Wednesday
Jun072017

KTM Is Riding High!

Austrian Power Plant

 

Hard work pays off, and there is no harder working teams in the motocross world than the Red Bull KTM Factory team, and their little brother (who is probably growing up quick enough to be the big brother one day), Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory team.

While KTM might not have won the last two MXGP titles (they went the HRC and Yamaha), you cannot deny they are the strongest team in world motocross, and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down any time soon.

At present, they have big points leads in the MXGP (Antonio Cairoli), MX2 (Pauls Jonass) and AMA 450 motocross championship (Marvin Musquin), and their Husqvarna rider, Zach Osborne leads the AMA 250 championship. Oh, did we also mention they have already won the 2017 AMA 450 Supercross championship with Ryan Dungey, and Osborne gave the Husky a title in the AMA 250 SX series.

With names like Roger De Coster, Joel Smets, Heinz Kinigadner, Jacky Martens, Antti Pyrhonen, Pit Beirer and so many other former racers working for them, and some of the best technicians in the sport, the future looks bright for the orange army.

In the toughest motocross championship in the world, the MXGP class, KTM and their little brother Husqvarna are first and second in the manufacturers classification, KTM with 374 pts, Husqvarna 316pts, and HRC third with 311 pts. They are also first and second in the rider points with Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin.

In the MX2 manufacturers classification they are first and third, with 414pts for KTM, Suzuki second with 341pts and then Husky with 336pts. Can the Husky boys put the Austrian brands first and second after Russia?

When Blake Baggett took his KTM to victory last weekend, ahead of the KTM of Marvin Musquin and the Husqvarna or Jason Anderson, it was just what the many in Europe expected. In the championship Musquin leads Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac, with Baggett and Anderson third and fourth, while Dean Wilson is 6th in the points standings.

In the AMA 450 Motocross championships Osborne leads with 119pts to KTM rider Alex Martin. This against the all-mighty power of the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki team.

In the biggest national championship in Europe, the Dutch Masters of Motocross Jeffrey Herlings leads the 450 class, followed by Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) and Max Anstie (Husqvarna). In the MX2 class its Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) leading two KTM riders in Brian Bogers and Calvin Vlaanderen.

Hey, even Christophe Pourcel is winning on a Husqvarna in Canada!!!

Wednesday
Jun072017

'Jim Ross' calls highlights of Thunder Valley National

Race Report like you've never heard before!

The action was so incredible at round three of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Thunder Valley that it almost seemed fake. Did Justin Bogle really win after a fire broke out in the RCH pits? Did El Chupacabra return from the depths? Did the 250 Class really come down to four riders and one point? Was this all scripted? Hmmmm, maybe it’s best to hear it through the voice of legendary pro wrestling announcer “Jim Ross.” Enjoy racing like you’ve never heard it before!

Tuesday
Jun062017

Australian Supercross Championship

CDR Yamaha confirms Ferris for supercross campaign

MX Nationals champion commits to full 2017 season.

Image: Jeremy Hammer.

CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris has confirmed he will contest this year’s Australian Supercross Championship after initially signing a motocross-only contract ahead of the 2017 season.

Ferris made the late decision to commit to this year’s schedule after achieving success during the 2016 series as he claimed one round victory and finished in second-place behind Justin Brayton in the SX1 championship.

“I signed my motocross contract for 2017 in the early stages of for last year’s supercross championship and I wanted to get through the series and see how I felt and if I enjoyed that style of racing again before I made any commitments for 2017,” Ferris said.

“Last year was the first time I had done supercross with a great team behind me and on an awesome bike and when I reflect on the championship, I realised how much fun I had and that I would like to do it again.

“Craig [Dack] and I had been discussing it for the past few weeks and I told him I was in and the contract was drawn up. It was a simple decision really, and I love going racing with everyone at CDR Yamaha.”

The defending Motul MX Nationals MX1 champion aims to be a well-rounded contender and believes his 2017 supercross performance will improve due to added experience heading into the series.

“Being able to ride both motocross and supercross well is important and having the skills for racing indoors or out will only benefit my riding,” he explained.

“Last year my preparations were limited to due racing the Motocross of Nations but I was able to find my feet pretty fast so that was good and now with the bit of experience and knowledge gained, hopefully this year the process will be a little easier.

“It is also a great opportunity to race oversees competitors who do our races. Last year it was cool to line up alongside Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, Justin Brayton and Cooper Webb, while this year Jason Anderson and Reed have already been conformed for the AUS-X Open round so that is something to look forward to.”

The 2017 Australian Supercross Championship is set to kick off on 23 September at Jimboomba in Queensland.

Tuesday
Jun062017

KTM's Musquin Interview

Marvin Musquin interview


Before the start of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, a lot of us thought Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin would be a factor here and there, but the former two-time MX2 World Champion has been a factor everywhere. With Ryan Dungey retired and Trey Canard out injured, Musquin has been the only rider in the Red Bull / KTM pits, and the #25 has definitely made the team happy about focusing all their resources on only him these during first three rounds of the series.

At the 2017 Thunder Valley National last weekend, Marvin struggled with a first turn crash in moto one and a bad start in moto two, but he was still able to make the day a positive one. In moto one, a first turn crash forced Marvin to fight from behind, but he still crossed the finish line with a fourth. Marvin’s moto two start was better, but he was still buried outside the top ten through the first turn. Just like in moto one, Marvin carved his way forward for thirty-minutes plus two laps and, this time, made his way up to third. Surprisingly, Marvin’s 4-3 on the day was good enough for second overall, but inconsistency seems to be the theme of the 2017 outdoor series in both classes.

In a very inconsistent 450MX class, Marvin has shown Dungey-like consistency with a 2-2-1-3-4-3 scorecard, and because of that, he now takes a 17-point lead into the series’ first weekend off. After the Thunder Valley National was in the books, I caught up with the Frenchman by his motor home in the pits.

