Jeremy Alcoba has been crowned champion of the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship in the best way possible, winning the first of the two races at Valencia, with Carlos Tatay claiming the second win.
Aussie Billy Van Eerde, meanwhile, ended a tough season in the class with two solid finishes. The Aussie was outside the top 20 but in a group battle in Race 1, and in Race 2 was knocking on the door to some points.
Just 0.115 separated him from fifteenth, with the number 29 forced to settle for P16 – but in a deep field, that’s a solid showing for the youngster after his swift rise from the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup.
In the Moto2 European Championship, Edgar Pons also said goodbye to the FIM CEV Repsol with a victory.
In the European Talent Cup, Iván Ortolá finished the season as he began in Estoril, with a win, while Joel Kelso raced to his strongest result of the season in fifth, claiming nine championship points and moving up to 17th in the overall standings.
Moto3 Junior World Championship
Jeremy Alcoba didnt waste his first chance at the title, beating José Julián García – who took his first podium of the season – and Aleix Viu in the opening race.
It was an exciting race, with a leading group of up to 15 riders. A number of riders shared the lead, such as Daniel Holgado, Ryusei Yamanaka and Carlos Tatay, among others.
With two laps to go, a touch between Daniel Holgado and David Salvador left them out of options for a podium place, and allowed Aleix Viu to make the most of a great comeback, paving the way for José Julián García to take third after a race spent as part of the leading group. Jeremy Alcoba received the Repsol free fuel cheque as a result.
Aussie Billy Van Eerde finished Race 1 in 28th, having claimed 20th and 15th in the two qualifying sessions.
In the second FIM Moto3 race Carlos Tatay took another victory, his fourth of the season. Barry Baltus joined him on the podium, along with Adrián Fernández, achieving his first podium in the category.
Once again Davide Pizzoli started poorly from pole, losing so many positions that in an effort to make up lost ground he went down on the fifth lap along with Julián Giral.
Ahead, Carlos Tatay pulled clear followed by a large group led by Barry Baltus. Aleix Viu, David Salvador and José Julián García were involved in a multiple fall which decimated the chasing group. In the end, Carlos Tatay won alone, followed by Barry Baltus and Adrián Fernández. Carlos Tatay received the Repsol free fuel cheque.
Billy Van Eerde improved on his Race 1 placing to claim 16th in Race 2, just missing out on the points.
Billy Van Eerde
“2019 season is now finished. Thank you to the whole Junior Talent Team squad for this amazing year! It was a very difficult year for me but you have supported me throughout all, I’m thankful for this opportunity and will come back next year stronger than before!”
The final classification of the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship saw Jeremy Alcoba as champion, Carlos Tatay runner-up and Xavier Artigas in third.
CDR Monster Energy Yamaha’s, Luke Clout has broken through for his maiden SX1 round victory at the third round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship held at Win Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday the 9th of November.
For the first time this season, Penrite Honda Factory Racing’s Justin Brayton was knocked off the top spot in qualifying as Clout made is intentions clear from the get-go, topping the time-sheets.
The track that was built from scratch in less than 24 hours after the original soil bought into the venue needed to be replaced. Despite the limited time to build the track, the Pro Traxx Australia team still produced a high quality full size Supercross track that produced a fastest lap time of 40.66 seconds for Clout, with his American team-mate Josh Hill posting the second-fastest lap time a fraction of a second behind at 40.702, while Brayton had to settle for the third fastest lap time.
SX1 HEAT 1
It was Oil Piping Services; Honda mounted privateer Jesse Madden who led the field out of the first turn in the opening SX1 heat, with Hill on his rear wheel.
By the conclusion of the first lap had Hill moved to the lead and was never headed as he quickly proved his worth to the CDR Yamaha outfit.
Team-mate Dan Reardon worked his way into second position and while he was able to close the gap to Hill he had to be content with second position.
Madden impressed holding on for a third-place finish. SB Motorsports Suzuki’s Jayden Rykers continued his good Supercross form crossing the line in 4th position, heading directly to the nights triple-header final event along with Rockstar Honda’s Jackson Richardson, Husqvarna backed Todd Waters and KSF Racing’s Gradie Featherstone.
SX1 HEAT 2
SB Motorsports Suzuki’s Cody Dyce shot out of the gate aboard his RM-Z450 in the second heat to secure the holeshot and lead the field. In an impressive ride for the former MXD champion, he held off three-time reigning SX1 champion Brayton for the opening three laps, before the American made his moved and raced to victory.
Clout again showed great pace, moving his way into second position and closing in on Brayton in the final laps, with Penrite Honda Factory Racing’s Brett Metcalfe rounding out the top three.
Raceline KTM’s new American import Henry Miller made a late-race pass on Dyce to finish 4th.
Empire Kawasaki’s Dylan Long finished sixth and Honda privateer Joel Wightman in 7th with the two riders taking the final two spots out of the heats directly into the finals.
Clout once again showed he was going to be the riders to beat, almost dropping under the 40-second lap mark with a lap time of 40.021 to top the timesheets in the Superpole event.
Brayton was able to improve his gate pick for the night’s main event, with the second-fastest time, followed by, Reardon, Hil and Madden while Metcalfe had his lap time annulled after cutting the track.
With 16 riders already qualified for the 20 gate three-race final, riders hit the line for the LCQ in a bid to claim one of the final four spots up for grabs.
South Aussie Yamaha privateer Elijah Wiese grabbed the holeshot, but it was Empire Kawasaki’s Lawson Bopping who quickly took control of the race out front and ran away for a comfortable race win.
Behind him, Yamalube Yamaha’s Richie Evans had his work cut out for him, crashing early in the race and leaving himself a huge task just to make the finals. With a lap to go, Evans moved into 5th position and entered a three-way battle along with Weise and Kawasaki privateer Jamie Harvey for the final two transfer positions.
Ahead of the fight for the final transfer spots, Honda privateer Justin Carafa powered to second position.
At the line, Evans was able to work his way passed both Weise and Harvey to finish third, while Harvey held firm to secure the 20th and final gate pick for the finals.
SX1 FINAL ONE
The opening SX1 final was a Justin Brayton show, with the American leading from the start and dominating towards a two-second race win.
Behind Brayton, Clout and Reardon went toe-to-toe for the opening half of the race, before Clout put an inside pass on his team-mate with the two riders bouncing off each other. The move would prove to be crucial for the night’s overall results, with Clout holding on to finish second ahead of Reardon, with Metcalfe in 4th. Josh Hill finished 5th with Miller 6th.
SX1 FINAL TWO
When the gates dropped on the second final, it looked as though Reardon had control of the first turn; however, it was Clout who exited turn two on the grass hill in first position, quickly opening up an unassailable race lead.
Reardon settled into second position, followed by Dyce who continued his break out night, though he was quickly passed by Hill, who also then made his way by Reardon for second spot.
Behind the leading riders, Metcalfe sat in 5th position, while Brayton was buried deep in the field with plenty of work ahead of him.
Things looked like they were all but done heading into the closes stages of the race, until Metcalfe stalled coming out of the final turn allowing Brayton to move into 5th behind Dyce, with the final result then taking a further turn after Hill made a mistake, slipping from second position.
At the line, it was Reardon who finished second to Clout, with Dyce celebrating an excellent third-place finish. Brayton salvaged a 4th place finish ahead of Hill who recovered for 5th, leaving Metcalfe to finish in 6th, just ahead of the Kawasaki pairing of Bopping and Long.
SX1 FINAL THREE
With everything on the line, it was once again Clout who took control of the race early, with his two CDR team-mates in Reardon and Hill running directly behind him, leaving Brayton with a freight train of Yamaha’s in front of him.
With the track breaking down and a single fast line created through the whoop section the race up front became a bit of a procession as the top four played followed the leader for the entire eight laps, leaving giving Clout his second straight win for the night ahead of Reardon, Hill, Brayton and Metcalfe.
Todd Waters had his best result for the night finishing in 6th position, just ahead of Long and Miller.
With his 2-1-1 race results, it was Clout who celebrated his maiden SX1 round win in front of a large contingent of family and friends who were on hand to witness the moment as the New South Welshman closed the gap to Brayton in the championship standings to just three points with two rounds of the championship remaining.
Reardon made it a 1-2 result for the CDR Yamaha team, leaving Brayton to round out the podium for the evening.
