Following his crash at the 2017 Dakar in which he injured his femur, Price has been on a long road to full fitness ever since. The Australian was set to race the OiLibya Rally of Morocco in October, but complications with his injury forced him to miss the event. Aware of the challenge in front of him, Toby remains upbeat and determined to put in a strong performance.
“After a recent clean-up of my injury, I am feeling a lot stronger already. It’s a big step forward and things are already looking really good for January. I have been able to get some time on the new bike, and it’s a huge step forward – the team have done an incredible job. I’ve been off a bike for close to eight or nine months. It’s clearly not the preparation any rider would want leading up to the biggest race of the year, but then you don’t forget how to ride a motorcycle.”
Running from January 6 to 20, 2018, the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally will see over 500 competitors cover 10,000km during 15 days of racing. The 2018 event will be the 10th edition to be held in South America and will cross the three countries of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Price will campaign the all-new KTM 450 RALLY which was recently unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan. The bike boasts many performance improvements over last year’s model. A new engine and management system, new chassis and swingarm and newly designed fuel tanks and bodywork ensure the bike feels slimmer and is more manoeuvrable.
Metcalfe for Honda Australia in 2018
Brett Metcalfe has signed on with Honda in Australia for 2018 to contest the MX Nationals in a bid to fulfil a promise he made to himself many years ago. 2017 was a difficult year in Australia for Metcalfe who rode three different brands throughout the MX Nationals.
“I want to win an Australian Motocross Championship in the MX1 class, it’s something I always promised myself I would try and do before I finished racing professionally. I finished the best overall I have finished with Honda in America, in 2009 I was third in the 250 class AMA Motocross Championship and in 2010 I took 6 podium finishes on my way to 2nd overall to Ryan Dungey in the 450 class after taking 3rd overall in the East Coast SX Lites Championship.”
“I came back to America following a trying year in Australia to prepare for next year. I had my first race on the Honda and went 1-1 in the World Vet Championships. It’s a nice way to start the relationship and I am definitely looking forward to working with the Honda Racing Team in Australia next year.”
Honda Racing’s Brand and Motorsport Manager Glyn Griffiths is pleased to announce this first bit of news as part of a bigger 2018 racing plan.
Glyn Griffiths – Honda Racing Brand and Motorsport Manager
“Since Brett’s departure from Australia in 2002, you quickly realise how much he has actually achieved. I think people forget his race winning qualifier at the MXON in 2013 against the best riders in the world and we are really excited to form this new relationship with one of the world’s most established racers.”
Honda will make further announcements regarding their racing commitments for 2018 shortly.
Chucky Back to Australian Enduro
Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders is returning to Australia for the 2018 season and from the sounds of it he will not be on KTM machinery – here is what the former AORC champion had to say on social media:
‘After 8 years of Racing KTM it hurts to say my career has come to an end with the orange brand and changing to a new colour! My two year contract I had with the Redbull KTM Factory team in Europe (2017/18) I have had a mutual termination of contract with the company, it’s a different life over there and I couldn’t thank everyone enough who has got me to the world stage. Unfortunately it was not what I expected with results and other situations which were out of my control… That’s how it goes up the top end which nobody sees from the outside of the racing until you go over there and have a crack… It was an experience that I only dreamed of but it was not like a dream! The world scene isn’t over for me I just got very unlucky with the year and how the Enduro World Championship had changed with classes, venues and weather. I’d love to go back when A LOT of things CHANGE over there. If it doesn’t happen again at least I can say I had a crack and finished every race and made some awesome friends. Until then I’ll be back here racing in Australia. Stay tuned for the next chapter.’
Sander and multi World Enduro Champion Matthew Phillips will be back in action here in Australia for 2018 with their first major outing being the opening two rounds of the AORC at Gympie (10 – 11 March) before heading to the 40th Anniversary of the A4DE at Cessnock from the 3rd to the 7th of April.
Cooper Wins Auckland Championships
Cody Cooper has swept all three MX1 motos at the Auckland Motocross Championship while Blake Gillard and Hamish Harwood wrapped their respective podium positions but the surprise on the day was Darryl King turning up on his new Husqvarna and coming home in 7th overall with 10-7-7 results.
