Category Archives: Motocross


Travis Pastrana, Nitro Circus Ringleader Interview 2019

Travis Pastrana’s fingerprints are all over the motorsports world. From the insanity of Nitro Circus to Supercross and motocross, rally and rallycross, and even NASCAR, the man is a vehicular force of nature. He’s helped lift action sports to their lofty place through a combination of a love of motorcycles and a lifetime of bone-breaking labor.

When did you realize you could make a career out of motorcycles that was more than just racing?
When they start out riding a dirt bike, every kid believes they’re going to be a professional in that sport, and for me the reality never really set in. I think the injuries are what really made me find another way to do what I love to do. My dad always said, “Heck, you’re too crippled to come back to construction.”

Do you have any regrets about how you’ve used up your body pursuing this thing?
My biggest regrets at the moment are the times that I didn’t go for it when I thought I had it. Motorcycles come down to calculated risk, or risk versus reward. That’s always changing. Why would I stop doing what I love to do? When I’m hurt, it’s not the injury or the pain that I’m bummed out about, it’s not being able to do what I love to do.

To take your body and put it through the wringer over and over again isn’t the smartest thing. My dad just had his third back surgery this year, and he’s been an avid motorcyclist his whole life. He’s like, “Never stop, son. The second you stop, you’re done.”

You’ve said riding at your level requires constant work. There’s no such thing as a holiday. Who taught you that diligence?
I was really fortunate. I got brought up with my dad and his five brothers. They all worked construction. They were some of the hardest-working people I ever met. My dad said, “You’re not going to make it as a professional athlete and make money doing it, but any day you do not work construction, any day you can live what you love to do, then do whatever it takes to ride that train until the wheels fall off.”

If your kids came to you and said, “Dad, I want to do what you do,” what would you say to them?
If they’re half as passionate as I am about riding motorcycles, or as my wife is about skateboarding, then I feel like I’ve succeeded as a parent. Look, selfishly, yeah, it would be awesome to go ride with my kids, and yeah, they have dirt bikes and they love it, but there’s a difference between riding for fun, riding on the weekend, and trying to win the freaking Supercross championship.

What does retirement look like for you? Is that something you have any interest in?
I was talking about this last week with my wife. We’re sitting down and the Olympics came up, and she has a chance to qualify in skating. She was like, “Well, are you willing to be a stay-at-home dad while I chase this dream?” I didn’t really sign any contracts for this year. This is the first time since I was 7 years old that I don’t have contracts that I have to follow through on. For me, I feel like I’ve lived my college years too many years at this point, but you know, I have time to really enjoy where I am in life and to count my blessings. At the same time, I love what I do, and I’m fortunate to have a lot of opportunities in the motorcycle industry to keep doing what I love. Retirement could be anything.


New-look Australian Motorcycle Festival announced

Three-day event to take place alongside Wollongong AUS Supercross.

Image: Foremost Media.

Troy Bayliss Events today announced its new-look Australian Motorcycle Festival will take place at Lang Park in Wollongong, New South Wales, on 8-10 November, which will run alongside round three of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship at WIN Stadium, also operated by the three-time Superbike world champion.

The festival format, which takes over from the former Sydney Motorcycle Show, creates a unique visitor experience with over 20,000sqm of outdoor space hosting displays, entertainment and activations.

The new location also provides an opportunity for expansion with the all-new festival incorporating interactive elements such as test rides, live motorcycle demonstrations including safety and stunt riding. Test rides will also take place on the water with a range of PWC’s.

“Lang Park provides the perfect location to showcase the latest offerings from the motorcycle industry and WIN Stadium is the perfect size stadium to host Australia’s best supercross riders competing against International athletes,” Bayliss explained.

Image: Foremost Media.

“Motorcycling is a lifestyle and that’s what this festival is all about. Visitors to the festival will get to test, try, learn and be entertained all in the once place. The trip from Sydney down the Grand Pacific Drive via the national park and cliff roads into Wollongong is easily one of the best in Australia for scenic rides.

