Outdoor Motocross, WORCS, GNCC, On Any Sunday Trailer, Missouri Enduro and MotoTrials Preview! – The Weekly Dirt: May 14, 2014

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we get a sneak peak at the new movie “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter.” We also look back on this past weekend’s GNCC at Loretta Lynn’s. The outdoor series starts in less than two weeks so we’ll also check in on a couple of new additions to that series, and Kato brings us and update from the WORCS series. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get going.

Metty And Christophe Ready For National MX

Brett Metcalfe will be filling in for Ryan Villopoto in the outdoor series on the Monster Energy Kawasaki team. Photo by Shan Moore.
Christophe Pourcel was second in the 250 outdoor series. Photo By Shan Moore

Last week we found out that Ryan Villopoto is skipping the outdoor series to have surgery on his knee and will have to miss the national motocross series. All is not lost, though, for Team Kawasaki because popular Aussie Brett Metcalfe will be filling in for RV for the summer. Metty rode in Canada last year, but competed in a couple of outdoor nationals last year, finishing fourth at Southwick on what was basically as a privateer. On RV’s bike, look for Metcalfe to be a consistent top-five performer and to challenge for a podium now and then.

Meanwhile, Christophe Pourcel is back after a two-year hiatus (if you don’t count the two motos he race for MotoConcepts). The former MX2 World champ signed a one-year deal with Valli Yamaha to ride the new YZ250F with factory support from Yamaha. If you remember, Christophe was leading the 250 points standings in 2010 but injured his shoulder in the last race at Pala and ended up finishing third behind Trey Canard and Tyla Rattray.

Charlie Mullins Wins Loretta Lynn GNCC

Charlie Mullins extended his lead in the GNCC series with a win at the Loretta Lynn GNCC. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing
Josh Strang grabbed a podium with a third place finish. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing
Grant Baylor won the XC2 class with an eighth overall finish. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing

Round six of the Grand National Cross Country Series was this past weekend and Charlie Mullins took a close win over title rival and FMF/KTM teammate Kailub Russell at the Parts Unlimited GNCC at Loretta Lynn's. It was a big win for Charlie since it extended his lead in the series standings to 12 points over Russell. These two guys have been battling back and forth for the past two years in this series and it’s been pretty interesting to watch.

Mullins has also been riding the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series and he currently has a comfortable lead in that series, and I have no idea if riding two series helps or hurts him. As far as I know, Kailub only rides the GNCC series.

Rain before the Loretta Lynn race made things interesting, as conditions reportedly became extremely slippery in a very short amount of time.

Mullins and Russell spent most of the three-hour race taking turns leading the race, which in the end worked out to be a six-lapper.

Russell held the advantage near the end of the race, but stopped in his pits to get a splash of gas and that's when Charlie capitalized to close the gap that Russell had gained late in the race.

"On the last lap I made a little mistake and Charlie got around me," Russell said. "We battled pretty hard the next couple of corners, banging bars pretty hard and fighting for the first place position. I kind of got rebounded out of a rut and it sent me to the ground. I put on a hard charge to catch up but the damage was done."

Mullins held off Russell in the final moments to capture his second straight victory of the season, finishing just six seconds ahead of the second place finisher of Russell, where he now holds a 12-point lead over Russell heading to Round 7 in two weeks.

Overall Results:

1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

2. Kailub Russell (KTM)

3. Josh Strang (Yam)

4. Chris Bach (Hon)

5. Jordan Ashburn

6. Andrew DeLong (Hsq)

7. Paul Whibley (Yam)

8. Grant Baylor (KTM)

9. Ricky Russell (Yam)

10. Takeshi Koikeda (Hon)

On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter Trailer

Who among us can argue that there was a greater motorcycle movie that “On Any Sunday”? Well, the trailer for On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter was just released and it looks to be just as good, although I doubt it will have the incredible impact that the first movie had on our sport, however, you can bet that I’ll be standing in line to see this one too.

Here’s a look at the trailer:

Missouri National Enduro and Colorado Trials

Charlie Mullins will be going for a fourth-straight win in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series this weekend in Park Hills, Missouri. Photo By Shan Moore

Charlie Mullins will be going for a fourth-straight win in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series this weekend in Park Hills, Missouri. Photo by Shan Moore
Pat Smage is the favorite to win a seventh Aires AMA NATC MotoTrials US National Championship, and that series begins on May 24-25 in Texas Creek, Colorado. Photo By Shan Moore

The Next two weekends are events that are near and dear to my heart. First up is the Lead Belt National Enduro in St. Joe Park in Park Hills, Missouri, which is this coming weekend. This is always a great event, and a cool place to watch an enduro, especially if water is running down its infamous waterfall section. And after looking at the weather I’m sure it will be plenty of water flowing. The Missouri Mudders always do a great job with this event.

Like I said above, Mullins has jumped out to a lead in the series, having won all three of the rounds held so far, but at the last race in Tennessee, Brad Bakken and Nick Fahringer gave Charlie a run for his money, so maybe a few of the guys are starting to get their bikes dialed in and getting up to speed. Should be a good one this weekend.

The next weekend is the opening round of the Aires AMA NATC MotoTrials US National Series at Texas Creek, Colorado. If you’ve never seen one in person, trials (or MotoTrials) is a fascinating sport to watch, and it’s amazing to see what the best in this sport can do on two wheels. No doubt, the Colorado round will feature some pretty hair-raising big walls for the guys to climb.

Pat Smage will be going for a seventh national title in 2014, but Gas Gas has brought in Martin Matejicek from the Czech Republic to give him a run for his money. Smage will also get a lot of competition from a couple of his teammates, Logan Bolopue and Daniel Blanc-Gonnet. Two of our top riders will be missing the first half of the series to go to Europe to compete at the World level, Sherco USA riders Bryan Roper and Karl Davis Jr.