There are two major meetings in NZ before their National Championships kick off in February and they are the annual Honda Summercross event in Whakatane just after Christmas then the Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix in Woodville.
Barcia Replaces Millsaps – Webb Back on the Yamaha
Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Davi Millsaps had surgery last week due to complications with his left elbow that he fractured in early October so Justin Barcia has been slotted into the team until Millsaps is 100 per cent fit.
Keith McCarty – Yamaha
“We initially hoped that Davi’s fractured elbow wouldn’t require surgery, but it’s been a particularly difficult injury, so he had surgery last week in order to take care of some lingering issues. We’re hopeful that the procedure will improve the timeline for his recovery.”
“Unfortunately, I pretty much shattered my elbow when I crashed last month, and Dr. Viola in Colorado performed surgery this past Wednesday, November 8, to repair the damage. Dr. Viola said that everything went well with the procedure, and he’s confident that my elbow will be 100%. I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible.”
Keith McCarty – Yamaha
“Davi’s injury still needs time to heal properly, and we don’t want to risk making the situation worse by having him start the season when he is not completely ready. So, Justin Barcia has been contracted to race for what we anticipate will be the first six Monster Energy Supercross rounds. Anything beyond that is still dependent on Davi’s condition, and his fitness to race.”
“First of all, I wish Davi well in his recovery. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m really happy to be back with Yamaha again, and especially to be racing for the Yamaha Factory team. I’m proud to have my number 51 on the brand-new 2018 YZ450F, and A1 can’t come soon enough for me!”
Davi’s teammate Cooper Webb, whose left thumb was injured during practice at the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA in Jacksonville, Florida, this past September, is now healthy and getting reacquainted with his #2 YZ450F.
This week, he and the team will begin preseason conditioning and testing at the Yamaha supercross track in preparation for the opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross season on January 6 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.
“I rode last week on some outdoor tracks in Southern California, and it was awesome! My thumb didn’t give me any issues. I’ve also been working hard off the bike to be in the best possible shape I can be in, and I feel really good. The new 2018 YZ450F is an amazing bike, so I know there won’t be a whole lot of time required to get it fine-tuned for A1. It just comes down to me putting the laps in and getting up to race speed and conditioning. I will be ready for A1.”
2018 FIM Speedway Grand Prix Calendar Revealed
The 2018 FIM Speedway Grand Prix calendar has been revealed, with the Danish SGP staying in Horsens for another three years and the Swedish venue Hallstavik making its debut while the final round in Melbourne has yet to be confirmed.
Next year’s 11-round series opens in style with the PZM Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland at the stunning PGE Narodowy – Poland’s national stadium – on May 12 before criss-crossing Europe over the next nine round before hopefully ending the year once again in Melbourne.
Torben Olsen – BSI Speedway Managing Director
“Having witnessed one of the all-time great SGP series this year, we’re already excited to see the sport’s top stars in action again in 2018. It’s brilliant to welcome Hallstavik on to the calendar for the first time and we’re delighted to have agreed a new deal with Horsens to keep the Danish SGP at the CASA Arena. We look forward to another great season and to bringing fantastic racing to all our SGP towns and cities in 2018.”
2018 Fim Speedway Grand Prix Calendar
Round 1: May 12: PZM Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Warsaw)
Round 2: May 26: Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Prague)
Round 3: June 30: Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Horsens)
Round 4: July 7: Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Hallstavik)
Round 5: July 21: Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Cardiff)
Round 6: August 11: Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Malilla)
Round 7: August 25: MIB Nordic Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Gorzow)
Round 8: September 8: Slovenian FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Krsko)
Round 9: September 22: German FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Teterow)
Round 10: October 6: Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland (Torun)
Round 11: TBC: Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix (Melbourne)
Smart’s Race Reports
Australian Supercross Championship – Round 6
In atrociously wet conditions the final round of the Australian Supercross Championship saw two first time main event winners in Nick Schmidt in the SX1 class and Jay Wilson in the SX2 class but when it was all said and done the two defending champions in Justin Brayton and Jackson Richardson managed to keep their red number one plates for 2017.
