Qualifying Highlights MXGP of Lombardia 2017


MXGP Ottobiano, Italy

Yamaha head to Italy

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the eleventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship which will take place this weekend – June 24th and 25th – at a venue that is new to the MXGP calendar, Ottobiano, Italy. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre is gearing up with hopes of landing on the podium for the first time this season while his teammate, Jeremy Van Horebeek, will be watching from afar, unable to compete due to a broken index finger. The Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP squad will be out in full force with the highly anticipated return of their ‘sand-master’ Shaun Simpson, while Arnaud Tonus looks to carry in that same momentum that landed him on pole in Russia.

‘You’re only as good as your last race’ is a phrase that is often thrown around the motocross paddock, and for Romain Febvre, that was a near win. With a 12 second lead and only two laps to go in the final race at the MXGP of Russia 10 days ago, Febvre had it all but won. Unfortunately, the Frenchman connected with a rider that was one lap down and crashed, handing the lead to the eventual Grand Prix winner Clement Desalle. He finished second in that particular race and after a crash in the extremely muddy conditions in Race 1, where he managed to salvage eleventh, he finished sixth overall.

Despite the overall result, Febvre set the fastest lap-time in the most recent race of the season by more than 2,4 seconds. That is a whopping margin. He has proven his potential and it’s something he hopes to deliver on this weekend.

Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus was also running a fever-pitch pace in Russia where he won his maiden Qualifying Race. The Swiss rider definitely favors a hard and slick surface – which is in complete contrast to the loam of Ottobiano – although he has already demonstrated his ability to run the pace in the sand this year. He set the fastest lap in Timed Training at the MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, one of the trickiest sand tracks on the calendar, back in April.

As a proven grand prix winner, with one GP win this year – at round two in Indonesia – Shaun Simpson will make his return after a six-week hiatus. The Scotsman had the third metacarpal in his right hand plated after he broke it at the seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Latvia. He has since missed three rounds yet remains fourteenth in the championship chase.

Ottobiano is a tight and compact sand circuit located 45km South West of the Italian Capital, Milan. It has never hosted a round of the FIM Motocross World Championship before but is a popular testing venue for most of the Official Approved Teams and riders. This weekend it will make its MXGP and MX2 debut and in addition it will also be hosting the fourth and sixth rounds of the EMX125 and EMX250 championships.

Romain Febvre: “After Russia I started riding again in the sand, but because of the heat I am not spending so much time on the bike. I like the track in Ottobiano and I have heard they have put more sand on it, so it should be really sandy. I think it will be really hot so I think it will be important to conserve as much energy as possible to stay fit for the racing on Sunday. It should be good.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “It’s a bummer to not be racing in Ottobiano, I really like that track, I have always felt like I am really fast there. It’s going to be difficult for me not to be on the line, but I am more focused on my training now and coming back stronger than before. I will see the doctor on Friday and hopefully have the plaster taken off my hand. They will tape my two fingers together and it shouldn’t be too long after that that I can be back on the bike. I will make a decision based on the strength and pain in my hand next week whether I return in Portugal or Loket.”

Arnaud Tonus: “I felt really good in Russia, that was a track that suits me really well. I hope to do the same this weekend even though it’s in the sand. It will be really hot as well, so it’s important to stay smooth and drink a lot of water.”

Shaun Simpson: “I know this is the most over-rated thing to say but I just want to go there and ride, and then see where I am at. The hand has been pretty good, only after I ride it gets a bit stiff the next day, so I have been riding one day on, one day off and the second day it’s back to normal. I’m feeling good on the bike, I was expecting to feel rusty, but like most motocross riders, it only takes a few days off of the bike before you start stressing out and thinking “I’ve got to get back on the bike.” As soon as I got back on it, I felt really comfortable. It sounds a bit strange, but I would say we left Latvia with quite a good feeling, mainly because we went into Latvia after doing a lot testing on the bike and it was working so good. I guess that gave me the mental boost I needed for when I got back on the bike, that I knew straight away that the bike was good and where it needs to be. I felt at home right away. I wasn’t right up to speed and hitting all of my marks right away, but for the most part, I felt really good and closer to 100% than I expected. I’m looking forward to getting back on the line and mixing it up this weekend.”

Yamaha release Roman Borak image


2017 Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series // Round 04 Highlights 

Jordan Ashburn used consistency and speed to grab his first major victory as a pro at the Crow Canyon Full Gas Sprint Enduro – round four of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance in Uhrichsville, Ohio



Racing the Back Alleys of Portugal with Jonny Walker  

Jonny Walker takes on the grueling course of the Extreme XL Lagares, in Portugal. Not one to back down to a challenge, follow Jonny as he tackles the rugged course along the sea wall and then taking to the narrow streets of Porto's old city.


Rodney Smith promoted to head up Beta USA race department.

rodney smith beta usa head race 840

Photo Credit: Adam Booth

Beta USA's Rodney Smith has been promoted to head up the Beta USA race department. 

