RV vs Reed on Two-Strokes at Red Bull Straight Rhythm



In late September, Red Bull Straight Rhythm announced it was introducing the Ken Roczen Two-Stroke Shootout this year. While Roczen won’t be competing due to injury, Red Bull has scored some marquee names, including Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed. RV vs. Reed on two-strokes!!! This is going to be awesome. Also competing are Mike Brown, Ronnie Mac, and Ryan Sipes.

In Open Class Marvin Musquin, Broc Tickle, Josh Hansen, and 2016 AMA EnduroCross champion Colton Haaker have been announced.

The Lites Class will feature 2016 Red Bull Straight Rhythm Lites Champion Shane McElrath, Jordon Smith, Alex Martin, and Josh Hill. Hill will once again be at the helm of the Alta Motors Redshift MX electric bike. The remaining riders for the Two-Stroke, Open, and Lites classes will be announced later.


Inside America's Toughest Extreme Enduro w/ KTM Star Cody Webb



Red Bull Moto Spy follows Cody Webb at the 2017 Tennessee Knockout as he goes for his fifth straight win at the event - the toughest hard enduro in North America.

The FMF KTM Factory Racing rider had to fend off the UK’s Graham Jarvis, the most successful extreme enduro racer in the world while competing on some of the most difficult terrain imaginable.

Nearly three hundred riders competed at the seventh annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout and this feature highlights the second and final day of competition when the field was already down to 58 riders.

2017 Kenda Tennessee, Knockout Main Event Results

  1. Cody Webb, KTM
  2. Graham Jarvis, Husqvarna
  3. Mario Roman, Sherco
  4. Max Gerston, Beta
  5. Jordan Ashburn, Beta
  6. Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna
  7. Ben Kelly, KTM
  8. Mitch Carvolth, KTM
  9. Quinn Wentzel, Husqvarna
  10. Grayson Goncalves, Husqvarna

KTM’s Black Rally 450! 

ktm factory rally 450 dakar 1

Photo Credit: Marcin Kin

This week at the Rally of Morocco marks the final proper shakedown before Dakar 2018 and KTM have rolled out their new 450 — in black.

Morocco always brings something new to the table, last year we saw Yamaha show up with their new 450 and now this year KTM.

Naturally enough there’s not any details on what’s new and what’s not, just that it’s new. 

KTM haven’t really drastically updated their rally bike for the past couple of seasons, we’re guessing that’s because they haven’t been beaten.

But we do guess that to stay ahead of the pack you got to stay on top of your game, and with Honda and Yamaha bridging the gap to them, it’s now time for something new.

Dressed is black, she certainly looks cool sitting in the Moroccan Desert, but come Dakar no doubt she’ll be dressed orange.

Nice though…


ktm factory rally 450 dakar 2

ktm factory rally 450 dakar 6


ktm factory rally 450 dakar 4


A detailed chat with Max Anstie

Following an incredible display at the Motocross of Nations, does Max Anstie really need an introduction? The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider decimated the conversation whilst en route to a pair of moto wins and lifted Great Britain onto the podium for the first time in twenty years. Anstie put himself into the record books on Sunday.

MX Vice: We have done these on the bad days and we’ve done these on the good days. I don’t throw claims like this around often, but today you were the best rider in the world. How does it feel?

Max Anstie: It is unbelievable. I don’t even think it has sunk in yet. That was just one hell of a day. I woke up this morning and I did not… I was focused. I suppose I did not give myself time to think about anything. I was telling myself for the last few weeks, it is just GP number twenty. I’m going there to do my work and ride as fast as I can. It is my home GP, great, but I’m training and preparing like normal. When I was riding, I was trying to just think about that. Think about hitting my marks, hitting my turns, doing my bits that I know I could do and not get too carried away with it.

Max Anstie led twenty-one of the twenty-five laps at the MXoN (ConwayMX)

In the first race the crowd was just absolutely unreal. I had a bit of a gap and I got a bit nervous the last few laps. Then in the second race, I was about midway through and I had a little gap on Febvre and then I heard the commentator say, “It is all eyes on Anstie. If Team GB get on the podium…" I was like, oh! Then I went and ended up pulling the front brake in a bit too much and slid out. I got up and I felt all right and I said, “I’m having this." I managed to catch Febvre and pass him. Obviously then Jeffrey was right there close. It was a mega race. It was awesome to do and something I’ll never forget. Just an amazing feeling.

Obviously you have been around a while now, but it is weird. I feel like today after those rides, you have arrived now. I feel like you are now in the hall of fame and an all-timer. Do you feel like you have done something that is going to go down in history?

It is unreal. I was here in 2006 and I watched. I stood on that turn where Stefan Everts went around the outside of James Stewart. I watched Antonio Cairoli beat Ryan Villopoto. I just remember thinking there, “wow, these boys are amazing. They’re like my heroes. I’m never going to be like them." Now eleven years later, I’ve gone and went 1-1 at the same track and same event. That is bloody cool.

