Malcolm Stewart Fined, Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross, Alligator Enduro! - The Weekly Dirt: March 12, 2014

By the DR Staff

Happy New Year and welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we take you to Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross race, plus the Alligator Enduro. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get going.

Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross

Austin Forkner won the prestigious Super Mini Class at RCSX. Photo By Shan Moore
Aaron Plessinger doubled up by winning the 250 and 450 A/Pro Sport class titles. Photo By Shan Moore
Mackenzie Tricker of Australia won the WMX class. Photo By Shan Moore
Brock Papi won the 85 (12-13) and 85 (9-13) Open races. Photo By Shan Moore
Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Zachary Commans took the win in the 250 All-Star race. Photo By Shan Moore

Just over 1200 entries competed for 34 AMA titles at this week’s 5th Annual Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross at Daytona International Speedway as video cameras captured all the action in a first-time-ever live broadcast of the event for RacerTV.com.

The G.O.A.T., Ricky Carmichael, presided over the activities, participating in every aspect of the event, including the registration process, track design, rider’s meeting, and, of course, to talk to fans. In addition, several industry “heavyweights”, who were in town for Saturday's pro race, stuck around to scout up-and-coming talent.

On the track, Aaron Plessinger came into the event with high expectations and walked away with a pair of titles after taking wins in the 250 A/Pro Sport and 450 A/Pro Sport classes. The MyPlash/Star Racing Yamaha-backed rider was ultra fast on the rough and sandy Daytona course and pulled away to big leads in both races.

In the meantime, Team Green’s Austin Forkner won the prestigious and competitive Super Mini (12-16) division over KTM’s Cameron Cannon, leading every lap of the race after grabbing the holeshot.

Winning the first WMX race of the year was Yamaha/FLY Racing/Motorcycle Superstore-backed rider Mackenzie Tricker, the Australian native dominating the Women’s final over Connecticut’s Marissa Markelon, and Florida’s Kylie Fasnacht.

In addition to Plessinger, Brock Papi, Nathan Thrasher, and Jacob Grzebinski were the only other riders to win two titles. Papi took his wins in the 85 (12-13) and 85 (9-13) Open, while the Yamaha-mounted Grzebinski claimed titles in the College (16-24) and 450 B divisions. Thrasher won his titles in the 65 (7-11) Open and 65 (10-11) classes.

Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Zachary Commans was a late entry and came away with a big win the 250 All-Star race, a new class that pits riders from different classes against each other.

Other winners included Team Green Kawasaki’s Jett Reynolds, who claimed titles in the 65 (7-9) class; Kawasaki’s Stilez Robertson, who topped the 85 (9-11) class , and Jalek Swoll, who won the Mini SR (12-14) on a KTM.

In the Senior divisions, Barry Carsten won the Senior A (40+) on a Suzuki; Earl May won the Masters (50+) on a Kawasaki.

Mike Lafferty Wins Alligator Enduro, Again!

Mike Lafferty won another Alligator Enduro on Monday. Photo By Shan Moore

Even Mike Lafferty is not quite sure how many Alligator Enduros he has won, the best guess is 14! That’s a lot of wins for one event, but the FMF/KTM rider is the king of the Alligator Enduro, mainly because of its brutal nature. Lafferty is known for his aggressive, go-for-it style, and his ability to rise up in adverse conditions, and the brutal sand found each year at this event is right in his wheelhouse.

Am Pro Yamaha’s Brad Bakken rode his tricked out YZ250F to second, two points behind Lafferty, while KTM-mounted Jason Klammer was third, another four points back.

Malcolm Stewart Fined

Malcolm Stewart was fined $5000 for his incident with Justin Barcia at Daytona. Photo By Shan Moore

On Tuesday, the AMA announced that they had fined Malcolm Stewart for his actions at this weekend’s Daytona Supercross regarding his run-in with Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia. Barcia tried to pass Stewart during the 450-class final and in the process took Stewart’s front wheel out from under him resulting in both riders going down. In the heat of the moment, Stewart shoved Barcia as the two riders were getting up and this is apparently what the AMA took issue with. The Troy Lee Honda rider was also put on probation for the rest of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

Here's part of what the AMA said in its release: Following a thorough review, the AMA has penalized Haines City, Fla.'s Malcolm Stewart (No. 34) for an AMA Supercross Rulebook violation that took place during the 450SX main event of the 10th round of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, in Daytona Beach, Fla., on March 8.

