Moto News Weekly for August 20, 2019
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What happened this week
- Briar Bauman wins 2019 Peoria TT
- Dallas Daniels takes maiden AFT Singles win
- Tomac & McElrath top Budds Creek National 2019
- Tim Gajser clinches 2019 MXGP Championship title
- Glenn Coldenhoff sweeps MXGP of Italy
- Courtney Duncan takes double WMX win in Italy
- Fredrik Lindgren tops Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand
- Courtney Duncan extends Kawasaki and Bike It DRT contract into 2020
- Arminas Jasikonis extends Husqvarna contract
- 2020 Yamaha Factory MXGP effort announced
Briar Bauman wins 2019 Peoria TT
Briar Bauman took another big step toward claiming the 2019 AFT Twins championship by winning Saturday’s 73rd Peoria TT in Peoria, Ill. The victory was Bauman’s fourth triumph of the ‘19 American Flat Track season.
It also just so happened to be the first time any rider other than “the King of Peoria,” Henry Wiles had stood atop the premier-class podium here going all the way back to 2003.
Wiles, who had assembled a truly remarkable 14-race Peoria TT win streak coming into this year’s event, was forced to watch from the fences after undergoing surgery for an injury suffered less than two weeks ago at the Black Hills Half-Mile.
With Wiles out of the running, the race quickly took shape as a battle of brothers. Briar and younger brother Bronson Bauman appeared to be on a collision course in Turn 1 of the opening lap around the Peoria Motorcycle Club’s 5/8-mile TT track.
While they both made it through cleanly, that feeling of an imminent collision wouldn’t go away for the next 10 or so laps. The two went back and forth up front, ripping the lead away from one another multiple times before Briar finally muscled his way back into first in Turn 4 on lap nine.
Bronson again looked to counter, but Briar strung together a few perfect corners to stretch open a small gap. He’d go on to build that advantage up to just over a second before first encountering lapped traffic on lap 13 of 25.
That padding allowed him to be aggressive as he cut his way forward, eventually lapping all the way up to eighth position and backing down to a 2.967-second margin of victory at the checkered flag.
“I was trying to just be as smooth as possible and not hit any of these holes and get too out of shape. It’s a bittersweet win… What could have happened between Henry and I? He owns this place, and I give a lot of respect to him. You don’t do something like that without being the greatest guy to ever race here. Hopefully next year we’re both healthy, and we can give the crowd a show.”
Bronson Bauman cruised to second, taking the position with nearly five seconds in hand on third place. It was a different story for the final spot on the box, however. A titanic final lap showdown ultimately saw JD Beach storm past both Robert Pearson and defending champion Jared Mees in a desperate lunge to the stripe.
Beach had spent nearly the entire race looking for a way around Mees for third before Pearson closed in and displaced him to fifth with a lap-and-a-half remaining. Illinois-native Pearson also attempted to get the better of Mees in a final corner attempt at a home-state podium, but Beach was perfectly positioned to take advantage of their clash.
Beach finished 0.049 seconds ahead of Pearson, who in turn bettered Mees by 0.034 seconds. It was a costly double demotion for Mees, who ran in third from the Main Event’s start until the final meters. As a result, he now trails Bauman by 38 points (243-205) with just five races in which to make up the deficit.
AFT Twins – 2019 Peoria TT Result
|1||Briar Bauman||Indian FTR750||0.000|
|2||Bronson Bauman||Indian FTR750||2.967|
|3||JD Beach||Yamaha MT-07||7.670|
|4||Robert Pearson||Indian FTR750||7.720|
|5||Jared Mees||Indian FTR750||7.754|
|6||Jarod Vanderkooi||HD XG750R Rev X||8.678|
|7||Jake Johnson||Yamaha MT-07||11.07|
|8||Jeffrey Carver Jr.||Indian FTR750||17.878|
|9||Sammy Halbert||HD XG750R Rev X||+1 lap|
|10||Kolby Carlile||Yamaha MT-07||+1 lap|
AFT Twins Standings
|4||Jeffrey Carver Jr.||155|
Dallas Daniels takes maiden AFT Singles win
16-year-old phenomenon Dallas Daniels earned his maiden American Flat Track victory, obliterating a AFT Singles field stacked with TT superstars in Saturday’s 15-lap Main Event.
