Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world! This week we take a look at the Enduro X on TV, H&H, Red Bull X-Fighters and more.
Global Enduro X On ESPN This Thursday
This week is the start of the Global X-Games series and it kicks off on Thursday in Brazil. First up on the menu is Enduro X, and it’s going to be covered live on the tube this Thursday, April 18th on ESPN and WatchESPN starting at 7:00 pm EST, so be sure to check it out. Most of the top GEICO EnduroCross racers have committed to competing in the three new Global X Games events that will include Enduro X and the first of those will take place this Thursday in Foz do Iquacu Brazil. For more, check your local listing or http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/foz-do-iguacu/schedule/.
According to Eric Peronnard, the creator of EnduroCross and ESPN Enduro X sport organizer, the venue in Brazil is amazing and the larger space will make the course different than what the EnduroCross regulars are used to. “So we may see some different riders excel on these larger courses and expect exciting racing no matter what,” adds Eric Peronnard.
Here is a list of X Games Brazil Enduro X Riders
- Taddy Blazusiak
- Cody Webb
- Taylor Robert
- Mike Brown
- Cory Graffunder
- Kyle Redmond
- Colton Haaker
- Geoff Aaron
- Ricky Dietrich
- Gary Sutherlin
- Destry Abbott
- Bobby Prochnau
- Max Gerston
- Ryan Sandoval
- Bryan Roper
- Wally Palmer
- Jack Field
- Peter Weiss
- Alfredo Gomez
- David Knight
- Antonio Balbi
- Nielsen Bueno
- Romulo Botrel
- Rigor Rico
X Games Brazil Enduro X Women’s Rider List
- Maria Forsberg
- Chantelle Bykerk
- Kacy Martinez
- Tarah Gieger
- Laia Sanz
- Jolene Van Vugt
- Rachel Gutish
- Mariana Balbi
- Marcella Gonclaves
- Brunna Bartz
After the first 2013 X Games Enduro X event, the riders will gear up for the first round of the 2013 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series, which will kick off on Friday, May 3rd during the Monster Energy AMA Supercross finals weekend in Las Vegas.
James Stewart’s Hay Bale Encounter
If you watched Saturday’s Supercross round from Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome then you know that James Stewart pulled out of the main event due to an injury to his wrist. It wasn’t exactly clear at the time what was going on, so here’s the scoop straight from the Yoshimura Suzuki rider himself.
“Everything was going smooth and then I went down in the heat race and hurt my wrist,” said Stewart. “I’m not sure if the hay bale was kicked in or if I was just too far out, but I caught the hay bale. I stomped on my back brake and went over the handlebars. But I hurt my wrist pretty good. Then I went out for the LCQ and got the holeshot and just tried to survive.”
In the 20-lap main event, Stewart got out of the gate with a top-10 start and quickly moved up to fifth and then fourth place. At that point, he jarred his wrist and was unable to finish the race.
“In the main event, I got a bad start but was making my way up,” said Stewart. “My wrist was sore, but I was making it. Then I cased the triple when I was making a pass and jarred the wrist. I’m optimistic that everything is fine. I have to admit, it’s been a rough couple of weekends, but I’m not giving up. Overall, I’m happy with the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and I’m happy with how our team is working together.”
Spain’s Dany Torres beats defending champion Levi Sherwood in a thrilling Red Bull X-Fighters event in Dubai
Photos By Joerg Mitter, Predrag Vuckovic, Daniel Grund and Naim Chidiac.
The Red Bull X-Fighters invaded Dubai over the weekend with Dany Torres of Spain won a gripping battle of the champions, as the 2011 World Tour winner narrowly defeated defending champion Levi Sherwood of New Zealand by a score of 3-2 on a challenging dirt course in front of the world’s tallest building – the spectacular 828-meter Burj Khalifa. France’s Thomas Pages won the Swatch Best Move award for his crowd-pleasing “volt” jump that had him spinning in mid-air off the seat of his bike to the cheers of 13,000 spectators. It was a thrilling event at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.
