AFT Singles Championship contender Max Whale has signed a two-year deal to remain with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team through the 2023 American Flat Track Championship, after another successful season in 2021.
In his fourth season in the class, the Aussie has established himself as a force in the AFT Singles division as he prepares to battle down to the wire for the coveted title, which is mathematically still up for grabs at the Charlotte Half-Mile finale next month. With four Main Event victories and four top-five finishes in his first season with the team, Whale continues to build on his solid platform aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION for the next two seasons.
“I am so pumped to sign a two-year extension with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. I’ve been having an awesome time this year with my team, racking up victories and points! I’m excited for the next two years of my career with the crew.”
Australia finishes fourth in Team Speedway U21s
Three Australian speedway riders flew the national flag at the FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship finale in Poland. Matthew Gilmore, Keynan Rew and Brayden McGuiness carried Australia’s hopes in Bydgoszcz, Poland, against some of the best speedway teams in the world, and missed out on a bronze medal by just a single point.
Team Poland won on home soil, Wiktor Lampart and Jakub Miśkowiak didn’t give any chance to their rivals. The podium was completed by the Danes and quite unexpectedly the British. The Team Junior World Championships final in Bydgoszcz was held in the format which fans know from Speedway of Nations.
Team Captain Matthew Gilmore
“It has been an konour to Captain “Team Australia” in the FIM Team Speedway U21 World Championship. It was great to ride along side Keynan and Brayden, we gave it our best and finished fourth in the world. Thanks go out to Aussie Team Manager Mark Lemon for all his organisation, advice and encouragement which was greatly appreciated by us Joeys. Thanks also to Motorcycling Australia for your ongoing support. To my sponsors, family, friends and followers that have supported me, thanks. It has been an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to represent Australia and I was fortunate to do so, Thanks again MGR. Craig Watson, GM Engines, Signworx Group, C4 Industries, LAR (Leigh Adams Racing), JTR, KLS Denmark, GM Australia, LKI Brand, Scott Brown Flooring & Chris Watson Motorcycles.”
Team Speedway U21s Results
I. Team Poland- 45
7. Jakub Miśkowiak – 21+3 (0,4,3*,3*,4,3*,4)
8. Wiktor Lampart – 24+2 (4,3*,4,4,3*,4,2)
18. Mateusz Cierniak – NS
II. Team Denmark – 35
3. Mads Hansen – 17+1 (4,4,d,-,4,2,3*)
4. Tim Soerensen – 7+1 (2,-,2,3*,w,-)
16. Marcus Birkemose – 11+1 (3*,4,4,0)
III. Team Great Britain – 27
9. Tom Brennan – 20 (4,2,4,2,4,4)
10. Drew Kemp – 5+1 (3*,0,2,-,-,d)
19. Leon Flint – 2 (0,2)
IV. Team Australia – 26
13. Matthew Gilmore – 9+1 (2,3*,0,2,2,0)
14. Keynan Rew – 17 (3,4,3,0,4,3)
21. Brayden McGuinness – NS
V. Team Czech Rep. – 23
5. Daniel Klima – 5 (-,-,3,0,-,2)
6. Jan Macek – 6 (3,0,-,-,0,3)
17. Petr Chlupac – 12 (2,2,2,3,3)
VI. Team Latvia – 22
1. Francis Gusts – 15 (3,4,4,4,w,0)
2. Ricards Ansviesulis – 0 (0,-,0,-,-,-)
15. Daniił Kołodinski – 7 (d,2,3,2)
VII. Team Sweden – 20
11. Philip Hellstroem-Baengs – 14 (2,t,t,3,4,3,2)
12. Alexander Woentin – 6 (0,2,-,2,2,-)
20. Jonatan Grahn – 0 (0,0)
Malcolm Steward joins Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team and Malcolm Stewart have inked a two-year deal to join the team’s 450 efforts in both AMA Supercross World Championship and AMA Pro Motocross racing. The 28-year-old Florida native will pilot the FC 450 Rockstar Edition for the 2022 and 2023 race seasons, beginning on January 8 with the Anaheim SX season opener.
“I’m really excited to have a full indoor/outdoor deal that’s sealed for two years. It’s definitely a great opportunity for me and I think there’s nothing but positive vibes coming from me. I’ve always wanted to ride one of these Husqvarna motorcycles, I’ve seen everybody in the past do very well on it. We’ve been putting in the work this summer. Having a new training program going with Aldon Baker, I know there’s going to be a lot of big changes for me but I’m looking forward to it all. I’ve seen the successes that have happened through The Baker’s Factory and I want to be a part of those people, so I feel that this is a good opportunity for me in these next two years to go out there and do the best that I can.”
Fresh off his best-career Supercross season with sixth overall in 2021, the 2016 250SX East Champion earned his first 450SX podium at the penultimate round in Salt Lake City before finishing the year out strong with a top-five result. Now, with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team behind him, Stewart looks to keep the momentum rolling as he prepares to attack both Supercross and Motocross for the first time since 2014.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done the outdoors but I feel like racing is racing – anytime the gate drops there’s no negative vibes and it’s always going to be a positive. You live and you learn something from it, so let’s just get ready because that #27 is going to be out there!”
Marvin Musquin extends KTM contract through 2022 SX season
Marvin Musquin has locked in a deal to remain with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team through the 2022 AMA Supercross Championship. Entering his 12th season with the U.S. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team in 2022, the French rider has become synonymous with the brand thanks to his top level of performance and commitment within the sport.
Enjoying success at the last two rounds of the 2021 AMA Supercross Championship, the 31-year-old has proven that he still has plenty to give as he charges full-steam ahead towards a career-first 450SX title come January.
“I’m really happy to extend my contract for another year making 12 years racing in the U.S. and 14 years in total with the with the Red Bull KTM family! It’s no secret that everyone on the team is like family to me. It will be another fun challenge working with the new bike, which will be a lot more work but that’s exciting! I look forward to focusing my efforts on the Supercross series and to the Supercross schedule being back to normal starting back at Anaheim in January!”
