ISDE Kicks Off, Ironman GNCC, 2015 MotoTrials Schedule, On Any Sunday Premiere - The Weekly Dirt: October 29, 2014

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we take a look at Kailub Russell’s incredible feat at this Ironman GNCC where he won the Pro class on a KTM 150 as he and the US World Trophy squad head to San Juan, Argentina for the start of the 89th ISDE. Kato wraps up the H&H season for us, and we have news from the MotoTrials front. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get going.

Mike Brown (30) will be among the US riders hoping to score gold in Argentina. Photo By Shan Moore

This coming Monday marks the start of the 89th running of the International Six Days Enduro in San Juan, Argentina, and the U.S. World Trophy consisting of Mike Brown, Thad Duvall, Charlie Mullins, Zach Osborne, Taylor Robert and Kailub Russell, are hoping to come away with the US squad’s best finish ever.

Last year, the US World Trophy team finished second in Sardinia, and this year, the team is hoping to bring home a win to honor fallen team captain Kurt Caselli.

U.S. ISDE Team Manager Antti Kallonen thinks we have a good shot.

"All riders will be focused, determined and prepared for this prestigious event,” says Kallonen. “The U.S. teams will arrive in Argentina ready to race for a world title.”

France, the defending champs from last year, will be a major force again in this year’s event, but many think the dry and fast terrain will favor the Americans, plus the fact that the French (as well as all the rest of the European teams) had to pack up all of their gear and fly it to another continent like the Americans have to do every year, will tilt the advantage a little more in our favor.

The Junior Trophy Team consists of Steward Baylor, Grant Baylor, Trevor Bolinger, and Justin Jones. 
Meanwhile, the Women’s team is made up of Sarah Baldwin, Rachel Gutish and Mandi Mastin.

You can follow the event by checking nightly scoring updates on the official website at http://www.fim-isde2014.com. Also, don’t forget to check back in to Weekly Dirt next week to get a midweek update.

Russell Makes History At Ironman GNCC

Kailub Russell won the Ironman GNCC on a 150. Photo Courtesy GNCC Racing/Ken Hill

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It’s one of those things that you probably have to be there to totally appreciate it, but Kailub Russell made GNCC history this past weekend by winning the Ironman GNCC on a KTM 150 SX two-stroke. We’re talking the Pro class here, against 450F’s and the like. And on the gnarliest of all GNCC courses, with it’s massive dirt climbs out of the creeks. It was a totally unbelievable feat to pull off.

Russell took the lead on lap three from FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins and by Rockstar/KTM support rider Ryan Sipes, and pulled away to victory.

At the end of the three hour race, Russell took the win with a minute and a half lead over Josh Strang and Sipes who hung on for third.

“I want to thank everyone who told me I couldn’t win on a 150, because you gave me the motivation to come here and do my best,” said Russell.

Near the end of the race, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Josh Strang passed Sipes to move into second. The Aussie off-roader was able to solidify the position on the final lap but Sipes didn't let up, putting on a last-minute charge to finish only six seconds behind Strang in the third and final podium position.

Strang's second place finish gives the Aussie a number two ranking heading into next season. Meanwhile, Sipes' impressive third place finish marked his first career podium finish in his rookie season of GNCC Racing.

Factory Husqvarna's Andrew Delong finished a solid fourth place overall, with Factory FMF/KTM's Steward Baylor in fifth, N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha's Jordan Ashburn in sixth and Moto Vations Suspension/Palmer Motorsports' Takeshi Koikeda in seventh. N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha's Paul Whibley finished eighth in the XC1 class, while KTM Support rider Grant Baylor finished ninth in his XC1 debut, followed by Mullins in 10th.

After the race, Russell’s bike was raffled off and half of the proceeds went to help injured rider Rory Mead’s recovery. Mead suffered a spinal cord injury last year and the money will go to help cover some of Mead’s medical expenses.

Overall Results (XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites Combined)

1. Kailub Russell KTM

2. Josh Strang (Yam)

3. Ryan Sipes KTM

4. Andrew Delong (Hsq)

5. Steward Baylor (KTM)

6. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)

7. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)

8. Paul Whibley (Yam)

9. Nick Davis (KTM)

10. Grant Baylor (KTM)

2015 US MotoTrials National Schedule Set

Pat Smage will be going for an eighth national trials title in 2015. Photo By Shan Moore

The North American Trials Council recently set its schedule for the 2015 AMA MotoTrials US National Series at its annual rules meeting and this year’s schedule kicks off in Texas on April 11-12 and wraps up in Wyoming on August 8-9. In between, the series makes stops in Arizona, Nebraska and Ohio. And while the series will remain the same for the Expert, Expert 125 and Pro divisions, all of the remaining support classes will divide into East and West regions to participants save money on travel expenses. Here’s the schedule:

2015 US MotoTrials Schedule

April 11-12 – Texas

April 18-19 – Arizona

June 13-14 – Nebraska

June 20-21 – Ohio

August 8-9 – Wyoming

There were a few class changes as well, so for more information on the AMA MotoTrials US National Series check out www.mototrials.com.

