Over $8 million in contingency committed to 2021 Lucas Oil Pro MX
2021 AORC to broadcast on SBS on May 9
Hard Enduro heads to Portugal for the Extreme XL Lagares
Jonny Walker talks switch to Beta for Hard Enduro
Skyler Howes joins Husqvarna Factory Racing from 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP & MX2 Teams
Australian ProMX visits Canberra for Round 2
Steward Baylor Jr wins the 2021 Hoosier GNCC
Cooper Webb wins 450SX championship at Salt Lake City finale
Strong Aussie showing in 2021 AMA 250SX championship
2021 Racing Calendars
2021 Provisional MXGP
2021 Yamaha AORC presented by MXStore
2021 Australian Penrite ProMX
2021 Speedway GP
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship
2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies
2021 AMA Supercross
2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross
2021 Progressive American Flat Track
2021 New Zealand Motocross
2021 New Zealand Cross-Country
2021 New Zealand Enduro
2021 Australian Supercross (provisional)
Over $8 million in contingency committed to 2021 Lucas Oil Pro MX
With a month remaining until the start of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced a record sum of manufacturer contingency support for the upcoming season. With the addition of American motocross’ seventh competing manufacturer, GASGAS, more than $8.3 million will be up for grabs for competitors over the course of the 12-round season.
Davey Coombs – Vice President of MX Sports Pro Racing
“With a record amount of contingency support and the expansion of our field of competing manufacturers, it’s an exciting time in American motocross as we prepare for a new season. In the face of an extremely challenging past year our manufacturers have doubled down on their commitment to the sport, which will only serve to benefit the hundreds of competitors that will line up on the gate this summer. Manufacturers play arguably the most important role in elevating the global impact of not only our championship, but off-road motorcycling as a whole, and they continue to serve as invaluable partners in the ongoing legacy of American motocross.”
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is anchored by the factory supported efforts of GASGAS, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha.
For GASGAS, the Spanish manufacturer that became an icon in motorcycle trials competition, its historic series debut will be spearheaded by the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS lineup of Justin Barcia in the 450 Class, along with Pierce Brown and Michael Mosiman in the 250 Class. GASGAS will become the 27th different manufacturer to contest the off-road motorcycle racing series.
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will once again consist of a 12-round schedule, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend with the season-opening Fox Raceway I National on May 29 from Southern California’s Fox Raceway.
2021 AORC to broadcast on SBS on May 9
The Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore, (AORC) will make its historical TV debut with broadcast partner – SBS Australia – May 9, from 1.30-2.30pm.
The hour-long feature brings the racing action from the opening rounds of the 2021 AORC, held at Golden Beach, Victoria, straight into the lounge rooms of race fans around the country for the first time ever, showcasing the gruelling nature, triumphs, and challenges of the championship. Hosted by Kate Peck, renowned motorsport journalist and self-confessed ‘motorbike addict’, Peck joined the Golden Beach paddock to capture the ups and downs of the season’s opening races firsthand.
Dive into the behind-the-scenes stories of the AORC athletes with never-before-seen access, and watch the marquee rivalries of the championship unfold, pitting machine against machine and rider against rider in the fierce race for glory.
After the premiere, the AORC TV show will be available to view via the SBS on Demand Channel. Tune in on SBS from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, May 9, to be amongst the first to witness AORC in all its glory .
Hard Enduro heads to Portugal for the Extreme XL Lagares
The wait is almost over, with just one week to go all roads lead to the inaugural round of the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal.
Overcoming the restrictions of the ongoing Covid pandemic, the world’s best Hard Enduro athletes, together with a wealth of amateur and hobby riders, will compete for pride and glory across three demanding days of competition.
In a change to previous editions of Extreme XL Lagares due to public restrictions, the FIM World Championship category will compete in three events over two days with an Endurocross race and mountain time-trial Prologue on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s Main Race.
Non-championship riders will take to the Endurocross track on Friday, followed by the Saturday Prologue and join the World Championship competitors on the start line for Sunday’s action.
As the 2019 WESS Champion and 2020 Red Bull Romaniacs winner, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manual Lettenbichler naturally starts as one of the favourites for the top step of the podium. But despite previous podium results in Portugal, Lettenbichler has yet to truly master the rigorous rocks the region is famed for, so will 2021 be his year to triumph?
Sherco Factory Racing will be a formidable force this season, their sights very much set on success. In 2019 Mario Roman stole the show with a phenomenal ride to victory. Demonstrating a perfect mix of speed and technical ability, the Spaniard turned up the heat in the closing stages to win and will be aiming high again this year. Teammate Wade Young is a past winner of the race, in 2017, and finished as runner-up in 2019. A fan of the terrain, he’ll also be pushing for nothing less than victory too.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing boast a trio of Hard Enduro talent. Billy Bolt, Alfredo Gomez and Hard Enduro legend Graham Jarvis have all won in Portugal before, with Jarvis holding the all-time win record over Gomez. The potential for a podium-sweep can’t be ruled out with these guys.
Jonny Walker will make one of the most anticipated team debuts in Portugal with Vision Track Beta. After a decade on KTM machinery, Walker made a jump to Beta Motorcycles during the winter and Extreme XL Lagares will be his first serious outing in new colours. Vastly experienced and hungry to impress, Walker is an obvious threat for podium honours.
