Welcome to Weekly Dirt, the best place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we’ve got a mishmash of news from around the industry, including action from Vegas, Supercross news, Utah H&H, MiniMotoSX, and a look ahead to the outdoors. Let’s dig in!
Now that the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Championships have officially been decided, the two-wheeled world is looking to other forms of racing for their weekend excitement. Fortunately, fans do not have to look far. The day before SX ended the opening round of the 2013 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Lucas Oil kicked off on Friday night inside the Orleans Arena, and Mike Brown established himself as a serious title contender with a convincing main event win over Taddy Blazusiak and Colton Haaker. Brown led every lap and opened up a nine second lead but was only two seconds clear at the finish as Blazusiak, Haaker and Webb closed up while fighting for second.
It could be said that Brown had a perfect day of racing in Vegas. First, the KTM racer set the fastest time during the afternoon qualifying laps, then he won his heat race and set the fastest time again during the new night time hot lap that determines the gate picks for the thirteen main event qualifiers. As if that was not enough, Brownie then holeshot the main, led every lap and took home his first AMA EnduroCross win. “I put five hard laps in with no mistakes and the white flag came quicker than I thought it would,” Brown later said. “It feels good to get a win to open the season.” Blazusiak had an off night and said “I have a few things that I think I can make better for the next race”. Haaker, who is riding for the Rockstar Energy, Lucas Oil backed JCR Honda team rode well to take the final podium spot in spite of a tight race with Webb. “I got a good start from the second row and worked my way up to third and I felt like I could have made an aggressive move on Taddy in the second to last turn but I knew he would not give it up easily so I decided to check up”.
Webb, now riding a Beta two-stroke had to come back from a terrible start to finish fourth ahead of Geoff Aaron, who is now riding a Red Bull backed KTM 350. Monster Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert finished sixth ahead of Husqvarna’s Cory Graffunder, RPM KTM’s Kyle Redmond, Monster Kawasaki’s Justin Soule and Beta’s Max Gerston rounded out the top ten. Destry Abbot was eleventh, Jamie Lanza twelfth and Gary Sutherlin was thirteenth in the main.
The Women’s class had a first time winner as Shelby Turner beat fellow Canadian, Chantelle Bykerk. Rachel Gutish finished third. Maria Forsberg, the defending Women’s champion had a tough night and finished fourth and Louise Forsley, the second place women from 2012 missed the race due to injury. The night also included support classes and Kurt Nicoll started the night off by winning the Vet 35+ class ahead of Ty Davis and Colby Begin. Tyler Murray won the Open Amateur class by taking the lead in the last turn from second place finisher, David Broderick. Gavin McCarthy finished third. Australia’s Jack Field wowed the crowd by pulling a backflip off the finish line log while taking the win in the TrialsCross class. Ty Cullins and Ty Tremaine finished second and third.
Another fun element of the night was that the entire program was featured live online via MotorTrend’s Youtube channel. Viewers tuned in from around the globe to check out the race action, which is still online and available for viewing at www.dirtrider.com/features/endurocross-live-webcast-2013/. Each and every round of the EnduroCross championship will be covered in a live webcast this year, so as long as you have an Internet connection there is no reason for you to miss these events! Round two of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross series will take place in Sacramento, California inside the Sleep Train Arena on Saturday, June 8th. Prior to heading to Sacramento, most of the top EnduroCross riders will make a trip to Barcelona, Spain for the second of the Global X Games Enduro X events. That event will take place on Saturday, May 18th and will feature live ESPN coverage. For more information, please visit www.EnduroCross.com. –Chris Denison
10 Years Of Banging Bars!
Tens years is how long the GEICO AMA MiniMotoSX has been taking place in Las Vegas Nevada. Hundreds of determined mini bike races gather every year to see who is the fastest on factory like little bikes. The blinding fast Ryan Abrigo left the Orleans Arena with the 12 Inch Expert and World final number one trophies as well as a third place mantel piece in the 10 Inch Expert class. Abrigo’s 12 Inch Expert win wasn’t without out a fight from Mike Valade from France and Italy’s Francisco Levi. The speed the pros ride pit bikes is just plain crazy!
In the first Expert/Pro race of the night, Braaap-backed Michael Blose won the 10 Inch Expert class. He had an awesome battle with CHP’s Willy Browning and BBR’s Abrigo. Abrigo and Browning traded second place many times while trying to run down Blose.