A mud-soaked final saw riders slipping and sliding around until young local ace Nathan Crawford crossed the finish line first in the SX1 final, just 0.903 seconds ahead of Schmidt. But the win was protested by the factory Suzuki team after on off-track excursion on the last lap for Crawford was deemed to be an advantage so he was docked two positions, which gave Schmidt his first career SX1 win, and moved Kade Mosig to second despite finishing a full lap down in third. Crawford rounded out the podium.
Brayton finished two laps down, but his fifth place finish was enough for a second straight title.
“Tonight was the toughest Supercross race I think I have competed in; it was a matter of survival. Riders were crashing without warning so I needed to remind myself throughout the final that to win the championship we needed to finish. It’s an enormous effort by everyone to make this happen. Honda throughout the world came together to win this championship and all of our partners did the same. It’s a championship without borders and I am proud of what we achieved.”
Following Schmidt’s final round win, the American Suzuki rider concluded the 2017 Australian Supercross Series in 7th in the SX1 Championship standings.
“I’m definitely excited. I felt good all day and coming in to the round we had a great week. We’ve had some bad luck so far this season but we managed to turn it all around. I got a decent start in the main event and I was sitting in fourth and I just put my head down and got to work. It was so muddy but I just kept picking off guys and making my way towards the lead. A lot of crazy stuff went on after the race but the officials looked at it all and they ended up giving me the overall which is awesome. I wanted to get Suzuki a win and we got it done. I’ve loved being over here, the Wilsons Coolair Motul Suzuki team is like a family and they’ve really welcomed me into their team. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I’m glad I could put Suzuki on the podium.”
…DNF – Todd Waters
…DNF – Tom Leach
…DNF – Jono Krusic
…DNF – Robbie Marshall
SX1 Championship Standings after 6 of 6 Rounds
Justin BRAYTON – 124
Daniel REARDON – 108
Dean FERRIS – 103
Dylan LONG – 95
Kade MOSIG – 94
Nathan CRAWFORD – 94
Nick SCHMIDT – 67
Todd WATERS – 61
Daniel HERRLEIN – 59
Joel WIGHTMAN – 52
SX2 Race Report
In the SX2 Class, Jackson Richardson, who raced in the U.S. as a privateer from 2012-2016 before returning to Australia, captured his second consecutive championship thanks to a fourth place finish. Jay Wilson won the main event ahead of American Chris Blose and Dylan Wills.
After hole-shotting the main event, Wilson charged to the SX2 final win, lapping up to fifth place and taking the race victory by a huge 51.291 seconds – simply unheard of in Supercross terms. With a strong finish at Jimboomba, Wilson also concluded the 2017 Australian Supercross series in third in the SX2 Championship standings.
“Wow! The last round at Jimboomba was absolutely everything I’ve been working towards – we qualified fastest, won the heat race and the main event so we couldn’t have done any more. My fiancé, my daughter, my brother and my mum were all here for this moment and I’m so proud that I could do this for them. The conditions were absolutely brutal – we had so much rain before we went racing but I just rode the track for what it was, stayed patient and made sure we got the starts that we needed to get the win. At the halfway point in the year Chris Woods and Raceline gave me a life-line, it was the opportunity to go racing with no expectations, and to just try and get back to where I know that I belong. Finally, we got there, and the hard work has certainly paid off, so I can’t thank everyone enough for their support – I can’t wait for 2018.”
Richardson entered the final round with a five point lead in the championship over rival Wilson Todd but the wet conditions threw the status quo way off axis and it was literally a roll of the dice to determine a winner.
“I wasn’t worried when the rain rolled in, I’m comfortable riding in those conditions, so when it came time to qualify I rode around then put in a few faster laps and parked it up. I got similar strong starts in both the heat race and final, but hitting a soft spot in the first section threw me off track and put me in the pack, and few more mistakes by me and a few others made it hard to move forward. I’m really happy with the how I rode all championship, and I got stronger as the season went on. Congratulations to Jackson Richardson on taking the Championship and a huge thank you to Dale, Ben and the entire DPH Motorsport team, along with all our sponsors and supporters for believing in me all year. To have 2nd in both motocross and supercross is incredible!”
