Moto News Weekly Wrap
October 27, 2020
Jett Lawrence awarded 2020 Marty Smith Rookie of the Year
The first honoree of the newly named “Marty Smith Rookie of the Year” was GEICO Honda’s Jett Lawrence. On a bittersweet afternoon for the influential race team at the Fox Raceway National, the Australian capped off a stellar first full season of Pro Motocross competition by breaking through with the first win of what looks to be a promising career, which also helped him earn fourth in the final standings.
The 17-year-old is the first Australian to earn the award and his victory, combined with the first career win for Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton in the 450 Class that same day, helped vault American Honda Motor Company to “Manufacturer of the Year”. The “Red Riders” amassed more points across both the 450 Class and 250 Class than any other OEM, wrapping up a banner afternoon and memorable season for the iconic Japanese brand.
2020 GNCC Yamaha Racing Ironman – Indiana
Round 12 of the 2020 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series concluded at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana on Sunday and coming through to take his second overall win of the season was Josh Strang.
Strang steadily made his way through the pack after starting in the third place position. After moving into second Strang would set his sights on the lead position, and he would battle throughout the fourth lap to take over the number one spot. Strang would continue to lead the last four laps of racing, but not without pressure from AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor Jr.
Strang and Baylor Jr. continued to battle on the last lap, but after an incident on Ironman hill Baylor Jr. would find himself falling behind Strang as they came through the motocross track to take the checkered flag. Baylor Jr. held the lead for the first three laps of racing before Strang made the stick, but even after a crash on the hill he would remain 1.5 seconds ahead of third overall.
Ben Kelley worked his way up after running seventh on the opening laps
of racing. Kelley make the necessary passes to move up through the pack, and he would close the gap between him and Baylor Jr. as the white flag flew. Kelley moves into seventh overall in the points standings after missing the first half of the season.
Coming through to take fourth overall on the day was Kailub Russell. Russell found himself towards the front of the XC1 Open Pro riders at the beginning of the race but would make a mistake halfway through losing some valuable time with the leaders. Russell would continue to push on, ultimately coming through 7 seconds behind his teammate Kelley.
Another rider that found himself towards the front early on in the race was Layne Michael. On lap four, Michael came through timing and scoring holding onto third overall but as the race worse on he would find himself falling back two positions to take fifth overall on the day.
Grant Baylor was making moves throughout the duration of the race after coming through timing and scoring in eighth on the opening lap. Baylor would continue to push, as he made his way up to sixth overall after a hard-fought battle at this year’s Ironman event. Baylor continues to hold onto sixth in the XC1 Open Pro class standings.
Earning seventh on the day was Jordan Ashburn. After coming through fifth on lap one, Ashburn would have his work cut out for him as a hungry pack of riders were right behind him. Ashburn found himself as far back as eighth at one point in the race and would then move into seventh on the day continuing to stay in that position until the checkered flag flew.
Phoenix Honda Racing’s Andrew Delong made a last lap pass to move into eighth after running ninth for majority of the race. While Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall suffered a crash on the fifth lap and found himself back to eighth after running up in fifth for the first half of the race. KLM Kawasaki’s Evan Earl rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 class after steadily holding onto that position throughout the race.
In the XC2 250 Pro class, it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig Delong jumping out to grab the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award. Delong would then fall back to fifth in the class but would soon find himself picking off riders to make the pass for the lead on lap five. Delong would hold onto lead taking his fourth win of the season and regaining the class points lead as the series heads into its last round of racing.
Lyndon Snodgrass held the early lead but would soon face a battle with Jonathan Girroir. As the duo battle, Girroir would make the pass for the lead and hold onto it for one lap. Unfortunately, Girroir would crash towards the end of race and end up eleventh in his class. Snodgrass would regroup and continue to battle for a podium finish. Snodgrass would again make a last lap pass to regain second, landing himself his first podium finish in the XC2 class.
Rounding out the XC2 class podium in third was Mike Witkowski. Witkowski would battle throughout the three-hour race at the front of the pack, but he would be unable to hold the lead. Witkowski moved into second on the last lap, but with Snodgrass hot on his heels he would be unable to hold him off. Witkowski came through to take third in his class, and now sits second in the points standings.
Taking the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class win was Jason Raines. Coming through to earn second was the newly-crowned XC3 National Champion, Zack Hayes. Rounding out the podium in third was Jason Lipscomb.
Earning the top amateur honors was Joseph Cunningham after finishing 18th overall and first in the 250 A class. Dakoda Devore and Nathan Rector rounded out the top amateur podium with their 20th and 21st overall finishes.
In the 10 a.m. race it was Rachael Archer coming through to earn her fifth overall win of the season. Archer would take the win, even after an incident with a lapper left her with a possible broken ankle. Rachel Gutish came through to take second in the WXC class followed by Becca Sheets, who rounded out the WXC podium.
A new winner emerged in the youth ranks with Cole Forbes taking the youth overall win and the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win. Davis came through to earn second overall and in the YXC1 class, with Lane Whitmer crossing the line third overall in the 8 a.m. youth morning race.
