Smarty’s Moto Wrap for MAY 27, 2014

It has been an interesting week for ol’ Smarty. After last week’s Moto Wrap I have had a lot of constructive conversations with some of the biggest names in the Australian racing scene and as of 6am, the 27th of May 2014 I can assure you that all of the following is fact:

– My guess that Craig Dack was behind Yamaha’s decision to pull out of the 2014 Australian Supercross Championships was way off the mark. Dack himself called and told me that he did not initiate the action taken but supports Yamaha’s decision to do so.

– Craig Dack and the rest of the key people at Yamaha are still very passionate about supercross here in Australia and want to see the sport flourish but the right infrastructure needs to be in place to make it viable for their involvement.

IEG may well still promote the 2014 Australian Supercross Championships if they can sort some of the issues that Motorcycling Australia has with their business practices.

– The 2014 ASX will have five rounds, two in Bathurst, two at Philip Island as part of the MotoGP weekend and one at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

IEG DOES NOT owe thousands of dollars in prize money or dodged paying people who have worked in their supercross operation. Sure, the money was at times delayed or slow coming but according to the people I spoke to during the week there has been open communication at all times with anyone that was owed money.

Supercross is here to stay in Australia and there are solid plans in play with some very smart people behind the future of the sport from 2015 on. Stay Tuned!!!

Great news for us Aussies is that Dean Ferris is back with the KTM team in America and looking to join his teammate Marvin Musquin in the 250 class by round four or five of the AMA Motocross Championships.

Ok, I didn’t see this one coming but once announced it makes complete sense. 2014 250 West Supercross Champion Jason Anderson will be making the step up to the premier 450 class in 2015 for the newly formed…wait for it…Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Race Team!

This is huge for the American race scene and very special for us enthusiast with good memories. Husqvarna changed the face of racing all over the world but specifically for the AMA championships back in the late 60s and 70s. Getting the iconic brand back into the AMA supercross and motocross scene is an important part of the ‘grand plan’ to get Husqvarna back to its former glory.

Again, for those of us with good memories, Jason Anderson is coached by none other than Jeff Ward!! Don’t recognise the name young fella? GOOGLE will help! Wardy is a LEGEND!!!

While on the subject of the American race scene we might as well look at what went down last Saturday at Glen Helen. The 450 motos were breath-taking with Ryan Dungey coming out the victor while no-one could have predicted the demolition of the 250 class by Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin.

As far as the Aussie contingent goes we had Brett Metcalfe and Chad Reed put their Kawasaki’s in the top ten in the 450 class while Jackson Richardson ended up well inside the top 20 in the 250 class. Young Queenslander Luke Reardon also competed on a KTM and ended the day in 36th outright but seriously, just making it to the starting line at an AMA National means that Reardon was inside the top 40 out of the best part of 100 riders looking for a spot on the grid.

There were some riders who were tipped to ride that didn’t even make it to the start line at Glen Helen. Davi Millsaps is still recovering from his knee injury while his teammate Joey Savatgy was still too sore after a crash leading up to the event. The luckless Darryn Durham suffered a fractured leg while preparing for Glen Helen and Mike Alessi got food poisoning on the Friday night before the race. See full report and results below.

Luke Styke proved that he has the speed to run in the top ten among the best MX2 motocross racers in the world after logging a solid ninth place in Saturday’s qualifying race at the British GP at Matterley Basin but come Sunday Styke’s run of poor starts continued and the plucky Aussie ended the round with two 15th place moto finishes for 16th outright. See full report and results for the British GP below.

There was another Aussie at Matterley Basin on the weekend and that was young Hugh McKay who finished second overall in the Honda 150 European Championship round behind local favorite Albie Wilkie and ahead of championship red plate holder Jere Haavisto.

Kiwi Levi Sherwood and Aussie Rob Adelberg finished first and fourth respectively at round two of the Red Bull X-Fighters series held in Osake, Japan on the weekend. Sherwood in particular is stretching out his seat grab – back flips to be just getting back on the bike before it lands and that in particular is scoring the brave New Zealander serious points. See full report and results below.

