Round six of the 2020 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series was staged last weekend at High Point Raceway in Pennsylvania.
After seven laps and three-hours of racing it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell earning the overall win by 11.5 seconds. Russell just missed out on grabbing the XC1 holeshot, but wasted no time moving into the number one spot as they headed into the woods. Russell maintained his lead for the duration of the race, clinching his fifth overall win of the season.
Starting at the back of the pack on lap one, Australian Josh Strang was on a mission to get to the front and battle for another win. Strang made the necessary passes and move into second place on the fourth lap of racing, however Strang would run out of time to close the gap between Russell and himself. After six rounds of racing, Strang sits 28-points behind Russell in the National Championship points standings.
Sherco’s Grant Baylor was battling for a top three position for majority of the race, but as the white flag came out his bike was visibly smoking. After fighting for a top spot, Baylor would end up unable to complete the seventh and final lap of racing.
Australian fast femme Tayla Jones battled back to take her first WXC class win of the season. Jones worked her way up to the lead from a third place start to the day. Jones faced a tough battle to get to the lead as fellow WXC competitor Factory Beta USA’s Rachel Gutish held the lead for the majority of the race. Gutish would be the first to run into lapped riders, and on the last lap she would find herself back into fourth to cross the finish line.
“Finally got that monkey off my back and grabbed the win this past weekend at the Highpoint GNCC! Wasn’t the easiest race and it kept the fans on their toes right down until the end. I was close to a minute behind in the mid part of the race but was able to charge hard and by the start of the final lap I was on the leaders tail and made the pass with a few miles to go! Got some things to work on to be better next round but definitely pumped to get one under the belt.”
BABS Racing Yamaha/Maxxis’ Becca Sheets and Enduro Engineering KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker capitalised as lapped riders got into the mix of the front runners. Sheets moved into second with Australian Tricker making her way to third in the WXC class. Sheets remains in the points lead after earning the first five WXC class wins of the season.
2020 AMA Supercross
Round 15 of 17 – Salt Lake City
With third place on Sunday night Eli Tomac still has a very handy 24-point lead with 52-points left up for grabs across the final two rounds in this COVID-19 induced quick-fire end to the Monster Energy Supercross season. Racers will be back on track this Wednesday June 17 ahead of the finale on June 21. A very comprehensive blow-by-low race report can be found at this link, while here in Moto Wrap we bring you the quotes, championship standings and video highlights.
Ken Roczen – P1
“Tonight we did really, really good. I felt like I was able to go the full distance in the main, which was great. I knew it was just going to take a few extra days to get everything back lined up after the last couple of rounds and everything that’s been going on with my body. We won our heat race, which was really stacked–I got a holeshot there and it was great. I really felt good with the bike; we’ve been tweaking it a little bit here and there, and I was really gelling with it nicely tonight. I kind of liked the track; the whoops got really chewed up again and I think that was one of my strong points tonight. We ended up getting the win, which was great because the last three rounds have been really tough on me and the team. It was good to come back and turn all that negativity around into something positive. Every time I go out and win for myself and my team, it feels like my first win back. We were the best tonight, which is awesome. The team is happy and I’m happy and looking forward to the race on Wednesday.”
Cooper Webb – P2
“The holeshot was huge tonight. Kenny was riding well and I knew he was a little faster, so when he got by me I was just going to try to pace him. I made a charge at the end but we were so close in times it’s hard to make those chunks up. The track was definitely tough – it had a lot of flat turns, which was a little different than what we’re used to. We’ll come back in a few days and try to get the top step.”
Eli Tomac – P3
“Overall it was a good race. I felt good and got in the groove up until halfway and then I got a little squirrelly in the whoops. I tried pushing it for a while and realized it wasn’t worth it to go too wild and I know I need to reserve some of the energy for these last two rounds. It’s not a win, but I’m happy with the result because we’re thinking about the bigger picture.”
Zach Osborne – P4
“I came home with a fourth, it’s a decent result but after the last few weeks I want more. I do have to keep things in perspective and know that at the beginning of the season I would have given anything for a string of results like this. So all-in-all, I’m happy but still striving for more.”
