Category Archives: Competition

Reed auction raises funds for Australian bushfire crisis

Image: Octopi Media.

An online auction arranged by the retiring Chad Reed following the St. Louis round of 2020 Monster Energy Supercross has gone toward raising vital funding for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Reed, originally from Kurri Kurri in New South Wales, wore a special set of Fox Racing gear at round two of the season last weekend in Missouri before auctioning it off on eBay post-race.

The jersey and pant combination netted $3300 US when the auction closed, all of which the proceeds will be donated to the NSW RFS to assist in the devastation that has affected Reed’s home country during recent months.

This season marks the final year for Reed in the American-based Supercross series following a career that has spanned near two decades at the highest level. He’s riding with the Mountain Motorsports cbdMD CR22 team aboard Hondas in 2020.


Team UK named for International Island Classic

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The UK team for the International Island Classic has been named for the 2020 instalment set to take place on 24-26 January.

Captained by Tony Hart, the squad will feature Alex Sinclair, Michael Neeves, Rich Llewellin, Richard Peers-Jones, Paul Gaskin, Hasse Gustafson, Johnny Nordberg, Roger Gunn, Damien Kavney, Jim Agombar, Clive Warner and Brendan Wilson.

“Team UK is coming to race the might of the Aussies and the Yanks, and we are well aware that we are up against it,” said Hart. “I know our bikes are seriously underpowered against the big 16-valve motors the others will be running but that can’t be helped, until we get our new 2020 UK regulations for the class.

“Our riders and their machines know the Challenge they face in the race and if the outcome is simply we did our best with honest period bikes then we shall be humble and leave with pride in the knowing we did our best, we can’t let the others have all the fun.

“We love the camaraderie of the motorcycling community, we’ve got some beautiful bikes to share with the fans, and a lot of British good humour to bring to the party. Australia has been through a lot these past weeks, and we’re keen to come and share our love of motorcycles with everyone.”

A total of 400 bikes will take to the Phillip Island circuit over the three days, where each class will be decided after one qualifying session and four races – and the Phil Irving Trophy will be the rider who scores the highest points in non-International Challenge events.


Yamaha tops declining Australian dirt bike sales in 2019

Image: iKapture.

Dirt bike sales across Australia posted a 1.6 percent decline in 2019, while it was Yamaha who topped the segment following the latest Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) report.

The motorcycle market as a whole recorded a 6.1 percent drop in sales, with all market categories except scooters affected by the downturn.

The 2019 market remained relatively steady in terms of its composition, however dirt bikes regained the status as the most popular category and comprised 38.5 percent of the market. Road bikes claimed a 35.8 percent share, ATV/SSVs accounted for 20.1 percent of total sales, and scooters again took an increased share of the total sales with 5.6 percent.

Among individual brands, Honda came in at number one with 23.3 percent market share across all segments, followed by Yamaha in second place with 22.4 percent share, Kawasaki in third with 8,962 sales 10 percent share, followed by KTM 8.6 percent share and and Suzuki with 7.8 percent share..

In the dirt bike segment, Yamaha was the highest seller, followed by Honda and KTM. Overall, Honda, Husqvarna and Kawasaki were the only brands to record an increase in dirt bike sales in 2019.

Detailed comparison report

Detailed top 10 report


Price faced with road book malfunction in opening Dakar stage

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Fan-favourite Toby Price faced a road book malfunction during the opening stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally, the reigning champion striking luck to follow Red Bull KTM teammate Matthias Walkner for the remainder of the route.

Despite the setback, which Price believes debris jammed the rollers of his scrolling road book, he was still able to post the fastest time to top the opening day.

Acknowledging the result looked strong on paper, the two-time Dakar winner admits it was quite a challenging day to start his title defence.

“I had a really good day today up until about 140 kilometres where my road book started to play up a bit,” said Price. “Something had got in there and jammed the rollers and so I was left without a road book for a while.

“Luckily, I caught Matthias after he lost a little time and I was able to stay with him towards the finish. My result looks good on paper, but it turned out to be quite a tricky day. I’m also opening the stage tomorrow, so hopefully that’ll go well, too.”

Racing resumes on Monday for stage two, where riders will take on 393 kilometres, the stage including a short 26-kilometre liaison and a timed special of 367 kilometres.