Aussies and Kiwi racers seem to be doing pretty well over in America as well with Inverell’s Josh Strang scoring yet another podium in the XC1 class at round seven of the GNCC held in West Viginia last weekend while his Kiwi mate Paul Whibley was in the mix for most of the race but fell back to eighth in class and 11th outright by race end. Another Aussie in Tom McCormack had his first serious crack at a GNCC race and scored a credible ninth in the XC1 class and 15th outright – there were 207 starters. See full report and results below.

WOW!!! How good is the Australian ISDE team looking? The Senior Trophy team has podium written all over it with Phillips, Strang, Milner, Price, Green and Bewley at the helm and likewise with the Junior team while our Womens Team of Gardiner, Jones, Wilson and Gray could well back up their win from last year. Here are the teams

  • – Senior Trophy Team: Matthew Phillips E3. Josh Strang E2. Daniel Milner E2. Toby Price E3. Josh Green E2. Jarrod Bewley E1.
  • – Junior Trophy Team: Lachlan Stanford E2. Tom McCormack E2. Scott Keegan E1. Daniel Sanders E3. Nick Lean (non-traveling reserve).
  • – Womens Team: Jessica Gardiner. Tayla Jones. Jemma Wilson. Tamara Gray (non-traveling reserve).

And finally, the Wanneroo round of the MX Nationals was an absolute cracker and much to my surprise Billy Mackenzie finally got to win a round on Australian soil while 17 year-old Queenslander Caleb Ward scorched around the circuit to win the MX2 class. See full report and results below.

Moto Wrap for the weekend of May 24/25 includes:

  • – Round 8 of the World Motocross Championships at Matterley Basin, Great Britain
  • – Round 7 of the GNCC in Masontown, West Virginia
  • – Round 5 of the Australian MX Nationals at Wanneroo, WA
  • – Round 3 of the Trials World Championships held in Corsica
  • – Round 2 of the Red Bull X-Fighters held in Osaka, Japan
  • – Round 1 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Glen Helen, San Bernardino, Calif.

World Motocross Championships – Round 8 – Matterley Basin, Great Britain

Official Report: It was obvious the weather gods were out to redeem themselves today, offering peace with their fine display of blue sky and sunshine.

Thanks to the endless hours spent on the track last night, moving mud and fixing jumps, the circuit of Matterley Basin was primed and ready for round eight of the FIM Motocross World Championship which fell perfectly into the hands of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s duo of champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings.

MXGP: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli put on a brave face this weekend after losing a person he considers to be the most important figure in his life, his father. Despite suffering from sleepless nights and doing his best to deal with the understandable grief, Cairoli lined up today with an angel on his shoulder and used that same strength that has made him seven-times world champion to take his fifth overall victory of the season.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle gets kudos for actually finding his edge today. Had the twenty-five year old Belgian not of washed the front end at speed in race one, the overall could have been completely different. Nevertheless, bent bars and all he managed to salvage fourth and then went on to make a statement in race two when he got off to a good start and knuckled down to take home an unchallenged win. A combination of fourth and first place scores landed the Belgian in second overall.

Introducing MXGP’s Mr. Consistency, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek continues to keep up his podium appearances with a pair of thirds for third overall. The Belgian second year MXGP contender later said, “I guess this was a bad day for me but people say you win championships on your bad days, so I guess it’s not so bad. But I like this track, I just struggled the whole weekend from qualifying to free practice to training. But two thirds is always better than two times zero, especially at the end of the season.”

Fourth overall equates a season best result for Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Tyla Rattray who battled his way from a bad start in race one to take home eighth. Out for redemption in race two, the South African got off to a much better start up in fourth. A pass on 24MX Honda’s Jeremy Delince ran him into third, but it was short lived when the red plate holder Antonio Cairoli came through a few laps later. Regardless, the 2008 FIM MX2 World Champion held on to a solid fourth for the remainder of the moto to take home fourth overall.