“Once in Wollongong we encourage riders to enjoy the festivities and experience everything Illawarra and south coast has to offer. Short rides, long rides there is something for everyone.

“To have the third round of the supercross taking place right next door on Saturday evening is a great addition and creates the ultimate weekend for motorcycle enthusiasts and we would like to thanks Destination Wollongong, Wollongong City Council and Win Stadium for welcoming the event. We have so much more to be announced over the coming weeks.”

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh added: “Wollongong makes for the perfect road trip with stunning coastline taking in Sea Cliff Bridge as well as the winding escarpment which will put all your motorcycle skills to the test.

“The combination of the championship round and the motorcycle festival make for the perfect weekend away, so we encourage everyone to stay a little longer and enjoy the attractions, natural assets and cafes and bars on offer in Wollongong.”

Over 40,000 visitors are expected to head to Wollongong, making it one of the largest motorcycle events in Australia.


WIN Stadium revealed as AUS Supercross round three venue

Wollongong stop backed by Yamaha Motor Australia.

Image: Foremost Media.

Troy Bayliss Events has confirmed the third round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship will be held at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium on Saturday, 9 November.

New South Wales’ supercross fans will experience a large outdoor stadium, giving fans the opportunity to see Australia’s best racers take on some international riders on a full-size track racing the exciting Triple Crown format in both SX1 and SX2 categories.

Three-time Superbike world champion and event organiser Troy Bayliss said the stadium layout will be unique with a section of the track heading up onto the iconic hill.

“In 2018, Troy Bayliss Events took the big step to put supercross back into a stadium in Australia with Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium round, now Troy Bayliss Events is thrilled to be taking the NSW event back to an outdoor stadium,” Bayliss commented.

“WIN Stadium is the perfect size with the crowd so close to the action and the location is second to none. I am really excited about the track layout. This event will be like no other with the track winding up onto the iconic hill.

“We would like to thank Destination Wollongong, Wollongong City Council, WIN Stadium and Yamaha for the support to allow Supercross to take place In Wollongong and within WIN Stadium. The Illawarra is rich with motorcycle champions and fans and we can’t wait until the gates drop on November 9.”

Yamaha Motor Australia back the round as a major sponsor, with Wollongong’s WIN Stadium being the perfect venue to showcase the brand’s race teams as they battle for supremacy in the VictorYZone. In addition, this round will host the YZ65 Cup – the grassroots race series designed to give young guns their first taste of the big time by racing in front of their supercross heroes and up to 20,000 fans.

Troy Bayliss Events also confirmed today the Australian Motorcycle Festival will take place at Lang Park next door to WIN Stadium on the same weekend. Formally known as the Sydney Motorcycle Show, Australia’s largest motorcycle show is also set to expand with massive trade displays featuring motorcycles, scooters, ATV’s, SxS’s, trikes and jet skis as well as related products and services.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the prestigious Monster Energy AUS-X Open will transfer to Marvel Stadium in Melbourne for 2019, previously being hosted at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park.

Rounds one, two, and four of the Australian Supercross Championship are still to be announced. Tickets for round three will go on sale Monday 29 April via Ticketmaster, with tickets starting from $30.00.


Moruya’s 2019 Australian Four-Day Enduro cancelled

Delay in government approvals prompts official cancellation.

Image: John Pearson.

After initially postponing the event late last month, Motorcycling Australia (MA) has now revealed the 2019 Yamaha bLU cRU Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) at Moruya in New South Wales is officially cancelled.

The Motorcycling New South Wales (MNSW) Enduro Committee and Far South Coast Motorcycle Club have confirmed that due to government approval delays surrounding the environment in which the 41st edition was to be held, the postponement of the event has officially been changed to cancellation.

It’s the second time the A4DE has been cancelled in three years, with a lack of entries for Toowoomba’s 2017 edition ultimately calling off the event.