Fourteen year old Carson Brown dominated the two 13-17 year old Youth classes, topping Fouert Thibault and Dillon Thompson in the 10 Inch class. In the 12 Inch Youth class, Brown was chased by Bret Welch and William Bojorquez but not too closely, he lapped almost the entire class. In the 9-12 year old Youth class, ten year old Tristan Edmonds held off repeated pass attempts by Jensen Brown to take the win. Dalton Bolinas took third. Tatum Sik defended her Women’s class title, which was made sweeter by the fact that multi time WMA champion Ashley Fiolek. Former MMSX women’s champion Jackie Ives rounded out the podium. In the 10 Inch Amateur class, Gauthier Gourjault made the trip from France pay off with a win. Austin Tessitore and Kevin Popaeko rounded out the podium. The 12 Inch Amateur class title was won by Zach Martino but the crowd was loud and fully behind on Tatum Sik, who just five minutes before had won the Women’s final. Drake Williams took third.
The Vet 35+ class, it was SSR-mounted Jeff Willow winning for the second year in a row. The former top Supercross and ArenaCross racer dominated the class and also competed in the Expert classes. The 16 Inch Amateur class was won by Shawn Rhinehart over his good friend Daniel Maynet while Scott White took the final podium position. The 8 Inch and Vintage class was won by Jake Osbourne. Zac Hayes, the defending champion finished second and Joshua Sheffer was third.
Jake Osbourn earned a second win in the 10 Inch Stock/Mod class. Joshua Sheffer was second and Austin Parr rounded out the podium. The 12 Inch Stock/Mod class was won by Austin Parr with his second podium of the night. Derek Cappiello and Anthony Esposito shared the podium in second and third.
The final race of the night, the World Final takes all of the podium finishers from the Expert, Youth and Women’s classes as well as the top International riders. Abrigo and Blose had an amazing back and forth battle for the top spot that went all the way to the last lap with Abrigo taking a narrow victory even with losing his rear brake and blowing a few turns. France’s Valade took third place honors. Despite some talk that this was the last year for MiniMotoSX that is not the case, with nearly 300 entries in 15 classes and a large crowd inside the Orleans Arena mini bikes and racing still has some horsepower and offers a lot of exciting racing. Will it be back at the Orleans next year or maybe an all new location? Keep those mini bikes tuned up and always be ready to bang bars! –Adam Booth
Vegas has come and gone. That means Supercross has commenced and its time for the thirty plus two’s. The Dirt Diggers MC will kick off the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals on May 18th at the infamous Hangtown MX Park. By the time Vegas rolls around most of the riders are turning their heads towards outdoors and are ready for a brand new chance at a championship. Yes, the slate is erased clean and everyone goes in tied on points at ZERO.
The 450 class will again be the class with the most depth. With riders like Villopoto, Reed, Dungey, Alessi, Canard, Barcia, Weimer, Grant, Short, Rattray, Wilson, and who can count out the #7 of Stewart! That’s over 10 guys who can win a moto on any given day. Yes, Villopoto will be the favorite going into the series, but I’m sure it will not be a runaway if any of these other riders have a say in it.
The 250 class will have plenty of talent, as well, with Tomac, Roczen, Musquin, Hahn and Cunningham. These riders have been here before and now how to get it done in the summer months. The 250 class will also bring out fast rookies Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb and Justin Hill to name a few. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of these guys on the box over the course of the twelve round series.
So load the kids up, get your shorts on and your coolers ready, cause there is nothing like getting close to the action and getting some mud in your eye at an AMA Lucas Oil Outdoor National.—Kris Keefer
Caselli Crushes The Competition In Off-road Racing’s Super Weekend
There was something for everyone last weekend, especially if you were an off-road racer in Nevada. Besides the supercross finale on Saturday night, you had the EnduroCross kickoff on Friday night, the MiniMoto and the Arenacross finales on Sunday–all in Las Vegas. In addition, you had the AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix in nearby Primm all weekend, Best in the Desert’s Silver State 300 on Saturday starting outside of Alamo and, five hours away in Utah, round six of the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series.
Kurt Caselli, of course, focused on the hare & hound. Having won round five at Lucerne the week before, he looked forward to the Sage Riders Motorcycle Club’s event at the LIttle Sahara Recreation Area near Jericho. After all, it was at this race last year that he crashed and broke his shoulder, an incident that nearly prevented him from claiming his second consecutive series championship.
