Welcome to Weekly Dirt, the best place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we’ve got a first look at 2014 Honda CRF 250 and 450s, a look at Adam Cianciarulo’s national MX debut, info for this year’s TKO in Tennessee, a look at the newly formed FMF/Orange Brigade/KTM Racing MX Team, and spy photos of a Husky auxiliary fuel tank. Here we go!
2014 Honda CRF 250 and 450s
Honda just released photos and info on its 2014 CRF 250 and 450s, and there are big changes to the CRF250R. Dirt Rider has the complete story here: http://www.dirtrider.com/features/2014-honda-crf250r/
Adam Cianciarulo Debuts At Hangtown
We’ve seen a lot of rookies make strong and impressive pro debuts over the past few years, which is good reason for the series regulars to take note of the fact that Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green recently announced that Adam Cianciarulo will be on the gate at Hangtown, as well as for the entire 2013 AMA Pro Motocross season. Cianciarulo will race for one of the most decorated teams in AMA motocross history as he joins the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki stable riding the No. 292 Kawasaki.
“I can’t wait for the season to start,” said Cianciarulo. “This is something I’ve been dreaming about since I saw my first ever supercross race when I was 4 years old. To be able to race for Mitch Payton and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is an honor. I am looking to learn a lot this year because everyone knows how good this team is and I know my job is to put more number one plates on the door of the truck.”
Cianciarulo is following in the footsteps of some of the greatest riders in the history of the sport as he makes the transition from Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green to race professionally. While an amateur, the Port Orange, Fla. native became the winningest mini-bike rider in the history of the AMA Amateur Motocross National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s with 11 championships. After winning four titles at Loretta’s in the last two years, Cianciarulo put his name in the record books ahead of superstars like Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto.
Cianciarulo last raced his KX250F at the Monster Energy Cup in October in the Amateur All Star class where he finished second overall after finishing fifth in the first race and winning the second race. Following the Monster Energy Cup, Cianciarulo was injured and did not return to riding until February of this year. Since then he has been training to achieve his goal of lining up at the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross opener at Hangtown.
“Obviously we have been watching Adam for a long time,” said Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Mitch Payton. “He is a special kid who will bring a lot to the team this summer. I know he has been working hard all spring to get ready to race and we are going to provide him with the best equipment on the track. It will also help him to have veteran teammates like Blake (Baggett), Martin (Davalos), Dean (Wilson) and Tyla (Rattray) who can help him as he makes the jump to professional racing.”
Cianciarulo will line up on the gate for his professional racing debut on Saturday, May 18 at The Hangtown Motocross Classic in Rancho Cordova, California.
More Spy Photos
Now is the time when spy photos start popping up on the radar and here are a few of the new auxiliary fuel tank for the Husqvarna 449/511 bikes, sent to us by Resmart. The IMS tank adds an extra 3.0 gallons, making for a total of 5.5-gallon capacity. It’s “rumored” to be in pre-production right now. These photos were taken in Baja California where the folks from Husqvarna were field testing the tank in early May. Stay tuned for more info on these…
KTM Motorsports Announces FMF/Orange Brigade/KTM Racing Team
KTM Motorsports recently announced the launch of a new KTM-backed support team for the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series, the FMF/Orange Brigade/KTM Racing Team, which will feature 250 Motocross rider Joey Savatgy and will be overseen by Team Coordinator James Coy.
After the announcement of the collapse of the JDR/J-Star/KTM Team, KTM Motorsports and FMF Racing combined efforts to create a team for Savatgy, recently named the AMA Rookie of the Year.
“We see great potential with Joey in his rookie year and want to continue to help him achieve his goals and improve his results with our brand,” stated KTM North America, Inc. President Jon-Erik Burleson. “Unfortunately, his former team encountered struggles that have left Joey without an outdoor ride. Our long-standing relationship with FMF and their current involvement with our company and vested interest in Joey and his future have made this collaboration possible. We are excited to say that Joey will remain on a KTM for the outdoors series where we look forward to seeing continued progress in his results.”
Savatgy, who is fresh off his first Supercross season, is excited for the launch of the new team at the start of the outdoor series.
