MOTOCROSS ACTION WEEKEND NEWS ROUND-UP: MILLER RESULTS, MXDN WAKE-UP CALL, ROCZEN’S DILEMMA & NO MENTION OF THE DUST STORM (OKAY, ROCZEN MENTIONS IT)

August 18, 2013
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JEFFREY HERLINGS OUT OF BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

Jeffrey Herlings dislocated his shoulder in the qualifying race for the Belgian GP.   Photo: Ray Archer

KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings has no competition in the 250 World Championship. He has won every GP so far in 2013 and virtually every moto. His stated goal was to become the first rider to ever have a perfect season by winning all 18 GPs. Well, in truth a perfect season would be winning every moto and every race, but it matters little because Herlings crashed in Bastogne and dislocated his shoulder on Saturday. He didn’t win the Belgian Grand Prix because he didn’t race the Belgian GP. However, he had already locked up the 2013 250 World Championship so it isn’t a deal breaker injury.

Meanwhile in Belgium, Aussie Dean Ferris went 1-1 with Jordi Tixier (2-5), Glenn Coldenhoff (8-2), Jose Butron (7-3) and Romain Febvre (5-4) rounding out the top five.

                                        
MILLER MOTORSPORTS 250/450 NATIONAL RESULTS

All hail the king ? Ryan Villopoto.

450 Class:  
1. Ryan Villopoto……………….1-1
2. Ryan Dungey…………………2-2
3. Trey Canard…………………..3-3
4. Weston Peick…………………5-5
5. Justin Brayton…………………6-7
6. Justin Barcia………………….11-4
7. Jake Weimer…………………..8-6
8. Phil Nicoletti…………………..12-8
9. Matt Goerke……………………9-11
10. Ben LaMay…………………..13-10


Eli Tomac rose to the occasion in the second half of the year to ice the 250 title.

250 Class:  
1. Eli Tomac……………………….1-1
2. Blake Baggett…………………2-2
3. Ken Roczen……………………4-3
4. Adam Ciancianrulo………….3-9
5. Justin Bogle……………………9-4
6. Darryn Durham……………….8-5
7. Marvin Musquin………………5-8
8. Cooper Webb…………………7-7
9. Zach Osborne…………………6-10
10. Justin Hill…………………….10-14

                                        
KAWASAKI EUROPE SIGNS SEARLE, TONUS, LUPINO & FERRANDIS FOR 2014

Tommy Searle.

CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki team owner Jean Jacques Luisetti said at the 2014 team announcement, “I’m very happy to continue working with the same riders and the same staff, and also pleased to welcome Dylan Ferrandis, already a promising Kawasaki rider, to the team. Arnaud Tonus will be back racing next weekend in Great Britain; his injury concerns are behind now that they have removed the pin from his leg. Alessandro Lupino has grown in confidence this year and with these three riders we are ready to finish in the top three next year in the 250 category. In the 450 class we were expecting a top five result this year with Tommy Searle and we are close to this position; we have each learned a lot this year and I’m sure that next year we can reach a podium with him, he is only 24 years old and was the best ?rookie’ this season, thanks to his legendary racing spirit.”


Alessandro Lupino.

New signee Dylan Ferrandis said, “I’m happy to join the CLS team for the next year; it has always been a dream for me to ride a Pro Circuit Kawasaki . I’m sure that we’ll have very good material, with a strong support from Kawasaki and PC; I didn’t test the bike yet, but I have been racing Kawasaki for many years so I know that my bike will be as good as anything on the track. My first goal will be to have a strong winter as the past two years I have suffered with injuries ? shoulder in 2011 and leg in 2012 ? and this year I was only able to get back on the bike at the end of February. I’m convinced that if I have a good winter program 2014 will be different; this year I got one podium in France, but I’m sure that if I start the season fully prepared I will fight for the podium nearly every weekend.”

                                        
AUSTRALIA MAY REDUCE STARTING GATES TO 30 AND BECOME THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE’S VERSION OF GIUSEPPE LUONGO

The AMA Nationals have no trouble attracting riders, but the Aussies and Euros do. Maybe it’s how they run it.