I’ll have reports on both of these events in Weekly Dirt so stay tuned.

For more info on the Aires AMA NATC MotoTrials US National Series go to www.mototrials.com. And for info on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series check out www.nationalenduro.com.

EnduroCross Instruction

Destry Abbott is giving Rookie Class EnduroCross lessons at EnduroCross events. Photo By Shan Moore

EnduroCross and off-road veteran Destry Abbott will be doing a special Rookies Class instructional school at three rounds of the EnduroCross series this year. The sessions are one-hour, on-track instructional classes and will take place on the Friday nights before the Sacramento, Atlanta and Salt Lake City events.

Previous on-track EnduroCross instructional sessions have been extremely popular. And Destry is hoping to provide extra insight into the challenging obstacles and possibly give away some of his proven racing techniques.

The EnduroCross Rookies classes are open to riders who have not raced an EnduroCross event, and is open to all brands of motorcycles and Amateur, Vet and Women riders are welcome to participate.

Anyone interested should sign up online at the link below and select the “Rookie (Beginner) class”.

Entered riders will meet at Destry Abbott’s DA8training.com/Monster Energy/Kawasaki race rig in the pits at 5:30pm. They’ll be on the track with the five-time National Hare and Hound Champion and special guest Pro instructors by 6pm and back to Destry’s pits for a recap.

Grudge Match: 2013 Kawasaki KX250F vs. 1983 Honda XR200

It has been said that skill on two wheels is decidedly "not about the bike". While this may be partially true, there's always some gray area when it comes to the battle of skill vs. equipment. To put this theory to the test, bike builder Jay Clark conducted a little video experiment where he put an average Joe on a modern KX250F against Dirt Rider test rider Gary Sutherlin aboard a clapped out old bike. The result? You'll have to see for yourself, but we will say this: Gary makes the old XR look pretty dang fast!

Another Fun Video

While we are in video mode, here’s another fun one!

Win A Free Entry To Ricky Carmichael University

Photo Courtesy RCU

Here’s some cool news. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC has announced that in conjunction with participating as a major sponsor for Ricky Carmichael University (RCU) in 2014, it will also offer a contest to send five lucky winners to attend RCU for free.

In case you didn't know, the RCU is a high-profile educational experience for amateur motocross racers. It boasts the presence of instructors coming from the ranks of previous champions, including Jeff Emig, Jeff Stanton and – of course – Ricky Carmichael, the Greatest of All Time. It is an incredible opportunity for racers of any level to hone their skills and improve their abilities with on-the-track learning.

It will be held July 2 at the RedBud MX track in Buchanan, MI. The winners of Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s RCU contest will receive one free entry along with a $300 travel reimbursement, a motel room for two nights, and food and drinks for the entire event. Entries are accepted from adults who race and parents on behalf of children who race.

Anyone interested in entering the contest is invited to visit www.RockyMountainATVMC.com/RCUcontest for the official rules and entry form.—Shan Moore

Bell Gets Back To WORCS Winning

Defending series champion Robby Bell finally got back to his winning ways in the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) and stopped Gary Sutherlin’s impressive win streak at four.

Bell captured round five of the series held in Ridgecrest, California, in dominating fashion after following fellow Kawasaki rider Justin Seeds for a couple laps. After that, Bell slowly pulled away from the field on his Precision Concepts/Alamo Alarms KX450F while Sutherlin put his Bonanza Plumbing KTM 450 XC-F into second after the halfway mark of the nearly two-hour-long race and remains the series points leader over Bell, 122-103. Seeds kept a steady pace that put him third at the finish over FMF/RPM Racing KTM riders Justin Jones and Eric Yorba.

The Pro 2 division saw Husky-mounted Justin Morgan lead most of the way on his Zip-Ty Racing Husky until an old shoulder injury came back to haunt him. That dropped him off the pace enough to let FMF/RPM Racing KTM’s Travis Coy slip past in the final two laps for his third consecutive victory, Morgan holding on to second and Brandon Prieto third.

For Bell, the win vindicated his efforts to come back from early season injuries and get back on top of the box: “Earning this win feels quite fantastic,” he said in his race report. “I felt I’d been building my way back towards the top step of the podium and this result is verification of the effort I’ve put forth.”

Now that the GEICO/AMA EnduroCross Championship Series has kicked off, you’re likely to see more of this style of racing in various parts of the country so those competing in the series can stay sharp, plus it gives locals a chance to see how they measure up without the long drive to an official GEICO race.

A week after the GEICO opener in Las Vegas and a few hours north in Herriman, Utah, several of the sport’s stars showed up for the Herriman Enduro Challenge at the local fairgrounds.

Besides classes for seemingly everyone and everything (even ATVs and SxS’s), the feature event for the evening was, of course, the Pro/Expert main as there was no shortage of talent.

Rockstar Energy/Lucas Oil/Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Colton Haaker prevailed in the dual-moto format, going 1-1 for the overall over Sherco’s Cory Graffunder (2-2) and Nanocycle.com KTM’s Kyle Redmond (3-3). FMF/RPM Racing KTM teammates Bobby Prochnau (5-4) and Ty Tremaine (4-5) rounded out the top five overall. (FYI, two days before round two of the GEICO series, the NorCal M.C. will host a similar event in Roseville, California, except it’s Expert/Pro-only and boasts a $7500 purse. For more information on that, go to www.norcalmc.net.)

In an interesting bit of cross-promotion, firearms distributor MKS Supply is celebrating 25 years in business by giving away a 2014 KTM 250 SX-F. The only catch is trying to enter online at the www.MKSSupply.com Web site is rather tricky. —Mark Kariya

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