Hill gave CDR Yamaha three of the top four positions for the round, finishing just off the podium in 4th, with Metcalfe in 5th.
Long’s consistent night of 7-8-7 results was enough to secure 6th position overall for the round, while just behind him in seventh, Dyce carded an 8-3-14 scorecard highlighting the close competition through the midfield.
Bopping finished 8th, ahead of Waters who elevated himself to 9th off the back of his 6th place finish in the final race, while Miller rounded out the top ten in his first Australian outing.
Just six-points separate the top three riders in the championship, with Brayton leading Clout by three points, with Reardon a further three points back in third. With some world-class riders slotted into race the final two rounds of the series, the championship is still wide open, with Metcalfe still an outside chance 18-points down on Brayton.
Wade Young is aiming for his third straight Wildwood Rock Extreme victory this coming weekend on board his Sherco 300 SE Factory, with the 2017 and 2018 victor back in Australia preparing with the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team determined to claim another Wildwood victory.
“It’s great to be back in Australia and heading to Wildwood Rock once again. I’ve had an interesting year of racing with my fair share of bad luck and a few injuries but I’m here to race and here to go for the win. The boys at Sherco Australia are looking after me and I have new 2020 model 300 SE Factory edition which I am keen to start testing.”
Although hard on himself, Young claimed the 2019 American Hard Enduro Series and more recently placed second at the Red Bull Sea to Sky event in Turkey behind fellow Sherco hard enduro star Mario Roman.
Young is determined to get back to winning form at the Wildwood Rock Extreme before taking on the Roof of Africa on December 4 in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
“I’ve been told this is the tenth year of Wildwood so I would love to claim my third victory there on a momentous occasion. It’s a fun race but it’s also quite demanding. The fans are great there and they go a bit crazy which is really good fun and it certainly makes me try a bit harder.”
Wildwood Rock Extreme begins on Sunday, November 10 at 9:00am at 227 Feehans Road, Wildwood. Entry is $20 adult, under-16s are $10. Children under-10 are free.
Aussie Mitch Evans joins Gajser in HRC MXGP squad for 2020
After his World Championship success in 2019, Tim Gajser will once again be on-board his Honda CRF450RW as he attempts to defend his crown with a back-to-back MXGP world title in 2020.
Joining him under the Team HRC awning for season 2020 will be Australian youngster Mitch Evans, who has signed after an impressive rookie season racing the MX2 world championship.
For Gajser, he’ll be hoping for more of the same after finishing a season that saw him take nine out of a possible 18 overall victories. This included a record-breaking seven in a row, which allowed him to win the title by a massive 202-point margin. He was victorious at the Belgian GP in the deep sands of Lommel, which showed just how much the Slovenian has improved in all aspects of his riding this year and he was also able to win his class at the Motocross of Nations and put in an extremely impressive fifth overall at the Monster Energy Cup against the best supercross riders in the world. However now, he knows the hard work must continue as he looks to defend his crown in what will be an extremely competitive MXGP class in 2020.
“I am very much looking forward to this new season with Team HRC. Of course last season was great and I have a lot of good memories but now I must start concentrating on what is ahead and preparing myself to put in a lot of work for 2020. I know we have an excellent bike, with the CRF450RW so that allows me to really focus on myself because this year showed that I could win with that bike in any conditions. However next year will be even tougher and that’s what I need to prepare for, as defending the title isn’t going to be easy as there are a lot of fast guys in the class but I know what I have to do and I believe I am in the best team to do it.”
Amongst those lining up with him on the start gate will be Mitch Evans, who steps up onto the Honda CRF450RW as his whirlwind career path takes him onto Team HRC. Under the tutelage of Team Honda 114 Motorsports’ Livia Lancelot last year, Evans was able to get an MX2 podium on his very first outing at the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina which he then backed up with another podium at round six in Portugal, where he got first taste of leading the field. While injury meant he then missed almost a third of the season, he was still able to finish in 11th place in the championship, with only five riders having more podium placings.
For 2020 though, Evans will swap his Honda CRF250R for the title winning CRF450RW as he steps up into the MXGP class, joining gold medallist Tim Gajser under the Team HRC awning.
While Evans doesn’t turn 21 until the November 10th, he is experienced on 450cc machines, having ridden them in Australia in 2018, where he finished runner-up in the MX1 class in what was his rookie campaign. It was this result, coupled with his excellent showing on a 450 at the 2018 Motocross of Nations in RedBud, USA that convinced Honda to sign him to the world championships last year.
“It is just amazing to signing for Team HRC. The history that this brand has with all the great riders who have ridden Honda’s and to now be a part of that, it is unbelievable. This is something that you grow up dreaming about when you first swing your leg over a dirtbike, to be under the HRC awning riding a full-factory CRF450RW. I really can’t wait to get started and I am really looking forward to showing people what I can do in the MXGP class. I know it won’t be easy because there are a lot of talented people in the class but I’ve got the best possible teammate with Tim, because he’s the world champion and he knows exactly how to go about things. I hope to learn a lot from him and from the team and use all of that to put in my best performances when the season starts. Now though, it’s time to knuckle down and put in work so that I can come out swinging in round one.”
After a year learning the ropes and seeing how the MXGP series operates, Evans will begin his preparation on a 450cc machine that many experts believe he is truly suited to. Evans will shortly move full-time to Milan to work with the team over the winter to get him prepared for the season ahead, which begins with the MXGP of Great Britain on March 1st 2020.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
“Of course it is great news to have Tim with us again for next season. He is a pleasure to work alongside and this year was just great for everyone involved in the team. We know that trying to do the same again will be tough but everyone, including Tim, is prepared to do everything necessary to try and make it happen.
“We are also very excited to have Mitch join us for the 2020 season on the Honda CRF450RW. We know that he can ride a 450 well, after his showing at the Motocross of Nations in RedBud when he was just 19 years old, so it is great to have him under our awning for next year.
“However, while the world championships start in March, he knows he has to do a lot of training to do before that in order get ready for the 20 round series on this bigger machine. His rookie season last year had some positive results and he now knows a little of what to expect with the tracks and the conditions so that will help, but of course he will have a whole team around him, supporting him and making sure he is able to go out there and deliver some good results for Team HRC.”
Leon Haslam will have a whole new challenge in 2020 as he joins the much-anticipated factory Honda team, supported by HRC. T
he British rider has an illustrious and distinguished career with the Japanese manufacturer and will return to the official line-up for next season, alongside Spanish sensation and 2019 Championship runner-up, Alvaro Bautista.
Starting back in 2003, Haslam has been one of the most prominent features in the World Superbike paddock. A permanent switch to WorldSBK came in 2004, where he took a first career podium at Oschersleben, finishing eighth in the Championship.
Haslam took three seasons out before taking a third place at Portimao in the final race of 2008 for HM Plant Honda; enough to convince the Stiggy Racing Team to sign him up for 2009. Four podiums helped him to finish sixth overall.
2010 would be Haslam’s greatest season and he switched from Honda to Suzuki, storming to victory in the season-opening Phillip Island race by just 0.004s to make the closest finish of a WorldSBK race in history.
He led the Championship and took two more wins before finishing as Championship runner-up, with only four-time 250cc World Champion Max Biaggi ahead of him. 2011 and 2012 saw him with BMW and he took regular podiums before moving to Honda for 2013.
2013 would be a season blighted by injury, but Haslam had strong rides nonetheless, building on these for 2014, taking a podium in France and finishing seventh overall.
2015 saw him with Aprilia and two more wins came by on his way to fourth overall. Six more starts for Kawasaki over the next two seasons as wildcard would keep Haslam in the paddock, before coming back full-time this year, taking six podiums.
Lettenbichler wins 2019 GetzenRodeo & claims 2019 WESS title
Gunter, Gall, Dack & Marmont all set for ASX Round 3 in Wollongong
Tommy Searle announces GP racing retirement
2019 ISDE & Enduro Vintage Trophy set to kick off in Portimao
2020 Australian Dirt Track & Track Championships announced
2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Calendar Update
Speedway GP scoring & qualification revamped for 2020
2020 Speedway Grand Prix calendar announced
2020 Championship Calendars
2020 AMA Motocross
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Speedway
Lettenbichler wins 2019 GetzenRodeo & WESS title
Manuel Lettenbichler became 2019 Ultimate Enduro World Champion with a winning ride at the final round of the World Enduro Super Series, the GetzenRodeo in Germany over the weekend.