Todd had shown more speed the Richardson throughout qualifying and the heats, but Richardson is an experienced campaigner who knows how to put a championship together and when the gate dropped in the winner take all final, it was Richardson’s experience that would see him through.
“It has just been a crazy day, the conditions of the track are probably as bad and as tough as I have ever raced and to have an Australian championship on the line on a day like today just made it hard on the bike, the team and any rider who started the race. It wasn’t easy out there! I saw a pit board that said Wilson was down but you can’t relax on a track like this and I tried to put that out of my mind, stay focused in the moment and keep it on two wheels. The longer the race went on, the worse the track got but thankfully we were able to get it done and that’s all that matters in the end.”
SX2 Championship Standings after 6 of 6 Rounds
Jackson RICHARDSON – 119
Wilson TODD – 110
Jay WILSON – 110
Dylan WILLS – 102
Geran STAPLETON – 74
Gavin FAITH – 63
Nick SUTHERLAND – 49
Taylor POTTER – 48
Chris BLOSE – 47
Morgan FOGARTY – 40
Junior Lights Overall Results Round 5
Tyler DARBY – 75
Joel CIGLIANO – 60
Jake CUKA – 56
Ezrah DEMELLWEEK-DODDS – 52
Zacharia WRIGHT – 44
Joshua ZORBAS – 44
Reece CRUTCH – 29
Royce ANELL – 27
Jai WALKER – 12
Rylee GOETSCH – 11
Junior Lites Championship after 5 of 5 rounds
Tyler DARBY – 267
Joshua ZORBAS – 235
Jake CUKA – 215
Joel CIGLIANO – 214
Ezrah DEMELLWEEK-DODDS – 203
Juniors 85/150 Round 5
Brodie CONNOLLY – 75
Zach WATSON – 60
Jake KOWAL – 60
Blake FOX – 60
Lachlan WINCHESTER – 48
Juniors 85/150 Championship Points
Blake FOX – 279
Brodie CONNOLLY – 267
Jake KOWAL – 232
Lachlan WINCHESTER – 172
Zane MACKINTOSH – 165
AMA EnduroCross – Round 7
Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA
Cody Webb captured his sixth straight AMA EnduroCross main event win of the year, and with it his third EnduroCross title for the FMF KTM Team rider in the past four years at the final round of the 2017 season inside the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
Second on the night went to RPM KTM-back Ty Tremaine, followed by Team SRT’s Cory Graffunder and despite finishing second, Tremaine, who was battling for the Super EnduroCross Junior Championship (which is dedicated to riders 21 years of age and under), missed out on the title by one point to Team SRT’s Trystan Hart, who was seventh on the night. The two also finished second and third, respectively, in the overall championship.
“It’s awesome to get the championship back again, it was a really good year for me. We did a lot of good work with the team and I was just more prepared this year. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year now that we have a great setup and I already have some ideas to fine tune it a little bit more.”
Main Event Top 10
Cody Webb (KTM)
Ty Tremaine (KTM)
Cory Graffunder (Hus)
Kyle Redmond (Hus)
Noah Kepple (GG)
Mason Ottersberg (Yam)
Trystan Hart (Hus)
Joan Pau Segura (GG)
Ty Cullins (Beta)
Geoff Aaron (GG)
Super EnduroCross Championship Standings
Cody Webb – 150
Trystan Hart – 114
Ty Tremaine – 113
Kyle Redmond – 105
Cory Graffunder – 102
Paris Supercross – U Arena – Paris, France
On the back of thousands of parochial fans inside the U-Arena in Paris, 27-year-old Marvin Musquin has won the 34th edition of Europe’s biggest Indoor motorcycle race to be named, ‘King of Paris’.
It would be Cole Seely and Dean Wilson who completed the overall podium with Zach Osborne relegated to fourth overall by the end of the two-night event after the points from the Super-final, Sprint and Main Events were tallied.