Did the fans help you? The commentators were constantly going on about how you could not do it without the fans. They were urging you on. Did that actually kind of spur you on and give you that extra bit of drive you needed?

Like I said, I was just trying to focus on myself and my lines. Actually, it made me a bit more nervous. It was the first time in a while, actually on Saturday even in free practice I felt nervous. I was like, “oh, this is quite cool." You have got a bit of the weight from the whole nation and the whole team. There are three riders and if you mess it up… I was a bit nervous the last few laps in both races. I’m just so glad I was able to get it done. It was just unbelievable.

Max Anstie has attracted attention from across the globe now (ConwayMX)

The fans were great, because they were getting the lappers out of the way as well. The blue flags were good but the lappers. We don’t race some of these guys in GPs, so they are not too clued up on getting out of the way. So, the fans, it just sounded like it was so loud. People were just like, “okay, something must be going on." Let me get out of the way. It was good. It was helping me. The last few laps we started lapping some relatively good guys. Then they were still kind of holding their positions. It was getting tight, because Jeffrey was there. It was good that we were able to do it.

Can the crowd sometimes hurt in spots when a guy like [Jeffrey] Herlings is right behind you? They kind of drown out the sound of his bike so you cannot really hear what side he is coming from? Sometimes maybe they get louder and you are like, “wait, why are you doing that? Is there someone like right there?"

Yeah. I got in front of Febvre then started pulling away a bit and the crowd, I just thought… I had to look back over the finish because I was like, “is he right on me trying to go down the inside of me?" Then I was like, “oh, no, actually I’ve got a few seconds." I was like, okay, I can go outside of the bottom. Down the end of the old pit lane after the finish jump, if you went outside it was better for the next straight, but obviously you were going to get T-boned if you left the door open. I was like, “I don’t know, I don’t know!" But then I looked back and I was like, “oh, I’ve got a bit of space now."

It is hard to hear with those fans, but could not do it without them there. They are unbelievable. It is just so nice to be able to do this for everyone and put on a show. It was not exactly the nicest day out. I know people travelled from all over the country. It was just something for us as a team, as a country we proved that we are there. We can be on the box and as a country we’re right up there. We might be a small country, but it is cool. It’s great.

72,000 fans watched Max Anstie jump into the record books (ConwayMX)

You came in from the first race after having won and were stoked, pumped and all of that. When you found out that Tommy did not finish and GB were only ninth, were you like, “wait, so I did all of that and it is only good enough for that?"

I know. Again, in the first race, there was one time where I could really hear the commentator every lap. I was kind of going around. It was like four or five seconds and I could hear what they were saying. I heard him say Searle this, Searle that or something. I was like, “oh, great! He’s probably like fifth or something, mega! We are having a great time. I’m out front. Tommy must be right up there." I came in and I was like, “great! How was Tommy’s race?" They’re like, “he only did two laps." I was like, “oh no."

This is going to be tough. Obviously if you have to throw away your result from the first race, then that put even a bit more pressure on me for the second race. It was not like we all turned around and were like consistent, consistent, consistent. It was just go for it. I had to go for it, but then not crash as well and throw it away. It was a bit of a shame for Tommy in the first race, but I’m so pleased we managed to get it done.

Team Great Britain last finished on the podium back in 1997 (ConwayMX)

Did you feel more pressure after the first race as well? Once you settled down you realized that everyone is going to expect you to do that again. The second time is always harder.

Actually, I felt better after the first race. I felt like, okay, I belong. That’s fine. That’s good. I’ve done it once, so I can do it again. Even in that second race, I had Jeffrey behind me and I learned from the French race a couple of weeks ago. I led him for two of the last two laps and then he got me and I thought, “this is not happening again." I’m doing everything I can to stay in front of him, and I managed to do it. So, it was cool.

How much did Villars help you? Obviously, you got used to being in front of Herlings and defending your position. But even coming from the outside on the start, you did that at Villars and I feel like that whole experience just helped you leaps and bounds today.

Yeah, massively. It did. It has been, the last part of the season and getting a few podiums. I’ve been building in strength and I’ve been telling everyone, “right, the ‘Nations is going to be where it is at." I knew I was going to be strong for this. My physical fitness is great. I know I am on point with everything. But, honestly, my team is unreal. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team is the best team ever. They give me a plan for everything. I don’t even have to think. I’m just able to go and ride. That is great because then I can spend more time thinking about how to go faster. I’m not planning something or planning this. I have got to give it up to Antti and the whole team there, because they are unreal.

Max Anstie credits a lot of his success to those who surround him (ConwayMX)

Finally, what’s your plan now heading into the off-season? I guess you are going to rest a little bit or do you have immediate testing to do?