2021 Speedway of Nations semi-finale squads confirmed
The national squads for the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations have been revealed. The competition gets underway with the Semi-Finals at Latvian venue Daugavpils on September 17 and 18.
Poland face off against Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia and the USA in Semi-Final 1 on Friday, September 17, with hosts Latvia taking on MFR, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and the Ukraine in Semi-Final 2 on Saturday, September 18.
Each country must list a squad of two or three senior riders, plus one or two under-21s, before naming their final starting line-up next week, featuring two seniors and one under-21.
World champion Bartosz Zmarzlik has been named in Poland’s squad ahead of Semi-Final 1, with Maciej Janowski returning to the group after missing the 2020 tournament.
Last year’s under-21 star Dominik Kubera is handed a dream call-up to complete the list of seniors, having reached both Orlen Lublin FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland finals on a sensational SGP debut weekend last month.
Lublin star Wiktor Lampart and Czestochowa racer Jakub Miskowiak are Poland’s under-21 options as team manager Rafal Dobrucki names his first SON squad since taking charge of his country.
The Danes name SGP stars Leon Madsen and Anders Thomsen in their senior spots, along with European champion Mikkel Michelsen.
FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship leader Mads Hansen and Jonas Seifert-Salk serve as their under-21s.
World No.3 Fredrik Lindgren leads the Swedish selections and he is joined by double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell and 2021 Swedish Championship runner-up Pontus Aspgren.
Team manager Morgan Andersson names Philip Hellstrom-Bangs and Alexander Woentin as his under-21s.
Vaclav Milik leads the Czech list and he is joined by veteran Josef Franc and Prague prospect Daniel Klima. Anlas Czech SGP wild card Jan Kvech and Petr Chlupac are their under-21 options.
American shooting star Luke Becker is in the USA squad, alongside Broc Nicol and Dillon Ruml. Blake Borello and Anthony Dion are their under-21s.
Matic Ivacic leads the Slovenian line-up alongside former World Under-21 finalist Nick Skorja. Anze Grmek is their sole under-21 rider in a three-man squad.
The Finns select Timo Lahti, Tero Aarnio and Jesse Mustonen as their senior stars, with Timi Salonen and Roni Niemela their under-21s.
Hosts Latvia take to the shale in Semi-Final 2 on Saturday, September 18, with former European champion Andzejs Lebedevs named in their squad, alongside fellow 2021 GP Challenge finalist Jevgenijs Kostigovs and last year’s World Under-21 Final bronze medallist Olegs Mihailovs.
Current World Under-21 finalists Francis Gusts and Daniils Kolodinskis are their junior stars.
MFR are without their triple world title-winning pair Emil Sayfutdinov and Artem Laguta, with Sergei Logachev and Vladimir Borodulin representing the reigning champions.
Lublin rider Mark Karion is their sole under-21 as team manager Tatiana Savina names a three-man squad.
Australian team manager Mark Lemon has selected 2017 world champion Jason Doyle, along with SGP 2022 qualifier Max Fricke and Jack Holder. Young guns Keynan Rew and World Under-21 finalist Matthew Gilmore are in line for the under-21 position.
Former SGP regular Martin Smolinski and Kai Huckenbeck team up for Germany and they are joined by under-21 Nick Blodorn in a three-man squad.
The French select Masarna colleagues David Bellego and Dimitri Berge, with World Under-21 finalist Steven Goret named as their under-21 rider on a three-man list.
SGP first reserve Aleksandr Loktaev is nominated by the Ukraine alongside Vitalii Lisak and Stanislav Melnychuk. Their under-21 riders are Marko Levishyn and Andryi Rozaliuk.
The Italians complete the field for Semi-Final 2 and they name Nicolas Covatti, Paco Castagna and Nicolas Vicentin in their squad. Michele Menani is their sole under-21 selection.
The top two teams from each Semi-Final automatically join hosts Great Britain in the Monster Energy SON Final in Manchester on October 16 and 17.
The third and fourth-placed teams in both of the Daugavpils rounds will then compete in the Final Qualifier at the end of each night for the two remaining places in the Final, where the 2021 Monster Energy SON world champion will be crowned.
MONSTER ENERGY SON SEMI-FINAL SQUADS (in draw order):
SEMI-FINAL 1 – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
TEAM A – USA
1. Broc Nicol
2. Luke Becker
3. Dillon Ruml
U21 1. Blake Borello
U21 2. Anthony Dion
Team Manager: Steve Evans
TEAM B – POLAND
1. Maciej Janowski
2. Dominik Kubera
3. Bartosz Zmarzlik
U21 1. Wiktor Lampart
U21 2. Jakub Miskowiak
Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki
TEAM C – CZECH REPUBLIC
1. Vaclav Milik
2. Josef Franc
3. Daniel Klima
U21 1. Jan Kvech
U21 2. Petr Chlupac
Team Manager: Filip Sitera
TEAM D – DENMARK
1. Leon Madsen
2. Mikkel Michelsen
3. Anders Thomsen
U21 1. Mads Hansen
U21 2. Jonas Seifert-Salk
Team Manager: Hans Nielsen
TEAM E – SLOVENIA
1. Matic Ivacic
2. Nick Skorja
U21 1. Anze Grmek
Team Manager: Gregor Arnsek
TEAM F – SWEDEN
1. Fredrik Lindgren
2. Pontus Aspgren
3. Jacob Thorssell
U21 1. Philip Hellstrom-Bangs
U21 2. Alexander Woentin
Team Manager: Morgan Andersson
TEAM G – FINLAND
1. Timo Lahti
2. Tero Aarnio
3. Jesse Mustonen
U21 1. Timi Salonen
U21 2. Roni Niemela
Team Manager: Jyri Palomaki
SEMI-FINAL 2 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
TEAM A – ITALY
1. Nicolas Covatti
2. Paco Castagna
3. Nicolas Vicentin
U21 1. Michele Menani
Team Manager: Alessandro Dalla Valle
TEAM B – AUSTRALIA
1. Jason Doyle
2. Max Fricke
3. Jack Holder
U21 1. Keynan Rew
U21 2. Matthew Gilmore
Team Manager: Mark Lemon
TEAM C – UKRAINE
1. Aleksandr Loktaev
2. Vitalii Lisak
3. Stanislav Melnychuk
U21 1. Marko Levishyn
U21 2. Andryi Rozaliuk
Team Manager: Sergey Lyatosinskyy
TEAM D – MFR
1. Sergei Logachev
2. Vladimir Borodulin
U21 1. Mark Karion
Team Manager: Tatiana Savina
TEAM E – LATVIA
1. Andzejs Lebedevs
2. Jevgenijs Kostigovs
3. Olegs Mihailovs
U21 1. Francis Gusts
U21 2. Daniils Kolodinskis
Team Manager: Vladimir Ribnikovs
TEAM F – GERMANY
1. Kai Huckenbeck
2. Martin Smolinski
U21 1. Nick Blodorn
Team Manager: Herbert Rudolph
TEAM G – FRANCE
1. David Bellego
2. Dimitri Berge
U21 1. Steven Goret
Team Manager: Laurent Sambarrey
Motoland teams up with Motorcycling Queensland
Queensland’s newest motocross destination, Motoland is teaming up with the state’s governing body for motorcycle sport and recreation – Motorcycling Queensland. In a first for motocross in Queensland and one of the first in Australia, a private entity will align with the state controlling body, and a local motocross club, to deliver a motocross destination – located at the historic Tivoli Raceway site near Ipswich.