Daniels got away in fifth but wasted no time in slashing his way through the decorated pack. He drove up the inside of three-time Peoria TT winner Jesse Janisch for third on lap 2, providing an early demonstration of just how serious the youngster’s challenge would be on this day.
Pre-race favorite Janisch responded the next time around, but Daniels immediately criss-crossed him and also overhauled offroad legend Ryan Sipes in one epic maneuver to take control of second. Daniels then proceeded to run down reigning class champion Dan Bromley and dive up the inside of him the next time into Turn 4 to take the lead on lap 4.
Daniels raced off into the distance from that point forward, ultimately sealing his first-career AFT win in the same season he also claimed his first-career MotoAmerica victory.
“The track was pretty treacherous and slick today, so it was really tough. I was just trying to find certain lines, and I think I found a few before the rest of the guys did. My bike was just working so good — it was perfect. I love my team and everything they’ve done for me, and also all the people who have helped get me to this point even before this year. I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life, and to do it so soon… We’re just going to keep going.”
Bromley held on for a solid second, which, when factored in with the sixth-place finish of Dalton Gauthier, sees the two riders sit equal atop the points chase (216-216) with just four races remaining to decide the 2019 AFT Singles crown.
Janisch was heading in the wrong direction midway through the Main, being passed by both James Rispoli and Jacob Lehmann. Despite sitting fifth with just a couple short laps remaining, Janisch dug deep. He fought his way back past ‘14 Peoria TT winner Lehmann, and then snuck past Rispoli – who was nursing a flat tire the last two laps – by a scant 0.003 seconds at the checkered to steal away the final spot on the podium.
Rispoli was forced to accept fourth, followed by Lehmann in fifth and Gauthier in sixth. Buffalo Chip TT winner Sipes finished a further spot back in seventh.
Aussie Max Whale came home in ninth, and currently holds the same position in the overall standings, with 100 championship points.
AFT Singles – 2019 Peoria TT Result
|1||Dallas Daniels||Yamaha YZ450F||0.000|
|2||Dan Bromley||KTM 450 SX-F||2.124|
|3||Jesse Janisch||Yamaha YZ450F||4.741|
|4||James Rispoli||Honda CRF450R||4.745|
|5||Jacob Lehmann||Honda CRF450R||4.893|
|6||Dalton Gauthier||Husqvarna FC450||6.051|
|7||Ryan Sipes||KTM 450 SX-F||6.636|
|8||Morgen Mischler||Yamaha YZ450F||9.314|
|9||Max Whale||Kawasaki KX450F||10.014|
|10||Mikey Rush||Honda CRF450R||10.614|
AFT Singles Standings
Tomac & McElrath top Budds Creek National 2019
For the full report see:
Eli Tomac wins Budds Creek and takes third consecutive AMA MX Title (link)
The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship made its annual visit to Southern Maryland for the 30th running of the Budds Creek National at the historic Budds Creek Motocross Park, with huge crowd filling the hillsides as they watched the racers face challenging conditions throughout the day.
It was all about Eli Tomac in the 450 Class, becoming just the fourth rider to clinch a third consecutive title. Tomac proved to be unstoppable en route to a dominant 1-1 performance for a class-leading fifth victory of the season.
The win marked the 22nd of his career and puts him in a tie with Ricky Johnson for fourth on the all-time 450 Class win list. Jason Anderson used an impressive second moto charge for second overall (4-2), while Marvin Musquin completed the podium in third (3-3).
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-1)
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (4-2)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-3)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (2-7)
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (5-4)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (6-5)
- Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna (8-6)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (9-9)
- Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (7-11)
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Honda (11-8)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 476
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 426
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 421
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 376
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 365
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 324
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 283
- Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Suzuki – 218
- Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM – 210
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 175
In the 250 Class Shane McElrath was the surprise winner by sweeping both motos for the second overall victory of his career and first this season. Championship point leader Adam Cianciarulo’s 2-5 moto scores were good enough for second on the day, extending his lead to 30-points with just one round remaining.
