Moto News Wrap for October 24, 2017 by Darren Smart

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Latest News

  • Chad Reed Injured – AUS-X Appearance in Jeopardy
  • Davey Watt Set for 2017 QBE Insurance Australian SGP
  • Phillips ends final EnduroGP season before retirement fourth
  • Sherco’s Andy Wilksch makes EnduroGP debut in Germany
  • Wade Young to compete Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro
  • Gas Gas to compete Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro
  • 2018 Suzuki RM-Z Ride Days Announced
  • Supp Regs Out for Dirt Track Titles
  • Major Changes to 2018 AMA Supercross Championships
  • Red Bull Straight Rhythm – Boring!
  • RV Signs on as Answer Brand Ambassador
  • Decotis Signs with JGR Suzuki
  • Suzuki OUT of MXGP and All-Japan MX
  • REVO Husqvarna Expands
  • Tixier to BOS KTM
  • Fontanesi’s Japanese Adventure

This Week’s Race Reports

  • 2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm – Pomona, CA
  • FIM World Enduro Championships – Rounds 18/19 – GP of Germany (Zschoppau)
  • MX Fest – Taupo – New Zealand

Chad Reed Injured – AUS-X Appearance in Jeopardy

Chad Reed has injured his ankle during practice for the Red Bull Straight Rhythm event held in Pomona, California last weekend.

Chad Reed
Chad Reed
Chad Reed posted on Instagram

“Sometimes things don’t make sense. But you just roll with the punches and take the positives from it. The Redbull Straight rhythm on a two-stroke had me so damn excited – I’m so disappointed I’m unable to participate today – I slightly over jumped into the next transition nothing un-normal but my suspension went metal to metal and I hurt my ankle – I’m seeing an ankle specialist this morning. Will update when I have more info and a plan of action.”

Reed had already hinted that his appearance in Australia was in jeopardy thanks to not having a ride for 2018 and this injury could well be the nail in the coffin for the Australian public getting to see Reed compete on home soil before he retires.


Five Aussie Set for 2017 QBE Insurance Australian SGP

39 year old Davey Watt will join championship leader Jason Doyle, last year’s winner Chris Holder, national champion Sam Masters and Justin Sedgmen at this weekend’s QBE Insurance Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix at Etihad Stadium in the heart of Melbourne.

Watt, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will be replacing Danish champion, Niels-Kristian Iversen who will be unable to ride due to a broken shoulder.

Davey Watt
Davey Watt
Davey Watt

“I am so excited for this week’s Speedway Grand Prix in Melbourne. For me, it’s been pretty much a year in the making after the Australian qualification process was over back in January for the Aussie titles and I knew I had a place at the meeting, but as a reserve rider. Now, to be called up into the main meeting, although unfortunately through Niels Kristen Iversen injury, is an amazing experience, and one that I will never forget! It’s a massive boost for me, and it will most likely be my last. What better way to bow out of racing than at the highest level on home soil? Especially when Australia is likely to take the win! It’s been an amazing run for me over the past 17 years of professional speedway riding and is a big step for me. I couldn’t think of a better way to end it than here. Stand out memories for me include racing abroad – 8 World Cups in the Australian squad where we always did really well. Chris Holder, Darcy Ward and I were rated as best pairs for a while. I have been fortunate enough to have fantastic teammates around me over the years and I have enjoyed every minute. I’ve ridden a few GP’s in my time in 2010. It’s hard to get your head into GP headspace because all the riders are so good and extremely competitive. GP’s are massive meetings and the finale of 2017 at Melbourne will be the toughest yet. I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and I am confident I can get out there and put on a decent show for the fans! Hopefully we will get to see an Aussie crowned 2017 Champion on home soil this weekend and wish the best to Jason Doyle for it. It’ll be amazing to be in attendance for that reason alone!”

Jason Doyle - Image by Chris Horne
Jason Doyle currently leads the Championship standings – Image by Chris Horne

World Championship Standings

  1. Jason Doyle – 142
  2. Patryk Dudek – 128
  3. Tai Woffinden – 115
  4. Maciej Janowski – 113
  5. Emil Sayfutdinov – 109
  6. Bartosz Zmarzlik – 108
  7. Fredrik Lindgren – 107
  8. Matej Zagar – 97
  9. Martin Vaculik – 90
  10. Chris Holder – 82

Phillips ends final EnduroGP season before retirement fourth

Matthew Phillips was intent on winning the final GP of 2017 in what has been a turbulent season of racing for the former world champion. Extremely technical special tests combined with rain and incredibly fast and determined competitors kept Phillips at arms-length. The final season points tally keeping the Sherco star rider off the championship podium by a mere seven points.

Matthew Phillips
Matthew Phillips
Matthew Phillips

“I just missed that feeling again. It’s a pity. The season is done and dusted. Fourth overall in the championship. I’m a little disappointed with the result as a season, it definitely could have been better but that’s how it goes sometimes. A big thanks to the team for a huge effort, always. And thanks to the fans and family over the weekend.”

Phillips’ fourth place for 2017 was highlighted by a double round victory at rounds three and four in Spain, yet the top step of the podium eluded the Tasmanian for the remainder of the season.

