Moto News Wrap for June 28, 2016 by Darren Smart
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This Weeks Racing Overview
- World Motocross Championship – Round 12 – Lombardia, Italy
- Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – Round 5 – Muddy Creek
- FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Round 4 – Czech SGP, Prague
This Week’s News Overview
- Brook and Whale Take on America’s Best
- Queensland Sunshine State Championships – Round 5 – Chinchilla
- Anderson OUT!
- Grant OUT – Bowers In!
- Millsaps and Thompson Dominate Canadian Motocross Nationals
- Two Aussies and Three Kiwis at the MXGP of Italy
- EMX250 at Mantova
- WMX at Mantova
- Speedway World Cup Teams and Dates Released
- Seewer Staying Yellow
Brook and Whale Take on America’s Best
As I have reported before, young Aussies Jarred Brook and Max Whale are over in the USA competing in as many Dirt Track events as they can and both have had some success along the way but they are about to compete against the very best up-and-coming racers America has to offer when they compete in the Amateur Dirt Track Nationals in Du Quoin next weekend and I will have the full report and results for you next week.
Queensland Sunshine State Championships – Round 5 – Chinchilla
Chinchilla Motorcycle Club hosted round 5 of the popular and long standing Sunshine State Motocross Championships and it was Zak Small who won the MX1 overall ahead of Robbie Marshall and Joel Rizzo while Jake Moss won the MX2 class ahead of Ricky and Lochie Latimer with Jesse Madden and Luke Reardon rounding out the top five.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson is expected to miss multiple rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross as he recovers from a broken collarbone and minor AC separation sustained in a practice crash earlier this week.
According to the team, Anderson broke his collarbone in three different places. He will receive treatment this week and is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks. “I’m really bummed about this injury,” said Anderson in a statement. “I feel like I was building some momentum and last weekend’s second was the best outdoor overall of my career. I feel pretty lucky however after one of the worst crashes of my life and not missing a race in six years. Sometimes these things happen. I can only stay positive and see how the recovery goes. I’m hoping to come back before the Nationals are over.”
Grant OUT – Bowers IN!
Monster Energy Kawasaki issued a statement saying that Josh Grant will miss the remainder of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship to resolve an ankle injury originally sustained in Monster Energy Supercross.
Grant, who was signed as a fill-in for the injured Wil Hahn, will be replaced by Tyler Bowers, a member of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki in supercross, who will make his debut at Round 6 of the championship at RedBud this weekend.
“The decision to have both ankles operated on at the same time was a tough one,” said Grant. “I’ve been battling this injury for a few years and I want to get it fixed now so that I am ready for the 2017 season. I want to thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for the opportunity to race this year.”
Bowers, who hasn’t raced a full season outdoors since 2009, said: “I’m really happy to have the opportunity to race the outdoors. To be able to do it on the Monster Energy Kawasaki factory KX450F is a dream come true. RedBud is my favorite track and I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of the opportunity in front of me.”
Brandon Robinson wins Lima Half Mile
In front of a full house on Saturday night at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, Brandon Robinson piloted the No. 44 Kennedy Racing Harley-Davidson XR750 to his first win since 2013 in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines class. The Lima Half-Mile, a longstanding staple on the AMA Pro Flat Track calendar now promoted by Jared and Nichole Mees, was another successful 2016 event for the sport.
The defending champion bolted from the start to take the holeshot for the GNC1 Main Event, but quickly encountered a number of challenges from the rest of the field. “Mile Specialist” Bryan Smith and Factory Harley-Davidson rider Brad Baker each took the lead before the field completed the first lap, with Smith officially taking the point. Robinson showed that he wanted the win, however, and began to pull away from the pack after taking the lead on Lap 2.
Despite two red-flag periods, Robinson refused to surrender the lead. The Pennsylvania-native made the Kennedy Racing team proud as he led the GNC1 class for 24 of the evening’s 25-lap Main Event, finishing ahead of reigning GNC1 champion, Mees, by a margin of 0.403 of a second.
“I hate red flags,” Robinson said. “But it all played out tonight in my favor. I knew from the Dash I had a shot to win this thing. The bike was working good, especially early when the track was smooth and had a lot of moisture it was hooked and working so flawlessly, and I was just along for the ride just switching the throttle. It made my job easy. Half-way through the race it started to get rougher and rougher and I wouldn’t say I was getting tired, I was just struggling adapting to the track a little bit. I figured it out there in the end. My initial thought was ‘Finally!’ Three years of coming close and not getting the job done and then finally getting it done here again. It’s just rewarding. It feels good.”