Van der Mark surprised by top 10 finish at Sepang EWC

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WorldSBK regular Michael van der Mark admits he was surprised by Yamaha Sepang Racing finishing inside the top 10 at the weekend’s 8 Hours of Sepang after he was taken out by Mike di Meglio (F.C.C. TSR Honda France).

The event, which marked round two of the 2019/2020 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), was reduced to under six hours after being heavily affected by rain.

Van der Mark was able to recover from the incident and returned to the track following a pit stop, where he later handed the reigns to MotoGP contender Franco Morbidelli to the bring the squad home in seventh.

“It was a weird 8 Hours of Sepang, but when we did finally get to race the conditions were good,” said van der Mark. “I had a good feeling with the bike and a strong pace from the start, so when I got passed for the lead I decided to sit in behind and follow rather than take any risks.

“My plan was to retake the lead when we hit traffic. I’m not sure what Di Meglio’s plan was with the pass at the final corner, but it didn’t work, and it ended for me with a massive highside that let me badly winded. The team did an amazing job to get the bike back on track and I was quick to rediscover my rhythm so, apart from the position, I enjoyed the race.

“When Franco took over the bike for the last stint, we could see he had really good pace, but we were still surprised to finish as high as seventh. Massive thanks to the team, who worked so hard for us this weekend, and also to Franco and Hafizh, who I really enjoyed racing with.”

The next stop on the EWC calendar is scheduled for 18-19 April 2020 at Le Mans in France.


ASBK seat secured as Maxwell joins McMartin Racing

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Former champion Wayne Maxwell will pilot a Ducati Panigale V4 R in the 2020 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) after joining McMartin Racing.

Maxwell was initially signed to a two-year deal with Team Suzuki Ecstar that would see him through 2020, however it was revealed following Sydney’s ASBK finale that Suzuki would withdraw its support from the operation, leaving both himself and Josh Waters without a ride for the upcoming season.

The 37-year-old, who finished third in the 2019 standings, immediately moved to secure a seat for next year, sampling the Craig McMartin-prepared on numerous occasions before finalising plans for 2020.

“I’m obviously very excited that I’m going to be able to make it back on the grid and very excited to be working with Craig [McMartin],” Maxwell told “When it comes to the Ducati brand, Craig knows them better than anyone in Australia.

“We have a lot of work to do – we’ve received no support from Ducati, Craig bought the bikes off his own back, so that’s a huge expense. It’s a matter of gaining sponsorship so I can run at the level I need to run at, and to maintain the bikes at the level they need to be at to continue running for 11 years in the top three of the championship.

“I’ve had a few outings on the V4 R, obviously I was unsure whether I’d be able to adapt to the bike – I’ve never ridden a Ducati before. But, I’ve adapted easily – the bike was very good from the get-go and I’m really enjoying it.”

The opening round of the 2020 ASBK season is scheduled for 27 February-1 March at Phillip Island, running in conjunction with round one of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).


Island Classic grid takes shape as America announces 2020 squad

Image: Russell Colvin.

The Island Classic’s International Challenge grid is taking shape for 2020 after Team America announced its 12-rider squad for the Phillip Island event on 24-26 January.

Team America not only boasts three riders who finished in the top six of the individual standings in 2019 – Josh Hayes, Larry Pegram and Michael Gilbert – but it’s now also added seven-time Canadian Superbike champion Jordan Szoke and former AMA front-runner Taylor Knapp to its ever-strengthening roster.

The squad will host the first female to take part in the International Challenge, Melissa Paris, who made her professional debut in the 2009 and has WorldSSP, EWC, AMA and Spanish CEV experience on her vast CV.

Her husband, Josh Hayes, is expected to be a powerhouse for Team America, and the four-time AMA Superbike champion – and second on the all-time race winner’s list behind Aussie Mat Mladin – will have fond memories of winning the fourth and final International Challenge race in 2019 on his Yamaha FJ1250.

“In the first race of 2019 I was quite taken back by the level of competition on these classic era bikes,” said Hayes. “[I] Even got my feelings hurt a few times!

“But when I was able to win the fourth and final challenge race, and returned to our pit to find the captains of all the other teams there to celebrate alongside us, I knew this was a special event that’s more about two-wheel passion than business, and something that I wanted to continue to be a part of.

“In 2019 I was able to test the Mojo Yamaha a handful of times. Also, I rode in MotoAmerica’s Supersport races at seven events – racing for my wife’s MP13 Racing Yamaha, with her also as my crew chief.