$5,000 was awarded to the Montgomery County Community Foundation with donations coming from Yamaha Racing, KTM North America, HBD Moto Grafix, and the GNCC Racing Nation as they contributed in purchasing Pink Ironman stickers and partaking in the Mullets for Mammies by Bottleneck Live contest.
XC1 Pro Event Results
- Josh Strang (KAW)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (YAM)
- Benjamin Kelley (KTM)
- Kailub Russell (KTM)
- Layne Michael (YAM)
- Grant Baylor (SHR)
- Jordan Ashburn (KAW)
- Andrew Delong (HON)
- Thad Duvall (HQV)
- Evan Earl (KAW)
Overall National Championship Standings
- Kailub Russell (295)
- Josh Strang (246)
- Jordan Ashburn (185)
- Craig Delong (171)
- Michael Witkowski (161)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (158)
- Benjamin Kelley (153)
- Grant Baylor (152)
- Jonathan Girroir (146)
- Cody Barnes (122)
XC2 250 Pro Event Results
- Craig Delong (HQV)
- Lyndon Snodgrass (KAW)
- Michael Witkowski (YAM)
- Liam Draper (KTM)
- Cody Barnes (BET)
- Ryder Lafferty (HQV)
- Jonathan Johnson (HON)
- Jesse Ansley (KTM)
- Ben Parsons (HQV)
- Samuel Evans (KTM)
XC2 250 Pro Series Standings
- Craig Delong (296)
- Michael Witkowski (285)
- Jonathan Girroir (280)
- Cody Barnes (211)
- Liam Draper (194)
- Thorn Devlin (145)
- Jonathan Johnson (141)
- Ryder Lafferty (134)
- Benjamin Nelko (111)
- Jesse Ansley (103)
2020 MXGP of Lommel – Round 15
The weekend saw the running of the 2020 MXGP of Lommel, as the final round of the Belgian triple-header, with a new track layout introduced to up the ante in sectors three and four, upping the tempo of the races, while adding an additional challenge for riders.
In MXGP it was Tim Gajser claiming top honours, winning both races, with Romain Febvre runner up in both races for second overall. Jeremy Seewer completed the overall podium, going 4-3.
Tim Gajser extended his standings lead as a result, now leading Tony Cairoli by 74-points, 583 to 509. Jeremy Seewer sits third on 499-points, while Jorge Prado was unable to compete in MX2 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was in self-isolation. The rest of his Red Bull KTM team had returned negative test results, however he dropped to fourth. Mitch Evans, still out with injury, sits 13th in the standings as the top Aussie.
MXGP Overall Results
|10||Van Horebeek, Jeremy||BEL||HON||12||6||18|
|12||Van doninck, Brent||BEL||HUS||0||13||13|
|19||van der Vlist, Freek||NED||KTM||0||7||7|
MXGP Standings – Top 30
|9||Van Horebeek, J.||BEL||HON||289|
|25||Van doninck, B.||BEL||HUS||53|
The MX2 class was hard fought with Ben Watson and Roan Van De Moosdijk sharing the wins, with just eight-points separating the top six. Watson came out on top adding a fourth place result to his win for the overall on 43-points. Van De Moosdijk had to settle for second on 40-points, with Maxime Renaux third, ahead of Thomas Kjer Olsen, GasGas’s Isak Gifting and Tom Vialle.
Jed Beaton was inside the top-10 in eighth, claiming 27 championship points. He had a consistent day, not getting the best jump from the start in race one, and moving up through the ranks throughout the race, before making the pass for seventh on lap 13, Jed then chased Roan Van De Moosdijk to the chequered flag to end his race in seventh.
Moto two saw a much better start for the FC 250 rider. Moving into ninth early in the race, Jed progressed into seventh at the halfway stage of the race as he found his rhythm around the demanding Lommel track. Losing just one position as the moto neared the end, he finished eighth.
“A disappointing day today. Not my greatest day of racing but I’m healthy, which is important with three rounds to go. I found my flow in both races but not until towards the end, which was frustrating. By then there was a big gap ahead of me in each race. Overall, I felt like my riding was good, it just took me a little while to get going. Looking forward to some hardpack next weekend in Italy.”
Bailey Malkiewicz took 13th overall for 12-points, racing to 16th in Race 1, and improving that result to 14th in Race 2.
In terms of the championship, Geerts has lost some ground on Vialle who now heads into the final three rounds with a 74-point advantage, with Renaux down in third with 476 points. Beaton now sits fourth on 456-points, with fellow Australian Bailey Malkiewicz 16th on 119.
The world series now heads to Pietramurata in the north Italian province of Trentino next weekend for the last of five triple-header GPs which will complete the eighteen-round series.
MX2 Overall Results
|2||Van De Moosdijk, Roan||NED||KAW||15||25||40|
|4||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||DEN||HUS||16||20||36|
MX2 Standings – Top 30
|7||Van De Moosdijk, R.||NED||KAW||417|
Fantic Racing’s Andrea Bonacorsi secured the crown in the EMX125 class at the final round of the series in Lommel, as he became this year’s European Champion! The Italian entered today’s races with a 38-point advantage over David Braceras of RFME GasGas MX Junior Team and only needed to finish the races with a solid result in order to seal the deal. Bonacorsi finished the opening race of the day third, which was enough for him to claim the title in race one.