After attempting his return to the gates of MXGP at round six of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Valkenswaard, where he opted to forfeit after warm-up on Sunday, it seems the extra couple of weeks of training have done a world of good for the fan favorite CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle. The Brit re-established himself as a top five rider with his fifth and sixth place scores for fifth overall.

Although he’s technically Scottish, MXGP of Great Britain still feels like a home GP for Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Shaun Simpson who qualified second in the slop here yesterday. Disappointingly today, the Scotsman could only put together a ninth and a sixth for seventh overall which left him one point clear of another popular rider here in Great Britain Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Jake Nicholls.

As for race one runner-up Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Steven Frossard, he was a victim of a first turn crash in race two which forced him out of the race.

MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:06.163; 2. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.859; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.248; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:19.366; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:27.520; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:40.699; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:42.154; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:53.366; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:12.119; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:12.857

MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 35:00.023; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.717; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.838; 4. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:35.822; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:42.005; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:43.077; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:54.148; 8. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +0:59.449; 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:01.224; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda), +1:03.625

MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 43 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Tyla Rattray (RSA, HUS), 31 p.; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 31 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 30 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 26 p.; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 22 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 20 p.

MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 351 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 323 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 316 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 250 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 166 p.; 7. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 164 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 159 p.; 9. Joel Roelants (BEL, HON), 153 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 145 p.

MX2: The run-away train of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings is clearly set to full steam ahead with the nineteen-year old nicknamed ‘The Bullet’ soaring to yet another convincing double victory. “I really enjoyed racing out here today, the British fans are some of the best in the world, they are awesome and I felt like I got a lot of respect from them this year which was really cool.”

Proving he does in fact have the goods, just not quite as refined as the current FIM MX2 World Champ Herlings, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Arnaud Tonus matched the lap time of Herlings in race two and kept the Dutchman honest for the first quarter of a moto. A plausible second place finish in that race combined with a bad start in race one which saw him rebound for fifth, still was enough for a respectable second overall.

Honda Gariboldi’s youngster Tim Gajser reached a milestone in his career today in Matterley Basin, putting in two impressive top five finishes, a fourth and a third, for third over all and his first ever FIM MX2 World Championship podium finish. At the tender age of seventeen-years-old it’s clear the future is bright for the young Honda rider who seems to ride with the smarts of a seasoned pro: “when I got stuck behind Dylan, I never thought about what place I was in, I just kept looking forward and for who was next”, the Slovenian said.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier took a hard fought fourth overall. The French vice-world champion was pushing it to the limit in race one which helped him pull off second place. An average start in race two saw the youngster struggle his way forward to fifth.

Glued to the list of MX2 top fivers, Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre brawled his way to an eighth and fourth respectively for fifth overall.

Meanwhile fan favorite BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie definitely turned heads in race one when he was the only rider in the class to send it sky high over the quad and clear it lap after lap. A few flashes of the Anstie we had seen at MXGP of Qatar also surfaced throughout that moto as he railed his way to third. In race two, the funny Brit got smashed on the finger with a rock causing such immense pain he had to pull in. It was later confirmed the bone had been compressed.

MX2 Start
MX2 Start

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:59.916; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:21.339; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +0:24.047; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:25.259; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:29.250; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:38.942; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.260; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:59.972; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:06.233; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:10.803. 15. Luke Styke (Aus, Yam)

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:08.239; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:16.689; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:41.286; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:42.239; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:59.739; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:02.273; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:05.939; 8. Damon Graulus (BEL, KTM), +1:10.042; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:12.980; 10. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM). 15. Luke Styke (Aus, Yam)

MX2 Podium
MX2 Podium

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 38 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 38 p.; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 31 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 27 p.; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 25 p.; 8. Damon Graulus (BEL, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 23 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 20 p. 16. Luke Styke (Aus, Yam), 12 p.

MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 344 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 305 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 263 p.; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 253 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 248 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 209 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 197 p.; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 184 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 176 p.; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 173 p. 17. Luke Styke (Aus, Yam), 67 p.

GNCC – Round 7 – Masontown, West Virginia

Kailub Russell put together a rare wire-to-wire win round seven of the Amsoil Grand National Cross Country Series in Masontown, West Virginia last weekend.

Russell got out in front early with his FMF KTM teammate and series leader Charlie Mullins in pursuit and the race was just getting interesting between the two fastest riders in the series when Mullins and his KTM parted company at serious speed. Thankfully Mullins was able to remount to maintain second place ahead of the hard charging Josh Strang.

Despite Russell’s win, Mullins still leads the series by seven points.

In XC2 Pro Lites, Yamaha rider Ricky Russell claimed the win over Honda rider Trevor Bollinger and KTM’s Grant Baylor. Russell has a six-point lead over Baylor in the series points.

OVERALL – XC1/XC2 Combined: 1. Kailub Russell (KTM). 2. Charlie Mullins (KTM). 3. Josh Strang (Yam). 4. Jordan Ashburn (Yam). 5. Andrew Delong (Hus). 6. Ricky Russell (Yam). 7. Chris Bach (Hon). 8. Jason Thomas (KTM). 9. Trevor Bollinger (Hon). 10. Grant Baylor (KTM). 11. Paul Whibley (Yam). 15. Tom McCormack (Yam).

XC2 PRO Top Ten: 1. Ricky Russell (Yam). 2. Trevor Bollinger (Hon). 3. Grant Baylor (KTM). 4. Nick Davis (KTM). 5. Jessie Groemm (KTM). 6. Jedediah Haines (Yam). 7. Kevin Benavides (KTM). 8. Travis Teasdale (KTM). 9. Kenneth Gilbert (Yam). 10. Chris Douglas (KTM).

OVERALL Championships Points – XC1/XC2 Combined:  1. Charlie Mullins (180). 2. Kailub Russell (173). 3. Josh Strang (132)

XC2 OVERALL Points: 1. Ricky Russell (178). 2. Grant Baylor (172). 3. Trevor Bollinger (142)

Monster Enrergy Australian MX Nationals – Round 5 – Wanneroo, WA

MX1 Race Report: CDR Yamaha rider Billy Mackenzie has claimed the overall round win in the Monster MX1 class, at the fifth round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals.

After rain and wind threatened to make the Wanneroo round in Western Australia a particularly tricky event, the weather held out and a huge crowd gathered to watch the country’s best riders tackle the sandy track

.And it was Mackenzie’s consistency (first, second and fourth from his three races) that handed him his first overall win for the year.

Series leader Matt Moss (Team Motul Suzuki) and his brother Jake Moss (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki) finished the event in second and third overall respectively – each claiming important points in the overall series as it hit the halfway point.

KTM Motocross Race Team’s Kirk Gibbs and National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Moss finished in fourth and fifth overall.

In the opening moto, Mackenzie took the holeshot and raced to the lead from Matt Moss, Jake Moss, Ben Townley (Penrite Honda Racing) and Gibbs. The group seemed to have settled into the top five, but on the final corner of the opening lap Jake Moss lost control of his bike and went down, forcing him back into 10th.

Mackenzie and Moss then proceeded to put a huge gap on the rest of the field, with Townley and Gibbs putting a break between themselves and fifth placed Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport).

In what ended up being a 13-lap moto, it was the middle of the race that provided the most action.

On the fifth lap, Moss passed Mackenzie to get into first spot, Gibbs passed Townley to move into third and Jake Moss had clawed back into fifth spot.

However on the sixth lap, both Moss brothers ran into trouble – first Jake came off after trying to pass Gibbs and Townley, and them Matt came down forcing him into second and a long way off the leader. In the end Mackenzie held on for the win with Matt Moss in second, Townley grabbing third, and Gibbs and Adam Monea in fourth and fifth respectively.