“The 2020 Island Classic is going to be a family event for me this year with my wife, Melissa, and my two-year-old son, Hawk, joining me. Even better is that Melissa will be riding a Mojo Yamaha TZ-750 in the International Classic races.”

Dave Crussell will once again captain the American squad, and also on his roster are Jorge Gurero, Joe Pethoud, Brian Filo, Bruce Lind and Robert Ruwoldt.

The Australian team for the International Challenge features David Johnson, Shawn Giles, Jed Metcher, Craig Ditchburn, Aaron Morris, Scott Webster, Cameron Donald, Steve Martin, Beau Beaton, John Allen and Alex Phillis.

The United Kingdom returns to the Interactional Challenge arena in 2020 with a new-look team, which will be in the coming days.


AORC locks in Tasmanian venue as 2020 calendar nears completion

Image: John Pearson.

Motorcycling Australia (MA) has revealed the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship will visit Tasmania for the first time next year, while confirmation of a Victorian venue sees the 2020 calendar near completion.

A 2020 schedule was released last month detailing the dates and hosting states of the series, before Toowoomba, Dungog and Nowra were announced as the venues of the first three stops.

Omeo in Victoria will host the penultimate stop of the championship for rounds nine and 10 on 19-20 September, as Wynyard in Tasmania will serve up the season-finale on 17-18 October.

Hometown favourite and four-time EnduroGP world champion Matthew Phillips is understood to have played a pivotal role in securing the championship round in Tasmania.

Five of the six locations have been confirmed, leaving just the South Australian stop, scheduled on 1-2 August for rounds seven and eight, to be announced.

Updated 2020 Australian Off-Road Championship calendar:
Rds 1-2 – 22-23 February – Toowoomba, Queensland
Rds 2-3 – 14-15 March – Dungog, New South Wales
Rds 5-6 – 18-19 April – Nowra, New South Wales
Rds 7-8 – 1-2 August – TBA, South Australia
Rds 9-10 – 19-20 September – Omeo, Victoria
Rds 11-12 – 17-18 October – Wynyard, Tasmania


Davalos secures 450SX seat with Team Tedder KTM

Image: Supplied.

Martin Davalos has secured a 450SX seat in the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship after signing with Team Tedder Monster Energy Lucas Oil KTM Racing, the squad understood to be receiving factory support from the Austrian manufacturer.

Davalos will be joined by Dakota Tedder for the 2020 supercross season, the duo to race the same machinery made available to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders and the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM squad.

Davalos, 32, pointed out of the 250SX category after the 2019 season, however has been adamant for significant time on his desire to graduate to the premier class.

The Ecuadorian recently put in a strong performance at the Geneva Supercross, where he claimed victory on night one before finishing just shy of the top spot on night two. He was still piloting Kawasaki machinery at the Swiss event.

The opening round of the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship is scheduled for 4 January at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.


Swift recovery grants Tanti preparation for AMA Supercross stint

Image: Foremost Media.

A fast-tracked recovery following a frightening crash at the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Melbourne last month will grant Aaron Tanti adequate time to prepare for a five-round stint in the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

The Serco Yamaha challenger was initially thought to be sidelined for up to eight weeks after suffering bone bruising around his hip and pelvic region, alongside internal damage.

Tanti, who was in contention for the SX2 crown at Melbourne’s season-finale, revealed plans this week to contest the first five rounds of the 250SX West series in America, which kicks off on 4 January.

The New South Welshman has suggested his injuries are rapidly healing, allowing him to recommence training before a scheduled return on the bike in the coming days.

“Initially I felt pretty bad after that crash, but after a few days and visiting a specialist, I started to come up pretty good,” Tanti explained to “I only had a week off training – I’m training now – but I’ll ride in the next few days.

“We were pretty much going to go off my results in the supercross series after talking to the guys that are helping me get over there – I wanted to be competitive here, and I feel like I was riding really well and they were happy how I was over here.

“Serco Yamaha is helping me a lot – I’m taking mechanic Ben [Dutton], and our bikes and parts are being sent from here. Gav [Eales] is organising a lot of the stuff over there for me. The other major helper is Complete Parts – they’re helping me a lot to get over there.”

Tanti joins a list of regular Australian supercross contenders to be entering the opening rounds of the AMA Supercross series, which includes Luke Clout (Penrite Honda Racing), Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) and Joel Wightman (Honda). Australian teenager Jett Lawrence (Geico Honda) is also set to embark on his rookie season.