“This is my first year competing in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series and it feels like a new beginning,” says Savatgy. “I have already been riding KTM for six months now, but to have a team of sponsors that I strongly support and that feel the same about me makes this an exciting opportunity. I am looking forward to the first gate drop at the Hangtown event. I am very excited about my future with the FMF/Orange Brigade/KTM Team.”
Mark Blackwell To Hall Of Fame
Mark Blackwell, a pioneering racer in American motocross, a six-time AMA championship race team manager and a well-respected executive in the motorcycle industry, will be recognized as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend on Friday, Oct. 18, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Zero Motorcycles Introduces MMX Military Motorcycle
Zero Motorcycles has announced the arrival of its all-new 2013 Zero MMX military motorcycle. The MMX was developed exclusively for military use in the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and provides Special Operations riders with unique tactical advantages over traditional combustion motorcycles, as the electric powertrain allows for rapid movement over hostile terrain in near silence and minimal heat signature. Zero Motorcycles’ engineering team worked under military contract to develop the motorcycle. The MMX has met the most stringent standards set forth by the U.S. military, as an undisclosed number of MMX motorcycles are currently undergoing full operational testing.
“It was a very rewarding experience for the Zero team to go through such an exacting development process. The military needed a very specific set of core features on the MMX, and we were incredibly thankful to work side-by-side with them to deliver such a unique product,” said Abe Askenazi, Chief Technology Officer for Zero Motorcycles. “The great news for our civilian customers is that we made the decision to incorporate into our 2013 MX, FX and XU retail motorcycles virtually all of the powertrain enhancements associated with satisfying this project’s stringent military requirements. Our 2013 product is truly ‘military grade’!”
Top Pro Riders Prequalified For Tennessee Knockout
The third annual KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Moose Racing will take place August 17-18, 2013. KTM’s Mike Brown won the event the first two years and is planning to be back to again claim the biggest piece of the $10,000 purse. Brown is fresh off a dominating performance at the opening round of the 2013 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series so he looks ready to defend his title in his home state of Tennessee. But you can be sure that he will face stiff competition from top riders from all disciplines.
The top five finishers at the 2012 TKO included riders from EnduroCross, Trials, National Enduro and GNCC racing. So it is a great mix of backgrounds facing off on an extremely challenging course with a large purse on the line.
Riders are pre-qualified based on earning a qualifying spot in the main event at previous Tennessee Knockout events as well as finishing in the top 10 in the following during 2012: EnduroCross Expert Championship, AMA/NATC National Trials Pro Championship, GNCC XC1 Championship, AMA National Enduro Pro Championship, WORCS Pro-1 Championship, OMA Expert Championship. In addition to the list below, riders in the top five in the above championships on August 1, 2013 will also earn a pre-qualified position. The promoter may also select top riders from around the world as wild card entries with free entries to the Sunday Expert race.
1. Mike Brown
2. Cody Webb
3. Russell Bobbitt
4. Paul Whibley
5. Nick Fahringer
6. Jordan Ashburn
7. Colton Haaker
8. Taylor Robert
9. Steward Baylor
10. Pat Smage
11. Taddy Blazusiak
12. Kailub Russell
13. Michael Lafferty
14. Bobby Garrison
15. Andrew Delong
16. Rory Mead
17. Robby Bell
18. Keith Wineland
19. Shane Klimek
20. Thad DuVall
21. Ryan Abbatoye
22. Bryan Roper
23. Aaron McKnight
24. Charlie Mullins
25. Jesse Groemm
26. Gary Sutherlin
27. Justin Soule
28. Karl Davis Jr.
29. Scott Watkins
30. Brad Bakken
31. Eric Storz
32. Zach Ingram
33. Chris Bach
34. Josh Strang
35. Logan Bolopue
36. Kyle Redmond
37. Tyson Emery
38. Nathan Kanney
39. Grant Baylor
40. Andrew Oldar
41. Cory Graffunder
42. Zach Love
43. Brett Zofchak
44. Takeshi Koikeda
45. Shane Hufford Jr.
46. Kyle Summers
47. Bailey Tucker
48. Geoff Aaron
49. Dustin Gibson
50. Alex Bedley
51. Dennis Jonon
52. Garrett Edmisten
53. Cory Buttrick
54. Timmy Weigand
55. Phil Smage
56. Kevin Rookstool
57. Bobby Prochnau
58. Kurt Caselli
59. Wally Palmer
60. Michael Williams
61. Destry Abbott
62. Jason Thomas
63. Max Gerston
64. Graham Jarvis
Unqualified Expert/Pro and amateur riders can race on Saturday with the top finishers earning the opportunity to move on to the Sunday Expert Knockout rounds. On Sunday, the riders will compete in a very tough and spectator friendly four round Knockout format.