The recently-completed U Arena offered a wide floor for a track that was both challenging, hard-packed and ‘attackable’ and brought the meeting back to Paris after three years at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille.
Musquin dealt with the threat of Zach Osborne on Saturday and Cole Seely on Sunday as well as owning two of the four ‘Sprints’ and both Pole Positions for a comprehensive sweep of the meeting. Along with success in the Monster Energy Cup and the Red Bull Straight Rhythm, Marvin has been invincible in the off-season period.
Marvin Musquin – P1
“I feel great even though it was a tough weekend. The level this year – and the track conditions – was so different and it made it tough on me, my bike and the body because of the dirt. I was not totally confident as Seely, Osborne, Wilson: those guys are great riders. The starts helped me. I lost two motos all weekend but got two Pole Positions and both Mains and that was the goal. The stadium was amazing and so were the crowd once again. For sure I miss this. I love racing in the US but nothing beats the home crowd. I could hear them every single lap and turn and that was special for me. My confidence is great.”
Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson and Zach Osborne showed impressive speed during the two nights of racing at the annual Paris SX where both riders enjoyed podium finishes at the end of the first night of racing. Returning to the podium on Sunday night, Wilson placed third to match his Saturday result.
For reigning US East SX Champion Zach Osborne the Paris SX event offered the chance to mix things up and compete on a 450 ahead of his planned switch to the AMA 450 Pro Motocross Championship, later in 2018.
Despite only limited seat time on his FC 450 Osborne earned a well-deserved runner-up result to Marvin Musquin at the end of the opening night’s competition, running second from the drop of the gate to the chequered flag. Completing the opening lap of Sunday night’s main event in fifth, Osborne battled hard throughout the race to move to fourth on lap 15, where he remained to the finish.
Night 1 – SX1 Top 10
Night 2 – SX1 Top 10
King Of Paris
Prince of Paris Overall
Iker Larranaga Olano
2017-2018 ADAC Supercross Cup – Round 1 – Stuttgart
Suzuki riders dominated the opening round of the 2017-2018 ADAC Supercross Cup in Germany at the weekend aboard their RM-Z450 machinery as Cedric Soubeyras won both evenings with Thomas Ramette second and Cole Martinez scoring a third position.
The event at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall was dominated by the Sturm Racing Team Suzuki rider, who was also crowned ‘King of Stuttgart;’ the Frenchman sealing the event on both evenings in front of 15,000 spectators
Soubeyras was also the winner of the newly staged ‘Bar2Bar’ race; short and exiting races over one-and-a-half laps that gave the winner additional points in the overall point standings.
“I came here with a lot of confidence and I was able to deliver my performance even under pressure on Saturday. This weekend has just been amazing. I enjoyed the races and I am so incredibly happy about my victories!”
Only his brand-mate and Suzuki compatriot, Ramette (Team Twenty Suspension), was able to keep with Soubeyras on Friday evening, but he had to concede defeat at the end and be satisfied with the second place overall. Ramette also rode a strong race on Saturday and gained second place in the overall standings with a second place on that night.
Also, Florent Richier (stielergruppe.mx Johannes-Bikes Suzuki) presented himself well: The Frenchman is well-known in Germany and delighted his fans, especially on Friday, where he ended just two-tenths-of-a-second behind a third-place podium position.
Stuttgart ADAC SX Results Overall
Cedric SOUBEYRAS, (Suzuki)
Thomas RAMETTE, (Suzuki)
Fabien IZOIRD (Honda)
Tyler BOWERS (Kawasaki)
Florent RICHIER (Suzuki)
Roof of Africa – Lesotho
Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro winner Wade Young overcame three days of brutal racing to win the 50th edition of the Motul Roof of Africa in Lesotho. The South African raced into the history books after claiming his third victory in the event, leading home fellow countryman Travis Teasdale and British legend Graham Jarvis.
Wade Young – P1
“To get back on the top of the Hard Enduro podium and do it at home in the 50th edition of the Roof of Africa is very special. It’s been a tough three days of hard racing. Travis kept me honest all week. I managed to break him on one of the climbs and kept it together until the end.”
