Georgia GNCC, AMA West Hare Scrambles, Stewart Talks Detroit Win, Concho Enduro Preview, WORCS Round #3, and a Look At The 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere! – The Weekly Dirt: March 19, 2014

By the DR Staff

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we check in on the General GNCC, the AMA West Hare Scrambles, round three of the WORCS series, and James Stewart talks about tying Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time supercross wins list. We also take a look at this weekend’s national enduro in Texas. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get going.

James Stewart Talks About His Supercross Win In Detroit

James Stewart claimed his third win of the season and tied Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time Supercross wins list. Photo By Shan Moore

James Stewart finally ditched the bad luck that’s been plaguing him the last few weeks and came away with a big win at this weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross in Detroit’s Ford Field. The win was the Yoshimura Suzuki rider’s third of the year and the 48th of his career win, tying him with Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time supercross wins list behind Jeremy McGrath.

“I had a great night,” said Stewart. “I was able to get a victory and we didn’t have any weird situations. This is the first time we haven’t been down on the first lap in three races and it feels good. I really felt like we got better and better all day, and then in the main event, we really nailed it. It was great to tie a legend like Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time wins list and now we’ll come back for Toronto and see what we can do up there.”

Not wanting to go down on the first lap again, Stewart took it easy on the first lap.

“On the start, I got a great jump and then I think I checked up too much going into the first corner,” said Stewart. “Guys were going down and after you hit the deck on the first lap for the last three weeks, my guys were telling me to stay upright on the first lap and I might be alright. I did that and it worked out for us.”

With the slippery conditions the tracks have been presenting the riders with all year, most of the teams have been struggling to find a good setup, which Stewart admits is the key to success.

“The last two weeks I think we kind of missed the setup for the main event,” said Stewart. “And this week we kind of struggled early, and I told the guys we gotta get it, and we made some changes and we got it right for the main event.”

The victory also moved Stewart back up to third in the overall championship points, although he’s still 49 points out of first.

“A win always helps the motivation and we’ve got six weeks left and I’ll see if I can get second in the points and break this tie with Ricky and then we’ll get ready for outdoors,” said Stewart. “My season has been pretty solid so far and I feel I’m riding the best I’ve ever ridden, it just sucks to kind of run into bad luck. This shows if I can get a good start I can win races.”

Charlie Mullins Looking To Carry Momentum Into Texas

After dominating the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in South Carolina, Charlie Mullins is hoping to take another win this weekend in Texas. Photo By Shan Moore

Charlie Mullins is hoping to start a string of victories in the 2014 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series just like he did last year when he won eight of the 10 rounds on the schedule en route to last year’s title. After winning the 2014 series opener in South Carolina at the start of this month, the FMF/KTM rider will now carry that momentum into round two of the series in Blackwell, Texas, where he’ll try to extend his points lead in the series standings at the Concho National Enduro, and take home a big chunk of the $3000 Pro Purse offered by Enduro Engineering.

The Concho Enduro is a pretty cool venue, as far as off-road racing is concerned. It’s held at a unique venue in that its located on a picturesque 5000-acre private exotic animal ranch, where you can see long horn sheep, Giraffe, Bison, and other rare animals, wandering around the ranch.

As far as the conditions, the course will be fast, dry and slick, and last year’s winner Andrew DeLong will be looking to repeat that performance on his new factory Husqvarna, although he will have to deal with Mullins and a few other go-fasters like Round One runner-up Jesse Groemm, who claimed a test win on his Maxxis/KLIM/DirtWise KTM at the Sandlapper.

You can’t rule out Steward Baylor, either, the FMF/KTM rider spent all of last year recovering from a wrist injury but still finished third in South Carolina in his first big race back. In Texas, he’ll be looking to improve on that finsh. Meanwhile, eight-time National Enduro Champ Mike Lafferty will be gunning for a top spot as well, and was running a solid third at the series opener when he lost track of the course and gave up considerable time finding his way. The FMF/KTM rider ended the day in fourth and you can be sure “Junior” will settle for nothing less than a podium in Texas.

AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer, who was second overall in last year’s series, will be looking to get back on the podium after barely missing it in South Carolina. Last year, Fahringer logged eight podiums and is one of the most consistent of the top 10.

