Moto News Wrap for March 10, 2015 – by Darren Smart

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Australasian News

Aussies Jay Wilson and Geran Stapleton smoked the Kiwi’s in the MX2 class at round 3 of the New Zealand Motocross Championships held at the undulating Rotorua circuit last weekend. Kirk Gibbs, Kade Mosig and Luke Styke all finished on the podium at some stage throughout the day in the MX1 class but as per usual Cody Cooper came away with the round win. See the full report and results below.

CDR Yamaha’s Dan Reardon has had his first major race meeting since coming out of retirement at the annual KTM Conondale Cup last weekend and the plucky Queenslander won the Feature Race and the Open All-Powers classes ahead of young guns Jesse Dobson and Nathan Crawford.

Reardon wrote this on his FB page: ‘Solid day of racing yesterday, great preparation for the mxnationals, bike feels good, I feel good.”

American News

Taylor Potter managed to qualify for the main program at the Daytona round of the AMA Supercross Championships but a 17th in his heat race saw the privateer head to the dreaded LCQ where Potter finished back in 13th.

At least Potter got to watch evergreen Chad Reed qualify in second to Trey Canard before winning his heat race over Andrew Short and Jason Anderson. Chad started the main back in 9th place before working his way up to having a crack at third place when he once again lost the front end and spewed towards the infield.

Reed re-joined the field in 11th place and proceeded to blitz his way to 5th place.  Felt like at worst I was a 2nd place guy Saturday night but silly mistakes getcha!! Overall really happy with the turnaround we’ve been able to make the last month. A win and 2 shots at the podium only ruined by my mistakes I’ll take that and keep improving – Onto INDY.” See the full Report and Results from Daytona below.

Ken Roczen pulled out of the Daytona Supercross after re-injured the ankle that he first injured at the Atlanta I Supercross two weeks ago. It is not known yet how long the injury will keep Roczen off the bike.

Josh Hill had a huge crash during the week and is out for the season while Mike Alessi went over the bars during the main event and at the time of writing is in doubt for Indy.

Josh Strang kicked off his 2015 GNCC campaign with a solid second place at the opening round in Florida while Daniel Milner had a tough day to finish back in 16th place in the XC1 class. See the full report and results below.

Mackenzie Tricker has won the opening round of the AMA WMX Championships held in conjunction with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross last Sunday.

Euro News

Our boys are on fire….Todd Waters made the most of his ICE One Factory Husqvarna to put in two solid races at round 2 of the World Motocross Championships held in Thailand last weekend. Waters put together two top tent moto finishes for 8th place overall result and now sits 9th in the championship standings.

Dean Ferris finished the round in 13th overall after going 20-9 in Thailand. A crash late in the first moto while running eighth cost the Aussie valuable points. The Husqvarna rider sits in 17th place in the championship points standings but look for both of the Aussies to gain confidence when they get back to the Euro part of the championships.

Meghan Rutledge managed another podium at round two of the WMX Championships held in Thailand and is now third in the championships.

Living Legend Taddy Blazusiak has decided to sit out the AMA EnduroCross Series in 2015 in the hope of capturing another Erzberg trophy. “I’ve wanted to return to Erzberg for the last three years but my schedule hasn’t allowed that to happen. I race to win and in the past I just haven’t been in a position that would allow me to be ready to fight for victory at Erzberg. That race is very special to me – it’s where my racing career began – so I’ve got to return in the right way.”

Race Reports and Results from last Weekend

  • – Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 10 – Daytona
  • – Amsoil Arenacross Championships – Round 8 – Iowa
  • – New Zealand Motocross Championships – Round 3 – Rotorua
  • – World Motocross Championships – Round 2 – Thailand
  • – GNCC – Round 1 – Rodman Plantation – Palatka, Florida
  • – AMA Endurocross Championships – Round 1 – Daytona
  • – The Tough One Hard Enduro – Nantmawr Quarry, UK

Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 10 – Daytona

450SX Report: Ryan Dungey launched off the line to a 3rd place start when the gate dropped for the main event while BTO Sports/KTM rider Andrew Short pulled the holeshot. Dungey quickly began to pressure the 2nd place ride of Cole Seely for the position. The two riders battled for the beginning laps ending in an aggressive move on the fifth lap. Both riders went into the same line around the corner before the finish banging bars through the berm. Dungey remained standing while Seely fell in the turn allowing Dungey to move into the runner-up spot.

Once in 2nd place, Dungey quickly moved to the rear wheel of Short and pressured for the lead. As they crossed the finish line after the eighth lap, Dungey came in quickly on Short and passed him on the outside around the next corner to take over the lead. Once out front, Dungey quickly put time on the rest of the field and began to stretch out his lead. By the halfway point he had already pulled a 10 second lead.