In light of the seriousness of these violations, and in recognition of the warning issued to Mr. Stewart for a similar violation that took place at the fourth round of the championship on Jan. 25 in Oakland, Calif., Mr. Stewart has been fined $5,000 and placed on probationary status for the remainder of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season.

Stewart also was involved in a similar incident at this year's Oakland round, where he tangled with Cooper Webb and pushed Webb as the two riders were getting up from a fall, which is the "similar violation" the AMA was referring to in the above statement. —Shan Moore

David Kamo Third In JNCC Opener

David Kamo (wearing ball cap and red jacket) poses with some of his Japanese friends and Honda personnel before riding to third at the opening round of the JNCC--using the same CRF450R he raced with the JCR Honda crew to win the 2013 24-hour at Glen Helen. Photo By Mikami Katsuhisa

David Kamo wrapped up his two-week trip to Japan by getting third at the opening round of the Japan National Cross Country (JNCC) series. The race follows the same format as the GNCCs that American off-road racers are used to, being three hours long and run multiple laps over a marked course.

With the scarcity of open land in Japan, however, the courses are, of necessity, much shorter; Kamo reported his lap times were in the nine-minute range compared to around 30 for a GNCC. In addition, there aren’t as many dirt riders in Japan so the field was between 150-200, though putting that number into the smaller confines of the available area seemed to replicate GNCC conditions.

Riding the same CRF450R that he and the rest of the Johnny Campbell Racing Honda crew used to win the JBC 24-hour Endurance Race at Glen Helen Raceway Park in October 2013, Kamo found his hare & hound handy for the dead-engine start despite never competing in a GNCC previously.

“It was more like doing a WORCS race,” he said. “It was pretty open; it was almost two-track wide then it’d go to single-track. It was kind of a sandy clay soil, like Glen Helen.

“It was in an off-road park that had motocross tracks. They had two different kinds of motocross tracks--a beginner and an expert track. It was basically just a gravel pit. They had trees and bamboo, but the trees weren’t very tight or anything. There was a lot of rock in there because it’s a gravel pit, then they added an endurocross course.”

Being the guest racer of honor, the organizers did all they could to accommodate Kamo, even giving him his own “special” line through the endurocross section.

“They thought it would be funny,” he said. “They put my name in Japanese with arrows and I had to take this one line .”

Though not a woods racer, Kamo jumped right in behind the two fast guys: “There were two guys from Yamaha and both of them were test riders. One was a world motocross guy with the number one plate for JNCC--very fast guys!

“When they first took off after the start, they kind of set a cruise speed, then they tried sprinting on me because I was right behind them. So I went with them the whole time, then they went back to cruise speed. After halfway they went a little faster with a little sprint, then they went back to cruise speed. They went pretty fast; they were very smooth--they didn’t do anything crazy.

“The biggest thing is there were lapped riders after the second . It was crazy--there were so many riders everywhere! They really didn’t hold a line so it was really hard to keep your groove going and it was really hard for me to start going, then have to slam on the brakes for a rider going off the course. It was very different for me to do the lapped rider part.

“I lapped a couple guys twice in one .”

Kamo’s raced for three hours at a time during some of his Baja stints, yet he found the JNCC simultaneously different and familiar, due in part to riding the same bike he’d ridden a few months ago: “Same exact bike, same suspension--which kind of gave me nightmares because that 24-hour race was so long that you wake up sometimes having nightmares about it.”

But Kamo enjoyed more than the two races during his two-week stay in Japan. Besides the weekends at the races, the first thing he mentioned? “The food was really good!”

Kamo also acknowledged how well he was treated, with people picking him up at airports, making sure he got on the correct trains and generally ensuring he had a great experience overall.

"Everyone was super-nice, they were super-polite, there were no cocky racers, really, like in the U.S.," he noticed. "After the race, EVERYONE hung out together--even the KTM guys hung out with the Honda guys and everything! It was one big, happy family."—Mark Kariya

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