The Australian National promoters are having trouble attracting riders this year. At the last round of the Aussie Nationals they couldn’t get 20 riders for either the 250 or 450 classes. The promoter, Kevin Williams, blames it on the global economy and uses the Giuseppe Luongo-run World Motocross Championships as an example of another promoter having trouble getting 40 riders to show up. The Australia promoter is even considering going from a 40-man starting gate to a 30-man gate?because then it wouldn’t look as empty. According to Williams bad turnouts are “happening around the world, whether it’s V8 Supercars, Formula 1 or MX Nationals, grid numbers are down. It’s a sign of the times.”

But it isn’t a sign of the times. Giuseppe Luongo can’t get full-gates because he doesn’t pay a purse and offers nothing in return. He took the start money and travel money away from the GP riders and charges over $1000 for a race entry. If you are going to copy someone, don’t copy Giuseppe…his track record on this issue is dismal.

Instead, they should look at the AMA Nationals. The AMA rider turnouts aren’t down. The opening round of the 2013 AMA Nationals had 91 riders sign up for the 450 class and 77 for the 250 class. The turnouts at all 10 rounds have been above 70 riders per class. Australia should embrace the American model, not the GP model. For example?have low entry fees, pay purse money as far back as possible and work hard to encourage new riders. And, most of all, insure that even if a rider doesn’t make the time qualifying cut that he gets to race on race day (even if it is a Last Chance). Treat the riders like a valuable commodity…because they are most precious thing that a promoter has.

                                        
JOHN DESOTO WILL GET THE EDISON DYE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

John DeSoto and Jimmy Weinert.

 
John DeSoto will receive the 2013 Edison Dye Lifetime Motocross Achievement Award at the 2013 MTA World Vet Motocross Championships on Sunday, November 3. Many former factory stars will be on hand to see John’s inclusion to the Glen Helen Raceway Walk of Fame. Plus, all of the stars will sign autographs throughout the day. In addition, John will be honored at a special “Movie Night” at Malcolm Smith’s Motorsports on Wednesday, October 30. Todd Huffman’s “Motocross Files” segment about John will be shared with the audience with breaks for questions and answers about John’s amazing life.

                                        
MIKA METALS ACCEPTING 2014 RIDER SUPPORT RESUMES

Mika Metals is now accepting resumes for the upcoming 2014 race season. The acceptance period runs until December 31, 2013. Mika Metals specializes in handlebars, chains and sprockets. Join the Mika Metals support program and the ranks of our top riders such as Jimmy Albertson and Weston Peick. For additional information, visit www.mikametals.com. Resumes received after the December deadline will not be considered for the 2014 support program. Please send them to  support@mikametals.com.

                                        
WHO WILL JOIN DAVI MILLSAPS AT ROCKSTAR KTM?

Jason Anderson was a KTM rider as an amateur.

Lost in the news that Davi Millsaps will be racing a KTM 450SXF in 2014 (well, he will actually will start racing it at the Monster Cup in October) is who his Rockstar KTM 250 teammates will be.

For 2014, Rockstar Energy KTM will field a two-man 250 team on KTM 250SXFs?those riders will be current Rockstar rider Jason Anderson and former JDR KTM rider Joey Savatgy. It was assumed by many that Savatgy, who after JDR folded midseason was sponsored on a separate KTM-backed team, would join Marvin Musquin as the second 250 rider at the Red Bull KTM team. Now that he isn’t going to the factory team, who will join Marvin Musquin?


Blake Wharton.

The other news of the three-year KTM deal for Rockstar Racing is that Ryan Sipes, Blake Wharton and Nico Izzi are out of a ride and on the open market…in a year with very few good rides left.

                                        
MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS: SANITY DESIRED, MONEY NEEDED, NATIONAL PRIDE OVERBLOWN

Defending Champion Germany has home field advantage, but the injured Marcus Schiffer (left) won’t be on the team with Nagl and Roczen. He will be replaced by Dennis Ulrich.