GASGAS Factory Racing debut their two-rider outfit of Taddy Blazusiak and Michael Walkner. A true mix of experience and youth, Blazusiak will come out swinging while Walkner is keen to demonstrate that he is a young talent to watch out for.
Trece Racing Society will be a new crew to keep an eye on as Pol Tarres rolls out on Yamaha machinery for the first time in Hard Enduro. The Spaniard’s ability on a bike knows no bounds and he’s excited to show what his Yamaha is capable of when the going gets tough.
Changing colours for 2021, TTR Squadra Corse field a three-rider team of Travis Teasdale, Kevin Gallas and Azzalini Alessandro on GASGAS machinery and will be a privateer force to be reckoned with among the factory outfits.
Jarvis Husqvarna Racing – managed by Graham Jarvis – is also a new team to watch for in 2021. The team’s five riders include Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev and Britain’s Will Hoare, Jonathan Richardson, Sam Winterburn and Grant Churchward. Featuring a real mix of raw, young talent under the guidance of Graham, expect fireworks!
Add in a wealth of youngsters like Israel’s Suff Sella, Russia’s David Leonov, Germany’s Tim Apolle and Leon Hentschel plus South Africa’s Matt Green who have all signed up, and the countdown is firmly on to round one in Portugal.
In keeping with strict government Covid guidelines, coronavirus testing facilities will be available on site. Competitors will also be able to take a test before returning home. Spectator attendance is not permitted.
The opening round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship takes place at Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal on May 7-9.
FIM World Championship schedule
09:00 – 24:00: Technical and documental verifications. Covid Testing
12:00 – 24:00 – Bikes in Parc Ferme
08.00 – 12.00: Endurocross
16.00 – 18.00: Prologue
10.00: Main Race Start
Amateur Class schedule
09:00 – 24:00: Technical and documental verifications. Covid Testing
12:00 – 24:00 – Bikes in Parc Ferme
09.00 – 17.00: Endurocross
14.00 – 16.00: Prologue
10.00: Main Race Start
Jonny Walker talks to switch to Beta for Hard Enduro
The biggest off-season rider team switch unquestionably came from Jonny Walker. After almost a decade with KTM, he shocked the Hard Enduro world with his change to Beta machinery.
Putting together his own team during the winter months, Vision Track Beta came to life. In what is sure to be the biggest test of his career, Jonny’s performance at round one – next week’s Extreme XL Lagares – will tell Jonny, his competitors, and the wider audience if the move was a successful one.
But, if one thing is certain, it’s clear that when Jonny’s got a spring back in his step, he’s a ferociously fast and competitive Hard Enduro racer…
With the opening round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship nearly here, have all the pieces of the puzzle, the building of Vision Track Beta, come together?
Jonny Walker: “I think we’re there now with everything. As ready as we can be for round one. All the brands and partners I’ve spoken with have come onboard to support me. We’ve put a lot of testing in and plenty of track laps. I’d like to have done a couple more races, but it’s not been possible. I’m just looking forward to getting started now.”
Has building your own team been a challenging and enjoyable process?
“Yes! I’ve always raced for a factory team, so as a professional rider I’ve never really seen it from the other side. The factory life is an ‘arrive and race’ sort of thing, but now I’m more hands on. I’ve total say in what I’m doing and the products I’m using on my bike. I’ve enjoyed the process of speaking with companies and brands directly too. There’s been lots of phone calls, lots of emailing, but it’s come together really well.”
You won the Endurocross race at Extreme XL Lagares in 2019. It would be pretty cool if you could win it again, first time out on the Beta!
“Yeah, that would be cool, but being successful in the main event is the priority. I do enjoy the multi-race format aspect of Extreme XL Lagares though. If you can win an individual event, it gives good exposure. It would be awesome to put Beta on the top step of the podium and a great way to start off the weekend!”
Unfortunately, there is no city prologue in Porto this year. That must be a bit of a relief after taking a swim there in 2019! But in all seriousness, will you miss that part of race?
“Yes, it is a shame not to have the prologue in Porto this year, but understandable too. It’s super cool and not just a highlight of Extreme XL Lagares, but of our sport because it’s so unique. I think my mechanic is the most relieved about it not taking place this year. He can stop googling ‘how to waterproof a 2-stroke!’. Like everyone, I hope the city prologue will be back for 2022.”
Looking ahead to the entire season, what races will play to your strengths?
“There’s been a lot of changes this offseason and so naturally Extreme XL Lagares is the biggest test to see how things have come together. Once those round one nerves and jitters are out of the way and we’re up and racing, I’ll settle into it better. Red Bull Erzbergrodeo and Red Bull Romaniacs are big favourites for me. I’m looking forward to them.”
Is it good to finally have an FIM Hard Enduro World Championship to race for, a series that brings all the iconic races together?
“It’s cool to be under the FIM umbrella. Hard Enduro is such a big scene now, so it’s good to be properly recognised with every other motorcycle championship out there. But Hard Enduro is different too. It’s special, unique and successful because amateur and hobby riders are such a big part of what we do. We’re all in it together, if you know what I mean. That’s why it’s become so popular. So as long as that element remains unchanged – it doesn’t become too elite, the tracks stay as they are, and the atmosphere stays cool – then who knows how much bigger things will get!”