So, he let FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team teammate Ivan Ramirez lead through the first loop, which was 35 miles long and included some of the LIttle Sahara’s famous sand dunes.
But Caselli took command on the second loop–also 35 miles–which sent riders up in elevation and got them more into the trees where it was tighter (but no less dusty), and he stretched it out even more on the 30-mile final loop. Off-Road Support/Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Jacob Argubright held second the last half of the race, adding a few points of cushion in the points standings. While Caselli drew farther away in front with 145, Argubright’s grip on second in points got a little tighter over Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson–third on the day–122-114. Western Design Racing TM’s Tuffy Pearson once again topped Open A in finishing fourth overall while 250cc A winner Josh Knight rounded out the top five overall on his ADS Motorsports KTM.
At about the same time, BITD’s Canidae/Tap It Silver State 300 saw the THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki squad go 1-2. Its “B” team of Ricky Brabec and Ty Renshaw were second off the line but assumed the lead when Ryan Abbatoye–the stand-in for Nick Burson–dropped out with an unspecified issue. The THR “B” team kept the “A” team of Robby Bell and David Pearson at bay for a while, but in the end, the defending series champs proved stronger and motored by less than two minutes, 5:21:50-5:23:14. Third went to Open Expert winners Kyle Hucklebridge, Dave Potts and Kurt Sofka, Jr. on their MTA Kawasaki followed by 250cc Pros Curtis Bradley and Jeremy Purvines and Over 30 Pro Tim Fitzpatrick, both teams on Purvines Racing Betas.
Meanwhile, a little farther south in Nevada–and also on Saturday (as well as Sunday)–the Shamrocks Motorcycle Club presented round four of the Big 6 GPs at Primm. In the featured AMA West Coast Grand Prix, Johnny Campbell Racing/Rockstar Energy Honda’s Timmy Weigand once again dominated the Pro division after taking over from first-lap leader Justin Seeds. Kawasaki-mounted Seeds kept it close until midway through the 90-minute event when he pitted for fuel (Weigand pitted the lap before, which let Seeds draw very close). After that, he rode a lonely second while Blayne Thompson on a Honda maintained third the entire way. RPM Racing KTM’s Eric Yorba finished fourth overall to top the Heavyweight Expert class while Rowan Trefz was the first Vet Pro at fifth overall.
Sunday’s Heavyweight Expert race saw Caselli and Ramirez go 1-2 on their way back to California. Ramirez once again led the early going–just more of it, like the first three lap–before Caselli rode by and was gone. JCR-supported Evan Kelly finished third followed by LIghtweight I (250cc) Experts Chance Wylie and Kevin Barbosa.
Looking ahead a few weeks, preparation is well underway for the Tecate/SCORE Baja 500. As it looks to repeat last year’s historic triumph, the THR Motorsports crew has added a new face to its team: Taylor Robert. The former WORCS champ has been concentrating on EnduroCross this year as a Monster Energy Kawasaki rider and jumped at the chance to join the highly touted crew which includes Robby Bell, Steve Hengeveld and David Pearson. While Robert has raced in Baja before, it’s been in more technical Tecate hare scrambles, which are nothing like SCORE races, but team owner Scott Jacobson believes that Robert will adapt quickly, especially if assigned the right stint.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Toby Price continues to recover after undergoing surgery for his broken neck, an injury suffered at round four of the AMA’s hare & hound series last month. With him out, the FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM team continues to search for a solution as the Baja 500 approaches. Caselli and Ramirez will, of course, comprise the “A” team. But with Price out, Mike Brown has no partner so it’s either put all of KTM’s eggs into one basket–with “Brownie” joining the “A” team–or hire a Price replacement. Rumors of Kendall Norman signing with KTM were flatly denied last week by team manager Antti Kallonen who responded in an e-mail: “Kendall has not signed with KTM. I have been talking to Kendall, but at this point, nothing has been finalized or signed.” Of course, that could change.—Mark Kariya
2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Schedule Announced
Already missing Supercross? Feld Motor Sports announced this week that the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season will feature 17 races inside North America’s most renowned football and baseball stadiums. For the first time ever the Monster Energy Supercross checkered flags will drop inside the greater New York Metropolitan area’s MetLife Stadium. In addition, Detroit’s Ford Field will be returning to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule.
