Moto News Weekly Wrap

December 19, 2017 – By Darren Smart

Smarty's Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

Latest News

  • Reed Cleared to Ride Again
  • Aussie Senior Solo Championship Calendar Announced
  • Yamaha AORC Class Breakdown for Season 2018
  • Yamaha AORC Junior Coaching Program Returns in 2018
  • Horsham Ready for 2018 World Juniors
  • Makeham Dominates Twilight Race
  • Luke Styke switches from MX to Enduro
  • Roczen Leads Honda into 2018
  • Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM Promotes Michael Byrne
  • 2018 GNCC Race Schedule Announced
  • Colt Nichols Injured in Practice Crash
  • Jeremy Seewer Signs with Wilvo Yamaha
  • Christophe Pourcel Retires
  • Date Change for 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro
  • MXGP of Italy to Host Final Round in 2018
  • De Waal and Weltin Sign for Vamo Honda Racing

Reed Cleared to Ride Again

Chad Reed has been cleared to begin riding, 24 days ahead of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross opener at Anaheim on January 6, according to a post on his Instagram page.

Chad Reed - Image by Hoppenworld
Chad Reed – Image by Hoppenworld
Chad Reed

“Dr gave me the tick today. Bone is healed and ready for walking and moto (now I need range of motion) Time to get 2 bikes built up so I can get back on a bike soon.”

Reed underwent surgery in late October to repair two fractures in his ankle (talus) sustained at Red Bull Straight Rhythm and is expected to ride Husqvarna machinery with sponsorship from Boost Mobile Australia, with veteran wrench Mike Gosselaar serving as mechanic.

Aussie Senior Solo Championship Calendar Announced

The Australian Speedway Senior Solo Championship is back and ready to kick it up a gear, in 2018 we will see Australia’s best battle it out to take home the title.

Jason Doyle leading heat one at the Melbourne FIM Speedway GP 2017 - Image by Colin Rosewarne
Melbourne FIM Speedway GP 2017 – Image by Colin Rosewarne

The field includes returning champion Sam Masters who will have his hands full trying to retain his title, with the likes of Justin Sedgmen, Max Fricke and Rohan Tungate hot on his heels.

2017 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Championship winner Sam Masters shared; “I’m feeling good coming into the 2018 championship as I’ve been training harder than ever before, but speedway is a very unpredictable sport so we just never know what can happen.”

Sam Masters sideways - Image By Colin Rosewanre
Sam Masters sideways – Image By Colin Rosewanre

Speedway fans can expect fireworks from night one of the 2018 championship as we kick off at Loxford Park Speedway on 6 January, followed by Undera Speedway on 10 January, Olympic Park Speedway on 12 January and wrapping up the season with a thrilling final round at Gillman Speedway on 14 January.

The Official 2018 Australia Speedway Solo Championship calendar

  • Round 1 – January 6th – Loxford Park Speedway – Dickson Road, Kurri-Kurri
  • Round 2 – January 10th – Undera Speedway – Echuca Road, Undera
  • Round 3 – January 12th – Olympic Park Speedway – Regina Ave, Mildura
  • Round 4 – January 14th – Gillman Speedway – Wilkins Road, Gillman

Yamaha AORC Class Breakdown for Season 2018

Motorcycling Australia (MA) has released a series of amendments to the classes from last season ahead of the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship (AORC).

In 2018 the EJ class eligibility has changed slightly with riders having to be 18 years of age or under on 1 January to compete.

AORC 2017 - Derek Grundy - Image by John Pearson
AORC 2017 – Derek Grundy – Image by John Pearson

AORC will also see for the first time the inclusion of support classes at certain rounds in 2018. The three support classes will be the 125 Amateur Cup (125cc 2-Stroke, Rounds 5 & 6 and 10 & 11), Pony Express (All Powers, Rounds 7 and 10 & 11) and Vintage (Evo Pre 86, Rounds 5 & 6).