Here is a peak at some of the action from the 2012 event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moyylu0KN68&feature=plcp
For more information about the 2013 Kenda Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy, please visit: http://tennesseeknockoutenduro.com/.
Russell Wins Indiana OMA
Kailub Russell claimed his first win of the season in OMA competition at the third round of the series in Bedford, Indiana. Russell’s win didn’t come easily, however, as the Factory FMF/KTM rider had to come from the back of the pack after getting off to a poor jump at the start of the race. While Am Pro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley grabbed the holeshot, Russell was sitting in last position as the riders came around the first corner. A short ways into the first lap the riders approached a large technical hill climb, and the poor start may have benefitted Russell.
“In one way, I guess I was lucky I was in last place as we got to the hillside because I could see where everyone had crashed,” said Russell. “I was then able to take a better line up the hill which allowed me to move up to second position by the top of the hill.”
Russell maintained second place for the next three laps while the course started to break in.
“Once there were some good lines in the course it became easier to not make mistakes and those of us in the top three were able to pull away,” stated Russell.
Around the halfway point, Russell was able to move into first after Paul Whibley stopped for fuel. Once in the lead, Russell never looked back and went on to win the race by 40 seconds.
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Paul Whibley (Yam)
3. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
4. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)
5. Nick Fahringer (Hsb) —Shan Moore
Telecast and Online Streaming Schedule Revealed for the
2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports have announced the telecast schedule for the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Featuring a total of 63 hours of competition from the Nationals, NBC, NBC Sports Network and FUEL TV will combine to showcase live coverage from all 12 rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship this season. In addition, more Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship races will be live streamed than ever before. Coverage begins on Saturday, May 18, at 4 p.m. ET on FUEL TV with the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif.
In addition to its coverage of each round of the 2013 Nationals, NBC Sports Network will present exclusive programming beyond the motos, including weekly highlight shows following each round, a mid-season recap and a post-season review of both the 250 and 450 Class. NBC will also present live coverage of three rounds, including the Red Bull Budds Creek National, Red Bull RedBud National and the Red Bull Spring Creek National.
In addition to television coverage, Alli Sports will feature a redesigned website and more than 60 hours of online coverage. All races that air on NBC and NBC Sports Network will be live streamed on allisports.com and through NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. The vast majority of races will be live streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
Races airing on:
* NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sport Live Extra;
* NBC Sports Network will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets
through NBCSports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable,
satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an
authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.