Marvin, good day overall for you, but a rough patch to get to the good results. How did you feel about your day?

Yeah, exactly! Practice went super good. It was really nice, but I knew the track was going to get harder. Here, they always get deep ruts, and the inside gets soft and crusty on top. It’s rough but a good track. My starts were not really good, especially in that first moto. Unfortunately, Josh Grant went down in front of us and I couldn’t avoid him. From pretty far back to fourth place was awesome. In the second moto, I wish I had a better start to battle with [Blake] Baggett and [Eli] Tomac, but I think Baggett was faster today. Speed-wise, he was on it today, but I wish I was with Eli. Eli got better in that second moto. But to get third in that second moto was good considering the start. We need better starts, but here at high altitude—starting in first gear—I struggled. I couldn’t get a good jump. That’s why it was a tough day. It put me in a tough position and I had to fight really hard. But that’s what we do. I gave 100% and it was good to get second overall.

Do you play around with testing first gear starts versus second gear starts at this altitude, or is it so obvious that only first gear starts work good here?

Yeah, it’s only here in Colorado. I’ve tried second gear here, but you always want to get a good jump, so first gear is better.

Did Blake’s speed here today surprise you at all?

Yes and no. Yes, because he was definitely faster and he won the overall, but then, no because that’s Blake Baggett outdoors. He’s always been a good rider and a tough rider. It was a great day for him, for sure.

Blake’s a lot like you in the sense that if you give him some confidence, he will run with it.

Yeah, exactly. His confidence right now is definitely higher, but we have the same bike and it will be a battle.

You have one of your best tracks coming up at the next round at High Point. Is it important to keep that momentum?

Yeah, I think so. Those first three rounds are tough tracks, especially Glen Helen. To get away from here with a second place and a win the week before and still be leading the championship is awesome.

Surprisingly, you actually gained two point from a 15-point lead to 17 points with a 4-3 scorecard.

Yeah, considering my starts and the crash, it was a good day. I think we’ll have better tracks.

At the beginning of the year if someone told you that you were going to have a win and a 17-point lead in the 450 championship after round three, you would probably be pretty happy with that.

Oh, for sure. You never know where you’re at when you start the season. Last year was not easy outdoors. I got good by the end, but a few guys were injured, and it was only [Ken] Roczen, me and Tomac. And then [Justin] Barcia sometimes. This year, we have Blake Baggett, [Jason] Anderson and Tomac are the top four right now. Sometimes there are others that can ride well. It’s a great championship, and I think it’s good for the fans.

Speaking of other guys stepping up, where did that ride in the first moto by Justin Bogle come from? That win was unexpected.

Actually, I didn’t know. I looked ahead of me in the first moto and I saw Anderson, and I’m like, “Well, Anderson is leading.” I thought Baggett got second and I got third. Yeah, I got to the finish line and saw Bogle winning. It’s really good for him. Me and Justin moved up to the 450 class at the same time last year and we battled in the 250 class. I know how hard it is to move up to the 450, and he has had tough times like me—with a little bit of injuries and stuff—so it’s good for him. Congratulations to him.

With Ryan gone, the class really feels like the 250 class of just a couple of years ago. You’ve battled all these kids for years. What’s your plan for the weekend off now? Do you get to rest up a little?

We’ll be able to have a nice weekend at home and that’s it. Just enjoy being home. Me and Mathilde—my wife—we’ll maybe go on the lake and stuff like that. Take the jet-ski and have some fun. It’s a tough sport and we race a lot, every weekend. The pressure and the work during the week, it will be nice to enjoy some time off.

Photos by: Simon Cudby

Tuesday
Jun062017

Cherokee National Enduro

Photo Credit: Shan Moore

Thad DuVall grabbed his second win in a row at this weekend’s Cherokee National Enduro in Greensboro, Georgia – round four of the 2017 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing. 

DuVall not only had to battle a formidable lineup of competitors, but the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing-backed rider also had to fight the elements, as a hot, humid and dry day turned turned wet and muddy when rain storms moved into the area about halfway into the event. Despite the extreme conditions, DuVall won five of the six tests and took the overall win by one-minute-and-thirteen-seconds over series point leader Steward Baylor Jr. at the end of 56 miles of racing. 

With the win, DuVall cut into Baylor’s point lead, and now sits just eight points behind Baylor in the series standings with just five rounds remaining. 

Although things went DuVall’s way for most of the day, there was some drama in the third test when he crashed hard and at one point wasn’t sure he could finish. 

“I hit my head pretty hard and it was hurting pretty bad,” said DuVall. “I wasn’t sure I could continue, but I went into the fourth test and I just wasn’t all there. Steward ended up beating me in that test, but I regrouped and by that point I had a pretty good cushion. I really just needed to cruise, but I felt like the slower I went the more mistakes I made.

"I felt like the harder I charged the better I was, so I came back and won the last two tests. I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to finish after the fourth test – I was sick and didn’t feel well, but I just cleared my head and ended up winning.”

 

thad duvall cherokee 107 1 1200

Photo Credit: Shan Moore
 

Steward Baylor came into the event having spent the previous week in the hospital due to a virus. The SRT Racing KTM rider admittedly didn’t have the best week of practice prior to the Cherokee and came into the event hoping to salvage a top-five finish, however, the South Carolina rider was able to keep DuVall honest all day and even won the fourth test. In fact, Baylor didn’t finish worse than second all day.

“I came in a little bit behind the eight-ball, after spending last week in the hospital, but I rode well today,” said Baylor. “I wasn’t expecting to do this well, but we kept it tight and hopefully we can bounce back from this and get back on top of the podium. It’s good to come out here and come away with a good finish after all that happened last week.”

Josh Toth is still learning the ropes in the national enduro series, but the Connecticut rider picked up steam as the day progressed and came on strong in the last three tests. The Am Pro Yamaha rider claimed his best finish to date with a third.