Dungey clicked off flawless laps and collected his first career win at Daytona. Like his teammate, Musquin (who won the 250 SX class), he did a burn out on the asphalt to celebrate is win before heading to the podium. Dungey has successfully taken the win in the 450 SX class each night after Musquin has also collected a 250 SX class win. Daytona Supercross was, yet again, another Red Bull KTM podium sweep.

“It feels good to get my first-ever Daytona win,” stated Dungey. “The bigger picture is obviously focusing on the championship, but to get the win feels even better. We had to do a lot changes to the bike prior to this race since it is different than normal Supercross racing and all of the changes were for the good. My bike worked great and I am happy to take this win.”

Eli Tomac had this to say to RacerX. “The way my start was I honestly thought I should have been dead last, but came out, I don’t know what it was, inside the top ten. At that point I was at the back of that big pack of guys there. A couple guys went down, and then when those cross flags were out it kind of bunched everyone up because everyone is obviously taking it easy through there, but usually the guy behind you can kind of sneak up on you. That did cause a big bunch-up there. I wasn’t really doing anything special I just didn’t make any big mistakes and I was able to sneak around a few guys.”

450SX Class Results: 1. Ryan Dungey. 2. Eli Tomac. 3. Blake Baggett. 4. Cole Seely. 5. Chad Reed. 6. Trey Canard. 7. Jason Anderson. 8. Weston Peick. 9. David Millsaps. 10. Broc Tickle. 11. Joshua Grant. 12. Andrew Short. 13. Kyle Chisholm. 14. Phillip Nicoletti. 15. Nicholas Wey. 16. Jimmy Albertson. 17. Ben Lamay. 18. Kyle Partridge. 19. Killian Rusk. 20. Jacob Weimer. 21. Nicholas Schmidt. 22. Mike Alessi.

450SX Class Season Standings – After Round 10 of 17: 1. Ryan Dungey – 224 Pts. 2. Trey Canard – 184 Pts. 3. Eli Tomac – 159 Pts. 4. Ken Roczen – 156 Pts. 5. Chad Reed – 140 Pts. 6. Jason Anderson – 140 Pts. 7. Cole Seely – 138 Pts. 8. Blake Baggett – 135 Pts. 9. Andrew Short – 109 Pts. 10. Broc Tickle – 107 Pts. 11. David Millsaps – 87 Pts. 12. Weston Peick – 73 Pts. 13. Justin Barcia – 71 Pts. 14. Joshua Grant – 66 Pts. 15. Jacob Weimer – 63 Pts. 16. Mike Alessi – 48 Pts. 17. Phillip Nicoletti – 44 Pts. 18. Kyle Chisholm -44 Pts. 19. Joshua Hill – 40 Pts. 20. Brett Metcalfe – 40 Pts

Ryan Dungey has a 40-point lead in the series
Ryan Dungey has a 40-point lead in the series
Chad Reed crashed while running in a podium position at Daytona
Chad Reed crashed while running in a podium position at Daytona

250 West Report: Red Bull KTM Factory rider Marvin Musquin took his third victory of the season in the East 250 Supercross class at the tenth round of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series.

Musquin was the man to watch all day as he put down fast times in each practice session to prove why he has held the red plate since the beginning of the season.

He was later placed in the first heat race. He pulled the holeshot on his KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition motorcycle and went on to lead every lap of the heat race. He took the win by three seconds over the next fastest rider for a top gate pick in the main event.

In the main event, Musquin pulled another massive holeshot and led the riders around the first lap. He continued to put time on the field each lap as he rode a mistake-free race. By the halfway point he had already pulled an 8 second lead. He continued to plug away out front and stretched his lead further. He went on to lap up to 13th place before crossing the line to collect his third win of the season, marking the occasion with his signature heel-clicker across the finish.

“When I was younger, winning Daytona in the US was a dream of mine,” stated Musquin. “To win today for the second time in my career makes me so happy. This track was so much fun and I’m having a good time battling for this championship. My fitness is good and I’m not tired after putting in a hard fifteen laps and that feels good.”

Jeremy Martin had this to say to RacerX. “Heat race for sure took me too long to get going. And then I caught fire about halfway through and then just came up short on that one. But the main event just struggled out of the gate, popped a little wheelie, and then dropped the front wheel in a hole and the holeshot device came unlocked. But no excuses. [Justin] Bogle and Marvin [Musquin] have been on it on the starts this year. I’m just putting myself at a deficit. We need to make some changes and look and see what we did wrong so we can move forward.”

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results: 1. Marvin Musquin. 2. Justin Bogle. 3. Jeremy Martin. 4. Joey Savatgy. 5. Rj Hampshire. 6. James Decotis. 7. Kyle Peters. 8. Anthony Rodriguez. 9. Mitchell Oldenburg. 10. Martin Davalos.