No, I have got this week off and then I start testing next week. We have got some team testing to do, then it is just getting to work. I like working. I feel great. I feel really, really good. This weekend has been absolutely amazing. I really like the hard work part of it as well because it gives you that good feeling on the weekends. You have that feeling of achieving something. Without working hard in this MXGP class, there is no chance. The boys are all great and everyone works hard. Everyone is great and has got a good team. It is something that I also look forward to. I also look forward to this off-season of training and taking what we have learned from this year and trying to progress and be even one step higher again next year.

I don’t expect to go and win all the races next year or whatever, but I expect to just be a step up from what I was this year and aim for them podiums and take all of that into account. When the time is right, I can take my wins. I think it has been a long process through my whole career, but this year has definitely been a point where I’ve been able to step up and put myself where I want to be. Now I’m looking forward to this off-season.


Cole Seely Talks MXoN

Cole Seely was ecstatic when he got selected to represent Team USA at the Motocross of Nations, but he did not get an opportunity to show what he could really do at the event. A pair of shock issues derailed his charge towards the Chamberlain Trophy. The Honda HRC rider experienced some additional struggles also, such as adapting to a foreign environment and new circuit, as he explains in more detail in the exclusive interview below.

MX Vice: Obviously a terrible day, but we can’t really blame you. Two bike malfunctions, the same thing, which doesn't really happen to anybody, so what can you do?

Cole Seely: No, I’m bummed. Yeah, the bike broke but I was having a heck of a time out there. It is very foreign. The track, obviously I have never ridden here. Never ridden in these crazy conditions on this soil, so it is crazy. I really underestimated a lot of the MXGP guys. They are incredibly talented riders, which is crazy. I thought I’d be hanging in there. I didn’t think I’d be just waxing everybody out there, but I thought I can keep up with a lot of them. They are on another level, especially over here in Europe. I got to hand it to those guys. They are on another level than us right now. But it was an honor to come over here and represent the country; I’m just super bummed on the results, the way I rode and the way the bike broke. Just pretty much anything bad that could have happened today did happen. Definitely bummed on that.

Obviously everyone saw what happened to the bike. There was kind of no hiding it, but how does that happen twice? Do you have any idea?

Just mud kind of packed into the shock and really just blew the bottom ring off of it. Then we tried to stuff foam in there so mud and dirt and rocks couldn’t make its way in there, but it just happened again unfortunately. Just lasted a little longer than the first time. It is a bummer. We are not in our element here. We don't know how to prepare for this kind of stuff. We’ll learn from it, unfortunately at the disposal of Motocross of Nations being the race where we got to learn from it.

Was this event what you expected? Obviously you knew it was going to be crazy, as I’m sure you have heard all the stories. Was it crazier? Harder? Easier? What did you think of it?

It was way harder than I thought it was going to be. I knew it was going to be hard and I trained really hard for this event, but it was way harder than I thought it was going to be. The guys were going way faster. They knew the lines way better than I did. I cannot study that enough coming over here and be as good as they are at those kind of lines. They are just so different than what we have in America and the pace they ride at is so fast. It was the hardest, stressful and most insane weekend of my life. Definitely kind of looking forward to getting home, relaxing and finally taking some time off. I’ve been going at it since January 1st so it’s been a heck of a year. Finally winding down now.

Team USA finished ninth, following a variety of problems (ConwayMX)

Does the fact that it was stressful, hard and all of that put you off coming back in the future or are you hungry for redemption and want to show what you can really do?

I do not know. I need to sit on it and think about it for a while. It is so hard for us. Nobody is to blame for it, but it is tough for us because I ended my season six weeks ago and I had to keep on training with a goal in sight that I did not know how to train for. It is so hard. I do not even know how to explain that. These guys are still somewhat fresh and just coming off a relatively-recent race weekend. For us, it is just that we’re way out of our element. That is not to take away from the MXGP guys, because they are absolutely insane with their speed and fitness.

I expected to be a lot closer than I was and obviously before the malfunctions. I don’t know. I’ll have to sit on that and think about it, but give it some time. If I get asked again maybe give it a little bit more time too. It is tough too because the American fans are so critical. They hate me probably right now. It is tough. I don’t know how to answer that.

If you could maybe change one thing about the way that you tackled the event, would you go back in time and come over a little earlier and ride in England? Even though the tracks would not be the same, at least you’d be on similar dirt and with similar weather?

That is a hard question. I do not really know. I don’t know if it would have helped that much. I got as much time in as I could at home and then came over here as late as I could. Like you said, the tracks wouldn’t have been identical to what I would have been riding, the conditions sure wouldn’t have been and I wouldn’t have been racing against these guys. They are so fast, so I don’t know. I maybe would have liked to come over a little early, but I don’t know if it would have helped that much.

Cole Seely's best finish of the weekend was a ninth in qualifying (ConwayMX)

Whenever I talk about this track I always say it is the most American in Europe because typically GP tracks are tight, twisty and rocky. When it was dry, did you feel like that was the case? Obviously it flows good like American tracks. Ground is maybe harder than you typically experience, but was it somewhat similar to what you ride on?