In what was a fairy tale outing for the home favourite, Lettenbichler delivered a riding masterclass in front of thousands of passionate Enduro fans to win both the morning GetzenRace qualifier and afternoon GetzenChamp race, clinching the world title in emphatic style.
Putting in an incredible final charge in the closing moments of the GetzenChamp race, Alfredo Gomez secured second to jump from fourth to runner-up in the final series standings. A sixth-place finish on the day saw Jonny Walker slip to third in the championship.
Entering the eighth and final round of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series as champion elect, Lettenbichler didn’t put a foot wrong all day. Taking control of the two-hour morning qualifier on lap one, he controlled his pace at the head of the 60-strong field of world-class Enduro riders.
Going on to win the GetzenRace over Taddy Blazusiak and Walker set the tone for what was to follow in the all-important 80-minute plus one-lap GetzenChamp finale. With Gomez, Graham Jarvis, Billy Bolt and Mario Roman close behind, the outcome of the afternoon battle seemed too close to call.
The 20 qualified riders blasted off the start line at 2.00pm sharp for what would become a gruelling battle. Lettenbichler wasted no time in establishing himself at the front and took the lead early on lap one. Behind him Gomez, Blazusiak, Walker and Jarvis all fought for position.
As the laps continued Lettenbichler appeared to pull clear of the field, but not from Blazusiak, with the Polish star picking up his pace during the final 30 minutes. Riding right up to Lettenbichler’s rear wheel entering the final lap, it set up a showstopper of an ending.
Going for Gold, Blazusiak briefly took the lead but then crashed, giving Lettenbichler the breathing room he needed entering the final Red Bull X-Loop. With Lettenbichler riding clear to claim victory and become world champion, drama then struck Blazusiak when his bike stopped.
Manuel Lettenbichler – 2019 Ultimate Enduro World Champion
“I’m over the moon, I can’t describe it. To be honest I nearly cried on the podium. It was such a long, tough race today and it’s been such a long season. To finish the year with a first place in front of my home fans would have been amazing, but to win the championship as well is unbelievable. I’m on top of the world right now. My plan for today in both races was to get away well and try to control the race from the front. I was a little nervous in this morning’s race but thankfully it all went to plan. I was honestly exhausted in this afternoon’s race – I couldn’t have given any more. When Taddy passed me, I knew I had to dig deep and carry on and thankfully I managed to get past him again and make it to the finish. The fans have been amazing too – I hope they enjoyed the race as much as I did.”
Capitalising on Blazusiak’s misfortune, Gomez incredibly worked his way past and into second – a move which ultimately sees him jump to second in the championship. With the top three decided, it was Bolt who ended his day in fourth, with Pol Tarres claiming his best result of the 2019 series with fifth.
“I’m very happy for myself and the team. I feel a little sorry for Taddy, but I actually damaged my bike on lap two and that meant I had a disadvantage for the rest of the race. I had a few crashes, but I think the race was tough on everyone – it’s so physical and the terrain is so technical, there is no time to rest at all. That and the fact that everyone else is pushing as hard as they can makes it really, really tough. I’m really pleased with my result and so happy with second in the championship – it’s what we were aiming for and it makes all the hard work worth it.”
“I’ve enjoyed the race and rode my heart out, only to lose out just at the end. It’s racing I know, but it seems I get a little more bad luck than others. I’m pleased with how I rode – the race was a little up and down but to catch Mani near the end and take the lead was fantastic. I was really pushing as hard as I could because I knew what I had to do to get second in the championship, unfortunately it just wasn’t to be. I have to be proud – I’ve not given up all year and that is the main thing.”
With Walker unable to break inside the top-five with a sixth-place result, and with Gomez placing second, it meant the Brit would slip to third overall in the final standings. Jarvis pushed on to take seventh, with Sherco’s Mario Roman eighth.
“It was a really tough race today, I enjoyed it, but I’m a little disappointed not to get second in the championship. I had a good ride this morning, I just stayed consistent and tried to conserve some energy. This afternoon I really tried my best but it wasn’t quite good enough. Nevertheless, if you’d offered me third overall at the start of the year I would have taken it. I have struggled all year in the extreme stuff, but I know what I need to work on, and with a good winter to get back to 100 per cent, the plan is to come back next year and attack right from the start of the season.”
Sweden’s Eddie Karlsson impressed by bringing his Sherco home in ninth, while Norway’s Ib Anderson completed the top-10 for Gas Gas.
With the 2019 season complete, the eight-round 2020 WESS Enduro World Championship begins with Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal on May 8-10.
World Enduro Super Series result from GetzenRodeo
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 10 laps 1:52:29.720
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 10 laps 2:01:32.662
Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 9 laps 1:35:24.393
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 8 laps 1:40:49.789
Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 7 laps 1:36:36.490
Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 7 laps 1:38:07.331
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 7 laps 1:46:21.162
Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 6 laps 1:45:55.845
Eddie Karlsson (Sherco – SWE) 5 laps 1:36:54.766
Ib Anderson (Gas Gas – NOR) 4 laps 1:46:32.079
2019 World Enduro Super Series final standings
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 6110pts
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 4884
Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 4810
Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 4620
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 4450
Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 4165
Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 4136
Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 3560
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 3415
Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 3130
Gunter, Gall, Dack & Marmont all set for Australian SX Round 3
Supercross fans at the Yamaha Round 3 of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship in Wollongong are set to enjoy the ultimate dose of Supercross nostalgia, with a second-to-none line up of supercross and motocross legends on November 9.
The legends featured will be headlined by Illawarra local and Australian dirt bike champions Anthony Gunter (three-time Mr Motocross), Jay Marmont (eight-time Australian Champion) Ryan Marmont (four-time Australian Champion) and accompanied by motocross and supercross royalty Craig Dack, Stephen Gall and one of Australia’s most recent Champions Dean Ferris (three-time Motocross Champion), making it five decades worth of Champions (70, 80, 90, 00, ’10s) .
Often referred to as the golden era, the Mr Motocross titles were the most coveted prize on offer and between the names above have collected 11 of the 16 titles. (Dack four, Gall four, and Gunter three).
“I will be riding my 1979 Mr Motocross bike, I look forward to being on the grid next to so many respected riders, Gally and I had incredible rivalries and to be next to him on Nov 9 in WIN Stadium will be something special. It’s great to see Supercross back in the Illawarra and I hope everyone comes to enjoy the atmosphere.”
The third round of the Australian Supercross Championship promises to be a spectacle both on and off the track and the addition of the Legends Parade is another great way for fans to enjoy a trip down Supercross/Motocross memory lane.
“Anthony and I were at the very start of Supercross in Australia, I retired from racing in 1990 but have been actively involved since. To see the sport continue to evolve is great to see. To be at the gates and look left and right to see riders from my era and more recent will be something special.”
CDR Owner and champion Craig Dack is equally as pumped to line up next to his old foe and put on a show for the fans on November 9.
“To line up alongside some of the guys from my era not to mention some of my former CDR Yamaha team racers over the past 26-years will be such a special occasion. Geelong’s appreciation laps in 2018 was such a great thrill for us riders and the fans and I hope to see thousands of Wollongong’s fans enjoy it just as much.”
Final release tickets have just been made available starting at $30 for Children and $40 for Adults. The Australian Supercross Championship is supported and sanctioned by Motorcycling Australia (MA).
Yamaha Round 3 of the Australian Supercross Championship is proudly supported by Dunlop, MotorEx, Destination Wollongong, Westrac, 100%, Honda, M2R Helmets, Kawasaki, Fly Racing, Suzuki, UniFilter & Australian Motorcycle Festival.
Tommy Searle, long-time member of the Green family, has decided to retire from the FIM Motocross World Championships where he has been a leading player of the series for more than a decade.
Having first ridden round the family garden at the tender age of two Tommy’s natural talent was evident at an early age and he and his parents jumped at the opportunity to join Kawasaki’s prestigious Team Green youth squad when he was old enough to move to the 85cc class.
