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Sunday
Feb042018

2018 MXGP Italy

Cairoli wins MXGP moto

Posted on February 04, 2018

Red Bull KTM Factory rider Antonio Cairoli once again showed his brilliance by winning the opening MXGP moto of the 2018 season. Just as he so often does, he took a brilliant start and just cruised away from his rivals. Will we see the Sicilian great continue to dominate his rivals in 2018?   

His KTM team-mate, Jeffrey Herlings had a good start and look likely to come out of the first corner in around fifth place, but then got out of shape and went down hard. He was ridden over by a rider, but KTM officials have mentioned he is ok, just a little bruised.

The MXGP moto started with a massive crash as Jeffrey Herlings went down hard. Cairoli led from Anstie, then came Febvre, Van Horebeek, Simpson, Butron, Paulin, Febvre, Lupino, Monticelli, Leok, Coldenhoff, Krestinov, Jasikonis. Herlings was out of the race.

After two laps Cairoli had extended his lead over Anstie, followed by Van Horebeek, Simpson, Paulin, Febvre, Lupino, Leok, Jasikonis, Monticelli, Butron, Coldenhoff, Krestinov, Nagl, Forato in 15th.

Unlike the MX2 race this was very uneventful as Cairoli walked away from Anstie, and the rest of the MXGP riders.

After nine laps it was Cairoli, Anstie, Van Horebeek, Paulin, Simpson, Febvre, Lupino, Leok, Jasikonis, Seewer, Coldenhoff, Monticelli, Nagl, Krestinov, and Tixier 15th.

Paulin went past Van Horebeek for third place, and Simpson was passed by Febvre. After 11 laps it was Cairoli, Anstie, Paulin, Van Horebeek, Febvre, Simpson, Leok, Jasikonis, Lupino, and Seewer 10th.

Febvre was really riding well as he closed up on Van Horebeek and Paulin, but time looked likely to run out for the Frenchman. 

MXGP moto - Results

1 222 CAIROLI Antonio ITA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 16 30:12.650 

 2 99 ANSTIE Max GBR Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna 16 30:32.417 

 3 89 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy BEL Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Yamaha 16 30:36.061 

 4 21 PAULIN Gauter FRA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna 16 30:36.089 

 5 461 FEBVRE Romain FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Yamaha 16 30:42.518 

 6 24 SIMPSON Shaun GBR Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha 16 31:06.978 

 7 7 LEOK Tanel EST Husqvarna 16 31:49.121 

 8 91 SEEWER Jeremy SUI Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha 16 31:49.596 

 9 77 LUPINO Alessandro ITA Kawasaki 16 31:50.223 1:55.471 2 1:37.573 40

 10 27 JASIKONIS Arminas LTU Team Honda Red Moto Assomotor Honda 16 31:55.424 

Friday
Feb022018

The Engine Roar of Success...Maybe!

150 Pound CAKE KALK – Is This The Future of Off-Road Motorcycles?

Minimalist Swedish design can seem pretty extreme … shocking even. Don’t let that fool you or put you off when you think about the new KALK electric off-roader from Swedish company CAKE. With a weight of 150 pounds, and enormous 24″ wheels, the KALK is a clean-sheet design that deserves your attention.

CAKE Motorcycle founder Stefan Ytterborn is no novice when it comes to innovative design and building a successful company. He previously founded the bicycle helmet and armour manufacturer POC, and he appears to have taken a no-compromises approach to the design of the KALK, which features almost nothing off-the-shelf when it comes to components.

Ytterborn is serious about protecting the environment as well, with custom design, narrow tires minimizing damage to off-road trails, in addition to the zero emissions nature of his bike. He states:

“On the mission to speed up the journey towards a zero emission society, my new ride is electric. I’m extremely excited to announce that we are innovating new technologies for a sustainable approach to off-road motorcycling, allowing for an optimized riding experience yet being respectful to the planet.” 

CAKE is already offering the KALK in a limited edition first run of 50 bikes for delivery this summer (priced at €14,000), with regular production models scheduled for late 2018.