2017 E2 Champion Daniel Milner will be on the move on his KTM Enduro Racing team bike for season 2018 as he leaves the E2 class after his perfect season, and will compete in E3 this coming season. His teammate and E3 Champion Lyndon Snodgrass will swap places with Milner and move into the E2 class for the 2018 season.

Daniel Milner
Daniel Milner

Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Rider Wil Ruprecht is coming off a second championship-winning year after taking out EJ in 2016 and E1 in 2017. Ruprecht will be trying for a 3rd successive championship, although he is yet to confirm what class he will race in 2018.

After a dominant season in 2016 with AORC and a stint in the EnduroGP in 2017, 2018 will also see the return of Daniel Sanders to the championship, which is a welcome return to AORC on his Husqvarna Factory Off-Road Racing Team bike.

Senior Championship Classes

  • E1: 100cc to 200cc 2-Stroke and 150cc to 250cc 4-Stroke
  • E2: 220cc to 250cc 2-Stroke and 275cc to 450cc 4-Stroke
  • E3: 290cc to 500cc 2-Stroke and 475cc to 650cc 4-Stroke
  • EJ: All powers (Rider must be 18 years or under on 1 January of the competition year)
  • Veterans: All Powers (Rider must be 35+ years of age before 1 January 2018)
  • Masters: All Powers (Rider must be 45+ years of age before 1 January 2018)
  • Women: All Powers
Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha)
Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha) – 2017 AORC E1 Champion

Junior Championship Classes

  • J2: 12-15 years 85cc 2-Stroke and up to 150cc 4-Stroke
  • J3: 13-14 years 125cc to 200cc 2-Stroke and 200cc to 250cc 4-Stroke
  • J4: 15 years 125cc to 200cc 2-Stroke and 200cc to 250cc 4-Stroke

Support Classes (*only at selected rounds)

  • 125 Amateur Cup: 125cc 2-Stroke (*Round 5 & 6, Round 10 & 11)
  • Pony Express: All Powers (*Round 7 & Round 10 &11)
  • Vintage: Evo Pre 86 (*Round 5 & 6)

2018 Australian Off-Road Championship Calendar

  • Round 1 & 2: Gympie, QLD 10 – 11 March 2018
  • Round 3 & 4: Hedley, VIC 5 – 6 May 2018
  • Round 5 & 6: Dungog, NSW 28 – 29 July 2018
  • Round 7: Broken Hill, NSW 1 – 2 Sept 2018
  • Round 8 & 9: Stonefield, SA 22 – 23 Sept 2018
  • Round 10 & 11: Omeo, VIC 6 – 7 Oct 2018

For more information go to

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Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

Yamaha AORC Junior Coaching Program Return in 2018

Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will each host an AORC Junior Coaching day in 2018 where young, aspiring Off-Road riders will be coached by Australia’s top and most renowned Enduro riders with all proceeds going towards the fundraising for the 2018 ISDE team.

AORC Juniors
AORC Junior Coaching Program returns in 2018

For a mere $200.00 all juniors aged between 12-16 years will be coached by Josh Green, Wil Ruprecht, Jess Gardiner, Daniel Milner, Lyndon Snodgrass, Daniel Sanders, Peter Boyle, Lachlan Stanford, Fraser Higlett and Jemma Wilson.

Entries close on the 28th of January 2017 (Unless spots fill prior to this date)

The Junior Coaching dates are as follows

  • Saturday 3rd February 2018, 9am – 3pm – Stroud, NSW – Coaches/Riders – Josh Green, Wil Ruprecht & Jess Gardiner
  • Saturday 10th February 2018, 9am – 3pm – Yarra Valley, VIC – Coaches/Riders – Daniel Milner, Lyndon Snodgrass, Daniel Sanders and Peter Boyle
  • Saturday 17th February 2018, 9am – 3pm – Gympie, QLD – Coaches/Riders – Lachlan Stanford, Fraser Higlett & Jemma Wilson

For more information go to

Horsham Ready for World Juniors

After an inspection by Youthstream and FIM officials, the Horsham Motorcycle Club is set to host the 2018 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship from the 24th to the 26th of August.

