Honestly the last seven days have been quite quiet, as not too much news has emerged from the world of motocross. However all of the noteworthy topics that have arisen this week will of course be covered in this MX Vice ‘Weekly Wrap Up’. So, lets jump in and look at what has happened, and what is happening this weekend.
Remember Alex Snow? The Oakleaf Kawasaki pilot has been out of action for a large portion of this year, as he dislocated his shoulder back at round one of the British Masters. However after taking a handful of months off to recuperate, Alex will be back behind the starting gate at Whitby, this weekend – round four of the Red Bull Pro Nationals. It was quite unfortunate that we didn’t get to see what Snow could do at the start of the year; he had spent all of the winter in New Zealand, training with Josh Coppins. It seemed as though he was heading into the season brimming with confidence – but Alex can apply that knowledge to the remainder of the year now, it will be interesting to see what he can do.
Matt Goerke will be making his long awaited return on Saturday, after sustaining an injury to his wrist towards the end of the supercross season. It was originally presumed that Matt was going to return around the time of Budds Creek, but his injury was slightly more serious than first expected. Following his long lay-off, I do not expect him to do too much this weekend; but in the coming weeks he has the potential to finish comfortably inside of the top ten, like he did in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.
Switching It Up:
Vince Friese has had a turbulent season this year; he has failed to have the same impact that he had during supercross. After riding a TUF Honda indoors, Vince jumped over to the Munn Racing KTM team for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. However after seven rounds he has parted ways with the squad, he will return to MotoConcepts this weekend – the team that he has had a lot of success with in the past. At the moment the deal is for Washougal only, and it is quite last minute, so it is unknown how well it will go. I personally would not be surprised to see Vince on the team for the remainder of the year, honestly.
It is the time of year when all of the companies within the industry begin to unveil their 2014 product line. Shift revealed all of their new gear in California earlier this week; I am sure that we will see the stuff on Chad Reed and their other athletes in the near future. Andrew Short, and Trey Canard will be debuting the new Fly Racing Lite Hydrogen gear at Washougal. If you head over to the videos section on MX Vice, you will actually find a preview of the gear. So in the coming weeks look out for this new stuff that the companies are revealing; they all do it.
Ken Hall Cancelled:
The Ken Hall Trophy has become a staple on the British motocross calendar, as the event has been running for many, many years. Usually a couple of top international riders elect to stop off to contest the race; hence why, there is a lot of history behind the event. Sadly, we won’t be adding to that history this year, as the 2013 edition has been cancelled. Why is this? Well, the club, due to the tragic bereavement for a committee member, made this decision; this is completely understandable, of course.
The Injury Bug:
If you have been reading this column regularly, you will know that Gareth Swanepoel is now over in Australia, contesting the Monster Energy MX Nationals under the Carlton Dry Honda awning. Unfortunately his first race with the squad was a bit disastrous, as he went down at Appin and tweaked his wrist. Although it has been revealed that there are not any fractures, his status for the next round in two weeks time is unknown. But Swanepoel is confident that he will be on the starting line – time will tell.
Unfortunately Xavier Boog was forced to miss his team’s home race, the Finnish GP, this past weekend, as a crash in the qualification race ruled him out for the weekend. Luckily Boog did not sustain any breaks or fractures in the fall, so he will be able to contest the German GP, in a week’s time. It was mainly because of the swelling that he couldn’t contend, as Boog could put weight on the leg.
Just as this column was going to press the news filtered through that Les Smith has sustained two broken wrists after his bike died on a jump due to an electrical problem. It is unfortunate – Les was quietly having a solid season whilst working out of the back of the BTO Sports KTM tent. Obviously this is going to sideline him until the 2014 season now, although presumably it will leave him with not a lot of time to prepare during the off-season.
The Everts and Friends Charity Race:
Although there is a break in the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar this weekend, a large portion of the riders that contest that series will be heading to Genk, Belgium, for the annual Everts and Friends Charity event. The Red Bull KTM team will be on-site with Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Jordi Tixier, and Ken de Dycker; Joel Roelants, Kevin Strijbos, Gautier Paulin, and Rui Goncalves will be present also, as well as some other top riders. It is certainly worth the trip over to see the race, as it is unique. Kimi Räikkönen (the Formula 1 driver) will make an appearance as a special guest; he will be on-track in the ‘Cyclo MX’ race also.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Round Eight – Washougal:
Washougal is slightly different to the rest of the circuits on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross calendar, as the wooded track is quite hard-pack and slick. Obviously the technical riders will prevail because of this – such as Marvin Musquin perhaps? Despite this, we do not really see the results there differ too much from what goes on at the other rounds. Following his torrid time at Red Bud, Ryan Dungey is now forty-two points down on series leader, Ryan Villopoto (Washougal is the home race for Villopoto coincidentally). However, I do think Dungey could be the favourite for the win; he has had success there in the past. Eli Tomac, and Ken Roczen will more than likely top the 250MX class again, as their title fight begins to heat up.
Red Bull Pro Nationals, Round Four – Whitby:
Kristian Whatley will be looking to further assert his dominance in the Red Bull Pro Nationals this weekend, as he is undefeated in overall wins thus far this year; hence why, Kristian has a thirty-two-point lead currently. Whitby will host the fourth round – the spectacular track will surely get very hard-pack in the hot English weather. But that is not really uncommon for the Skelder Bank circuit. The Frenchmen, Nicolas Aubin and Milko Potisek will be hoping to finish ahead of the MBO Sport Yamaha pilot, as they seem to be his main competitors. Steven Lenoir leads the MX2 class at the moment – he has a fifteen-point lead over Neville Bradshaw at this point.
Coming Up Elsewhere in the World (Canada):
The CMRC Canadian MX Nationals will head to Sand de Lee this weekend; the track has been a staple on the Canadian schedule since 2006. Brett Metcalfe currently has a sixty-point lead in the series, which means that Tyler Medaglia and Bobby Kiniry (tied for second place in the series) are the only riders that have a mathematical shot at the title. Metcalfe seems to be a sure bet for the title – he seems in control each week, whilst racing to the overall win. In the MX2 class, Austin Politelli leads the title fight by thirty-six points from Brad Nauditt.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of KTM Images/Simon Cudby