Welcome to Weekly Dirt, the best place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we’ve got news about this weekend’s EnduroCross opener in Vegas, the Hare & Hound in SoCal, an update from the Sealine Rally, a look ahead to the Canadian Red Bull Rocks & Logs, plus Rob Koy sent us a nice report from the Carport Empire Contingency Cup race in Florida. There’s lot’s to talk about, so let’s get to it.
Holy smokes, how is it May already? It seems like only yesterday that the Monster Energy Supercross championship was kicking off in Anaheim, and here we are coming into the final round in Las Vegas! Last weekend was definitely one to remember, as you may have already read in this week’s What Really Happened race report (if you missed it, catch it here: http://www.dirtrider.com/features/what-really-happened-rad-dad-enduro-salt-lake-city-supercross/). Suffice it to say, Ryan Villopoto is stoked, Ken Roczen is bummed and Eli Tomac is more than likely going into Las Vegas with a head full of motivation. Davi Millsaps has nothing much to prove after a strong, full year of surprising people, but a win for the Rockstar Suzuki racer would surely be a sweet way to wrap up the season. No matter how you cut it, Vegas is going to be a great race for the fans!
On the EnduroCross front, the big news is that for the first time ever, all seven rounds of the 2013 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship will be broadcast live online, starting this weekend in Las Vegas. EnduroCross fans will be able to access the shows via the www.EnduroCross.com and www.DirtRider.com websites or the Motor Trend YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/motortrend), which already has a whopping million+ subscribers. This first Vegas round will be commentated by yours truly alongside Jason Weigandt, with the live webcast covering all of the major elements of the night show. If you’re lucky enough to be on hand in Las Vegas, the action takes place this Friday, May 3rd during the Monster Energy AMA Supercross finals weekend. You can get tickets at the Orleans Arena Box office: http://www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/geico-endurocross-summer-2013, and you can learn more by clicking on www.EnduroCross.com.
For the complete Vegas experience, many race fans will be sticking around on Sunday for the tenth anniversary of the MiniMoto SX, which will go down on a converted Orleans Arena course using the very same dirt that the EnduroCross racers pounded on Friday night. With eight adult classes and three youth classes as well as a women’s class, the MMSX will surely draw some big names as it provides the best pit bike racing in the world. If you’ve got an old CRF50 in the garage, dust that sucker off and come out and play! The track is safe yet super fun, and the spectating is phenomenal. Entry forms are available at www.minimotosx.com.
Finally, I wanted to give a shout out to www.burnitathletics.com, a training website started by my super-fit cousin that is geared towards helping people with super-busy lives maintain and reach their fitness goals. Not surprisingly, BurnIt’s program is a perfect fit for motocross and off-road racers who find themselves short on time and in need of access to a trainer both when home and on the road. Memberships include real one-on-one communication with an actual trainer—none of that pre-written spam stuff—with custom programs available based on your training and riding goals. Take a gander at the website or check out www.facebook.com/BurnItAthletics if you’re in the market for a new fitness plan, I think you’ll like what you see. —Chris Denison
ISDE Team USA Shirts Available for Purchase
This year’s ISDE is just around the corner, September 30th through October 5th in Sardinia, Italy, to be exact, and the AMA has announced it is making the 2013 International Six Days Enduro fund-raising shirts available for purchase. Proceeds from the shirts support this year’s U.S. effort. To buy a shirt, just visit the AMA’s online store at www.americanmotorcyclist.com > ISDE Team Info > Buy An Official T-Shirt.
“Competing in the ISDE is a major logistical effort, and it’s very expensive on both a rider and team level,” said AMA Off-Road Manager Chuck Weir, who also serves as the team’s jury delegate to the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme for the event. ”
All fans who would like to be part of the effort to get our best riders to this historic event are encouraged to purchase a 2013 fund-raising shirt and back our run at the world title.”
In addition to the World and Junior World Trophy Teams, the United States sends several club teams to compete at the ISDE. These riders, from whom the women’s and senior teams also will be selected, earn a spot on the team by competing in one of two ISDE qualifiers. More information about the qualifiers and the selection process are available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
ISDE Qualifiers Announced
Speaking of Six Days, U.S. ISDE qualifiers are being organized by the Appalachian Dirt Riders May 25-26 in Wellston, Ohio, and the Boise Ridge Riders June 1-2 in Idaho City, Idaho. Details for the Ohio event are at www.adrohio.org. More information about the Idaho event can be found at www.boiseridgeriders.com. To be considered for a club team, a qualifying rider also must file a Letter of Intent with the AMA. More information about filing the LOI can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com or by calling
For 2013, Antti Kallonen and Robert Pearce join Weir on the U.S. ISDE management team as team directors. Kallonen is KTM North America’s off-road team manager, and Pearce is KTM North America’s vice president of operations. Hall’s Cycles owner Jay Hall will serve as team manager. The assistant team manager will be Paul Bucher. Bruce Wakeley will be the service out-check manager and Mandi Mastin will be the container manager.