Horsham welcomes the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship in 2018
Horsham welcomes the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship in 2018

Horsham is the capital of Wimmera located in the Grampians North West Region of Victoria, Australia approximately 300 km from Melbourne. A vibrant city that has a regional growing population of 20,000 people with the beautiful Wimmera River flowing through the centre. The area has diverse business industries such as agriculture, health services, education, Arts, Culture, and tourism.

The Horsham Motorcycle club is a renowned Australian track for the continuous improvements to its facilities. The track is considered to be relatively fast and flowing with various obstacles.

Recently Youthstream Representative, Patricia Maskarova and MXGP Race Director, Mr. Ingo Partsch travelled to the site of the event to meet with Kenny Watts, President of the Horsham Motorcycle Club, Peter Brown, CEO of Horsham Rural City Council, Jacqui Hill, Secretary of Horsham Motorcycle Club, Pam Clarke, Mayor of Horsham Rural City Council, Mark Hancock, Clerk of Course, and Laurie Pearson, Treasurer of the Horsham Motorcycle Club.

As a result of the Inspection Youthstream and the FIM are very satisfied and both are very pleased to see the support and willingness of the town and local council to be part of what wil be one of the biggest motorcycle events on the 2018 calendar.

Makeham Dominates Twilight Race

It has been a very tough couple of years for Victorian motocross ace Kale Makeham who has had to over-come a series of injuries to get back on the track but last Saturday night the Yamaha rider completely dominated the Twilight Stadium Motocross event at Bachus Marsh – here is what Kale posted on FB:

Kale Makeham back in 2016
Kale Makeham back in 2016
Kale Makeham

‘Had a great night at the Bacchus Marsh twilight meeting last night! I managed to get some wins in the 250 and 450 class then also take out the Dash For Cash and Super Pole Shootout. After 18 months of injuries with a dislocated shoulder, severe concussion, broken femur, Grade 5 AC shoulder separation then some cracked ribs it was a huge relief to finish a race healthy, happy and ready for more. Massive thankyou to @toriwilkinson and @richhore for giving up their Saturday to come and support me and also @wbr_motorcycles @wbr_racing @yamahamotoraus @ymf_ymi_aus @mxinkracing for enabling me to be out there racing again!

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Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

Luke Styke Signs with Active8 Yamaha

Well, this is a surprise – former MX National champion, Luke Styke has signed with the Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team to compete in the 2018 Australian Off-Road Championships.

Styke, who won the 2013 MX Nationals and 2013 Australian Supercross Championship for Yamaha, will return to the bLU cRU for 2018, this time in off road racing where the change of environment has reinvigorated and energised the 26 year old racer, as he takes on another chapter in his career.

Luke Styke signs with Active8 Yamaha
Luke Styke signs with Active8 Yamaha
Luke Styke

“I came to the end of the MX Nationals and just felt I needed a change. I had raced motocross for so long and things were becoming a bit stale but I didn’t want to stop racing so I looked at other options and off road really appealed to me. I did a few off-road events a while ago and I enjoyed them so I began talking with AJ Roberts and Yamaha about it and they were really receptive to the idea so we started to look at things a little more seriously. At the moment, it is all new to me and I have so much to learn about off road but I’m excited every time I get on the bike, keen to learn more about it and really up for the challenge of doing something completely new and out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a lot of time prior to round one but I will do everything I can to be fit and ready to go and can’t wait to start the new era of my racing career.”

Styke will join incumbent Active8 Yamaha riders Josh Green, Wil Ruprecht, Damon Stokie and Beau Ralston in a huge off road line up and one that has team manager, AJ Roberts, looking forward to a huge season in 2018.