“I rode pretty good in the beginning, but I couldn’t stay off the ground,” said Toth. “I like the mud, so when it started raining I think I got stronger. I’m getting better at this tight stuff and I definitely had a lot of fun.”

KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Husqvarna’s Grant Baylor turned in a steady day for fourth. 

“I had pretty good rides in the second and third tests, but I was a little off the pace in the fourth test,” said Grant. “I was sitting about 30 seconds behind Toth in third heading into the final test and I went in there and pushed really hard and ended up crashing, so I had to settle for fourth.”

Grant still has a solid grip on third overall in the series standings, sitting nine points ahead of Russell Bobbitt, who was fifth overall at the Cherokee. 

Bobbitt came into the event hot off of a podium finish at the previous round in Louisiana, but the FMF KTM Factory Racing-backed rider struggled with suspension settings at the Cherokee and was a bit off the pace.

“With the setup we had, I just wasn’t comfortable in some of the tests,” said Bobbitt. “I was riding within my comfort zone but I don’t think I rode up to my potential. We’ll just go back now and work on our setup for the next round and go from there.”

Finishing a tenth of a second behind Bobbitt in sixth was Cory Buttrick. The SRT Racing KTM rider was third fastest in test three, but tests four and fifth didn’t go well for him. Heading into the sixth and final test, Buttrick was 13 seconds behind Bobbitt for fifth, and he ended up beating Bobbitt in the test, but came up just a tenth of a second short, which left him with sixth. 

 

devlin cherokee 102 1

Photo Credit: Shan Moore
 

Solid Performance KTM’s Jesse Groemm made the long drive from New Jersey to finish seventh, crossing the line a minute-and-twenty-seven seconds behind Buttrick.

Eighth overall and first in the Rekluse/Expert-AA class was Thorn Devlin, who has won all four rounds in the division so far.  The AirGroup/Enduro Engineering Husqvarna rider finished 27 seconds ahead of eighth place overall and five-minutes-and-seventeen-seconds ahead of Logan Lowrey, the second place finisher in the Expert-AA class. AirGroup/Enduro Engineering Husqvarna’s Tyler Vore was third in the class and 16th overall. 

“I only went down once all day, but in the fourth test I broke off the end of my brake pedal at the start of the test so I had to ride most of the 12 miles without a rear brake,” said Devlin. 

KTM riders Evan Smith and Zach Hayes rounded out the top 10 overall.

In the Women’s Elite class, Aussie off-road star Tayla Jones claimed her fourth win of the series, putting her KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Husqvarna on top of the podium ahead of Husqvarna rider Sarah Baldwin and KTM rider Ashley Copeland. Jones beat out Baldwin by almost nine minutes, while Copeland finished another five minutes back in third. 

The 2017 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing resumes action with round five of the series on July 23rd in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania for the Rattlesnake National Enduro. For more information on the series check out www.nationalenduro.com.

 

RESULTS

1. Thad DuVall (Hsq)

2. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)

3. Josh Toth (Yam)

4. Grant Baylor (Hsq)

5. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)

6. Cory Buttrick (KTM)

7. Jesse Groemm (KTM)

8. Thorn Devlin (Hsq)

9. Evan Smith (KTM)

10. Zach Hayes (KTM)

Tuesday
Jun062017

Russia MXGP

Gajser out of Russia


Following two recent crashes for Tim Gajser at the MXGP of Latvia and then two weeks after in the MXGP of Germany, Team HRC MXGP can confirm that unfortunately the World Champion has sustained a broken shoulder blade, meaning he will not be fit to ride at the MXGP of Russia this weekend.

The crash in Latvia left him badly bruised, but the tough Slovenian remounted his Honda CRF450RW in Germany after a fortnight of rest, gritting his teeth to try again. Unfortunately, a second crash at the Teutschenthal track left him with what has now been confirmed as a broken shoulder.

Tim has been treated by a specialist from the National Sports Injury clinic in Slovenia and will continue to receive treatment and physiotherapy over the next few weeks. As rest is a vital part of his recovery, he will be unable to race at the Russia track of Orlyonok this weekend.

This is a decision which Team HRC have not taken lightly and time and again Tim has demonstrated his determination and strength to push through pain, but with ten Grands Prix remaining this season, giving him time to heal properly now is the prudent option. Should his recovery go as expected, he will be back for the Italian GP in three weeks.

Tim Gajser: This is something I was really trying to avoid as I really do not want to miss any races. Unfortunately, my shoulder injury is a little worse than we first realised, so I have to accept that I can’t race this weekend in Russia. I want to make sure it is fully recovered before I come back. I will really miss racing in Russia, especially as it is the first race over there since 2012. I just want to say I am sorry to my fans, sponsors, team, Honda and all the other people who help me be where I am. In terms of my recovery we all agree that it is the right decision, and one thing I can say is that I will come back stronger!

Monday
Jun052017

Russia

Russian Motocross History

 

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s many of the mysteries of the world motocross travelling circus were around the eastern bloc country of Soviet Union. Riders dressed in those red shirts with the hammer and sickle on the chest. Their stern faces and often accompanied by Russian agents.

Despite Russia being the largest country in the world by surface area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with over 144 million people, its history in motocross has been hot and cold.

Back in the early 1960’s names such as Igor Grigoriev, and Victor Arbekov led the Russian charge on the world motocross championship. Grigoriev was the first Russian to finish top three in the world, finishing with third place in the 250cc class in 1963.

Arbekov made history in his country in 1965, winning the 250 championship and starting a love affair between the sport and Russia.

The greatest Russian motocross rider, Guennady Moisseev would capture his first of three world titles in 1974, also in the 250 class, and he would then win again in 1977 and 1978.