“Each year, we learn more about competing at this World Championship event and how to get better as a team,” said Kallonen. “I expect 2013 to be no different as we build on last year’s successes and improve on other areas. We’re excited for the 2013 qualifiers to get under way. In addition to our World Trophy, Junior Trophy and Women’s Trophy teams, we want to send the strongest possible contingent we can, and the qualifiers help ensure that. Plus, they are a great way for local riders, whether or not they intend to advance to the ISDE, to come out and experience the unique format of the World Enduro Championship.”
Kallonen added that he’s confident the 2013 management team will provide exceptional support. “With last year being the first year with some operational changes, we have put together another great team of experienced support staff for this year,” Kallonen said. “Each member of the team brings years of experience and will be great asset to reach our goals. Our goal is to provide the smoothest operation possible so the riders can focus on racing and winning.”
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 to motocross tracks for the event’s top prize: the ISDE World Trophy. In addition to the World Trophy Team, each year the AMA sends a contingent that includes America’s top junior, women, vet and amateur off-road racers, racing for team awards, individual honor and American pride.
The AMA’s ISDE effort would be impossible without the support of various companies. In addition to riders’ individual manufacturer and product sponsors, direct team sponsors include Wellard, Arai, Worldwide Material Handling Products, Spectro, Motion Pro, Radiant Global Logistics and Moose Racing.
Red Bull Rocks & Longs: Canadian Urban Endurocross
Here’s something cool for those fans north of the border. Canada’s first Urban Endurocross comes to Calgary on May 25, 2013. A custom track built by pro rider Shane Cuthbertson brings design elements from Enduros and Harescrambles across the globe to Wild Rose MX Park, in the heart of Calgary.
Red Bull Rocks & Logs is an endurocross competition taking place on a course filled with a variety of natural and man made obstacles. It will be a head-to-head, knock-out format where 136 top riders take to the track – divided by class with 112 riders in the amateur category and 24 riders in the pro category. There will be a cash prize purse of $8,550 split between top 6 winners in each class.
Here’s a look at the format:
• Head to Head Knockout Bracket
• Amateur Class – 4 lap qualifying heats | 6 lap final
• Pro Class – 4 lap qualifying heats | 8 lap final
Amateur Registration runs from 10 am – 11 am, while Pro Registration is from 12 pm – 1 pm. Amateur heats start at 11:30 am with the Pro Heats getting underway at 2 pm. The Amateur and Pro finals start at 5 pm.
The registration fee for Amateurs is $55 (max 112 riders); and for the Pros: it is $70 (max 24). Included in registration is a rider welcome bag, track entrance fee, race insurance (waivers to be signed on site). You must be 18+ to enter.—Shan Moore
1-2 for Caselli and Ramirez at H&H; Cody climbs to sixth at Sealine Rally
Last week, we shared Quinn Cody’s cautious first day of the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar, round two of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Though a relatively short four-day event totaling about 1000 miles, it proved to be a good test of both riding ability and navigational skills, and in the next three days Cody drew himself up the ladder as he gained confidence.
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma repeated as race champion by a mere four seconds over Cody’s Speedbrain teammate Paolo Goncalves with Coma’s teammate Jakub Przygonski three minutes and 12 seconds back in third. Cody ended up sixth, improving in the standings each day. Stage two found him ninth and stage three saw him jump to seventh.
“I wanted to concentrate on the navigation today and make no mistakes,” he said after that day. “That’s what I did, after I’m now used to the bike and the speed in this rally. Too bad it’s over by tomorrow. This is the perfect race to test and to train.”
At the finish, Cody declared, “I’m not fully back to my best, but I’m improving, learning more about navigation and I’m gaining my confidence back. My new Speedbrain 450 Rally is an incredible bike on every type of soil: sand, stones, full throttle, whatever. I can’t wait for the next races and know what I have to keep working on.”
