Well, here we are: the final ‘Weekly Wrap Up’ of the year. Obviously, it has been quiet this week, as everyone has been enjoying some family time over Christmas. However, we have more injury news to report. It is not all negative though – there is some positive news that we are all very excited about. So, shall we jump into the news from this week?
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Unfortunately, the injury bug has spread to Europe, as Ken de Dycker crashed and broke his wrist whilst practicing at Lommel last weekend. Reports suggest that de Dycker crashed into a stationary rider that was in the middle of the circuit. Ken underwent surgery on that night, so he will now begin recovering, which is meant to take three months. It is very unlikely that he is going to make the first MXGP round in March, especially now that the series starts very early on. KTM (and their worldwide racing program) has really suffered, recently – they have lost Millsaps, Savatgy and Musquin already over in the USA.
MX vs. ATV Series Reborn:
Undoubtedly, some of the best news to come out of the motocross world in the last week is that the MX vs. ATV games are making a return! When it was announced that the game was being scrapped last year, we all thought that it was lost forever, however Nordic Games will be revitalizing the franchise with a new title (MX vs. ATV Supercross) that will be released in the middle of 2014. Obviously this is some great news – especially after the disappointment that was MX vs. ATV Alive. There are a few of the old developers working on the new game, which means they know what worked for Reflex, and Alive. Nordic Games desperately want the new title to have the best from both of those games – it all seems very promising.
Gradie Featherstone Relocates:
Intriguingly, the Oakleaf Kawasaki team announced that Gradie Featherstone was relocating to the USA late last week. Gradie has spent the last three weeks down at MTF and contested the Mini O’s with some success, so the big move then became more appealing. Originally the idea was for him to compete in both the USA and UK, but too many of the dates clash. So, he will be full-time over there instead. Oakleaf Kawasaki team manager (Shaun Anthony) released a statement explaining that he was very disappointed to lose such a young talent. But, he was happy that Featherstone could live his dream.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
It was officially confirmed this week that JGR Yamaha has begun a partnership with N-Fab. It comes as no surprise, after all Coy Gibbs and Thomas Fichter have worked together on a few projects in the past. Obviously, this means that N-Fab is not working with the TiLube Yamaha team anymore – but it seems that team is going to go ahead despite this. Interestingly N-Fab will be prominently displayed on the graphics that Phil Nicoletti is going to run, as he isn’t on the same deal as both Josh Grant and Justin Brayton, so different sponsors fund him.
Before this week, Dorren Coutts was the fastest unsigned rider in British Motocross. But, he finally tied up a deal with the Talon Kawasaki team for the 2014 season this week; he will be alongside Yentel Martens at the Maxxis British Championship, MX Nationals and selected rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The squad could be on for great things in their second year. Yentel and Dorren are proven riders, but 2013 was very challenging for them both, as they faced various problems.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image: Oakleaf Kawasaki PR