Past form shows you know how to race for a championship title – leading WESS in 2018 and third in 2019. What is the key to maintaining that sort of consistency across a full season?
“Trying to be at the sharp end of the results every time you race is key for sure. As a rider I feel like I’ve got a strong all-round skill set. My speed is good and I’ve been trying to improve on the technical side of my riding as this championship is 100 per cent Hard Enduro focused. The goal is to win the title and become world champion. That’s what I’d love to do and what I’m aiming for. I feel like we can do it too if everything goes well and we get a little bit of luck along the way.”
Skyler Howes joins Husqvarna Factory Racing from 2021
Skyler Howes has signed to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team for a three-year contract. The 29-year-old will first compete on Husqvarna machinery at the Sonora Rally in Mexico in early May, before lining up at round one of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Rally Kazakhstan – in June.
Born in California, Howes grew up competing off-road, specifically desert racing, before turning his hand to rally in 2018. Contesting the Dakar Rally for the first time in 2019, the American admits he underestimated the iconic event, and despite showing great pace on the tough terrain he was forced to retire after dislocating his shoulder. Exceptional rides in both the 2020 and 2021 races saw the Utah resident finish inside the top 10 and as leading privateer – the highlight being an impressive fifth overall at this year’s event.
Now, looking ahead to the 2021 season, Howes will compete in a number of local North American races before focusing on the full FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Although he has some experience racing world championship events having previously competed in Morocco, Skyler plans on using the 2021 season to build his pace and experience on the varied terrain he’ll experience at each of the six championship races, while getting up to speed on his FR 450 Rally machine.
Howes and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s first FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship outing will be the Rally Kazakhstan on June 7-13.
“I am so excited to have signed for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team – it is something I have worked hard my whole life for. I started riding when I was just three years old and have raced offroad my entire life. I have only been racing rally for the past three years, and in order to be able to compete in the Dakar this year I had to sell everything I owned. I raced the Dakar for the first time in 2019, in Peru, and I have to be honest, it was a huge wake-up call. In 2020, I was able to sort a ride and, despite losing some time through the event, I was able to finish inside the top-10 and as top privateer. For this year it was a struggle financially to get to the start, but I knew I was capable of a really good result – I finished fifth, and as top privateer once again. Thankfully, my result got the attention of the factory teams and now it’s a dream come true to sign for Husqvarna Motorcycles – they have one of the best structures and set-ups in the paddock. One of the biggest things for me is the fact that I can now concentrate on my training 100 percent and hopefully take my riding and results to the next level. The goal for this year is to take in the world championship rounds and get as much experience as possible before January next year where the aim is to go on to challenge for the Dakar podium.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP & MX2 teams break cover
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP & MX2 teams are looking fast and motivated as they set their sights on the first FIM Motocross World Championship gate-drop of the new season.
The team will line up with three popular names inside the premier class, MXGP. Jeremy Seewer will remain on the team for a third consecutive season (fourth with Yamaha) and will be joined under the awning by hot new recruits, Glenn Coldenhoff and Ben Watson.
Spearheading the outfit in 2021, five times silver medallist Seewer hopes to steer his YZ450FM to the top step of the podium.
“I’ve finished second in the world five times, two times in MX2, two times in MXGP and one time at the Junior World Championships and these are not bad stats, you know, but of course I want to win, and yes, I think I can! Usually, we race in 19 different countries and on different tracks, sand, hardpack, hot, cold, winter, summer, you know, so it’s such an open book. It just takes a lot, a lot, a lot and at the base, I think it’s hard work from everybody.”
“Yeah, I think there’s a lot of hard work, not only for myself, but I also think from the whole team. I think I was ready for a big change this year, which I actually did, and I really feel good already within the team. I feel like I have really good people around me, and the goal will always be to get the world title.”
While his teammates strive for more race and Grand Prix wins, 23-year-old rookie Ben Watson hopes to soak up their knowledge and experience as he gets set to get his feet wet.
“For me it’s a really big opportunity, to join the Yamaha Factory MXGP team, and something I’m really grateful for because obviously the beginning of the season in MX2 last year, it wasn’t going really the way I wanted and the opportunities to show myself were coming less and less. Fortunately, at the end of the season I found myself and started to ride how I know I can, so it was definitely my time to take this step to the 450.”
Yamaha has a strong strategy to develop the next generation of MXGP champions from within its own ranks, and as Watson progresses up the Yamaha Racing pyramid, so too will young Yamaha stars Maxime Renaux and Thibault Benistant as they join title favourite Jago Geerts inside the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for 2021.
“It means a lot to me to become a Yamaha Factory Rider for the MX2 team. For sure, it was a goal. It’s the highest team in the MX2 class that we can have in Yamaha.”
It’s no secret that Yamaha is on the hunt for FIM Motocross World Championship glory as the riders aim to secure the MX2 Championship gold plate while defending Yamaha’s title as the MX2 Manufacturer of the Year.
“I will try to fight again for the world title. The benefits of staying in the same team for a couple years is you get to know the people very good and we made really some improvements with the bike this year, for sure suspension wise and setup of the bike… this year I really want to to get back on the top step of the podium. I want more moto wins, more GP wins, and to do better let’s say.”