The purpose of the alliance is to not only create an incredible facility for the benefit of south-east Queenslanders, but also to drive motocross participation and grass-roots competition in the region.
In addition to three brand new tracks, designed to cater for all skill levels, Motoland’s facilities off the track, promise to be the best in the region. The park will boast multiple raised viewing areas, quality toilets and amenities and a brand new cafe and retail space. Bailey reiterated, that at Motoland, the consumer experience off the track, will be as important as the one on it.
Details of Motoland’s operating times, pricing and booking information will be provided in the coming weeks, with an official open day expected to be announced for the early stages of October. To register for your chance to be one of the first to ride Motoland, go to www.motoland.com.au.
Toni Bou leaves Spanish TrialGP one-point off title
Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou rode to a fine victory in Pobladura de las Regueras, León, in the seventh round of the TrialGP World Championship.
The course of this seventh event of the elite trial competition played out over varied terrain with river areas offering little grip and indoor-style areas featuring logs and stones, with riders having to complete two laps of the twelve-section course.
Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou dominated the first of the double-date event in Pobladura de las Regueras with an excellent showing, finishing with a total of sixteen marks, twenty less than the nearest second-placed rider, arch rival Adam Raga. Bou continues to lead the overall TrialGP World Championship standings, currently fourteen points clear of the second-placed adversary.
Bou also won for the second day running in the trial at Pobladura de las Regueras, León, to secure a sixth win of the season. Bou increased his lead in the championship standings to 19 points. Fujinami finished seventh.
As had been expected, Toni Bou had to struggle somewhat at the trial in Pobladura de las Regueras today. Opponent Jaime Busto put the pressure on the champion and it wasn’t until the very final sections that the event swung in favour of the Repsol Honda Team rider. With the triumph, the sixth of the season, Toni Bou increases the gap at the head of the overall championship, now holding a 19-point lead over second-placed rider Adam Raga. Bou needs just a single point next Saturday to be crowned 2021TrialGP champion.
The final event of the 2021 Trial World Championship will be held next Saturday in Gouveia, Portugal. The following day, Sunday 19, the Trial of Nations is scheduled to take place in the same Portuguese town.
“We battled hard throughout the trial. I made a mistake in section 8 and I knew that section 11 would be my last chance, I took a gamble and it worked out well. Winning in the final sections is an incredible feeling. I want to congratulate Jaime Busto because he was really strong, not just today but all weekend and I think this is very good for trial. There will be a great final battle with Adam Raga. This is very nice and adds more value to the wins. I’m 19 points ahead in the general standings, but before the last race in Portugal anything could happen. This week I will have to be careful and for the final race we will have to be very focused so that we don’t have any mechanical issues or anything that could prevent us from winning the world championship.”
With everything to play for, Laia Sanz has delivered one of her most important performances in this year’s TrialGP series. Needing to stay as close as possible to Women’s class leader Emma Bristow to ensure a chance of winning the title at next weekend’s final round in Portugal, Laia did exactly what she needed to do by winning day one and finishing as a close runner-up on day two at the TrialGP of Spain. With one day of competition remaining,
“It was a really good weekend for me. The first day went perfectly as I managed to get the win – a much needed victory to keep my championship winning hopes alive. Today, day two, it was a pity because I could have won again. If I had I would have made things a lot easier for myself in Portugal next weekend, but I made some silly mistakes and finished second. The second lap was not easy for me, apart from making some mistakes I struggled a lot with my physical condition as I was feeling tired. It’s a bit disappointing because I did not fight as I wanted to. But I still have a strong chance of getting the championship and that was the goal before competing here in Spain. Everything is to play for next weekend.”
Competition at the top of the TrialGP Women’s class was super close at the penultimate round of the series in Pobladura de las Regueras, with Laia taking the win by just a single point over second placed Berta Abellan on day one. Claiming her second win of the series to date, Laia also saw defending class champion Emma Bristow finish in third position, very much putting Laia back in the championship hunt with her British rival.
Starting well on day two, Laia looked set to repeat her day one result. But, not feeling 100 per cent, she lost a few more marks that she hoped she would, eventually placing second at the end of the day behind Bristow. Now, with the final one-day round of the series taking place in Portugal next weekend, Laia sits just one point behind Bristow.