KTM rider, Travis Teasdale rode a great race to claim the runner-up position. The South African even placed second on day one despite losing a footpeg early in the race. The result backs up Teasdale’s second place at the Hell’s Gate hard enduro at the beginning of the year.
With the faster terrain better suited to his younger rivals, Graham Jarvis gave his all to successfully complete the final day and in doing so end what has been another hugely successful season with yet another well-deserved podium result.
Gold Class Results
Wade Young (RSA), Sherco, 10:41:28
Travis Teasdale (RSA), KTM, 10:52:34
Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 11:04:06
Blake Gutzeit (RSA), Yamaha, 11:06:36
Alfredo Gomez (ESP), KTM, 11:13:15
Silver Class Results
Heinrich Zellhuber (Alfie Cox MOTUL KTM Racing) – 11Hrs 28,02
Wilhelm Schonfeldt (BCR Arrow Yamaha) – 12Hrs 01,00
Bronze Class Results
Brett Geary (KTM) – 9Hrs 20,22
Brett Boyes (KTM) – 9Hrs 24,52
Grant Burton Durham (Mechspec Racing) – 9Hrs 32,18
2017 Baja 1000
The SCORE Baja 1000 was held last weekend and it was Guatemala’s Francisco Arredondo who led a five-rider team on the Bremen-Arredondo-Haines Racing Honda CRF450X that held the lead for much of the race before being passed late in the race by the team led by Mark Samuels on the Ox Motorsports Honda CRF450X that eventually crossed the finish line in first place.
But it was the Arredondo team that ended up claiming their third straight victory when the apparent winning team, the Samuels team, was penalized after the race by SCORE race officials for a “reckless incident” at the finish line ramp.
Samuel’s teamster Ian Young was the rider for the last 200 miles of the race and he celebrated the win with a wheelie moments after crossing the finish line, but he lost control of the motorcycle, which went careening into the crowd, injuring at least one spectator.
As a result, SCORE officials penalized Young and the team 30 minutes, which ultimately handed the win over to the Arredondo team which also featured Shane Esposito, Justin Morgan, Max Eddy Jr., and Ty Davis. The Arredondo team officially finished the race in 21:07:17 while averaging 54.157 mph.
It was the fifth overall motorcycle win in the SCORE Baja 1000 for Davis, second for Eddy Jr. and first for Arredondo, Esposito, and Morgan.
With the overall motorcycle victory, Honda extended their race-record total to 27 courtesy of the No. 45x Arredondo team.
“I rolled off the start, I knew it was going to be a tough day and I rode most of my miles on the 44x [Justin Morgan] bike. We knew it was going to be a fight for us. It is really special, the 50th anniversary, and we really gave it all to try and win. We tried to stick to our plan the whole time and were surprised in some places where we made up time. We had some problems with the transmission at the end, which made us worried. We didn’t know if the bike was going to hold up from Loreto to the finish, and Justin had to adjust his riding at the end. We knew it was going to be a fight and we had a good lead but that changed.”
Australian Supermoto Championships – Wanneroo
Supermoto WA hosted the 2017 Make Smoking History Australian Supermoto Championships at Wanneroo International Kartway at Neerabup, Western Australia last weekend and it was German superstar Marcus Class who dominated the premier Open Class and the PRO Championship ahead of Andy McLiesh in both classes.
Class had the perfect weekend to secure all five Open Class wins ahead of McLiesh while Boujos rounded out the top three and in the PRO Championship Class won all four races ahead of McLiesh with Luke Davis rounding out the podium.
The Supermoto Womens class there was no stopping last year’s champion, Jessica Boujos (125 points) who once again took a clean sweep. Stephany Kapilawi-James (102 points) finished on the podium multiple times to finish second in the points standings. Chelsea Blakers (97 points) finished second in the two final races to manage third overall. A total of 15 women over all classes, competed in the event.
The Supermoto Veterans class was the Leigh Boujos (125 points) show, as he displayed just what it takes by dominating the Veteran’s class, winning every race over the weekend. Bradley Trivett (108 points) displayed his true potential by taking out the second-place trophy, just ahead of Dean Taylor (98 points) in third place.