Around the era of Moisseev many Russian riders captured GP victories, or top three finishes in the championship. Vladimir Kavinov would finish third in the 250cc championship in 1976, second in 1977, and again third in 1979.

The country of Russia would have to wait 36 years before the got another medal in the world motocross championships, when Evgeny Bobryshev finished with third place in the 2015 MXGP championship.

As for Grand Prix’s held in Russia, the first was in 1963, and it was in 1965 that a Russian rider won at home, when Grigoriev won the 250 GP. It’s been 30 times that a motocross Grand Prix has been held in Russia, and of course in a couple of weeks’ time, it will become 31 times.

Russia also won the MXoN on two occasions, the first time in Kishinev, Russia in 1968 and again in 1978.

Guennady Moisseev – Russian Legend

Moisseev who had won the 1974 World 250cc championship, on a KTM motorcycle, however in high drama, he reached the title after kicking the other title contender Jaroslav Falta down in last race of the season.

In 1976, he narrowly lost the 250 world championship by one point to Heikki Mikkola despite a late season charge. He won two more 250 world championships in 1977 and 1978, again while riding KTM motorcycles.

In 1978, he was a member of the winning Russian team in the Motocross des Nations. Moisseev won a race for the last time in 1979 when friction developed between the Russian Motorcycling Federation and the KTM factory. As a result, KTM withdrew their support of the Russian team. Without competitive motorcycles, the Soviet team could no longer compete against the Western European and Japanese factory racing teams.

Moisseev, like many Russian sports stars of his era, was enlisted in the Russian Army, rising to the ranks of Major during his racing career. His extreme fitness combined with team tactics made him a fearsome competitor. After retiring from competition, Moisseev became a motocross coach. In 1977, Moisseev was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and, in 1978 he was given the honorary title of “Honoured Master of Sports.” In December 2000, he was elected president of the Russian Motorcycle Federation.

Russian GP winners

Guennady Moisseev 14
Victor Arbekov 10
Vladimir Kavinov 8
Anatoly Ovchinnikov 2
Igor Grigoriev 1
Pavel Rulev 1
Eugenij Rybalchenko 1
Evgeny Bobryshev 1

Russian Legend – Guennady Moisseev – Images KTM

Sunday
Jun042017

MXA INTERVIEW: JEREMY MARTIN ON WHY 2017 IS BETTER

 

June 4, 2017
Photos by Debbi Tamietti, Kyoshi Becker and Daryl Ecklund

martinjeremyGH2

Jeremy Martin is back on the top of his game again.

By Jim Kimball

In spite of team problems last year at Star Yamaha, and a disappointing 2017 Supercross season (save for his second place finish at Daytona on the CRF450) Geico Honda’s Jeremy Martin is more motivated than ever to get his third 250 National Championship this summer. After a very close exciting day at Thunder Valley where Martin would finish third overall, and move into third in the points championship we caught up with Jeremy.

THE 250 CLASS HAS BEEN WILD SO FAR IN 2017! It has been a pretty crazy season so far. Other than the moto DBF that I had at Hangtown I have been right there. I have one moto win, and obviously need to get some more, so that is what I am focused on.

_DSC6061_Kyoshi_Jeremy Martin_GLen Helen_05282016Jeremy won two number 1 plates for the Star Yamaha team, but wasn’t happy there in 2016.

IN FIRST THREE RACES THE SCORES HAVE BEEN INCONSISTENT. WHO DO YOU THINK THE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS ARE? I think my brother Alex is one, and guys like Austin Forkner and Joey Savatgy are contenders. Obviously, Zach Osborne, who is leading the points, is good too. But all this stuff works out eventually, and will be separated as the season goes on. I don’t really worry about any of this stuff though.

KTYOJeremyMartinjump

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY SERIOUS BAR BANGING SO FAR? There have been lots of different guys up front, so I have already experienced some pretty tight racing so far. Often there are several good lines to take, but they often come together, and we bump – but that is normal.

MANY PEOPLE QUESTIONED YOUR BIG BIKE SKILLS, BUT YOU TOOK A SECOND OVERALL AT DAYTONA ON THE CRF450, WHY DIDN’T HONDA MOVE YOU TO THE 450 CLASS AFTER THAT? The commitment to Geico Honda and the 250 class was there. Geico wanted to have a lot of success in the 250 class, and that was their main focus. At the end of the day, I had signed on to race the 250 class. I like my Geico Honda CRF250, but that Honda HRC CRF450 was amazing and at another level!

YOU APPEAR TO BE THE ONLY GEICO HONDA GUY WHO COULD GIVE THEM A CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS YEAR. I am comfortable on the bike, and really starting to jive with it. Many of the other Geio guys are injured or coming off injuries. It may be a little bit safe to say that right now I may have a little bit better chance to win than the other Geico guys.

JeremyMartinGH1

YOU MUST FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR 450 FUTURE ON THE CRF450? There are many people in this sport that question riders choices and say, “Why didn’t this rider move up?” But you can’t go to your employee and say, “I want to move up now.” You have to work with the manufacturers anf then take advantage of the opportunities that you do have. I had the opportunity to race the 450 at Daytona, and I have always felt that I rode a 450 better than the 250. So when I had that opportunity to prove myself, but sometimes you just need to prove it to others.