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Season Standings – After Round 4 of 9: 1. Marvin Musquin – 97 Pts. 2. Jeremy Martin – 85 Pts. 3. Justin Bogle – 84 Pts. 4. Joey Savatgy – 72 Pts. 5. Martin Davalos – 56 Pts. 6. RJ Hampshire – 54 Pts. 7. Anthony Rodriguez – 47 Pts. 8. Vince Friese – 46 Pts. 9. Kyle Peters – 43 Pts. 10. James Decotis – 42 Pts.

Marvin Musquin dominated Daytona
Marvin Musquin dominated Daytona

Amsoil Arenacross Championships – Round 8 – Iowa

Amsoil Arenacross saw a major shakeup in the point standings when point’s leader Jacob Hayes lost control of the points lead to Kyle Regal and is now tied with teammate Matt Goerke for second. Regal and Goerke each won a main event in Iowa but the overall was determined by a tie-breaker between Goerke (3-1), Regal (1-3) and Gavin Faith (2-2) with Goerke taking the overall. Regal now holds a one point lead over Hayes and Goerke.

In West Region Lites, Daniel Blair extended his points lead with a win over Josh Cartwright and Dave Ginolfi. Blair now holds a nineteen point lead over Cody VanBuskirk after five of nine rounds.

Arenacross Class Results – Friday Overall (Main Event Finishes): 
1. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (1-2)
2. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna (3-1)
3. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (2-5)
4. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (6-3)
5. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (4-7)
6. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (8-4)
7. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (7-6)
8. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (5-12)
9. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (11-8)
10. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM (9-9)

Arenacross Class Results – Saturday Overall (Main Event Finishes)

1. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (3-1)
2. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna (2-2)
3. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (1-3)
4. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (5-4)
5. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (4-5)
6. Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha (6-7)
7. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (7-8)
8. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM (9-9)
9. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (8-11)
10. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (16-6)

RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge Result

1. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (2 points)
2. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (1 point)
3. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (1 point)
4. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna (1 point)
5. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (1 point)
6. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (1 point)
7. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (1 point)
8. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (1 point)

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class – Friday Results: 

1. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM
2. Josh Cartwright, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
3. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM
4. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
5. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
6. Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM
7. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
8. Jason McConnell, Canonsburg, Pa., KTM
9. Benjamin Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM
10. Keaton Ward, Bozeman, Mon., KTM

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class – Saturday Results:

1. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
2. Josh Cartwright, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
3. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM
4. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
5. Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, Yamaha
6. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
7. Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM
8. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
9. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM
10. Mason Wharton, Brush Prairie, Wash., Kawasaki

Arenacross Class Points (Race 12 of 20)

1. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna – 308 (4 Main Event wins)
2. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki – 307 (6 Main Event wins)
3. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki – 307 (4 Main Event wins)
4. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM – 248
5. Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha – 242 (1 Main Event win)
6. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki – 230 (4 Main Event wins)
7. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM – 227 (1 Main Event win)
8. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna – 225 (4 Main Event wins)
9. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM – 207
10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 168

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 5 of 9)

1. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM – 69 (2 Main Event wins)
2. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM – 50
3. Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, KTM – 48
4. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM – 26
5. Mason Wharton, Brush Prairie, Wash., Kawasaki – 24
6. Clay Elliott, Buford, Ga., KTM – 22
7. Dalton Oxborrow, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 18
8. Benjamin Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM – 18
9. Jason McConnell, , Canonsburg, Pa., KTM – 18
10. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 17

The 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross continues next weekend with the ninth round of the championship from Southaven, Mississippi, on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14.

X-Trial Championships – Round 4 – Barcelona

Normal service has been resumed in the Bou Show. The Repsol Honda rider returns to victory after a mighty performance in Barcelona. The triumph, in a highly-demanding final, puts yet more distance between the Honda ace and the nearest rival on the overall leaderboard.

The fourth date of the FIM X-Trial World Championship in Barcelona proved to be an excellent one for Toni Bou, who retook the top-spot that he has occupied so often over recent seasons. Barcelona has been productive for Bou, with a total of nine victories there, seven of which have been consecutive.

The Repsol Honda Team star finished the semi-final in first place picking up just four points over the five sections disputed; the next best rider scored ten marks. The home crowd at the Catalan capital’s Palau Sant Jordi witnessed an awesome display from the champion who casually swept the opposition aside. The final’s six sections saw Bou collect six penalty points for the victory, ahead of runner-up Adam Raga finishing with ten.

The win widens the gap at the top of the championship’s general rankings to thirteen points over nearest rival Adam Raga and a whopping twenty-seven over third-place holder Albert Cabestany.

New Repsol Honda Team signing Jaime Busto, 17, made his X-Trial debut on an extremely tough, technical circuit, accomplishing the mission that he set out to achieve: ride and pick up experience.

After the last race, I was determined to win again. I believed in my form, but everyone could see how much quality Adam Raga was showing, which is why victory here in Barcelona tastes so good. I think I had a good race today in a very technical trial, nothing particularly impossible, but worthy of world championship level.