Here is what CAKE has to say about the KALK, followed by a video of the bike in action:

The CAKE KALK bike, built for light off-road performance, uses an industrial standard IPM motor, customized for CAKE and made in Europe.

It´s a 15 kW mid motor, powered by a 51.8 Volt, 50Ah battery for torque and range, conducted by specifically developed and tuned software, for the controller and dynamic performance.
With the intention of simplicity, promoting easiness in terms of riding as well as maintenance, it´s a light bike weighing in at sub 70 kilos, using a single pivot direct drive, reducing the number of heavy and moving parts.

The suspension is specifically developed, by Öhlins supporting the category of hi performance at minimum weight.

Nothing has been left aside and every part including axles, hubs, cockpit, sprockets and even the tires (to minimize wear and footprint of trails being used), have been explicitly designed and engineered for the ultimate experience.

The light and snappy ride, with it´s focus on off and on trail riding, in the outback, means that its main character is about torque and acceleration, while providing a quiet gliding and surfy experience.

Thanks to it´s digital pre setting it´ll let anyone fly at their own level.

 

Wednesday
Jan312018

MXGP Dissected: Coming Up

The circus begins again

 

The MXGP heavyweights are set to catapult themselves into battle for the first time this weekend, as the first of five pre-season internationals will take place in Italy. The season has truly begun for those who will be chasing glory in the FIM Motocross World Championship and the thousands of fans who follow their progress. It is easy to fall back on the cliche that these pre-season events mean nothing in the grand scheme things, but they have shaped the season ahead in the past.

Romain Febvre knocked himself out at an Italian round last year and, although we will never get a definitive answer of how much that hurt him through the opening rounds, there is no doubt that it did indeed hold him back. Perhaps he would have found some better settings had he not been robbed of precious testing time? The same can be said for Jeffrey Herlings, as a crash in an international race derailed his campaign before it had even started. Clement Desalle suffered a similar problem in his maiden term with Monster Energy KRT.

Antonio Cairoli will attract countless fans to the Italian events (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

The Mantova Starcross once opened the European season, but has now been replaced by Riola Sardo. The race, which acts as the first of three rounds, attracts more stars than any other pre-season event. Although that may be a bold claim, the entry list seems like a starting list for a round of MXGP. Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Tim Gajser, Romain Febvre and Gautier Paulin will all roll onto the small circuit on Sunday. Who will win? There is really no data to make predictions off of and that adds to the intrigue that surrounds the international event.

February 11

Hawkstone Park

The Hawkstone International is now the most historic event on this list and will once again boast an impressive entry list in a little less than two weeks. Jeffrey Herlings, Gautier Paulin, Max Anstie, Tommy Searle, Glenn Coldenhoff, Pauls Jonass and some other noteworthy names will travel to the remote English setting. There is no doubt that the race, which often attracts an incredible number of spectators, will be the coldest on this list and potentially feature the worst weather, but that never dampens the prestige that surrounds the event. The MX1 and MX2 riders will compete in two motos each, then join up for a mixed race to conclude the day.

Max Anstie will be shooting for another win on home soil (Husqvarna/Bavo Swijgers)

February 11

Noto

The second round of the Italian series fits some of the stereotypes, unlike Riola Sardo, as the circuit features elevation and a hard-pack base. A lot of the stars who race the opening round choose to not follow the path to round two, seeing as there are some other events to choose from, but Antonio Cairoli and Romain Febvre will still headline this event. The latter will be one of the most intriguing stories to follow through the pre-season events, as some questions about his current form will be answered. It was quite clear that there were some holes in his programme at these events last year.

February 18

Mantova

Mantova needs no introduction, seeing as it has been on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar for a number of years. The sandy circuit may be the best test ahead of the opening round of MXGP, for that reason, as the track is on the same level as those in the premier series. There is one hundred and twenty thousand euros up for grabs at the end of this three-race series, so this race will be interesting for that fact alone. Antonio Cairoli, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing duo and Wilvo Yamaha MXGP trio will all be in the mix for that loot.