A five-times UK youth champion the English teenager was enrolled into the official Molson Kawasaki MX2 World Championship team for the 2005 British GP at Matchams Park and responded eight days before his sixteenth birthday with a typically gutsy and enthusiastic ride, twice recovering from falls to score championship points in both motos and send a signal to the world that he would play a significant role in the sport throughout the years to come.
The following year he already finished eighth in his first full GP campaign with his first trip to the podium in Sweden and was runner-up in the world in each of the two following seasons before heading for America for two years.
Returning to Europe in 2011 with Team Monster Energy CLS Kawasaki he immediately revived his World title challenge, adding two more series medals, eight GP victories and twenty-six podiums to his CV over the next two years to close his MX2 career with his third series silver medal and a heart-pounding double-victory in front of his adoring home-country fans at Matterley Basin.
With fourteen career GP wins Tommy is Britain’s most successful GP rider in the MX2 class and ranks third in total victories across all classes to multiple world champions David Thorpe and Jeff Smith. His MXGP career was unfortunately interrupted by injuries but he remained a top-ten runner throughout the subsequent seven years and he played a significant role in consecutive Motocross of Nations podiums for Great Britain in 2017 and 2018.
A Green warrior to the core Tommy assisted the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team with competition development and further top-ten finishes during the closing stages of the 2019 campaign and signed off his Kawasaki career in style with the British national MX1 title. Recently a proud father to Alfie James together with wife Sophia, Tommy’s future racing focus will be the British motocross series.
Kawasaki thanked Searle for his commitment to the Green family throughout the past two decades and wished him all the best for the future in both his professional career and private life.
“After almost fifteen years racing at the top level – twelve full years in the world championship and two in America – my focus next year will just be racing in the UK. As a kid I never knew it was possible to achieve what I’ve done – it seems one minute I was racing schoolboy motocross with the family, the next I was on the GP podium at 16 years old, racing against the best in the world. Now in the blink of an eye I’m retiring from the GPs. I’ve had so many good memories of travelling around the world – I’ve lived the dream and have had the privilege to work with and race a lot of great people along the way. I never managed to win a world championship but I came close a couple of times and overall I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved with fourteen GP wins and podiums in the US as a young gun. I’ll always be grateful to everyone who has supported me along the way. I want to say a massive thanks to the fans who have cheered me on – hopefully I gave you a few good memories over the years too – and of course a huge thank you to Kawasaki Motors Europe and Team Green UK for the past years working together! You have been a massive part of my career; cheers Steve Guttridge and Ross Burridge for the support and good times!”
2019 ISDE & Enduro Vintage Trophy set to kick off in Portimao
In little over a week more than five hundred riders from twenty-six nations will compete in the 2019 FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) to be held in Portimao, Portugal from 11-16 November. This will mark the 94th edition of this huge and historic event, which remains the oldest competition in the FIM calendar.
Defending champions Australia, both in the World Trophy and Women’s World Trophy classes headline an entry packed with professional and amateur riders from as far afield as Canada and Japan, and with a strong showing from European countries such as France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, not forgetting the participants from Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala.
This year’s ISDE will again include the fourth edition of the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy also. First introduced at the ISDE in Spain back in 2016, the competition for enduro bikes from yesteryear has also enjoyed growing support with over one hundred and twenty riders from nine countries included on the 2019 entry list.
With a combined entry just shy of six hundred and fifty riders the 2019 ISDE in Portugal is set to be another important chapter in the rich heritage of this unique event.
From the start of 2020, the World Enduro Super Series will be officially known as the WESS Enduro World Championship, with WESS Promotion GmbH also announcing the championship schedule for 2020. Featuring eight rounds and extending into the United States, the WESS Enduro World Championship is set to grow in stature and popularity in 2020.
Now entering its third season, the WESS Enduro World Championship continues to thrive, strengthening its vision of a series that encompasses all Enduro formats while providing a global platform for both professional and privateer riders to compete together.
For 2020 the championship retains many of its world-renowned favourites from seasons one and two and includes the welcomed return of the popular Red Bull 111 Megawatt event in Poland. Breaking new ground, the championship heads to the United States and the well-established Tennessee Knockout.
Ensuring a varied and challenging start to the new season, established events Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) and Trefle Lozerien AMV (France) will see racing commence in May.
During the month of June, Austria’s iconic Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble will host round three, while Red Bull 111 Megawatt makes a welcome return to the WESS Enduro World Championship for round four.
Romania’s Red Bull Romaniacs will spectacularly kickstart the second half of the season in late July for round five. Then venturing outside of Europe for the first time and cementing itself as a true world championship, the United States’ most-prestigious Hard Enduro – Tennessee Knockout – will be eagerly anticipated on August 15-16.
Switching gears to Cross-Country racing, the fabled Hawkstone Park in Great Britain will mark the penultimate round of the series in September with the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country. Following its well-received addition to the 2019 series, Spain’s Hixpania Hard Enduro takes the honour of hosting an October championship finale in what’s sure to become a thrilling crowning of the Ultimate Enduro World Champion 2020.
2020 WESS Enduro World Championship Schedule
Round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 8-10
Round 2: Trefle Lozerien AMV (France) May 21-23
Round 3: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (Austria) June 10-14
Round 4: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland ) June TBC
Round 5: Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 21-25
Round 6: Tennessee Knockout (USA) August 15-16
Round 7: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (UK) September TBC
Round 8: Hixpania Hard Enduro (Spain) October TBC
2020 Australian Dirt Track & Track Championships announced
Motorcycling Australia has announced the release of the 2020 Australian Dirt Track and Track calendar ahead of the highly anticipated season.
The four 2020 Australian Dirt Track and Track Championships will each be run at a different venues across three states and territories: Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
2020 Australian Dirt Track Championship dates
April 11-12 Australian Junior Dirt Track Championships
Mick Doohan Raceway, QLD
North Brisbane Jnr Motorcycle Club
October 17-18 Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships
Fairburn Park, ACT ACT Motorcycle Club
2020 Australian Track Championship dates
May 16-17 Australian Senior Track Championships
Qurindi, Tamworth, NSW
Tamworth Motorcycle Club
September 26-27 Australian Junior Track Championships
Gunnedah, NSW Gunnedah Motorcycle Club
2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Calendar Update
Following a request from the Kurri Kurri Speedway Club, Motorcycling Australia (MA) have announced the following date change for 2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Championships.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the initial qualifying/round scheduled for the January 2-3 at Kurri Kurri Speedway (NSW) has been changed to January 3-4, 2020.
MA advises that no other changes have been made to the Speedway calendar and thanked rider’s for their patience and understanding regarding this change of date.
2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Speedway Calendar
Round 1, January 3 – Kurri Kurri Speedway, Loxford Park NSW
Round 4, January 9 – Olympic Park, Regina Street, Mildura VIC
Round 5, January 11 – Gillman Speedway, Wilkins Road, Gillman SA
Speedway GP scoring & qualification revamped for 2020
The stakes will be even higher in FIM Speedway Grand Prix finals after the SGP Commission confirmed changes to the scoring and qualification system from 2020. Riders will be awarded championship points according to their finishing position in the SGP meetings, rather than how many points they score in each heat.
The system will see every rider who qualifies for the semi-final guaranteed at least nine championship points, with riders who fall short receiving eight or less on a sliding scale.
The winner of an SGP event will earn 20 championship points, with the runner-up 18, the third-placed rider 16 and the rider in fourth 14 points.
Director of the FIM Track Racing Commission (CCP) Armando Castagna explains the new system will add value to the championships by rewarding riders who reach finals and win rounds more regularly, ensuring an even more thrilling climax to SGP events.
Armando Castagna – FIM Track Racing Commission
“The main thinking for us is to harmonise our championship scoring system with other big sports events so that the winner always comes away with the most points, which will help attract and retain a wider audience for our sport.”
Phil Morris – SGP Race Director
“We want to reward those riders who get into the finals. Riders in the semi-finals will be giving their absolute all to get through as there is the potential to score an extra eight championship points. That’s a big swing and ensures there’s everything to race for when we reach that stage of the night, all building to a huge crescendo.”
Points scored by riders in their five heats will still be used to determine the eight riders who reach the semi-finals. The third-placed riders in the semi-finals will then be ranked ahead of the riders who finish fourth.
Of the two third-placed semi-final riders, the one who finished highest after the heats will be ranked fifth and receive 12 championship points, while the other will be ranked sixth and earn 11 championship points – with the existing countback system used to resolve any ties if riders finished level.