I’m very pleased to have participated in the Barcelona trial. I felt good on the bike but it was really difficult to open the sections because it was the first time that I had ever taken part in an X-Trial GP and I knew I was lacking in experience. The sections had a very high level and I was very glad to be in the company of these champions.

Next stop for Team HRC will be the X-Trial of Wiener Neustadt, Austria, which will take place next Saturday, March 14.

Championship Standings after Round 4: 1. Toni BOU – SPA – 72. 2. Adam RAGA – SPA – 62. 3. Albert CABESTANY – SPA – 48. 4. Jeroni FAJARDO – SPA – 39. 5. Alexandre FERRER – FRA – 20. 6. James DABILL – GBR – 12. 7. Eddie KARLSSON – SWE – 9. 8. Loris GUBIAN – FRA – 8. 9. Michael BROWN – GBR – 2. 10. Jaime BUSTO – SPA – 1.

New Zealand Motocross Championships – Round 3 – Rotorua

Kirk Gibbs claimed the win in the opening MX1 moto from the semi-retired Ben Townley while championship leader Cody Cooper crossed the line in third ahead of John Phillips and Rhys Carter. 

Cooper found his rhythm in moto two to take the win comfortably ahead of Luke Styke and Townley and in moto three Cooper claimed the moto win ahead of Kade Mosig with Brad Groombridge rounding out the top three.

Cooper took the round win ahead of Gibbs who managed a pair of fourth place finishes in the final two races while Townley claimed the final podium spot. Cooper takes a handy 19 point lead over Gibbs into the final round at Pukekohe.

Kirk Gibbs – “We haven’t been here before so to get a win when we were learning the track was fantastic. In that first moto I got a good start, came up the inside and into the lead, got passed again, and then about 3-4 laps in I made the pass. BT was on the rear of me the whole race and I got a bit of arm pump, but I held on to get the win, so I’m really happy with that. The second race I should have done a lot better, me and Stykesy had a good battle, but then I just couldn’t make the pass I needed, to progress. In the last moto, I came out about fifth or sixth and worked my way up. The track got really dry and square-edged so in the end I just rode smart and didn’t do anything over my head. My starts were better here so I’ll keep working at those and try to fine tune them for the final. I like riding at Pukky, so I’m really looking forward to it. I got a win there last year so I’m keen to get a couple more before we head off.”

Luke Styke – “I’m pretty bummed – I thought I was in for a good weekend. They cut the qualifying about eight minutes short, so I couldn’t get my fast lap in and I ended up seventh. In the first moto I rode really aggressive and made a few mistakes, got some arm pump and lost a few positions. The second moto I bounced back with a second and I was stoked! Third moto I went down in the first turn and three or four guys ran over me. The bike was pretty twisted up and I was pretty beaten up, but nothing serious. We’ll bounce back for next weekend.  I feel like my results aren’t so bad; I’m still learning how to race the 450 efficiently but it’s definitely good preparation for me. I’ve put myself in the wrong position a few times and it is a little bit frustrating, but by the time Horsham comes around hopefully we’ll be in a better position to put some results down.”

In the MX2 class is was Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Jay Wilson who won all three races on his way to another dominating performance and will now head into the final round at Pukekohe with a 27 point lead over Hamish Harwood.

Honda rider Geran Stapleton made the most of his invite to fill in for the injured Michael Phillips to end up second overall with 2-5-2 race results for the day while Harwood went 3-3-4 over the three motos to round out the podium for the round.

The final round of the 2015 New Zealand Motocross Championships heads to Pukekohe on the 15th of March.

MX1 Round Results: 1. Cody Cooper – 70 Pts. 2. Kirk Gibbs – 61 Pts. 3. Ben Townley – 56 Pts. 4. Kade Mosig – 52 Pts. 5. Rhys Carter – 48 Pts. 6. Luke Styke – 47 Pts. 7. John Phillips – 47 Pts. 8. Brad Groombridge – 45 Pts. 9. Ethan Martens – 35 Pts. 10. Cameron Vaughan – 30 Pts.

MX1 Championship Standings After Round 3 of 4: 1. Cody Cooper – 194 Pts. 2. Kirk Gibbs – 175 Pts. 3. John Phillips – 168 Pts. 4. Kade Mosig – 153 Pts. 5. Brad Groombridge – 138 Pts. 6. Ethan Martens – 123 Pts. 7. Scott Columb – 121 Pts. 8. Luke Styke – 117 Pts. 9. Rhys Carter – 114 Pts. 10. Jesse Donnelly – 75 Pts.