Ensuring that Moruya has the opportunity to host a national enduro event, MA’s can ensured that 2020 will feature a two-day, two-round Enduro format in Moruya for the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC).

This new two-day Enduro event will provide both club and competitor to experience a multi-day Enduro competition in preparation for the 2020 A4DE and FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE).


Barcia elects to sit out supercross remainder

Factory Yamaha rider hoping for 100 percent recovery by Pro Motocross opener.

Image: Supplied.

Justin Barcia has elected to sit out the remaining three rounds of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship in an effort to lift his health to 100 percent ahead of the upcoming Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

Barcia suffered a concussion during a practice incident in February, prompting him to miss a selection of races, however the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing rider endured another heavy fall at Nashville last Saturday, worsening nagging injuries.

“At this point it seems that the best thing to do is to let my body recover,” Barcia commented. “I’m just going to keep on training, skip the last few supercross races and let my body heal up.

“Thinking about that now, I probably should have done that a few weeks ago because I was injured already but I really wanted to be at the supercross race with my team and fans, and put on a good showing. For right now, I’m going to regroup and be ready for the first outdoor.”

Team manager Jim Perry added: “Monster Energy Supercross is a demanding series, racing every weekend. Justin has been battling injuries from the midpoint of the season and needs the time to recover and heal up. Sitting out the final three events is a hard call, however, getting back to 100 percent, the place he started the season is the number-one goal.

“It will be a bummer not seeing the number 51 YZ450F line up at the gate this weekend, but we will continue moving forward supporting Josh Grant for the final three events.”

Josh Grant will be the sole rider representing the factory Yamaha outfit in the remaining supercross rounds, already enlisted as a fill-in for team regular Aaron Plessinger. The opening round of Pro Motocross is scheduled for 19 May at Hangtown.


Roczen ‘can’t catch a break’ as string of bad luck continues

Image: Supplied.

Ken Roczen believes he ‘can’t catch a break’ as a string of bad luck continues to strike the likeable German following an unfortunate encounter at Nashville’s 14th round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship last weekend.

The Team Honda HRC rider was primed to challenge for a season-first victory, setting the fastest time in qualifying prior to winning his heat race.

However, just laps into the main event, the number 94 fell victim to a suddenly crashing Joey Savatgy (Monster Energy Kawasaki) at the end of a rhythm lane, leaving nowhere for Roczen to go, ultimately taking him down and demoting him to the rear of the field before recovering for eighth.

“I don’t even know what to say because nothing surprises me at this point,” Roczen admitted. “I feel like I just can’t catch a break. Things started out so great and I really felt like tonight could have been my night. Everything was flowing well in qualifying and I got another heat-race win.

“My bike was working great and I was having fun. I didn’t get the start that I wanted in the main event but was making passes quickly. Unfortunately, [Joey] Savatgy went down while I was right behind him and I hit his bike. There was nothing I could do – I had nowhere to go.

“By the time I got going again I was last, so I just tried to dig deep and do whatever I could to make up as many positions as possible. I’m not happy with eighth but it’s okay considering what happened. We’ve got a few more opportunities to make it happen, so on to Denver.”

Roczen sits fourth in the championship standings as the series heads to Denver this weekend for round 15.


Vlaanderen hopeful of Mantova return following surgery

MX2 contender suffers ankle and leg injury at Trentino.

Image: Supplied.

Honda HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen is hopeful of returning for the MXGP of Lombardia at Mantova after undergoing surgery on his right ankle and fibula, which he sustained injury to during timed practice at Trentino on the weekend.

Fitted with a cast, Vlaanderen will endeavour to start physio in the coming weeks, with the goal of making a come-back at the next round of the world championship, scheduled for 12 May at the Italian venue.

