Wow, it seems the world of motocross has gone into hibernation, doesn’t it? The Motocross des Nations is just one week away, but everything has turned so quiet you would be forgiven for thinking we were in the midst of the off-season! Anyway, shall we get into all of the news that did emerge in the last week?
Silly Season Seat Swapping:
Graeme Irwin has had a strong season thus far, as he has garnered a handful of solid results. It has been well known that the Irishman wants to get on a 450f next year. In fact, he was so desperate to move up that he ended up doing it mid-season! Already, he has proven that he has the speed, and conditioning, needed to contend in the MX1 class, which has made him a hot commodity in recent weeks. But despite a couple of other teams showing some interest, he has decided to re-sign with Heads and All Threads Suzuki. Graeme will be on the 450f full time in 2014. Remember that he has past experience on the big bike – so he should not have to go through the teething pains that others encounter.
It was recently announced that Josh Grant has re-signed with the JGR Yamaha for 2014; I am sure that this is the best fit on both the team and rider. Josh made real progress in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series this season. So, hopefully he can carry that momentum through the off-season and into supercross. Grant will make his debut on the 2014 YZ450f (along with his teammate, Justin Brayton) at the Monster Energy Cup in a few weeks time.
Worldwide Racing News:
The Belgian Masters finale took place this past weekend at the circuit of Mont-Saint-Guibert. Kevin Strijbos had a relatively easy day in his homeland – he holeshot moto one, and took an easy win from Shaun Simpson and Romain Febvre. Kevin again took the holeshot in race two before running off to a twelve-second win. Simpson finished second overall, with Febvre third. The 2013 champion, Ken de Dycker chose to ride a two stroke at the final round. However, it didn’t go well for him, as he finished outside of the top ten overall.
Matt Moss was dominant at round one (and two) of the Terex Australian Supercross series – he won the main event on both nights. Moss elected to skip the MXdN in favour of trying to clinch this title; it seems like that was a good move now. Weston Peick improved over the weekend, as he finished seventh on night one and in second place on night two, for third overall. Jake Moss (the brother of Matt) is second in the series, after the Hidden Valley event. Jay Marmont is fourth in the series, and Josh Hill is seventh – so, their title hopes are alive, still.
The Pro Lites class looks like it could be a great title fight – Luke Styke and Gavin Faith traded wins on the two nights. So, both guys are tied in the final standings going into the next round at Milwaukee on October 12th. Ryan Marmont sits third in the standings at the moment. But, I am not sure that anyone will be able to match the top two in the coming weeks.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Unfortunately, Arnaud Tonus will miss the Motocross of Nations this year. The CLS Kawasaki team owner, Jean Jacques Luisetti explained it best in the press release. “Between the GP’s of Great Britain and Lierop he spent two weeks on sandy tracks, training every day, and after two strong races on the most demanding track he feels some pain in his leg that he broke one year ago at the Nations. He visited again the doctors, and they saw that this leg is sore as he over trained.” It is just another heartbreak for the Swiss rider. However, it was a wise decision, I believe, as he 2014 season is going to be a very important one for him.
Red Bull Pro Nationals, Round Seven – Culham Park:
The Red Bull Pro Nationals series will visit Culham Park this weekend for the second time this year, to conclude the 2013 season. Although it is the same venue, the circuit will be different to what the riders witnessed back at round three earlier this year. At Hawkstone Park a few weeks ago, Kristian Whatley clinched the 2013 MX1 title, so that championship is no longer up for grabs. However, there is still something to keep an eye on: Kristian is currently undefeated when it comes to overall victories, so he will surely be looking to keep that streak alive this weekend.
Undoubtedly, the MX2 class is the one to watch this weekend, as the title race is heating up. Currently, the gap at the top is two points. Steven Lenoir has that gap over Neville Bradshaw – it is a winner takes all situation this weekend. Really, there is no way to tell which rider will come out on top. Lenoir won the most recent round at Hawkstone Park, so he seems to have the momentum on his side at the moment. However, Bradshaw beat Steven when they were last at Culham, so you could argue he is better at the venue.
Words by Lewis Phillips