Women’s TrialGP Standings – Top 3
Laguta wins Danish SGP and claims standings lead
Artem Laguta admits he’s in dreamland after triumphing in Vojens on Saturday to overhaul Bartosz Zmarzlik for top spot in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship race.
Laguta stormed to his fourth win of SGP 2021 at the Danish SGP sponsored by Ecco, taking victory in the final ahead of Zmarzlik, Emil Sayfutdinov and Tai Woffinden.
The win hands the Wroclaw and Vastervik star a one-point lead in the standings going into the title-deciding eWinner Torun SGP of Poland double-header on October 1 and 2.
It’s the first time this season Laguta has led the standings as he bids to make history and become the first rider representing the Motorcycling Federation of Russia to be crowned senior individual world champion.
He was elated to leave the legendary Vojens Speedway Center with an advantage going into the biggest weekend of his life in three weeks.
Laguta has a strong record in Torun, having won five heats and the semi-final in 2018, only to finish second to Tai Woffinden in the final. He also finished third in round eight there in 2020.
Zmarzlik is chasing his third straight world title, while Laguta has never been in championship contention. But the Bolshoy Kamen-born racer is determined to remember what has put him in this position as he bids to deliver gold.
“I want to do the best I can in Torun. For sure the few days before are going to be tough. I will be facing this for the first time in my career. But I know I haven’t come from nowhere. I have been working so hard on this. I have dreamed of being the best in the world and put a lot of effort into that. I am working together with my team to get there, and all we can do is the best we can do. We will do our best and see how much we get back. Of course Bartek is not going to give up. He is a world champion. But I am very hungry for it. I fulfilled the minimum plan and I am happy because I didn’t feel so good on the bike today with the setups and technically. Everything wasn’t 100 percent, but I made it into second place for me and my team, and that’s a really good result at Vojens.”
Third-placed Sayfutdinov was delighted to be back on the podium for the first time since he finished second at round one in Prague.
His 16 championship points saw him leapfrog Fredrik Lindgren for third spot in the standings, with Sayfutdinov on 121 points and the Swede on 119 in the battle for the bronze medal.
Having finished fourth at the previous round in Togliatti, Sayfutdinov is pleased to be back on form for the business end of the season.
“To be honest, third place is really, really nice. I am really happy. The last two or three months have been so hard. I want to say a special thanks to my team, who have been working really hard. Hopefully we are on track to be on the podium. I scored important points today and I am looking forward to Torun. I was hungry to win this Grand Prix because I felt awesome. I found a quick line where I could be fast. I have some new engines and I don’t know which way to change the setups sometimes. In that final heat, it is always hard for me, but I am happy. Third place in the final puts me back on the podium.”
The SGP series now takes a short break for the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Semi-Finals in Daugavpils on Friday and Saturday (September 17 and 18).
Poland face off against Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia and the USA in Semi-Final 1 on Friday, September 17, with hosts Latvia taking on MFR, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and the Ukraine in Semi-Final 2 on Saturday, September 18.
Progressive American Flat Track legend Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) continued to perform at his vintage best, notching up yet another blowout victory in Saturday evening’s Law Tigers Sacramento Mile I presented by Knauf Insulation at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.
Mees replicated the Springfield Mile II escape plan he executed just a few days prior. He eked out some breathing space in the opening minutes of the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event and then effectively rendered the race one for second place as he continually added to that advantage, lap after lap.
Never seriously challenged, Mees had more than six seconds in hand when the clock hit 0:00 and still boasted a 4.611-second margin of victory at the checkered flag despite coasting all the way down the final straight.
“My heart rate was low around there today, and the track was so smooth it wasn’t too physical. The challenge was mental, trying to put it all together. I was a little bit frustrated after making a mistake in the Dash for Cash. I was starting to second think… ‘Am I losing the mojo? Am I losing the momentum?’ But I got the holeshot in the Main and started picking ‘em up and putting ‘em down, honestly. The bike was phenomenal. A huge shout out to Kenny Tolbert, Bubba Bentley, and Jimmy Wood. Every session all throughout the day, we tweaked the bike to make it that much better.”
Mees’ dominant night was made that much easier when his rival, defending double Mission SuperTwins Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), became embroiled in a race-long multi-rider melee for second.
While the lead-up to the Main suggested that Bauman just might have had the pace to run with Mees, he was never able to show it when it mattered. Bauman struggled both to draft past Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) and keep him behind him on the straights, while getting held up in the corners by him at the same time.
All the while, Davis Fisher (No. 67 BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750), was mixing it up with Bauman and Halbert, which further allowed Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and, finally, Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), to join the fray and turn it into a six-rider slugfest for second.
At one point, Fisher slipped the groove following a near-miss with Bauman and fell well back. He made a determined charge back up the order and arrived just in time to get his revenge with less than two laps remaining. That dropped the champ back to fifth and put his championship lead at serious risk.
The rapidly evolving battle next saw Vanderkooi pull off a last-lap move on Fisher that again knocked him off the groove just as Bauman finally found a way past Halbert. Ultimately, Vanderkooi crossed the stripe in second with Bauman earning his 12th podium of the season in third.
Despite that consistent excellence, Mees now sits just four points behind Bauman in the title chase (271-267), which puts him within striking distance of taking the outright lead should he add to his three-race win streak tomorrow.
Halbert finished fourth, followed by Beach and Robinson. Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) took full advantage of Fisher’s repeat misfortune to edge him for seventh by 0.009 seconds at the stripe.
Robert Pearson (No. 27 Rackley Racing/John Franklin Indian FTR750) and James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) rounded out the top ten.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario more intimidating for a prospective AFT Singles star than to lead coming out of Turn 4 on the final lap of a Mile with both the class’ defending champion and its all-time winningest rider breathing down their neck. That’s exactly the predicament Trevor Brunner (No. 21 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) found himself in at the conclusion of a frenetic race-long pack war.