MX2 Round Results: 1. Jay Wilson – 75 Pts. 2. Geran Stapleton – 60 Pts. 3. Hamish Harwood – 58 Pts. 4. Micah McGoldrick – 52 Pts. 5. Hadleigh Knight – 51 Pts. 6. Scotty Canham – 43 Pts. 7. Joel Meikle – 37 Pts. 8. Kieran Scheele – 37 Pts. 9. Cam Dillon – 32 Pts. 10. Aaron Wiltshier – 31 Pt.s

MX2 Championship Standings After Round 3 of 4: 1. Jay Wilson – 215 Pts. 2. Hamish Harwood – 178 Pts. 3. Micah McGoldrick – 157 Pts. 4. Scotty Canham – 128 Pts. 5. Hadleigh Knight – 124 Pts. 6. Logan Blackburn – 103 Pts. 7. Kieran Scheele – 101 Pts. 8. Cam Dillon – 97 Pts. 9. Joel Meikle – 94 Pts. 10. Nick Saunders – 85 Pts.

Cody Cooper topped NZ Round Three
Cody Cooper topped NZ Round Three

World Motocross Championships – Round 2 – Thailand

MX1 Report

Starting with the topic on everybody’s lips, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto. His performance yesterday in qualifying and in race one today was nothing short of amazing. The American looked right at home on the jump riddled circuit here in Nakhonchaisri, and couldn’t be touched in those two races. While finishing seventh at the first round of MXGP is nothing to turn your nose up at when racing the best riders in the world, to someone who is so used to winning championships, the result wouldn’t have been what he wanted. Today, RV’s feat took him from zero to hero, allowing him to raise the Stars and Stripes as the middle flag on the podium of the FIM Motocross World Championship for the first time since 2009.

“We only had two days to test when we went back to Europe but we made good progress with the bike.” Villopoto stated after the race. “We made some big suspension changes and then some fine tuning here. I think the track here is not only new for all of us, it is also a little more jumpy than the usual GP track and suited me. For sure there will be weeks when a track suits me best, and other weeks when the track suits the European guys.”

“I didn’t ride this sort of heat for one and a half years, and it even started snowing when we were training in Belgium on Tuesday, so it was a shock change for all of us. I guess I have some things to learn too. I also backed off my pace in the qualifier but I think the other guys did so even more to save energy in the heat. There’s a strategy to GP racing but I’m gradually getting used to it.

“I got pushed around a little in the first few turns of race two but when I got to third I just tried to be smart, and at this stage of the season a safe third is better than risking a crash. It’s cool to come here to Thailand and see things which you would normally only see in the movies; it’s a bizarre experience.”

Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle was also very impressive this weekend and is exhibiting the type of consistency that cannot be flawed. The Belgian hardly put a foot wrong and was clearly the second fastest guy in both races. After finishing with a pair of seconds, for second overall just as he did at round one in Qatar, Desalle was awarded the red plate symbolizing he is the new MXGP championship points leader.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli made his statement in the second race when he pulled the Fox Holeshot and stormed away to his first MXGP race victory of the year. The Italian said “I cannot complain, I am getting better every weekend and I know that right now I am not in the best form, but I know that when I am, I can be up front so I am just looking forward to the next race”

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre put in some eye-opening performances today. Last year’s MX2 world championship bronze medalist, who was forced up to MXGP due to the age cap on MX2, has proved that you don’t have to be ‘big’ to ride a 450cc. The Frenchman, small in stature, has clearly got a handle on his YZ450F Yamaha which was evident when he wrapped up third in the first race and bounced back from an average start for fourth in the second race for fourth overall.

As for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos, it’s all about putting points on the board as he battled through the pain and discomfort of a wrist injury for fifth overall while Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin couldn’t find his groove and had to settle for sixth.

Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl had ‘one of those days’ and only finished seventh which has dropped him back to third in the championship standings. It was a little bit unfortunate for the German who carried the red plate into this round, but looking at the bigger picture, some points are better than no points. Just ask the likes of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo Tommy Searle and Ken De Dycker who both crashed and DNF’d both races.

MXGP Race 1 Results: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), 34:09.149; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.536; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.931; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:28.213; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:34.893; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.874; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:49.471; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:08.958; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:20.819; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:40.905. 20. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:18.208;

MXGP Race 2 Results: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 29:10.216; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.756; 3. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:22.788; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.327; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:59.278; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +1:03.006; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:05.485; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:16.036; 9. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:18.208; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:19.321.

MXGP Overall: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 45 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 31 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 29 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 26 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 20 p. 13. Dean Ferris (Aus HUS), 13 p.

MXGP Championship: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 88 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 79 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 78 p.; 4. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 70 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 67 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 67 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 55 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 45 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 40 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 38 p. 17. Dean Ferris (Aus HUS), 17 p.