The EnduroGP of Germany rounded out what could be Phillip’s final world championship race after he announced his retirement from full-time EnduroGP racing earlier this year.


Sherco’s Andy Wilksch makes EnduroGP debut in Germany

Wilksch lined up to race the Enduro Junior Class for riders under 23 years on a Sherco 300 SEF-R supplied by the CH Racing Team. Fellow Aussie and lead rider for the CH Racing Team, Matthew Phillips, helped guide Wilksch into the toughest EnduroGP of the year.

Andy Wilksch with the Motul Pirelli Sherco and CH Racing Teams
Andy Wilksch with the Motul Pirelli Sherco and CH Racing Teams

Extremely technical special tests in a variety of brutal terrain challenged the young Australian over the two days of racing in stark contrast to typical racing conditions found in Australia.

Dave Suter – Motul Pirelli Sherco Team manager

“We knew Andy was in for a tough ride. But we were well informed and well equipped with a great bike thanks to the CH Racing Team. In typical Andy style, he just toughed it out and smiled the whole way through. The tracks were really technical which saw a quarter of the field unable to finish so I’m very proud of Andy.”

Andy Wilksch
Andy Wilksch

Wilksch placed 19th in class on Saturday and 20th on Sunday.

Andy Wilksch

“The tracks were technical, but I really enjoyed it. Rain made the second day a little more interesting, but I still had a ball. The depth of rider talent was insane, and the crowds were awesome. I’ve never seen so many spectators on the trails. I owe a massive thanks to the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team in Australia for making this happen and traveling all this way to support me. Also, the CH Racing Team for the great bike, advice and making us all feel so welcome.”

Andy Wilksch and the rest of the Motul Pirelli Sherco team will now return to Australia to support Wade Young, Hamish Macdonald and Angus Macdonald who will race the Wildwood Rock Extreme in Melbourne this weekend.

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Wade Young to compete Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro

Red Bull’ Wade Young arrives in Melbourne tomorrow to begin preparations for this weekend’s Wildwood Rock Extreme enduro on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Wade Young
Wade Young

The South African Sherco rider will headline a field of 150 riders who attempt the four-hour cross-country motorcycle race over an extremely technical and tough course. Steep hills littered with rocks, huge logs, bog holes and man-made obstacles, including a section where riders are forced to ride through an old school bus, will test man and machine to the brink of exhaustion.

Young is no stranger to extreme off-road motorcycle racing, having won the infamous Roof of Africa on his first attempt in 2012 as a 16 year-old. Young has since chalked up victories in Hells Gate, King of The Hills and made the podium at Romanics, Ales Trem, Sea to Sky and Battle of The Vikings.

Wade Young
Wade Young

Young will race a Sherco 250 SE-R at Wildwood Rock where he hopes to take the win at what is shaping up to be the most exciting edition of Melbourne’s craziest motorcycles race to date.

The 2017 Wildwood Rock Extreme enduro will take place this Sunday, October 29 at 227 Feehans Road, Wildwood. The Prologue starts at 9.00am with the main race starting at 11.00am.


Gas Gas to compete Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro

Gas Gas Motorcycles Australia has announced that rider Jade Gartlan will represent Gas Gas on the new EC300 at the Wildwood Rock Enduro Extreme this weekend. The event dubbed as one of the toughest enduro circuits in Australia will see competitors from across Australia and abroad tackle the gnarly rocky paths, challenging obstacle course and log sections of Wildwood to seek victory in a number of enduro classes.

Jade Gartlan
Jade Gartlan
Jade Gartlan

“Because of their long history in Europe and more recently, from the positive news around the 2018 models, I was curious about Gas Gas and was eager to understand how the new Gas Gas rode. I got the opportunity recently at the Gas Gas launch to test the new 2018 EC300 and found it a perfect fit straight away. Its setup is just so easy to work with, the KYB suspension does the job brilliantly and it is very clear to see a lot of attention has gone into the chromoly frame and redeveloped 2-stroke engine. I’m really looking forward to the race at Wildwood and racing for the brand in the future.”

Entering in the Expert 35 class, Jade Gartlan is no stranger to the Wildwood circuit, grabbing 1st in the Clubman class in 2011 and 1st in Expert in 2012. Jade has also seen success in the VORC with a 3rd in Clubman class in 2011, holding 10 top finishes in the Expert class in 2012 and was until recently, leading the 2017 championship in the combined VORC and AORC before a broken arm claimed an end to his season.

2018 Gas Gas EC300
2018 Gas Gas EC300
Joseph Elasmar – Gas Gas distributor – Urban Moto Imports CEO

“The new redesigned 2018 EC300 two-stroke Gas Gas motorcycle is an incredibly competent handling enduro motorcycle, with an all-new Chromoly frame, KYB suspension and torquey two-stroke 300 engine customers have been waiting for. Straight out of the box, the EC300 is one of those unique enduros that are ready to compete, providing great feedback and power delivery whilst also being equipped with many premium components as standard. With a long history in enduro racing, Gas Gas Motorcycles Australia is proud to have Jade Gartlan represent the brand in our first Australian enduro event on the new EC300 at the Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro. Displaying great race composure and experience, we anticipate Jade’s success in winning races will be a great partnering with the new EC300 and wish him all the best.”