Meanwhile, Benistant is enjoying the move from the GYTR kitted YZ250F to the fully-fledged Factory YZ250FM. The 18-year-old sets his sights on a promising rookie season.
“Of course everything is a little bit different, the engine, suspension, everything is a little bit more strong and to be a rookie, I think I have a little bit less experience than the more older, but it’s similar because we have almost the same hours on the bike, just not in the same championship, in MX2 I won’t have pressure. I know what I need to do and I’m working for.”
The 2021 FIM Motocross MXGP and MX2 World Championships are expected to kick-off on the 13th of June in Orlyonok, Russia.
Australian ProMX visits Canberra for Round 2
The 2021 Penrite ProMX Championship presented by AMX Superstores swept into Canberra over the weekend, marking Round Two of the series, with the Thor MX1, Pirelli MX2 and Maxxis MX3 joined by the bLU cRU YZ65 Cup for the first time in 2021.
The Thor MX1 class saw Luke Clout reign victorious, but Regan Duffy retains the red plate after a consistent performance for third overall, tied on 40-points with Hayden Mellross.
Regan Duffy now leads the Thor MX1 standings on 85-points, to Todd Waters on 78, with Hayden Mellross completing the top-three, a further five-points in arrears. Luke Clout and Kirk Gibbs sit fourth and fifth, with sixth placed Brett Metcalfe tied on points with Gibbs.
“It was an interesting day out there. I qualified well and had a good first race, but the track baked out before the back-to-back races and I struggled with that hard-pack. It was an easy track to throw it away on and, with everyone being so close, I didn’t want that to happen. I rode within my capabilities and I’m happy to walk away with the points today – it’s certainly a lot better than crashing and getting 10ths. We might have lost a few points in the championship, but we’ll go back, regroup and look forward to Gillman.”
“I am not there yet; I need to improve in some areas, and we have a plan. We proved today that we can win which is an important positive.”
“If this is my worst round its ok but I cannot afford another repeat of this weekend. I crashed last week, and I did not have the strength I needed to ride at my best. It was frustrating but we will bounce back for Gilman.”
“Today was definitely a step forward in comparison to the first round and we took a lot out of this one. We’ve made some changes with the bike to suit me more and they’ve worked, although I’d still like to be up toward the front further! All in all, we had a consistent day and it’s more to build from.”
Kyle Webster was untouchable in the Pirelli MX2 class, adding another two wins to his tally and continuing his winning streak – now four from four for the season. Noah Ferguson was second overall, ahead of Jay Wilson.
As a result Webster now sits on 100-points, with Rhys Budd second on 69, and Jesse Dobson is third overall on 67-points, one-point ahead of Jay Wilson.
“Being from Western Australia, I am considered more of a sand specialist so in the off-season I focused on improving my hard-pack skills. The team has really been putting in, we have been to Gilman twice in the past few months and I like the track. Whilst I have a decent point’s lead I can’t afford to let up. Gilman will be really important for the team and I am focused on getting maximum points there.”
“Today was a step in the right direction for me but there is still a lot of work to be done. At least this weekend I was in the battle and competitive unlike Wonthaggi where I just stunk. There is still more speed to come and some fitness at the end of the motos but things are heading in the right direction and with a four weeks until round three in Adelaide, hopefully I can make another step forward. Thanks to the team for a big effort in the lead up to the round and I’m looking forward to get more work under my belt before Adelaide and getting back to where I belong.”
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I rode today and race at a speed that would put me inside the top five. On the hand other, I need to put two motos together at each round and get as many points as I can in every race. The sixth place was good and I felt had I been able to get passed the rider in front of me quicker, I may have been able to move further forward. Race two was ugly as I was ran over a few times and ended up with a bike on me in that first turn crash. But I raced all the way to the end and was able to salvage as many points as I can.”
Blake Fox went two for two in the Maxxis MX3 class, retaining the standings lead, with Ben Novak second overall and Ryder Kingsford third.
The standings are a similar story but saw a slightly different order, with Fox on 97-points, with Kingsford second and Novak third.
“Second overall for the day is awesome and it’s a positive step forward. I came into round 1 injured so we have been following a plan which is working. We have spent time at Gilman training and testing. Our bike is working great, and I believe another 4 weeks on the bike will prove invaluable.”
bLU cRU YZ65 Cup
The early bLU cRU YZ65 Cup leader is Heath Davy, who took the win, but is tied on 47-points with Peter Wolfe.
Paddy Lewis was third overall and currently sits on 38-points, two ahead of Dejan Sankovic. The overall standings are the same as this was Round 1 of the YZ65 Cup.
Just miles from its American base of operations, Yamaha became the first manufacturer to ever pull off a victory sweep across all three classes in a single evening thanks to the virtuoso performances of JD Beach and Dallas Daniels.
Beach completed the remarkable triple win in absolutely crushing form aboard the No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT in the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event.
The multi-time national champion roadracer and TT race winner came into Atlanta considered the heavy race favorite and that status only increased with each successive session. By the time the Main rolled around, Beach made real the fears that the remainder of the field was relegated to a fight for second. He tore open up a sizable lead by the time the pack hit the jump for the first time and piled it on from there.
After earlier opening up an full straightaway’s advantage, Beach cruised home to a near-five-second margin-of-victory in the end.