Still, even though Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) did all they could to add to their impressive respective wins tallies, Brunner skillfully made a perfect launch out of the corner to overcome their attempts to draft by him at the stripe, edging Texter-Bauman by 0.024 seconds and Daniels by 0.041.
While the win came down to those three, the race featured a lead group that numbered into the double digits all the way to the checkered flag. As tight as the field was, the primary players throughout were those representing the powerhouse factory-backed teams; Cole Zabala (No. 51 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) each took several turns turns at the front with title hopeful Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) lurking in sixth pretty much the entire way.
That all changed late when Whale went off the groove and dropped several positions and Zabala suffered a mechanical while still in with a shot at victory. Rush did manage to come home in third, just 0.094 seconds off the win, but the final-lap chaos allowed Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Mission Roof Systems Honda CRF450R) to slip into the top five.
Whale, meanwhile, did well to claw his way back to seventh, finishing just one position behind third-ranked Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F). Even still, Daniels expanded his title advantage, which now stands at 12 (248-236) with just two races remaining.
AFT Production Twins
11th-place was all he needed, but Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing MT-07) instead preferred to celebrate his dominant 2021 AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines title triumph with a more representative victory.
Texter lined up on pole with three Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750Rs alongside, piloted by Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R), Jesse Janisch (No. 96 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R).
Any chance that talented trio had of teaming up on Texter evaporated after the ‘19 class champ took his customary holeshot as wild cards Mischler and Janisch limped off the line and dropped to seventh and eighth, respectively.
A motivated Cose pulled in behind Texter and sat in his draft over the race’s opening half. But Texter’s torrid pace and trademark consistency ultimately broke the challenge of the “California Kid ” as well.
Texter left no doubt en route to reclaiming possession of the #1 plate, winning by 5.197 seconds. With two races still remaining, Texter is once again the AFT Production Twins king on the strength of six wins and ten podiums.
“This class is super talented this year. It was hard work versus talent. I have a lot of respect for the guys I race against, and this (championship) was earned. The grind it took this season… The injuries I had to work through this summer, and the training, and the studying notes, and losing it last year and coming back this year, and working for it and winning it. It all means so much to me. You don’t have to be the most talented guy out there. You can work super hard and achieve your goals.”
Cose took a popular runner-up in front of the home fans, which also propelled him into second in the championship, moving him one point ahead of sixth-place finisher Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07).
Meanwhile, Janisch fought his way back up to come out on top of a last-lap drafting contest for the podium with Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) (fourth) and Mischler (fifth). The result was Janisch’s third top-three in four starts in place of the injured Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R).
The Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) domination tour continued unabated in Sunday’s hugely consequential Law Tigers Sacramento Mile II presented by Knauf Insulation at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.
Mees’ second consecutive double victory saw the former Grand National Champion seize control of the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle championship lead heading into next month’s Progressive American Flat Track season finale.
Mees was again in a class of his own. He blasted away from the pack almost immediately and quickly assembled a multi-second lead. And then he did it again when forced due to a red flag and restart at mid-distance.
The win alone would have guaranteed Mees a one-point title lead, but his advantage is actually four courtesy of #4, Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley/Howerton Motorsports Indian FTR750). Mees has himself to thank for that extra bit of padding as well, as he lent Smith a spare machine after the retiring legend struggled to get his primary machine working to his liking.
While he may have only wanted to send his old rival off in suitable fashion, Mees was more than repaid for his generosity when Smith dove up the inside of defending champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) on the final lap to beat him to the line to claim second.
“I feel amazing. Right after Peoria there was a 25-point gap and five races to go. If I won them all, I would gain 25 points exactly if Briar finished second. So, I figured I have to win all these things. I knew I had a really good shot on the Miles — our Mile program the past few years has been very, very strong. We’ll come to Charlotte and try to get it done. Briar will be very tough – he’s a really great Half-Mile guy. All said and done, I give a huge shout out to B. Smith – my buddy. That’s so awesome… To turn around and see the big #4 come across that line… I was more pumped to see Bryan get second on my bike than I was for winning it. That’s so cool.”
Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), Davis Fisher (No. 67 BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750) and Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) finished just fractions of a second off the podium in fourth-through-sixth, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), took a frustrating eighth behind Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750). Halbert was a race-long contender for the box before encountering a mechanical issue on the last lap, which opened the door for Smith’s strike to steal away second.
Yamaha teammates Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) rounded out the top ten.
Now the stage is set. Mees sits at 292 points and Bauman 288. Should either rider win the Charlotte Half-Mile they will be the 2021 Mission SuperTwins champion, simple as that.
Trevor Brunner (No. 21 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) made clear that yesterday’s last-lap acing of AFT Singles superstars Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) was no fluke.
The youngster completed the Sacramento Mile double in almost identical fashion, leaving Turn 4 for the last time with the same two imposing figures hiding in his draft. And he again beat them both to the checkered flag, flexing the muscles of a very fleet CRF450R in the process.
The only real change that this time around was that Daniels came the closest to finding a solution to beating Brunner to the flag. He finished 0.023 behind in second, while Texter-Bauman was another 0.069 seconds back in third.
“I started off the season pretty rough. I just had to dig deep and focus on my training again and my racecraft. At past races, I’ve made some decisions during the race that weren’t the best, and that’s what’s put me behind the lead pack. So focusing on my endurance and my racecraft is really what’s helped me these past couple races.”
While the podium featured the same three riders, the race was very much a six-rider affair. Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), Tanner Dean (No. 38 1st Impressions Race Team Honda CRF450R), and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) were also a part of an amorphous pack that took a new shape in almost every corner.
In the end, Rush wound up fourth for the second consecutive day with Dean and Mischler five and sixth, respectively.
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) broke free from a huge second group to take seventh. That effort – combined with Daniels’ near miss of the victory – means Whale is still alive in the title fight if only just. Daniels now boasts a 20-point advantage (268-248) with just the Charlotte HM finale to go.
AFT Production Twins
Newly recrowned AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing MT-07) didn’t ease up any despite Saturday’s title lock.
