The Monster Energy Cup has dominated the headlines this week, as the on-track racing was great throughout the night. But, there was some interesting news that emerged off of the track, as well. The MX Vice ‘Weekly Wrap Up’ is the best place to look back on what was revealed at the MEC, as well as what else has gone on in the past week.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
In my opinion, Davide Guarneri was one of the most underrated guys in the MXGP series this year, as most people overlooked his solid results. In the end, his finish in the series standings was hindered by an injury. However, Davide was clearly capable of finishing inside of the top ten. Although his Marchetti Racing KTM wasn’t the best machine out there, it clearly worked for him, hence why I was surprised to see him switch over to factory TM for 2014. The Italian has already had a race with the team, as he won a beach race on Sunday, in his TM debut.
It is no secret that times are tough; even a former world champion cannot find a ride for the 2014 season! Following a turbulent time with the Gariboldi Honda team, David Philippaerts (the 2008 MX1 World Champion) has formed his own ‘DP Racing Yamaha’ team ahead of next year. The Italian had his best years on a Yamaha, so a return to the brand may help him return to the front of the pack. Philippaerts posted this statement on his website, DP19.com:
“With great pride and emotion I would like to communicate officially the birth of the team “DP RACING“ which will participate in the upcoming season 2014 in the World Championship MXGP class MX1. Thanks to the support and the trust from Laurens Yamaha Europe and Michele Rinaldi YRD I will return to ride Yamaha 450. I take this opportunity to thank in advance all those who are supporting our project, in addition to individuals and companies that will be available to contribute to support the new team.”
Fortunately, Martin Barr has already sorted a deal out for the 2014 season; the Irishman has re-signed with the VMX Moto/Malin KTM team. Obviously, this is the team that Martin rode for this year, so he will be able to continue progressing with the same group of people. Barr will be back in MX2, contesting the Red Bull Pro Nationals and the Maxxis British Championship.
It was one of the worst kept secrets out there, but the team formerly known as Evotech KTM has announced that they will be switching to Husqvarna in 2014! It is clear that the team will have a much larger presence next year – they have signed Nathan Watson to contest MX1, Tony Saunders for MXY2 and of course, Steven Lenoir is returning to the team with the goal of winning the various MX2 titles. Interestingly, the squad has also picked up a new title sponsor, ‘Dantec Recruitment’. So, they will be running under the title ‘Dantec Husqvarna’ from this point onwards.
American Motocross Changes:
At the Monster Energy Cup, a couple of changes to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series were announced. In January, a new format will be introduced to the 450SX class; the popular semis will make a return. It’s great news, as it means that we will have two more races to entertain us. The 250SX class format will stay the same with just the two heat races, an LCQ and a main event. Now, four riders will advance from each 450SX heat race, five from each semi, and four from the last chance qualifier. So, in total, there will be twenty-two riders in the 450SX main events.
When it was announced that the semis were going to return to supercross, most jumped for joy. So, you can imagine how ecstatic everyone is that Glen Helen will return to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series in 2014. In recent years, the circuit has been missing from the calendar, to the dismay of most. Why was such a historic track dropped from the schedule? MX Sports and Bud Feldkamp had a falling out, but the relationship has been mended, evidently.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Now that Shane McElrath has entered the professional ranks, Justin Hoeft is the next rookie to move through the ranks with the Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda squad. Unfortunately, Justin suffered multiple injuries in the Amateur All-Star race at the Monster Energy Cup – he cased the triple (that was slightly longer than a normal triple). Hoeft has broken both a wrist and an ankle; he also had to have stitches in his chin. The crash was quite horrific; thankfully he escaped with those injuries, it could have been much worse.
When Brad Anderson announced that he would be contesting the Phoenix Tools Premier MX finale, it certainly added something to the event. However Anderson did not make it through the motos, as he suffered an injury. It is always unfortunate to see a rider succumb to injury, especially when it is this late in the year, seeing as the off-season is just around the corner. It is unconfirmed currently, but it looks like he has a broken bone in his hand. So, he will be left in plaster for a handful of weeks.
Weston Peick experienced both the highs and lows of professional racing this past weekend, as he broke his collarbone at the fifth round of the Terex Australian Supercross series. Philip Island hosted the event, which was a double header, as the fourth round took place twenty- four hours before. Weston had won round four, and taken the points lead in the process, so to go and break a collarbone the next day must have been heartbreaking for both Peick, and the Carlton Dry Honda team, as the squad were looking good to win both the Pro Open, and Pro Lites titles.
Words by Lewis Phillips