“This feels amazing. I can’t thank my team enough. Through the tough times, they’re always working. I have to thank my trainer, Ty Kady, too; coming into this race, I was kind of in a dark spot just because I felt like I had so much pressure on me to do good. We were able to pull it through. This race went smooth for me – it was my best race ever. Just like (Supercross racer) Jett Lawrence said after his win a few weeks ago, ‘You’ve got to let the big dogs eat!”
While Beach put a quick conclusion on the chase for the win, an entertaining melee for second took shape behind him, featuring Sammy Halbert, Briar Bauman, Jarod Vanderkooi, and Davis Fisher.
Bauman put a move on second-placed Halbert with eight minutes to go, only to see Halbert immediately counter. That sequence then allowed Vanderkooi to slip under Bauman and do the same to Halbert a few short laps later.
Bauman worked past Halbert and did what he could to pressure Vanderkooi. But ultimately the defending Grand National Champion could climb no higher than third as Vanderkooi put the finishing touches on his best-ever premier-class result.
Fisher took fourth, while Beach’s teammate, Kolby Carlile, was the beneficiary of a late mistake on Halbert’s part, allowing Carlile to sneak through and take fifth at the flag.
Title contender Jared Mees made a courageous attempt to fight through the pain and compete after recently injuring his knee in a motocross training accident. Unfortunately, he was forced to pull out early in the Main Event and will now look to heal up with a few weeks off to rest.
AFT Production Twins
Dallas Daniels added to his quickly burgeoning legend, not only winning in his Progressive AFT twin-cylinder debut but flat-out dominating the AFT Production Twins Main Event.
Daniels stormed away from pole and was never bothered as he made relatively easy work of an extremely challenging circuit. Like his premier-class teammate, JD Beach, Daniels’ sublime blend of elite dirt track and roadracing chops proved unbeatable on the hybrid Atlanta Super TT course.
“The Single is our main priority; that’s our championship goal, but tonight I wanted to get the win on the Production Twin. The track is amazing — it’s so much fun. My roadrace and supermoto experience really plays well into this, and it’s been a blast riding this thing. I thought maybe it would take a little longer getting used to it, but it was great right from the beginning.”
All-around ace Dalton Gauthier came home a clear second despite struggling in his Semi and starting on Row 2. Dan Bromley tracked down and ultimately out-dueled Kayl Kolkman to finish third as the most recent AFT Singles champions went 1-2-3 on the evening.
Daniels’ task was made a bit easier immediately after the restart when fellow Semi winner Johnny Lewis suffered a huge opening-lap high side, which brought out an immediate red flag.
Lewis was able to make the restart, albeit from the back of the pack. Shaken but not deterred, the former factory AMA Supermoto star slashed his way back through the field to finish a gritty fifth at the checkered flag.
The most difficult component of a potential Yamaha triple-class sweep was widely expected to be the AFT Singles Main; while Mikey Rush won his Semi, teammate and defending class champion Dallas Danielswas beaten in a thrilling straight fight in his Semi by Honda-mounted Spanish flat track superstar Ferran Cardús.
Rush and Daniels managed to get away 1-2, but their dream start was quickly erased due to a red flag following a lap one crash by Trent Lowe.
Daniels took the holeshot in the restart but with Cardús right on his tail. After the Spaniard had earlier demonstrated he had the lines and skills necessary to overtake him on multiple occasions in the Semi, Daniels put his head down in an attempt to not allow Cardús an opportunity when it mattered the most.
Daniels slowly opened a small advantage, eventually forcing Cardús into a mistake, which put Rush on his case. That development proved pivotal, allowing Daniels to suffer no real consequences when he later made a significant mistake of his own, and giving Yamaha the added joy of a 1-2 finish after Rush made his way through into second.
Despite coming up short in his bid for the win, Cardús did earn his first career Progressive AFT podium in third.
“As soon as I finished my interviews for Production Twins, they were firing bikes up for Singles. I got my stuff back on and thought to myself, ‘I just have to get a good start and stay with the guys and do something with them in the end.’ But I got the holeshot and knew I was the guy – I just needed to maintain. I was kind of nervous, and I was like, ‘Put in laps, put in laps, hit your marks.’ As I was going into the last corner, the sound was kind of going away. I looked at the jumbotron and saw I had a little gap. I knew I had to keep going fast but I thought I could relax a bit. But then I went into the righthander and ended up going off the track and had to go through the mud. My heartrate was back up, so I almost went off the track again with two laps to go. I just had to calm down. But this is awesome.”
Max Whale finished fourth, while TT legend Henry Wiles narrowly edged rookie prodigy Kody Kopp for fifth.
Ryan Sipeswon his $1 bet with fellow future Hall of Famer Travis Pastrana, as the two-wheeled icons finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Pastrana will look to get his revenge as the two will compete in the Hoosier GNCC.
Round six of the 2021 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, took place at the iconic Ironman Raceway as the series made its first stop in Crawfordsville, Indiana for the season. This weekend’s race saw some exciting battles throughout the top premier classes as the weather and conditions were near perfect for the entire race weekend.