|May 18||SAT||4:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|May 18||SAT||TBA||Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic 450 & 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|May 22||WED||11:30 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 1||NBCSN|
|May 25||SAT||3:00 PM||LIVE||Rockwell Watches Thunder Valley National 450 & 250 Moto I||NBCSN|
|May 25||SAT||5:00 PM||LIVE||Rockwell Watches Thunder Valley National 450 & 250 Moto II||FUEL TV|
|May 29||WED||11:30 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 2||NBCSN|
|Jun 1||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||Built Ford Tough Tennessee National 450 & 250 Moto I||NBCSN|
|Jun 1||SAT||3:00 PM||LIVE||Built Ford Tough Tennessee National 450 & 250 Moto II||FUEL TV|
|Jun 5||WED||1:00 AM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 3||NBCSN|
|Jun 8||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||GEICO High Point National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jun 8||SAT||5:00 PM||GEICO High Point National 450 & 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|Jun 12||WED||2:00 AM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 4||NBCSN|
|Jun 22||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Budds Creek National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jun 22||SAT||3:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Budds Creek National 450 Moto II||NBC|
|Jun 22||SAT||4:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Budds Creek National 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|Jun 26||WED||11:30 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 5||NBCSN|
|Jun 29||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||Moto-X 338 National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jun 29||SAT||3:30 PM||LIVE||Moto-X 338 National 450 & 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|Jul 3||WED||11:00 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 6||NBCSN|
|Jul 6||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull RedBud National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jul 6||SAT||3:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull RedBud National 450 Moto II||NBC|
|Jul 6||SAT||4:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull RedBud National 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|Jul 10||WED||11:00 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 7||NBCSN|
|Jul 17||WED||11:00 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 8||NBCSN|
|Jul 20||SAT||4:00 PM||LIVE||Peterson Cat Washougal National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jul 20||SAT||6:00 PM||LIVE||Peterson Cat Washougal National 450 & 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
|Jul 24||WED||11:00 PM||Moto Highlight Series Ep. 9||NBCSN|
|Jul 27||SAT||1:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Spring Creek National 450 & 250 Moto I||FUEL TV|
|Jul 27||SAT||3:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Spring Creek National 450 Moto II||NBC|
|Jul 27||SAT||4:00 PM||LIVE||Red Bull Spring Creek National 250 Moto II||NBCSN|
“We are pleased to announce the live streaming of every Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship race on NBC Sports Live Extra and allisports.com this season,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “The redesigned allisports.com will feature more than 60 hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship content, including races and practices.”
For tickets and additional information, please visit AlliSports.com/motocross and LIKE the Pro Motocross Facebook page and follow @ProMotocross on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and additional information on the latest Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship news.
Bell bags another WORCS win; Russell gets first OMA win
Precision Concepts/Alamo Alarm Racing Kawasaki’s Robby Bell added a third victory to his resume as the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC World Off-Road Championship Series visited Taft, California, for round five. (Defending series champ Taylor Robert, the winner of the other two rounds that Bell didn’t, opted to sit this one out in order to be 100 percent for the X Games in Spain this coming weekend.)
Despite a two-kick start, Bell didn’t panic as he saw others were in the same boat and he trailed only three other riders (coincidentally all on button-equipped KTMs). Before long, he had the lead and concentrated on riding consistently as he strove to test the limits of his endurance in the two-hour race with temperatures hovering around 100.
One low-speed crash in the WORCS-cross section slowed him only slightly, and he won comfortably over fellow Kawasaki rider Ryan Abbatoye, who earned his first podium. Justin Jones claimed the final podium spot over Justin Seeds while Bobby Garrison–who’s running second in points and is now just one ahead of Jones, 88-87–had problems that held him to fifth. Bell now has a clear lead with 119; four rounds remain.
Meanwhile over near Bedford, Indiana, round three of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals saw a new winner atop the podium, stopping Russell Bobbitt’s win streak. This time, FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Kailub Russell unseated the Husaberg rider, who still got on the podium with his third-place finish. AmPro/FMF Yamaha’s Paul Whibley split the two in second overall. Whibley’s teammate Jordan Ashburn and AirGroup/Radiant Racing Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer (hampered by jetting and tire choice issues) rounded out the top five Pros.
Unofficially, Bobbitt still leads in points with 81 while Russell moves to second with 73. Whibley also moves up a spot to third at 62 while Fahringer drops to fourth with 52.
While there are several companies providing arrive-and-race programs for aspiring Baja racers and motocrossers, there’s been a dearth of such opportunities for those interested in, say, GNCCs.
That’s changed with KR4 Performance’s program for those who wish to race GNCCs. Run by former GNCC Pro Frank Keegan, Jr., KR4 aims to provide a complete turn-key race experience; the client simply shows up at the venue with gearbag in hand, races and leaves at the end of the day. It’s almost like being a factory rider, as team mechanics prepare, maintain and transport the bikes (yours or one of their rentals). In addition, clients have access to a hospitality area and can have KR4 develop a media package to attract sponsors.
KR4 currently sponsors several GNCC racers including Chris Bach, and this support starts with minis and amateurs of its farm team. If you’re interested in just trying a GNCC this year or want to set up a complete series run next year, KR4 invites your inquiries–and the team is considering expanding its services to the AMA National enduros and possibly other series next year. Check out www.kr4performance.com. —Mark Kariya
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.