It has been another busy week in the world of motocross, as a variety of news has filtered through from the many corners of the world. It is only going to get busier, too, as there is a lot of racing going on this weekend; you can find a weekend preview at the end of our ‘Weekly Wrap Up’, as per usual. So, jump in, as we reflect on everything that has gone on in our sport this week.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
I do feel sorry for Zach Bell, honestly. Since Bell first joined the professional ranks in 2012, he has struggled with both crashes and injuries. If I am being brutally honest, Zach has not really done much (in regard to results) to warrant his ride thus far, and now he is back on the sidelines. Bell only made it to practice at round two before he broke his collarbone in the tricky rhythm section before the finish line. At this point, it is unknown how long this injury is going to keep him on the sidelines for, but I’m sure he will be desperate to get back on-track, as he will be looking to prove his worth to the Geico Honda team.
Josh Grant is very injury-prone; we all know that. But, it is disappointing that he only made it to round two before he crashed and fell to the sidelines – he injured his shoulder in practice. Although the extent of the problem is unknown currently, he did try to ride that night. But, it [the pain] was unbearable in opening ceremonies. Surprisingly, he will try to ride at Anaheim 2. But, how he will perform remains to be seen.
In the off-season, it is quite common for some riders to travel abroad so that they can complete their pre-season testing in sunnier conditions than we would find in the UK. Jordan Booker elected to spend his time in California, where he made valuable gains aboard his Pendrich Kawasaki. However, his time in the USA ended on a sour note, as he fractured his collarbone. Although the injury is nothing major, it will still set him back a little bit. Booker expects to be back on-track in a couple of week’s time.
Is Travis Pastrana ever going to settle down? Pastrana sustained another injury whilst taking part in the American Nitro Circus Live tour a handful of days ago. Although the initial reports suggested that he had broken his leg, it now sounds like he has just banged his ankle up. Whatever the injuries are, he will be unable to get back on a bike for the rest of the tour, but he will be present at each stop.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
The MotoConcepts team in America has been running a scholarship program recently, which would give one privateer the chance to fill a spot on the established team, for the rest of the 2014 250SX West series. Intriguingly the program heavily relied on fan voting, as it was up to the fans to decide who got the opportunity of a lifetime. Colton Aeck is the rider that will get to take advantage of this program, it has now been revealed. Aeck will receive a race bike from the squad, as well as a salary, bonuses, expenses, training, support, and a mechanic. If he finishes inside of the top ten in the west coast series standings, he will receive a full-contract with the team for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series, also.
When Todd Kellett first left the Team Green program, everyone was shocked, as he seemed to be thriving in that environment. Kellett has now revealed that he will be riding for the S.J Hodder Talon Apico Honda squad in 2014. Todd will be gunning for the championships in the rookie class in the Arenacross UK series and Red Bull Pro Nationals – he is also going to compete in the MXY2 class in the Maxxis British Championship.
The STR (Steve Turner Racing) KTM team has introduced two new title sponsors for this year; both Wilvo and Forkrent have joined the program. So, from this point onwards, the team will be known as Wilvo Forkrent KTM. Obviously, it is good to see a British team have success like this, times are tough out there, after all. I think that this year could be one of the best for the team, as Matiss Karro, Jake Nicholls and Adam Sterry are all capable of great things.
Monster Energy Supercross, Round Three – Anaheim 2:
Obviously, the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross series is the centre of attention currently. It is the strongest series in the world, after all. Intriguingly, we do not know how either class is going to play out at the moment, as it seems to be wide open. The A2 track looks quite cool, as there are some unique features, which will prompt great racing, I am sure. In my opinion, all eyes will be on Jason Anderson and Cole Seely, as we will all be looking to see if history is going to repeat itself, for the third successive week. I am interested to see if Dean Wilson or Zach Osborne can step up and join that fight for the series lead, too.
Where do you start with the 450SX division? Ryan Villopoto has reclaimed his position as the man to beat, it seems, as he won Phoenix with ease, it has to be said. I am very interested to see if Justin Brayton can continue his recent form. I would be surprised if he is on the box for the second successive week. But, Brayton should be mixing it up at the front. James Stewart, Chad Reed, and Justin Barcia need to rebound after a tough time last weekend. So, there are seemingly a lot of storylines to follow on Saturday.
Amsoil Arenacross, Round Three – Louisville:
Currently, Zach Ames has an eight-point lead over Michael McDade in the Amsoil Arenacross series standings. Surprisingly, the title fight has not panned out as we expected it to, as Tyler Bowers (the reigning champion) has struggled, whereas most had tipped him to dominate. It is not over yet though, as the points get reset to zero later in the year, and the top ten get to battle it out for the championship over a couple of rounds. So, at the moment, winning main events is not vital. However, the results mean a lot, when it comes to momentum. Anyway, I digress. Louisville will host round three of the series this weekend, along with some amateur racing.
Garmin Arenacross UK, Round One and Two – Belfast:
The Garmin Arenacross UK series has gone from strength to strength, in recent months. E22 has secured a new title sponsor in the form of Garmin, and a TV deal with Channel 4. So, we expect the series to really take off this year; there are some superb riders set to battle it out for the crown. Interestingly, there are a whole host of riders travelling over from around the world to compete in the relatively new series. Daniel McCoy, Fabien Iziord, Gregory Aranda, Tyler Villopoto, Luke Arbon, and Cyrille Coulon are just some of the riders that are travelling over from other countries.
Of course, they will have to go up against some of our greatest homegrown talent, including Steven Clarke, Bryan Mackenzie, Kristian Whatley, Carl Nunn, Brad Anderson, Jamie Law and Elliott Banks Browne to name a few. Neville Bradshaw will be in title contention too – he will be one of the strongest riders throughout the series, I am sure. The 2014 Garmin Arenacross UK series is going to be wide open!
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore