Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. We hope all of you had a great Easter holiday, and we trust you’re ready to get back to the business of living and breathing the off-road life! There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get to it!
After a much needed break in the action, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series gets back down to business this coming weekend in Houston’s Reliant Stadium for round 13 the series, and there’s no doubt that defending champ Ryan Villopoto would like nothing more than to come away with his fifth win in a row, thereby putting another nail in the series coffin.
Villopoto made history last year in Houston, clinching his second-consecutive 450-class Championship and becoming the first rider to do so with four races remaining on the schedule.
“It’s huge,” said Villopoto after last year’s race. “There is a lot of hard work that went into this, and I am only one piece of the pie; the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team has worked very hard all year to help me make this happen.”
The Kawi rider seems to be in the same state of momentum that he was in at this time last year, so look for him to be fast and confident on the Houston course.
Meanwhile, another rider on a roll, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, will go for his third win in a row in the East 250 Series this weekend. However, East 250 Series points leader Wil Hahn still maintains a six-point edge on Musquin in season standings with three races remaining.
“I need to get my starts back, it’s killing me right now,” said Hahn. “I’ve got to turn my brain back on and I’ve got to get back on that top step [of the podium] where I belong.”
Pre-season favorite in the East 250 Series, Dean Wilson, will not be racing Houston, and will probably be out for the rest for the season due to the injuries the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider suffered at Indy a few weeks ago. In the meantime, the team has just announced that newly crowned Areancross champ Tyler Bowers will be filling in for Wilson for the final three races.
“I was overwhelmed when I got the call,” said Bowers. “I really wanted to race Supercross once Arenacross finished, but didn’t have anything lined up. I have my KX250F dialed in from Arenacross, but now working with Pro Circuit we have taken it to the next level.”
After four years with Kawasaki and three consecutive championships, Bowers was an easy choice for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. He’s already proved himself in Supercross including last year when he achieved top-10 finishes in both the 250SX and 450SX classes.
“We’ve had a trying year in Supercross with a lot of injuries,” said Pro Circuit owner, Mitch Payton. “When we heard Tyler was available to help us, we were really excited because he is a proven champion and will be a strong addition to the team.”
If you can’t make the race in person, SPEED will broadcast the Houston Monster Energy Supercross races LIVE on Saturday, April 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Cairoli And Herlings In The Netherlands
Over seas, at the GP of the Netherlands, round three of the FIM MX World Championship held on Monday, April 1, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings were triumphant in the notoriously deep sand of Valkenswaard.
Despite riding with pain in his arms, Cairoli topped the MX1 podium with a solid 1-2 performance, bowing only to his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Ken De Dycker in moto two.
In moto one, De Dycker passed Cairoli to take the lead early in the race, however the Belgian rider crashed hard couple of laps later, allowing Cairoli to retake the top spot. Cairoli eventually took the moto win, while De Dycker rebounded to finish third behind Russian Honda rider Evgeny Bobryshev.
In the second moto, Cairoli made a few mistakes early in the race due to pain in his arms and decided to slow down in order to stay in two wheels. After a few laps, the Italian got his rhythm back, but by that time De Dycker had already opened a big gap. At the finish, DeDycker took the win with Cairoli in second.
DeDycker’s 3-1 was good enough for second overall behind Cairoli, while Bobryshev was third overall with a 2-4 tally. Fourth overall went to Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos.
In the MX2 division, local favorite Jeffrey Herlings remained undefeated since 2012 on the Valkenswaard circuit by going 1-1 to take the overall win. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider had a tougher time than expected, though, having to start from the 40th gate after getting DQed during qualifying for getting outside assistance.
Herlings managed an excellent start in race one, however, and was eighth after the first corner and leading by the middle of the race. The second moto was more complicated for Herlings, however, as his start was not as good, but he succeeded in picking off riders on each lap until he got into second. At this point, his teammate Jordi Tixier was already 21 seconds ahead of him, but the French rider was getting tired and Herlings passed him near the end to win the race to complete a perfect day.
Second overall went to Tixier, who rode well in both races. The French rider grabbed the holeshot in both heats and led the race comfortably until his teammate Herlings passed him in each case. Third overall went to Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Jake Nicholls, who claimed his maiden MXGP podium after finishing fourth and third in the two races.
American Supercross fans should recognize the name Max Anstie. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe rider had a great start in the first heat and crossed the finish line third ahead of Nicholls. However, in the second moto he started down in the eighth position and had his problems moving up. In the end, Anstie finished sixth and was fourth overall.