“It’s just amazing. I worked really hard for it [the title], with the team, with my family, with my trainer, the gold plate and European champion, so it’s amazing. For sure in Faenza, after the first win, then I had 6 race wins and I realised I could be champion.”
The Fantic Racing rider then had a much tougher second race after getting caught out in a first turn crash, which meant he had to start from way back and 11th was the best he could do. Unfortunately, he missed out on the podium, though the main focus was that he took home that all-important championship gold plate.
Despite a tough day, Braceras held enough of a gap to finish second in the championship with 282 points, ahead of Meico Vettik of TBS Conversions Racing Team who claimed the bronze medal after a solid day, which saw him also second overall on the podium.
EMX125 Race 1
The first race of the day saw WZ Racing’s Max Palsson lead the way as he was closely followed by Vettik and Scott Smulders of No Fear/Jumbo BT Racing Team on the opening lap. Meanwhile, the then championship leader, Bonacorsi, was down in 9th.
Guillem Farres of RFME GasGas MX Junior Team then crashed out of 6th and was down outside the top 20, as Smulders dropped out of 3rd as well and re-joined the race in 12th.
Bonacorsi though was wasting no time as by the first full lap he was already in 4th, looking to charge for the leaders as he was keen to wrap up the title in the first heat.
Palsson then extended his race lead over Vettik to 2.002 in the early stages of the race, and the gap remained pretty tight until the end of the race, as the two battled closely together.
Bonacorsi came under fire from the Creymert Racing pilot Haakon Osterhagen for 4th, though he was able to defend his position, before going after Pietro Razzini for third a few laps later.
It was a tough race for Braceras who had to start the race from outside the top 30 and fight his way through. Eventually the Spaniard finished the race in 16th, not a result he would have wanted after his previous success here in Lommel over the last couple of rounds.
Osterhagen then lost a bit of ground as he was getting caught by Romeo Karu and Ivano Van Erp of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC team, though he was able to maintain his position until the end of the race, while Karu made a mistake and finished in 15th.
On lap 9, Bonacorsi moved himself in 3rd, as Vettik gave it another go at passing Palsson though was not successful. He then gave it one last push on the final 3 laps as the gap was just 0.666 seconds, but Palsson was able to keep control and claim his first race win of the season.
EMX125 Race 2
The second race started with a little bit of drama in the first turn, which caught out a couple of riders including Karu and the new EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing champion, Bonacorsi. Though it was Van Erp who led the way, with Palsson in second and Valerio Lata of Marchetti Racing Team KTM in third.
Vettik started the second heat outside the top 5, though he was on a charge and quickly caught out to the group as he passed Braceras for 5th on lap two.
By lap 5 there was a change in the lead, as Van Erp crashed out, which allowed Palsson to make the most of this opportunity to go after another race win.
Farres was then on a charge as he had a nice battle with Quentin Prugnieres of BUD Racing Kawasaki. Eventually, the GasGas rider was able to find a way through into fourth on lap 7.
With 5 minutes and 2 laps to go, Palsson led the way by an impressive 11.960 seconds, as Osterhagen passed Nikita Kucherov for 7th and then went after Braceras. Not long after, the Norwegian burst down the inside of Braceras for 6th, as Kucherov was able to do the same, with the Spaniard getting pushed down to 8th and then 9th where he would eventually finish.
With 2 of laps to go, Florian Miot of KTM Diga Junior Racing was pushing hard to pass Farres for third, though got caught out in a crash and did not finish the race.
In the end it was Palsson who was the race winner, with Vettik second once again and Farres having a much stronger ride that time around to cross the line third.
With two race wins, Palsson claimed his first overall victory of the season as he took to the top step of the podium, while Vettik occupied second with two solid second place finishes in the races and Guillem Farres of RFME GasGas MX Junior Team made his 5th podium of the 2020 season as he took to third.
“Today I had a crash in the first race and then I was last, and then managed to get to seventeenth. In the second race, I started well but then wanted to stay safe because in the first race I lost a lot of points. I had a little problem with the goggles and wanted to stay safe and finish second in the championship. I’m happy with my position as I worked really hard with my team and my family and trainer, so I’m really happy and would like to thank everyone for all the support and now it’s time to prepare for the 250s”
“I’m really happy about the third place in the championship. I had some bad races and some good races, but I’m still happy about my season. Today I had good speed, in the second race I had a small problem with my goggles but still second, so I am happy. Thanks to all my supporters and friends.”
“I’m super happy for the team and for myself as well. We work really hard. My starts were on point today and it made it a lot easier. The season as a whole though could have been a bit better, at the start of the year I wasn’t fully prepared, but I came back strong.”