Brad Bakken is a Virginia Hare Scrambles champ and excels on fast courses, so look for the Am Pro Yamaha rider to be near the top of the results on his YZ250F.

Be sure to check back here next week to see photos and results from the Concho Enduro.

Kailub Russell Wins Muddy GNCC In Georgia

Kailub Russell came out on top of a muddy race in Georgia at round two of the GNCC series. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC

Heavy rainfall saturated Aonia Pass MX Park in Washington, Georgia, creating extreme conditions for round two of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, forcing the afternoon race to be shortened to two hours. Reigning champion Kailub Russell emerged victorious after battling it out for the overall lead with defending XC2 Pro Lites Champion Grant Baylor in the final moments of the race.

Russell wasn't out front for much of the race, but the Factory/FMF/KTM rider pulled it together in the end to secure the overall win and gain thirty points towards the championship chase. It wasn't without a fight from his KTM teammate and XC2 Pro Lites rider Grant Baylor, however, who quickly joined the overall battle on adjusted time. Since the second row takes off approximately one minute behind the XC1 Class, perhaps Baylor had an advantage in making his way through the pack.

Despite a valiant effort from the second row, Grant Baylor missed the overall victory by only four seconds after time adjustment.

AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn finished the race in third, with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC's Josh Strang in fourth AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley in fifth. Series points leader Charlie Mullins suffered problems in the mud and finished the race in sixth.

It was a tough fay for both the Factory Husqvarna ride of Andrew Delong and RideMPS.com/AMSOIL/Honda's Thad DuVall, as both riders experienced mechanical issues early in the race. DuVall was able to complete one of five laps, while Delong's day was over before the first lap was complete.

Bell Helmets Hooks Up With Hookit

In an effort to broaden its ongoing connection with the core amateur riding community, Bell Helmets is extending its program to include Hookit, providing the online service provider an increased level of management responsibility over its ongoing motocross amateur sponsorship program.

Hookit will emphasize critical rider education regarding the importance of helmet design and ultimately helmet safety. Hookit will provide amateur athletes with a direct connection to Bell and the opportunity to be sponsored by the brand and enjoy unique benefits and access to Bell’s premium moto and off-road helmet, the Moto-9, among other Bell products. For sponsorship opportunities, riders are asked to submit their resumes to Hookit, at which point they will be evaluated and ranked, prior to being presented to Bell.

The Hookit marketing platform provides solutions for brands looking to extend their reach through loyalty programs and athlete management programs. Brands can connect directly with their target customers, reward their biggest influencers, and provide exclusive offers, pro-forms or incentives.

View the Hookit program here: hookit.com/bellhelmets/

See Bell's lineup of helmet offerings here: bellhelmets.com

Second Annual King of the Hill Hard Enduro

The second annual King of the Hill Hard Enduro was a tough one, to say the least. Photo Courtesy Marek Vincik / Paul Mos - ZonaEnduro.ro

Muddy, tricky and getting lost. That's how one competitor described the second edition of the King of the Hill Hard Enduro in Romania. You can check it out for yourself in this video from ZonaEnduro.ro. http://youtu.be/Z3Dr3ls_6Vk

—Shan Moore

2014 Super Tenere

Meet the 2014 Super Tenere. Photo Courtesy Yamaha
Here’s a look at the 2014 Super Tenere ES. Photo Courtesy Yamaha

The latest release to the 2014 Yamaha line-up is the slightly changed Super Tenere and Super Tenere ES. Exterior enhancements include LED-style turn signals and a multi-function meter that is claimed to be easier to read and operate. Yamaha also added a navigation mount bar, making it easier for riders to bring along their GPS.

Another added feature is cruise control, joining the already standard ABS and Yamaha’s fly-by-wire YCC-T throttle. The two throttle maps (Drive Mode) were tweaked to have greater disparity between the ‘T’ and ‘S’ settings.

Yamaha also reshaped the windscreen and it can now be adjusted in four different positions, without the need of a tool. The handlebar position is now pulled back 10mm closer to the rider and moved up 10mm.