After threatening to celebrate his triumph in a extended victory lap-style runaway, Texter was tracked down and seriously challenged by Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) for Sunday’s win.
“California Kid” Cose wanted this one badly, and it showed on track. He reeled Texter back in, arriving on his tail with just over two minutes remaining. He then made his (initial) move with 45 seconds remaining on the clock, and the two proceeded to measure up their respective late-race strategies. The lead was traded back and forth on four occasions over the final minute and two laps. And it was very nearly five, as Cose came up 0.015 seconds short of pulling off one final slingshot before the two stormed past the checkered flag.
Even then the drama wasn’t quite over, as Texter crashed into the Turn 1 air fence moments after earning his seventh win of the season. Fortunately, Texter immediately jumped up to his feet unscathed.
“I saw Chad coming. I knew I could kinda chess-match him a bit. I wanted to lead off (Turn) 4 because that Yamaha power is strong. I love racing Chad. He’s one of my buddies, and when you can trust a guy like that, it’s a lot of fun. After the checkers… too much send and not enough grip. I just couldn’t stop. I was like, ‘I ain’t saving this…’ so I pitched it away and gave the guys something to do in the offseason. But seriously, the G&G Racing team stay in hotels pretty much all summer away from their homes. It’s a father and a son, and they do so much for me to allow me to chase my dreams. I’m really appreciative of them.”
Jesse Janisch (No. 96 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) had a fourth AFT Production Twins podium in five starts in his grasp before a mechanical issue removed him from contention. His friend and fellow V&H wildcard, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R), inherited the position and was all too happy to cash in his second podium in four ‘21 class starts.
Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Lessley Brothers Racing Yamaha MT-07) was finally rewarded for his strong weekend form with a run to fourth, while Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) completed the top five.
The Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded round 10 of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer GNCC at the Bechtel Summit Reserve in Beckley, West Virginia on Sunday, September 12, 2021.
As the green flag waved it was Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn jumping off the line first to earn the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. Ashburn would soon have AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor at his heels making the pass for the lead as they battled throughout the first lap. Baylor would continue to lead the way, but Ashburn was not letting him too far out of his sights. As the two front runners came through to see the two-lap card Ashburn was just eight seconds behind Baylor.
Baylor would continue to lead as he would also begin to place another gap over the rest of the field by the time the white flag came out, indicating one more lap to go. Baylor would come through over a minute ahead of Ashburn, who was still running in the second place position. However, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Benjamin Kelley was making his way closer and closer as they raced to the checkered flag.
As the riders emerged out of the woods towards the finish line, it was Baylor leading the way. In Baylor fashion he would wheelie his motorcycle through the finish line earning his sixth win of the season. Baylor now moves himself within 4 points of Kelley and the National Championship. Ashburn and Kelley would emerge together, with Kelley going outside to inside and taking the second place position with just one corner remaining. Ashburn would find himself crossing the line to take third overall after a strong performance throughout the duration of the three-hour race.
FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth would have a consistent day as he crossed the finish line fourth overall. Toth would start his day in fourth as he came through on the opening lap, and he would remain in that position throughout the entirety of the race.
The Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing teammates of Thad Duvall and Trevor Bollinger finished out the day fifth and sixth in the XC1 Open Pro class. Duvall would take fifth overall, while Bollinger would earn 10th overall after the XC2 adjusted timing came into play.
Coming through to earn seventh in class was AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael. After battling up in sixth for majority of the race Michael would come in seventh in XC1 and 11th overall. RedBull/MCS Racing Sherco’s Benjamin Herrera battled back for an eighth place finish in XC1, and a 17th overall finishing position. Unfortunately for Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang, he would suffer from mechanical issues throughout the day.
XC2 250 Pro
In the XC2 250 Pro class it was Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig DeLong who would grab the early lead after earning the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award. DeLong would continue to race out front, but he would soon be joined by the Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing machine of Johnny Girroir.
With only two seconds separating the two, Girroir would make the pass stick on lap three. Girroir would begin to place a gap between himself and DeLong as the race wore on, and as the checkered flag came out it was Girroir with a 24 second lead as DeLong came through in second.
AmPro Yamaha’s Michael Witkowski would round out the XC2 podium after returning to racing. Witkowski would be sidelined after round eight, missing snowshoe and taking the summer break to evaluate himself. Witkowski came back ready to go and will strive to finish out the season strong.
FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am
As the checkered flag flew it was Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jonathan Johnson racing through to earn his eighth win in the FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am class. Johnson continues to hold the lead as the series heads into the final three rounds.
Lojak Yamaha Cycle Sales’ Chase Colville had a solid day of racing as he battled in the second place position. Colville was pushing to catch Johnson, but he would ultimately run out of time as he crossed the line in that second place finishing position. AOMC/FXR Gear/JDP Suspension’s Jason Lipscomb earned himself an extra $100 by jumping out to grab the Lojak Cycle Sales Holeshot Award. Lipscomb would then come through in fourth on the first lap, but he would soon make his way back into podium contention holding it until the very end and earning his first podium finish of the season.
Earning the top amateur honors was 250 A’s Dakoda Devore as he came through in the 15th place position overall, while also earning his second class win of the season. Finishing second on the top amateur podium and in the 250 A class was Joseph Cunningham, who came through 19th overall on the day. Rounding out the top amateur podium was Open A competitor, Jason Tino. Tino came through in 22nd overall and earned the win at his very first GNCC event this season.
In the 10 a.m. race it was the WXC competitor, AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer coming through to take the class win and points lead in the championship standings over BABS Racing Yamaha/Fly Racing/Maxxis/Pro Circuit’s Becca Sheets, who came through to finish second in WXC after brutal day of racing in West Virginia. Archer holds a three point lead over Sheets with three races remaining. Enduro Engineering/MEP MX/Fly Racing/XC Gear’s Mackenzie Tricker would round out the top three WXC finishers after having a consistent race at round ten.