MX1 Overall: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 40 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 34 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 30 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 30 p.; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 29 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), 28 p.; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 21 p.;
MX1 Championship: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 142 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 116 p.; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 115 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 108 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 89 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 87 p.; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 87 p.; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 73 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), 61 p.; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), 58.
MX2 Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 35 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), 23 p.; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.; 8. Priit Ratsep (EST, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), 19 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 16 p.;
MX2 Championship: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 150 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 101 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 98 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 97 p.; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 74 p.; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 72 p.; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 71 p.; 8. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 69 p.; 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 64 p.; 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), 62.
Husaberg’s 12 Questions
Here’s a fun video from Husaberg with Russell Bobbitt, Mike Lafferty and Nick Fahringer.
AMA and Husqvarna announce winner of Husqvarna TE449 in 2012 AMA Husqvarna National Dual Sport Trail Riding Series
American Motorcyclist Association member Chris Latham of Greencastle, Indiana, has one more reason to hit the trails this year. The 46-year-old Latham won the grand prize for participating in the 2012 AMA Husqvarna National Dual Sport Trail Riding Series: a 2013 Husqvarna TE449 from series sponsor Husqvarna North America. The annual AMA prize drawing, conducted by the independent auditing and accounting firm of Plante & Moran of Columbus, Ohio, included participants in all events on the national dual-sport calendar.
”This is awesome! I never dreamed that I would win anything like this,” said Latham, who was entered into the drawing thanks to his participation in the Enduro Rider Association’s Baby Burr dual-sport ride in McArthur, Ohio. “I have a friend who has been going to the Baby Burr for years, and he hooked me up with that ride. I’ve done it the last two years. I took my son with me last year, and it was the best riding I have ever done in my life.”
Latham, who has been riding motorcycles since he was eight years old, said that events on the AMA Husqvarna National Dual Sport Trail Riding Series are some of the most fun he has had on a motorcycle.
“We also do local cross-country races in Indiana, but these days, dual-sport rides are where my real passion is,” Latham said. “That’s what I enjoy doing, and it gives me an opportunity to ride with my son. I like being able to just go out and ride with friends and enjoy the ride and not have to cover the same trail over and over again. Going on a 100-mile trail ride with friends and coming back to a campfire and camaraderie — it doesn’t get any better.”
Latham’s Husqvarna is a big step up from the first motorcycle he rode in the woods.
“Believe it or not, my first bike was a Honda Dream, and I rode that thing all over the woods when I was a kid,” said Latham, who is looking forward to taking delivery of his Husqvarna so he can give his current bike to his son. “Then, in 1977, I got a brand new mini-bike, and I was king of the world.”
World Trials School
If you’re an avid trials fan, then you’ll be interested to know that the Trials Training Center will be hosting a two-day Trials school taught by former Spanish Trials champion Jordi Pascuet following the World Championship round in Sequatchie, Tennessee, this May.
Pascuet has won European and Spanish Championships, and is also one of the nicest guys on the planet! America’s #6 Pro Trials rider, Eric Storz, will be assisting Pascuet in the school. Storz is also the a star of “Young Guns” a training DVD by Ryan Young, and rides for the Trials Des Nations team. The cost is $150.00 per day, and will include a catered lunch. There will be a max limit for this class. More info to come… check out www.trialstrainingcenter.com! —Shan Moore
Bobbitt Back On Top At Muddy OMA
Four-time AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt is no stranger to mud and tight woods so the rain-soaked course near Dawson Springs, Kentucky, for the Sidi Cross-country National, round two of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals, didn’t bother him in the least.
In fact, he felt so at home that he took his factory-backed Husaberg TE 300 to a convincing victory for his first OMA win streak. Airgroup Radiant Racing Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer made it a ‘Berg 1-2 while five-time and reigning series champ Paul Whibley rounded out the podium on his AmPro/FMF Yamaha YZ450F.
Bobbitt now has a perfect 60 points to top the points tables while Fahringer (3-2 so far) has 46. FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Kailub Russell is far more comfortable in dry conditions and he slithered around to fourth, putting him third in points at 43 (thanks to his 2-4 results to date) while Whibley (5-3) sits fourth in points with 37.
Overall Results –
1. Russell Bobbitt (Hsb)
2. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
3. Paul Whibley (Yam)
4. Kailub Russell (KTM)
5. Adam Bonneur (Kaw).—Mark Kariya
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.