“Overall it was a good day. In the first race I was around fourth in the first lap then I had a little crash and had to come from the back and finished sixth. In the second race, I had to start from ninth, made my way to third and in the last lap I was battling with Meico [Vettik] for second place but finally I could finish third.”
|6||Van Erp, Ivano||NED||YAM||14||15||29|
|7||Prugnieres, Quentin Marc||FRA||KTM||7||18||25|
|10||Reisulis, Karlis Alberts||LAT||KTM||4||13||17|
|22||Voxen Kleemann, William||DEN||HUS||3||0||3|
|24||Alonso Rodilla, Victor||ESP||YAM||1||0||1|
|22||Van Erp, Ivano||NED||YAM||57|
2020 MX Fest – Digger McEwen Motocross Park.
It was a jam-packed schedule of three days racing in Taupo, as the country’s riders had their first competitive hit-out for the season at Digger McEwen Motocross Park for MX Fest 2020.
In the MX1 class Cody Cooper took the overall win, despite tying on points with Hamish Harwood, both on 91-points. Kayne Lamont was third on 78-points, with Rhys Carter fourth, and Campbell King fifth.
Kayne Lamont – P3
“The weekend’s racing was a great time for me. I rode very calm and in control, which I was happy with. I have two months of prep now before SummerCross, so I will try do as much as possible with bike time and continue testing parts to finalise my set-up for the summer.”
MX2 saw Josiah Natzke (93-points) take the overall win from Maximus Purvis (78), while Brodie Connolly was third (71). Seton Head and Jack Treloar completed the top five.
20-year-old defending MX2 national champion Maximus Purvis believed he “just lacked the fitness” to ride for the victories but vowed, “I’ll definitely be ready for SummerCross at the end of December.”
Darren Capill took the MX3 overall from Keleb Livesey and Ryan Denby, while Jayden McAloon and Caleb Franklin completed the top five.
2020 Taupo MX Fest Results
MX1 Overall Top 10
MX2 Overall Top 10
MX3 Overall Top 10
Bereman wins inaugural Red Bull Imagination
American Tyler Bereman added another big win to his freeride motocross résumé when he edged out compatriot Colby Raha to claim the inaugural Red Bull Imagination competition around the rolling hills of Kansas.
“Everyone keeps saying it was the most fun stuff that they’ve ever ridden, so this is a good place to start. Hopefully we can build on it and bring it back, inviting more people and showcasing what we do and why we do it. I’m just stoked to see where this thing takes us. Everyone keeps saying it was the most fun stuff that they’ve ever ridden, so this is a good place to start. Hopefully we can build on it and bring it back, inviting more people and showcasing what we do and why we do it. I’m just stoked to see where this thing takes us.”
The new event, from the mind of Bereman himself and brought to life by course designer Jason Baker of Dream Traxx, marked a major step forward for the sport. A host of the sport’s top riders – including Cole Seely, Tom Parsons, Vicki Golden, Ryan Sipes and Darryn Durham – braved the massive jumps to showcase their own personal riding style on the innovative course.
Carved into the Midwestern landscape just outside Fort Scott, the 18-acre course took a crew of five moving 50,000 cubic yards of dirt just 19 days to build, including 5 features such as berms, a shipping container and a quarterpipe with some jumps launching the riders 140 feet across and 55 feet up into the air.
Three days of session riding led to a competition, where each rider had two five-minute windows to showcase their talent in crafting the perfect line.
Legends of the sport Ronnie Renner, Jeremy ‘Twitch’ Stenberg, Robbie Maddison and Steve Haughelstine judged the contest from a tower overlooking the entire course and scored riders on creativity, technical ability and adapting features to showcase personal style.
Red Bull Imagination 2020 result
- Tyler Bereman USA 97.0
- Colby Raha USA 96.0
- Cole Seely USA 90.5
- Ryan Sipes USA 85.0
WORCS Round 7 – Blythe, CA
FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Taylor Robert extended his points lead in the 2020 World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) with a pair of solid 1-2 finishes at this weekend’s double-header serving as rounds six and seven of the nine-race series.
Austin Walton took the overall win for Round 7, with Taylor Robert runner up and Dante Oliveira claiming the final Pro MC podium position. Tyler Lynn led the Pro 2 Lights, in fifth overall, while Tallon Lafountaine was top Pro 2 rider in sixth.
Taylor Robert leads the Pro MC standings on 169-points, with closest competitor Oliveira on 142, while Austin Walton is third overall on 131.