Clement Desalle has flown very under the radar this off-season (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

February 18

LaCapelle Marival

LaCapelle Marival could be considered the third-biggest event of the off-season, behind Riola Sardo and Hawkstone Park. Jeffrey Herlings, Max Anstie, Gautier Paulin and Clement Desalle will headline the premier division on the traditional hard-pack circuit in France. It seems as though this will be the only shot to see the Monster Energy KRT squad, consisting of Desalle and Julien Lieber, in action, as well as some of the smaller outfits like VHR KTM. There will be no more pre-season events following this weekend, as there will be just two weeks to go until the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina. It really is not far away at all.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer

Wednesday
Jan312018

Robert Wins AMA Hare and Hound Opener 

Taylor Robert claims overall victory at round one of the AMA KENDA SRT Hare and Hound Championship.

The opening round of the 2018 series kicked off in the Spangler Hills, California with a full entry keen to get their season off to a good start.

Nick Burson led for much of the season's opening race in the Pro Class, gaining a strong lead on the opening lap after the rest of the field was stuck at a train crossing.

Burson gave up his lead to Robert through the rocky and technical section in lap two from where Taylor brought the win home.

After difficulties with his radiator at the end of lap one, Jacob Argubright climbed from fourth position to take second by the flag.

Kendall Norman pushed hard after helping another rider during the race to round out the podium in third.

Wednesday
Jan312018

Dean Ferris Racing Mountain Man

Australian champion to race in Toowoomba Mountain Man event

TOP TRACK: CDR Yamaha's Dean Ferris won his second consecutive Thor MX1 title in Round nine of the MX Nationals at Echo Valley in Toowoomba last year.
 CDR Yamaha's Dean Ferris won his second consecutive Thor MX1 title in Round nine of the MX Nationals at Echo Valley in Toowoomba last year. Nev Madsen

MOTOCROSS: Current two-time Australian champion Dean Ferris is looking forward to returning to one of his favourite tracks for the Mountain Man event.

"I've raced all around the world and Toowoomba is up there with on the best," he said.

Over the past 15 years Ferris has raced at Echo Valley for nationals and the Sunshine State Series, but this will be his first time lining up in the Mountain Man.

"Mountain Man is actually a really prestigious race that used to run back in the day and has been going for a few years," he said.

Ferris has been wanting to race in the Mountain Man for the past few years but it clashed with his New Zealand tour.

This year he has freed up his schedule and wants to make it mark on the event.

 

Motocross champion Dean Ferris will visit Toowoomba in March for the Mountain Man event.
Motocross champion Dean Ferris will visit Toowoomba in March for the Mountain Man event.

"I'm hoping I can win it. That will put my name up there with all the greats," he said.

"It's going to be a good pre-season race for me leading into nationals."

This year Ferris is chasing his third Australia title in a row.

Toowoomba Motocross Club president John Armstrong said it was huge for the region to have someone of Ferris' calibre race in the Mountain Man event.

Ferris has not only raced in Australia he also competed in Europe and America for a number of years and represented Australia at the MX Nationals.

"The MX Nationals is like the Olympics of our sport where you ride for your country," Armstrong said.

"To have him turn up for our little event, it'll make the riders lift their game that's for sure."

Although it's not a little event at all.

It's one of the richest stand alone events in the country and has the biggest prize money up for grabs on the east coast of Australia.

Armstrong and his family first met Ferris when he was an up and coming rider in Europe.

"He was working out the back of his van with his mum as his mechanic," Armstrong said.

"We followed him and kept going from there."

The Mountain Man Motocross is a two-day event held across the weekend of March 10-11.

Tuesday
Jan302018

Ryan Villopoto's Call of the Wild!

By Eric Brown - X Games.com

 

Trevor Brown, Jr./ESPN

During the summer of 2015, four-time supercross champion Ryan Villopoto called time on the sport which made him a world famous millionaire. Three years later, and some 70-degrees cooler, the snows of Aspen, Colorado started calling his name. And he couldn't resist. Yes, Villopoto who made his name on tracks built by 600 dump trucks bringing in 12,00 tons of dirt and dumping them down on a football field or baseball diamond will to construct a supercross circuit will, instead, race a Frankenstein-sort-of Monster Energy Yamaha YZ450F motocross bike-turned abominable Snow Bike come on the crystals that precipitate from the atmosphere in good old Colorado. Got all that?