It was actually really soft, because it had rained so much for our practice. It wasn’t anything like in America. I thought so too. I thought it would be like what we have at Thunder Valley in Colorado. I thought it would be a lot like that. The dirt looks similar. The layout kind of looks similar, but it is nothing… It is good. It is a really fun track, but it was just a really hard track to go fast on. If I could just come here and ride I’d be stoked. It would be one of the most fun tracks I’ve ever ridden, but to try and throw down that pace that those guys are running out there sure isn’t easy and it takes a lot more experience than I have on this track for sure.

Finally, just talk us through what you have got planned in the next weeks. I guess you had an option to do Monster Cup, but are going to skip it?

Yeah. Like I said before, I have not had any time off this year, so I am going to take probably about three weeks off the bike and then start training for supercross again. But, in the meantime, I’m actually having a plate removed from my hand, so that is the main reason why I’m not racing Monster Cup. I need some time to let my body recuperate before I start training again. Like I just mentioned, I need to get that plate taken out of my hand.

I guess the plate made it even tougher to commit to this? If you hadn’t raced, this plate would have been out weeks ago and you would be fresh and ready to go for supercross. You really did sacrifice quite a lot to come here.

Yeah, for sure. That was one of the big questions when I had originally committed to this was I knew I wanted to get it out. We did not know whether to get it out right after the last AMA national and then start training for this. But I didn’t want to have any, not excuses, but any reasons why I wasn’t one hundred percent. I just opted to fully commit to training for this thing. It is beyond my dream to be asked to do it. It was one big sacrifice, but now I’m going to go home and get it taken out in a few days.

Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX



EnduroGP UK 2017 - Recap


MXoN – Rider Comments

A fairytale weekend for Team France as they continue to show they are the best motocross nation in the world. How times have changed. A bad day for Team USA as they continue their slide down the world rankings. 2018 and RedBud should be a different story. Max Anstie, Hunter Lawrence and Jeffrey Herlings were sensational.

Romain Febvre: “I had two solid motos and two good starts; the new bike is just amazing. We had been working for a few weeks but it already felt better. In the first moto I was battling with Jeffrey and when he crashed I had to take off my goggles because I couldn’t see so well. With the lapped riders it was really difficult so I took a safe second. In the second moto I felt I couldn’t continue again like this so stopped quickly for goggles but anyway we are so happy to have won for the fourth time. People had doubts about Christophe on social media but he won both the ISDE and the Nations and that’s quite amazing.”

Gautier Paulin: “Winning the Nations is a crazy feeling that never gets old. This is such a special event with fans and spectators travelling from all parts of the word to see us race. I really want to thank my teammates Christophe Charlier and Romain Febvre. They did a great job and the overall win belongs to all three of us. The atmosphere this year has been amazing. As for me, it feels great to be able to get a fourth consecutive win with the team. I did my best to secure two good results in the final motos and I made it happen. I loved every moment of this year’s Motocross of Nations.”

Christophe Charlier: “I’m over the moon with this victory. Especially for me focusing all my efforts this season into the EnduroGP World Championship, it’s been a crazy experience coming back to the pinnacle of motocross competition. The Nations is always a huge event and this season it seemed that it was even more spectacular. As for me, I spent the last couple of weeks training on the FC 250 machine and it all worked out pretty well here in the UK. I got 14th in the first moto and then managed to improve to sixth in moto two. It’s been a crazy journey and it feels amazing to have now won the ISDE and the Nations during the same season.”

Max Anstie: “Getting two moto wins and seeing our team finish on the podium is an amazing feeling. My teammates and myself have done well this weekend. We all put in a great effort into the Nations and it’s great to bring Team GB on the box in front of our home crowd. For me these two moto wins feel like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to get a win in the MXGP class and now I’ve got two victories at the most prestigious event of the season. In moto one I got the lead quite early and just tried to stay focused and hit my lines correctly. Then in moto two we had a good battle with Febvre and eventually I managed to come out on top. It’s an unreal feeling.”

Dean Wilson: “It was a pretty tough weekend with the weather changing on Sunday. Conditions were treacherous on the track and it was easy to make mistakes. I got seventh in my first moto and then eighth in the second. It was nothing spectacular but we managed to bring Team Great Britain on the podium. Max [Anstie] did an amazing job this weekend getting two solid victories and our teammate Tommy [Searle] rode well too. It’s good that we managed to bring our team on the box for the first time after 20 years, it’s pretty exciting.”