Cianciarulo continues to lead Dylan Ferrandis in the standings, while Ferrandis suffered from poor starts and finished fourth (4-4), with Justin Cooper taking third overall with his 6-2 result.
Hunter Lawrence was just outside the top 10 overall for the weekend, after claiming a 10-12 result.
Hunter Lawrence (Instagram)
“All you keyboard warriors, I smoked @jettson49 in timed qualy and first moto despite getting caught up in first turn crash! So suck it, big bro still rules the castle, first race back and we went P2 and P4 in qualifying which was good! I was already faced with a tough day ahead after my time off so both motos being involved in the first turn crashes coming from pretty much last both motos wasn’t a great way to start my races, summary of today though, speed is good, working on fitness and strength I lost whilst being out for two and a bit weeks! Thanks to my boy @snyder_50 out here sweating his ring out, it was scorching today! And thank you team @fchonda and everyone else supporting us! We appreciate all of you!”
Recently turned 16-years-old younger brother Jett raced to a 24-30 placing, for 26th overall.
Jett Lawrence (Instagram)
“Had my best qualifying so far with a ninth gate pick and was feeling good. First moto started off with not the best start and was able to come through to 15th and pulled off right before the finish line so I didn’t get any points with the amateur rule. Second moto started off with a pretty good start in 12th and made my way to fifth and was feeling good but then the heat started getting to me and was starting to feel a little light headed and not good round the 20 minute mark, 90% humidity and scorching heat was gnarly! Was really bummed about that cause I was in a really good spot and don’t worry @hunterlawrence this ain’t over bud.”
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (1-1)
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (2-5)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (6-2)
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (4-4)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (3-8)
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, KTM (8-9)
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (12-6)
- Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, Yamaha (7-11)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (18-3)
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna (5-14)
…12. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (10-13)
…26. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (24-30)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 479
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 449
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 419
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 310
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 292
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 278
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 277
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 260
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna – 258
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 252
Tim Gajser clinches 2019 MXGP Championship title
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser has won his third world motocross championship of his career (two-times MXGP, one time MX2) after dominating this 2019 MXGP season. Clinching the title with three and a half rounds still remaining, Gajser has been almost unbeatable at stages of the year, including going on a record-breaking seven round win-streak, which is now the longest in Honda’s illustrious history of Grand Prix motocross.
Starting the season off with solid results in Argentina, Great Britain and the Netherlands, Gajser’s campaign sparked into life after winning an enthralling battle at the MXGP of Trentino. On the tight track nestled in the Alpine region, the Slovenian rider was almost flawless as he fought for almost the entirety of both motos with the early-season leader, eventually coming out victorious with one-one results and ensuring the massive Slovenian fan contingent went home happy.
After a tough round in Mantova, the Honda CRF450RW then went on a run that saw him win overalls in Portugal, France, Russia, Latvia, Germany, Indonesia and Asia (also Indonesia), taking 12 moto wins out of a possible 14 and turning a 40 point deficit into 173 point lead. He powered his way to multiple holeshots and led almost 70% of the laps during that period and fully cemented his place as the man to beat in this 2019 world motocross championship.
Returning to Europe, he then backed up his title claim by riding to a controlled second place at the Czech GP, extending the point’s gap to 177 with five rounds left to race. A week after Loket, he won his eighth GP in nine rounds but taking victory at the toughest race on the calendar in the deep sand of Lommel, Belgium. This meant he only needed 13 points from the first MXGP moto (or 12 less than his nearest rival), a target he was able to achieve with ease, sparking wild celebrations at the famous racing circuit of Imola, Italy.