WORCS Round 6 Pro MC Results
|Place||Name||Overall Fin.||Elap. Time|
|1||TAYLOR ROBERT – KTM||1||01:22:45.647|
|2||DANTE OLIVEIRA – KTM||2||01:24:19.435|
|3||TREVOR STEWART – HON||3||01:26:07.313|
|4||JUSTIN SEEDS – YAM||4||1:26:56.248|
|5||ZACH BELL – KAW||5||01:27:42.882|
|6||TRAVIS DAMON – HON||9||01:30:13.596|
|7||COLE MARTINEZ – HON||10||01:31:36.940|
|8||GIACOMO REDONDI – HQV||12||01:22:55.532|
|9||AUSTIN WALTON – HQV||17||01:25:06.297|
|10||RYAN SURRATT – HQV||20||01:26:32.702|
WORCS Round 7 MC Results
|Pos||Name||Class||Cls Pos||Brand||Last Scan|
|1||AUSTIN WALTON||Pro (MC)||1st||HQV||21:16.5|
|2||TAYLOR ROBERT||Pro (MC)||2nd||KTM||21:58.2|
|3||DANTE OLIVEIRA||Pro (MC)||3rd||KTM||24:36.6|
|4||COLE MARTINEZ||Pro (MC)||4th||HON||24:42.4|
|5||TYLER LYNN||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||1st||YAM||28:31.0|
|6||TALLON LAFOUNTAINE||Pro 2 (MC)||1st||HON||28:08.2|
|7||TREVOR STEWART||Pro (MC)||5th||HON||27:41.9|
|8||TODD SIBELL||Pro 2 (MC)||2nd||KAW||29:10.3|
|9||TRAVIS DAMON||Pro (MC)||6th||HON||28:47.6|
|10||KAI AIELLO||Pro 2 (MC)||3rd||HQV||29:24.6|
|11||MASON A OTTERSBERG||Pro 2 (MC)||4th||YAM||29:33.8|
|12||ANGUS RIORDAN||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||2nd||KTM||21:18.7|
|13||JUSTIN SEEDS||Pro (MC)||7th||YAM||21:26.1|
|14||JAKE ALVAREZ||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||3rd||KAW||22:55.8|
|15||RYAN SURRATT||Pro (MC)||8th||HQV||22:06.3|
|16||MASON OLSON||Pro 2 (MC)||5th||KTM||24:33.9|
|17||PALMER KING||Pro 2 (MC)||6th||KTM||25:35.4|
|18||MATEO OLIVEIRA||Pro 2 (MC)||7th||KTM||26:11.9|
|19||JT BAKER||Pro 2 (MC)||8th||SHR||26:15.5|
|20||BRANDY RICHARDS||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||4th||KTM||27:55.3|
|21||CLAYTON HENGEVELD||Pro 2 (MC)||9th||KAW||29:49.9|
|22||MATT MAPLE||Pro 2 (MC)||10th||HON||21:33.2|
|23||HAYDEN FLOREZ||Pro 2 (MC)||11th||YAM||22:42.4|
|24||ZACHARY CRAMER||Pro 2 (MC)||12th||KTM||31:30.7|
|25||GIACOMO REDONDI||Pro (MC)||9th||HQV||21:39.4|
|26||KAITLYN JACOBS||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||5th||KTM||25:28.9|
|27||ZACH BELL||Pro (MC)||10th||KAW||39:17.7|
|28||THOMAS DUNN||Pro 2 Lights (MC)||6th||YAM||16:10.7|
|29||COLTON AECK||Pro 2 (MC)||13th||HQV||08:18.9|
WORCS PRO MC Standings
|Pos||Rider||Rnd6 Fin.||Rnd7 Fin.||Total|
Riders prepared for 2020 Red Bull Romaniacs
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler is ready to race the 2020 edition of Red Bull Romaniacs. The grueling five-day event consists of a time trial qualification, followed by four long days of racing in the Romanian Hills. Based once again around the town of Sibiu, the hard enduro takes place from October 27 to 31.
“I’m feeling pretty good right now. I’ve been trying to get as much riding in as possible over the last couple of weeks as I wasn’t able to do too much after injuring my thumb, back in August. I’m really excited to just go back racing again, this year has been so mixed up, just the fact that we can do an event like Romaniacs is great. I won it last year and I want to do well this year, it’s just so difficult to know what to expect. Having not raced so much, it’s not easy to gauge where you are in terms of form compared to the other riders. The move to October hopefully won’t change things too much – it looks like it will stay dry and it will be cold early in the mornings, but it’s the same for everyone. I think we’re going to have a good race and I can’t wait to get into battle with the boys once again.”
Two-time winner of the event Jonny Walker will be unable to compete at the 2020 Red Bull Romaniacs due to an injury sustained to his elbow at a recent round of the British Extreme Enduro Championship. Although Jonny received surgery for the break, doctors have advised the 29-year-old not to return to competition as yet in order for the injury to heal. Also absent from this year’s Romaniacs, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia will instead contest the final two rounds of the Italian Enduro Championship.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team members Billy Bolt, Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis have also safely arrived in Romania and are ready to contest the 2020 Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye, and the man undoubtedly looking to claim his first Romaniacs victory is Billy Bolt.
The reigning Superenduro World Champion has shown impressive form over the season, despite the pandemic-induced lack of events. Bolt won the first three races of the recent Sea to Sky extreme enduro in Turkey, only to lose out on the final day when a navigation error saw him lose valuable minutes to his rivals. The young Brit finished sixth at the 2019 running of Romaniacs, despite being less than 100 per cent fit.
Runner-up at the 2019 Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye, Alfredo Gomez will be looking to go one better in 2020 and claim his first ever win at the event. Showing incredible pace and stamina last year, Gomez became stronger as the enduro evolved to take his fight for the win right down to the final section – the infamous Gusterita Hillclimb. Frustratingly, losing out by just minutes, the experienced Spaniard knows what is required this year as he chases success at the world’s toughest hard enduro rallye.