XGames.com: Ryan, there is no big NFL or MLB stadium with a big race track inside of it nearby, so just what do you have going on here in Aspen, Colorado?
Villopoto: Just sitting here right now in the lobby of this hotel and just hanging out. We had a couple of hours of practice today and worked on a couple of things and I feel like we're sitting in a pretty good spot right now.

Were you able to get enough time on the bike, I mean the Snow Bike, to get a competitive read on what might play out on race day? I think so. We rode for a total, I think, of almost three hours today. It was broke up into different sessions and things like that, but we ended up getting 30-minute sessions here and there. It was good. I feel good.

I'll get to your new role with Yamaha in just a bit here, but did Yamaha actually want you to come up here to the X Games and race a Snow Bike? Man, that seems like a bit of a stretch.
So, actually, yeah, Yamaha was 100-percent behind it. We ended up using the factory Yamaha team out of Canada for this race because they were already coming here anyway. We just kind of piggybacked off them and the Andre [Laurin], the owner of the team, built a bike and built a team and got it all set up and brought some mechanics down, so he's done a great job so far.

Okay, so the big question here that everyone is going to want to hear your answer to: what's it like for one of the greatest supercross racers of all-time to actually ride one of these so-called Snow Bikes in anger - and in snow?!
Yeah, it's way different from a supercross bike, for sure. It's one of the hardest things I've ever rode. In fact, we actually made quite a big change today on the bottom of the skis. We basically call them fins and we ground them down and made some changes with the guys, so it made a bid difference. It's definitely easier to ride and faster. I feel faster on it.

For all intents and purposes, I'd assume the way you turn your YZ450F Snow Bike is with that front ski, huh?
Yeah, exactly. It just depends on how agile the bike is and what it is like to grab certain lines and stuff. Getting that ski right makes it a lot easier to ride.

 

As far as weight goes, and I know this is a bit of an abstract concept, but how different do the YZ450F motocross bike and YZ450F Snow Bike feel?
It's a lot heavier. The first thing that you notice is that on the Snow Bike you obviously have no front wheel, so there is no gyro effect to help you jump and keep things straight in the air. The track that drives the bike is big too and that has also has a lot of the gyro effect to it, so when the bike gets sideways in the air, it doesn't handle too well. Once you kind of figure it out and know what the bike is going to do, you can jump it pretty well.

How does it feel when you're actually riding the bike out there in the snow? I've been watching it all and, to be honest, you guys and the bikes that you are all riding around on look pretty damn graceful! I didn't really expect that...
Yeah, it's much more like riding a sand track in motocross. You rail the berms and keep your momentum. The bikes don't turn very sharp, but still, it's pretty cool.

How about braking and slowing the bike down? How does that work?
There's no front brake, obviously, because there is no front wheel. The rear brake is the rear track, basically. So you pretty much just come into the turn and you don't really need to brake a whole lot because the track has a little bit of drag on it. When you come into a turn, the more committed you are, the better and as soon as you get into the turn and get it leaned over, you want to start getting back on the gas.

And what has the X Games community been like to you since you arrived here? You're preceded by your supercross exploits, thus you being here with snow on the ground and a howling wind is pretty god damn anomalous...
Yeah, for sure. People are pumped that we are here and racing. The vibe here is obviously something way different, and something that I've never been around. It's just really cool to be here. It's nothing like supercross, for sure.

How about the race gear you are wearing? Snowmobiling and motocross don't really match-up when it comes to style and functionality.
I'm wearing full moto gear with some layers underneath. It's not too cold here, so it should be fine for tomorrow; it's supposed to be in the 30s, so we should be okay.