After his back-to-back titles in 2015 (MX2) and 2016 (MXGP), the #243 now joins a very select list of riders who have won three world championships on-board a Honda, with Andre Malherbe (1980, 1981, 1984), David Thorpe (1985, 1986, 1989), Georges Jobe (1987, 1991, 1992) and Eric Geboers (1987, 1988, 1990) the only other men to have achieved this feat.
He moved to joint-second in the all-time Honda wins list with 24 (after Lommel), sitting level with Stefan Everts (24) and Malherbe who has 27, and with four rounds still remaining (including Imola) there is still a possibility he can move to the top of the list, were he to win-out the rest of the season.
Glenn Coldenhoff sweeps MXGP of Italy
For the full round report see:
Tim Gajser clinches 2019 MXGP title for Honda at Imola (link)
Tim Gajser may have celebrated the MXGP title win, but KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff was celebrating his own GP win, having taken both race wins for a perfect 50-points, ahead of Jeremy Seewer and third placed Tim Gajser. Gautier Paulin narrowly missed the podium, on 38-points, the same as Gajser, but better placings ensured Gajser took the final step.
Gajser now holds the lead and title, however Jeremy Seewer sits second on 481-points, with Gautier Paulin on 440 and Arnaud Tonus on 419.
“I won a race and the overall in 2015, but now going 1-1 here it is amazing and I wish to thank my team. We had a tough time and a lot of negatives, but now I’m happy and my boss too. I won my first GP with him and also my third today. It means a lot. I never got 1-1 in the MXGP class and I want to thank everyone for helping me out.”
“I had two amazing races, I was consistend and I tried to make zero mistakes. The heat was brutal but we go one step higher every time. I want to thank the team, my fans and my girlfriend.”
“It was crazy. I am super happy, and I couldn’t wish for a better season or a team around me. I didn’t sleep a lot last night but today is a big day and I tried to take this race the same as all the others. I was fast in the first race even if I didn’t have the best start but I got to second and tried to win the race, but I was quite nervous and I couldn’t. Second race was better. I’m really happy to finish on the podium and to get the 2019 MXGP Title. Also, I want to thank my family and my girlfriend, and all the fans who follow me.”
MXGP Round Overall
MXGP Standings (Top 20)
|10||Van Horebeek, J.||347|
Jorge Prado’s domination of the MX2 category continued in Italy, with the KTM rider taking both race wins for 50-points, extending his championship lead to 130-points over Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen was runner up for the MX2 class going 2-2, with Maxime Renaux claiming the final podium position. Jago Geerts took fourth for the round, and currently sits third in the standings, 117-points behind Olsen.
“It was an amazing day and yesterday it was very good. We are having a fantastic 2019 season. I’m very happy to get the win and next weekend will hopefully be a good one. I’m very happy to get two races wins and I am really excited. In the first race I got a good start, the first lap I was behind Darian and tried to pass and I made it. I just wanted to be safe out of this race and hopefully we can do the same in the second race.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen
“It was an amazing comeback because Lommel was tough for me. We made some small changes to the bike and I want to thank the team for getting me comfortable. I showed I was back and could push the whole weekend. I want to thank all the people who always support me.”
“It is really special getting a podium finish. These last couple of years were though and I hope I’ll keep improving.”
MX2 Round Overall
|2||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||22||22||44|
|6||Larranaga Olano, Iker||14||14||28|
Courtney Duncan takes double WMX win in Italy
There’s no stopping Kiwi motocross sensation Courtney Duncan as she hones in on her first Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX) title, after notching up her third double set of wins at the MXGP of Italy this weekend.
The Otago-born, Bike It Dixon Racing Team Kawasaki rider has extended her overall lead out to a huge 23-points, with only one round left to run early next month, claiming a 1-1 result. Second overall was Larissa Papenmeier with 2-2 scores and third Nancy Van De Ven with 3-4 scores.
Duncan didn’t have it easy, as she fought tooth and nail for her two victories at the epic ‘Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari’ Italian circuit in Imola. After qualifying first – making her debut on the hard-pack slick track – she elbowed her way into the lead early in the hot race, where temperatures soared up over 30degC.