LAST YEAR YOU AND ALEX WERE ON THE SAME TEAM, BUT NOW YOU’RE ON DIFFERENT TEAMS, DO YOU STILL TO HANG OUT TOGETHER? Last year at Star Yamaha he worked with team trainer Gareth Swanepoel, while I did my own thing, so there was somewhat of a divide. Actually there was a pretty big divide in that team. Everyone trained with Swanepoel, while I didn’t, so I could feel a big division there.

jeremy martin

WAS IT TENSE AT STAR IN 2016? It didn’t really feel that welcome, so I always did my own thing. But getting back to what you were saying, yes it has changed some, but maybe for the better. The main thing with my brother is that I am so proud to see him where he is. At the end of the day, we are family. And, if I can be successful that is great, and if he can be successful that is even better. When we get home together in Minnesota, and put the boots away, we are family.

jeremymartinDEB

WITHOUT TRYING TO BE DISRESPECTFUL, HOW HAS IT BEEN MOVING FROM THE HIGHLY RESPECTED YZ250F TO THE OLDER CRF250? Honestly after looking at the new 2018 CRF250 on-line it looks badass. I have not ridden it , but I have heard that it is even a bigger improvement than what the 2017 CRF450 was over the 2016. And I can say that after riding the all-new CRF450 at Daytona, that the bike was amazing! The CRF350 that we have now is good, but over the last few years the Yamaha has evolved, the KTM has evolved, the Husqvarna has evolved, and even the Kawasaki has evolved. Now it is Honda’s turn.

THAT’S GREAT, BUT MAYBE SOMEWHAT A MOOT POINT AS YOU WILL RIDE A CRF450 IN 2018, RIGHT? Yes I am contracted to go to the 450 next year.

DOES THIS YEAR FEEL DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHERS? I am still underestimated, even though I am two-time AMA 250 National Champion. People still doubt me, but I love it. I thrive off proving people wrong. No one expected me to do what I have done so far. I love the position that I am in. We still have lots of racing to do, I am I’m looking for many more Saturdays to come.

Martin_MXGP2016Jeremy’s first race on the Geico Honda was that the Glen Helen USGP last September.

WHEN YOU WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THEN DON’T, PEOPLE ARE BOUND TO ASK, ”JEREMY, WHAT’S WRONG?”  Oh for sure . When they asked, “Why isn’t J-Mart winning?” I always say that it’s easier to win the is that it is really easier to win the first championship, than it is to always stay on top. It is a very small slope up to the top—there is no room for mistakes. You have to have the backing of a really good team, and everything has to be “right there.” I had to go through a lot last year, and face a lot of things that I didn’t want to. What I am trying to say is that so many people say, “It is hard to win a championship.” And that is true. Every kids dream is to win races and Championships, but what happenes after that? How do you remotivate yourself? Maybe it is similar with Justin Hill who recently won a 250 West Supercross Championship. He was the best dude two months ago, but but things move on. People forget very quickly.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE KEY TO WINNING THE 2017 AMA 250 NATIONALS CHAMPIONSHIP? The key to winning is  focus on myself. I am a two-time champ. I can suffer with the best of them. I have the fitness. I have the speed. I am going to get better. I can tell you that right now I am mentally stronger than I have ever been. I am loving this team, and it is a much better place than I was at last year. You know what? Last year with Star Yamaha was bad and my 2017 Supercross series was bad, but I know that I can win this summer! I can say that last year we were not all treated equally at Star. At Geico we are all treated the same, regardless if you may be the top finishing rider or not.

Jeremy Martin CRF250

WHY WASN’T EVERYONE TREATED THE SAME AT STAR LAST YEAR? It’s probably best to just say “no comment.”

 

Saturday
Jun032017

Baggett Wins Colorado!

Thunder Valley Motocross Results 2017


LAKEWOOD, Colo. (June 3, 2017) - The third round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, brought the world's most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series to mile-high altitude of the Denver area on Saturday for the 13th running of the True Value Thunder Valley National at Thunder Valley Motocross Park. The most competitive afternoon of racing this season produced a pair of new winners, with RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM's Blake Baggett capturing his first career 450 Class victory and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy coming away with his first 250 Class win of the season.

Blake Baggett in Colorado 2017

Blake Baggett rebounded from a first turn crash in the first moto to finish third, then won then second moto with a big lead ot claim his first 450 motocross overall victory.

Photo by Brown Dog Wilson

The opening 450 Class moto produced immediate drama after a first-turn incident involving Monster Energy Kawasaki's Josh Grant collected both RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM's Blake Baggett and Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Marvin Musquin, last week's winner and championship leader. Out front, it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Martin Davalos who secured his first career Motosport.com Holeshot, ahead of RCH/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Justin Bogle and his Husqvarna teammate Jason Anderson. Opening round winner Eli Tomac started just outside the top five aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki, while Musquin officially began his moto in 19th.

Davalos crashed out of the lead on the opening lap and remounted in ninth, which handed over control of the moto to Bogle. Anderson slotted into second, while Autotrader/Monster Energy/Suzuki/JGRMX's Justin Barcia moved into third just ahead of Tomac. After patiently waiting for his opportunity behind Barcia, Tomac broke into podium position on Lap 3. The second-place holder in the championship was poised to gain valuable ground on his main rival until a rut kicked his leg off the bike in a turn and caused a tip over on Lap 5. That gave third to Barcia briefly, before giving up the spot to Team Honda HRC's Cole Seely on the same lap. Tomac would need to restart his Kawasaki, falling from third to sixth just ahead of Musquin, who had made an impressive charge through the field. Tomac held off an initial challenge from Musquin and then set his sights on the riders ahead.

Out front, Bogle found himself in unfamiliar territory in full control of the moto and rode consistent laps to not only keep Anderson at bay, but also establish a lead of more than five seconds halfway through the moto. Behind him, Tomac and Musquin's battle wasn't finished. After both riders got around RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing's Broc Tickle for fifth and sixth, respectively, Tomac's momentum stalled as he fought to get around Barcia for fourth. That allowed Musquin to close in and get back around Tomac before making his way around Barcia as well. Tomac needed an additional lap to finally get by Barcia for fifth and was then forced to deal with pressure from Baggett, who was also successfully fighting back from his first-turn misfortune that relegated him to 26th on the opening lap.

Justin Bogle Thunder Valley AMA Motocross 2017

Justin Bogle won the first moto going away. He wasn't able to repeat in moto 2, and went 1-9 on the day for fourth overall.