Josh Green
Josh Green and AJ Roberts
AJ Roberts

“Having Luke on board has really energised the team. He is a strong and positive personality that has really rubbed off well on his team mates and he brings another level of rider experience to our team. No question he is green when it comes to off road but I think he has the skills and desire to make it to the top of off road and there is no doubt in his mind that he is capable of winning rounds and championships. It will a challenge for himself and the team but I’m confident we will all rise to the occasion and enjoy a successful year. We also have Josh, Wil, Beau and Damon back with us which is great news as they have become established stars in off road racing. We have plenty of experience across all disciplines of off road racing and the 2018 season is going to be huge for us and we look forward to a successful year with a talented group of riders.”

Roczen Leads Honda into 2018

Honda introduced its GEICO Honda and Honda HRC teams for 2018 this week with the line-up including Ken Roczen and Cole Seely for Team HRC Honda while Jeremy Martin, Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire, Chase Sexton, and Cameron McAdoo will be on GEICO Honda machinery. Honda also re-introduced the returning team manager for HRC Honda, Eric Kehoe, as well as the new team manager for GEICO Honda, Dan Bentley.

Roczen is looking particularly sharp at the Honda test track after spending the last month in Central California doing an intense boot camp at the Castillo Ranch with Adam Cianciarulo and Adam and Tyler Enticknap.

Ken Roczen
Ken Roczen
Ken Roczen

“I’m working out, my body is strong, I’m fit already and mentally focusses. I’m coming this year into Anaheim 1 even more prepared than I have ever been, so my goal is pretty simple, I am going to win again.”

Jeremy Martin will be riding the first three rounds on a favtory CRF450R in the 450 class before heading back to the 250 class to contest the 250 East series.

Jeremy Martin

“I’m extremely excited to be lining up on the gate at Anaheim 1 on a factory Honda. I really enjoyed riding in the 450SX class at Daytona last year and having some success with the team, so I’m looking forward to building on that at the first three rounds of supercross. I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity and show what I’m capable of. It will also be a good chance to get some gate drops in before I start the 250SX East Region series in Arlington.”

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM Promotes Michael Byrne

Former Australian Motocross and Supercross Champion Michael Byrne has been promoted to co-manager of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM team alongside team owner Forrest Butler. Last year Byrne was the assistant manager and was mostly working with the riders, but this year he will be helping Forrest with team sponsor duties and have a bigger role with the team in general.

Smarty's Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

2018 GNCC Race Schedule Announced

Racer Productions, promoter of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) have announced the 2018 schedule with the 13-round series taking place in nine different states through the eastern half of the United States, making stops at many of the series’ traditional favourites, while adding three all-new venues to the schedule.

Ricky Russell took the holeshot - Image Ken Hill
GNCC 2017 – Ironman – Image Ken Hill
GNCC Trail Boss Jeff Russell

“We’ve taken the time to develop a one-of-a-kind GNCC schedule, and it’s already shaping up to be a great season. The three new venues all have something different to offer and should be an instant hit with the GNCC Racing Nation. It’s been over 15 years since we’ve been at the High Point Raceway property. By being able to host and start the race on the Mathews Farm, we are excited to layout a brand new track that will cross over to one of America’s most iconic motocross tracks, as well as travel between Pennsylvania and Racer Productions’ home-state of West Virginia.”

The schedule welcomes back many of its most seasoned venues for 2018, including Steele Creek in Morganton, North Carolina; Camp Coker Bullet in Society Hill, South Carolina; X-Factor in Peru, Indiana; The John Penton in Millfield, Ohio; Tomahawk in Odessa, New York; West Virginia’s popular Snowshoe GNCC; St. Clairsville, Ohio’s Powerline Park; and the Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