A small fall saw Duncan drop behind Nancy Van De Ven, before she caught and passed the Dutch woman mid-race, leaving her to eventually finish third behind German rider Larissa Papenmeier, who was second. Duncan showed her world-class pedigree, recovering to win by 8.2secs, while not putting undue pressure on herself.
She went out and hit repeat on the second race, notching up her seventh race win and third overall round victory in 2019, leaving her rivals to pick up the podium spots. Papenmeier was again runner-up and Belgium’s Amandine Verstappen was third.
“It was really difficult for me. The track changed a lot from qualifying to the first moto. It took a while to adapt to the conditions. I wasn’t willing to do anything more than I had to do to protect my championship lead. It’s a good weekend if you can extend your lead in the championship and get two wins. It didn’t come easy for me though. I found the track difficult. It was hard pack and slick, but they put a lot of water down, so I had to be careful not to make too many mistakes because it could catch me out. I didn’t get into that nice rhythm until about halfway through the races. It feels even better when you win like that. I’m in a good position heading into the final round in Turkey in three weeks’ time. The Kawasaki KX250 was super good. I’m really gelling with the bike – like I’ve said all season, its set up really nicely for me. Its good to put the green on top for sure!”
Duncan will remain in Europe to train with the experienced British Kawasaki squad Bike It DRT, who she has been racing for this season.
WMX – Overall Top Ten
- Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 50 points
- Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 44
- Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 38
- Amandine Verstappen (BEL, YAM), 35
- Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 34
- Lynn Valk (NED, YAM), 30
- Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 29
- Emelie Dahl (SWE, YAM), 23
- Sandra Karlsson (SWE, KAW), 23
- Britt Van Der Werff (NED, HUS), 20
WMX – Championship Top Ten
- Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 189 points
- Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 166
- Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 163
- Amandine Verstappen (BEL, YAM), 135
- Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 122
- Lynn Valk (NED, YAM), 120
- Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 109
- Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 82
- Line Dam (DEN, HON), 81
- Nicky van Wordragen (NED, YAM), 65
Fredrik Lindgren tops Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand
Swedish hero Fredrik Lindgren admits the energy generated by his home fans helped him defy a horror crash to top the Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand Prix podium in Malilla on Saturday. Lindgren triumphed in the final ahead of new World Championship leader Leon Madsen, Maciej Janowski and Artem Laguta, with Fast Freddie claiming his first SGP success on home shale since his Gothenburg victory in 2012.
It was a moment to savour for Lindgren as the yellow and blue flags flew high at the G&B Arena. Despite sustaining a suspected right knee injury in heat six, Lindgren picked up the pace as the meeting progressed and admits the excitement in the stands only inspired him on the bike.
“It’s always great to win, but it’s always extra nice to win in front of your home crowd. I could see the atmosphere building because I think the fans saw my form was picking up going into the semi. I think they had big hopes for the final, as I did, and I think everyone just went crazy as I crossed the line. I was focused all night, especially with the crowd – it helps me and gives me a lot of good energy. I know for a fact they wanted me to win, but I don’t feel any extra pressure. I just went out and performed for them. I enjoy it.”
Lindgren was forced to do it the hard way after being involved in an ugly three-rider spill in heat six, when Patryk Dudek ran out of room as he challenged Mikkel Michelsen for the lead.
Dudek bounced off the back-straight fence with his bike falling across the path of Lindgren and Max Fricke. Both men jumped the stricken machine motocross-style, barely missing Dudek and careered into the air fence.
Miraculously, all three riders walked away from the crash, but Lindgren is set to be assessed with concerns over his right knee. Lindgren is now fifth in the World Championship on 63 points – 12 behind leader Madsen, but just six adrift of Bartosz Zmarzlik in second.
Runner-up Madsen received a pain-killing injection in his ankle ahead of the meeting and admits it made all the difference as he racked up 14 points to go six points clear at the World Championship summit. The European champion, also defied shoulder and back problems to produce an extraordinary performance.
Third-placed Janowski edged up to seventh in the standings with his 15-point haul. While he was somewhat disappointed not to top the box on his Swedish home track, he was content with a third straight double-figure return.