 

In other racing news from Gas Gas, world-renowned Giovanni Sala joins the Spanish company as the new Enduro Race Team Manager, forming the tip of the spear of their international racing aspirations.


2018 Suzuki RM-Z Ride Days Announced

Suzuki is giving moto customers across the country the opportunity to get behind the bars and sample the exhilarating 2018 RM-Z range at the RM-Z Ride Days. Running through November, the tour will visit leading tracks in NSW, QLD, SA, WA and VIC.

November MY18 RM-Z Ride Days announced
November MY18 RM-Z Ride Days announced

Within the 2018 RM-Z range, the all-new from the ground up RM-Z450 features a lighter, more rigid aluminium chassis giving riders sharper handling, better feel and taking the bike’s already renowned cornering capabilities to the next level.

All-new Showa 49mm A-kit derived spring front and Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) rear shock deliver improved responsiveness and terrain following, enhanced ability to absorb forces, better chassis stability, feedback and terrain feel, and improved comfort. The redesigned powerplant and new fuel-injection system punches out more low-end torque, a flatter overall torque curve, faster and yet more controllable throttle response, and more peak power.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z250
2018 Suzuki RM-Z250

The RM-Z250 continues to deliver a high level of performance for 2018 by incorporating a variety of features originally created for Suzuki’s factory race machines. The engine has been refined over the years to offer stellar mid-range power and torque is enhanced while maximum power is maintained. KYB PSF2 front forks and latest design rear shock provide smooth action with plenty of adjustment available to easily fine-tune to track conditions.

In addition, both the RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 feature Suzuki Holeshot Assist Control (S-HAC) which gives riders a choice of three settings which can be quickly selected via a handlebar-mounted switch to get that perfect start. Riders can also adjust the engine performance to suit varied track conditions. By plugging in either of two additional fuel-setting couplers, riders can opt for a richer-than-stock or leaner-than-stock fuel setting to make the most of any riding conditions.

As any racer will tell you, a good start is essential and the RM-Z450 delivers in that regard
2018 Suzuki RM-Z450

Included with the bikes, these couplers can be easily plugged in trackside. Top-shelf Renthal aluminum Fatbars are fitted as standard equipment, offering more strength and less vibration than standard size aluminium handlebars. Finished in Suzuki yellow with new blue highlights inspired from the works race bikes, the fresh styling on the 2018 RM-Zs make them recognisable at a glance.

Aimed at experienced motocross riders only (from ages 16 and over) the RM-Z Ride Days offers customers the chance to bring their current bike along and compare back to back against the machine of their choice. Technical insight and a briefing will be provided by Suzuki at each event.

Available bikes include are the 2018 RM-Z450 and 2018 RM-Z250.

2018 RM-Z Ride Days Dates & Venues

  • November 15th – Maitland Motorcycle Club, NSW
  • November 16th – Moreton District Motocross Club, QLD
  • November 21st – Gilman Motocross Track, SA
  • November 22nd – Wanneroo MX Club, WA
  • November 24th – Broadford Motorcycle Club, VIC
Suzuki's heavily updated for 2018 RM-Z450
Suzuki’s heavily updated for 2018 RM-Z450

2018 Suzuki RM-Z Ride Day requirements

  • RM-Z Ride Days are aimed at experienced riders only, they do not cater for novices.
  • Riders must bring their own protective equipment and clothing.
  • Riders are allowed to bring their own bike (regardless of brand) to ride whilst they are waiting for their test ride session.
  • Riders must be 16 years and above. Anyone under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Riders (if necessary parents/guardians) will be required to sign the track’s and Suzuki’s indemnity forms.
  • Riders must register via the booking form on suzukimotorcycles.com.au/ryi/rm-z
  • Confirmations and Final Instructions will be sent via email closer each event.
  • All tracks will be for the exclusive use of RM-Z Ride Days participants only.
  • The days are free of charge to those who have a current Motorcycling Australia racing or recreational license. A recreational day license can be purchased for $30 on the day for customers requiring one.

For further information on the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z Ride Days interested customers should visit their local Suzuki dealer, who can be found through the Dealer Locator on http://www.suzukimotorcycles.com.au/dealers (link)


Supp Regs Out for Dirt Track Titles

Motorcycling Australia (MA) have released the Supplementary Regulations and Entries for the 2017 Australian Senior Track Championships which will take place 08 – 09 December at the Oakburn Park Raceway, Tamworth in NSW.