Caleb Haynes from Springfield, MO would physically take the overall win as he battled in the Sportsman A class with Samuel Evans taking second overall ahead of the WXC competitors on the day.
In the 8 a.m. youth race it was Cole Forbes battling through to take his eighth overall youth win of the season. Forbes would start out his day in the third place position, but he would put his head down and push steadily making his way through the pack to take over the lead with three laps remaining. Nicholas DeFeo and Caleb Lane would push to hold off Forbes as they battled for the number one spot early in the race. DeFeo would manage to make the pass on Lane and hold onto second until the checkered flag flew. For Lane, he would cross the line in third overall and in the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class after holding the lead position on lap one.
South African Wade Young claimed the win at the sixth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, the Hero Challenge in Poland.
Making his mark in the sandy terrain of Dąbrowa Górnicza, Wade Young led home Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler finishing in close contention for third. Securing the runner-up result, Bolt becomes the new championship leader with two rounds remaining.
Leading into Sunday’s feature event, it was home favourite Dominik Olszowy (KTM) who topped the Saturday morning qualifier, before Husqvarna mounted Alfredo Gomez won the evening SuperEnduro in downtown Dąbrowa Górnicza.
That win from Gomez earned himself pole position for the three-hour race. But when the flag dropped, it was Lettenbichler who took the holeshot ahead of Gomez to claim an early lead in the race. As the 120 riders blasted off the start line, all the heavy hitters were quick to fight their way to the front.
Lettenbichler, Bolt, Olszowy, Gomez, and Jonny Walker (Beta) were soon joined by Young. A gamble by the South African to pit one lap later than his rivals paid off and the Sherco rider was soon out front. Clearly enjoying the rough conditions, Young put in a clinical second half of the race to claim victory at round six.
Bolt gave chase to Young but wasn’t quite able to match his pace as the track deteriorated. Knowing that by keeping ahead of Lettenbichler he would become the new championship leader, Bolt stayed on script and steered his Husqvarna home for the runner-up result. Lettenbichler came on strong during the final laps but wasn’t able to bridge the gap to Bolt and had to be content with third.
For Olszowy, hopes of a home podium didn’t quite materialise. Despite showing great pace, a broken clutch perch forced him to make an unscheduled pitstop to repair the damage. Digging deep, he ended his race just over 50 seconds behind Lettenbichler for fourth. Sherco’s Mario Roman completed the top five.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship now heads to Spain for the seventh and penultimate stop of the series, Hixpania Hard Enduro on October 1-3.
Wade Young (Sherco) – P1
“I’m so happy to pull off the win. I felt really comfortable out there today. My start wasn’t ideal – I got a bit boxed off – but I stayed relaxed because I knew my pace was good. Once I got with the guys, I settled in. I gambled on riding an extra lap before pitting and that gained me some time too. In the second half my flow was good. I was hitting my lines, putting in my times and took it home for the win. It’s been an awesome day.”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) – P2
“It was physical out there for the three hours, I don’t have much left in the tank now! I would have loved to take the win, but second place is great for the championship and now puts me in the lead by one point. I was battling with Wade at about mid distance. But I needed an extra pit stop and lost some ground. A crash then saw me lose sight of him, so I just tried to play it safe. I didn’t want to make any more mistakes and lose a position to Mani either. Hats off to Wade though, he deserved the win today.”
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) – P3
“I was stoked to get the holeshot. I felt pretty strong until about the fifth lap, but then began to fade a little. It was so tiring. My race was good. Towards the end I managed to get a bit closer to Billy, so I made a push on. But by that stage when I tried to up my pace I started making mistakes and wasn’t able to get on his wheel to battle. It’s been good to stay on the podium every round now and although I lost the points lead, there’s only one point in it, so it’s still all to play for.”
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) – P7
“The SuperEnduro was definitely my best performance of the weekend. I really loved the track and the style of races. The eliminator heat races were very cool and with each run you learned the track more and more. I knew for the final that getting the holeshot would be key and I managed to do that on my TE 300i. Once in the lead I held my ground and took the win. The three-hour cross country on Sunday wasn’t really my style of racing. It was missing some really hard technical elements to play to my strengths. I did my best and got seventh. I’m excited for my home race at Hixpania now. I’ve won there and been on the podium many times, so I’ll be pushing for victory for sure.”
2021 Hero Challenge Hard Enduro Top 10
2021 Hard Enduro Standings – After Round 6
2021 Pro AMA MX Round 12 wrap – Hangtown
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship reached its conclusion on as the summer campaign ended with American motocross’ oldest event for the 12th and final round, the Carson City Motorsports Hangtown Motocross Classic.
While one championship had already been decided in the 450 Class, the 250 Class title remained up for grabs, which put the division into the spotlight on a sunny afternoon in Northern California.
When the dust settled on the final two motos of the season, it was 18-year-old Team Honda HRC rider Jett Lawrence who emerged with the Gary Jones Cup as the first ever Australian champion in the smaller displacement.
Lawrence’s championship-winning ride wasn’t without serious drama as Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper did all he could to try and steal the title with his first 1-1 moto sweep and his second win of the 2021 season.
Jett’s older brother and Honda team-mate Hunter Lawrence finished third in the title chase, having taken two moto wins and one overall victory, making the Lawrences the only brothers to both finish an AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the top three.
After Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis wrapped up the 450 Title last week this also marks the first time in history that both of the premier American Motocross Championships were won by foreigners in the same year.
It signified the first 1-1 outing for Cooper and also marked the first time in his career that he’s won more than one race in a single season. He finished on the overall podium at all 12 rounds and ended the season with the fourth overall victory of his career.
“Every weekend on the overall podium is a big accomplishment for me. I gave it all I had today and did what I had to do. I’m really proud of that, especially to get my first 1-1. Maybe it was too little, too late, but we worked our butts off and can end the season with our heads held high.”