Torres put in a masterful performance of freestyle motocross through three rounds with his polished jumps of up to 15 meters high and 30 meters in distance. It was the first win for Torres in the world’s most prestigious FMX series since Madrid in 2011 but he was reluctant to say it made him the new title favorite this year after Pages dominated the first stop. “The level of the top riders is so close this year,” he said. “If you make just one mistake, you’re out. It’s difficult to say who’s going to win the championship,” added Torres, who had a brilliant run in the final against Sherwood. The on-form Spaniard, who also won in Dubai in 2011, was beaten by Pages in the final at the 2013 season opener in Mexico City last month but was able to turn the tables this time on the flying Frenchman when they went head-to-head in a spine-tingling semi-final showdown.
Pages, who had dominated Qualifying, put in his a riveting performance with the “Volt”, the “Special Flip” that has him doing a back flip off his seat while the bike is in mid-air, and the 540-degree turn known as the “Flair.” Pages had the crowd cheering as he nailed three of the most difficult tricks known to mankind but he crash-landed on his last jump, a flip, and was punished hard by the judges. “I just went for it,” said Pages. “I pushed it but maybe pushed it too much and crashed. I’m disappointed.” Among the enchanted spectators was Fabio Cannavaro, who was the captain of Italy’s soccer team that won the 2006 World Cup.
The next stop is in Glen Helen (USA) on May 11.
Results: 1. Dany Torres (ESP), 2. Levi Sherwood (NZL), 3. Thomas Pages (FRA), 4. Rob Adelberg (AUS), 5. David Rinaldo (FRA), 6. Libor Podmol (CZE), 7. Mat Rebeaud (SUI), 8. Maikel Melero (ESP), 9. Josh Sheehan (AUS), 10. Daisuke Suzuki (JPN)
Standings: 1. Torres 180 points, 2. Pages 165, 3. Sherwood 145, 4. Adelberg 110, 5. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 65, 6. Melero 60, 7. Rinaldo 45, 8. Todd Potter (USA) 40, 9. Podmol 35. 10. Rebeaud, 30.
Tread Lightly! Unveils Bold, New Website
As a top priority to better communicate in an increasingly digital world, Tread Lightly! has recently revamped its website. With a bold new design, ultra-easy navigation and multiple points of entry, this valuable mechanism used to connect with the public is now better than ever before.
“We’re elated with the outcome of treadlightly.org’s redesign,” said Lori McCullough, executive director of Tread Lightly!. “We now have a more user-friendly site, are providing our top-investing partners with better exposure on every page and we’ve given our members a place to share stories, photos and experiences.”
Treadlightly.org has also been optimized for search to maximize traffic and to deliver Tread Lightly!’s message to an even larger audience.
According to McCullough, top-priorities for revamping the website were to improve access to educational materials as well as increase store sales and member interactivity. The main desire for growing sales through the store is to generate revenues for Restoration for Recreation – a Tread Lightly! initiative established to help keep the great outdoors healthy, open and accessible to the American people.
With the improved website and store, Tread Lightly! is busy increasing the product offerings available through its store. The majority of new product offerings will be Tread Lightly! branded merchandise, ranging from t-shirts to after-market automotive accessories.
Treadlightly.org contains free educational resources to help anyone interested in minimizing their impact when recreating outdoors.
Ups And Downs In The Desert
“It’s been an interesting year. I feel like I’m still trying to catch up to what’s going on,” Kurt Caselli shared after winning the No Bull National hosted by the So Cal Motorcycle Club near Lucerne Valley, California. The race served as the fourth round of the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series and came just three weeks after he’d won round three, which was his first victory of the year, and by all indications, Caselli has indeed caught up.
In fact, though the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team leaders trailed and was fourth in points going into the event, he got a break when previous points leader David Kamo went down on the bomb run and spent the rest of the day playing catch-up–though not very successfully.
Having received new graphics for his Johnny Campbell Racing/Rockstar Energy Honda-supplied machine, Kamo looked forward to continuing his run of good finishes but instead found himself with a disappointing day.
