would separate them from the field but despite Townley’s speed and experience he couldn’t quite match the determined Monea so when the chequered flag flew it was Monea who took the win ahead of Townley in second and Dylan Long in third.
With the championship well and truly already wrapped up, Gibbs raced to seventh place in moto two. “It’s been such a long time coming, and it’s so hard to explain because you put so much time and effort into it, and this year has felt so long for me,” said Kibbs. “Getting this championship is really unexplainable. When I had that injury a little doubt did enter my head, but we fought through and I’m just so happy that I was able to get this done. It’s an amazing feeling and to win an Australian MX Nationals championship is a dream come true. I wouldn’t be here without the people who support me. It takes a massive team and it’s an amazing feeling having so many people believe in you, and I’m so happy to be able to finally repay them with a title.”
“Taking a win at the final round was hard fought,” Townley explained. “The track was tough and my rivals are riding really well. I am particularly impressed with some of the younger riders coming through. I was happy with my win in the first moto, it wasn’t easy, I had to fight for it. In the second race I rode smart, I came from eighth and caught Adam Monea. I didn’t need to put myself in a vulnerable position so I settled for second. I still have a big month ahead with the MXGP in America and the MXoN in France,” Townley continued.
Monea’s final moto win snatched third place in the championship from Luke Styke with both riders finishing on 577 points.
450 Overall: 1) Ben Townley 67. 2) Adam Monea 61. 3) Luke Styke 58. 4) Kirk Gibbs 54. 5) Dylan Long 53. 6) Kade Mosig 53. 7) Lawson Bopping 52. 8) Daniel Reardon 46. 9) Hamish Harwood 44. 10) Ross Beaton 39.
450 points after 10 of 10 Rounds: 1) Kirk Gibbs 647. 2) Kade Mosig 586. 3 Adam Monea 577. 4) Luke Styke 577. 5) Lawson Bopping 523. 6) Daniel Reardon 510. 7) Dylan Long 497. 8) Cody Cooper 425. 9) Kale Makeham. 347. 10) Kale Makeham 382.
250 Moto 1
When gates dropped it was Dylan Wills who took the holeshot and moved in to the early race lead ahead of Jay Wilson, Kyle Webster and Luke Clout while pre-race favourites Caleb Ward and Takeshi Katsuya were buried back in the pack.
Wilson quickly moved in to the race lead and began to separate himself from the field while Clout took longer than he should have to get around Webster and Willis but once into second place the Serco Yamaha rider put his head down in a bid to chase down Wilson but the former World Junior Motocross Champion and current New Zealand Motocross Champion just upped the pace and made the mega-technical Coolum layout look like a bowling green to cross the line well ahead of Clout and the fast finishing duo of Nathan Crawford and Ward.
250 Moto 2
If Luke Clout won the second moto all Jay Wilson needed to do was finish in 19th place to wrap up the 2015 Motul MX2 Champion and with Clout taking the holeshot ahead of Crawford and Wilson it all came down to who would handle the pressure.
While Caleb Ward recovered from yet another poor start the leading trio of Clout, Crawford and Wilson began to check out on the field and to everyone’s surprise the most determined of the top three was Wilson who wasn’t looking for a safe ride to garner his first senior national title.
Wilson made the pass on Crawford and started his charge to the back wheel of Clout when the Seco Yamaha rider cracked under the pressure and crashed on a rutted right hand corner thus handing Wilson the lead and the championship.
Over the next 15 minutes Wilson rode on determined to keep ahead of Crawford, Jed Beaton and the hard charging Ward and that is the order the rider finished when the chequered flag fell thus handing the championship to a well deserved Jay Wilson. “This feels unbelievable, we have worked so hard to get this win, and a lot of people didn’t believe in me at the end of last year,” he said. “I have had Josh Coppins, my family, Mike Ward, Ray Howard and the top guys at Yamaha in my corner this year – they believed in me when no one else did. It has been a tough year, with my brother having that big crash at the start of the season, and honestly I was shattered, so to get this done for him too is pretty special. We’ve worked so hard, and to see it all pay off today is an absolute dream come true.”
250 Overall: 1) Jay Wilson 70. 2) Nathan Crawford 62. 3) Jed Beaton 56. 4) Caleb Ward 56. 5) Luke Clout 50. 6) Dean Porter 49. 7) Geran Stapleton 48. 8) Alex Morris 43. 9) Ricky Latimer 42. 10) Takeshi Katsuya 41.
250 points after 10 of 10 Rounds: 1) Jay Wilson 600. 2) Luke Clout 559. 3) Takeshi Katsuya 541. 4) Jed Beaton 499. 5) Caleb Ward 473. 6) Nathan Crawford 456. 7) Wade Hunter 447. 8) Geran Stapleton 403. 9) Dylan Wills 388. 10) Jack Simpson 354.
FIM Speedway World Championship – Round 8 – Grand Prix of Poland
With Darcy Ward ‘get well soon’ prompts all over the riders, the fans and the stadium, Slovenian star Matej Zagar defied a frightening fall to take the final win at the Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland last Saturday night.
