Surprisingly, it was quite quiet in the world of motocross this week, as the riders are working feverishly behind the scenes in an attempt to get a deal sorted for next year. However, all of the news that did emerge from the industry in the last seven days can be found right here in the sixth edition of the MX Vice ‘Weekly Wrap Up’.
Silly Season Silliness:
Interestingly a couple of new rumours pop up each week in regard to who is going where for 2014. Rumours suggest that Clement Desalle is talking to Monster Energy Yamaha, as well as his current team. It seems Desalle is getting closer to renewing his deal with Rockstar Energy Suzuki; but the Monster Energy Yamaha team is eager to get the Belgian under their awning. Steven Frossard is reportedly leaving the team after some troublesome seasons – he is being linked with Ice1 Racing Husqvarna. Monster Energy Yamaha could be running two 250fs next year, as rumours suggest Max Anstie is in talks with them also.
In regard to some of the British teams, Mattis Karro will stay with the STR KTM team again, it seems his current teammate (Jonathan Barragan) is shopping around for a ride for next year. Although rumours suggest that Dean Wilson is in talks with Steve Dixon – it seems like he will return to Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki on a 250f.
I believe that Aleksandr Tonkov has indeed signed with JM Racing Husqvarna for 2014, but a press release has not gone out yet confirming the deal. But I am almost certain that this deal is done. It certainly is not surprising, as Tonkov has done the most with the least this year, so it was a foregone conclusion that he would land on a top tier team next year. In MX1, quite a few guys are linked to Husqvarna – it seems the manufacturers MX2 lineup is confirmed now though, with Febvre and Tonkov.
Canada Crowns a Champion:
Jeffrey Herlings wasn’t the only rider to hoist a number one plate above his head on Sunday, as Brett Metcalfe clinched the MX1 title in the 2013 CMRC Canadian Nationals. At Riverglade MX Park this past weekend, the Australian won the overall with a third and a first, which was enough to win the title a round early. Obviously, the Leading Edge Kawasaki rider was always going to be the favourite in Canada – most expected him to deliver a title. Where he will race next year remains to be seen however; there has not been many rumours suggesting that he has been in talks with American teams.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Max Anstie went down hard in the opening moto at Loket, and ran off the track clutching his arm. Immediately, most feared the worst, as rumours of a broken arm swept the Internet. In the second moto, Max didn’t compete, as he had to make the trip to the hospital to clean up a deep gash in his arm that was down to the bone. However, the injury is no more than that, it seems, as nothing appears to be broken. Fortunately, Anstie has a weekend off to recover, and it seems as though he will be one hundred percent for the Belgian GP – in just under two weeks time.
When Joey Savatgy bowed out with injury following the Budds Creek round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series, it was presumed that the injury would allow him to return to the series at Unadilla. However it has now been revealed that Joey will miss the remainder of the season – so that he has the best shot at being healthy, for 2014. Joey has been linked to the factory KTM team for next year, so it is certainly a wise move. In my opinion, Savatgy does not need to prove himself anymore – he has already done that.
The Rookies Run Wild:
With Loretta Lynn’s now in the past, a few high profile rookies will be making their pro debut at Unadilla this weekend – it has become tradition to do so it seems. Matt Bisceglia, and Luke Renzland will be making their debut on Saturday among others. Matt is the next guy to come out of the Geico Honda amateur program; he is expected to win, in the coming years. Luke is moving into the 450MX class as a privateer, and hopes to be around the top fifteen. It seems as though Shane McElrath, and Jace Owen will also be making their debut, so there are some riders to look out for this weekend!
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Round Ten – Unadilla:
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series will return this weekend, at the historic circuit of Unadilla for round ten of twelve. Ryan Villopoto has to be the favourite for the win, despite struggling at Millville, as he dominated the last time that he raced at Unadilla in 2011. But that was two years ago and the circuit has changed considerably since then – they have made a change, or two for the event this year, which will be interesting. The 250f class will be hotly contested, I believe, as Ken Roczen is good at Unadilla, but Eli Tomac is on a roll at the moment. How this weekend plays out could determine whether Roczen actually has a shot at the title or not.
Maxxis British Championship, Round Seven – Hawkstone Park:
Following a long hiatus, the Maxxis British Championship will return on Sunday – Hawkstone Park will host round seven of eight, the penultimate round. Hawkstone really is not as sandy as it once was, so the soil is not as much of a factor. Kristian Whatley has to be the favourite in the MX1 class; he appeared to be on top form at Canada Heights this past weekend. But, I think that Jonathan Barragan will excel on the track – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a win. Elliott Banks Browne may or may not be beaten up from his Loket fall, so whether EBB will be one-hundred-percent or not remains to be seen. I expect Mackenzie, and Bradshaw to be quite strong and in contention for the win also.
Coming Up Elsewhere in the World – Australia:
The Monster Energy MX [Australian] Nationals will return on Sunday; the penultimate round will come to us from Swan Hill. The MX1 class title chase is very close – Matt Moss has a two-point lead over early leader Todd Waters. Matt has all of the momentum currently, however Waters has proven to be the faster rider, but he is recovering from an injury. Billy Mackenzie (the winner of the previous round) could be the spoiler – he is quite far from the points lead, but he has the potential to mix it up and separate the top two. Luke Styke has a huge lead in the MX2 class; he could even lock up that title on Sunday.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of KTM Images/Simon Cudby