Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Date: February 20, 2016
Photographer: Brian Converse
Camera: Nikon D4
Exposure: 1/1600 sec.
WE BRING THE STORIES TO YOU
In the fast-paced digital environment people don’t always have time to browse our website for the latest information. That’s why we’ve built a weekly list of MXA’s news and top stories and then email them directly to you. What could be easier? This week we bring you the race results from Arlington, along with a bunch of cool photos from the race, as well as features on Steve Lamson and Ryan Dungey. Of course you would have already read this valuable information if you signed up for our weekly newsletter.
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SECTION 1: THE STRANGE & UNIQUE
2017 HONDA CRF450: IS IT TRUE?
Believe it or not, if you really want to get a look at what’s coming down the pipeline, all you need to do is buy a ticket to Japan and attend a round of the Japanese National Championship. The Japanese brands use their motocross series as a sort of testing grounds for ideas and concepts. While not all of the designs make it to the production line, the works bikes provide a general direction for where the brand is headed.
And so it goes with the 2017 Honda CRF450. History has shown that Honda, like many brands, follows a four-year production cycle. They introduced the all-new CRF450 in 2009. Four years later they came out with the latest generation of the bike. With 2017 right around the corner, it’s fair to say that Honda will have a brand-new CRF450. Judging by the details provided by interest site www.honda2017.com, the ’17 CRF450 will have electric starting capability, a much more powerful engine with a dual-camshaft configuration, updated bodywork, and a new frame. Granted, this article was written well over a year ago, but it raises interest now due to the fact that Honda should release news on the 2017 motocross models in the coming months. How strange it seems that 2017 is right around the corner.
YOUR DREAM COME TRUE: KTM 550SX FACTORY EDITION FOR SALE
Immediately we received phone calls and emails about the status of the KTM 550SX Factory Edition, and whether it was going to be for sale. To be honest, we didn’t know at the time what Jeff Moffet was going to do with his monster machine. Guess what? If you were among the dozens who hoped the 550SX Factory Edition would hit the open market then your prayers have been answered. The bike was listed on eBay several days ago. Click here to view the auction page. Bidding ends Friday evening. There are currently 39 bids on the bike, although the reserve has not been met. If you’re looking to own a piece of motocross history and have rather deep pockets, all you need to do is click here. Good luck!
SECTION 2: PERSONALITIES
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: BROC HEPLER
Click here to read the full interview.
LATEST ARENACROSS WINNER: GAVIN FAITH
THE JOY & SPECTACLE OF SUPERCROSS
MXA freelance photographer, Brian Converse, flew to the Dallas Supercross. His assignment was to capture the essence of Supercross. His masterful work is on display below.
CHASING THE DREAM: EPISODE 1
CHRISTIAN CRAIG ON HIS RUN-IN WITH JOEY SAVATGY
SECTION 3: SUPERCROSS
250 EAST OPENER THIS WEEKEND
Surely the 2016 edition of the Atlanta Supercross will ignite fireworks. While the 450 class has turned into the Ryan Dungey show, with appearances by Ken Roczen, the 250 East is fresh. Expectations and past results are the only guiding factors in determining who will emerge in that class.
Among those on the provisional entry list for Atlanta, eight names stand out–Jeremy Martin, Aaron Plessinger, Shane McElrath, Justin Hill, Martin Davalos, Arnaud Tonus, Malcolm Stewart, and Tyler Bowers. A few are coming off injuries (McElrath and Bowers), others are entering the series high on confidence (Stewart and Plessinger), and others must use Atlanta as a springboard to reignite their careers (Hill and Davalos). One rider in particular–Jeremy Martin–has tremendous pressure on his shoulders. The two-time AMA 250 National Champion has achieved success outdoors, but he’s been snakebitten throughout his Supercross career. Will 2016 be the year that Martin puts it all together and wins a Supercross title? Time will tell.