Photo by Brown Dog Wilson

On Lap 10 Baggett passed Tomac for fifth, leaving the Colorado crowd in shock. Baggett's charge carried him to Musquin's rear fender, where he and the points leader engaged in an spirited battle for fourth before Baggett made the pass stick. That wasn't all from Baggett. He continued to set the fastest laps on the track in the late stages of the moto and closed in on Seely for third, successfully making the pass on Lap 13. A persistent Musquin soon followed Baggett by Seely for fourth.

From the moment he took the lead, Bogle easily controlled the remainder of the moto and went on to take his first career moto victory 8.6 seconds ahead of Anderson in second. A hard-charging Baggett finished a close third. Musquin recovered to finish fourth, while Tomac lost a position late to Barcia to finish seventh.

Baggett's momentum Moto 1 carried over into Moto 2, where he stole the lead on the opening lap from Motosport.com Holeshot winner Tickle. However, his lead was short lived at Tomac surged to the front with a roar from the hometown crowd. Behind them, Barcia settled into third, with Bogle and Tickle rounding out the top five. Musquin started in ninth, but was able to make headway early.

The torrid pace of Tomac and Baggett allowed them to open a significant gap over the field early on, leaving the battle for third to unfold between a handful of riders. As both Tickle and Bogle slipped back, Anderson and Musquin surged forward, with both riders breaking into the top five and setting their sights on Barcia for third. Musquin was able to make the pass on Anderson for fourth on Lap 3, and then moved into podium position by Barcia just a short time later. Anderson followed Musquin into fourth. Anderson went off the track on Lap 7 and lost several positions, falling to sixth.

Out front the battle for the lead intensified right about the halfway point with Baggett applying pressure to Tomac, but unable to generate enough momentum to attempt a pass. They continued to pace each other for several laps until Baggett pulled the trigger on Lap 7, storming along the outside of Tomac up the steepest part of the track and utilizing a mountainside berm to slip past the Kawasaki. Once in the lead Baggett continued to charge and opened up a multiple second lead almost immediately.

Baggett went unchallenged throughout the remainder of the race to secure his first career moto win, making him the fifth different winner in six motos this season. He crossed the line 12.1 seconds ahead of Tomac, with Musquin following in third.

The 3-1 effort for Baggett was more than enough to clinch his first overall victory in the 450 Class, making him the 66th different winner in the history of the division. The win is also the first for the RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM effort. Musquin finished second (4-3), while Anderson's third-place finish (2-6) puts the same trio of riders on the podium for the second consecutive round.

Baggett's triumph, combined with Musquin's win one week ago, gives the 450 Class back-to-back first-time winners. It's the first time since 2001 that there have been three different winners through the first three rounds of the championship.

"After Moto 2 and Glen Helen [last week] I knew what I needed to work on. I knew what my strong points were. The goal is to win races and everything is new [with the team], so we're still figuring things out, but I felt good from the first lap of practice today and it kind of went on from there," said Baggett. "I felt like I had the speed today and I was patient with Eli [Tomac] in the second moto. Once the opportunity presented itself [for the lead] I needed to take it and run with it, so that's what I did."

Musquin added to his lead in the 450 Class standings and now holds a 17-point advantage over Tomac, who finished fifth (7-2). Baggett remains third, 19 points out of the lead and just two points out of second.

Marvin Musquin in Colorado 2017

Marvin Musquin charged back from a first turn crash in the first moto and went 4-3 for second overall on the day. He leaves Colorado with a 17 point lead in the championship.

Photo by Brown Dog Wilson

The first 250 Class moto saw Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM's Alex Martin grab his first Motosport.com Holeshot of the season with his brother and GEICO Honda rider Jeremy Martin in tow, followed by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne, the championship leader and winner of the first two rounds. A heated battle for second started immediately between Jeremy Martin, Cianciarulo, and Osborne, which allowed Alex Martin to quickly pull out to a comfortable lead. After moving past Cianciarulo for third, Osborne attempted to make a run on Jeremy Martin for second and tipped over, causing him to lose valuable ground and remount in 16th place.

With Alex Martin asserting himself out front, Cianciarulo was able to move past Jeremy Martin for second and set his sights on the lead. However, as he navigated through one of the track's heavily rutted turns on Lap 1 he brushed the ground and lost all momentum, causing him to lose several positions before continuing in eighth. That misfortune allowed Jeremy Martin to reclaim second, and moved Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Mitchell Harrison into third. Two laps later Martin experienced a bobble of his own, which forced him to veer off his line and allowed Harrison to take over second, dropping Martin to third. As this unfolded, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Aaron Plessinger closed in from fourth and fifth, respectively.

Jeremy Martin Geico Honda Thunder Valley 2017

Jeremy Martin was consistent with a 3-2. It landed him in third place overall on the day.

Photo by Brown Dog Wilson

Harrison ran second for two laps but then came under fire from his more experienced counterparts. Jeremy Martin reclaimed second on Lap 4, bringing Savatgy with him into third. Plessinger followed them on the following lap into fourth. Martin and Savatgy then picked up the pace in their battle for second, soon erasing a multiple second deficit to Alex Martin out front. On Lap 10 the top four riders were all separated by less than three seconds, with Jeremy closing to within less than a second of his brother and targeting the lead. As they navigated through lapped riders, Savatgy was able to take advantage of a bad line choice by Jeremy Martin to take over second. He then set his sights on Alex Martin for the lead. Savatgy got close to the rear fender of the KTM, but Martin withstood the challenge.