Jake Folini-Kearns (112 points) was the strongest rider in the Supermoto Clubman Class. Kearns rode superbly in the opening four races but slid down to sixth in the final. His results saw Kearns finish in front of Jamie Makin (96 points) and Michael McLiesh (95 points) in the final standings.
In the Postie Bike Challenge, Steven McQueen (125 points) once again showed his true talent to win all five races to the delight of the crowd. Ryan Woods (110 points) also showed consistency throughout the weekend by taking home second, just in front of a fast finishing Grant Roncevich (100 points).
Beau Erickson (119 points) was in strong form for the Mini Motard and took four out of five races. Erickson was just pipped to the finish line by Jarrad Woodland (116 points) in race five. Woodland and Ben Stevenson (88 points) completed top three in the points standings.
For the Supermoto Junior Lites, Ryan Moscardini (119 points) took three victories to secure the most points of the Junior Lites. Jethro Carriage (111 points) and Lucas Quinn (105 points) finished second and third respectively. All three Juniors managed to secure at least one victory.
FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship – Round 3 – Taiwain
Taiwan hosted its inaugural FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship at the K1 Circuit, Changhua, Taiwan, with the weekend starting with a strong feel of rivalry between the top three contenders, Lewis Cornish, Khairi Zakaria and Trakarn Thangthong, in the Qualifying and SuperChrono session.
With Muhd Habibullah temporarily out of the race due to a motocross injury that punctured his lungs, Khairi may be pursuing a lone journey to the Asian Class victory should he overcome the 2015 champion, Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong.
United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish was a cut above the rest in Qualifying and SuperChrono as he sits on pole for the third consecutive time at the 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto third round in Changhua, Taiwan.
The Englishman needed just under eight minutes and a mere five laps to clock 1:07.116s to move into the SuperChrono phase together with Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria, Trakarn Thangthong of Thailand, Japan’s Naoto Takayama and Takashi Sasaki and Singapore’s Hasroy Osman.
Khairi, the sole Malaysian rider after Muhd Habibullah’s season ending injury, made good account of himself with the second best time of 1:08.116s.
Qualifying Result – Top 5
Lewis Cornish 1:07.116
Khairi Zakaria 1:08.166
Trakarn Thangthong 1:08.227
Naoto Takayama 1:09.037
Takashi Sasaki 1:10.030
It was a similar tale to qualifying with none able to match Lewis Cornish. This time he shut his bike down with 14 minutes left of the 20-minute SuperChrono round and returned to track in the last five minutes hoping to best his time of 1:06.255s. He did not, thus cruising home for lunch.
It came down to a battle for front row positions. Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria who races for 23 Motor Racing Team, and K45 Maxima Supermoto Racing’s Trakarn Thangthong were in a mighty battle to take second place.
The Thai rider seemed to have found an edge as he sped to a 1:06.946s lap time. Khairi came into the paddock for some tune up before re-emerging on track with less than two minutes left. The 29-year-old was barely hanging on to his bike on the dirt track as he made a dash to improve his time. Managing to squeeze in two laps, his final lap 1:07.682s was his best.
Making up the second row were Naoto Takayama of KYT Autorace Global Riders (1:08.052), AWANO Racing’s Hasroy Osman (1:13.003) and Takashi Sasaki of KYT Autorace Global Riders (1:59.870).
Superchrono Result – Top 5
Lewis Cornish 1:06.255
Trakarn Thangthong 1:06.946
Khairi Zakaria 1:07.682
Naoto Takayama 1:08.052
Hasroy Osman 1:13.003
Moto 1 Race Report
Thai superstar Trakarn Thangthong took the lead after lap two and never looked back as he won Moto 1 of the FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship season albeit in dramatic fashion. Overall leader Lewis Cornish was on pole again and within seconds of the race start, bolted to a six bike lead and seemed uncatchable on the straights.