2016 Chris Watson Motorcycles Yamaha Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships
Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships

Entry forms and Supplementary Regulations can be downloaded from the MA web site and close last mail Friday 1st December 2017. Late entries will not be accepted. Entries can be mailed to 3 Morning View Close, Qurindi NSW 2343 or email: joslade57@hotmail.com

Classes of Competition

  • *Under 19 150cc 2-stroke & 250cc 4-stroke
  • **Pro 250 100cc to 150cc 2-stroke & 200cc to 250cc 4-stroke
  • Pro 450 250cc 2-stroke & 450cc 4-stroke
  • 250cc Slider 150cc 2-stroke & 250cc 4-stroke
  • **Pro Open Unlimited (MX & Slider)
  • MX Open 500cc 2-stroke & Over 460cc 4-stroke
  • **500cc Slider Up to 500cc
  • Pro Open Women Unlimited
  • Dirt Track Sidecar Up to 1100cc
  • Track (Speedway) Sidecar Up to 1100cc
  • ATV 450 Up to 350cc 2-stroke & 450cc 4-stroke
  • ATV Open Up to 550cc 2-stroke & 700cc 4-stroke
  • ATV Open (Women) Up to 550cc 2-stroke & 700cc 4-stroke

Support Classes

  • Over 35s
  • Speedway Solos upto 500cc
  • Up to 250cc 13 to under 16 Track
  • 12 to 15 years 85cc 2 stroke and 150cc 4 stroke
  • 9 to 11 years 85cc 2 stroke and 150cc 4 stroke

* Rider must be under the age of 19 at the commencement of the event.

**Where there are insufficient entries for a Slider class, these classes may be combined with classes marked with asterisks in table above provided. All machines must have one effective brake where MX and Slider classes are combined.


Major Changes to 2018 AMA Supercross Championships

In a press conference held at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Feld Motor Sports announced a number of changes to the format of the 2018 AMA Supercross Championship, including a new point structure, the introduction of the Triple Crown, amateur racing, and more.

AMA SX - Hangtown
AMA SX – Hangtown

2018 Championship Points

  • 1st place – 26 points
  • 2nd Place – 23 points
  • 3rd place – 21 points
  • 4th place – 19 points
  • 5th place – 18 points
  • 6th place – 17 points
  • 7th place – 16 points
  • 8th place – 15 points
  • 9th place – 14 points
  • 10th place – 13 points
  • 11th place – 12 points
  • 12th place – 11 points
  • 13th place – 10 points
  • 14th place – 9 points
  • 15th place – 8 points
  • 16th place – 7 points
  • 17th place – 6 points
  • 18th place – 5 points
  • 19th place – 4 points
  • 20th place – 3 points
  • 21st place – 2 points
  • 22nd place – 1 point

East/West Showdowns

Indianapolis and Las Vegas will host East/West Showdowns with the following format:

  • Qualifying – 250SX West and East qualifying. Top 20 riders from qualifying advance to the heat races.
  • 250SX West And East Heat Races – Top 9 riders move to main event. Each heat is 6 min plus 1 lap.
  • 250SX LCQ: 22 riders. 1-4 move to main.
  • 250SX East/West Main Event: 22 riders, 15 min plus 1 lap.
Monster Energy Supercross - The Dome at America's Center - St. Louis - April 1, 2017
Monster Energy Supercross – The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis

Triple Crown

  • Anaheim 2, Minneapolis and Atlanta will make up the Triple Crown. Like the Monster Energy Cup, 250SX and 450SX will race three main events each.

New Qualifying Format

  • The semis are gone, and have been replaced with heat races and LCQs.

250SX and 450SX Heats

  • Two 20 rider heat races. Each heat race will be 6 mins plus 1 lap.
  • 1-9 will transfer to the main; 10-20 go to LCQ.

250SX and 450SX LCQS

  • The LCQs will feature 22 riders with the top four advancing to the main.
  • 5 min plus 1 lap.

Amateur Racing

Amateur racing is coming to Anaheim 2, Glendale, Tampa, and Atlanta.

  • Anaheim 2 – January 21, 2018
  • Glendale – January 28, 2018
  • Tampa – February 25, 2018
  • Atlanta – March 4, 2018
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Red Bull Straight Rhythm – Boring!

The annual Red Bull Straight Rhythm is dead! Last weekend is the last time we will have to sit through Ricky Johnson trying to make this form of racing sound exciting and watch a handful of riders going through the motions and pretend they want to be there. See report below.


RV Signs on as Answer Brand Ambassador

Answer Racing is pleased to announce the signing of multi-time SX and MX Champion Ryan Villopoto as a Brand Ambassador. After a very successful career, Ryan left the sport with nothing else to prove and basically rode off into the sunset. Now with a regained passion for motorcycles, Villopoto will represent the Answer brand as he sets out on his future endeavours.

Ryan Villopoto
Ryan Villopoto
Ryan Villopoto

“I am excited to start a long-term relationship with Answer Racing. Since my retirement, I have had time to plan my future with certain projects and races that I am passionate about. Answer Racing shares this same passion and I am excited to partner with them on very exciting things to come. In addition, creating content and new products for upcoming launches is something I am really looking forward to.”

Randy Valade – Answer Racing’s Marketing Manager

“Having Ryan join our always growing team is very exciting. Its not often a brand gets the opportunity to partner with such a legend in the sport. Not to mention, I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the future”.

Ryan made his Answer Racing debut last weekend at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm in the 250 Two-Stroke class.


Decotis Signs with JGR Suzuki

Autotrader/Yoshimura JGR Suzuki’s search for four 250-class riders is now down to two with former Australian Supercross Champion Jimmy Decotis joining Justin Hill for the 2018 season.