Tommy Searle: “I was going well in the first race until I had to retire, and I felt I’d let the rest of the team down at first as this is a team contest and it put the pressure on the other guys. I knew I had to bring it home in my second ride but I had a bad start and got filled in with the mud as I came through the pack. I was very nervous and fifteenth is not good, but it was enough to help earn third place for the team.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “We did really good last year and had a bit of luck to finish second but I think we deserved it this time. I’m proud of my teammates and the organisation to make this happen. I just missed the start in the second moto and had so much mud on my helmet and dirt in my goggle. Romain went in for goggles and I wasn’t sure, so I kept going and I caught Max but there was only one dry line and it was very tough to pass. I managed to get him in France [the GP Pays de Montbeliard] but couldn’t do it this time! I feel a bit disappointed because I worked hard and wanted to go 1-1 but I couldn’t. The second part of the season was good for me. I was one of the fastest and it gives me a lot of confidence going into next year.”

Glenn Coldenhoff: “I expected better. I got a good start in the first moto but struggled a bit at halfway. I had to take off my goggles as well and then it was even more difficult. I tried as hard as I could and just came up a little bit short. It was not my day today. I gave everything that I had and in the end I’m happy for the team but disappointed in myself.”


Hunter Lawrence: “The day started off really well, with a good start on my RM-Z250. It was a good race with the 450s and I ended up fourth which was really cool, finishing ahead of some top-quality riders and I was the first MX2 rider across the line. It was a short break between the two motos and I didn’t get as good of a start in the second race and I had to work my way through the pack. There was so much mud on my helmet and I had to take the goggles off but I was riding well and making passes. I took a rock to the eye at one stage and that hurt a lot but others were making mistakes and I kept charging and eventually got up to third. Unfortunately, my helmet was falling down across my eyes and I couldn’t see so well and I crashed a couple of laps from the end. Obviously it was a massive let down for myself as I ended up finishing eighth after that mistake. I still won the MX2 class and won the Ricky Carmichael award for best young rider so I’m really happy with that and with helping Australia to a sixth overall.”

Zach Osborne: “I was happy to be back racing on familiar British soil. I did my best in the qualifying moto and was happy to get away with the win. Then on Sunday my performance was good. I didn’t get a good rhythm in the opening moto and following a small crash I had to settle for 10th at the line. In the second moto I felt much better and managed to make some good passes in the last few laps for third. I’m satisfied with second overall in the MX2 class. For Team USA it was a tough weekend but I am sure we will come back fighting for next year.”

Thomas Covington: “I was looking forward to representing Team USA for the first time in my career. My speed was good on the 450 machine but things didn’t work out for me in any of the final motos. I got a bad start in my first moto and then went down three times during the race. My bars and levers were bent so I just did my best to finish the race. Then in the second moto I wasn’t able to get a good start again. I tried to come back as closer as possible to the top but had to settle for 17th at the line.”

Antonio Cairoli: “Today was good. We couldn’t expect the win and with the track like this it was a matter of good starts and staying out of trouble and this was not our case. We struggled a lot but Alessandro rode well in the second moto to take fourth place. I had a crash in the first race and it was difficult to come back, and in the second moto I had another problem at the start and from almost last I could come to seventh. Anyway we were happy that it was muddy because we needed to work a bit on this kind of soil and had struggled a bit in similar conditions during the season. We had some good practice today and now I’m looking forward to the break before we start to think of the new season.”

Jeremy Seewer: “For the bad starts I had in both motos, today went all right”, said Seewer. “I had a lot of spinning on the gate, which perhaps was due to the fact I don’t have too much experience starting on the 450. Both of the races I was pretty much dead last which in a mud race isn’t very good at all. In the first moto I had a couple of crashes after one guy hit me but I came back pretty good to 14th. I wasn’t overly happy with it but my riding was good and that was important. In the second moto I made a lot passes on the first lap after the bad start, coming from like 35th up to seventh. Antonio Cairoli then passed me and I had another problem with a lapper and I ended up ninth. Switzerland ended up fifth. It was our joint-best result in our history and it just means that we need to have a really good day to get on the podium.”

Kevin Strijbos: “Today wasn’t a good day for me as I just couldn’t find my speed or rhythm at all. It was just a bad weekend from yesterday to today, I felt so bad on the track and couldn’t get anything going at all. I tried my best, just like I always do and I’m glad I helped Belgium to get fourth overall, but I don’t feel satisfied with how I rode personally. I really wish I could have placed higher because I normally do so much better at this race, but this just wasn’t my weekend.”

Jorge Prado: “A disappointing way to finish the season. I had some goggle trouble in the first moto and was always battling the conditions and then the second race was over when I had a stone get into the rear brake. It meant I wasn’t going anywhere with the bike. Not really how I wanted to end the year but it has been a long one for me and now it is time to stop and have a good look at everything we have done and work for the next season.”

Michele Cervellin: Today was not a good race for me. I struggled with my leg in these conditions but I just tried to do my best for Team Italy and for HRC as it is my last race with them. The track was so difficult and you need an umbrella on you just to see where you are going. I am going to take some time now to focus on next year.

Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “It was a challenging weekend here in England. The track was technical and the rain made it muddy for the final motos on Sunday. I didn’t get the best of starts but put in some good lap times and made a few good passes during both motos. My goal was to be top 10 in both motos and I managed to finish ninth and 10th. I’m pretty happy with my riding as well, as it’s been a bit better than it was during the last few GPs. Overall, it’s been a positive weekend for me and I’m already looking forward to the coming season.”

Tim Gajser: Actually, today was really tough for us as a Slovenian team. We set the goal before we went to this event that we wanted to be top 15 and we did that as we finished 12th. I struggled today with my starts I had to come back through from far back. It was hard as the track was really muddy and I lost my goggles in the third lap in both moto’s. I got roosted really badly in the eyes. I managed to finish second in my first race and then fifth in the second one. I know I can do better but we are quite happy because after many years Slovenia has had a good result.

Evgeny Bobryshev: I had a really good first Moto today even though the track was not my favourite type of terrain, then in the second race I didn’t have a good start but managed to finish twelfth. The track was really muddy compared to yesterday and really tough. Russia didn’t do so well overall but I enjoy taking part in the event and is good to see so many fans out there supporting us.


Matterley – Looking Back

Ok, it wasn’t as big as Maggiora in 1986 or 2016, in fact the constant rain that hung over Matterley Basin pretty much for the whole event, dampened what should have been one of the best ever. While everyone did a brilliant job to get the event as good as possible, mother nature made it a bit of a disappointment.

Steve Dixon reminded me that to match 2006 would have been impossible, with the whole Everts vs Stewart vs Carmichael (before he got injured and couldn’t race) made that event something special, and while we still had Cairoli, and Herlings, the anticipation from the crowd was more focused on their home team, or that of Team France.

Sure, Team Great Britain and Team France walked away happy, and the MXGP boys once again showed the difference in levels at the moment compared to their AMA counterparts, but it could have been so much better, and with a dry track a lot closer for teams like Australia and America.

The performances by Max Anstie and Hunter Lawrence were just scintillating. No doubt the talk of the MX2 class being a weak class should now be stopped. When an 18-year-old kid can do what Lawrence did, and also strong performances from Thomas Kjer Olsen over the weekend, and guys like Brian Bogers, and even Jeremy Seewer in the 450 class, it’s clear the MX2 class is a lot better than many people think.

It sure isn’t no feeder series. Without MX2 champion Pauls Jonass, and Seewer racing the 450, not to mention riders like Benoit Paturel, Thomas Covington and Julien Lieber not racing the MX2 class at the MXoN, Lawrence really held up his part of the bargain for the GP riders.

Jeffrey Herlings worked hard to try and pick up his first ever 1-1 at the MXoN, and no doubt next year in America he will try it again. Redbud looks like a good circuit for the Dutchman, and he should be the big favourite to do that on American soil.

The performance from Team USA was a sad one. Three nice guys, all pumped to ride for their country, just didn’t have it on the day. The conditions didn’t help, maybe the pressure, but they all deserve 100% respect for showing class, determination and desire. America should be proud of these boys, just as the Australian, South African and every other nations should be of their riders. I my opinion it wouldn’t have mattered who USA sent this year, Team France were just on another level.

There was drama, good racing, and climaxes, which is what the MXoN delivers, and despite the conditions, it was a success. Now bring on 2018 and the American version. Let’s hope we get a Budds Creek type event, and not the disappointing Thunder Valley event in 2010, when the crowd wasn’t really into it. With a nice mix of crazy Europeans, and the RedBud crew, it should be an event worth attending.

Quote of the weekend for me came from Hunter Lawrence. On the Friday when asked if he was happy to see some fellow Australians at the event, he smiles and said, “sure, you euros are weird.” I had to laugh out loud, and smile at the young 18 years olds honesty and pure comments. Once he moves to America in 2019, you guys will love him. I just hope he can capture a world MX2 title in 2018 before he heads off.


France Wins MXoN Again!

Anstie moto, France Trophy

Max Anstie has won the final moto of the MXoN, but it was Team France who took home the Chamberlain trophy for the fourth year in a row, only the third team to do so in the history of the event. Team France with Romain Febvre, Gautier Paulin and Christophe Charlier really dominated the competition, and were easily the best nation. Winning with 20 points, and followed by Team Netherlands with 31pts and Team Great Britain with 32pts.

Class winners were Max Anstie with 1-1 in the MXGP class, Jeffrey Herlings going 1-2 for the Open class and Hunter Lawrence with 4-8 in the MX2 class.

The final moto of the day and its again Anstie who is leading, ahead of Febvre, Van Horebeek, Herlings, Tonus, Seely, Ullrich, Paulin, Gajser, Seewer, Wilson, Coldenhoff, Facciotti, Cairoli, Leok, Bobryshev, Ferris, Irwin, Olsen, and Edmonds in 20th. Covington 26th and Gibbs now back in 32nd place.

Paulin goes past Ullrich, and Cairoli passed Facciotti. Paulin also past Seely, and Gajser into 8th as he passed Ullrich. Irwin moves past Ferris and the Aussies in big trouble. Febvre all over Anstie for the lead as the French look like defending their Chamberlain trophy.