On the second lap he attempted a triple jump on the dirt section and went hard and fast into the hairpin turn. Unable to control the bike as he attempted the turn to the right, he crashed and upon resuming was back in the pecking order.
Credit to Trakarn who stayed close to the Englishman. He kept his composure and crossed the finishing line comfortably. Trakarn was attempting the double and triple jump in the qualifying races which is a risky move. However the confident Thai was unperturbed.
“Lewis tried the triple and crashed so lucky for me. I did the triple in qualifying but not too many times. In the race I followed Lewis’ lead. When he tried a triple I tried a triple. Then every lap after when I tried the triple it worked. I am really happy I won as it’s an improvement from qualifying. I will have to do my best in Moto 2 as Lewis will be out to redeem himself. If I win, great. If not, it’s OK as I’ve given it a 100 per cent.”
Lewis showed why he is a class above the rest as he fought back from the crash and pretty soon was hot on the wheels of Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria in second place. The 25-year-old whittled down a nine-second deficit to one second at the penultimate lap.
“I was doing the same route as Trakarn. He was doing double-triple jumps and that particular one caught me out. When I got back up I was behind Takayama and ended up tagging him as I tried to pass. I put in some solid laps one after the other and tried to catch Khairi. By the time I caught up to him he was taking defensive lines, not letting me through. But it is what it is. Hopefully for the next one I can get the win. I want a good start and not make any of the mistakes.”
Meanwhile Khairi said he was struggling in the race due to a tough fight from Trakarn and Lewis. He remained cautious throughout the race not attempting any double-triple jump combinations after seeing Lewis crash.
Moto 1 Result – Top 5
Trakarn Thangthong 22:48.595
Khairi Zakaria 22:51.897
Lewis Cornish 22:52.662
Naoto Takayama 23:28.907
Takashi Sasaki 23:21.304
Moto 2 Race Report
Trakarn Thangthong created history becoming the first champion of the inaugural FIM Asia Supermoto Championship – Taiwan. However the Moto 2 race win was stolen by Lewis Cornish after a fight to redeem his mistake in Moto 1.
Starting in third place on grid, Lewis got the best start when within the second corner he found himself in second place after a great jump start to leapfrog Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria. He was hot on the heels of Moto 1 winner Trakarn Thangthong and within a second of the Thai rider.
Trakarn proved strong on the track while Lewis was faster on the dirt. The two played a cat and mouse game, with both riders going strong with their jumps, not holding back on the double-triple-single dirt road berms much to the delight of the sold out crowd.
On lap eight Trakarn ran a little wide on the exit of turn number three and Lewis was quick to capitalise on it, sprinting past the surprised Thai. The Englishman immediately put distance between him and Trakarn as he sped towards the finish line with a total time of 23:19.176 seconds.
“Got off to a decent start and made the most of a little bit of carnage and managed to past Khairi. From then on stuck close to Trakarn and waited for a mistake from him but it was obvious he wasn’t going to make one. I had to make something happen. I opened a little bit of a gap and made the move on him then and once I passed I put a gap between us.”
For Trakarn his second place finish meant he wins the Asian class category.
“I was a little bit nervous during the race because I was in the lead. After 10 minutes Lewis passed me as he was pushing all the way and I was worried about that particular corner. Eventually he did pass me there. In the end I may not have even raced but thanks to Husqvarna I have a very good bike now.”
Khairi on the other hand did not make many changes to his bike and most of the bikes today were on similar levels.
Khairi had to change a few settings as the bike he uses in Malaysia is a 2016 model while the one in Taiwan is 2017’s model.
“I knew Lewis was going to fight for first position and somehow he got past me early. From then on it was a struggle but I never let up I still wanted to chase Trakarn for the second place when he and Lewis swapped top position. I’m satisfied with the standard I put out as at least a Malaysian is challenging for places. In more time we can produce better riders and show we can challenge the best out there. In fact if Muhd Habibullah (Gabit) was here he would give Lewis a stronger challenge. That guy can do crazy things.”
The 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship will continue with its penultimate round at Singapore on 10 December 2017, and the grand finale at Bukit Jalil, Malaysia, on 16 and 17 December 2017.
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