Jimmy Decotis
Jimmy Decotis
Jimmy Decotis

“I heard that Suzuki was making a big push with their 250 program, I immediately went to JGRMX and met with the team. Believe it or not, the first free sponsored bike I ever got was a Suzuki RM-Z250 when I was an amateur. John Dowd helped me get my foot in the door. I still think about the day the truck showed up with a free RM-Z250 in it. My dad and I were freaking out! I really liked the brand and did well, which is why I wanted to get back on yellow. I figured it was a good idea to visit with the team and throw my hat in the ring.”

Jeremy Albrecht – Team Manager

“I have known Jimmy for a while and always kept my eye on him. Now that we’ve reached a partnership with Suzuki Motor Corporation of America, Inc., we have the ability to field a full factory effort. Decotis was on my wish list. He strikes me as a consummate professional who knows what it takes to succeed. It goes without saying that Jimmy has the talent to perform at the highest level. I’m excited to begin working with Jimmy.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Suzuki OUT of MXGP and All-Japan MX

Suzuki Motor Corporation has officially decided to suspend its involvement in the FIM World MXGP Championship and All Japan Motocross Championships from 2018.

Suzuki Motor Corporation, having reviewed its Motorcycle operations to focus on the core business functions and restructuring of the motorcycle business, concluded to suspend the MXGP activities from 2018.

Stefan Everts left a lucrative development role at KTM to take over Suzuki’s MXGP effort in 2016 and as of late last week the 10-time World Motocross Champion is jobless.

Stefan Everts has been left out in the cold by Suzuki's change in policy
Stefan Everts has been left out in the cold by Suzuki’s change in policy

Suzuki will continue to produce RM-Z250 and 450 series and support those customers and expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilising the experiences earned through the Racing activities.

Suzuki Australia has reassuree its customers that it’s business as usual with regards to racing and motocross bike sales here in Australia. They have recently announced the 2018 Suzuki Support Rider (SSR) program which rewards senior riders who successfully compete on current generation RM-Z motorcycles in National/State Motocross and Supercross Championships, and are looking forward to travelling the country for the upcoming RM-Z customer test rides days in November.

For further information on the 2018 SSR Contingency Program (link) and the 2018 RM-Z Customer Test Ride Days (link) use the links provided.

 


REVO Husqvarna Expands

REVO Husqvarna UK is stepping up the pace next year, undertaking an international race programme and fielding an expanded three-pro-rider line-up along with a rising youth star.

Mel Pocock, the 2017 Michelin MX Nationals MX2 champion remains with the REVO Husqvarna UK team for 2018
Mel Pocock, the 2017 Michelin MX Nationals MX2 champion remains with the REVO Husqvarna UK team for 2018

Mel Pocock, the 2017 Michelin MX Nationals MX2 champion, stays with the team and is joined by highly-rated 17-year-old Dylan Woodcock. A third rider, who cannot be named yet for contractual reasons, will be announced on October 28 at the International Dirt Bike Show at Stoneleigh Park.

With increased support from Husqvarna UK all three will campaign the manufacturer’s race-winning FC 250 in the 2018 Maxxis ACU British Motocross MX2 Championship, the full European EMX250 series and selected rounds of the Michelin MX Nationals.

Mark Yates – Team Principal

“I’m really looking forward to 2018. We’re stepping up our game again next year with three full-time pro riders and also supporting young Ollie Colmer on a small-wheeled 85cc machine. We’ll have a much bigger presence in the paddock with a lot more investment in the team. It’s very exciting to be doing the full European series and having a good go at it with three riders – I’m confident we can do well. Mel’s a former European champion so he’s the perfect man to show Dylan the ropes and with our third rider, who I can’t name yet because of contractual obligations, I believe we’ve got an incredibly competitive team.

Mel Pocock – MX2

“It’s obviously great for me to be staying with the team for 2018. It’s totally professional in its approach to racing and feels like a second-home – the atmosphere is as good as it gets and I’m 100 per cent confident in the capabilities of the FC 250. This year has been a solid and successful one for me but I know there’s much more to come. I’m also very excited to be doing a full EMX250 season. I won the European title in 2012 and it would be an amazing achievement to regain it six years later and with such a great team behind me I know it’s possible.”

Dylan Woodcock – MX2

“I’m really looking forward to next season. I’ve ridden the Husqvarna once and, obviously, after being on Kawasaki for so long it feels very different but I took to it very well so I’m very optimistic – it’s going to be a good year. Racing the full EMX250 series is very exciting. I did the last round in France this year but it was very wet and more of a survival race so I don’t feel as though I gave it a good shot. My team-mates are very experienced which will be a big help. I train with Mel in the gym with Sol Gilbert so I’ve got a good winter of preparation ahead of me.”


Tixier to BOS KTM

After two years with the factory Kawasaki team the 2014 MX2 World Champion, Jordi Tixier will race for the Olivier Bossard owned BOS KTM team in the 2018 MXGP season.

Olivier Bossard

“The time has come for us to move ahead and make a team at the bos suspension initiative. We will no longer be a “supplier” but directly actor to demonstrate our know-how and our mastery in our field. Our products are known for their technology, performance and reliability for a machine, now we want to prove that our fourches (front forks) and amortisseurs (rear shock) can make a difference on any motorcycle. We have everything to succeed… place to race!”