Next up is the German SGP in Teterow on August 31.
SGP World Championship Standings
- Leon Madsen 75
- Bartosz Zmarzlik 69
- Emil Sayfutdinov 68
- Martin Vaculik 68
- Fredrik Lindgren 63
- Patryk Dudek 61
- Maciej Janowski 51
- Artem Laguta 50
- Janusz Kolodziej 48
- Jason Doyle 42
- Niels-Kristian Iversen 41
- Matej Zagar 37
- Max Fricke 36
- Antonio Lindback 30
- Tai Woffinden 27
- Robert Lambert 24
- Bartosz Smektala 10
- Mikkel Michelsen 9
- Oliver Berntzon 7
- Vaclav Milik 4
- Maksym Drabik 4
- Matic Ivacic 2
- Jacob Thorssell 2.
2019 Scandinavian SGP Scores
- Fredrik Lindgren 16
- Leon Madsen 14
- Maciej Janowski 15
- Artem Laguta 16
- Mikkel Michelsen 9
- Martin Vaculik 9
- Bartosz Zmarzlik 8
- Matej Zagar 7
- Jason Doyle 7
- Niels-Kristian Iversen 7
- Emil Sayfutdinov 7
- Patryk Dudek 6
- Tai Woffinden 6
- Max Fricke 5
- Janusz Kolodziej 4
- Jacob Thorssell 2
- Kim Nilsson DNR
- Victor Palovaara DNR
Duncan extends Kawasaki and Bike It DRT contract into 2020
Immediately after celebrating her third consecutive double-moto GP success at Imola Courtney Duncan extended her contract with Kawasaki Motors Europe and the Bike It DRT squad into the 2020 season.
The 2019 season has been excellent so far for both Courtney and DRT manager Steve Dixon, who collected the podium honours at each of the last three rounds of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship and have led the series since the Portuguese GP in May.
Victorious in every moto bar one at the opening round of the series, the twenty-three-year-old New Zealander quickly adapted to her new bike and team and is now close to her first-ever world title as she leads the series by twenty-three points headed for the final round in Turkey on September 7/8. Successfully racing the new 2020 KX250 to victory in the last two rounds, Courtney was so happy with her new environment that she has already extended her contract for the future.
“I’m very thankful and excited to announce that I have extended my contract with Kawasaki and DRT through 2020. I really feel at home with the team and feel the KX250 suits me perfectly. This is just the start and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can continue to achieve together in the future.”
Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager)
“Courtney’s arrival this season at Kawasaki and within the DRT set-up was an instant success. She has gelled with both the KX250 and the team and we can see positive proof in her winning performances on the track so far this season. She is a pleasure to work with both on and off the track, so we are very happy that she has committed herself to continue to race with Kawasaki in the future.”
Arminas Jasikonis extends Husqvarna contract
Husqvarna Motorcycles have announced that Arminas Jasikonis has signed a one-year extension to his current contract with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. This new agreement will see the Lithuanian continue to compete in the MXGP category through to the end of the 2020 season.
21-year-old Jasikonis signed to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team at the end of 2018. Marking his third full year of competition in the premier MXGP class in 2019, the Husqvarna FC 450 mounted rider claimed a number of top-five race results including a third-place finish in the first moto at the GP of Lombardia.
Despite a number of small crashes hampering his progress, Arminas sits sixth overall in the FIM MXGP World Championship classification with four rounds left to race. Jasikonis will once again compete alongside Pauls Jonass in 2020, under the expert guidance of team manager Antti Pyrhönen.
“It means so much to me to be given the opportunity to ride for such a great team. It feels great to know that the team believes in me and what I can achieve. Admittedly, 2019 has not been the best year for me, a few mistakes have affected my results, but I’m happy with my progress on the bike and I’m keen to deliver the results I know I’m capable of. For 2020, remaining with the same team takes a lot of pressure off – we already have a very good set-up for the races and a good atmosphere within the team. I’m really looking forward to continuing to improve and hopefully securing some top results.”