In the second MX1 moto, Mackenzie took the holeshot before Jake Moss whizzed past him to take the lead. As the riders settled into position over the opening lap, it was Moss leading the way from Mackenzie, Monea, Gibbs, Matt Moss and Townley.

Jake Moss and Mackenzie pulled away from the rest of the field, and finished the race comfortably in first and second positions. There was not much movement in the second race – Matt Moss dropped back to seventh before climbing back into fourth spot within two laps. The reigning champion pushed hard at the finish line to edge past Monea but he was held out, meaning Monea took the podium finish in third with Moss having to settle for fourth.

Gibbs rounded out the top-five ahead of Mosig, while Townley drifted back into ninth by the time the chequered flag was waved.

In the third and final moto, Mackenzie grabbed the holeshot but relinquished the lead soon after to both of the Moss brothers. Series contender Monea went down at the third turn and was pushed back towards the rear of the field, as Jake and Matt Moss took a stranglehold on the race.

They finished the race in first and second place while Gibbs passed Mackenzie on the third lap and finished the race in third. Mackenzie ended the race in fourth while privateer Jacob Wright claimed fifth spot.

Monea did well to ride through the field, and in passing three riders on the last lap of the race, ended the moto in eighth.

In the overall championship standings, Matt Moss has moved 22 points clear of his closest rival Gibbs, While Jake Moss has leapt into third place outright.

MX1 Superpole: 1) Jake Moss 1:43.413 (5 points). 2) Adam Monea 1:43.634 (4 points). 3) Matt Moss 1:44.773 (3 points). 4) Kirk Gibbs 1:45.659 (2 points). 5) Sam Martin 1:45.841 (1 point)

Round Results: 1) Billy Mackenzie 95 (35, 32, 28). 2) Matt Moss 92 (32, 28, 32). 3) Jake Moss 91 (21, 35, 35). 4) Kirk Gibbs 84 (28, 26, 30). 5) Adam Monea 79 (26, 30, 23). 6) Jacob Wright 69 (20, 23, 26). 7) Ben Townley
68 (30, 23, 16). 8) Sam Martin 66 (25, 20, 21). 9) Hayden Mellross 57 (18, 17, 22). 10) Jay Marmont 57 (19, 21, 17).

Overall Championship Standings: 1) Matt Moss 389. 2) Kirk Gibbs 367. 3) Jake Moss 343. 4) Adam Monea 342. 5) Billy Mackenzie 337. 6) Kade Mosig 265. 7) Hayden Mellross 263. 8) Rhys Carter 256. 9) Jacob Wright 254. 10) Jay Marmont 253.

MX2 Race Report: Young 17 year-old privateer Caleb Ward has continued his great form from round four of the series, to take the round win in the Motul MX2 class at the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals in Western Australia.

The KTM supported rider managed two race wins and a third placing from his three races, to take a comprehensive victory on the day and move into seventh place in the outright championship.

Round four winner and SD3 Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon continues to build in confidence – his fourth, fifth and first place finishes taking him to second outright on the day. Josh Cachia (Penrite Honda Racing) rounded out the top three (eighth, fourth and second), while Jay Wilson (Serco Yamaha) finished the round in fourth and Hamish Harwood (CMR Redbull KTM) in fifth.

Ward took the holeshot in the opening MX2 moto of the day, and despite pressure throughout the race from Harwood initially, and then Luke Clout (Serco Yamaha), he held on for the win.

Reigning red-plate holder Clout got off to a good start – moving into third place after the first corner and moving into second place past Harwood towards the end of the second lap.

While Clout pressed Ward throughout the second half of the moto, he had to settle for second place in the race, and Harwood rode well to finish in third. It was the other title contenders who really raised eyebrows in the opening race.

Brendan Harrison (Instant Security KTM) could only manage 14th place overall, while kiwi Kayne Lamont (Husqvarna Red Bull WIL Sport NZ Racing) struggled multiple times throughout the race and had to settle with an 18th placed finish.