Jordi Tixier
Jordi Tixier will join the BOS KTM team for the 2018 MXGP season
Jordi Tixier

“The motivation of Olivier Bossard and the whole team BOS suspension makes me very happy! I have already used the BOS Suspensions in my last year in MX2, and I have to say that I was impressed by their efficiency, more precise and safer. We will use a KTM 450 SX-F for the 2018 season and obviously use the BOS suspension. Innovations and surprises are waiting… this will allow us to work, to train. I want to be in front during the 2018 season.”


Fontanesi’s Japanese Adventure

2017 World Motocross Champion Kiara Fontanesi raced the rain drenched final round of the All-Japan Motocross championships last weekend in Sugo and it looks like the Yamaha rider had a tough time in ridiculous conditions – here is what she wrote on social media:

2017 World Motocross Champion Kiara Fontanesi
2017 World Motocross Champion Kiara Fontanesi took part in the final round of the All-Japan Motocross championships in Sugo

“Definitely the toughest race of my life. Never seen so much water on the track. Race one I could only finish 24th – struggling a lot with the mud on the grip with gloves and race two I was 12th with a good pace when I got a technical problem and I had to retire.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

Smart’s Race Reports

2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm – Pomona, CA

The Red Bull Straight Rhythm returned for its fourth year of head-to-head racing last Saturday in Pomona, California and predictably it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin who for the second year running came home the victor this time ahead of part-time racer Josh Hansen and his new teammate Broc Tickle who rounded out the podium with a third.

Marvin Musquin
Marvin Musquin – Image by Simon Cudby

Marvin Musquin has never lost a race at Red Bull Straight Rhythm, and this year was no different. Fastest qualifier and defending champ in the Open Class, he lined up for his first quarterfinal run against Colton Haaker, got off to a great start, and took an easy win. With Haaker bowing out of the second run, Musquin won the necessary two out of three quarterfinal runs to advance to the semifinals.

Musquin was up against Kyle Chisholm in the semifinals, then dominated two runs to eliminate Chisholm and advance to the finals against Josh Hansen where he came out of the elevated start house like a missile in the first run and took the win, then got a great start in the second run and stayed consistent to take another win and the overall victory on the night for the second year in a row.

Marvin Musquin - Image by Simon Cudby
Marvin Musquin – Image by Simon Cudby
Marvin Musquin

“I had a great weekend coming off Monster Cup. Red Bull Straight Rhythm is such a cool event, and everyone had a great time. The fans were really excited. I was able to win everything, so it’s pretty special for me. I’m looking forward to next year.”

This was Broc Tickle’s first year racing at Red Bull Straight Rhythm, and his results didn’t disappoint. He lined up for his first quarterfinal bracket run in the Open Class against Alex Ray and got off to a great start. With both riders neck and neck, he took the the lead halfway down the track then claimed the win. Both riders were pretty equal at the start of the second run, but Tickle had Ray covered to take a double win and advance to the semifinals.

After getting second in his first semifinal run against Josh Hansen, he, unfortunately, made a mistake in his second semifinal run which would eliminate him from racing in the finals.

He lined up for the first third-place match against Kyle Chisholm and was neck and neck at the start. He had a slight advantage that he stretched out to the finish to take the win. He got the holeshot in the second run and took the win to take third overall in the class.

Broc Tickle - Image by Simon Cudby
Broc Tickle – Image by Simon Cudby
Broc Tickle

“I had a lot of fun. My weakness is definitely going fast for 40 seconds, but I’m so happy with how I did and the bike was great. I over jumped in the semifinal with Hansen, and that set me back a little bit, but I’m stoked with the event. I had a great time and it was a good show. Watching the 2-strokes and the 250’s was great. It was fun to be here and be part of everything.”

Shane McElrath also wrapped up his second Straight Rhythm victory in the 250 class while the much awaited return of Chad Reed went pear shaped with the Aussie hurting his ankle during practice leaving Gared Steinke to take the 2-Stroke class over the arch rival of everyone, Ronnie Mac.

Shane McElrath
Shane McElrath
Shane McElrath

“This is a fun event but we don’t come here and just kind of write it off. We come here and race serious and work on whatever we can work on here to take over to the supercross track. I still hate to lose. Winning still feels good. I’m going to use that and take things that I’ve learned here to go to the supercross track, whether it’s bike setup or technique something or whatever.”

Despite all efforts to make the event exciting it was for all intents and purposed a dead-set flop and there have been lawn bowls events that have had more action so don’t expect to see this on the calendar in 2018.

450 Class Top Four

  1. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  2. Josh Hansen (Suz)
  3. Broc Tickle (KTM)
  4. Kyle Chisolm

250 Class Top Four

  1. Shane McElrath (KTM)
  2. Sean Cantrell (KTM)
  3. Alex Martin (KTM)
  4. Ryan Sipes (Hus)

2-Stroke Class Top Four

  1. Gared Steinke (KTM)
  2. Ronnie Mac (Hon)
  3. Ryan Sipes (Hus)
  4. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

FIM World Enduro Championship
Round 8 – GP of Germany (Zschoppau)

Beta’s Steve Holcombe and KTM’s Josep Garcia are the 2017 EnduroGP and Enduro2 champions respectively after a hard fought final round in the hills of Zschoppau, Germany last weekend.