2018 AMSOIL GNCC Racing Schedule:

  • Rnd 1: Feb. 24/25 Big Buck – Union, SC
  • Rnd 2: Mar. 10/11 Wild Boar – Palatka, FL
  • Rnd 3: Mar. 17/18 TBA, GA
  • Rnd 4: April 7/8 Steele Creek – Morganton, NC
  • Rnd 5: April 21/22 Camp Coker Bullet – Society Hill
  • Rnd 6: May 12/13 X-Factor – Peru, IN
  • Rnd 7: May 26/27 The John Penton – Millfield, OH
  • Rnd 8: June 9/10 Tomahawk – Odessa, NY
  • Rnd 9: June 23/24 Snowshoe – Snowshoe, WV
  • Rnd 10: Sept. 15/16 Black Sky – Harpursville, NY
  • Rnd 11: Sept. 29/30 Mason-Dixon – Mount Morris, PA
  • Rnd 12: Oct. 13/14 Powerline Park – St. Clairsville, OH
  • Rnd 13: Oct. 27/28 Ironman – Crawfordsville, IN

Colt Nichols Injured in Practice Crash

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols has sustained a broken upper arm in a recent practice crash and according to team manager Will Hahn, “Colt got hurt and will be ready for the 250SX East Coast. He got surgery straight away and is recovering great already.”

In his first year with the team in 2017, Nichols sustained a broken femur during the 2016 off-season. He recovered in time to make the 250SX East Region opener in Minneapolis. The following round in Atlanta, Nichols landed on the podium, and followed it up with a fourth in Toronto.

Jeremy Seewer Signs with Wilvo Yamaha

Yamaha Motor Europe has inked a two-year deal with the two-time MX2 vice World Champion Jeremy Seewer to complete a strong three-man line-up for Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP in the 2018 MXGP series.

23-year-old Seewer is one of the most exciting riders to make the jump into the premier class in 2018 and he will be armed with the all-new 2018 Yamaha YZ450F alongside the experienced pairing of Arnaud Tonus and Shaun Simpson.

Jeremy Seewer
Jeremy Seewer heads to Wilvo Yamaha in 2018
Jeremy Seewer

“I am happy that Yamaha had interest in me immediately because I feel like I have a bit of a connection with them through my support network and iXS, my gear brand. This made the decision to sign with Yamaha really easy. I have been to the Wilvo Yamaha team’s headquarters in The Netherlands and it looked really good to me. It seems they have big plans for the future. It’s not like they only want to be involved for a few years, they’ve really invested and have a strong plan to be successful. They are so passionate about motocross and very professional and that’s why it made an easy decision to choose this team. I’ve already been riding on Arnaud Tonus’ bike, which was a bit strange because I have been riding a different manufacturer my whole life. Changing to Yamaha I was really excited and interested to know how it will be. I was so surprised at how my first ride on the bike went. After a few laps, I felt at home already and that was without making any changes to the bike. I didn’t even change the handlebars or anything, I just rode it how Arnaud rides it. It was quite funny; with no changes I could already throw some scrubs and stuff after only a few laps. I felt good immediately; it’s a good bike. I will only need to make some changes to make it more comfortable for me and to suit my riding style, but I already know the base is really good.”

Christophe Pourcel Retires

2006 FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship and two-time AMA Supercross Champion Christophe Pourcel has called time on his highly successful thirteen-year professional motocross/supercross racing career.

Christophe Pourcel
Christophe Pourcel retires
Christophe Pourcel – Instagram

“Well, today is the day, I am pleased to announce my retirement from racing. It’s all I’ve ever known, but I have been so blessed and fortunate to race all around the world in front of many fans and to work with many great companies. From racing GP’s, winning a world championship, then coming to America, two super cross championships, winning races… and now finding a new life here in the states, racing has given me so much. Those good times don’t come without tough times, from my paralysing accident in 2007, internal injuries, countless collar bones, to my most recent neck fractures… I’ve had my fair share of injuries but I’m happy to walk away happy and healthy. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life away from racing. I’ve sacrificed so much in life, things that are normal for most people, to dedicate my life to racing and training. I want to enjoy this time now with my wife, family, and friends and to say THANK YOU to all the great people and companies that have supported me throughout my career and to the fans who have enjoyed watching me race. It’s been a tough decision, I know I can still be competitive but my body has said enough with the injuries!! I’m 29 and have so much more life to live. Again thank you all and see you around!!”