What do you think about the 15 to 18 guys you'll be racing against tomorrow? Can you take these guys?
There are some quick guys out there. I think I should do okay, to be honest. Obviously, a good start will help. Staying out of trouble and not falling is also going to help, but speed-wise, at the end of practice, I think I was pretty good; I was in the top five.

You've won all sorts of world class motocross and supercross races and championships, but that all withstanding, do you go into something like this thinking and saying, "Hey, I still want to win." Or, is it like, "I just want to have fun with this"?
I definitely want to have fun with it, but I mean, I'd love to go home from here with a medal.

Downshifting back to Yamaha, at the season-opening round of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series, Yamaha announced that you would be joining the motor company in the role of a marketing representative. Although you made your name as a Team Kawasaki racer, the fact of the matter is that Yamaha played a major role in getting you started on your career trajectory, didn't they?
Yeah, we did the Yamaha deal and announced it the morning of the first Anaheim round. They've been really awesome with me and the goals I want to achieve and the things I want to do. It's cool to be with a brand like Yamaha and with a fresh start. I'm definitely happy with things coming together.

I was at the 2002 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee when you lined up on the gate for the 85cc Modified (8-13) class championship. I'd never even heard of you before and you went out there and basically smoked most everyone. I remember pointing you out to some of my racing buddies and proclaiming, "Man alive, that kid is a genius. I think he can make it one day."
Yamaha is what I started on and I rode Yamaha YZ85s for three or four years. Fond memories, for sure.

It's Friday night and we are not over at shiny Phoenix Stadium in arid Glendale, Arizona for round four of the Monster Energy Supercross Series that will run tomorrow. Still, here in lovely and tony Aspen, do you still feel that buzz of, "Hey, I'm going racing tomorrow"?
Yeah, it's going to be good. I'm going to pick my cousin up at the airport and have a couple beers tonight and hang out and go race tomorrow.

Ha! But you would never have a few beers the night before a major supercross event, would you?
Nah, I never did. No. This is a little bit different atmosphere over here. It's been a lot of fun so far. I can't wait for tomorrow.

 

Tuesday
Jan302018

KTM Tough Times Yeild Good Times

KTM - When Times Were Tough

Posted on January 30, 2018

Tortelli 2006

There is no doubt, KTM pretty much own the FIM Motocross World Championship, well at least the trophies and titles. Since KTM got serious about being involved in the GP scene, after being out for some time, they quickly started dominating.

While KTM had won world 250 titles with the legendary Russian Guennady Moisseev in 1977 and 1978, Heinz Kinigadner in 1984 and 1985, plus a 125 title with Trampas Parker in 1989, and finally a world title in the 500 class with Shayne King in 1996.

It wasn’t until 2000 that they really got serious and they won a 500 title with legendary Belgian Joel Smets and a 125 title with just as legendary South African, Grant Langston. The year 2000 marked the start of something that has just been amazing.

With the CHAMP KTM team, run by multiple GP winner Kees Van Der Ven, they dominated the 125/MX2 class, with world titles going to guys like Grant Langston, James Dobb (was full factory) and Steve Ramon.

KTM-MX2-2006.jpg#asset:4310

Had it not been for two guys names Stefan Everts and Antonio Cairoli, they would have won more, but Yamaha held the upper hand with these two greats, winning a majority of the titles between 2001 and 2006, but with Everts retired, and Cairoli switching to the orange army, KTM wrapped up titles like fish drinking water.

Cairoli scored seven MX1/MXGP championship for them, and names like Tyla Rattray, Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Jeffrey Herlings, Jordi Tixier and Pauls Jonass have helped KTM own the MX2 class. In fact, from 2008 until 2014 they won all the titles, the second longest run for a brand (Suzuki won 10 in a row in the 1970s).

Of course, it wasn’t always roses for KTM. I still remember the first season they really got serious. It was 2006, and they had signed the brilliant Frenchmen, Sebastien Tortelli and Mickael Pichon. Both with two world titles each, and maybe a little on the older side, but still both amazing riders.

Their MX2 effort was also impressive, with Marc De Reuver, Tyla Rattray, Carl Nunn and David Philippaerts. Like the MX1 boys, who had to deal with Everts, these 250 riders needed to deal with not only Antonio Cairoli, but also Christophe Pourcel.