EnduroGP – Day 1

Day one belonged to Holcombe who entered the event with a commanding 40-point advantage at the top of the championship standings and the Beta rider continued that dominance with a class win to wrap up the title.

Steve Holcombe
Steve Holcombe – Image by Future7Media
Steve Holcombe

“It feels great to finally wrap-up the EnduroGP World Championship title. I really wanted to win the championship in front of my home fans at the last round of the series, but to finally win is amazing. It’s been a long, hard season, with many great battles – it’s been an amazing year for me. I didn’t feel like I was riding too well, but I felt relaxed all day and I think that really helped. The tests were really good, like I remember them from the ISDE here. It’s cool to win the title at a true enduro event.”

Back from the hand injury that forced him to miss the penultimate round of the series in Great Britain, Christophe Nambotin (KTM) proved to be Holcombe’s strongest challenger as the former three-time world champion pushed hard for the win.

Topping two of the day’s special tests, Nambotin’s lack of race fitness ultimately saw him fall back from the Beta rider but he nevertheless secured a well-deserved runner-up result ahead of Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) who rounded out the podium, just eight seconds behind Nambotin. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) finished fourth and a further eight seconds back while Giacomo Redondi (Honda) rounded out the top five.

EnduroGP – Day 1 Results

  1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 53:42.03
  2. Christophe Nambotin (FRA), KTM, 54:04.42 +20.39
  3. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 54:10.58 +28.55
  4. Matthew Phillips (AUS), Sherco, 54:19.03 +37.00
  5. Giacomo Redondi (ITA), Honda, 55:12.58 +1:30.55

Enduro 2 – Day 1

Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) claimed his first victory of the series, placing ahead of championship leader Josep Garcia (KTM) and brother Jamie McCanney (Yamaha).

Danny McCanney
Danny McCanney
Danny McCanney

“Obviously, I wanted to be doing this (winning) earlier in the year but to finally get a win feels great. I felt really confident throughout the day and I was able to push hard during the enduro test, which I really liked. I didn’t make any mistakes, made a strong start to the day, and managed to get the win. It was a very close battle with myself, Josep and Jamie.”

For much of the day Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) held the runner-up spot but a mistake on the final extreme test cost him dearly. Finishing 17th in class on the test in question, he fell behind championship rival Josep Garcia (KTM) in the day’s eventual result, as the Spaniard took the runner-up result.

With Jamie placing third, Davide Guarneri (Honda) improved his speed as the day progressed to finish just nine seconds from the podium. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna), Eero Remes (TM) and Daniel Sanders rounded out the top seven.

Enduro 2 – Day 1 Results

  1. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 54:03.71
  2. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 54:15.37 +11.66
  3. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 54:16.81 +13.10
  4. Davide Guarneri (ITA), Honda, 54:25.99 +22.28
  5. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 55:20.68 +1:16.97
  6. Eero Remes (TM)
  7. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 56:23.76 +2:20.05

EW – Day 1

Separated by just 0.17 of a second, Maria Franke (KTM) and Laia Sanz (KTM) finished close to five-and-a-half minutes ahead of third placed Jane Daniels in the Woman’s class, as they continued their battle for title honours.

Laia Sanz - Image by Future7Media
Laia Sanz – Image by Future7Media

With Franke’s win halving Sanz’ points advantage at the top of the championship to just three points, the two riders have everything to go for and nothing to lose on the final and deciding day of the EnduroGP World Championship.

Enduro Women – Day 1 Results

  1. Maria Franke (DEU), KTM, 40:33.98
  2. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 40:34.15 +0.17
  3. Jane Daniels (GBR), Husqvarna, 45:58.83 +5:24.85
  4. Juliette Berrez (FRA), Yamaha, 53:39.96 +13:05.98

Enduro GP – Day 2

Steve Holcombe rounded out the GP of Germany and his championship winninng year in perfect fashion by topping the result sheets ahead of Loic Larrieu (Yamaha), Christophe Nambotin (KTM) and Matthew Phillips (Sherco).

Steve Holcombe was crowned on Day 1
Steve Holcombe was crowned Champion on Day 1
Steve Holcombe

“Winning the title yesterday was amazing, but finishing the championship with a double class win is pretty special. It’s my first double class win, and I wanted to make sure I won the Mika Ahola Enduro Test award. The conditions certainly made things tougher today, but it was great – a real enduro. To finally have a wet race was a nice way to end the championship.”

Christophe Nambotin - Image by Future7Media
Christophe Nambotin – Image by Future7Media
Christophe Nambotin

“The GP of Germany has been a great event for me. The conditions have been difficult but I enjoy it when it’s like this. I made a couple of mistakes in the cross test, which cost me some time. But the pace at the top has been really fast all weekend and I am happy with how I have ridden. Fifth in the championship is great considering I missed a few days due to injury.”