Smarty's Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
Smarty’s Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax

Date Change for 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro

The 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro, originally scheduled for Oct. 22-27 in Viña del Mar, Chile, has been rescheduled to Nov. 12-17 at the same location.

The International Six Days Enduro is the world’s largest annual off-road motorcycle competition. Since 1913, countries have sent their best off-road racers to exotic locations around the world to be tested on everything from sandy beaches, to rocky crevices, to deep woods and motocross tracks for the event’s top prize: the ISDE World Trophy.

ISDE 2017
ISDE 2017

Each year, countries from all over the world send teams to compete at the ISDE. The World Trophy Team features four riders that compete for the world title, along with the Junior Trophy Team which features three riders, and the Women’s Trophy Team that features three riders.

In addition, each country can send a number of three-rider club teams. Teams compete for team honours, while individual riders race for a gold, silver or bronze medals, which are based on a rider’s finishing time relative to the leader.

MXGP of Italy to Host Final Round in 2018

Youthstream is pleased to present the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Finale which is taking place in Imola on September 29th and 30th will be now called the MXGP of Italy.

MXGP of ItalyTogether with the MXGP and MX2 Classes, the MXGP of Italy will also host the final round of the WMX, the EMX300 and the Yamaha YZ125 SuperFinale and this is what Youthstream Vice President David Luongo stated:

David Luongo

“It is a great honour for Youthstream to bring the FIM MXGP World Championship to Imola for the Grand Prix of Italy, one of the most prestigious and well known circuits in the World. We would like to thank Mr. Uberto Selvatico Estense and all of his team for the decision of bringing back Motocross to the venue. We are sure the track and all the activities around the event will be outstanding and that the fans will experience something unique. This event will bring MXGP into a new, bigger dimension.”

9-time FIM Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli shared:

“I’m happy to see that Imola is on the calendar for 2018, it’s a suggestive scenario that bring prestige to MXGP, moreover due to the fact that is the last GP of the year, it could be the right place to celebrate something special in front of my fans.”

De Waal and Weltin Sign for Vamo Honda Racing

Vamo Honda Racing Team will enter two riders aboard the new 2018 Honda CRF250R in the MX2 category of the FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) in 2018. Dutchman Micha Boy De Waal continues with the team and is joined by new American signing Marshal Weltin.

Also continuing with the team into next season is sponsor No Fear, who expand their partnership through their energy drink brand and will appear on bikes, team collateral and rider clothing. Bolstering the team’s 2018 campaign is another new signing as sponsor Jumbo, the Dutch supermarket giant who themselves are no stranger to motocross, join the team.

Micha Boy De Waal
Micha Boy De Waal

De Waal originally joined the team in 2017 as a stand-in rider to replace Lars Van Berkel when he in turn made a stand-in appearance at Team HRC. The 22-year-old rode the Honda CRF450R for the previous two years in the Dutch Masters series so is no stranger to Honda, and has also enjoyed a long-standing relationship both with No Fear and Jumbo. Having had 12 rounds with the Vamo Honda Racing team in 2017 on the CRF250R, De Waal starts 2018 with a solid foundation upon which to build within a strongly established team structure.

Lining up alongside De Waal is Honda newcomer Marshal Weltin who makes the switch to the new CRF250R for 2018. The 22-year-old rode in both the EMX250 and MX2 series in 2017, finishing 6th in the highly competitive EMX250 series with an overall podium in Portugal and narrowly missing a second to Honda’s Mathys Boisrame in Switzerland. His performances earned him an MX2 wildcard in the Czech Republic, where he finished an impressive ninth overall.

The MX2 season gets underway at the MXGP of Argentina on 3-4 March 2018, ahead of which the team have a busy testing and training schedule to arrive to South America ready to fight.

Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Dunlop Geomax MX3S