In the second MX2 moto Ward again took the holeshot, but his lead didn’t last too long with Wilson moving to the front of the field at the second turn. He was followed by Ward, Kale Makeham (Tunetech Reacing KTM), Clout and Cachia with Lamont back in 10th, Harrison in 14th and Harwood back in 16th.

On the second lap Clout took a nasty tumble and by the time he could recover, he joined the field back in 24th.

While he managed to finish the race in 18th, it might just be looked back on as a key moment in the MX2 championship race.

On the fourth lap Ward fought back into a lead which he never relinquished, giving him the perfect result from the opening two races – Wilson finished in third and Makeham crossed the line in third. Cachia and Luke Arbon rounded out the top-five, with Harrison (eighth) and Harwood (11th) fighting hard to earn important overall points.

The nightmare round continued for Lamont who rolled across the finishing line in 23rd nursing a severely injured shoulder.

In the final moto of the day, Arbon claimed the holeshot and kept the lead for the entire race to claim a solid moto win. Wilson jumped straight into second spot and looked like he would comfortably hold onto it before he came unstuck on the second last lap – forcing him back into eighth.

That mishap allowed a plucky Cachia to take second spot in the race, and round surprise packet Ward to claim another podium race finish. Geran Stapleton (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) and Husqvarna supported Nathan Crawford finished in fifth and sixth respectively.

In the overall championship standings Clout has had his lead whittled down to just 10 points, with Harwood, Harrison and Arbon all within striking distance of the series leader.

Round Results: 1)   Caleb Ward 100 (35, 35, 30). 2)   Luke Arbon 89 (28, 26, 35). 3)   Josh Cachia 82 (22, 28, 32). 4)   Jay Wilson 76 (21, 32, 23). 5)   Hamish Harwood 74 (30, 2024). 6)   Nathan Crawford 68 (18, 24, 26). 7)   Kale Makeham 66 (23, 30, 13). 8)   Luke Clout 65 (32, 13, 20). 9)   Nick Sutherland 62 (25, 15, 22). 10) Brenden Harrison 61 (7, 23, 21) .

Championship Standings: 1) Luke Clout 326. 2) Hamish Harwood 316. 3) Brenden Harrison 296. 4) Luke Arbon 293. 5) Kayne Lamont 289. 6) Kale Makeham 287. 7) Caleb Ward 272. 8) Jay Wilson 269. 9) Ryan Marmont 234. 10) Wade Hunter 215.

The series now takes a five-week break before round six, which takes place on 29 June in Swan Hill, Victoria.

Trials World Championships – Round 3 – Europe GP, Corsica

After the opening days results were wiped thanks to some timing issues Adam Raga came out swinging in day 2 to sweep the course to take the Europe GP held in Corsa last weekend and in doing so takes a narrow two point lead in the championship over arch rival Toni Bou.

Europe GP Results: 1: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 14; 2: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 27; 3: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 39; 4: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 65; 5: Matteo Grattarola (Gas Gas-ITA 67; 6: Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda-JPN) 70; 7: James Dabill (Beta-GBR) 71; 8: Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco-FRA) 77; 9: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 102; 10: Pol Tarres (Sherco-ESP) 110.

World Championship Standings after Round 3: 1: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 90; 2: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 88; 3: Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda-JPN) 68; 4: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 66; 5: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 59; 6: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 47; 7: James mDabill (Beta-GBR) 47; 8: Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco-FRA) 38; 9: Pol Tarres (Sherco-ESP) 33; 10: Eddie Karlsson (Montesa-SWE) 19.

Red Bull X-Fighters – Round 2 – Osaka, Japan

At the ancient walls of Japan’s most famous castle, more than 20,000 fans turned out for Red Bull X-Fighters weekend in Osaka, thrilling to an epic battle of skills.

The riders were like a new breed of samurai, going huge on a course that demanded everything in their arsenal of tricks. Levi Sherwood of New Zealand stood atop the podium for the second time this year.