With Kurt Nicoll, Georges Jobe and Jacky Martens as managers, they have a lot of experiences, but even in that area there were problems, and atmosphere in the team wasn’t great. I remember being banned from the KTM tent because I had said something not really positive about Pichon and Tortelli.

Pichon rode the first round in Zolder, Belgium and was done. No points and his season over. He complained about sickness, but talk was the bikes were not good, although he did come back in September for France and rode well, but in the MX1 championship he finished last, down in around 55th place with zero points.

Tortelli started well, finishing second to Everts in Zolder, with 1-2 results, but it was clear he was pushing too hard on occasions and after finishing second in the opening moto in Portugal, he crashed and was out for the season.  His final place in the championship was 21st.

As for the MX2 boys it was a lot better, with Philippaerts third in the championship behind Pourcel and Cairoli. Rattray was fourth, De Reuver fifth and Nunn sixth. Strong, but never really in the hunt against the top two guys.

De Reuver won a GP in Bulgaria, Rattray in Zolder, Portugal, and Ireland, and Philippaerts won in Sweden.

Of course, since that 2006 season, things changed quickly for KTM. They continued to invest, have since signed Cairoli, who as mentioned added MX1/MXGP titles in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017, and in MX2, they only lost one, when Tim Gajser won on a Honda in 2015. From 2008 until 2017, they have won nine from 10 titles.

It's little surprise that KTM have worked with the best of the best, in Stefan and Harry Everts, Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Joel Smets, Roger De Coster, Heinz Kinigadner, Pit Beirer, Ken Roczen, Kurt Nicoll, Marvin Musquin, Jacky Martens and many more. Experience seems to rub off on the riders and titles come because of that.

They always say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and we can't agree more than KTM took that 2006 season, and made sure they didn't keep making the same mistakes. The rest is history.

 

KTM-2006-18.jpg#asset:4308
Tuesday
Jan302018

Le Touquet Beach Race

World Enduro regular Nathan Watson (KTM) bagged the runner-up in Sunday’s Enduropale Le Touquet in France.

As the world’s most famous beach race, Le Touquet is about as tough as they come in sand racing and one of the most prestigious races in France to win.

Stacking up strong in his debut Le Touquet, Watson gave the French beach racing specialists a run for their money ending second to winner Milko Postisek.

“I’m really happy with second place, to get on the podium at my first real shot at Le Touquet is something special,” told Watson. 

“I am a little disappointed not to have taken the win, but it’ll give me something to aim for next year.”

Watson competed in the French beach race series this winter to prepare for Le Touquet. Winning three out of six races put him in with a shout of top honours at Le Touquet. 

After a good start he rode sensibly for the first couple of laps, though the sheer number of competitors proved one of the biggest challenges throughout the race.

“There are so many riders out there, you have to weave left and right to get past them and sometimes you get a little held up,” continued Watson. 

“One of the biggest factors in the race is the physical hardship, other than the start straight there is nowhere to get a rest – you are stood up and riding hard the entire three hours. 

After finally sampling Le Touquet firsthand, he’s got his sights on returning in 2019 and going one place better.

“The event is amazing, with all the build-up before the race, I’ve never been so nervous. The fans are incredible too, there are so many here cheering us on. 

“My team have been great all winter so it’s nice to reward them with this result. I definitely want to be back here next year and hopefully to take the win.”

Results – 2018 Enduropale du Touquet 

1. Milko Potisek (FRA), Yamaha, 3:00:34.840  2. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 3:02:45.302  3. Camille Chapeliere (FRA), KTM, 3:09:11.571  4. Daymond Martens (BEL), Yamaha, 3:14:42.211  5. Ken Dy Dycker (BEL), KTM, 3:15:10.280

Tuesday
Jan302018

The Tough One 2018 Extreme Enduro Main Race

Graham Jarvis once again dominated The Tough One Extreme Enduro is the UK, winning by over 8 minutes from Travis Teasdale and David Knight.