Dean Wilson – P6
“I feel like my pace was decent through the whole Main and I think a few different line choices would have helped me throughout the race. I think I had a couple bad lines after watching it and that kind of held me up a little bit. But other than that, I can’t get too frustrated. I gave it my best and that’s all you can do.”
Justin Brayton – P8
“I’m proud of that one–that was pretty good. I didn’t get the greatest of starts, but I made some good passes early. There was just a train of us–like six, seven, eight, nine guys–and I ended up eighth; I felt pretty good about my riding and my effort. The bike was great. I’d have loved a little better track position at the beginning of the race to play into my strength, which was whoops–I felt really good in the whoops all day. Overall, I’m fairly happy with it–not super stoked on the position, but my effort, the bike and the way I was riding were really good. I’m stoked on that and super stoked on the team getting a win with Ken. It’s awesome, and everybody here deserves it.”
Justin Barcia – P9
“I had a solid ride in the Heat race in third. It was the best I’ve ridden in a while. In the Main Event, I came out inside the top 10 and was riding really good. I feel like tonight would’ve been a top-five finish, it just didn’t work out that way. I went into one of the ruts before the mechanic’s area, and unfortunately that was like the only soft spot on the track. The rut caved in, my front wheel hit it and I ended up falling. I went all the way back to 16th and charged back to ninth. The result really doesn’t show the way I rode today and the progress that we’ve made on the bike. So that was definitely a little disappointing, but I think overall that’s the best day I’ve ridden and the best I’ve felt on the bike. We just have to take the positives going into these next two races and try to keep it on two wheels, and just keep moving forward.”
Aaron Plessinger – P10
“I think today was pretty good, all in all. I got off to a really bad start in the Main. I really have to figure that out. I have got to get the jump on those guys and just bull dog my way to the front.I was riding really good though and made my way back up to seventh. At about five minutes to go, I started struggling in the whoops quite a bit. The whoops were really slick, one side of them was cupped out and the middle was really slick. I just kind of tightened up in the last few laps and (Justin) Brayton got by me, (Blake) Baggett got by me and then Justin got by me. So yeah, I was a little frustrated with the way I rode in the last five minutes, but I have to take the positives out of it and move forward. Come Wednesday, I will try and get a better start and just ride the whole race as hard as I can. I’m looking forward to the next one and hopefully we can get off the line and break into the top five.”
450 Video Highlights
450 SX Championship Points
Eli Tomac 342
Ken Roczen 319
Cooper Webb 318
Justin Barcia 255
Jason Anderson 246
Malcolm Stewart 217
Dean Wilson 208
Zach Osborne 205
Justin Brayton 199
Justin Hill 188
Aaron Plessinger 186
Blake Baggett 180
Martin Davalos 157
Vince Friese 141
Adam Cianciarulo 129
Chad Reed 92
Benny Bloss 87
Tyler Bowers 85
Kyle Chisholm 76
Kyle Cunningham 48
Austin Forkner – P1
“After a few rounds where I was caught and passed by Dylan, it was my turn to catch him and get around him. It felt totally different to chase him down and there really weren’t a lot of places to make a move since everyone was running pretty much the same lines. I had a small opportunity and I knew I had to take it. I know he would have done the same thing, and has done the same thing. It’s awesome to be in contention for the championship as we head into the final race next week. We’ll see what happens.”
Dylan Ferrandis – P2
“It was a bad night for me. I got the holeshot from the outside in the Main which was good, but I made a small mistake and missed a rhythm when I saw a yellow flag and (Austin) Forkner got me after that. I lost some important points for the championship tonight. We have a few days off from racing now before the last round next Sunday and will keep working.”
“It was tough to see that podium finish slip away because we’ve been working really hard to be up there every time we hit the track. I know I have been riding well and I will take that with me to the final race, but another podium finish would have been sweet to push through the week. Now we’ll have to get back at it and make sure we come out ready to fight for it next Sunday.”
