Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place to find the latest in off-road news in a nutshell. Sit back and enjoy your serving of dirt for the week!
Off-road Silly Season
KTM and Husaberg announced this week their lineup of off-road talent for the 2013 season and there are few surprises. KTM will be returning 2011 GNCC champ Charlie Mullins, along with this year’s GNCC runner-up Kailub Russell to the Orange camp, while welcoming newly crowned AMA National Enduro champ Stu Baylor into the fold. Rounding out KTM’s army on the western side of the country will be reigning AMA National Hare & Hound Champion Kurt Caselli; reigning WORCS Pro 2 Champion Ivan Ramirez; former 125cc Motocross National and WORCS Champion and reigning X-Games EnduroX Gold Medalist Mike Brown; and multi-time GNCC Women’s Champion and X-Games Women’s Gold Medalist Maria Forsberg. Noticeably missing from the team is three-time enduro champ Russell Bobbitt, who will be joining eight-time enduro champ Michael Lafferty on the factory Husaberg team.
“I feel we have a very strong team for 2013,” said KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen. “We have put together a solid team of riders, each of whom is equally capable of winning a championship. We have a great group of riders and mechanics as well as the best offroad race bikes available and together we hope we have a recipe for success. We are looking forward to the 2013 season and a chance to win all the championships.”
Also missing from the KTM/Husaberg lineup are Nick Fahringer and Cory Buttrick. Word is that Fahringer has signed with Air Group Racing, a satellite team from Nebraska, and will be riding a Husaberg. Meanwhile, Buttrick recently re-injured the knee that he just had surgery on and explains on his blog that he’s looking at a return to racing this summer, although it is not clear on what bike, or with what team.
Globally, Husaberg has signed extreme off-road racer Graham Jarvis for 2013. Graham has established himself as one of the top riders in Extreme Enduro in the past seasons and won most of the toughest races this year, where only a couple of riders managed to reach the finish line.
“I’m delighted I am to be a factory Husaberg rider and look forward to working with my new team,” said Graham. “I love the 2013 Husaberg and am really excited about the new season and working to defend my titles and hopefully gain a new one – Erzbergrodeo.”
2013 Endurocross Schedule
The AMA Endurocross series just released its domestic schedule for 2013 and the series returns to the same venues as this year, starting in Las Vegas on May 3rd and ending in Las Vegas on November 22-23. The series will also include three “global” rounds, rumored to be in Brazil, Spain and Germany, although those dates have not been confirmed at this time. For the third year, Enduro X will be part of the X Games in Los Angeles taking place on Sunday, August 4th. There will be some additional news regarding Global X Games coming soon.
May 3 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV (SX finals week)
June 8 Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Aug 4 Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA (X Games)
Sept 21 Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, CA
Oct 12 National Western Complex, Denver, CO
Oct 26 Comcast Arena, Everett, WA
Nov 9 Idaho Center, Boise, ID
Nov 23 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
X-Games Global dates to come.
Taddy Blazusiak Video
Speaking of Endurocross, KTM just released its latest video of Red Bull KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak as he captures the 2012 AMA EnduroCross Championship! Check it out here:
No LA Dodger Supercross
Feld Motor Sports announced this week that due to the improvements that the Los Angeles Dodgers intend to make to Dodger Stadium during the offseason, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race that was originally scheduled to be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on January 19, 2013 has been moved to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, in Anaheim, California. In addition, the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® event, which was scheduled for February 16,, 2013 at Dodger Stadium, has been cancelled.
“Our expectation is to be underway with enhancements to Dodger Stadium in preparation for the 2013 baseball season during the time these events are scheduled,” said Bob Wolfe, Executive Vice President of the Dodgers. “In order to avoid any possible impact on the January 19 Monster Energy Supercross race and the February 16 Monster Jam event, we, along with Feld Motor Sports, came to the decision that it would be best to have the event moved to another location on January 19.”
“We are working diligently to make the change from Dodger Stadium to Angel Stadium for the Jan 19 Monster Energy Supercross race seamless for the teams, sponsors, and most importantly the fans,” said Ken Hudgens, Chief Operating Office, Feld Motor Sports. “The collective effort between the Monster Energy Supercross staff, Dodger Stadium staff, and Angel Stadium staff to make this venue change has been very positive.”
Refunds to the two Dodger Stadium motorsports events can be obtained at the point of purchase. Tickets for the January 19 Monster Energy Supercross race at Angel Stadium of Anaheim will go on-sale Friday, December 7 at 10am PST.—Shan Moore
Pearson Heads Into 2013 With BITD Championship After Henderson 250 Win Plus Other Desert News
David Pearson romped to a relatively easy win at the TransWest Ford Henderson 250 in Jean, Nevada, the fifth and final round of Best in the Desert’s American Off-road Racing Series. To sew up the championship for himself, partner Robby Bell and the rest of the THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki crew, he basically needed to only roll away from the start line outside of Jean, Nevada.