By the end of the second stop of the 2014 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka on May 25, one thing was clear: New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood is the man to beat as the world’s most prestigious freestyle motocross event series moves into its critical summer stage.

The 22-year-old from Palmerston North has been unstoppable so far: He won the season opener in Mexico City before dominating the battle at Osaka Castle today with runs that were nearly flawless. Rémi Bizouard of France earned second-place honors, with Dany Torres of Spain in third.

The spectators, including taiko drummers as well as fans in manga-style costumes, were closer to the action than at any other stop in the series.

Hometown hero Taka Higashino, who in 2013 won the Osaka event and finished in third place for the season, earned eighth place after skipping Qualifying yesterday due to injury. Nonetheless, he expanded his traditionally classic repertoire by adding a Body Varial.

A smiling Sherwood, who despite his young age is associated with perfecting the traditional style of classic FMX riding, said, “I like to push the riding part of freestyle – in FMX you have to both ride a bike and do big tricks, where I want to see FMX go is really pushing riding skills and course design.” He added, “I’m stoked right now. You can see the love of freestyle here in Japan.”

France’s Thomas Pagès did not feel comfortable on the course and decided to sit out today’s competition, feeling that due to his riding style and the level of difficulty of his unique tricks, for him the risk of injury could be too high.

The riders’ next chance to earn points toward the overall title will come on 27 June, when the series returns to the iconic Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Spain.

Osaka Results: 1. Levi Sherwood (NZL). 2. Remi Bizouard (FRA). 3. Dany Torres (ESP). 4. Rob Adelberg (AUS) . 5. Mat Rebeaud (SUI). 6. Wes Agee (USA). 7. David Rinaldo (FRA). 8. Taka Higashino (JPN). 9. Thomas Pagès (FRA). 10. Libor Podmol (CZE). 11. Kota Kugimura (JPN). 12. Daisuke Suzuki (JPN).

Championship Standings After Round 2: 1. Sherwood 100 . 2. Bizouard 80, . 3. Sheehan (AUS) 80,. 4. Torres 65, . 5. Adelberg 55.

AMA Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Glen Helen, San Bernardino, Calif.

More than 27,000 fans witnessed a historical afternoon of racing at Saturday’s 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, season opener, which took place in San Bernardino, California. The 450 Class winner Ryan Dungey and 250 Class winner Jeremy Martin emerged victorious in their respective classes, making history as the first Minnesota natives to sweep the winner’s circle at the sixteenth running of the Red Bull Glen Helen National.

The Glen Helen National made its highly anticipated return to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross circuit since 2009, when Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey captured the 250 Class win en route to claiming the 250 Class Championship the same year. Dungey, also a two-time 450 Class Champion, made a statement at the season opener as he topped the highly competitive field with 3-1 moto scores.

Dungey’s stiffest competition came from his Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen, who finished in the runner-up position in his Pro Motocross 450 Class debut.

450 Class: It was Riverside, California’s Josh Grant who kicked off the season opener in a big way as the Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha rider captured the $500 Holeshot Award and led Moto 1 from start to finish. Grant’s newest JGRMX teammate, Phil Nicoletti, joined the front-runner early on in Moto 1 before Roczen made the move for second place. Roczen made a valiant charge toward Grant’s lead at the end, where he finished less than one second behind the JGRMX rider for second place, while Dungey came in third.

The Red Bull KTM duo of Dungey and Roczen were neck-and-neck heading into the second moto and things only became more exciting as the gate dropped and the battle ensued. Roczen got off to a great start and Dungey filed in close behind, but as the race wore on, the veteran Dungey closed the gap on the leader. With only a few corners to go, Dungey made the pass on Roczen for the lead and held on to capture the Moto 2 win.

Dungey’s 3-1 moto scores were enough to secure his first overall win at Glen Helen in the 450 Class, where he now leads the early points chase heading into the second round next weekend.