“Actually, I had a good jump [when the banner dropped], but Skyler Howes cut across everybody[‘s line, including mine].
“It dusted me out because the wind was blowing to the left so I figured I’d go to the right and I had nowhere to go–I had four Joshua trees in front of me in the dust. All of a sudden a Joshua tree popped up and I was full throttle and I thought, ‘Oh crap!’ ”
Fueled by adrenaline after his fifth-gear get-off, Kamo scrambled back to his bike and rejoined the race, albeit buried in the pack. “I just struggled all day. I was a little sore–I’m not going to lie!”
He would eventually come back to finish 16th, worth five points, while Caselli romped away in front to earn 30 points for his efforts. That vaulted him all the way to the top of the points table while Off-Road Support/Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Jacob Argubright also earned enough points with his runner-up finish to trail only Caselli, 85-82. Western Designs Racing TM’s Tuffy Pearson scored a career-best third overall in winning the Open A division for the third round in a row.
After his fast start, Howes found himself running with the leaders on his Blais Racing Services KTM, but he and Australia’s Toby Price crashed on the first loop hard enough to earn trips to the hospital. Howes ended up with a broken back and Price was diagnosed with a broken neck that required surgery, though both are expected to make a full recovery. (Price was scheduled to undergo surgery today. He will obviously be unable to join Kurt Caselli and Ivan Ramirez during their planned Baja testing this week, and it throws a wrench into KTM’s original plan to team him with Mike Brown–who’s competing in Brazil in the opening round of the global X Games tomorrow–in the Baja 500 after their sixth-place finish at San Felipe last month.)
In foreign desert news, the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship kicked off with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in the United Arab Emirates and that race saw some interesting developments. (Surprisingly, the Dakar is not part of the series.) Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma came from behind on the final day of the five-stage race (the first day was cancelled due to a sand storm) to win by just 32 seconds over Speedbrain’s Paolo Goncalves. (With BMW Motorrad’s Husqvarna being sold to Pierer Industrie AG last month and terminating official support for rallies, the team was able to keep the bikes, declare themselves a manufacturer and “rebrand” them as Speedbrains so while they look exactly like the Husqvarnas used to great effect in previous rallies, they’re officially Speedbrain 450 Rally machines, and American Quinn Cody will make his Speedbrain debut at the Sealine Rally next week in Qatar. Cody put in a good 100 miles or so pre-riding the So Cal National course on a KTM he had available, though he didn’t ride the race.)
While Coma’s triumph was not a huge surprise, it’s interesting to note that the leader of the race from the prologue up to the final day was Great Britain’s Sam Sunderland astride the factory Honda CRF450 Rally machine that made its debut at last year’s Morroco rally. Slipping to fifth on the final day, Sunderland–who missed Dakar after breaking his wrist in December–finished third overall in the race behind Coma and Goncalves, making for three different marques on the podium. We asked Johnny Campbell if Honda had made major changes to the bike and since he wasn’t at Abu Dhabi, he could only go on visual inspection of photos where a different exhaust was the only thing that stood out. (Campbell will remain active as a rally bike tester here in the U.S.)
More Honda news involves its rally team. Longtime Husqvarna PR and Racing Activities Director (at the factory in Italy) Martino Bianchi retired last week after 21 years with the company, but it turns out he wasn’t ready to settle down. Instead, he will manage Honda’s factory rally team.
Purvines Racing Beta owner Ron Purvines hinted last week that the 2014 Beta line-up will include special edition Purvines Racing replicas that will be outfitted exactly as his team’s 250, 450 and 498 RRs. According to Purvines, buyers will be getting race-ready machines–engine, exhaust, tank, skid plate, suspension, tires, everything–so all that’s needed is dialing the suspension, sticking numbers on and filling the tank.
1. Kurt Caselli
2. Jacob Argubright
3. Tuffy Pearson
4. Nick Burson
5. Evan Kelly
6. Robert Underwood
7. Justin Morgan
8. Irving Powers
9. Tallon Taylor
10. TJ Hannifin
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.