Earning his fourth-straight win of the season after three hours of intense racing was AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor. As the green flag waved, Baylor would get off to a good start and move into the lead position on lap one. Baylor and his teammate, AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael would battle for the first half of the race with Michael moving into the number one spot briefly. Baylor made his way back into the lead and would begin to place a gap over the rest of the field. As the checkered flag flew, it was Baylor with a 35 second lead. Baylor now sits second in the points standings.
Battling his way back to a podium finish was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Benjamin Kelley. At the start of the race, Kelley found himself running back in the seventh place position at one point. Kelley would put his head down and push his way to the front, moving into third on the fifth lap. Kelley and Michael would battle as the white flag came out, but it would be Kelley making the pass for second overall and coming through to take the checkered flag right ahead of Michael.
AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael had an outstanding ride at round six in Indiana, as he came through to finish third overall. Michael would begin his day battling with his teammate at the front of the pack, but as the race wore on Baylor would pull away from his competitors. Michael would then be faced with a battle from a hard-charging Kelley for the second half of the race. Michael would be unable to hold off Kelley but would still earn his first overall podium finish of the 2021 season.
Making his way back towards the front of the XC1 Open Pro class was Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall. At just his second race back after an injury earlier in the season, Duvall would continue to gain momentum throughout the three-hour race and eventually make the pass for fourth place.
Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn found himself running in the third place position at the beginning of the race, after grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. As the race wore on Ashburn would find himself battling with Kelley and then Duvall. As the white flag flew Ashburn would be unable to hold off Duvall any longer, coming through in the fifth place position. Ashburn was still able to end the day strong with a top five overall finishing position.
XC2 250 Pro
In the XC2 250 Pro class it was Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Johnny Girroir battling back to clinch his fifth-straight win of the season. Girroir was off to a top-five start to the day, working his way into second by the halfway point. Girroir would set his sights on AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski, who held the early lead. Girroir and Witkowski would swap the lead position multiple times, before battling down to the checkered flag where Girroir would finish 0.984 seconds ahead of Witkowski.
Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes did not get the start he wanted as he came through 13th on the opening lap. Still, as the race Barnes would continue to push himself to get to the front of the XC2 class. Barnes said he considers the Indiana event his home race as he hails from Illinois. In front of a lot of family and friends, Barnes made the pass for third on the last lap, earning his first podium finish of the season.
760Motosports/Husqvarna’s Benjamin Nelko grabbed the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award.
FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am
The FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am class saw Magna1 Motorsports Jonathan Johnson continue his winning ways by earning his sixth-straight win of the season. However, this win would not come as easy as some have. Lojak Yamaha Cycle Sales’ Chase Coleville would hold the early lead and continue to battle with Johnson down to the last lap of racing. Colville would come through to earn second, while Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ben Parsons had a consistent day in the third place position.
The Top Amateur honors from the Hoosier GNCC would go to 250 A’s Joseph Cunningham as he earned his class win and finished 20th overall. Will Sievenpiper was second on the top amateur podium with a win in the Open A class and a 26th overall finishing position. Third on the podium was the 250 A second place finisher, Tanner Collins with his 28th overall finish.
In the morning race, it was on between the WXC competitors, RedBull KTM’s Travis Pastrana and RedBull/Troy Lee Designs GASGAS’ Ryan Sipes who raced in the Sportsman A class.
As the green flag waved, it was Preston Raines earning the $100 Trail Jesters WXC holeshot award, but it would soon be AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer taking over the lead for a brief moment before Kawasaki Team Green’s Korie Steede made her move into the number one spot.
However, it would soon be the No. 1 of BABS Racing Yamaha/Fly/Maxxis/Pro Circuit’s Becca Sheets striking for that lead position. As Sheets made her way into the lead, she would begin to place a gap over the rest of the field to ensure her overall win. Sipes was lurking behind her as he would move into second overall on adjusted time. Sheets was able to hold off the competition, and come through to earn her fourth WXC win, and third overall in of the season. Sipes would finish second overall on the day. While Archer came through to take third overall, second in WXC, and Steede rounded out the WXC top three.
As for Pastrana after running second early on in Sportsman A, he said that he had two gnarly crashes, ran out of gas for about 15 minutes, did a front flip and hit a tree third gear pinned.
In the 8 a.m. youth race it was Cole Forbes battling back to earn his fourth overall and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win of the season. Thor Powell would come through to finish second overall and in the YXC1 class, with Nicholas DeFeo rounding out the top three overall and in the YXC1 class. Ryan Amancio earned his first YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class win of the season just ahead of Robert Weiss and Van Adams, who rounded out the top three. Canyon Richards came to try his hand at GNCC Racing, earning the win in the 85cc (12-13) class, while Jiggs Fustini earned the 85cc (7-11) class win. Richard’s sister, Brighton Richards also earned a win in the Girls (8-15) class. Caleb Wood and Hunter Hawkinberry also earned class wins in the 65cc (10-11) and 65cc (7-9) classes.
The Hoosier AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Angelo Sciarretti. Angelo served in the United States Navy as a Petty Officer 3rd E4. He was deployed to Japan from 2014 until 2018. Angelo served in the West Pacific and was part of The Valiant Shield in 2016. He served on the USS Stethem. He races in the Warrior class, which is a new championship class this year and is for active or retired military.