“Monster Energy Supercross is in the midst of the most competitive eras of racing we’ve ever seen,” said Charlie Mancuso, President, Feld Motor Sports. “With 40 incredible seasons behind us, we look ahead to continue bringing the best racing on the planet to new markets and new audiences across North America. The sport is at an all-time high in terms of attendance, popularity, and media exposure, so it’s only natural that we continue to expand to the largest media market in the world – New York.”
The state-of-the-art MetLife Stadium, in the greater New York Metropolitan area, is not only one of the newest venues in the country, but it sits on one of the most iconic pieces of land in the history of major sports competition. For over 30 years, The Meadowlands, which was torn down a few years ago and replaced with the beautiful MetLife Stadium, has been the site of some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment, including a five-year period with Monster Energy Supercross in the late 80s and early 90s. MetLife Stadium will play host to the penultimate stop of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season on April 26.
“I’m looking forward to the new stops during the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season,” said newly crowned three-time defending champion Ryan Villopoto. “I think it’ll be good to race in some new stadiums. There’s a big racing community in the Northeast, which should draw a big crowd. Just like in Seattle, being that far north in the winter, the weather will likely play a part in the dirt and temperature. It’ll be cool to go somewhere new with no expectations. Every stop we go to is unique, but I’d say the racing tends to get better on the East Coast because the dirt allows us to push a little harder.”
The “Motor City” has not hosted a Monster Energy Supercross race since the 2008 season. The stadium will once again serve as the host site of the Detroit stop for the fourth time, as the 11th race of the season on March 15. Monster Energy Supercross has raced in the Detroit area for 32 years, dating back to 1976. The first 29 years were hosted in nearby Pontiac, inside the legendary Silverdome.
In total, the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross schedule will challenge the fastest riders on the planet with 17 races over the span of 18 weeks on the most intricately designed and physically demanding tracks ever conceived. The Monster Energy Supercross schedule will open in Anaheim, Calif., and conclude the first weekend in May inside Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium.
Date Venue City
January 4 Angel Stadium Anaheim, Calif.
January 11 Chase Field Phoenix
January 18 Angel Stadium Anaheim, Calif.
January 25 O.Co Coliseum Oakland, Calif.
February 1 Angel Stadium Anaheim, Calif.
February 8* Qualcomm Stadium San Diego
February 15 Cowboys Stadium Arlington, Texas
February 22 Georgia Dome Atlanta
March 1 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis
March 8** Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 15 Ford Field Detroit
March 22 Rogers Centre Toronto
March 29 Edward Jones Dome St. Louis
April 5 Reliant Stadium Houston
April 12 CenturyLink Field Seattle
April 26 MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, N.J.
May 3 Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas
“Celebs” Cheer On Jack Field At TrialCross
The opener of the AMA EnduroCross/TrialsCross at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada has come and gone. GAS GAS 360 Stunts had a great run at it with new rider addition Jack Field from Flair Riders winning the Trialscross opener at the Orleans Arena.
360 Stunts had a couple of friends drop in to catch the race as Randy Couture “Expendables” and Mike Austin from “The Voice” joined 360′s TJ Austin “Ambushed” at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas to cheer on the GAS GAS team.
Couture was great in even taking the time to sign autographs for fans along with Austin, and 360′s Rider Lexi Pechout seen in photo with her Dad, Couture, and Austin.
Jack has a great presence as this Australian joins his new team mates Riders #11 Ryan Sandoval (former American Junior Trials Champions) and #151 Lexi Pechout (Our 15 year old CMA 2013 Canadian Ice Race Open Pro Champion) under the race direction of 360 Stunts Hollywood Motorcycle Stuntman, Actor and former FIM World Super Bike Rider Tj Austin
Sandoval and Field head next to Barcelona SPAIN for X Games International 2013 and Thanxs to the help from Dave Martinez GAS GAS Factory will be aboard the GAS GAS EC300E’s racing the competition.
Stay tuned in at www.360stunts.com for up to date info for their Film, Stunt, and Race Crew information.
DuVall Wins Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mammoth GNCC
Thad DuVall put a late pass on Josh Strang to claim his first victory of the year at this weekend’s Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mammoth GNCC in Park City, Kentucky. The race was nothing short of a mudder, as three consecutive days of rainfall in South Central Kentucky left the Park City facility totally saturated, promting promotor Racer Productions to cancel the morning races and combine those classes with the afternoon Pro race in order to salvage as much of the racecourse as possible.