Michael Mosiman – P5
“It was a tough day, I got into some lapped traffic in the Main Event and made some mistakes that really set me back. I’m disappointed that I had a podium finish going and to have that taken away but I’m fired up for the last round!”
Justin Cooper – P6
“I got a terrible start in the Main, which really hurt me. It made it really tough to come through the pack and I was just not aggressive enough to get by the people that I needed to in the early laps. I can’t expect to be up front battling when I start outside the top 10. We have one more go next Sunday. I’ll come back try and to finish out strong.”
Hunter Lawrence – P7
“Ok day yesterday.. not happy with the overall result 7th but happy with my progress and how I am riding.
Couldn’t be happier for my brother @jettson83 so proud of him and how he is riding. Can’t wait to join you on the box soon.”
250 Video Highlights
250 SX West Championship Points
Dylan Ferrandis 181
Austin Forkner 174
Justin Cooper 164
Brandon Hartranft 141
Michael Mosiman 118
Alex Martin 117
Luke Clout 106
Derek Drake 106
Mitch Oldenburg 96
Jacob Hayes 89
Jett Lawrence 79
Carson Brown 74
Martin Castelo 70
Cameron McAdoo 67
Killian Auberson 65
250 SX East Championship Points
Chase Sexton – 166
Shane McElrath – 163
Garrett Marchbanks – 119
Jeremy Martin – 105
Jalek Swoll – 91
Jo Shimoda – 89
Enzo Lopes – 81
RJ Hampshire – 80
Pierce Brown – 73
Kyle Peters – 69
Sunday’s round was the last conventional round for the 250 West competitors as the next 250 round will see 250 East competitors race on June 17, ahead of the combined 250 East-West showdown on Sunday, June 21.
Technical and Safety improvements for 2021
The FIM has announced the sporting rules and safety measures that will apply in the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship and Dakar in the RallyGP class for 2021.
The measures that will be applicable for the 2021 Dakar and the 2021 FIM Cross-Country World Championship are:
Limitation of the number of rear tyres to 6 for the 12 stages (30 min penalties for non-compliance). For shorter rallies: 1 tyre for 2 Days of racing. For example, a rally consisting of 1 Prologue and 5 days, the limitation will be 3 tyres.
Single brand and model of rear tyre for the entire rally (1 hour penalty for non-compliance)
Possibility to change only one piston during the entire rally (10 min penalties for non-compliance)
No intervention on the motorcycle allowed during refuelling (only the road book dispenser can be opened to change the road book if necessary).
Sound alert on danger 2 and 3 (will be tested in Rally Morocco in 2020) using the sentinel.
Wearing of an Air Bag Vest equipped with passive safety paddings is mandatory.
Work on the itinerary: search for the slowest possible route, setting up slow zones if the ground is poor and fast especially in the HP zones, more WPs on the risk points.
First aid training certificate compulsory for all motorcycle riders.
Moreover, the following safety measures will also apply in 2021 for Elite riders (RallyGP Riders):
Navigation tower protected by foam for Elite riders (RallyGP Riders), especially the road book reader, best practice in order to reduce impact to the rider.
Detachable front windscreen, in case of impact by the rider (mandatory for Elite riders (RallyGP Riders) in 2021 Dakar rules).
No engine power reduction with air-intake restrictors that require an ECU re-setting will be done for the 2021 season. Engine development will be done until the end of 2021 for the reduction of the power of the machines.
Electronic road book will be tested in 2021 and should be implemented in 2022.
AMA Pro Motocross will run with spectators
After considerable communication between race organizers, local government, and local health officials, MX Sports Pro Racing has confirmed that the opening two rounds of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will be permitted to allow spectator attendance. The season opening Circle K Ironman National will be held in Crawfordsville, Indiana’s Ironman Raceway on July 18, followed by the WW Ranch National from Jacksonville, Florida’s WW Motocross Park on July 25. Additional rounds will be announced as the states advance through their phase-in recovery plans to allow large gatherings.
