It is a strange time of year to be a motocross fan, as everything suddenly goes very quiet – riders and teams around the world are at different stages with their preparation for next year. Whilst many of the riders in the MXGP series are still in relaxation mode, the Americans are hard at work to ensure that they are ready for the Monster Energy Cup, and the 2014 season opener. Anyway, that hasn’t stopped the amount of news that has been coming into us. So, let’s get into everything that has gone on in the world of motocross this week!
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
In recent weeks, most rumours have indicated that Kyle Cunningham would be heading to the rejuvenated Valli Motorsports team. But, it has now become apparent that Kyle will ride a Honda CRF250 beneath the MotoConcepts tent, alongside Mike Alessi. I am now wondering whether Valli will return next year, as you would think that there would have been some kind of announcement by this point. Anyway, back to Kyle. I have to say, I am a bit disappointed that he has stuck with the 250f. Kyle is quickly turning into a veteran of the class; I feel like he needs to get on the bigger bike, as he has proven that he is competitive on the 450f, but rides are hard to come by these days.
Shockingly, the Red Bull KTM team has acquired the services of Austin Politelli for the Monster Energy Cup. It is quite surprising, as Austin has not exactly set the world alight thus far. But he has certainly done enough to deserve a shot on a solid team, as he finished fourth at the San Diego SX earlier this year and won the Canadian MX2 title a few weeks ago. If Austin performs well this weekend, he could find himself on the squad full-time in 2014. Politelli will be on a 350f this weekend, rather than his usual 250f.
The Arenacross UK series just got interesting. The Oakleaf Kawasaki squad pulled off a great signing this week, as they have acquired the services of Tyler Villopoto for the seven round series that begins in January. With Tyler and Jack Brunell riding for their team, the Oakleaf squad certainly has a great shot at winning the title. The younger Villopoto brother is very fast on his day, but the tight and twisty Arenacross UK tracks will be like nothing he has ridden before. So, it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to adapt.
Jimmy Albertson has started up a brand new racing effort in recent weeks; the MotoSport/Crossland Racing team will debut at the Monster Energy Cup this weekend. Jimmy has been out of action since Toronto with a broken scaphoid, as the wrist injury proved to be quite troublesome. Shawnee Honda will back the team for the duration of 2014. Prior to his injury, Albertson made great progress in the early rounds of the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, as he began inching closer to the top ten.
2014 MXGP Calendar Announced:
Earlier this week, the second provisional calendar for the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship series was announced with some very interesting changes. For a full reaction to the calendar, click here.
|DATE||GRAND PRIX||VENUE||ADDITIONAL RACES|
|1 March (Sat)||QATAR||Losail||Women|
|9 March||Thailand||Si Racha|
|30 March||Brazil||Beto Carrero|
|13 April||Trentino||Arco di Trento||Women, EMX125|
|20 April||TBA||TBA||EMX250, EMX300|
|4 May||The Netherlands||Valkenswaard||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|11 May||TBA||TBA||EMX250, EMX300|
|25 May||Great Britain||Matterley Basin||EMX250, EMX300|
|1 June||France||Saint Jean d’Angely||Women, EMX125|
|15 June||Italy||Maggiora||EMX250, EMX300|
|22 June||Germany||Teutschenthal||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|6 July||Sweden||Uddevalla||EMX250, EMX300, Veteran|
|13 July||Finland||Hyvinkää||EMX 65, EMX85, EMX250, EMX300|
|27 July||Czech Republic||Loket||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|3 August||Belgium||TBA||EMX250, MX125, EMX300|
|17 August||Ukraine||Dimitrov, Donetsk||EMX125, EMX250|
|31 August||State of Goias||Goiania|
MX Nationals Update:
It is an exciting time for British Motocross. If you’re a regular visitor to MX Vice, you will have noticed that there is a new British MX series on the horizon; one that will hopefully please riders, teams and fans alike. It has been confirmed that the championship will not clash with either the Maxxis British Championship, or the Red Bull Pro Nationals. So, it will be a great asset to the domestic scene. For a lot more information on the series, follow this link.
An Early Retirement:
Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of riders leave the sport since the conclusion of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. Evidently, times are tough, as Christian Craig and Lance Vincent have already announced their retirement. Now, Ryan Sipes has announced that he too has elected to hang us his boots, unfortunately. Ryan released the following statement:
“I have decided to retire from full time professional supercross and motocross. God has blessed me these past 10 years, racing the best riders in the world, riding the best bikes, on the best tracks, in the best series’, in front of the best fans on earth, and getting to know a lot of great people in the moto community. We made some great memories, and that’s something that will stick with me forever. It’s been a good run, but its time for this old hillbilly to step away and be with his family. I still love riding and racing, and I will surely miss lining up at Anaheim in January and Hangtown in May, but my priorities are at home now. The full schedule is just not in the cards for me anymore. That’s not to say I won’t do some racing – once a racer, always a racer. I am excited for what the future holds for me. Over the years I have worked with some really great people.”
Terex Australian Supercross, Round Four and Five – Philip Island:
When the Terex Australian Supercross series visited the Philip Island venue for the first time last year, it was extremely popular, as the event runs alongside the MotoGP. So, unsurprisingly the title fight will return to the venue this weekend, with a double header. Matt Moss has a slim four point lead currently, however I would not be surprised to see him extend his advantage this weekend, as he has proven to be the strongest competitor. Jake Moss, Josh Hill and Weston Peick will all be right there, and ready to do battle. I believe that Weston in particular should be in contention for a main event victory. Luke Styke has a five point in the Pro Lites division at the moment, but Gavin Faith is still in a position to challenge.
The Monster Energy Cup, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas:
Wow – I cannot believe that the third edition of the Monster Energy Cup is already upon us! It certainly does not feel like three hundred and sixty-five days have passed since last year’s event. The Monster Energy Cup is growing rapidly each year, as more and more riders are getting involved. Most of the top American riders will be present this weekend, which means that the on-track action will be great! Ryan Villopoto has to be the favourite, but the reigning champion, Justin Barcia, will be strong, as well as Ryan Dungey, James Stewart, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. Of course, the unique features like the ‘Joker Lane’, and the split start will return once again.
Words by Lewis Phillips