2020 Yamaha Factory MXGP effort announced
Following the announcement of Yamaha Motor Europe’s reformed Racing Strategy that will see the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP and Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 take on Factory status in 2020, it is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. can confirm that next seasons rider rostrum will consist of Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin, Arnaud Tonus, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson.
Currently making up the top-four in the 2019 MXGP World Championship with four rounds remaining, Seewer, Paulin and Tonus have put in some outstanding performances this season where between them they have accumulated 14 podium finishes in as many rounds.
Seewer has enjoyed a second full season with Yamaha inside the premier class, where he has taken his YZ450FM to four podium finishes and is currently second position in the Championship Standings with a 37-points advantage over Paulin.
Jeremy Seewer – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
“It feels really good to stay with Yamaha for another season, especially after what happened to me at the end of 2017, I really feel like Yamaha helped me out of that situation and gave me an opportunity to grow into the MXGP class, and also to grow with a Factory team again. I really enjoyed my time with the Rinaldi team where I had a really good relationship with everyone there and we’ve had a good season. Going into 2020, I am happy to remain on the Factory team even though the team will be different. It will be a new chapter and I look forward to building on it.”
Paulin is currently third and has also accumulated four podium successes onboard his YZ450F, while teammate Tonus is 6-points further adrift in fourth position and has crested the podium on six occasions this season.
Gautier Paulin – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
“Already this season, Yamaha and I have made some really big goals and have put together a big testing plan that we feel will get me back to the top. We have worked hard to have a good feeling on the motorcycle, which I have, and I am now third position in the championship. There have been many races where my Yamaha has been up front, and I have a lot of confidence in the brand and in my team. It feels really good to continue with Yamaha. One year moves quickly, and it is always a positive feeling to sign another year where we can improve the plan by making it stronger. Yamaha have put in a huge amount of effort to restructure the strategy for 2020, and I am very excited to move in this direction with them, and I am excited for what is yet to come.”
Arnaud Tonus – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
“It feels amazing to stay with Yamaha. We have been through a lot together, many highs, many lows. Yamaha supported me at my lowest, and this year we were rewarded with many good times and a lot of success too. I am so happy to continue with the team for another season. It feels like home to me. I feel it’s very important to have the Yamaha Family behind me, and with extra support in 2020 as a Factory team. This will mean we have access to even better material, and extra technical support which will help us evolve the bike further. I am super excited for the 2020 season!”
All three riders will make up the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team where they will line up on YZ450FM machinery determined to challenge the MXGP crown in 2020.
Strengthening Yamaha’s 2020 Strategy, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team has retained its strong contingent of MX2 riders for yet another season, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson.
Widely recognized as one of the most promising young talents in the world, Geerts is one of only three race winners this season. The 19-year-old is in his second full MX2 season and has managed to celebrate five podium finishes this year. He is currently 3-points from securing a place inside the top-three in the 2019 MX2 World Championship with four rounds remaining.
Fresh off a maiden podium in 2019, Watson has proven he still has what it takes to challenge the crown despite facing some adversity this season. The 22-year-old is currently seventh in the championship standings after suffering from a broken hand that required surgical repair.
Both riders are looking forward to the 2020 season where they aim to challenge a place on the top step of the podium on Yamaha’s cutting edge YZ250FM.
Jago Geerts – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2
“I am happy to sign with Yamaha for another season. I really look forward to 2020 where we will receive extra support from Yamaha as the Factory MX2 team, which will mean we will receive special material and added technical support. This will make a big difference in the development of the bike. I can’t wait to ride the Factory bike, and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve next season.”
Ben Watson – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2
“It’s great to sign a new contract with Yamaha for next season, and that they still believe in me. I have always dreamed of being a factory rider, and next year I will have the opportunity. I am already looking forward to 2020 where I hope to achieve what I know I am capable of achieving. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the new deal is that we will have Factory support and I look forward to developing the YZ250FM and taking the bike to the next level. I am really grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it.”