The Ljubljana-born rider took a ride back to the pits in an ambulance after Aussie champion Jason Doyle dived hard under Nicki Pedersen in heat 18, catching the Dane’s front wheel. The triple world champion fell hard, taking Zagar with him.
Zagar – racing on his Polish Ekstraliga home track – landed awkwardly with his bike nearly clearing the third-bend safety fence. Pedersen walked back to the pits unaided, but withdrew from the meeting with a suspected neck injury. Zagar emerged from the ambulance and showed incredible steel to win the re-run.
After finishing behind world champion Greg Hancock in his semi-final to reach the last four, Zagar rounded the American legend in superb style to claim his third career SGP win and move on to 81 championship points. This puts him one behind Hancock in third and four short of Nicki Pedersen in second.
An incredible 18 points from Great Britain’s World Championship leader Tai Woffinden means he will take some catching, as he holds a 24-point lead at the summit with four rounds to race.
But Zagar is firmly in the medal hunt, even if scoring points was the last thing on his mind following his fall, which left him with abdominal pain and headaches. “When I was sitting on the track, I had other worries about my health, not where I was going to finish in the end.” Zagar said. “Of course it was a tough night and I’m lucky I didn’t do some serious damage. I have big aches in my belly and I’ll have to get that checked out later.”
Zagar’s form bodes brilliantly for his homecoming on September 12 for the Mitas Slovenian SGP in Krsko. The national icon managed eight points there the last time the series visited his homeland in 2013. It’s a tally he’s keen to improve upon as he races for the rostrum.
“Finally we have the series back in Slovenia! I have mixed thoughts because the last one wasn’t brilliant for me at Krsko in 2013, but I’m happy for the fans and the whole speedway community there. I’m very glad this event is back in Slovenia. I hope I am going to ride well. I hope the stadium will be sold out and we’ll have a great attendance.”
Gorzow SGP runner-up Greg Hancock was delighted to reach his first final of 2015. He trails Woffinden by 27 points in third place. But Grin refuses to give up hope of retaining his world crown. “I wouldn’t say it has been a bad year. It has just been one of those years where I haven’t found the form I look for.” Hancock said. “Finally things are coming back. I’ll keep plugging away and there is still a long way to go.”
There’s no doubt Pedersen’s withdrawal from the meeting gave Woffinden’s title bid a huge shot in the arm as he increased his overall lead from 13 to 24 in one meeting. He is now odds on to become a double world champion, but he pledged to stay focused until the gold medal is secure.
“It was a good night for me. Unfortunately Nicki had that crash and I don’t like to see any rider ruled out.” Woffinden said. “Matej had one as well. For Matej to be at the point where he was nearly going to say no to riding and come out and do that is a great achievement. Congratulations to Matej.
“Everything is going well. I’m plugging away and keeping my head down. Everything is working for me and it isn’t over yet. There are still four rounds to go. We’ll just see what happens and keep going. I want to say thanks to all my sponsors and thanks to my engine tuner Peter Johns.”
The Gorzow SGP top trio were keen to send their best wishes to Aussie ace Darcy Ward after he sustained serious spinal damage in Poland last Sunday. Ward thanked fans from his hospital bed in the UK after his name was chanted throughout the night, with the crowd paying tribute to the 23-year-old with songs, banners and t-shirts.
Hancock thanked the supporters who showed such great support for his good friend. “I want to say thank you to all the Polish fans and everybody who has stepped up to the plate to support Darcy Ward. This is massive and you guys deserve the biggest round of applause of all.” Hancock said.
“What happened to Darcy puts our lives and careers into perspective. We know what can happen to a rider, even of the best ability he has. It’s hard. It hurts. But we have to be strong for him. The kid has a long road ahead of him and we’ll be there all the way.”
“I’d also like to send a special message to Darcy, who was watching today.” Woffinden added: “After hearing that crowd tonight, we know there are a lot of people thinking of him and there for him in heart and soul. It’s great to see. We all love him, we’re doing everything we can and we will continue to do that.”
Aussie Chris Holder, Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor all had a night they would rather forget.
GORZOW SGP SCORES
1 Matej Zagar 16,
2 Greg Hancock 17,
3 Tai Woffinden 18,
4 Bartosz Zmarzlik 14,
5 Niels-Kristian Iversen 10,
6 Michael Jepsen Jensen 10,
7 Peter Kildemand 9,
8 Chris Holder 8,
9 Nicki Pedersen 7,
10 Jason Doyle 6
14 Troy Batchelor 4
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Tai Woffinden 109,
2 Nicki Pedersen 85,
3 Greg Hancock 82,
4 Matej Zagar 81,
5 Niels-Kristian Iversen 70,
6 Chris Holder 69,
7 Jason Doyle 66,
8 Michael Jepsen Jensen 64,
9 Maciej Janowski 63,
10 Andreas Jonsson 51,
12 Troy Batchelor 40,