EnduroGP – Day 2 Results

  1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 58:27.64
  2. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 58:57.98 +30.34
  3. Christophe Nambotin (FRA), KTM, 59:12.38 +44.74
  4. Matt Phillips (AUS), Sherco, 1:01:03.58 +2:35.94
  5. Giacomo Redondi (ITA), Honda, 1:01:05.51 +2:37.87

EnduroGP – Final Standings

  1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 350 points
  2. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 302
  3. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 259
  4. Matt Phillips (AUS), Sherco, 252
  5. Christophe Nambotin (FRA), KTM, 222

Enduro 2 – Day 2

Needing to claim just a handful of points to claim the title, Josep Garcia made a strong start to the day as he battled with McCanney brothers Jamie and Danny at the top of the Enduro 2 class. Easing his pace a little as the day neared its close, Garcia’s fifth place result was more than enough for the Spaniard to win his first world championship title.

Josep Garcia
Josep Garcia – Image by Future7Media
Josep Garcia

“I don’t really have the words to describe what it feels like to be world champion. This is a victory for all of the team. It was a difficult day today, with the rain we had last night, but I like muddy conditions. Also, I had some points on my side, so I knew that I didn’t need to win to secure the championship. I pushed hard enough, but without taking any chances. It’s been an incredible year.”

Josep Garcia crowned Enduro 2 champion
Josep Garcia crowned Enduro 2 Champion – Image by Future7Media

With Garcia lifting the Enduro2 World Championship, Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) ended his season on a high note with victory over his brother Danny – winner on day one. Claiming his 13th podium of the season, Jamie finished four seconds ahead of Danny with Finn Eero Remes (TM) 58 seconds behind in third.

Daniel Sanders
Daniel Sanders – Image by Future7Media

Australian Daniel Sanders rode his KTM 250EXC to a disappointing 11th on day 2 but the Aussie ended the series in 8th overall.

Daniel Sanders

“I really enjoyed it here in Zschopau – this is what enduro is all about. The crowd were amazing and the tracks were great. I am disappointed my results weren’t a little better, but all in all the end of the season has been good for me.”

Enduro 2 – Day 2 Results

  1. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 59:38.66
  2. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 59:42.69 +4.03
  3. Eero Remes (FIN), TM, 1:00:41.30 +1:02.64
  4. Davide Guarneri (ITA), Honda, 1:00:42.78 +1:04.12
  5. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:00:42.96 +1:04.30
    …11. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 1:03:17.00 +3:38.34

Enduro 2 – Final Standings

  1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 350 points
  2. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 344
  3. Eero Remes (FIN), TM, 309
  4. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 274
  5. Danny McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 254
    …8. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 187

EW – Day 2

In the Woman’s class the head-to-head battle between Maria Franke (KTM) and Laia Sanz (KTM) failed to materialise as Sanz was forced to retire after just two special tests following a technical issue. Winning the day by more than two minutes, Maria Franke secured her first ever world championship title

Maria Franke
Maria Franke – Image by Future7Media
Maria Franke

“My dream was always to win a world title in motocross but to win an enduro title here in Germany is incredible. I worked hard during the off-season to be ready to challenge for this title, and that hard work was certainly worth it. I feel sorry for Laia because it is never nice to have technical problems. But this is a very special moment for me, it’s great to finally win a world championship.”

Laia Sanz

“Obviously, I’m disappointed the championship has ended the way it has but it happens sometimes. On the plus side, I am happy with how the season has gone. Both Maria and I have really taken a huge step forward in terms of pace and we have had a great battle all season long. For me now, my focus is on rally. It would have been nice to finish off my enduro career with another world title but it wasn’t meant to be. I am a little sad, but have to look forward to the future now.”

Enduro Women – Day 2 Results

  1. Maria Franke (DEU), KTM, 44:10.58
  2. Jane Daniels (GBR), Husqvarna, 46:15.72 +2:05.14 2017

Enduro Women – Final Standings

  1. Maria Franke (DEU), KTM, 141 points
  2. Jane Daniels (GBR), Husqvarna, 122
  3. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 119
  4. Jessica Gardiner (AUS), Yamaha, 69
  5. Mireia Badia (ESP), Husqvarna, 48
Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S

MX Fest – Taupo – New Zealand

Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider Kayne Lamont has made his MX1 class debut a winning one at the annual MX Fest event in Taupo claiming the overall victory after a day-long battle with reigning national MX1 champion Cody Cooper.

Kayne Lamont
Kayne Lamont

Lamont kicked off the weekend by winning Saturday’s supercross style ‘Speedcross’ event over Brad Groombridge, Blake Gillard and Cooper before finishing runner-up to Cooper after the regulation three MX1 class races on Sunday.

Cooper finished 1-2-1 in the three outings and Lamont 2-1-2 before the quick-fire, knock-out feature races, a whittling-back process that eventually left Lamont, Cooper and Dion Steiner to race the final winner-takes-all one-lap shoot-out.

When Cooper crashed out in the first turn of that final showdown, Lamont went on to take the shoot-out honours and win the MX1 class over Cooper and Groombridge.

Kayne Lamont

“I showed lots of speed all day and that’s despite the fact that I’m still getting used to the new bike. It’s a couple of months now before the nationals begin and, with a little more time riding this bike, I think I can only get better.”

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S