RV topped the podium in Thailand
RV topped the podium in Thailand
Ryan Villopoto took his first GP win
Ryan Villopoto took his first GP win

MX2 Race Report

Another amazing ride is in the bag for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he continues to take every race as it comes. With Herlings dominating just as he has done over the previous years, the former two-time FIM MX2 World Champion is already getting questioned what are your future plans. Herlings, this year, has two feet firmly on the ground answered

“This was a really tough weekend and I don’t have so much riding fitness yet because I have only been on the bike four weeks,” said Herlings. “The heat really got to me but we made our way through and won both motos. I also won the qualification so I can go home happy. The track is what it is and riders have to adapt but for sure it was kind of Supercross style, and with this hear, they humidity and such a track it was really tough. Sometimes you have to fight through a wall and that’s what I did. Now I have three weeks to recover so I’m going to rest, recover and start training again on Wednesday.”

Jonass, who has been working in the off-season with KTM’s Stefan Everts, who is now charged with developing the KTM Juniors, was also very impressive. His 4-2 race result in Thailand also puts him at third overall in the championship points behind Herlings and Dylan Ferrandis.

“We came to Qatar and Thailand with no expectations and I just tried to do my best,” said Jonass. “Here in Thailand I set the fastest time in time practice and I got second in qualifying for a pretty good gate pick for the races. My starts were not so good but I made a few good passes in the opening corners. I finished fourth in the first race and second in the second race when I felt much better and got my rhythm earlier. This is a good way to start the season and I will try to get more podiums.”

After being ill yesterday, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis managed to race his way to third overall for his second podium finish of the season. The Frenchman went on to say “my goal is to win. For the last five years I have never been 100% but now I feel good, better than I ever have. I believe that when I am riding the best I can, I can race with Jeffrey and that’s what I want to do”

Ferrandis’ Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team teammate Thomas Covington is really starting to get a handle on things. The young American rode solid today for two fifth place finishes for fourth overall.

Meanwhile Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod, looking as stylish as always, felt a little off due to being sick but managed to battle on and finish fifth overall.

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:58.798; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:07.602; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:20.513; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:26.923; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:30.333; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:46.653; 7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:52.247; 8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:06.255; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:22.264; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:31.510

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 30:06.023; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:10.312; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:16.508; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.006; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:40.267; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.406; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:51.874; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:00.529; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:07.961; 10. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +1:17.137

MX2 Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 32 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 30 p.; 6. Mel Pocock (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 25 p.; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 20 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 20 p.

MX2 Championship: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 100 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 78 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 70 p.; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 62 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 58 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 56 p.; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 53 p.; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 52 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 41 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p

Herlings put good starts to effective use in Thailand
Herlings put good starts to effective use in Thailand

WMX Race Report

Race 1: On Saturday, when the gates fell it was Genette Vaage who got the jump and stretched out half a bike length on the approach to turn one before locking it up and crashing causing a bit of carnage which caught out the likes of young Dutch speedster Nancy Van de Ven and the defending champion Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi. With the two Yamaha’s of Fontanesi and Van de Ven down on turn one it was the Kawasaki girls, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot and Monster Energy Kawasaki Bud Racing’s Meghan Rutledge who shot past the early race leader, Japanese wildcard Juri Hatao, to lead lap one.

While both Lancelot and Rutledge were setting a good pace up front, they soon found themselves in trouble when Fontanesi started laying down laps four seconds a lap faster than anyone else. With Fontanesi impressively erasing the space between herself and the leaders, it wasn’t long before she made light work of the Kawasaki duo and swiftly took over the lead.

Pure speed wasn’t a problem for the Italian who was clearly in her element out on the jumpy circuit here in Nakhonchaisri, which meant it was up to Lancelot to up her game if she was to challenge the reigning champ. While Lancelot did manage to rise to the challenge, she ended up biting the dust a couple of laps later.

While Lancelot still managed to recover in second she allowed Rutledge to put in a last minute charge for second but managed to hold strong forcing Rutledge to settle for third.

Meanwhile Yamaha’s Nancy Van de Ven made an amazing recovery after her first turn mishap, to come home in fourth while Twenty Suspension Suzuki’s Larissa Papenmeier rounded out the top five.

Race two: Race two was a run-away performance for Yamaha MXfontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi after she snuck up the inside of the holeshotter Nancy Van De Ven to take the early lead.

It wasn’t long before Fontanesi knuckled down and checked out leaving Van de Ven and Lancelot to vie for second. With Lancelot going to work on the eager young Dutch rider, Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge was slicing her way through the field after a shocking start left her well outside the top ten.

Rutledge had her life made a little easier when Lancelot hit the deck and handed her third but that was short lived with Lancelot bouncing back fast. After finding her way back around Rutledge, Lancelot dropped the hammer and went around the outside of Van de Ven past pitlane for second. Jumping in her slip stream, ‘Mad Meg’ also barged her way through dropping the Dutch girl back to fourth.

After battling through the intense heat here in Thailand it was Kiara Fontanesi who was on form today, taking yet another convincing victory for the round win and the championship points lead. Meanwhile Lancelot took another second with Rutledge rounding out her weekend with a pair of thirds. Van de Ven and Papenmeier kept the pattern going with their pairs of fourths and fifths.