As the hotly contested battle for the top spot continued, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner was on a torrid charge of his own through the field after starting sixth. Forkner stormed past Plessinger for fourth and then closed in on Jeremy Martin for third, successfully making the pass on Lap 13. His late-race surge continued and seemingly caught his teammate Savatgy off guard as he made the pass for second on Lap 15. With Alex Martin within reach, Forkner moved to mere bike lengths of the lead with two laps to go. However, a near off-track excursion forced Forkner to lose ground and settle into postion in as Savatgy closed back in from third. Despite losing touch with the lead, Forkner was able to maintain control of second. On the final lap Jeremy Martin was able to get by Savatgy for third.

Alex Martin took his first moto win of the season 1.4 seconds ahead of Forkner, with Jeremy Martin rounding out the podium following what was undoubtedly the most competitive race of the young season. Osborne recovered from his opening-lap fall to finish eighth.

As the field stormed into the first turn to start Moto 2, it was Savatgy who emerged with the Motosport.com Holeshot over the Yamaha duo of Harrison and Plessinger, with Jeremy Martin and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Dylan Ferrandis right behind. Alex Martin started in seventh, with Osborne eighth.

Plessinger was able to get by Savatgy on the opening lap and fended off a counter-attack, while Ferrandis began to apply pressure on Harrison for third, successfully taking over the position on Lap 1. With a strong hold on first Plessinger lost control of his motorcycle on Lap 3 and flew off the track, handing the lead over to Savatgy. Ferrandis moved into second, while Jeremy Martin took control of third after getting around Harrison. Forkner followed into fourth. The lead group then stabilized through the mid portion of the moto, sitting within four seconds of one another. Behind them both Osborne and Alex Martin made their way around Harrison to take over fifth and sixth, respectively. Just a short time later Osborne bobbled and went off the side of the track, allowing Martin to move into fifth.

On Lap 7 Jeremy Martin applied pressure on Ferrandis for second and successfully made the pass. With the battle for the overall victory coming down to he and Savatgy, Martin then made a push for the lead. The leaders traded fast laps, staying about a second of one another throughout. Every time Martin would make a run, Savatgy was able to counter, and successfully used lapped riders to his advantage as the race wore on. Behind them Ferrandis dropped out of podium when he fell on Lap 10, giving up third to Forkner and allowing Alex Martin to take over fourth, which added intrigue to the overall classification. At that point Savatgy and Alex Martin sat tied for the overall win, with Jeremy Martin needing to get past Savatgy to steal the win for himself.

Despite the high tension, no further passes occurred at the front of the field. Savatgy narrowly took his first moto win of the season by less than a half second over Jeremy Martin, with Forkner in third just ahead of Alex Martin.

Joey Savatgy Thunder Valley rut 2017

Joey Savatgy went 4-1 in some great motos of racing to take his first motocross overall this year.

Photo by Brown Dog Wilson

Savatgy (4-1) and Alex Martin (1-4) finished the afternoon with identical moto scores, but Savatgy's crucial victory in the final moto was enough to give him the tiebreaker for the win. Jeremy Martin finished just a couple points from the win in third (3-2), while Forkner was left off the podium despite identical finishes to Martin (2-3), missing out on the tiebreaker.

Savatgy became the first rider to win back-to-back races at Thunder Valley Motocross Park, and gave Kawasaki its 10th victory at the track in 13 seasons. It's the fifth win of his career, and his first since the fourth round last season.

"I definitely struggled myself [to start the season] with a few things. There were a couple areas on the bike that could have been better [as well] and we made a lot of progress," said Savatgy. "I felt like we've improved each week and I know from my experience last year it's a long series, so consistency is important. I was hoping to come away with a strong result before heading east, where I feel more comfortable, and we did that."

Osborne's fifth-place finish (8-5) was enough to maintain the points lead, which sat at 21 points entering the day. He heads into the first off weekend of the season nine points ahead of Alex Martin, who moved from third to second. Jeremy Martin vaulted from sixth to third in points, and sits 18 markers back.

The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will observe its first break in action next weekend before returning on Saturday, June 17, for the fourth round of the season at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. First motos of the Red Bull High Point National can be seen live on MAVTV at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, while the second 450 Class moto will mark the 2017 debut on NBC, live at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the final 250 Class moto can be seen on NBC Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET.

Thunder Valley 450 podium 2017

Your Thunder Valley 450 podium with Baggett taking the win, Musquin getting second place overall, and Jason Anderson finishing in third.

Results

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship True Value Thunder Valley National Thunder Valley Motocross Park - Lakewood, Colorado June 3, 2017

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (3-1)
  2. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (4-3)
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-6)
  4. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Suzuki (1-9)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (7-2)
  6. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (5-10)
  7. Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Husqvarna (9-7)
  8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (8-8)
  9. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Suzuki (6-12)
  10. Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Husqvarna (10-11)
Friday
Jun022017

The Ake Jonsson Story

Ake Jonsson
The history of my uncle’s racing career is unique. Ake Jönsson was a Husqvarna factory rider in the 30s and had great success on the spectacular machines that were world-known for their performance, durability and quality.

In the family bible, my grandfather – Olof Jönsson – has written the following story of the nasty accident which happened after 300 kilometres of driving… “On the 17th of February, 1951 Ake Jönsson started his trip towards the capital of Stockholm from his home in southern Sweden. His mechanic Malte Jensen was driving the truck when they encountered a lorry that blocked their way. Malte threw his vehicle into the snow in order to avoid the truck, but the snow was frozen to ice and Ake hit the dashboard heavily, injuring him severely. An ambulance was required and Ake lay in a coma for 18 hours before he woke. Ake’s wife Gulli was contacted and she sat by his bedside for ten days before the doctors were able to X-ray their injured patient. We have prayed to God that Ake may get healthy again. I know that my daughter Hertha and her son Kenneth also prayed for uncle Jönsson. But it was certainly the end of a long, victorious career”.

Ake Samuel Jönsson was born on the 8th of May, 1911 in Träne, which is near Kristianstad in the province of Skane. The Jönsson brothers, three in all, were interested in machines from a young age and Ake, the youngest started racing bikes at the age of 14. In April 1927 his real motorcycle career took off when he straddled a Belgian 350cc Saroléa in an enduro-type event, which he won.