Cooper Webb wins 450SX championship at Salt Lake City finale
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb had an incredible conclusion to the 2021 AMA Supercross Championship, clinching his second-career 450SX title with a dominant victory at Saturday’s season finale. Marvin Musquin furthered the remarkable night for the team as he delivered a strong runner-up performance to give Red Bull KTM back-to-back 1-2 sweeps in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Widely recognized for his grit and determination to win, Webb has overcome his share of adversity since earning his first 450SX title in 2019. As the 2020 runner-up in supercross, Webb missed most of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship due to a back injury and he even had a rocky start to 2021 with a ninth-place finish at the opening round.
However, in true champion’s form Webb spent the early part of the season chipping away at the points gap, setting himself up for a massive comeback in the second half of the series. He entered the final round with a comfortable 22-point advantage over Ken Roczen but that didn’t stop him from pressing the envelope when it came time for the gate to drop at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
With a second-place finish in 450SX Heat 2, the newly crowned champion shot off the line aboard his KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, positioning himself into second early on. He pressured Roczen heavily through the first five laps before losing a spot to third early on. He didn’t let up though, eventually overtaking Roczen, and then Chase Sexton, to move into the lead with seven laps to go. From there, he marched to the checkers scoring his eighth Main Event victory of the season.
Cooper Webb – P1
“It’s been a heck of a year with everything in the world going on but we dug deep this year and stayed the course. It’s been an incredible journey, a hard fought season with a lot of hard races but this is all worth it right here. Being a two-time champion is incredible and to get the win tonight is the cherry on top. I’m speechless, this is incredible.”
Ken Roczen – P2
“Round 17 was a tough one again. I just seemed to struggle with the altitude. After getting the holeshot in the main, the first little bit of the race looked promising, but I really let go and dropped way back. Overall, I’ve had a good season. I’ve never stayed in the game for so long—making it all the way to the last round being in the championship hunt. Last year I was third, this year I was second—at least we’re going in the right direction. We had some really good battles, and I learned a lot about myself this year. I’m looking forward to the outdoor season now, and the supercross season next year.”
Eli Tomac – P3
“The track was a lot slicker in the morning than it seemed, but it got a lot better as the day went on. I got off to a good start in my heat race which ultimately helped me run away with the win and gave me loads of confidence going into the main event. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best start in the main and was cut off by the riders up front, forcing me to have to battle my way through the pack. Although winning is always the goal, I’m very proud to walk away with third overall in the 450SX championship standings and I am looking forward to the first outdoor race at Pala, California.”
Justin Barcia – P4
“I felt good all day and was comfortable on the bike and the track, but finishing seventh wasn’t the way I wanted to end the season. All-in-all it was a solid year, I ended up fourth in the championship. Next year we’ll have some improvements to make but for the first Supercross season with the team, it was really enjoyable and fun and we have a lot more to show for next year, so we’ll keep on plugging along!”
Aaron Plessinger – P5
“My night started off a little slow. Qualifying didn’t go the way I wanted, but we made some changes and that seemed to help a lot. I got a pretty good start in the main, but my body kind of stalled out during the middle of the race. Compared to the last two years, this season has been way better. I think last year I was 11th overall and this year I was 5th, so it’s been a great turnaround. I can’t thank the whole team enough because they’ve put the work in and it showed. I’m ready for what’s next with the outdoors and to show everyone what we’ve got.”
Malcolm Stewart – P6
“I struggled a little bit at the start of the day but the team worked hard and we turned it around when it came to the Main Event. Looking back at the season as a whole – I had a great run and I’m more than blessed to have this team to support me. We got a podium and checked that off the list, and we ended the season with a top-five and had a solid run. We’ve got some things to work on but I feel really good overall about the year.”
Jason Anderson – P8
“The night was going pretty good – practice was alright, the heat race was a good result even though I didn’t feel like I rode the best and then the Main Event didn’t go so well. I think I ended the season in eighth overall but we’ll work on it for next year.”
“I’m happy to finish this season on a very high note, going 1-2 in Salt Lake City. The chase was really fast and we are super high in altitude so the breathing was tough, but it felt so good to give my best like that. I’m really happy to give good results right now because it’s been a tough season but I’m showing that I’ve still got some speed and endurance. I’m excited, we’ll be back next year!”
AMA Rookie of the Year – Dylan Ferrandis
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis closed out a solid first year in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship 450 class, earning the AMA Rookie of the Year and finishing just off the podium in fourth at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
He proved he was worthy of the recognition with a fourth-place ride to close out the season. He got out to a great start but got pushed out slightly to start sixth. He had a few close calls but when he finally settled in, he started making passes and found his way to finish just off the podium in fourth. Ferrandis closed out the year an impressive seventh in the points.
Dylan Ferrandis – P7
“The race was extremely difficult. I don’t know why but I felt a little more tired compared to last week. The track was really tricky and I made a couple of mistakes, but I gave everything I had. I’m a little disappointed to not finish on the box, but it’s still a good result, and it was a good end to the season with two fourths.”
Jett Lawrence finished the 2021 Supercross season on a high in Salt Lake City with victory over Colt Nichols in the East-West Showdown.
It was Nichols though that took out the 250 East Championship by 29-points over Jo Shimoda while Jett Lawrence was third for the season only four-points adrift of Shimoda.
Hunter Lawrence also finished the Supercross season on a high note with a podium alongside his brother while also claiming second in the 250 West Championship behind newly crowned champion Justin Cooper.