Herlings into third and going after the two front guys. Ferris drops to 21st and Gibbs up to 27th. Seewer up to 8th and the Swizz coming for a podium place as Tonus commands fifth place.

After two laps it was Anstie, Febvre, Herlings, Van Horebeek, Tonus, Paulin, Gajser, Seewer, Seely, Wilson, Cairoli, Coldenhoff, Ullrich, Bobryshev, Leok, Olsen, Noren, Irwin, Facciotti, and Strijbos 20th.

Seely back to 12th place as Wilson and Cairoli move past the American. Wilson into ninth and the home team looking for a podium finish.

Ferris fighting hard into 16th and Gibbs 24th. France in command though with second and sixth. Gajser all over Paulin, as Paulin moved past Tonus and Gajser went for the same, but the two collided and Gajser went down.

Anstie went down and Febvre into the lead and France cruising to victory. After five laps its Febvre, Anstie, Herlings, Van Horebeek, Paulin, Tonus, Seewer, Gajser, Wilson, Cairoli, Coldenhoff, Leok, Seely, Noren and Bobryshev 15th.

Seely again struggling against the GP riders as he drops to 16th place and Covington in 20th. Seely into 19th and Ferris way back. It’s a done day for USA and Australia. Seely another DNF, and again a rear end problem.

Herlings closed on Anstie and Anstie onto Febvre. Top three all-together. Anstie all over Febvre and nearly landed on him over a jump. Anstie much quicker.

Anstie into the lead and Febvre tried to fight back and its giving Herlings a chance to catch them. He was 12 seconds back when he got to third.

Anstie held off a late challenge from Herlings to win the moto and help Team Great Britain onto the podium. France win it from Netherlands and Great Britain.

 Race 3 (MXGP + Open) – Classification

1 19 Anstie, Max GBR ACU Husqvarna 37:59.163
2 6 Herlings, Jeffrey NED KNMV KTM 38:00.271
3 3 Febvre, Romain FRA FFM Yamaha 38:59.174
4 10 Van Horebeek, Jeremy BEL FMB Yamaha 39:19.722
5 67 Gajser, Tim SLO AMZS Honda 39:26.564
6 1 Paulin, Gautier FRA MCM Husqvarna 39:36.130
7 13 Cairoli, Antonio ITA FMI KTM 39:44.017
8 21 Wilson, Dean GBR AMA Husqvarna 39:50.756
9 18 Seewer, Jeremy SUI FMS Suzuki 40:01.928
10 16 Tonus, Arnaud SUI FMS Yamaha 40:06.811
11 4 Coldenhoff, Glenn NED KNMV KTM 40:23.654
12 31 Bobryshev, Evgeny RUS MUL Honda 41:00.859
13 12 Strijbos, Kevin BEL FMB Suzuki 38:08.664
14 27 Leok, Tanel EST EMF Husqvarna 38:10.992
15 39 Noren, Fredrik SWE AMA Honda 38:12.452
16 61 Goncalves, Rui POR FMP Husqvarna 38:13.794
17 9 Covington, Thomas USA MUL Husqvarna 38:14.438
18 15 Lupino, Alessandro ITA FMI Honda 38:28.973
19 24 Gibbs, Kirk AUS MA KTM 39:10.430
20 42 Olsen, Stefan Kjer DEN DMU Kawasaki 39:16.627


Herlings wins second moto

While Jeffrey Herlings of Team Netherlands won the second moto, the battle for the Chamberlain trophy was now between Team France, Team Australia and Team The Netherlands. Brilliance by Herlings, but also 18 year old Aussie Hunter Lawrence, who won the MX2 overall for the weekend, and could have easily finished with 4-3 results had he not crashed in the late stages of the second moto, finishing with 4-8 results.

“I had a good start in first,” Herlings said. “I pulled a gap, but the track is so slick and I made a small crash. I took my time to get some good lines and managed to overtake Romain for first place, so that was good.”

Herlings quickly took the lead, with Febvre, Ullrich, Gibbs, Leok, Lupino, Charlier, Sanayei, Wilson, Osborne, Strijbos, Cervellin, Baranov, Lawrence, Olsen. Searle in 28th, Seewer 30th, and Covington in 38th. Team Great Britain and Team USA in terrible trouble for an overall victory. Team France with two riders inside the top ten.

World Enduro rider Charlier moved past AMA 250 champion Osborne, ridiculous, but true, and Covington down again.

Herlings once again taking it easy in the early going, his typical race strategy. Lawrence ninth and Gibbs third as the Aussies move into second place in the overall standings. Lawrence and Osborne going head to head as the Aussie makes the pass and gives the Aussies something to get excited about.

After two laps its Herlings, Febvre, Gibbs, Lupino, Charlier, Lawrence, Leok, Osborne, Wilson, Ullrich, Strijbos, Sanayei, Olsen, Cervellin and Bogers.