Shimoda wrapped up an impressive close to the season in second (4-2), as the Japanese rider captured three runner-up finishes in the final four rounds. Hampshire rounded out the overall podium in third (2-6).
“I really wanted a win, but being up on the podium is big progress for me. I ended the last four races with good overall finishes and that is something I can take into next year. I know I am capable of more and will be working hard this off-season.”
Lawrence’s title-winning effort came on the heels of one of his worst finishes of the season in fifth (8-3), but the podium effort in the final moto allowed him to finish six points ahead of Cooper in the final standings. It marks the first 250 Class championship for Honda since 2013 with Eli Tomac.
“I didn’t ride good at all today. The practices were good, but I was ‘sleeping’ on the first-moto start and then was rushing stuff, but I got a bit of a blessing to come up to eighth. Going into the second one, the mental frame was just to go out there and do my job. I got up from the crash as quick as I could and tried to put on a charge and not override the track, because it was pretty rough. I kind of got a flow and just relaxed and made my way through up to third, which was a lot better than the first moto. It’s cool to wrap it up, but I don’t think it’s actually sunk in yet, realistically; I’m still trying to process it. I didn’t come over here for nothing; my one goal was to win a championship and since then I’ve really been working my butt off to get to where I am today. Thankfully it’s all paid off, and I can take a break and get ready for next season.”
Older brother and team-mate Hunter Lawrence finished third in the title chase, having taken two moto wins and one overall victory, making the Lawrences the only brothers to both finish an AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the top three.
“I’m happy to finish off the season – 8/10 would do it again [laughs]. I got third overall and obviously I would’ve loved more, but considering where we were at the start of the year, then going through Supercross, and making it to every race this year was a huge goal of ours. The past few years have been really tough with injury, so that was a big box that we checked this year. The team getting some race wins, a few overalls, some podiums and Jett’s championship was a good year and something great to build on for next year. I’m looking forward to some time off now to reflect with the team. A massive thank you to them, as they’ve been awesome; I couldn’t have asked for a better team and support all year long. I’m really excited get into next year.”
RJ Hampshire dug deep to close out the season with on a positive note with 2-6 results earning him third overall for the day. With 11 moto-podiums and a Round 4 overall win, Hampshire sealed fourth overall in the 250MX Championship standings.
“It was a good day to finish the season off. I still don’t feel that great but we managed through the day and saved what I could in that first moto. In the second moto, I got a decent start again and ran into the back of someone first lap and went pretty far back. I knew a podium was in the cards, so I dug deep at the end. It’s a good way to end the season off on the podium, so I’m stoked on that. I’m looking forward to a good off-season.”
The 2021 Marty Smith Rookie of the Year was also named at the end of the day, as Vohland took the prestigious honors on the heels of a career-best fourth-place finish (5-4) at his home track. The second-generation racer finished ninth in the final standings.
“I definitely learned a lot this season. I had a lot of ups and downs, which is pretty typical for a rookie, but to come out here and get fourth and be super close to the podium in front of this hometown crowd is amazing! I’m super honored and this is a big accomplishment for me.”
In the 450 Class, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis put the finishing touches on the championship he clinched one week ago with an impressive sixth victory while Eli Tomac finished second in the championship after overhauling Ken Roczen at the final juncture.
Ferrandis’ resilient second moto was the difference maker in the overall standings, as he wrapped up his sixth win of the season on the heels of 1-3 moto scores. Tomac completed his tenure with Kawsaki in the runner-up spot (4-1), while Webb ended the season with a third straight podium finish in third (3-2). A total of three points separated the top three finishers.
With his 12th consecutive podium finish, Ferrandis’ historic season added another layer as he became the ninth rider in history to earn a top-three result in every race of his first full season of premier class competition.
“I gave it everything I had today with a clear mind (with the championship wrapped up). I just went out there and rode as hard as I could. That was my plan. I didn’t know that I won. I thought I was too far back to win the overall, especially with a crash on the start, so I didn’t believe it when my team told me I won. It’s been an unreal season and I’m just so proud to do this for my team and everyone that supports me.”
In the ongoing pursuit of the runner-up spot in the final standings, Roczen’s DNF in the final moto, combined with Tomac’s win, saw them trade positions as Tomac finished the year in second, with Roczen third.
“In the first moto I was starting to get into a flow, I found some good lines, and I had a solid pace going until I crashed in the off-camber corner at the bottom of the hill. I tweaked my thumb in the crash, but regrouped to still finish fourth in that moto and reset for the second one. In Moto 2, I got off to a strong start and worked my way up to the lead which I was able to maintain until the end. I would have loved to come away with the overall win today, but with that small crash in the first moto, it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m happy to finish the season with a moto win.”
Coming off two consecutive podium finishes late in the season, Cooper Webb ended the season finale with 3-2 results at Hangtown for fourth overall in the championship.
“Today was my best result, even though it was a third overall, I’m stoked! Unfortunately, I didn’t get the season started very well but I have to give it up to my team and the group of people around me for pushing me and believing in me. I knew what I could do on a dirt bike, so it’s good to be better and get closer to the front. It’s a lot to get to the front and we never gave up so I’m stoked to end the season on a positive note.”
Ken Roczen rode an inspiring first moto, leading past the midway point aboard his CRF450R before surrendering one position in the hot, dry conditions. Unfortunately, another rider made contact with the German on the start straight in moto 2. Unable to continue due to pain in his right foot, Roczen was credited with 40th place in the moto and had to settle for a ninth-overall result.
“My weekend in Hangtown was super tough. I was good in practice and got off to a good start in the first moto and led for over half of the race before settling for second, scoring some more points on [Eli] Tomac. In the second moto, there was a bunch of carnage going on at the start and my foot got stuck in somebody’s wheel to where I thought my foot was broken. I decided to go back to the mechanics’ area and get my foot checked out and unfortunately couldn’t finish the race. It was a huge bummer, especially since I couldn’t hold second in the championship, but we’re just going to have to eat that, get some rest now and focus on the upcoming season.”
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