“While all of our championship venues have been permitted to reopen for recreational use, there are still varying state-by-state regulations that prevent many of them from allowing spectators at an organized sporting event,” said Roy Janson, MX Sports Pro Racing Competition Director. “As a result, the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule will be rolled out in phases as additional venues are given the green light to welcome fans. Each event organizer is in constant contact with their local government and health officials in order to ensure that a fan-attended event adheres to all health and safety measures implemented by the county, and we’re confident that approach will allow us to have a proper championship calendar that allows for the return of spectators, and follows social distancing guidelines.”
Both the Ironman National and WW Ranch National, along with each remaining round on the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule, will be hosted in compliance with social distancing guidelines that have been established from ongoing communication between local officials. A significant component of those guidelines will be eliminating spectator interaction from competitors and their teams, members of the media, as well as all event staff, meaning paddock access will be limited to credentialed personnel only. Additional details surrounding the implementation of social distancing policies at the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will be announced at a later date.
Jorge Prado undergoes surgery after practice crash
Double FIM MX2 Motocross World Champion Jorge Prado is recovering from a procedure to fix his right collarbone after a fall while training in Belgium on Tuesday.
The 19 year old MXGP class rookie for 2020 suffered a clean break in the wake of his tumble at a circuit in Olmen, Belgium. He was transported to hospital in Herentals for examination and x-rays and entered corrective surgery the same day, performed by Dr Tom Claes, who inserted a plate to help re-join and support the bone. A scan late Tuesday evening showed the operation had been a success and Prado is expected to be back at his residence today [Wednesday]. Early indications point to a four-week rehabilitation phase if the injury heals well and the Spaniard can ride his KTM 450 SX-F once more.
Prado defied a short winter of preparation to make his MXGP debut at Matterley Basin and the British Grand Prix at end of February for the first round of the 2020 series. He has been training and working at his base in Belgium in readiness for the resumption of the FIM World Championship that is provisionally scheduled to begin again with the Grand Prix of Russia on August 2nd.
“It’s disappointing to be dealing with another injury but I’m really happy with how the operation went and how the collarbone is looking. I was riding through a fast corner and there was a rider ahead of me; I just misjudged the line. I lost the front end and went over the handlebars. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d broken anything but after about thirty minutes it was clear that something was wrong. Anyway, we are on the recovery path again and I hope to be able to do some training again after about a week and we’ll wait another three to be back on the bike. Luckily we have some time before the races start again.”
Rene Hofer extends KTM contract
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are pleased to announce a two-year contract extension with FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship rookie Rene Hofer. The 18-year old Austrian will steer the factory KTM 250 SX-F for the 2021 and 2022 Grand Prix seasons.
Hofer was drafted into the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team for 2020 after showing promise through the EMX European Championship ranks with the KTM 125 SX and the KTM 250 SX-F in the EMX125 and EMX250 divisions. Rene impressed with his maturity, work ethic and strong mentality and brought those characteristics into the beginning of the 2020 Grand Prix campaign where he captured two top five finishes in four motos before the season was halted.
So far Hofer has shown encouraging signs of continuing KTM’s powerful lineage in the MX2 class. The manufacturer has owned the category 12 times in the last 16 years; including every season since 2008, with the exception of 2015. Eight different racers have earned the #1 plate while riding the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 250 SX-F. 2019 rookie and teammate Tom Vialle is the current series leader. Hofer is the first Austrian to represent Red Bull KTM in the principal MX2/MXGP Grand Prix competitions since Robert Jonas at the turn of the century.
“I’ve been with KTM for about a decade now and every time I step into the company, I feel like I’m in the right place. It’s only my first year with the factory team but it already feels like home and it’s a pleasure to work and spend time with the guys and achieve our goals together. All I can say is that I am super-excited about what the next two years will bring and I will enjoy every minute of it. From my side, I will obviously put in maximum effort and I know everybody in the team will do the same. Working together with an Austrian brand will hopefully have a positive effect on Austrian motorsport as well. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to live my dream but I can’t forget to give-it-up to all the people who helped me get here, especially my family.”
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