WMX Overall: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 50 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 36 p.; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 32 p.; 6. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 30 p.; 7. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 23 p.; 10. Marianne Veenstra (NED, HUS), 20 p.

WMX Championship: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 94 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 94 p; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 78 p.; 4. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 63 p; 5. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 61 p.; 6. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), 57 p.; 7. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 52 p.; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 51 p.; 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 44 p.; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 41 p.

GNCC – Round 1 – Rodman Plantation – Palatka, Florida

The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, kicked off its 41st annual season on Sunday with the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC in Palatka, Florida. Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell picked up right where he left off last season with a commanding victory in the XC1 Pro Class.

With two consecutive GNCC National Championships behind him, Russell entered the 2015 opener as the heavy favorite. Russell got off to a favorable start behind N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award winner. Ashburn grabbed the early lead but it didn’t take long for Russell to make his way to the front.

The major battles took place just behind the leader as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang went back-and-forth with fellow Husqvarna-mounted riders Ryan Sipes and Thad DuVall early on. As the trio charged toward the front, JCR Honda’s Chris Bach slowly inched his way into the battle. By the halfway point, Bach had made his way into a podium position while Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR’s DuVall charged close behind.

AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna-backed Sipes experienced a big crash just after the halfway mark that ultimately hindered his chances at an overall podium finish. Strang capitalized on that, creating a gap between himself and the third place finisher; however, Russell continued to put time on the 2010 GNCC National Champion. Meanwhile, DuVall caught up to Bach on the final lap as the duo finalized their charge toward a podium finish.

After three grueling hours on one of the most challenging and rough courses that GNCC has to offer, Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell made a big statement with a commanding lead over the rest of the field. Russell’s win marks his 23rd career overall victory and his first-ever overall win at a season opening round in Florida.

Strang came through over two and a half minutes behind Russell to secure second place overall, while Indiana’s Chris Bach put his JCR Honda atop the third and final podium position. Despite a hard charge at the end, DuVall finished the day with fourth overall at the season opener.

Canadian Motocross Lites Champion Tyler Medaglia made an appearance at the opening round, finishing an impressive fifth overall for the day. Medaglia joins an onslaught of Husqvarna machines inside the top ten running with big support from Husky Canada and Parts Canada. Sipes settled into the sixth place position despite a big crash after the halfway point.

N-Fab AmPro Yamaha teammates Grant Baylor and Jordan Ashburn finished seventh and eighth places respectively. HR Motorsports-backed Takeshi Koikeda finished ninth and Cory Graffunder rounded out the top ten.

In the XC2 Pro Lites division it was Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR’s Nick Davis who came away with the first victory of the season at the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC.

Pennsylvania’s Tegan Temple shot out to grab the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Pro Lites Holeshot Award but Davis made his way to the front by lap two. Upon recovering from an injury that sidelined him for some time, Raines Riding University/Atlas Yamaha/OffRoadViking.com put in a solid ride to capture the second place position at the season opener.

DirtWise/Maxxis/KLIM’s Jason Thomas hung on tight in the final laps of the three-hour battle, finishing atop the podium in third place.

The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes March 14 and 15 with the Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. For more information on the series, visitwww.gnccracing.com.

XC1 Event Results: 1. Kailub Russell (KTM). 2. Josh Strang (HSQ). 3. Chris Bach (HON). 4. Thad DuVall (HSQ). 5. Tyler Medaglia (HSQ). 6. Ryan Sipes (HSQ). 7. Grant Baylor (YAM). 8. Jordan Ashburn (YAM). 9. Takeshi Koikeda (HON). 10. Cory Graffunder (KTM).

*Overall National Championship Standings after Round 1 of 13: 1. Kailub Russell (30). 2. Josh Strang (25). 3. Chris Bach (21). 4. Thad DuVall (18). 5. Tyler Medaglia (16). 6. Nick Davis (15). 7. Ryan Sipes (14). 8. Ricky Russell (13). 9. Jason Thomas (12). 10. Grant Baylor (11).

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2015 National Champion.

XC2 Round 1 Event Result and Series Standings: 1. Nick Davis (30). 2. Ricky Russell (25). 3. Jason Thomas (21). 4. Tegan Temple (18). 5. Craig Delong (16). 6. Layne Michael (15). 7. Cory Buttrick (14). 8. Michael Witkowski (13). 9. Brad Bakken (12). 10. Drew Torrance (11).

Kaliub Russell celebrated his win with a nose-wheelie over the finish line
Kaliub Russell celebrated his win with a nose-wheelie over the finish line
Josh Strang kicked off his 2015 GNCC campaign with a second
Josh Strang kicked off his 2015 GNCC campaign with a second

AMA Endurocross Championships – Round 1 – Daytona

Cody Webb kicked off the defence of his GEICO EnduroCross AMA Championship in style by taking the win at the opening round inside the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The FMF/RPM/KTM Team Maxxis rider had a back-and-forth battle with Kyle Redmond on the Factory Beta early in the race and survived a crash and a bad start to take the win. Redmond eventually had a few crashes and battled back to finish third. Rockstar, Lucas Oil Husqvarna-backed Colton Haaker rode a steady race to take second.