 

Monday
Jan292018

Woodvile GP

First for Lamont but three in a row for Yamaha at Woodvile GP

By: Andy McGechan

 



Kayne Lamont is the new champion of New Zealand's most prestigious dirt bike event, the 24-year-old building apprentice simply stunning onlookers when he won the 57th annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville on Sunday.

Lamont took his Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team YZ450F to the front soon after the start of the event's signature race, the invitation feature, and he quickly opened up a solid advantage.

Behind him a battle raged between Australian former Woodville champion Kirk Gibbs and Rhys Carter, but Lamont kept his cool and eventually crossed the finish line a safe 4.4 seconds ahead of Gibbs, with Carter taking the third step on the podium.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the significance of winning this race … I was simply concentrating on not making mistakes,” said Lamont afterwards. It could have been an even more glorious weekend for Lamont, had he not suffered disaster in Sunday's first MX1 class race.

Lamont had qualified fastest – indicating he’d be a serious title contender at the nationals this year – and he was leading the first of Sunday’s three MX1 class races when he crashed and handed the win instead to national MX1 champion Cody Cooper.

“I had a small mishap in a muddy rut. I actually crashed three times in that race,” Lamont explained.

“The bike took ages to get going after I crashed and then I crashed twice more trying to catch up. I simply salvaged what I could from that,” Lamont said, eventually settling for 15th place at the chequered flag.

Following massage treatment in the pits, the battered Lamont managed fourth and fifth in the next two MX1 races, good enough only for seventh overall in the class, but his performance in the feature race would be the key one for the record books.

Lamont was thrilled to join a long and illustrious list of winners of New Zealand's most famous motocross, a list that also includes his team boss, Josh Coppins. Coppins was a rare five-time winner at Woodville – champion there in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2011 – before he retired from fulltime racing in 2012, although he has since gone on to taste success several times there in his role as team manager.

Coppins' achievement record at Woodville now extends well beyond his five personal wins, with Lamont's win on Sunday now making it three times in a row that his team's MX1 class rider has secured the Woodville trophy. Australian Dean Ferris won the title for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Team in 2016 and again last year.

Lamont’s victory this year was significant also because he broke the drought ... it had been three years since a Kiwi had last won there.

Cooper won the crown in 2014, but it was Gibbs who took it in 2015 and then fellow Australian Dean Ferris won it the following two years.

Meanwhile, the successes kept piling up for Yamaha at the weekend, with Lamont's Mangakino-based team-mate Maximus Purvis (Yamaha YZ125) winning the 125cc class.

 


Altherm JCR Yamaha rider Jay Wilson was third overall for the weekend in the MX2 class. Credit Phil Smith - Clmintepix
 

Australian Jay Wilson from Yamalube Yamaha Racing in Australia, also raced the MX2 class this weekend.

Making his 2018 racing debut in New Zealand, Wilson finished a credible third overall on his Yamaha YZ250F. The first two races he found his racing form again, finishing in third place with Wyatt Chase claiming victory and Hamish Harwood in the runner-up spot, both times.

In the third race, Wilson moved up to second, which pleased team boss Josh Coppins, who says “he got better and better,” as he had more track time.

“This was Jay’s first motocross race since August and we are building back up with him. He was only 4 seconds off the lead in the third race.”

Wilson says that although it would have been nice to take a win this weekend, his focus is battling for the MX2 championship title “and we are well and truly in that fight,” he says

Wilson (23) will compete at all four rounds of the New Zealand Motocross Championships in preparation for his Australian season. He has worked with Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins for several years previously and in 2015 claimed the MX2 title in both New Zealand and Australia with Coppins’ team.

Whakatane’s Darren Capill (Yamaha YZ450F) won the veterans’ class and Melbourne visitor Maddy Brown (Yamaha YZ250F) winning the women’s class.

Meanwhile, another visiting Australian, Melbourne’s Bailey Malkiewicz, who was sharing the Altherm JCR Yamaha facilities, won the 14-16 years’ 250cc class during junior racing on Saturday.

 

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