Mees, who promoted his first-ever AMA Pro Flat Track event Saturday night, enjoyed his success both on and off the track.
“Hats off to their whole team,” Mees said. “They’ve been struggling and this is definitely going to give them some confidence, that’s for sure. It was a fun race. I got a good start at the very beginning and faded back and then I just started picking them off. The fitness played a big key and then we got a red flag so everybody got to calm down. I kind of wish I could’ve just ran 25 laps up in front there and maybe worn the boys out a little bit but it was great. I can’t thank my team enough.”
Winner of the 2015 Lima Half-Mile, Baker, wanted more from this year’s edition. The Washington native closed out the podium and finished ahead of fourth-place No. 42 Bryan Smith and fifth-place No. 10 Johnny Lewis.
“My line wasn’t working there for the beginning of the Main Event,” Baker said. “It took a couple of times almost crashing to figure it out and then I finally did. I felt like I was running consistent times when I was with the leaders, but by that time I was too far gone. I kept on missing shifts on the restarts. I think I would’ve had a chance to fight with these guys for the win if it wasn’t for that. I had a pretty intense battle with Bryan Smith and Johnny Lewis, he was bobbing pretty bad, almost clipped my bars a couple times but I guess that’s racing. I was mad, but Harley-Davidson, Monster Energy and Vance & Hines put a good bike under me.”
In the GNC2 class, No. 94B Ryan Wells took home first place on his Honda CRF450R over No. 68A Ryan Varnes and No. 14A Dalton Gauthier.
“I was more than confident,” said Wells. “After the first practice I knew we had a good bike and I kept getting good starts, I was thankful for it. I didn’t get the Hole Shot in the Main but I was second, so that was huge. About halfway, I put as many consistent laps as I could together and then I looked back over my shoulder to see that I had a pretty good lead and it was just clear sailing from there. I just made sure I didn’t make too big of a mistake for them to be able to capitalize if I went down or something. All-in-all it was a great race.”
Millsaps and Thompson Dominate Canadian Motocross Nationals
I am as surprised as any but Davi Millsaps has continued his dominance of the MX1 class in the Canadian Motocross Nationals with an emphatic 1-1 result at round 4 of the series held at Regina yesterday while Cole Thompson went 2-1 to increase his already healthy lead in the series.
Millsaps got the overall ahead of Mike Alessi (4-2), Matt Goerke (3-4) and Brett Metcalfe (6-3) to now have a 24 point lead over Alessi while Thompson’s already has and emphatic 50 point lead over Shawn Maffenbeier who in turn has a 14 point lead over Brandon Leith.
Two Aussies and Three Kiwis at the MXGP of Italy
Chad Reed, Maddy Brown, Ben Townley, Wyatt Chase and Josiah Natzke were on hand representing Australasia at the Italian round of the MXGP Championship and the results were not as good as we would have liked.
Ben Townley bounced back from a crash to finish 12th in Saturday’s qualifying race and crashed in both GP races on Sunday to score two DNFs while Reed didn’t finish the qualifying race but started race one back in 26th before gaining six places to be in 20th on lap five only to have to pull out due to a hand injury suffered in his first corner crash the week before. Chad didn’t the gate for race two.
Thankfully for Townley MXGP now enters a summer break with a three-weekend hiatus preceding the Grand Prix of Czech Republic on the hilly hard-pack of Loket on July 24th. After Jack Miller won the MotoGP race last weekend I predict a ‘out of the blue’ podium for BT at Loket.
In the support classes Chase finished 17th overall in the EMX125 class with 11-31 finishes while Natzke went 40-5 in the EMX250 class for 12th outright to sit 38th in the series and Brown didn’t get the results she was after with 32-15 finishes for 20th outright to sit 16th outright in the championship with two rounds remaining.
EMX250 at Mantova
Bas Vaessen has taken out round eight of the EMX250 Championship ahead of championship leader Thomas Kjer Olsen and Anton Gole – Olsen extended his lead to 75 points over American Darian Sanayei who won the opening moto but failed to score any points in moto two.
WMX at Mantova
Local favorite Kiara Fontanesi has beated championship leader Livia Lancelot at the Italian round of the WMX Championship while Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier came home in 3rd place so leading into the long break Lencelot holds a 24 point lead over Nancy Van De Ven (who finished 8th at Mantova) in the championship.