Herlings went down in the mud, but didn’t lose too much time, still in second. Febvre threw his goggles off, and slipping and sliding his way in first place.

Lawrence into fifth place and chasing down Lupino in fourth place. The Aussies are closing in on France, although they need some luck in the final moto. Going head to head against Febvre and Paulin Gibbs and Ferris would have their hands full.

Charlier goes past Lawrence and Lupino all over Gibbs, the Aussies getting some problems now. Searle in 20th, and Covington 26th. Team USA are out of contention. Seewer in for new goggles and miles back.

As he does, Herlings picks up the pace, and closes right up on Febvre. After five laps it was Febvre, Herlings, Gibbs, Lupino, Charlier, Osborne, Lawrence, Wilson, Leok, Sanayei, Olsen, Strijbos, Medaglia, Olsen, Noren, Cervellin, Searle, Ullrich, and Ostlund.

Lawrence into seventh as Osborne moves into sixth, but the chance of a top five is still tough for the American riders. Covington 25th and Searle now 17th.

Lawrence closed up on Osborne, and the American closed up on Charlier, the top three MX2 guys all together. Herlings all over Febvre for the lead.

Osborne now the lead MX2 rider as he moved into fifth. The top ten after seven laps was Febvre, Herlings, Gibbs, Lupino, Osborne, Lawrence, Charlier, Wilson, Leok, Olsen in 10th. Covington lapped by Febvre after seven laps.

Herlings so beautiful on a bike, as he clearly passed Febvre, just too good. He takes the lead and as Febvre drops to second and Charlier seventh the Dutch and the Aussies make a little ground on the French. Team France riders 2-7, Team Netherlands 1-11 and Team Australia 4-6. The French eight points ahead of Holland. Those are the teams going for the victory in the final moto.

Herlings lead three seconds over Febvre, then came Lupino, Gibbs, Osborne, Lawrence, Charlier, Wilson, Leok, Olsen, Bogers, Strijbos, Sanayei, Seewer and Medaglia.

Lawrence back past Osborne, and onto Gibbs for fourth place. Soon after he passed Gibbs. The best MX2 rider of the day, without doubt. Lawrence closing down Lupino in third. Bogers goes past Olsen, to help the Netherlands a little.

Lawrence goes past Lupino, but the 450 rider had too much speed for the young Aussie. Osborne went past Gibbs to move into fifth, and Bogers up to ninth. Lawrence now third and riding like a legend.

Searle up to 15th place, but it’s going to be tough for Team Great Britain to make the podium unless the French, Dutch or Aussies have bad luck in the final moto.

With throw away races it was France 12pts, Australia 13pts, and Holland 18pts, but then Lawrence crashed and handed Osborne the MX2 lead, and makes it tough for the Aussies now as Lawrence dropped to 8th place.

Herlings wins the moto and Team France with a handy points lead going into the final moto. Only teams with a real shot at winning the overall are France, The Netherlands and Australia. With a throw-away race its France 11pts, Australia 17pts and The Netherlands 18pts.

Team Points after two motos

1 France 25
2 Race 2 3 FEBVRE, Romain FFM Yamaha
3 Race 1 1 PAULIN, Gautier MCM Husqvarna
6 Race 2 2 CHARLIER, Christophe FFM Husqvarna
14 Race 1 2 CHARLIER, Christophe FFM Husqvarna

2 The Netherlands 30
1 Race 2 6 HERLINGS, Jeffrey KNMV KTM
9 Race 2 5 BOGERS, Brian KNMV KTM
12 Race 1 5 BOGERS, Brian KNMV KTM

3 Australia 39
4 Race 1 23 LAWRENCE, Hunter MA Suzuki
5 Race 2 24 GIBBS, Kirk MA KTM
8 Race 2 23 LAWRENCE, Hunter MA Suzuki
22 Race 1 22 FERRIS, Dean MA Yamaha

4 Switzerland 55
5 Race 1 16 TONUS, Arnaud FMS Yamaha
14 Race 2 18 SEEWER, Jeremy FMS Suzuki
18 Race 2 17 GUILLOD, Valentin FMS Honda
18 Race 1 17 GUILLOD, Valentin FMS Honda

5 Great Britain 60
1 Race 1 19 ANSTIE, Max ACU Husqvarna
7 Race 2 21 WILSON, Dean AMA Husqvarna
15 Race 2 20 SEARLE, Tommy ACU Kawasaki
37 Race 1 20 SEARLE, Tommy ACU Kawasaki

6 Belgium 60
7 Race 1 10 VAN HOREBEEK, Jeremy FMB Yamaha
12 Race 2 12 STRIJBOS, Kevin FMB Suzuki
17 Race 1 11 VAN DONINCK, Brent FMB Yamaha
24 Race 2 11 VAN DONINCK, Brent FMB Yamaha