The 1199cc parallel twin liquid cooled engine gets a slight increase of 2 horsepower and 1.5 ft/lbs of torque. Giving it more get-up-and-go and adding more excitement. It will be available in April in two colors - Team Yamaha Blue and Matte Grey/Matte Black. The MSRP is listed at $15,090.

2014 Super Tenere ES

The Super Tenere ES (a more premium model with all the same features of the base model) now comes with electronic suspension and heated grips. The suspension system allows you to electronically adjust the performance of the suspension with a push of a button. It usese four pre-lead settings, three damping modes, and seven added damping fine-tuning settings, totaling of 84 levels of adjustment. The heated grips feature three settings. The ES comes in Matte Grey/Matte Black and its MSRP is listed at $16,190. It will also be available in April.

SPECIFICATIONS

Model XT1200Z
Engine Type 1199cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke 2-cylinder DOHC
Bore x Stroke 98.0 x 79.5mm
Compression Ratio 11.0:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injection with YCC-T
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission Constant mesh; 6-speed
Final Drive Shaft
Suspension/Front Telescopic fork, 43mm tube, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping, 7.5-in travel
Suspension/Rear Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping, 7.5-in travel
Brakes/Front Dual 310mm hydraulic disc, ABS/Unified Brake System
Brakes/Rear 282mm single disc
Tires/Front 110/80R19M/C 59V
Tires/Rear 150/70R17M/C 69V
L x W x H 88.8 x 38.6 x 55.5 in
Seat Height 33.3 or 34.3 in
Wheelbase 60.6 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 28.0º
Trail 5 in
Fuel Capacity 6.0 gal
*Est. Fuel Economy 40 mpg
**Wet Weight 578 lb
Color Team Yamaha Blue; Matte Grey/Matte Black

—Adam Booth

Gary Sutherlin Three For Three In WORCS, Bonita Bags First AMA West HS Win

Gary Sutherlin stretched his win streak to three in the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) after first battling with fellow KTM rider Eric Yorba and later with former WORCS champ Ricky Dietrich.

In the end, though, Sutherlin re-passed AE/RPM Racing KTM’s Dietrich and sped to a comfortable 34 seconds over R & D Motorsports Kawasaki-mounted Bobby Bonds, with Dietrich settling for third, another 36 seconds back after about an hour and 45 minutes of racing on the notoriously rough Lake Havasu, Arizona, course with temperatures in the low 90s. FMF/RPM Racing/Bonanza Plumbing KTM’s Justin Jones finished fourth with defending series champ Robby Bell fifth on his THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki as he continues to recover from being landed on at Glen Helen a couple weeks ago.

Thanks to his three wins in a row, Sutherlin enjoys a good lead in points and, with a little help now from KTM, he’s decided to chase the WORCS championship instead of just fitting it in when he can.

Meanwhile, at The Ranch in Anza, California, FMF/Klim KTM’s Justin Bonita picked up his first win in the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship Series over points leader Jacob Argubright who was second for the second round in a row. The race was simultaneously round four of the hare scrambles series and round one of the Get-Xtr-Eme Motorcycle Endurance Racing Series.

Bel-Ray/FMF/Moose Husqvarna’s Argubright jumped out to a big lead at first, but Bonita chipped away and after an hour and a half of racing, finally got by for the lead. The Northern California native appeared far more comfortable in the tight-ish manzanita compared to desert specialist Argubright who longed for more rocks. Still, second keeps him comfortably atop the AMA series points standings.

Two-stroke Pro winner Ryan Kudla rounded on the podium on his 3 Brothers KTM followed by 250cc A winner Nick Stover and Vet A winner Morgan Crawford.

The Mint 400 is one of the oldest and most famous desert races in the U.S., but it’s been a while since bikes have run it.

Still, that doesn’t keep former dirt riding champs from taking part in the rough and dusty event south of Las Vegas.

Among the hundreds of competitors, Travis Pastrana finished fourth overall in the marquee Trick Truck division as he continues to recover from a broken leg. He was less than a minute off the podium.

Seventeen minutes behind Pastrana for fifth Trick Truck and fifth overall was Larry Roeseler, who partnered with longtime teammate Troy Herbst in another Ford. —Mark Kariya

That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.