“Obviously I’m extremely disappointed to have this happen to me at the weekend,” said Vlaanderen. “I was feeling really good on the bike and was in the process of setting the fastest lap when I just twisted my ankle. I didn’t crash or anything so it was a real shock to see the x-ray show that I fractured my fibula.

“Thankfully, with the support of the team and the excellent Dr Claes, I have since had the surgery which went extremely well. I hope to have the cast off in less than a couple of weeks and begin physio and cycling shortly after that, with the goal of being fit and ready to go for the fifth round of the MX2 championship in Mantova in May.

It’s a bitter blow for the South African talent, who displayed strong form in the opening rounds, holding down P3 in the championship standings prior to the weekend’s round commencing.


Green bridging the gap on world class AORC leaders

Image: John Pearson.

New South Welshman Josh Green believes he’s bridging the gap on world class leaders Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) and Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) in the unofficial Outright times after a strong showing at Dungog’s third and fourth rounds of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC).

Piloting the all-new WR450F this season with Yamaha Yamalube Active8, Green wound up third on the Outright results sheet on both days of racing, finishing just 40 seconds shy of the talented duo in Sunday’s proceedings.

A pair of runner-up results in the E2 category at Dungog sees the number 99 maintain his P2 ranking in the championship standings as the series now heads into an extensive break.

“The WR450F is an amazing bike and every time we race it, we learn more about its strengths and how to make them work for me,” Green explained. “We didn’t change anything major but just some fine tuning to the power and suspension made the bike more ridable for me and I’m so impressed with how it runs.

“This weekend was better for me and I was able to grab third outright each day so that’s a step in the right direction. Milner and Sanders are world class riders, but I’m busting my butt trying to close the gap on them and this weekend I felt we were a little more competitive with them in a lot of the special tests.

“The team did a fantastic job as always and we are already making plans for the up-coming rounds to keep the momentum building.”

The AORC will return to action on 20-21 July at Kyogle in New South Wales.


Dungog podiums inject confidence into Higlett

Husqvarna talent makes motivating improvements at rounds three and four.

Image: John Pearson.

A pair of podium finishes at Dungog’s third and fourth rounds of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) have injected confidence into Fraser Higlett after a challenging season-opener last month.

The talented Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team rider pushed on for third in the competitive E1 category during Saturday’s third round, backing it up with runner-up on honours in Sunday’s encounter that saw him finish just nine seconds shy of victory.

It’s a motivating improvement for the youthful contender, explaining he gelled with the Enduro format that was hosted throughout both days of racing in New South Wales.

“I’m really happy with my results this weekend, especially after how I went at the first two rounds,” Higlett explained. “It was good to be back up on the podium both days at Dungog and it’s a confidence booster for me entering the rest of the season.

“There’s something about the Enduro formats that work for me and the weekend’s track conditions were some of the best you’ll get, so it was an awesome couple of rounds.”

The Australian Off-Road Championship now heads into an extensive break, returning to action on 20-21 July at Kyogle in New South Wales.


Evans overcomes tweaked knee for Trentino top 10

Image: Supplied.

Mitch Evans overcame a tweaked knee sustained in Saturday’s qualifying race to earn an impressive top 10 result at Trentino’s fourth round of the 2019 MX2 World Championship in Italy.

The youthful Australian strung together a respectable 6-7 scorecard for seventh overall, granting him his best finish since Argentina’s season-opener, where he landed on the podium while making his world championship debut.

“I’ve not raced at Trentino before but it’s a cool track,” Evans stated. “It just took me a while to learn it. I tweaked my knee in the qualifying race and that made it a struggle to come through the pack as it was a little one-line out there. But no excuses, I know what I need to do to improve.

“For the races, I strapped up my knee and pushed through the pain and got good starts. From 24th in the qualifying race to seventh overall today, I couldn’t be any happier and really pleased with how Sunday went.”

The result has promoted the Team Honda 114 Motorsports rider to eighth in the championship standings, and he now has month to let his knee heal before the next grand prix, scheduled for 12 May at Lombardia in Italy.