Graham Jarvis comes into the 17th running of Romaniacs as a six-time winner of the race, hoping to make it seven victories in 2020. With the event moved to the autumn, the climate in the mountains will be tougher than ever – the early morning starts will be cold for all riders and with the possibility of extended rain, the steep tracks could prove to be hugely challenging. Jarvis hopes the demanding conditions will be in his favour as the Brit aims to climb onto the top step of the podium once again next Saturday.
Taddy Blazusiak meanwhile will make his first official outing as a GASGAS Factory Racing rider tomorrow, when the Polish star takes to the start of the Red Bull Romaniacs extreme enduro. Despite the multiple world champion signing for GASGAS Motorcycles back in July, the rescheduled running of the infamous hard enduro rallye marks Taddy’s first outdoor competition of 2020, and his first for GASGAS.
“It’s really weird to have the first race of the year in October, it also looks like it might be the only one we’re doing, so we’re lucky in that respect. My plan is to go as hard as I can and get a good result. I’m really motivated to start with GASGAS – it’s my first race in the new colors and I’m definitely looking forward to it. The bike is working well, we’ve done a lot of work over the year and I’m happy with the whole package. Hopefully qualifying will go well tomorrow and I’ll earn a good start position, after that, we head into the hills and it’s already looking like it’s going to be a tough four days of racing.”
MX Sports Pro Racing Recognizes Contributions to 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
In the midst of a year filled with unpredictable challenges, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, completed a successful campaign, personifying the notion that great things can happen when the motocross industry rallies together, In celebration of the many individuals and organizations that helped make the 2020 season a reality MX Sports Pro Racing recognized several of the most significant contributions with a season-ending awards presentation after the Fox Raceway National.
Arguably the most important awards were handed out to the pair of newly crowned AMA National Champions, both of whom captured their first respective class titles. In the 450 Class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne hoisted the Edison Dye Cup on the heels of four wins and six podium finishes. The Virginia native became the 25th different rider to earn a 450 Class title, and the 12th rider to earn championships across both of Pro Motocross’ competitive divisions. In addition to giving Husqvarna its first premier class title in the series, Osborne also cemented his own unique place in the record books as the oldest champion in the history of the sport at 31 years of age.
By virtue of Osborne’s exceptional season veteran technician Dave Feeney earned the “450 Class Champion Mechanic Wrench” while newly appointed team manager “Scuba” Steve Westfall commemorated his debut at the helm of the program with “Team Manager of the Year” accolades. The team’s semi driver, industry veteran Paul Delaurier, added to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s award haul as “Transport Driver of the Year.”
In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis erased decades of heartbreak for French riders by becoming the first racer from the nation to raise the Gary Jones Cup. Ferrandis’ journey to become a champion on U.S. soil had been steadily building since he made the move to compete in American motocross for the 2017 season. His championship-winning run was a result of unparalleled consistency in which he captured three wins and eight podium finishes in nine rounds. Ferrandis is the 32nd different rider to win the 250 Class title and ended his stay in the division by providing Star Racing with its fifth championship in seven seasons.
Ferrandis’ title meant his mechanic, Alex Campbell, was the recipient of the “250 Class Champion Mechanic Wrench.” Additionally, after yet another impressive season by the Bobby Regan owned team, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing was also named “Team of the Year.” With Ferrandis leading the way, a trio of Star riders earned a top-five finish in the final 250 Class standings as Shane McElrath secured a pair of podium finishes en route to third in points and Justin Cooper grabbed a win and two podiums to finish fifth. The team also welcomed a pair of promising young talents to the professional ranks with Jarrett Frye and Nate Thrasher.
In addition to celebrating the season’s most notable contributors, MX Sports Pro Racing also paid tribute to members of the motocross family that passed away this year. Marty Smith, the sport’s first true superstar, and his wife, Nancy, tragically lost their lives in April, which sent shockwaves through the racing community. As a tribute to Smith, and a testament to his impact on American motocross, the aforementioned yearly rookie award was renamed in his honor. The community was also hit hard with the passing of longtime flagger and Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club member Mike Mars, who succumbed to COVID-19 just prior to the start of the 2020 season in August.
MX Sports Pro Racing also recognized the collection of race teams, manufacturers, and the hundreds of participants who committed to embark on the 2020 season, no matter what obstacles arose. Additionally, the championship would not have been possible without the unwavering support from the group of series partners and sponsors that made hosting a nine-round series feasible, notably the broadcast partners at NBC Sports Group and championship title sponsor Lucas Oil. Crucial support also came from Red Bull, WPS, FLY Racing, GEICO Motorcycle, MotoSport.com, FMF Racing, Thor, Parts Unlimited, KTM, Deltran Battery Tender, MX vs ATV All Out, 100%, Husqvarna, Dunlop, Guaranteed Rate, KMC Wheels, VP Racing Fuels, Alpinestars, GoPro, Vertex Pistons, Acerbis, and Road 2 Recovery.
2021 AMA Supercross and Motocross numbers announced
The American Motorcyclist Association has announced the professional competition numbers for pro-licensed riders competing in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship for the 2021 season.
Each rider uses the assigned professional number for competition. In addition, the current champion runs the No. 1 plate, instead of an assigned professional number, when competing in the class or region in which the No. 1 plate was earned.