Jett and Hunter Lawrence were running third and fourth early on behind Seth Hammaker and Colt Nichols. Jett quickly worked his way past Hammaker then made a clean pass on Nichols, who then shadowed Australian to the line safe in the knowledge that the 250 East Title would be his.
Hunter Lawrence made some work for himself after going down while chasing Hammaker before then regathering and eventually getting past Hammaker and McAdoo to claim that final step on the podium.
With Nichols taking the East Championship and Cooper the West that made it a Yamaha double in the 250 categories in 2021.
With Supercross now behind them the break is not long until the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship gets underway on Saturday, May 29 in Pala, California.
250SX East Rider Quotes
Colt Nichols – P1 (East)
“It would have been nice to get the win, but I can’t complain about second place. I think I might be the only person to be on the podium at all nine rounds so I’m happy about that. I was off all day. I couldn’t really loosen up, but kudos to the team because they knew exactly what to do with the bike to get me comfortable. I was able to get a good start and lead some laps and had a fun battle with the Lawrence brothers. It’s an amazing feeling (to win the championship). I haven’t really ever been in a position to be a contender in the past and this year I put myself in a good spot. It’s a dream come true.”
Jo Shimoda – P2 (East)
“It was a great season for me. I got my very first podium and then was able to get the first win. I’m so thankful to the team for giving me this opportunity. I came on a little later in the off-season, so to turn out a good year is a good feeling. I can’t wait to make the transition to the outdoors.”
Jett Lawrence – P3
“Coming into the weekend, I was excited for the Showdown with my brother Hunter and couldn’t wait for the main event. In the first qualifier I got P1 and was feeling a little better on the track and started to get a good flow. The second qualifier was pretty good also; I had a little mistake in a rhythm lane but nothing crazy. Going into the heat race I was pretty excited to get it underway, and it went pretty good. I got second in the heat and ended up getting the third gate pick for the main. I was throwing up all through the break to the main, so I was a little nervous and didn’t know how I’d do, but I was able to dig deep and kind of focus and came out with a win. I was super-pumped from how I was feeling before the race, and to top it off Hunter got third; it was awesome for both of us to be on the box, so the last round ended pretty well, I think.”
Michael Mosiman – P5 (East)
“What a close to the 2021 Supercross season. It was going well but I had a pretty rough crash yesterday during press and I was a little stressed how I was going to ride today. Thankfully I had an awesome heat race but too bad it wasn’t the main because that’s when it all went wrong. I was in there up front in the turn and just got sandwiched and slingshot, which is a terrible feeling of hitting the ground and getting run over. But that’s part of it and we’ve got another series coming up, so chest up, we’ll start fresh and be in it.”
250SX West Rider Quotes
Justin Cooper – P1 (West)
“It honestly didn’t go that well tonight and the night show felt a little like a disaster. I just stayed mid-pack and knew what I had to do to bring it home. It was a long 15 minutes. I knew where I was. I had won races, but it felt so different. I didn’t really know what to feel. It’s going to sink in over the next few days and I know it will be good.”
Hunter Lawrence – P3
“Awesome weekend in Salt Lake City to finish off the season. I got P2 in the West class championship, so that was really cool; I’m stoked on that. I was pretty good throughout the day and was happy with qualifying and felt really good. In the main event I was in a really good position and just rushed a pass for third and washed the front end out. I dropped back to fifth and took a lap to regroup and breathe, and then put on a push and got myself into third on the last lap. The track wasn’t something you could really send it on, so it was definitely about patience and a lot of corner speed–you had to execute your corners really well. Obviously, Jett and myself both getting on the podium was really special. What a way to finish out the supercross season! The team and everyone was really happy with that, and I can’t thank the team enough; they’re like a family and they’ve been awesome, so I’m looking forward to the outdoors and just happy to end it on a solid note. Obviously we would’ve loved to win, but I’m looking forward to going racing again shortly.”
Cameron McAdoo – P3 (West)
“It’s been a crazy year filled with so many emotions,” said McAdoo. “I haven’t been able to ride much over the past two weeks as I’ve focused on my rehab to get through this final race and be ready for outdoors, so all things considered it was a decent night. I’m so thankful to everyone who has helped me out this year. It was a memorable year with the first win and being in the championship hunt. I can’t wait to take what we’ve learned and build off of it.”
Jalek Swoll – P5 (West)
“My heat race was solid but the Main Event was iffy, I couldn’t find a flow out there. No excuses though, we finished out the season fifth in points, so I’m happy to come away with a lot of progression and experience after two years of SX and I’m happy to be healthy at the end of the day and continue this momentum into outdoors. Next year is really time to buckle up and battle from start to finish.”
250 AMA Rookie of the Year – Seth Hammaker
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker was awarded the AMA Rookie of the Year for the 250 Class as Monster Energy Supercross closed out its season with the highly anticipated East/West Shootout at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The rookie had a solid night, finishing the main event in fifth.
Seth Hammaker – P4 (West)
“I’m super excited to be awarded the rookie of the year. It means a lot to me and I put in a lot of hard work this season. I’m happy to see it pay off. It has been an awesome rookie season and I can say that I’ve learned a lot. Whether it was good or bad, I’ll take my experience into next year to fight for the championship.”
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