WMX Overall Top Ten: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 45 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 42 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 40 p.; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 29 p.; 6. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 26 p.; 7. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 26 p.; 8. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 25 p.; 9. Joanna Miller (POL, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Line Dam (DEN, HON), 20 p.
WMX Championship Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 221 points; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 197 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 174 p.; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 156 p.; 5. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 152 p.; 6. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 108 p.; 7. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 106 p.; 8. Courtney Duncan (NZL, YAM), 102 p.; 9. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 97 p.; 10. Britt Van Der Werff (NED, SUZ), 83 p.
Speedway World Cup Teams and Dates Released
The squads for the 2016 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup have been revealed with nine countries featuring 13 of the 15 FIM Speedway Grand Prix riders between them as well as a host of other international superstars, the Monster Energy SWC is set to be one of the top weeks on the world speedway calendar.
The action gets underway with Event 1 at Danish track Vojens on Saturday, July 23, when hosts Denmark tackle six-time winners Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic while Event 2 will see Australia take on Sweden, USA and Germany in Sweden on July 26 and we can only hope out boys make it through to the final in Manchester on July 29.
EVENT 1 (VOJENS, DENMARK – JULY 23)
- DENMARK: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Hans Andersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Peter Kildemand, Bjarne Pedersen, Leon Madsen, Nicki Pedersen, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Frederik Jakobsen and Mikkel B Andersen.
- POLAND: Maciej Janowski, Piotr Pawlicki, Bartosz Zmarzlik, Patryk Dudek, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Grzegorz Zengota, Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Piotr Protasiewicz, Pawel Przedpelski, Krystian Pieszczek.
- RUSSIA: Grigorii Laguta, Artem Laguta, Andrei Kudriashov, Emil Sayfutdinov, Viktor Kulakov, Gleb Chugunov, Vadim Tarasenko, Renat Gafurov, Sergei Logachev, Sergei Darkin.
- CZECH REPUBLIC: Josef Franc, Zdenek Holub, Eduard Krcmar, Matej Kus, Martin Malek, Vaclav Milik, Tomas Suchanek, Hynek Stichauer, Michal Skurla, Ondrej Smetana.
EVENT 2 (VASTERVIK, SWEDEN – JULY 26)
- SWEDEN: Antonio Lindback, Andreas Jonsson, Fredrik Lindgren, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Jacob Thorssell, Linus Sundstrom, Peter Ljung, Kim Nilsson, Joel Andersson, Joel Kling.
- AUSTRALIA: Troy Batchelor, Jason Doyle, Max Fricke, Josh Grajczonek, Chris Holder, Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz, Sam Masters, Nick Morris, Rohan Tungate.
- USA: Luke Becker, Ryan Fisher, Aaron Fox, Greg Hancock, Billy Janniro, Gino Manzares, Broc Nicol, Max Ruml, Ricky Wells, Scott Campos.
- GERMANY: Martin Smolinski, Tobias Kroner, Kai Huckenbeck, Kevin Wolbert, Erik Riss, Michael Hartel, Valentin Grobauer, Tobias Busch, Mark Riss, Rene Deddens.
RACE OFF (MANCHESTER, GB – JULY 29)
Second and third-placed teams from Event 1
Second and third-placed teams from Event 2
FINAL (MANCHESTER, GB – JULY 30)
- GREAT BRITAIN: Tai Woffinden, Josh Bates, Craig Cook, Adam Ellis, Chris Harris, Danny King, Robert Lambert, Scott Nicholls, Richie Worrall, Steven Worrall.
Seewer Staying Yellow
Jeremy Seewer has shown great speed and tenacity so far in this year’s World MX2 World Championship and his effort has been rewarded with an extension to his contract with Team Suzuki World MX2 for the 2017 season.
The Swiss rider currently lies second in the MX2 World Championship. “Because I’m feeling at home in the team and because the Suzuki RM-Z250 is a top-notch bike, it has definitely been an easy decision to enter the championship with Team Suzuki World MX2 again in 2017,” said the 21-year-old. “We tested a lot in the winter and the machine is perfectly set up for me. The support provided by Stefan Everts is very helpful so I am extremely delighted we will continue working together next season.”
Smarty’s Race Reports and Official Results from last Weekend
World Motocross Championship – Round 12 – Lombardia-Italy
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On a choppy and technical Mantova circuit Tim Gajser went 1-1 in the Grand Prix of Italy after a relatively easy win in the opening moto the Honda pilot went toe-to-toe with Italian legend Antonio Cairoli in the second moto to eventually take another well-earned win.