With nearly 400 racers, ranging from Pros all the way to Women’s and C class divisions taking part in the 1 p.m. race, it was survival of the fittest in Sunday’s condensed two-hour competition. Less than 15 riders were able to complete all five laps of the race, a true testament to the rough track conditions. Heavy rainfall made for sloppy conditions but perhaps it was the added element of lappers that aided in making Round 5 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series one of the toughest races in recent history.
Strang and DuVall remained steady and consistent as the duo began putting a gap on the rest of the field. Strang led a majority of the race until Lap 4 when DuVall took over the lead after both riders stopped in the VP Racing Fuels Pro Row. In the end, DuVall powered his Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com-backed Honda 250F to a solid win after coming out on top of a race long battle with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Strang.
In the meantime, series points leaders, Charlie Mullins and Kailub Russell, each succumbed to mechanical problems due to the mud and the FMF/KTM teammates ultimately DNFed the race.
Carolina KTM/RidePG.com-backed Chris Bach rounded out the podium, while Jordan Ashburn was fourth ahead of his AmPro Yamaha teammate Paul Whibley.
Mullins finished fourteenth overall, salvaging championship points despite not being able to complete all five laps of the race. However, Russell wasn’t quite as fortunate, leaving Round 5 without scoring any points toward the overall National Championship.
XC1 Event Results:
- Thad DuVall (HON)
- Josh Strang (KAW)
- Chris Bach (KTM)
- Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
- Paul Whibley (YAM)
- Adam Bonneur (KAW)
- Charlie Mullins (KTM)
- Mark Fortner (BET)
- Rory Mead (KTM)
- Takeshi Koikeda (HON)
XC2 Event Results:
- Zach Nolan (KTM)
- Jason Thomas (KTM)
- Justin Sode (BET)
- Michael Mcginnis (KTM)
- Scott Grills (KAW)
- Travis Coy (KTM)
- Lucas Statom (YAM)
- Mat Herrington (KTM)
- Alex Benhart (YAM)
- Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)
Torsten Hallman to be honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend
Torsten Hallman was instrumental in the introduction of motocross to America, and on Friday, Oct. 18, he will be honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Hallman, an existing Hall of Famer, will be recognized alongside the class of 2013 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend, hosted by the American Motorcyclist Association, on Oct. 18-19 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Torsten’s prominence, since the early days of motocross in the USA, has never faded,” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame. “His riding technique and skill changed the sport, his business acumen generated many business opportunities, and his personal qualities brought the sport and the business magically together.
“Torsten’s elevation to AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend status marks another milestone in the American motorcycling scene that only Torsten Hallman could provide,” Heininger said.
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are existing members of the Hall of Fame whose lifetime accomplishments are showcased as part of the annual induction ceremony of new Hall of Famers.
Hallman, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, was a four-time World Motocross Champion when he came to the United States in the late-1960s as part of the effort to popularize both the Husqvarna motorcycle brand and the sport of motocross. Hallman’s incredible talent on a motocross bike was a revelation to American fans and racers. Within a few years after Hallman’s first visit, motocross became the most popular form of motorcycle racing in the United States.
Hallman’s talents were not limited to the track. He also was a savvy businessman and founded a riding apparel company: Thor. The company’s early designs and innovations heavily influenced the look and function of motocross riding gear for decades to follow. Today, Thor is one of the biggest names in motocross apparel.
“I am really honored to be recognized as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend and am already looking forward to coming to Las Vegas to participate in the AMA Legends Weekend,” Hallman said. “It pleases me to see that motocross has become such a dominant sport in the U.S. — a huge improvement since I came over as the first rider to introduce the sport. At that time nobody even heard about this sport, so I had to spell the word ‘motocross.’ Today it’s a well-known word — I am really proud!”
Hallman was born in 1939 in Uppsala, Sweden, a scenic university town about 50 miles north of Stockholm. His father and older brother were both motorcycle racers, and Hallman grew into the sport quickly. He won his first race, and from that moment his path was set. Competitively, that journey culminated in four 250cc motocross world titles. Hallman’s battles with Belgium’s Joel Robert, a fellow Hall of Famer, are still considered some of the best ever in the history of the sport.
The AMA Legends Weekend kicks off with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night, Oct. 18, in a star-studded gala event that honors the motorcycling world’s fast and famous. The next morning features the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception, where the class of 2013, the 2013 Legends and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers from previous years will be honored and interviewed on-stage in a relaxed setting that allows fans and friends to get up close and personal with motorcycling’s greatest.—Shan Moore
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.