Likewise, the fourth-placed semi-final rider who scores highest in the heats will be ranked seventh, receiving 10 championship points, and the other fourth finisher will finish eighth and earn nine.
Meanwhile those who fall short of the top eight will be ranked according to the points they scored over 20 heats, again with the existing countback system used to decide any ties if riders finish level on points. Their overall finishing position in the meeting will determine how many championship points they are allocated on a sliding scale, with the rider ranked ninth scoring eight championship points and the rider in 16th spot earning one.
In another change for 2020, only the top six riders in the SGP World Championship will be guaranteed a place in the following season’s series – down from the eight automatic qualification places allocated this year.
The top three from the GP Challenge will still qualify for the following season, while the winner of the Speedway European Championship series will also be guaranteed a spot in the SGP World Championship.
The line-up will be completed by five permanent wild cards, which will be selected by the SGP Commission.
FIM Speedway GP Qualification places
Top six in SGP World Championship standings
Top three at the GP Challenge
Winner of the Speedway European Championship
Five permanent wild cards selected by the SGP Commission
The FIM Speedway Grand Prix series heads for Russia next year as Togliatti joins nine returning venues on the 2020 SGP World Championship calendar.
Following the city’s successful Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals last July, the sport’s individual World Championship heads to the Anatoly Stepanov Stadium – one of the world’s finest purpose-built track-racing venues – on August 29, 2020.
Russian stars Emil Sayfutdinov, Artem Laguta and Gleb Chugunov retained the country’s world team title on home shale last summer and now riders will go for individual glory in one of the biggest speedway meetings ever staged in Russia.
The SGP 2020 series launches with the PZM Warsaw SGP of Poland on May 16 at PGE Narodowy, with tickets already selling rapidly for Poland’s biggest speedway event.
That prestigious night of racing is followed by an historic German SGP in Teterow on May 30 as the Bergring Arena celebrates its 100th event and 90 years of racing at the venue with a must-see SGP and longtrack double-header weekend.
The action switches to Prague on June 13 as the Czech SGP returns to Marketa Stadium for a 24th straight year – extending the picturesque capital city’s record as the longest-serving SGP host.
After a month’s break the World Championship then resumes with a breathless few weeks, starting with one of the sport’s flagship events – the Adrian Flux British SGP at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on July 18. With the SGP series celebrating its 20th season of racing in the Welsh capital, fans can expect this year’s event to be bigger and better than ever.
Attention switches to Hallstavik just a week later as the Credentia Arena hosts the Swedish SGP on July 25.
The summers hots up in Poland when the Betard Wroclaw SGP of Poland returns to the storied Olympic Stadium on August 1 – a year on from staging what many have claimed was one of the all-time great SGP meetings, which saw Bartosz Zmarzlik top the podium on his way to the world title.
Another of the sport’s finest race tracks follows on August 15 as the Scandinavian SGP heads to Malilla.
Two weeks after the first-ever Russian SGP on August 29, Vojens Speedway Center plays host to the Danish SGP sponsored by ECCO on September 12 – the penultimate round of the season.
The action concludes with the Revline Torun SGP at the iconic Marian Rose Motoarena on October 3 as fans flock from all over the world to see the 2020 world champion crowned.
The calendar for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations will be announced in due course.
2020 FIM Speedway GP Calendar
May 16 – PZM Warsaw SGP of Poland – Warsaw
May 30 – German SGP – Teterow
June 13 – Czech SGP – Prague
July 18 – Adrian Flux British SGP – Cardiff
July 25 – Swedish SGP – Hallstavik
August 1 – Betard Wroclaw SGP of Poland – Wroclaw
August 15 – Scandinavian SGP – Malilla, Sweden
August 29 – Russian SGP – Togliatti
September 12 – Danish SGP sponsored by ECCO – Vojens
October 3 – Revline Torun SGP of Poland – Torun
2020 Championship Calendars
2020 AMA Motocross race schedule
May 17 – Hangtown Motocross Classic – Rancho Cordova, CA
May 24 – Fox Raceway National – Pala, CA
May 31 – Thunder Valley National – Lakewood, CO
June 7 – Florida National – Jacksonville, FL
June 21 – High Point National – Mt. Morris, PA
June 28 – Southwick National – Southwick, MA
July 5 – RedBud National – Buchanan, MI
July 19 – Spring Creek National – Millville, MN
July 26 – Washougal National – Washougal, WA
August 16 – Unadilla National – New Berlin, NY
August 23 – Budds Creek National – Mechanicsville, MD
August 30 – Ironman National – Crawfordsville, IN
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Calendar
Jan. 4 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
Jan. 11 – The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Jan. 18 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
Jan. 25 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Feb. 1 – Ringcentral Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
Feb. 8 – Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
Feb. 15 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
Feb. 22 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Feb. 29 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
March 7 – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Fla.
March 14 – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis, Ind.
March 21 – Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
March 28 – Centurylink Field, Seattle, Wash.
April 4 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, Co.
April 18 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
April 25 – Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
May 2 – Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
2020 MXGP Calendar
March 1 – Great Britain, Matterley Basin (EMX125, WMX)
March 8 – The Netherlands, Valkenswaard – (EMX250, WMX)
March 22 – Patagonia, Argentina, Neuquen
April 5 – Trentino I, Pietramurata – (EMX250, EMX 2t)
April 19 – Spain, (TBA) – (EMX125, WMX)
April 26 – Portugal, Agueda – (EMX125, EMX250)
May 10 – France, Saint Jean d’Angely – (EMX125, EMX Open)
May 17 – Italy, Maggiora – (EMX Open, WMX)
May 24 – Germany, Teutschenthal – (EMX250, EMX Open)
“It was an incredible race. We prepared for the race really well all weekend. I felt I had a big potential after the first lap. I took the lead after the first two splits and I kept pushing, pushing, and pushing. Honestly, I’m so happy. We did a good job. What a shame in Australia, because that was a race where I felt I had a lot of potential too, but being in first place here is amazing. I would like to dedicate this race to Munandar, the kid that passed away yesterday. He was my favourite in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. I offer my condolences to all the family.”
Marc Marquez – P2
“It was an incredible race, a great first lap. Maybe the best of my career, alongside Mugello 2015 – I watched this lap last night to see what I did! It was a very nice first lap but unfortunately the tyre dropped a lot in those first three laps and I lost a little time with Miller. Viñales was faster than us today and the target was the podium. I tried to do like in Phillip Island and stay right behind him but the gap was too big at 1.1 seconds and I made a mistake and dropped back. I’m happy with my race, but you can’t imagine how happy I am for my brother’s victory – he deserves it so much. It’s an incredible day but we also have to remember Munandar, a young and talented rider who we unfortunately lost. A big hug to his family and friends.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P3
“I’m very pleased because it was the fastest race we’ve ever done at Sepang in the dry, and so we have to be satisfied with this result. We knew that with a good start we could have aimed for a good result, but unfortunately in the race I didn’t have the same feeling as I had in practice: the tyres dropped a lot and I couldn’t stay with Viñales and Marquez. Pity because I was hoping I could, but in any case I’m happy with this podium, which is very important for me”.
Valentino Rossi – P4
“I had a good start, but then on the first straight some riders overtook me. After that I was very competitive. I managed to set the fastest race lap, a new track record, and made several overtakes, until I got close to Dovizioso. Together with Dovizioso we had a good fight. It was very nice. I was a little better in the twisty parts of the track, but Dovizioso was faster on the straights. I hoped that I could be quicker on the last laps, but I couldn’t. We are faster in the turns, but it is also true that we stress the tyres more when we are cornering. So, at the end I wasn’t as fast as I was at the beginning, but I’m happy because the degradation was less than usual. At the end I’m satisfied, because during this weekend I rode well, and I learned a few things. We are making improvements, trying to use all the potential of the M1. At the end I managed to keep off Rins, but I’m very sorry because I didn’t make the podium, then I would have been even happier. Now we will do our best in Valencia.”
Alex Rins – P5
“It was a really difficult race because it was so hot and humid, but I tried to give my maximum. I felt a lack of traction at the beginning of the race, but it got better after a while and I was eventually able to catch Valentino and Dovi. In the end it wasn’t possible to over-take them, but I’m still pleased to bring home 5th. I’m really looking forward to going to Valencia, I hope we can enjoy the race there.”