But Pearson isn’t one to take it easy once he gets the green light and after following THR teammate Ricky Brabec around the 46-mile course, he struck when the opportunity presented itself during Ty Renshaw’s stint. Despite having to solo the race (Bell was busy with the final round of the AMA D-37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series in Pala, California, where he would clinch two class championships), Pearson enjoyed a trouble-free ride and sped away in triumph.
Though he was looking at the possibility of three championships just a month and a half ago, Pearson was satisfied with “only” the BITD number one plate. “You can’t be disappointed,” he insisted. “If I was riding injured or hurt and not healthy for next season, I’d be disappointed, but I’m not disappointed with how [my year] ended. I obviously wanted to win [all three], but what happened [in Baja and the hare & hound series], happened. You learn from stuff that happens and you come back stronger.”
And while it’s taken him a while to come back from the broken femur he suffered in 2008, Pearson is definitely looking forward to 2013. He’ll be back with THR, which will run a program nearly identical to this year’s successful one, with SCORE’s three Baja races and the BITD series figuring prominently in those plans. What remains to be seen is THR’s involvement in the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series.
Speaking of desert news, there was yet another race over the weekend, this one the always popular Tecate hare scrambles hosted by the Los Ancianos Motorcycle Club in that single-track slice of Baja heaven. Relentlessly tight (except by, maybe, New Jersey standards), it’s always challenging and proves there’s much more to Baja than five-foot-deep whoops and 100 mile-per-hour rocky two-track.
This edition (the club puts on an enduro every now and then, and plans to do another one next year) saw Ivan Ramirez make the trip from Ensenada very worthwhile. Tapped to be on the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team next year, he got the holeshot for the first time at Tecate and proceeded to lead the way from there to the finish, though Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Bobby Garrison hounded him the entire way. Zip-Ty Racing Yamaha-mounted Gary Sutherlin rounded out the podium on his new WR450F. Ramirez not only won the $1000 Malcolm Smith/KTM Pro Challenge, he also pocketed the $300 Desmond McDonald/DP Racing Holeshot Award.
Meanwhile, after spending Thanksgiving in La Paz celebrating the holiday and his team’s Baja 1000 victory, Johnny Campbell is back at it and preparing not only for his second annual Johnny Campbell Christmas Grand Prix at The Ranch in SoCal, he’s also busy getting ready for Dakar. In fact, he’s in the middle of testing somewhere in the desert with the guy who’ll primarily carry Honda’s Dakar hopes, Helder Rodrigues, Campbell essentially being Rodrigues’ chase rider. Unfortunately, the test is closed so we can’t bring you photos or more information at this time.
That’s all for this week, check in next week for more off-road news. —Mark Kariya
Timmy Weigand Wins 2012 AMA Big 6 Championship
From JCR Honda:
The final round of the AMA Big 6 series was held this past weekend at Pala MX. The laps were hovering in the 9 min range for the pros. The course consisted of some great MX track sections and high speed hard packed Off-Road sections. Timmy holeshot the race, he and Colton Udall had a good moto going for the final 45 min race finishing a JCR/Honda 1-2 for the moto. Over the 2012 season Timmy and Colton split time on Eric Siraton prepped Honda CRF450R’s and X’s. Timmy won 5 of the 8 rounds and secured his AMA D-37 Big 6 championship by winning the final moto of the year.
“It was great to finish up the 2012 Big 6 series with a Championship following up our recent Baja 1000 Championship. I’m looking forward to next weekends Johnny Campbell Christmas Classic and then a few weeks off for some much needed Family time. The D-37 crews did an amazing job putting together all 8 rounds of the series. The tracks were always prepped and watered well. The Big 6 community is the backbone of Off-Road racing and the 2013 season looks to be the best yet. I want to thank Eric Siraton for always going above and beyond, Johnny Campbell for his support all year, John Parkinson for having my back all year, my wife and kids for always supporting me and my teammate Colton Udall for pushing me to be the best I can be.” — Timmy Weigand
Davi Millsaps Switches to Rockstar Suzuki
The number 18 of Mr. Millsaps put in a stunning 2012 season aboard his JGR Yamaha YZ450F and proved to all of his non believers that he is a force to be reckoned with. Davi secured his first podium in Daytona, FL last year where he finished second and scored four more throughout the SX season. After his best Supercross season, Davi headed into the outdoors with confidence, but some bad luck forced him to sit out quite a few races due to injury. Still, the JGR Yamaha pilot muscled out a ninth overall in the 2012 MX season.
We recently spotted Millsaps ripping laps on his 2013 Rockstar Suzuki RM-Z450 at the Milestone supercross test track. With Davi stepping up his game and winning over some loyal fans, we know he’ll be a man on a mission throughout the 2013 SX and MX series’. —Chris Green