Gajser won from the experienced pairing of Gautier Paulin (3-2) and Clement Desalle (2-4) with Cairoli (6-3) fourth overall. Gajser has seven GP wins this year and is now 92 points ahead of Cairoli in the standings so here is the best race report ever straight from the front runners.
“It was nice,” Gasjer said. “I had a battle with Tony, sometimes it was a little dirty, but that’s racing and congratulations to Tony for a good race. It is so warm, and not easy to ride, but we came out with a moto win and I am enjoying it because its getting really bumpy, in some places dangerous. Second moto was one of the toughest races in my career and we were pushing hard and I was glad to pass him and get the win.”
“Yesterday I was struggling a little bit in qualifying but we made some adjustments overnight and it worked much better today,” Paulin said. “From the warm-up I improved a lot. In both races I had pretty good starts, and this weekend to get third and second means we did a good job. I am definitely happy about the weekend. Now it was really hot, and in Matterley I said I wanted to work hard to better in some areas that I missed with injury, so to be on the podium here and in these conditions actually I can’t believe. I’m really happy for me and for the team, and after a hard time earlier in the season it’s just such a good feeling.”
“It’s a first step to get this podium result; I have been waiting for it for a few weeks!” Desalle said. “The weekend didn’t start so well on Saturday, but with the team we were able to do better today, and that’s good to get this podium before the summer break. This weekend I got two decent starts and that makes life easier. It was not an easy weekend with the heat and such a rough track, but I never gave up to get this podium. We have three free weeks before Loket; we’ll continue to work with the team to be even better in the next races. We know what we have to do for that.”
“Its very tough at the moment. You have to get a good start and it’s definitely the key to the race,” Cairoli said. “In the first race I got stuck in the gate with Van Horebeek and Tixier and I was last. I made 27 passes to come back to sixth and that’s a lot on this tiny track.”
“The second moto was amazing,” Cairoli continued. “I got a good start with Tim (Gajser). He’s fast at the moment and in top form. For me it was a bit tough but I was able to control him. A race victory was possible but unfortunately I over-jumped on one of the tables and hurt my wrist. I slowed down for two laps and he found a way through. Then I made another small mistake in the last lap and Paulin passed me.”
1. Gajser, Tim – 50
2. Paulin, Gautier – 42
3. Desalle, Clement – 40
4. Cairoli, Antonio – 35
5. Van Horebeek, Jeremy – 30
6. Coldenhoff, Glenn – 29
7. Bobryshev, Evgeny – 29
8. Guillod, Valentin – 25
9. Butron, Jose – 23
10. Nagl, Maximilian – 23
11. Tixier, Jordi – 21
12. Charlier, Christophe – 16
17. Searle, Tommy – 7
MXGP – Championship Classification
1. Gajser – 532
2. Cairoli – 440
3. Febvre – 408
4. Nagl – 401
5. Bobryshev – 396
6. Van Horebeek – 351
7. Guillod – 267
8. Coldenhoff – 230
9. Simpson – 212
10. Desalle – 210
11. Strijbos – 204
12. Searle – 189
13. Charlier – 184
14. Butron – 173
15. Paulin – 165
16. Townley – 128
MX2 Race Report
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Jeffrey Herlings has gone 1-1 to win the Grand Prix of Italy and extended his series points lead to 169 over Jeremy Seewer who crashed several times during the two motos to finish seventh overall and 29 points.
Herlings had little to say about his win. “It was warm, everybody will be struggling with that, 35 degrees or more. Didn’t have a great start, but I wanted to come out good for the second moto and go into the four week break with a win.”
Dutch rider (RE: Sand Specialist) Brian Bogers stormed his way to second in the opening moto before backing that up with a solid third place in moto two for second overall while Dylan Ferrandis was blinding fast all weekend but several crashes saw the French star go 3-6 for third outright.
“I was happy with my results on Saturday even though I crashed while leading, as a lapper didn’t move,” Ferrandis said. “But Sunday was not as good, and it is difficult to understand why. In the first moto my start was average but I had a good first lap and passed Herlings, but then I crashed twice; I came back and passed Pootjes but he took me out! I was happy to come back to third. In the second race the gate moved but didn’t fall and I hit it, so I was late into the first corner. I passed almost the entire field to finish sixth; I had good lines and was one of the fastest riders on the track to get this overall podium.”