“I think my opponents were lost in the wood as I was not riding very fast,” he smiled with a laugh after the finish line.

Ake did eight races during his initial season and won three of them. In 1929 he entered 13 events and conquered all the competition not less than three times. In a yearly ranking system of the very same year Ake hit ninth spot while my father Tore Olausson, also a dirt-track racer, was on tenth position! In Ake’s three first competition years, besides Saroléa, he also straddled machines like British Excelsior and Coventry. In 1930 Ake became contracted to the firm of the Swedish “Suecia-verken”, a local company based in Örkelljunga in southern Sweden. Ake raced the 350cc machine while his older brother Rudolf raced Suecia’s 500cc bike. In 25 events Ake won seven and came second in as many competitions.

By 1930 the famous Husqvarna-engineer Folke Mannerstedt had noted the talent from the province of Skane. Ake was offered one of the factory 250cc machines, on which he would start competing in class A for the 1931 season. He was now a team-mate of big stars like Gunnar Kalén and Ragnar Sunnqvist, and of course, his older brother Rudolf Jönsson, who rode in the 350 class. The Husqvarna debut took place in November 1930 on a horse-track in Jägersro, Malmö. The event was a 5’000-meter race and the spectator tribunes were full of people despite the cold November afternoon. Ake showed Husqvarna that they had picked the right man and he won the main event where he showed no mercy to his competitors. His winnings were the equivalent of 25 US dollars and the 1931 season was right ahead in a year that Ake turned 20 years of age.

Ake had a strong temper and anything outside victory did never appeal to this thin and fit youngster. “It’s probably a character feature in the family,” said Ake to me when I was a child (the blog editor lived a year with the Jönsson’s as a child). Privately Ake was no different. If he was to see someone, let’s say at six o’clock, he would turn up by 5.55 and look at his watch to see when it turned six o’clock on the second. He would then ring the bell in order not to be late.

Impulsive and punctual were features of this young man who suffered from a state of manic depression at times. Ake’s mood was as loose as his foot on the throttle …

But he was also an authority when it came to quick decisions. No one told him what to do or how to react. On February 1st in 1931 there was a 10-kilometer race, again in Jägersro. Ake failed to score but came back three weeks later in order to take an overwhelming victory. That was his style. Loose one, but always regain the dominant peak soon after. In 23 events the same season Jönsson won 16 and came second on four occasions with his ultrafast Husqvarna machine. Ake’s overwhelming capacity started to show in 1932 when he won 15 out of 19 races, inclusive the prestigious “Östgötaloppet”, which was a 69km event. Ake not only conquered but also set a new race record in his class. With the 250cc Husqvarna he rode at an average of 92 kilometres an hour – a pace which was fifth fastest in the entire event, including the biggest classes.

Considering that Kalén and Sunnqvist rode bigger machines and that the race distance lay around 40 minutes, Ake’s performance was even more attractive. This was one of Ake’s biggest victories together with an event that lay four weeks ahead in time. The TT-race at Onsala had an attendance of a dozen international riders. Ake was back in the 250-saddle, which in this case was half a 500 using only one of the V-configuration cylinders. This machine was a legendary Husqvarna model in the 30s. Among the strong competitors in the A-class was the British world record holder Eric Fernihough. However, the reddish apple cheeked youngster by the name of Jönsson won the race after some domination. The winner’s prize was 200 Swedish Kronor (around 50 dollars) and this success cemented Ake’s place in the famous Husqvarna “gang”.

In the weekly newspaper “Motornyheterna” you could read about Ake’s victories… His well-tuned Husqvarna and Ake’s outstanding riding technique through corners were a difficult obstacle even for his teammates Gunnar Kalén and Ragnar Sunnqvist. Ake has adopted the world-famous Stevenson-stil with his leg sweeping out behind the machine during cornering.

After a five-month delay with no racing, the 1933 season took off with a second place for Ake.

The following month he rode in Denmark where he was forced to retire in Korsör. How would this end? The first victory did not arrive until at the end of July, when young Jönsson won in Hälsingborg. “It was a pre-race with all eyes set on the big Grand Prix in Saxtorp”, Ake said to the press (I have a post-card where it says “Let’s celebrate Grand Prix”, signed by all the Husqvarna greats of the 30s). On the 3rd of September a record crowd of 150’000 spectators with 65 competing riders were seen at Saxtorp in the Skane province. It was the biggest motorcycle race ever held on Swedish soil! Ake Jönsson competed as usual in the 250cc class and the distance to be covered measured 14,5 kilometres. The start took place where the church of Saxtorps is situated. And then on to Dösjebro station, south to Lyckan (Happiness), west towards Björnstorp and then north to the finish line. After 21 laps Ake was second behind Briton Charlie Dodson when the Swede suddenly stopped at Björnstorp. Ake had an overwhelming margin to the third placed man, but the machine would not go any further.

“It was the biggest disappointment in my life,” cried Ake afterwards when interviewed.

In Husqvarna’s unfortunate season of 1934, the 23-year old Jönsson only participated in eight events. He won five but now there were dark clouds on the horizon. The Super-Swede Gunnar Kalén lost his life in the German GP and all the Husqvarna machines were damaged severely when loading them on a ship to the Isle of Man. Husqvarna chose to withdraw from its race dominance and frankly just stopped racing.

Ake Jönsson was a successful, dominant racer with a good sense of humour. And still he was a man of few words until he arrived at the race track. But the car accident changed his life. After being a nerve wreck for years, his mood improved a little. But Ake was never the same man again.

Bike results of king Ake Jönsson
7 years on m/c: 1928-35, of which five years as factory rider at Husqvarna (1931-35)
A total of 105 events: 53 victories, 24 second places and 4 third spots.

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