#6. Jeremy Martin–Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha
#23. Aaron Plessinger–Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha
#30. Shane McElrath–Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM
#36. Justin Hill–Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM
#49. Martin Davalos–Rockstar Energy Husqvarna
#50. Malcolm Stewart–Geico Honda
#53. Tyler Bowers–Pro Circuit Kawasaki
#66. Arnaud Tonus–Pro Circuit Kawasaki
250 EAST PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST
SECTION 4: GRAND PRIX
2016 MXGP SERIES STARTS THIS WEEKEND
The names, places and news coming out of Europe
The opening round of the 18-race Grand Prix series kicks off under the lights at the Losail Circuit in Qatar on Saturday evening. Anticipation builds as Romain Febvre, the 2015 MXGP Champion, embarks on a perilous journey to defend his title against the likes of Tony Cairoli, Max Nagl, Gautier Paulin, Evgeny Bobryshev, Shaun Simpson, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Glenn Coldenhoff, Ben Townley, Clement Desalle (who is going to give it a go this weekend despite recently breaking his arm) and Tim Gajser, among others. In the 250 class, Jeffrey Herlings will give it another go on his factory KTM 250SXF. Herlings, the runaway favorite for several years running, lost the opportunity to win the previous two 250 World titles due to injury. It will be interesting to see if anyone in the 250 class will be able to pressure Jeffrey. There are several capable riders, such as Dylan Ferrandis, Pauls Jonass, Aleksandr Tonkov, Thomas Covington and Max Anstie. You might not remember some of these names, as the 2015 season was rife with injuries.
Of course, the 2016 edition of the MXGP series doesn’t live up to the same billing as the previous year. That’s because Ryan Villopoto no longer lines up to the gate, Tyla Rattray has also retired, and Clement Desalle will miss the early rounds due to a broken arm [update: News broke this morning that Desalle is going to try and race in Qatar]. Ben Townley is also injured, although he intends on racing in Qatar. Hopefully the teams are able to soldier through a long and tumultuous season unscathed.
Who will win the opener in Qatar this weekend? Heck, who will win the title? See below.
450 CLASS PREDICTIONS
Qatar 450 Overall Winner
Qatar 450 Runner-Up
Romain Febvre (Yamaha)–Something tells me that last year’s MXGP Champion will split moto wins with fellow countryman, Paulin, under the lights at Losail. Febvre has proven that he’s no slouch. Now he needs to show that he can beat a talented field of healthy racers, rather than weather the storm in the early rounds and shine as the injuries start to pile up. I suspect that Romain will be firing on all cylinders this Saturday.
Qatar 450 Third Overall
450 MXGP Series Champion
It’s anyone’s guess. Did anyone predict that Ryan Villopoto would loop out and retire only four rounds into the series; that Clement Desalle, Max Nagl, Tony Cairoli and Kevin Strijbos would miss races due to injury; that Romain Febvre would win eight overalls in his rookie 450 season en route to the title? Of course not. Qatar marks the beginning of a marathon run to the crown, and the MXGP series can turn on a dime.
250 CLASS PREDICTIONS
Qatar Overall 250 Winner
Qatar 250 Runner-Up
Qatar 250 Third Overall
Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki)–The Frenchman is the anchor for the CLS Kawasaki team, and he likely enjoys that role. Dylan was a title threat last year before breaking his leg. He might be one rider in a small group capable of keeping Jeffrey Herlings in his sights.
250 MXGP Series Champion
Jeffrey Herlings (KTM)–The two-time 250 World Champion has racked up 47 GP overalls since 2010. This is his seventh year in the class, and he’s on the powerhouse Red Bull KTM team. There isn’t any reason he shouldn’t win the title in what will be his last year in the 250 class. However, nothing is certain, and that’s why they line up to the gate every weekend. Herlings should have won the last two years, but should and did are two different words entirely.
TEAM HONDA HRC VIDEO: BOBBY & HIS BUDDIES
MONSTER KAWASAKI VIDEO: DYLAN & PETAR
MXGP RIDER ENTRY LIST
Desalle is questionable and Matiss Karro injured his ACL this week
SECTION 5: THE FASTEST OF THE FAST
An ongoing list of the top qualifiers and holeshot winners from each round of the 2016 AMA Supercross Championship
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 450 CLASS
San Diego 1…Ryan Dungey
Anaheim 2…Ken Roczen
San Diego 2…Eli Tomac
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 250 CLASS
San Diego 1…Cooper Webb
Anaheim 2…Zach Osborne
San Diego 2…Zach Osborne
HOLESHOT AWARD: 450 CLASS
San Diego 1…Chad Reed
Anaheim 2…Davi Millsaps
San Diego 2…Ryan Dungey
HOLESHOT AWARD: 250 CLASS
San Diego 1…Jordan Smith (West)
Anaheim 2…Jimmy Decotis (West)
Oakland…Christian Craig (West)
Phoenix…Jimmy Decotis (West)
San Diego 2…Jordan Smith (West)
Dallas…Christian Craig (West)