Smage Re-signs with Sherco USA

Pat Smage re-signed with Sherco USA for 2015. Photo By Shan Moore

While we're on the subject of Trials, Sherco USA announced this week that eight-time National MotoTrial Champion Pat Smage has re-signed with the team for the 2015 season. The 2014 season will be Smage's 13th straight year with the Spanish manufacturer. Over the years Pat has won the Youth National championship in 2003, the Expert Sportsman National Championship in 2004, and then seven National Mototrial Titles in the Pro Class. We are excited to begin another season with Pat on board, said Ryan Young, Sherco Team Manager. According to Sherco USA, Smage will be contesting the 10 rounds of the AMA/NATC National MotoTrial series aboard the 2015 Sherco ST300.—Shan Moore

Brabec Finishes With Flourish; Wins H&H Championship At Finale

Ricky Brabec enjoyed one of those days when he could do no wrong at the AMA H&H; finale, leading from start to finish and winning the championship in the process. Photo By Mark Kariya
Though Nick Burson had an outside chance at the title, it mostly depended on how Brabec fared. With Brabec winning and Ivan Ramirez second, Burson settled for second in final points. Photo By Mark Kariya
The points leader at the beginning of the year, Ivan Ramirez almost played the spoiler. His second place for the day assured him of third in final points, just two back of Burson, 190-188. Photo By Mark Kariya
The battle for Super Mini supremacy raged back and forth all year between the top two from last year: Braydon Bland (left) and Jarett Megla (center). Bland won the finale uncontested after Megla crashed early. That put them even on final points at 225 so the championship went to tie-breakers. Both also had three runner-up finishes so throwaways ended up determining the champ. That went to Megla for the second straight year since his throwaway was a sixth while Bland had a DNS a few weeks after breaking his arm in a motocross practice crash. Photo By Mark Kariya

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Ricky Brabec didn’t need to win the 10th and final race of the SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series in order to secure the championship--but when the opportunity presented itself, he wasn’t about to say no.

His only realistic challenger, Nick Burson, needed to win with Brabec finishing fifth or worse to retake the points lead and, with it, the title. However, a third-place start behind Brabec and Ivan Ramirez and a few close calls while trying to move past Ramirez changed Burson’s mind, and he settled into third, waiting for a mistake that never came.

Meanwhile, Brabec romped away to win the the 100s Motorcycle Club’s 47th Annual Desert Invasion National Hare & Hound near Lucerne Valley, California, beating Ramirez by more than four and a half minutes.

“I don’t think this day could’ve gone any better than it did,” Brabec exclaimed.

He added, “ means a lot. It’s definitely a dream come true.”

The THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki rider earned the crown in his first full year of chasing all over the western U.S., winning four, getting second three times, third twice and fifth once for 216 points. Purvines Racing Beta's Burson was probably more consistent, but he only won twice and ended up with 190 points while Ramirez was a close third with 188 for the FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team.—Mark Kariya

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter ­– From The Red Carpet

Exactly one week ago in downtown Hollywood, there was a read carpet premiere, which is not an uncommon occurrence. But what was uncommon was that instead of the Hollywood elite, it was the who’s who of the motorcycle industry and their two-wheeled machines that lined that red carpet. Plus, a section of Hollywood Boulevard was closed completely to four-wheeled traffic and was partitioned for motorcycles only. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

In 1971 the world's perspective of motorcycles and motorcycling was forever changed with the release of the iconic film, On Any Sunday, directed by Bruce Brown. It's hard to put into words how that movie impacted motorcycling in general but the sport was never the same. As a renowned filmmaker himself, Dana Brown, Bruce's son, felt compelled to make a modern version of his father's masterwork.

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter is not trying to outdo, or one-up the original, rather, it is intended to complement its predecessor with the same vibe, the same feel, yet focusing on modern motorcycling culture. The movie follows many different disciplines of motorcycling including plenty of dirt bike action. The film explores a bit of Erzberg, Motocross, Trials, Freestyle, and plenty of other on and off-road adventures.

Sitting in a packed theater with 100 percent motorcycle enthusiast was a great experience. We all laughed, winced, oohed, awed, and yelled in unison as the film's stories played out before us. The movie comes out November 7th and we suggest you watch it with as many as your motorcycling buddies as possible, dirt riders or otherwise, to have the same great, shared experience. For a video of the premiere, go to onanysundayfilm.com.  —Sean Klinger

In the Dolby Theater, the sound and theatrical experience was intense. Photo by Sean Klinger
Robbie Maddison was one of the many dirt bike riders highlighted in the film. Photo by Sean Klinger
Though he wasn’t in the movie, it was dedicated to Kurt Caselli. Here is a KTM 450 SX transformed into a retro scrambler by Roland Sands for the Kurt Caselli Foundation. Photo by Sean Klinger
Dana Brown, director of On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter stands next to his father Bruce Brown who directed the original movie. Photo by Jeff Allen
Dana Brown stands on stage with his father and some members of the original cast along with some of The Next Chapter’s cast members. Photo by Sean Klinger

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