The AMA Hall of Famer and five-time GNCC champion has been working for Beta for the last 12 months as a rider coach and now will take over as the race team manager. 

Beta USA's President Tim Pilg comments, “It has been a huge benefit to our team ever since Rodney came aboard full time last season. His approach to racing matches our goals for the team so it made perfect sense to have him take over the team manager position.”

Smith is looking forward to developing the team and more, “I'm very excited to have this opportunity to run the Beta USA race team! I've been working & coaching the riders this year and now Beta has asked me to manage the team. 

“I'm very excited to bring my experience I've learned over the years as a racer and champion as well as being inducted in the AMA hall of fame! I've had the chance to see & learn from my past managers including Mike Webb and now I'm looking forward to being able run my own team & to further give our racers the knowledge & experience to win some more championships for my riders, Beta, & myself.”



MX Legends Pedal Across America!

Four icons in motocross are currently in the middle of what could possibly be the most grueling race of their lives, the Race Across America. Cyclists will work their way across the United States, including the mountain ranges, deserts, and rivers that lay between Southern California’s Oceanside Pier starting point and the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. The “Legends of the Road” team is comprised of Doug Henry, David Bailey, Micky Dymond, and Jeff Ward, with each rider putting in shifts in the non-stop event. Just before the team took off late last week, the Road2Recovery crew shot a quick video



MXGP Changing Since Returning To Europe

A new chapter will begin at the Grand Prix of Lombardia, as the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship will leap into the second half. The first ten rounds have truly vanished in the blink of an eye. That fact prompted us to reflect on what has transpired and uncover a collection of intriguing statistics from the season thus far.

– A lot changed when the FIM Motocross World Championship returned to Europe, but just how different have things been since the Grand Prix of Trentino? The points from the last seven rounds have been put into the table below and, just as one would expect, it changes the ranking that Jeffrey Herlings occupies quite drastically.


Antonio Cairoli



Jeffrey Herlings



Gautier Paulin



Clement Desalle



Romain Febvre


– The struggles that Jeffrey Herlings encountered at the first four rounds were well-documented. Those results have dragged his stats down somewhat, as his average finish across nineteen motos has been a seventh. Antonio Cairoli, in comparison, has an average finish of third, which would explain the impressive advantage that he is currently sat on in the standings.

– How does that average finish that Antonio Cairoli has compare to what he has achieved in previous seasons? ‘222’ had an average of fourth through ten rounds last year, which is actually quite impressive considering how poor his term was. When he last won the title – three years ago – his average was a second. What has been his worst average through ten rounds in a title-winning season? A sixth in 2012. A dismal day in Sweden was the reason for that.

– Antonio Cairoli has won five motos thus far, which is exactly the same amount that he won across all eighteen rounds last year. That number is quite far from the personal record that he set five years ago though; he won thirteen of the first twenty motos. It is quite obvious why he had a lead of ninety points after ten rounds that season. Gautier Paulin and Clement Desalle trailed him in the standings that year too!

Consistency combined with speed makes Cairoli tough to beat (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– A victory at the Grand Prix of Germany, following a second and a first, was the eightieth triumph that Antonio Cairoli has had in his career. How many of those wins have occurred with those exact moto scores? Sixteen of them. The last time that it happened, before that German outing, was at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria in 2014. There was a gap of one thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight days between the two.

– Just how competitive has the premier division been this season? Ten riders have led multiple laps at one point or another. Antonio Cairoli, Tim Gajser, Gautier Paulin, Clement Desalle, Jeffrey Herlings, Shaun Simpson, Glenn Coldenhoff, Max Nagl, Romain Febvre and Arminas Jasikonis have all had a turn at the head of the field. All five manufacturers are represented within that group.

– Eight of the ten riders listed there have completed every round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship. Tim Gajser, who has not raced two of the ten rounds that have been run, has actually led more laps than anyone else though. Gajser led a total of one hundred and five laps across motos in Qatar, Argentina, Mexico and Italy.

Tim Gajser still has some impressive statistics to fall back on (Honda Racing Corporation/Bavo Swijgers)

– Evgeny Bobryshev missed Teutschenthal and Ernee with a broken collarbone, so his total obviously suffered. ‘777’ was wildly inconsistent earlier in his career and simply could not complete a season without getting injured. That has changed in recent years, however, and the German Grand Prix was the first time that he was not on the starting line in nine hundred and eighty-one days!

– Inconsistency has been rife in MXGP, as just twelve riders have actually attended every round! Just five of those riders (Antonio Cairoli, Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin, Jeffrey Herlings and Romain Febvre) have scored points in each moto.

– Clement Desalle is not known as a great starter, but he has been brilliant out of the gate thus far. Fourth has been his average-starting position across the nineteen motos that have been run. On the other hand, Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin have been sixth on average. Jeffrey Herlings has been eighth and only in the top five at the end of lap one in seven of the races.