A few days later back in the SoCal desert, Cody’s friends and former teammates Kurt Caselli and Ivan Ramirez tore it up, going a strong 1-2 in finishing well ahead of the rest of the somewhat depleted field at round five of the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series. Several players in the series were injured at round four and couldn’t ride, leaving the door open to opportunity open a bit wider at the 27th Annual Virgin Voyage hosted by the Vikings Motorcycle Club in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area outside of Lucerne Valley, California.
To no one’s surprise, FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Caselli romped to an easy win–his third consecutive–but for Ramirez, it proved to be a breakthrough race. Second to the bomb, he kept Caselli in sight throughout the 42-mile first loop, dropped about two and a half minutes behind on the hotter and physically demanding 40-mile second loop, and was some four minutes in arrears at the end of the 14-mile third loop for his first National podium.
Credit has to go to the training regimen Caselli puts his housemate through.
“We do a bunch of different things,” Ramirez explained. “We moto a lot and trail ride. Troy [McIntosh is] our trainer, and we do a lot of road rides [on bicycles]–a lot of different things I’m doing that I wasn’t used to before [moving to Kurt’s]. I mean, it helped. It was really tough the first two weeks–I was done every day! I just wanted to sleep and do nothing.
“After that, I’ve been improving and improving, which is good. I had a good race today. I’m happy with that and I going to keep with the program, for sure!”
Caselli seemed more pleased with his teammate’s results than with his own. He said, “We’re trying to get him going so we can really get after this Baja program. When I look back and see him, I get excited, too.
“I’m just happy that we finally got a 1-2 finish. Ivan’s really been wanting that for a long time and he’s completely capable. It’s just been a process getting him to here. He’s been sick for a few months at the beginning of this year so I know he’s happy and that makes me happy, and it makes all the work that we do during the week worth it.”
Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson was both happy and relieved to finish third, matching his season-best finish from round two after what turned out to be a crash-filled day. “I kind of struggled all day in the rocks,” he confessed. “The front end was tweaked [and] I was all over the place. I got third–I’m surprised and I’m lucky. The [6D] helmet obviously worked. I hit my head hard three times today and the helmet’s beat up and I’ve got a little bit of a headache but no signs of anything [like concussion].”
After getting a top-10 start Morgan Crawford moved into fourth on loop two aboard his Wilson’s Motorsports KTM, but falling twice on the final loop drained him and he couldn’t hold off Agent Orange Racing KTM’s Irving Powers who motored by to take the spot and Open A. (Coincidentally, that matched his result from the previous day’s Virginia City Grand Prix–won by Northern California’s Ross Neely followed by Brian Garrahan and Aric Swan–after which he and his crew made the eight-hour drive to Lucerne.) Crawford held on to fifth overall, earning second A overall and the Vet A victory.
As for the usual suspects absent from the National, the list reads like a laundry list of injuries: former points leader David Kamo sat out on doctor’s orders to give his cracked rib and scapula more time to heal; Justin Morrow is still recovering from surgery; still bothered by back pain after his crash in Idaho at round three, T.J. Hannifin discovered after a doctor’s visit that he’d cracked a point of his spine and needed three weeks of rest; Tuffy Pearson got his wisdom teeth pulled on Friday and he’ll likely miss more rounds as he prepares to go on his church mission; and while Skyler Howes was present, his back brace illustrated the requirement to stay off the bike until his fractured vertebrae heal.—Mark Kariya
First Annual Carport Empire Contingency Cup
When was the last time you went to an amateur race and went home with a Visa gift card for your topfive result? Well, this past weekend at the famed Motocross Of Marion County MX track in Reddick, Florida, that is what everyone received who placed in the top five. Kevin Keen, the owner of CarportEmpire.com, is a leading national distributor of metal carports and steel garages, who happens to be a big fan of motocross. Last year he got involved in the sport by sponsoring a few amateur riders. This year he wants to help the motocross community by offering a $30,000 contingency race in his home state. With the approval of the AMA, the First Annual Carport Empire Contingency Cup was held this past weekend. Many Amateur standouts from the Southeast came for this three-day event. After the final motos were completed on Sunday morning the awards were handed out on the newly constructed Carport Empire podium. Standout riders were Zachary Bishop Burnett who won all five classes he entered. Other standout performers include RJ Hampshire, who won 250A, 450A and 450 Pro Sport; Jerry Kopoian, the 250 Pro Sport winner; Mitchell Harrison, Supermini champ; Christina Older, Women’s class winner, Jordan Bailey, 85cc 9-11and 85cc JR mini 9-13 champ, and Bryce Mauldin the 250C and 450C winner. I heard a rumor this weekend that Kevin is planning more contingency events for later this year. There should be PR in a few weeks. —Robert Koy
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.