Franco Morbidelli – P6
“We can’t complain, because it was a good weekend all round even if we were expecting a little more from the race. I didn’t quite have the right feeling when we got going though, which is something we need to investigate – but even with that, we were able to bring the bike to the end in sixth place and as the top Independent Team rider. I was losing something in acceleration to the other guys, and then having to ride harder in braking to make up the difference. We’ve got one race left in Valencia to try and get that podium finish at long last.”
Fabio Quartararo – P7
“It was a really tough race, and I struggled a lot. My first lap was a disaster, and I couldn’t stop the bike – which is an issue we haven’t had all weekend. We couldn’t make the result we wanted despite having the pace to fight for much better, and we have to figure out why that was the case. We’ve got one more race to go this year and we need to focus on that so that we can go out well at Valencia, especially as we’re going there much more experienced than we were twelve months ago when we tested there.”
Jack Miller – P8
“The start was very good and I tried to take my rhythm trying to control the race pace. From lap three, however, the feeling with the front tyre dropped a lot and I couldn’t push anymore. It’s a shame because I felt like I had the pace to fight for the podium. The contact with Rins? It was a very strange race, I suffered a lot of attacks maybe over the limit. But these are races.”
Danilo Petrucci – P9
“It was another very difficult race: I was making a comeback towards the end but in the last five laps I felt a very strong vibration at the rear and I couldn’t continue pushing hard. In the race I struggled a lot because my back is still hurting after last Sunday’s crash in Australia, and I couldn’t do any more. It’s a pity about the problem I had at the end of the race, but in any case I tried to bring home the best result.”
Joan Mir – P10
“This was the hardest race of my life, physically I suffered a lot and I found I couldn’t breathe very well. This stems from the lung injury I sustained in Brno, in these humid conditions I find it very hard and it shows I’m not quite fully recovered. This affected my race, but in the end I could get another Top 10 and it’s all good experience for me. It will be nice to go home now and prepare for the final race in Spain.”
Pol Espargaro – P11
“It was not like a European race where we are fighting for a top ten, normally, but to come from where we did on Friday means I am pleased. There was a lot of set-up [work] and thinking going on during the nights and the team have done a very good job. It is amazing to turnaround the weekend like we did. We were improving much more than the others. Now to the final race and then Valencia will be a fun test and Jerez as well: the new engine is coming, the new chassis is coming, the whole package. It looks very promising.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P12
“It was a very difficult race. We started with great expectations but it was not possible to do what we hoped to do. From the first lap I had no rear grip and I couldn’t take advantage of the acceleration. In my best race lap I did the same time set in FP1. So we have to check the data to find a solution and finish the season in Valencia in the best possible way.”
Aleix Espargaro – P13
“I cannot be pleased with this race, especially because I had a decidedly better pace than my finishing position reflects. Unfortunately, our limitations in acceleration make it very difficult to overtake. I lost time today behind Bagnaia and in the battle with Pol. In the end, I limited the damage, even in terms of gap. Now we’ll prepare our best for Valencia and next season.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P14
“At the start of the race it was very difficult with the other riders around, the turbulence disturbed my pace a lot. But there are some positives because I was able to be within seven tenths of my best lap time for the whole race. Obviously, we are still not fast enough but we are getting closer and closer to the goal of being 30 seconds from the winner after my crash in Assen. The two points we earned are important to help the team fight for the Team Championship in Valencia, this is the main objective now.”
Mika Kallio – P15
“If we think about the feeling on Friday then it was already a bit better yesterday but we were still suffering quite a lot. For me it was a case of not being able to get the best out of the tyres. I started the race quite well and managed to gain a few positions and reached the group where Pol was riding but saw I didn’t have much of a chance to stay there. I lost a lot of time on the fast sections and corners. I just couldn’t follow them and it’s a shame. Now to Valencia and it is always nice to finish the season – hopefully – in a good way.”
Hafizh Syahrin – P16
“The race itself was very hard and, for sure, very emotional for me, as – for the moment – it was my last home Grand Prix in the MotoGP class but I will return with the Moto2. I hope all the fans enjoyed the race here, I couldn’t do more. I appreciate all the support a lot and I want to say a huge thank you to my team, who were there for me from my first moment on, worked hard and never got tired to help me. I really enjoyed this moment and I hope I can come back strong next year.”
Karel Abraham – P17
“It is a shame because I believe we could have fight for the points, we had the pace, a good set-up and we were ready. The start was not bad at all but next to me was Mika Kallio, he pushed me a little bit and I went last. The biggest problem was when I tried to overtake the riders and in the last corner Jorge Lorenzo pushed me to the right over the kerbs, I could not stop the bike and I had to go to the gravel and almost stop the bike so I lost a lot of time there. It was a nightmare race because I was racing against myself lap by lap trying to arrive to the riders in front but I just could not make it.”
Johann Zarco – DNF
“I must be happy about the race. I had good pace and I was back fighting with good guys. I still need to make another step to understand the bike better and ride this Honda better, but I feel there’s good potential that I can go faster and be with the top guys. Today has been a good race, it’s always difficult in Malaysia with the warmth, but I was giving my best and controlling things quite well. I had a good fight with Jack Miller for eighth position, I was a bit faster than him and tried to overtake him many times, but he was fighting hard. Then I tried to overtake him again three laps from the end and Joan Mir on the Suzuki tried an extreme overtake and totally pushed me away and I could not control the bike. It’s a shame, but what I keep in mind is that I was back in a good feeling and in a better position, so I need to keep pushing and learning and hopefully we’ll get a good result in Valencia.”
Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“Today was a difficult race, we’re very disappointed with the result of crashing out of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Today I got a really bad start and on the first lap found myself really far back in the field already. I tried to make progress and I was in a group that eventually finished around eighth place, but I had a bad feeling with the tyres today and didn’t feel good grip from the track or with our bike setting. Over the weekend I felt we’d made progress and could have had a good result today, but after the bad start I struggled to have the pace of going with the front guys. With the crash, I made a small mistake in the braking as I was trying everything to find the grip with the front tyre and unfortunately I locked the front. But we’d had a good last few races and now we look forward to the season finale in Valencia.”
Andrea Iannone – DNF
“It was a strange race. I didn’t have a bad pace, but I was slow in speed, staying in the slipstream for a long time and things did not improve. The temperatures began to rise, including the front tyre temperature, and I struggled until the crash. We have work to do, but I have peace of mind. I’ll be ready when we are able to make an important step forward.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“What a superb win! Maverick has been strong all weekend, and his confidence was really high, but he had quite the task ahead of him. Breaking away from the rider field early on was his strategy from the start, but it‘s never easy. He executed it perfectly though. His riding was outstanding during the whole race, and to take the win by such a distance is incredibly rewarding. It‘s well-deserved for both him and the team. They have been working non-stop these last few weeks. This victory tastes even sweeter after he came so close last weekend, and it moves him up to third in the championship standings, which is a nice extra benefit. The only thing that could have made this day even better was if Vale would have been able to get a place on the podium too. He came so close to third place but just missed out because of the lack of top speed. Anyway, he rode a very solid race and definitely didn‘t stop trying. It was good to see him keep up his pace without too much trouble with tyre degradation, even if fourth place was the maximum result for him today. This weekend has been a great moral boost, because both riders were competitive. We now get to rest a bit before we go to Spain for the final round of the season in Valencia in two weeks‘ time, where we hope to put on a good show again!”
Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal
“It has been an incredible first Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix for Petronas Sepang Racing Team as a squad represented across all three classes. The support at Sepang International Circuit was phenomenal and we thank everyone who came to cheer us on. On track, we had mixed results today. In Moto3, John McPhee was hampered after a racing incident so wasn’t able to fight for the podium. Ayumu Sasaki showed good pace but unfortunately finished the weekend with a broken hand. Adam Norrodin was also doing quite well in the Moto2 race until he crashed too. In the MotoGP race, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo weren’t able to capitalise on their first and third positions on the grid – but we were able to take the best Independent Team award, to extend Fabio’s lead in the Independent Riders’ award, and to stay ahead of Suzuki in fourth in the overall team championship so there’s plenty of reason for good home cheer! We’re already looking forward to finishing the final round of the championship strongly in Valencia.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas SRT Team Principal
“In many ways, it was a fantastic weekend as we were very fast with both Franco and Fabio on Friday and Saturday, and then we secured the Independent Team trophy on Sunday. This was one of our targets for the season so it is a real accomplishment for us to achieve this. Of course, we aren’t completely happy with the race results; if you’re on the front row of the grid then for sure you don’t expect to be sixth and seventh, but we head to Valencia with more experience and we hope to be fighting right at the front once more.”