When competing in a class other than the class in which the championship was earned, the rider must use the professional number assigned.
2021 Top 100 and Career Pro Numbers for AMA Supercross and Motocross
* Career Numbers
1 — 450SX Eli Tomac
1 — 450MX Zach Osborne
1 — 250MX Dylan Ferrandis
1W Dylan Ferrandis
1E Chase Sexton
2* Cooper Webb
3* Eli Tomac
4* Blake Baggett
6* Jeremy Martin
7* Aaron Plessinger
9* Adam Cianciarulo
10* Justin Brayton
11* Kyle Chisholm
12* Shane McElrath
14* Dylan Ferrandis
15* Dean Wilson
16* Zach Osborne
17* Joey Savatgy
18 Jett Lawrence
19* Justin Bogle
20* Broc Tickle
21* Jason Anderson
22* Chad Reed
23* Chase Sexton
24* RJ Hampshire
25* Marvin Musquin
26* Alex Martin
27* Malcolm Stewart
28 Brandon Hartranft
29 Christian Craig
30 Jo Shimoda
31 Cameron McAdoo
32* Justin Cooper
33 Derek Drake
34 Max Anstie
35 Mitchell Harrison
36 Martin Davalos
37 Benny Bloss
38 Austin Forkner
39 Carson Mumford
40 Vince Friese
41 Hunter Lawrence
42 Michael Mosiman
43 Fredrik Noren
44 Tyler Bowers
45 Pierce Brown
46* Justin Hill
47 Jalek Swoll
48 Garrett Marchbanks
49 Mitchell Oldenburg
50 Enzo Lopes
51* Justin Barcia
52 Luke Clout
53 Jake Masterpool
54 Nick Gaines
55 John Short
56 Kyle Peters
57 Justin Rodbell
58 Jacob Hayes
59 Jarrett Frye
60 Chris Blose
61 Joey Crown
62 Mason Gonzales
63 Martin Castelo
64 Colt Nichols
65 Carson Brown
66 Jordan Bailey
67 Stilez Robertson
68 Jace Owen
69 Robbie Wageman
70 Henry Miller
71 Killian Auberson
72 Coty Schock
73 Derek Kelley
74 Mitchell Falk
75 Ty Masterpool
76 Grant Harlan
77 Jerry Robin
78 Kyle Cunningham
79 Isaac Teasdale
80 Jordon Smith
81 Justin Starling
82 Lorenzo Locurcio
83 Alex Ray
84 Josh Hill
85 Kevin Moranz
86 Darian Sanayei
87 Curren Thurman
88 Logan Karnow
89 Ryan Breece
90 Dilan Schwartz
91 Nate Thrasher
92 Chase Marquier
93 Hardy Munoz
94* Ken Roczen
95 Joshua Osby
96 Michael Leib
97 Ben LaMay
98 Justin Hoeft
99 Hunter Sayles
Ben Townley re-imagines motorsport with SX4
“I want fans to love our sport, I want our industry to grow, but most importantly I want our sport to be mainstream. SX4 will give us the platform to achieve this,” says motocross superstar Ben Townley as he launches
Inspired by Ben’s innovative knowledge of the sport, SX4 combines four riders, four laps, four corners and four obstacles into two-minutes of action-packed racing. The best of the best will compete under immense pressure and fans will witness more crashes and more high-octane action than in the traditional formats familiar to motocross fans.
“I am super stoked with how things are starting to come together for our first ever SX4 event. The industry have been super supportive of my ideas and I’m looking forward to seeing spectators share the love as we build towards 9 January,” said Ben Townley as he prepares the track for this weekend’s demonstration event.
Over the last few years a site at the Taupo Motorcycle Club has been a labour of love for Townley who has played an integral part in the development. The new track will be tested at a demonstration event this coming Labour Weekend as part of MXFest. The first standalone SX4 event is set to be staged at Digger McEwan Motocross Park, Taupo on 9 January 2021.
Nick Rowland, SX4’s Fan Engagement Director has enjoyed jumping into a sport that is followed with such passion sharing, “Putting fans first is our goal as we create a thrilling new spectacle. Whether it be at the event, through the innovative broadcast elements or the sheer intensity of the racing, SX4 is set to change the game globally for motorsport for years to come.”
The inaugural event will see 12 of NZ’s top riders compete of 15 races in a two-hour window on 9 January 2021 at Digger McEwan Motorsport Park, Taupo. Individuals will compete for prize money. A Manufacturers Championship is also in development and will be another NZ first in the sport of motocross.
For more information and to buy tickets head to www.sx4.co.nz.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team welcome Ben Watson for 2021
Yamaha Motor Europe have announced that Ben Watson will take an exciting step up the Yamaha Racing pyramid and will join the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team for the 2021 MXGP season. The 23-year-old from Nottinghamshire, England joined Yamaha and the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team in 2018, where he celebrated his first podium finish and ranked fourth in the FIM MX2 World Championship in his first term on the YZ250F, the British rider has made great progress.
Proving his potential, Watson bounced back from an injury struck 2019 season to add five more podium successes to his credit, including a first-ever Grand Prix win at this weekend’s MXGP of Lommel. Immediately after celebrating his victory on the podium, the young Brit was delighted to learn that he would be drafted in the Factory MXGP team, where he will campaign a YZ450FM in his rookie MXGP season.