“It was really just a game of cat and mouse the whole time,” Dungey said. “I felt like the win was there early on, but I just needed to make that pass happen [on Roczen]. It was good to go 1-2 with a teammate and it was a good day for KTM.”

While Roczen led fifteen of the sixteen laps in Moto 2, the former world champion finished second place in the moto and second overall for the day. “I’m happy about my riding today,” Roczen said. “I want to take it week by week and just keep making progress. We’re going to go to Sacramento 100 percent focused and to just ride as good as we can.”

Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard carried himself to a podium finish in the second moto, where a 7-3 score gave him third overall for the day. “One thing that’s for sure about this series is that it’s long,” Canard said. “The biggest thing you can do is just focus on yourself and try to go out there and win the race. My goal is to get maximum points each week and where the cards fall, they will.”

Australia’s Bret Metcalfe made his first appearance aboard the Monster Energy Kawasaki squad on Saturday, where he will fill in for the injured 2013 450 Class Champion Ryan Villopoto this season. Metcalfe, who is the reigning Canadian Motocross Champion, proved his merit by claiming fourth overall for the day, just ahead of Grant, who ran into issues in Moto 2 that dropped him back to fifteenth. Grant’s 1-15 score was good enough to land fifth overall in front of his hometown crowd.

250 Class: In the 250 Class, it was a big day for the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha team, who saw two of the three podium finishes in the division. In his sophomore year of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross competition, Millville, Minnesota’s Jeremy Martin secured his first career victory with a 1-1 sweep for the day. Martin had an exceptional day all around, as he captured the $500 Holeshot Award in both 250 Class motos. From there, Martin accomplished an impressive feat as the 21-year-old led every lap of 250 Class racing across both motos at the opening round.

Martin was joined atop the podium by his Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb, of Newport, North Carolina. Like Martin, Webb put forth a consistent effort, where he finished with a pair of second places to claim the runner-up position for the day.

While Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely didn’t get the best starts, the southern California native quickly put himself into the top five in both motos. Seely battled with Webb in the first moto, where the duo flip-flopped for the second place position. Rockstar Energy KTM’s Jason Anderson interjected himself into the mix, where he finished third in the first moto. In the end, Seely finished the day with third overall after scoring a consistent showing of 4-4.

Jeremy Martin heads into the second round as the points leader in the 250 Class for the first time in his professional motocross career.

Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Sacramento, California for the GoPro Hangtown Motocross Classic on Saturday, May 31.

Brett Metcalfe
Brett Metcalfe

Moto Wrap for the weekend of May 31/Jun 1 includes:

  • – Round 9 of the World Motocross Championships at St Jean d’Angely, France
  • – Round 5 of the Dutch Motocross Championships at Rhenen
  • – Round 5 of the AMA Enduro Series at Arrington, Virginia
  •  – Round 4of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix at Prague, Czech Republic
  • – Round 4 of the UK MX Nationals at Pontrilas
  • – Round 3 of the Belgian Motocross Championships at Kester
  • – Round 2 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Hangtown, Sacramento, Calif.
  • – Round 1 of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships at Nanaimo
  • – 2014 Manjimup 15,000 at the Cosy Creek Circuit, WA

Moto Wrap for the weekend of Jun 8/9 includes:

  • – Round 8 of the GNCC (John Penton) at Millfield, OH
  • – Round 6 of the Dutch Motocross Championships at Oldebroek
  • – Round 4 of the World Enduro Championships at Heinola, Finland
  • – Round 4 of the All Japan Motocross Championships at Sugo
  • – Round 3 of the French Motocross Championships at Gaillac Toulza
  • – Round 3 of the AMA Motocross Championships at Thunder Valley, Lakewood, Colo.
  • – Round 2 of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships at Kamloops
  • – Round 2 of the AMA Endurocross Championships at Austin, Texas
  • – X-Games from Junes 5 to 8 at Austin, Texas
  • – 2014 Tatts Finke Desert Race