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager
“Compared to the last two or three races, today has been quite good. Last year we were able to get 2nd place, so we came into this race with high expectations. In the end it didn’t quite work out as we’d hoped. Alex fought well to 5th place, and Joan was also doing very well before the penalty. Both riders had strong pace today, but the results don’t quite reflect that. We’re ready to go to the final race and end the season in good form.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“Today has been quite good. Alex did well and despite the damage to the fairing, and he got very close to the podium. We’re pleased with this 5th place. Joan didn’t feel very good physically, and he couldn’t quite show all his potential. He received a long lap penalty for something with we think was a racing incident. We have cleared the air with Johann Zarco, who actually came to apologise to us. But anyway, the decision went like that and we have to respect it. Overall, the weekend has been tough due to conditions, but we’ve had a solid race day.”
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager
“We started the weekend in a tough way and with problems to find grip with the rear tyre. So we had to work hard to find the right setting, which we did session-by-session but we were not ready in time for qualifying and for a good grid position. From P15 we knew it would be hard for Pol to fight for a single digit result but we saw in morning warm-up when he was 9th that we’d made a step and that gave him confidence. Mika helped us a lot because he tried some ideas we had to make the bike better. In the end it was a hard race for everybody but mid-distance we had times similar to the group pushing for sixth-seventh but we were not part of that front group ‘train’. It was tricky to stay on two wheels and it is always hard to find the limit on this track. We have to thank Mika for his work and in the end he got a point and it was a shame that Hafizh just missed out. We are happy with the outcome even if we didn’t meet our usual target. We missed Miguel from FP1 onwards, which didn’t help us going forward with the bike. We wish him all the best because it looks like he will miss Valencia. We hope he will be back strong as soon as possible.”
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 Team Manager
“It was an emotional race for the entire Red Bull KTM Tech3 team and at the same time the last race for Hafizh Syahrin in MotoGP here in Malaysia for now. We know how much he was willing to race in front of his home crowd and we saw how much the crowd was supporting him and cheering for him, so I’m glad he could have an ok race. I think the last lap of celebrations was full of emotions. We are happy to have given that feeling to the crowd, to have given that possibility to Hafizh. He has done a steady race, but more than the race, I would like to thank him for what he did with us for these past two years. Still we got one race to go in Valencia, but that one was very special for him and for us. It’s been a good moment and I’d like to thank him for what he did and for being such a nice guy as well as such a great ambassador for MotoGP in his home country Malaysia. Regarding Miguel, as most of you have been informed, he is having an operation today in Europe on his right shoulder injured in Silverstone, following a crash. We are just hoping that everything is going to be fine. That was by far the best solution and we know he will be fully recovered within maximum two months, so he will miss Valencia, but he will be absolutely fit for the first tests in Sepang, which was the main point. I’d like to thank him a lot, because since Silverstone he’s riding in a lot of pain, he never gave up. He didn’t want to talk too much about it, but I know he was in a lot of pain, which is always a handicap and Miguel is a true gentleman, a real fast MotoGP rider. His rookie season was not easy, but he showed speed and a huge commitment, so we just can’t wait to see him back on the bike with full fitness.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin
“This has been an ideal weekend to finish off a busy time with the fly-away races. We saw our tyres produce some excellent performances as we set the fastest outright lap, new pole and race lap records and a new race duration best. This is another indication of the performance the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres are giving the riders and with three different manufacturers, using three different configurations on the podium, it is another positive aspect and indication of what we are constantly trying to achieve. We have had four races in five weekends and have had to take on many different conditions, but we are pleased with the tour as a whole, because we have seen good, close, competitive racing, with the tyres giving consistent and fast performances at all the racetracks. Sometimes the weather was against us, but even in the most difficult of conditions the riders were able to use our tyres to give them the confidence they needed. We now head back to France, before we go to Spain for the final race of the year and then begin the preparation for 2020.”
After an incident at Turn 10 on Lap 1 of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race on Saturday, Indonesian rider Afridza Munandar sadly passed away, with Race 1 Red Flagged immediately and subsequently cancelled.
Following the incident, Talent Promotion Director Alberto Puig gathered the IATC riders to ask how they would like to proceed – cancel further track action for the weekend or have Race 2 take place.
Every rider voted to race on Sunday, with Race 2 therefore going ahead, and held in memory of Afridza Munandar, with a minute of silence observed in remembrance of Munandar on the grid. The decision was also made to honour him by retiring his number, 4, from the ATC.
Syarifuddin Azman won the final race of the season in Race 2 of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup at Sepang International Circuit, putting the Malaysian flag the top step of the podium on home turf.
The man he beat to it was Sho Nishimura, who took second place after a race-long duel and secured himself the title of 2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion as key rival Takuma Matsuyama crashed out early.
Third place saw Indonesian Adenanta Putra emerge from a huge battle to take an emotional podium as the riders went racing in memory of Afridza Munandar.
Off the line it was Nishumira who got the best initial start, but Azman was the latest on the brakes as the Malaysian sliced through to take the holeshot. That left Nishimura in second and Matsuyama shuffled down to third, but the first drama hit before the end of the lap.
Locked on to the back of Nishimura, Matsuyama looked like a man on a mission before it suddenly all went wrong, the number 11 overcooking it and sliding out of third – as well as likely ending his chances at lifting the Cup.
Nishimura and Azman disappeared into the distance in an impressive duel, the Malaysian more than able to keep the pace of one of the eventual Cup winner. More than that, he was also able to attack and held the lead heading onto the final lap – before Nishimura struck back at Turn 1.
It didn’t last long. A few corners later the Malaysian swept back around into the lead, and that left Nishimura with the work to do. As Azman stretched his legs even further in the lead, the number 3 machine in second instead started looking behind him.
And for Azman, that was enough to reward his impressive ride with a first win of the year. Nishimura’s second, meanwhile, was enough to reward him the title of 2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion.
The mammoth fight for third was won by Putra as he fended off fellow Indonesian Herjun Firdaus, with Australian Jacob Roulstone impressing in fifth. A number of riders fell out that fight after some drama at the final corner though, with Tatchakorn Buasri, Shoki Igarashi, Harrison Voight and Kanta Hamada all failing to finish.
Sixth went the way of Piyawat Patoomyos as he got the better of Hildhan Kusuma, with Warit Thongnoppakun taking eighth and the last of that big fight for the podium to finish. Luke Power and Kadir Erbay duelled it out to complete the top ten in that order.
Nishumura takes the crown and Matsuyama is the runner up after a close season of competition in the IATC, with the two Japanese riders having had a big share of the wins between them.
We complete the year thinking of and racing for the late Afridza Munandar, who was confirmed as classified third overall after an emotional season finale. His award was collected by mechanic Daniel Parrado in his memory.
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) put in a formidable performance at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix to destroy the opposition, picking up his second win of the 2019 season in emphatic style. The Spaniard raced clear of a recovering second-place Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) fending off Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) for P3.
MotoGP Race Report
It was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who somehow shot up for the holeshot from the second row, the Aussie bravely heading round the outside to take the lead from front row starter Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as his teammate – and polesitter – Fabio Quartararo lost out. Marquez and Dovizioso, meanwhile, had made lightning starts to move through from P11 and P10 respectively, already well up in the fight at the front. At the very front though, Viñales was already stalking his prey.
It didn’t take long for the number 12 to strike, snatching the lead from Miller at Turn 11 as Marquez passed Morbidelli for P4. A frantic first lap wasn’t over yet though, as Dovizioso then battled Miller for P2 at Turn 14 and Turn 15 and both headed wide – allowing Marquez to pounce.
He sat Miller up, but the Australian shot back past heading into Turn 1. That was only good news for Viñales, with the Spaniard already six tenths clear at the front.