Part of a strong strategy to develop the next generation of MXGP champions, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team will remain a three-rider line-up in 2021. Watson will join Jeremy Seewer as the Swiss rider enters his fourth year with Yamaha and third year as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider, while the rider who will fill the third and final slot in the team will be announced in the very near future.
Ben Watson – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
“Firstly, I want to thank each and every member of staff in Kemea. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team gave me everything and more every day for three years. I am so grateful to join the Factory MXGP team and stay with my Yamaha Family. It means so much to me and I cannot wait for this new challenge. I have been lucky enough to work closely and get to know Louis Vosters, Vitaliy Tonkov and some of the other Wilvo team members and I know I will be welcomed with open arms. I truly believe the YZ450FM will be a great bike for my riding style and I am really motivated to show everyone what I can do in MXGP. I know the category is at such a high level, so I am fortunate to join a team with a lot of experience, success and motivation. I really want to learn and show progression, it’s what I work towards every year and with the experience of my teammates in MXGP, I know I will be able to gain a lot of knowledge and continue my development. I am so excited to get started now and jump on this amazing bike to prepare for the new season.”
Thibault Benistant joins Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team for 2021
Yamaha Motor Europe have announced that Thibault Benistant will join the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for the 2021 season. The recently crowned EMX250 Champion will race a YZ250FM in the FIM MX2 World Championship alongside Jago Geerts and Maxime Renaux.
“I am really proud to move into the Yamaha Factory team. I have to thank Yamaha and Hans (Corvers) for making it happen, they have made it possible for me to enter my first year in MX2 with the best bike in the paddock. This is something I really look forward to and something I am really proud of.”
Working his way up the Yamaha Racing pyramid, Benistant has paved his way to the MX2 World Championship with titles in both EMX125 and EMX250. He won the EMX125 Championship in 2018 aboard a GYTR kitted YZ125 and was a contender for the EMX250 title the following year at his first attempt. During his rookie season, Benistant celebrated a podium finish at his home round in France and took his YZ250F to fifth overall.
Remaining on a GYTR kitted YZ250F in 2020, the 18-year-old from Avignon was drafted into the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 team and moved to Holland in order to train close to the team’s base. Realising his obvious potential and proving that hard work pays dividends, Benistant celebrated eight EMX250 race wins, six round wins and seven podium finishes on his way to securing the 2020 EMX250 title.
As the freshly crowned European EMX250 Champion, Benistant will make his MX2 debut with the support of the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 team in Lommel, Belgium on Sunday 25th October.
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamaha Motor Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
“Yamaha is really happy to have Thibault join the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team. Thibault is a pure product of Yamaha’s program and has a lot of potential. He has been with Yamaha for many years, since 2010. He entered the EMX125 class with Yamaha and our Official team, MJC Yamaha Official EMX125, where they nurtured him and helped him develop the foundation of a true champion. We have to thank MJC for that, and then he moved into the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 team where they also did an incredible job in improving his strength and race craft on a GYTR kitted YZ250F. Yesterday Thibault took another step up the Yamaha Racing pyramid and was crowned European Champion in the EMX250 class, and now he has been signed to the Factory team. For us, Thibault is a perfect example of how a rider can develop and progress within the Yamaha Family, and we look forward to celebrating even more championships with him.”
Hans Corvers – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team Owner
“I am really happy to sign an 18-year-old talent like Thibault. He is still really young and is an exciting rider. We have had some good experience with French kids in the past, so it’s nice to another one along with Maxime (Renaux). We’ve been following Thibault for many years, even before he was EMX125 Champion and now he is EMX250 Champion, it is our goal to try to make him an MX2 Champion.”
2021 Under-21 And Junior Speedway Date Changes
Gillman Speedway, South Australia, will kick off two nights of action with the Australian Speedway Under 21 Championship and the FIM Oceania Speedway Championship to be held January 29 and 30, 2021, respectively.
Originally scheduled for January 16, The Australian Speedway Under 21 Championship now moves to January 29, giving speedway fans two sensational nights of back to back racing action at Gillman Speedway.
The Australian Under-21 Speedway Championship has been held since 1986, with Australian speedway stars Leigh Adams, Chris Holder and Max Fricke, jointly holding the record for most wins in the Australian Under-21 Championship with four wins each, and current Champion Jaimon Lidsey a three-time winner.
The FIM Oceania Speedway Championship brings the best of the best in the region to Gillman Speedway on January 30.
Due to COVID-19 the Australian Under 16s 125cc Solo and Teams Championship will be moved from the traditional January date and will now be held at Sidewinders, South Australia on September 25 and 26, 2021 to ensure all riders from each State are able to attend.
The Under 16s 125cc Solo and Teams Championship showcases our up and coming talent which usually delivers nail biting race action on track.
Dates for the Australian Under 16s 250cc Championship to be held at Gillman Speedway is yet to be confirmed due to current State border restrictions and further information will be provided as soon as possible.
All events are subject to State Government COVID-19 restrictions.