Clement Desalle has silenced naysayers through ten rounds (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

– Kawasaki currently sit fifth in the manufacturer standings, even though they have claimed two Grand Prix wins with Clement Desalle. The fact that, for the most part, they have had to rely solely on ‘25’ has hurt their overall ranking. The last time that they were inside of the top three after ten rounds was three seasons ago; they four hundred and two points. They currently have three hundred and thirty-four.

– The two events that Clement Desalle won in succession earlier this year were actually quite the personal achievement, as he had only managed to win consecutive rounds once before that. That occurred at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic and Grand Prix of Belgium towards the end of the 2013 season. Desalle has now won twenty-two events in total.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer


Sierra Motocross Classic 2017

This past weekend may have been the best weekend for racing at the Hangtown national track in many years. Cloudy skys, temps in the low 70's and a perfectly prepared track. The Sierra Motocross Classic was what International Old Timer motocross is all about, fun, friendship, competation and a good time for everyone. One of the great things about these races is you always find someone to race with no matter how fast or slow you are. I watched the 50 novice class and I think it may have been the biggest class. It certainly looked like they were having the most fun. There were battles for place up front, in the middle and in the back. I watched memebrs of the Polka Dots MC and the Dirt Diggers battle it out for five motos to see who would have bragging rights. In the end it didn't matter, they all had stories to tell. The Sierra club put on a five star BBQ dinner and a raffle loaded with high end prizes. I think I saw one rider going home with two new helmets he won. Everyone was smiling, telling tall tales and having a great time. If you have never been to an International OT race you owe it to yourself to attend. The fun is off the charts!



Erzberg for Husky


Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will take on the 23rd edition of the ErzbergRodeo this coming weekend where team riders Billy Bolt and Colton Haaker will compete alongside defending Erzberg champion and three-time Hare Scramble winner Graham Jarvis.

Looking to secure back-to-back wins at Erzberg having dominated the Hare Scramble in 2016 to win by some 33 minutes, Graham will again be going all out for victory. Delivering one of the all-time most dominant wins 12 months ago, Jarvis, who recently won the Minas Rider Hard Enduro Rally in Brazil, carries some of the best form of his long and distinguished career into ErzbergRodeo 2017.

The stand out rookie rider at Erzberg in 2016, Billy Bolt’s goal had been to return to Erzberg and challenge for a podium result. However, a recent foot injury has put his participation in doubt. Opting to travel to the event and ‘give it a go’ the young British rider will take to the start of Friday’s first prologue run before deciding if he is able to start the main Hare Scramble on Sunday.

Colton Haaker will make his second appearance at Erzberg having sampled the iron Giant for the first time last year. Securing both the US Endurocross and FIM SuperEnduro titles since his last visit to the event, the American is focused on reaching the finish of what is widely acknowledged as the world’s toughest one-day enduro event. The 23rd running of the Erzbergrodeo takes place in Eisenerz, Austria this weekend, with the iconic Hare Scramble event wrapping up three days of action on Sunday, June 18.

Graham Jarvis: “Erzberg’s easily the single most important hard enduro of the year so to return to Austria and the Iron Giant with the #1 plate on my TE 300 is a real honour. Last year’s race went almost perfect for me. It’s rare in a race like the Hare Scramble for that to happen. My start was decent, about top ten and then I stayed out of trouble, building on things from there. In a way that will be the same game plan again for this weekend. I’m not a fan of the early high-speed sections of the course but I know staying out of trouble there is key to keeping in touch with the leaders. I know once it gets tougher I can step things up and like always we’ll be in for a hard race. I’d love to secure a back-to-back win but the competition will be tough this year. Overall things have gone well so far this year, I won the majority of my preseason races and then won Minas Riders in Brazil. I’m riding as good as I’ve ever done and feel ready for the fight this weekend.”

Billy Bolt: “Fighting a foot injury has left me in a difficult position leading into the Erzberg this weekend. Finishing fifth overall in 2016 I wanted to return healthy and build on that result. Since joining Husqvarna we’ve worked really hard to improve my riding and I felt up until the point I hurt my foot that I was in a really good place to challenge for a top five, or better. But I don’t want to give up without a fight and will give things a shot — we’ve worked too hard not to. I’ll ride the prologue to see how things go and then build from there.”

Colton Haaker: “I’m excited to be back at Erzberg racing. My preparations have been mixed, with some great time riding and testing but hurting my shoulder was something I could have done without. But I feel like I’ve put in the hard work, so I’ll give it all I can. Knowing what to expect will certainly help me. As everyone knows Erzberg’s a crazy race where anything can happen, so I’m keeping an open mind and focusing on having some fun.”


RC in Japan

When Ricky Carmichael decides to come to Japan and pay the fans and racers a visit it means good times for everyone. Check out this video from his journey. Transworld image and video.