Like Australia, Marquez said, he knew he had to try and get in behind the Yamaha to stay with him and it didn’t take too long for him to finally dispatch Miller. Reeling Viñales in, however, looked like a serious mountain to climb this time around, with the gap well over a second. A tenth here and a tenth there got chipped away, but the number 12 machine in the lead had a healthy gap – and wasn’t for slowing down.
It seemed, then, that the fight behind Marquez was going to remain the fight for third. Dovizioso grabbed it from Miller on Lap 4 and Rossi was threatening too, with ‘The Doctor’ finally dispatching Miller not too long after – and the Australian suffering an almighty moment as he hung on to his Ducati.
Shortly after that, things got even more heated between Miller and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) at the final corner as Rins went for the inside and the two made contact. A front bit of fairing flew off the Suzuki and both stayed up, but they were forced to watch the fight for third between Dovizioso and Rossi start to peel off into the distance.
Even further into that distance, the timing screens signalled Viñales had broken his rivals. A second and a half became nearly three as a mistake became the only hurdle between him and the win, with Marquez equally safe in second. And a mistake never came from either, with Viñales pitch perfect to take his – and Yamaha’s – second win of the season and bounce back from Australia in incredible style. Marquez took second and gained an impressive nine places on the way after his Q2 crash.
The fight for third, try as he might, would not go the way of Rossi. Rins had closed in to make matters even closer, and every advance ‘The Doctor’ made on the Ducati was repelled as the Suzuki also started to threaten. Dovizioso, as ever, was a demon on the brakes and the nine-time World Champion just couldn’t make a move stick, although a few lunges at it made for a great battle between the two Italians. ‘DesmoDovi’ took it by a few tenths over the line, with Rossi forced to settle for fourth and Rins completing the top five.
Miller, meanwhile, slipped back into the clutches of the Petronas Yamaha SRT duo and Johann Zarco (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Morbidelli came out on top in that fight for sixth and he was top Independent Team rider in the race on the team’s home turf, and that combined with Quartararo’s tougher day at the office in seventh nevertheless means Petronas Yamaha SRT are Independent Team Champions too. Miller took P8, and Zarco, sadly, didn’t finish.
The Frenchman showed a big step forward in his second race weekend on a Honda, but it ended early after a pass from Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) went awry, crashing Zarco out of the top ten. Mir would get a Long Lap Penalty for the incident, and that dropped him back below Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), who took ninth.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) battled through to take P11, ahead of a close duel between Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) that went in favour of the Italian. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) beat Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) to 14th as the two completed the points.
And so we leave Sepang and the flyaways with a new man on top after a run of dominant performances from Marquez. Viñales couldn’t be stopped in Malaysia, will the same be said at Valencia? Find out in two weeks as the paddock flies back to Europe for the season finale and we decide the team Champions and the top Independent Team rider of the year…
“Honestly I have to say this is one of the times in life I’ve been the happiest. After the Australia crash I felt I won the race, because I attacked in my head…but then actually crashed. It was a bit of a disaster but we arrived here with everything clear, the bike was on a great level all weekend from FP1 since the first laps so we pushed, pushed and pushed and made a gap, which was important. I then tried to control the race which wasn’t easy; especially mentally it was very tough, but I have to congratulate the team because all weekend they did an awesome job.”
After making his mark in the intermediate class, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) has made history in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, taking second place to crown himself 2019 Moto2 World Champion and become the first ever rider to take both the Moto2 and Moto3 crowns. The number 73 has taken five wins, 10 podiums and six poles in 2019 to reach this milestone.
“I’m so, so happy and so thankful to the team. They did an amazing job and gave me the confidence throughout the season and especially this weekend. We came here after some hard races where I was struggling a lot. Today was a really tough race but we managed it in the best way. From lap one the front tyre was difficult to control. The grip was low but I managed the pressure from Luthi behind in the best way. He was pushing quite a lot. But we did a great race. I feel like I’m living a dream and I just want to enjoy this moment with the team.”
The year began with a more muted race in Qatar but a first podium came in Argentina to kick off Marquez’ real challenge. Top gear would be hit a little later in the year but not without a couple of hurdles – the first of which was getting crashed out of the race in Jerez after a front row start. 0 scored on his first visit to home turf, the time was nigh to fight back – and so began a stunning run of victories.
At Le Mans, Mugello and Catalunya, Marquez ruled for his first ever three-in-a-row, and he looked able to make it four at Assen before getting crashed out there. Undeterred, the number 73 took up right where he left off in Germany and Czechia, taking another two victories.
Three more podiums in the next four races and only one self-made mistake at Silverstone saw Marquez remain the man in charge, with an advantage that made the flyaways pivotal. A fifth and sixth at Buriram and Motegi were enough to give him a first match point at Phillip Island, but it was a longer shot and after a P8 in the race, the battle rolled on to Malaysia…
From pole, Marquez put together an impressive race, duelling for the lead with key rival Brad Binder and holding off his closest challenger Tom Lüthi under immense pressure. Taking second place and yet another podium, his tenth visit to the rostrum was enough to secure him the crown.
The road to Moto2 victory
Marquez debuted on the world stage in 2012, the same season he would go on to win the FIM CEV Spanish national title. He made three Grand Prix wildcard appearances with Estrella Galicia 0,0, impressing early on as he took sixth place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after fighting at the front. At Indianapolis, Marquez also took over from Simone Grotzkyj at Ambrogio Next Racing, with whom he’d make eight appearances and take another top ten before the year was out.
For 2013, Marquez moved up to Moto3 full time with Estrella Galicia 0,0 and a first podium wasn’t too long in coming as the Spaniard got on the box at Indianapolis. Before the season was out, Marquez would also become a Grand Prix winner, coming out on top at a track that would go on to see him take a few more successes: the Twin Ring Motegi. 2014, then, seemed like game on for a shot at the crown.
Now on Honda machinery but with the same team, the season became a duel between Marquez and Jack Miller that went right down to the wire and a crucial decider in Valencia. Marquez took the crown, with three wins and seven further podiums enough to wrap it up on home turf and take his first title.
From there, the intermediate class beckoned with EG 0,0 Marc VDS. It was a tougher rookie season, but Marquez took regular top tens and took a best finish of fourth twice in a row. The following year began almost tougher than the first, but Marquez pulled it together mid-season and took his first intermediate class podium on home turf at Aragon. The next step was clear: a win.
That came in 2017 as Marquez took a step forward to become a regular frontrunner, taking top fives and podiums more often than not. He also took his first wins in Moto2 – the very first proving a demolition job at Jerez from his first pole in the class. Two more victories rounded out the year – Barcelona-Catalunya and Motegi – and Marquez was fourth overall despite a mid-season injury that saw him sit out Misano.
In 2018, Marquez was expected to challenge for the title but the season was an unexpectedly tougher one. The number 73 didn’t take a win, although he did take another six podiums and remain a threat at the front. Would 2019 be any different? Most definitely.
Alex Marquez stats
Marquez has stood on the podium 10 times this season so far and 23 times in the Moto2 class, equalling Pol Espargaro, who is in fifth place on the list of riders with most podium finishes in the class, two less than Marc Marquez.
With his brother Marc Marquez having taken the Moto2 title back in 2012, this is the first time two brothers have both clinched the title in the intermediate category.
In addition, with Marc also taking the 125cc title in 2010 and Alex the Moto3 title in 2014, this is the first time that two brothers have won the Championship in two of the same classes of Grand Prix racing.
Marquez is the fifth Spanish rider to win the Moto2 title along with Toni Elias, his brother Marc, Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat.
Marquez is the eighth different Spanish rider to clinch the title in the intermediate category. Marquez’ title is also 11th in the class for Spanish riders and the 52nd in Grand Prix racing.
With eight wins in Moto2, Marquez is tied in sixth place on the list of riders with the most wins in the class with Andrea Iannone, Franco Morbidelli and Francesco Bagnaia.
Marquez sits in fourth place on the list of Spanish riders with the most wins in the class, behind his brother Marc (16), Tito Rabat (13) and Pol Espargaro (10).
With 23 podiums, Marquez is now tied in third place with Pol Espargaro on the list of Spanish riders with most podium finishes in the Moto2™ class.
With his pole position in Malaysia – his sixth of the season so far and 12th overall in Moto2 – he now sits in fifth place on the list of riders with most pole positions in the class.