1. Herlings, Jeffrey – 50
2. Bogers, Brian – 42
3. Ferrandis, Dylan – 35
4. Covington, Thomas – 34
5. Jonass, Pauls – 33
6. Paturel, Benoit – 32
7. Seewer, Jeremy – 29
8. Tonkov, Aleksandr – 22
9. Cervellin, Michele – 19
10. Mewse, Conrad – 17
11. Anstie, Max – 16
MX2 – World Championship Classification
1. Herlings – 597
2. Seewer – 428
3. Jonass – 403
4. Paturel – 325
5. Tonkov – 320
6. Ferrandis – 308
7. Anstie – 274
8. Petrov – 253
9. Bernardini – 253
10. Brylyakov – 219
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – Round 5 – Muddy Creek
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Round five of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is called the Red Bull Tennessee National and is held at Muddy Creek Raceway where Ken Roczen swept both motos to secure his fourth victory in five rounds while Cooper Webb claimed his first overall win of the 250cc championship.
Roczen’s fourth 1-1 sweep of the season gives him wins in nine out of 10 motos this season, continuing the most successful start of his professional career. It was the landmark 10th-career win for the German rider BUT K-Roc was not the fastest rider on the track all of the time with Eli Tomac catching the championship leader and actually making a bid for the lead on several occasions so it is only a matter of time before Eli makes it stick.
“That [second moto win] felt good. That’s the way you want to win a race,” said Roczen. “[Tomac] was pushing during the final laps but I was able to hold him off. This was one of the hotter races [this season], which made it tougher. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing [in training] because it seems to be working. We were able to get another win today and go 1-1, so we’ll just keep working.”
Tomac’s 2-2 effort for second overall was his best of the season and gives him four overall podium finishes in five rounds. “We [Roczen and I] were just nailing our lines and clicking off laps out there. He got a little out of touch [in the middle of the moto] but we were able to close in,” said Tomac. “He was just riding awesome and kept me behind him. It’s good. We’ll take this and move on to fight another day. I really just want to beat him across the line next weekend.”
Broc Tickle holeshot and led the second moto until being passed by the Roczen/Tomac freight train but his third-place finish in the final moto vaulted Tickle to his fifth career overall podium finish (6-3) while Cole Seely led the opening moto to finish in third place before a poor start in moto two saw the lone Honda factory star battle back to sixth for fourth outright with Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (7-4), Christophe Pourcel (4-8), Weston Peick (5-9), Blake Baggett (8-7), Justin Brayton (9-11) and Justin Bogle (13-10) rounded out the top ten.
Roczen now sits at 47 points over Tomac while Seely jumped to third in points and sits 92 points out of the lead.
AMA Pro Motocross 2016 – Round Five – Muddy Creek TN – 450 Overall
- Ken Roczen (1-1)
- Eli Tomac (2-2)
- Broc Tickle (6-3)
- Cole Seely (3-6)
- Marvin Musquin (7-4)
- Christophe Pourcel (4-8)
- Weston Peick (5-9)
- Blake Baggett (8-7)
- Justin Brayton (9-11)
- Justin Bogle (13-10)
AMA Pro Motocross 2016 – Round Five – Muddy Creek TN – 450 Championship Points
- Ken Roczen 243
- Eli Tomac 196
- Cole Seely 151
- Marvin Musquin 136
- Ryan Dungey 131
- Jason Anderson 113
- Broc Tickle 109
- Justin Barcia 108
- Christophe Pourcel 107
- Trey Canard 97
It is impossible to report on all of the action in the 250cc class with stories of leading then crashing through to coming from behind to take the win and everything in between but when it came to crunch time Cooper Webb took the overall with 2-1 moto results.
“I’m just tired of losing. These fans are awesome. I could hear them out there and it kept me going,” said Webb. “This is what I consider to be a home race, so I’d rather win this race more than any other. I just cannot thank all these fans enough for their support.”
Championship leader Joey Savatgy won the opening moto but two crashes during the second moto was enough for second overall ahead of Shane McElrath who had a great day at his home race with his first overall podium effort in third (5-2).
“The first moto was good. I got a good start and rode my own race,” said Savatgy. “I’m just very frustrated right now and disappointed in myself. I shouldn’t have made those mistakes [in the second moto] and I lost a lot of energy just trying to keep my bike running. We still got second and have the red plate [as points leader], but we lost some valuable points today and need to bounce back next weekend.”
Defending Champion Jeremy Martin had a so-so day by his standards with 6-5 finishes while former championship leader Alex Martin had to fight back from poor starts and cashes for 9-9 results.
Savatgy’s lead in the 250 Class standings was trimmed to 12 points over Webb while Jeremy Martin sits third, 32 points out of the lead.