Often considered as the ultimate motocross race, there are many hidden secrets behind the MXDN. It isn’t as “ultimate” as its seems. It is a great spectacle, but here are some things to think about.


Laporte, Hansen, O’Mara and Sun in 1981.

Ryan Villopoto: Ryan is taking a lot of flak for electing not to race the 2013 MXDN?opting instead to have some screws removed surgically so that he’ll be ready for the Monster Cup in October. Good for Ryan. He has to do what’s best for him, and he joins a long line of American riders who didn’t want to fly to Europe to race the MXDN at the end of a long season. The names include some of the biggest stars in American motocross history. And, on more than one occasion Team USA decided not to send a team at all. In fact, in 1981, after Team USA skipped the event for two years, MXA raised the money to field the team?and we couldn’t get any of the established stars to go. We asked all of the big names and they all said “No.” In the end, Roger DeCoster came to our rescue and sent the whole Honda team (Sun, O’Mara, LaPorte and Hansen). So, if Ryan wants to stay home, he’s in good company.


No Marv in 2013.
    
Politics: Team managers and federation don’t like some riders?and if they don’t like someone, or they like someone better, they often skip worthy riders. Marvin Musquin was not selected for the 2013 French team. They had skipped over Christophe Pourcel in the past. Or, if you go farther back in time, many AMA 125 National Champions were ignored so that old-line heroes could take their spot (think of two-time 125 National Champion Micky Dymond never being on the team). And several years ago, Jeffrey Herlings refused to race the MXDN because he didn’t think the other Dutch riders were any good.


Matt Moss ? no show.

Conflicts: The biggest conflict of the 2013 MXDN is that it is held very late in the season (September 29), which is why Ryan Villopoto doesn’t want to go. The late MXDN date would mean that his leg wouldn’t have time to heal before the Monster Cup…and the Monster Cup has been very good to his bank account. Additionally, the Australian Supercross series is held during the same time period, and although the Aussie aren’t racing on September 29, it would be tough to shift gears from Supercross to outdoors and fly away between rounds. Thus, the best rider in Oz right now, Matt Moss, doesn’t want to go to the MXDN.

Best of the best: The idea of the 40 best motocross riders in the world on the track at the same time is very appealing, but it is not true. Each team is made up of the three best riders from their country. You have the three best Belgians counterpointed by the three best Greeks (the lap time difference between them is a staggering 30 seconds?which means that in a 17-lap moto the Greeks would be lapped four times). And even though the Greek, Mongolian, Israel and other slow teams are weeded out before the finals?some slugs still make the field. Thus, the starting gate at the MXDN doesn’t have the 40 best riders in the world?it has 15 of the best riders in the world, 15 riders who are decent journeymen and 10 riders who wouldn’t win a local race in SoCal. Many of the fastest riders in the world are sitting at home, while guys they could easily beat are racing.

Costs: For the German team the 2013 MXDN will be cheap?because the race is in Germany. One of the reasons that Matt Moss doesn’t want to race for Team Australia in 2013 is that he had to paid his 2012 expenses out of his own pocket. Foreign riders racing in the USA are often skipped because the federation doesn’t want to pay their expense. Dean Wilson wanted to be on the British team again in 2013, he is Scottish by birth, but he asked for three airline tickets. He will be sitting at home of September 29. Plus, most national motorcycle federation don’t have a lot of spare cash. Think about the cost of sending three riders, mechanics, bikes and team personnel from China, Iceland, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand or Venezuela. The kicker is that some of these team will be bounced after timed practice, some will end up in the morning support race and none of them will be in the actual Motocross des Nations.


The team presentation at Miller: Tomac (left), Barcia (center) and Dungey.

American team: After a week’s delay, the 2013 American MXDN team was named at Miller Motorsports Park. It will be Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia. There is really no controversy about the selection. The fanboys wanted James Stewart on the team, but he is fifth in 450 points and spent most of 2013 laying on the ground (including at Miller). Barcia is third in point (after Villopoto and Dungey) and Trey Canard is fourth.