Mike Brown had the top gate pick by setting the fastest evening Hot Lap and took advantage of that to rocket into the lead and take the Nexen Tire $500 holeshot award. Brown led the first lap but then had the first of several crashes on lap two and eventually finished sixth.

Webb quickly recovered from a bad start to get into third on lap two and take the lead on lap three. He appeared to be on his way to an easy win but Redmond, who took over Webb’s place on the Factory Beta for 2015, kept the pressure on and Webb went down. Redmond led for a few laps and the two battled until a mistake pushed Redmond back. From the mid way point in the fifteen lap main, Webb steadily opened his lead on Haaker and eventually finished with a 13 second lead to take the win and the points lead.

“Honestly, a win’s a win but that one sucked,” Webb said after the race. “I made a lot of mistakes there in the beginning and bent my lever up but I recovered and everybody one else had their troubles so I got the victory. Now I am looking forward to going to Salt Lake in a few weeks.”

Haaker had a great debut on his Factory-backed Husqvarna finishing a solid second position despite coming into the series injured.

“I came into the night with three broken ribs and a lacerated spleen from a crash two weeks ago,” Haaker said. “I asked Fly to send me out a chest protector so I could try to race and do my best. The track tonight was different than we’ve ever had with the crazy coffee grounds-like dirt. So, I’m super excited to start the series off in second after all that.”

SRT Racing-backed Cory Graffunder had a great ride for his new team to take fourth. He was in contention for a podium position but got stuck behind lapped riders multiple times and fell as far back as seventh before moving forward again. Beta USA’s Max Gerston survived a lot of carnage and an off track excursion to finish fifth.

Brown was sixth ahead of Bobby Prochnau. Kevin Rookstool battled inside the top five and eventually finished eighth. He will be racing the Daytona Supercross on Saturday and the opening round of the GNCC series on Sunday for a Bike Week trifecta like no other.

Ty Cullins finished ninth in his first pro EnduroCross race on the Factory Beta. Destry Abbott rounded out the top ten on his Kawasaki.

EnduroCross Men’s Main Event Results: 1. Cody Webb – KTM. 2. Colton Haaker – Husqvarna. 3. Kyle Redmond – Beta. 4. Cory Graffunder – KTM. 5. Max Gerston – Beta. 6. Mike Brown – Husqvarna. 7. Bobby Prochnau – KTM. 8. Kevin Rookstool – Suzuki. 9. Ty Cullins – Beta. 10. Destry Abbott – Kawasaki. 11. Ty Tremaine – KTM. 12. Nick Thompson – KTM. 13. Cooper Abbott – Kawasaki.

Cody Webb took out the AMA Endurocross Championship opener at Daytona
Cody Webb took out the AMA Endurocross Championship opener at Daytona

The Tough One Hard Enduro – Nantmawr Quarry, UK

Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker delivered a great ride at The Tough One Hard Enduro at Britain’s Nantmawr Quarry this weekend to finish the 13 laps of the demanding and uncharacteristically dry track and cross the line in front and two minutes ahead of rival Graham Jarvis.

Walker was fast on his feet as well as on his KTM factory machine to be first on this bike in the Le Mans style start and immediately started to work on putting distance between himself and the legendary Jarvis. He did make a small mistake towards the end of the opening lap but managed to hold onto the lead and worked hard at maintaining it throughout the race. Then in the final stages he had enough in the bag to hold off a late charge by Jarvis and take the win.

“It was a good race for me,” Walker said at the finish. “I got the lead from the start of the race and then tried to avoid any mistakes. I knew Graham (Jarvis) would be pushing a lot, especially after the middle of the race. Even though I made two small mistakes, I managed to keep a steady lead of two minutes till the finish. All my team did a great job today and I’m really happy to finally win The Tough One.”

Walker took the win, with Jarvis in second and Alfredo Gomez completed the podium. KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler finished fourth and KTM rider Mario Roman completed the top five. Austria’s Lars Enoeckl brought his KTM home in sixth place to give KTM four of the top six places.

Results: 1, Jonny Walker (KTM) 13 laps. 2, Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna). 3, Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna). 4, Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM). 5, Mario Roman (KTM). 6, Lars Enockl (KTM). 7, Jonathan Richardson (KTM). 8, Ben Hemingway (Beta). 9. Miha Spindler (Beta). 10. Dan Hemingway (Beta) 11 laps 2:37:53.

Tough One Hard Enduro 2015 Podium
Tough One Hard Enduro 2015 Podium
Smarty's Moto News Wrap Brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Smarty’s Moto News Wrap Brought to you by Dunlop Geomax