Aussie Jackson Richardson had a solid round with two top 20 moto finishes while Luke Clout scored 23-19 finishes for 22nd outright – look for the Aussie duo to climb up the standings as the second half of the season progresses.
AMA Pro Motocross 2016 – Round Five – Muddy Creek TN – 250 Overall
- Cooper Webb (2-1)
- Joey Savatgy (2-7)
- Shane McElrath (5-2)
- Jordon Smith (4-6)
- Jeremy Martin (6-5)
- Zach Osborne (3-10)
- Austin Forkner (10-4)
- RJ Hampshire (9-9)
- Alex Martin (19-3)
- Arnaud Tonus (12-8)
AMA Pro Motocross 2016 – Round Five – Muddy Creek TN – 250 Championship Points
- Joey Savatgy 205
- Cooper Webb 193
- Jeremy Martin 173
- Alex Martin 158
- Zach Osborne 152
- Austin Forkner 138
- Aaron Plessinger 131
- RJ Hampshire 103
- Jordon Smith 100
- Shane McElrath 96
FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Round 4 – Mitas Czech SGP, Prague
Elated Australian ace Jason Doyle stormed to his first ever FIM Speedway Grand Prix victory at the Mitas Czech SGP in Prague on Saturday after surging past new World Championship leader Greg Hancock who finished the final in second ahead of Great Britain star Chris Harris who in turn finished ahead of Niels-Kristian Iversen who made his first SGP final appearance since he finished fourth at the Danish SGP in Copenhagen on June 9, 2012.
But this was the night Doyle joined the SGP winners’ circle and the Newcastle-born racer was elated to have finally tasted victory after so many close brushes with glory. “I can’t believe what has happened. On the last lap when I was out in front, I was just thinking ‘come on! Keep going!’” Doyle enthused. “Everyone tells you that when you’re going to win something, you can hear the engine ticking over nicely. In the final, the bike rode perfectly. It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.”
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to out-trap Greg off one. He’s just one of those class acts. I went wide and tried to pick up the dirt. I had enough speed to cut back and when the bike hooked up and I had the speed to pull past Greg, I couldn’t believe it. Once I got some fresh air, I knew I’d be able to do something with it. I was happy with second, but to finally win it is a moment I really can’t comprehend. It’s a feeling I never thought I was going to have, but it has happened and it’s a monkey off my back to say I’ve won a Grand Prix.”
Doyle is now fourth in the World Championship on 42 points going into the blockbuster Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on July 9.
Unbelievably, Greg Hancock now leads the World Championship on 56 points – putting him eight ahead Tai Woffinden (48) and Chris Holder (44) after both riders had well below par performances in Prague.
The Californian won the first Czech SGP staged at Marketa in 1997 and would have loved to triumph on the event’s 20th anniversary. But the irrepressible 46-year-old insists he’s young enough to keep chasing the victories. “It’s crazy to think I’ve been coming here all these years, but I still feel as young as these guys and sometimes younger.” Hancock commented. “I was really looking forward to winning and I wanted it really badly, but Jason was on a mission. I think this is one of the best GPs we’ve had here. That’s the most passing I have ever seen here. It’s really exciting to have that because you have possibilities. The Marketa has always been a great place.”
Harris was over the moon to defy the bookies with an impressive third place. “We battled and used three different bikes. The third bike was the one that seemed to be working. I hadn’t ridden it until tonight. I’m very pleased with it and a big thanks to my pit crew. They worked hard and kept me going. It was a good night.” Harris said. “I know I can beat these guys – they’re not unbeatable. It’s a long way to go and we’ll see how it goes until the end of the year.”
MITAS CZECH SGP SCORES
1 Jason Doyle 17,
2 Greg Hancock 18,
3 Chris Harris 10,
4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 11,
5 Bartosz Zmarzlik 13,
6 Fredrik Lindgren 11,
7 Tai Woffinden 9,
8 Nicki Pedersen 8,
9 Andreas Jonsson 6,
10 Peter Kildemand 6,
11 Piotr Pawlicki 6,
12 Antonio Lindback 5,
13 Maciej Janowski 5,
14 Matej Zagar 5,
15 Chris Holder 5,
16 Vaclav Milik 3,
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Greg Hancock 56,
2 Tai Woffinden 48,
3 Chris Holder 44,
4 Jason Doyle 42,
5 Maciej Janowski 41,
6 Bartosz Zmarzlik 38,
7 Antonio Lindback 35,
8 Peter Kildemand 34,
9 Nicki Pedersen 32,
10 Fredrik Lindgren 32