                                        
AMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE OVER

Ryan Villopoto locked it up on Saturday.

You could say that the outcome in Utah was predictable, but nothing is a sure thing in motocross until your agent puts 90 percent of the money in your bank account.

450 class:
Ryan Villopoto went to Utah with a 44-point lead over Ryan Dungey. Ryan Villopoto had to win both motos to clinch the 450 crown?which is exactly what he did. The difference between first and second place in a moto is 3 points and with wins both motos in Utah Ryan gained 6 points on Dungey (and his 44 points plus 6 points means that he can’t be caught in the final race this weekend).


Eli Tomac needed 11 points to clinch. Ken Roczen says that the dust storm in Utah caused him to slow down for safety and he got zapped by Blake Baggett for second place?and lost the chance to take the title chase to the final round.

250 class: “It was definitely scary to race the last few laps with the wind,” said Roczen of the massive Utah dust storm that hit the second 250 moto. “Visibility was really poor and it did not feel safe to race at the normal pace, so I had to back off. I am bummed it cost me a position, but happy to finish safely and on the podium.” Roczen’s 4-3 moto results put him on the podium in third overall, but allowed Eli Tomac’s 1-1 to gain the points he needed to ice the 250 crown.?

                                        
USED IT, ABUSED IT, TESTED IT: EARTH X KTM LFX BATTERY

The EarthX battery is two pounds, one ounce lighter than the stock KTM Yuasa YTX battery. It uses Lithium Iron Phosphate technology instead of the traditional lead acid construction. As an added plus, it can be charged with a regular battery charger (some LFX batteries can’t be). Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries have an incredibly long charge life and excellent cranking power.

VERDICT: You might think that as long as the engine starts, one battery is the same as another. That’s not true because LFX batteries are nontoxic, longer lasting, more powerful, easier to recharge and several pounds lighter than lead-acid batteries. $159.95 (ETX12A) ? www.earthxmotorsports.com or (970) 301-6064.

                                        
THIS WEEK’S BIRTHDAY BOYS: BIG WEEK FOR FRENCH CHAMPS

Aug. 16…Christophe Pourcel 1988
Aug. 16…Erick Bartoldus
Aug. 18…Doug Schopinsky


Aug. 19…Sebastien Tortelli 1978
Aug. 19…Rob Buydos
Aug. 22…Forrest Butler

                                        
WHAT WILL KEN ROCZEN CHOOSE FOR 2014? 350SXF OR 450SXF?

Ken Roczen has a decision to make.

Ken Roczen’s 250 National career has one race left?then he will move to the 450 class by the Monster Cup. Although we have seen Ken Roczen out spinning laps on the 350SXF that he used at Daytona, when he moves to the 450 class next year he has to choose between that and the 450SXF. It is no secret that KTM Austria wants him to race the 350SXF. They believe in it and always push their signed riders to race the little bike. The bait they use is that Tony Cairoli has won the 450 World Championship on a 350?and they say that proves that it is the best bike.

On the other hand, every other rider that they forced, or encouraged, to race the 350, immediately returned to the 450SXF as soon as they were free to do so. And Europe isn’t America. Without speaking for Roger DeCoster, we don’t think that Roger believes that it is possible to go up against 450-mounted powerhouses like Ryan Villopoto, Trey Canard, James Stewart and Justin Barcia on a bike that gives up horsepower and torque to them. As for Roczen, he says that he is leaning towards the 450, but will make his decision during offseason testing.

                                        
MEMORIES OF THE WAY WE WERE: THEY DON’T ALL MAKE IT THROUGH EVERY SEASON



                                        
FAMOUS LOS ANGELES COLISEUM CRASHES: JASON UPSHAW GETS EJECTED

                                        
WANT A SPECIAL EDITION COBRA? BETTER HURRY

For more info go to www.cobramotorcycle.com

                                        
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Kent Howerton.


Derek Howerton.

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