Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing reveals 2019 rider line-up

Green, Styke and Driscoll complete three-rider squad.

Image: John Pearson.

Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing has revealed a three-rider line-up that will complete its efforts in the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and various off-road events on the calendar.

The squad will remain relatively unchanged with Josh Green spearheading the team, alongside motocross convert and reigning E1 champion Luke Styke and two-time EJ champion Michael Driscoll.

For Green, 2019 will mark his eighth season with the squad, and believes he is as passionate about winning as he was when he first joined the team.

“I still want to win as much as I did in my first season with AJ and the team,” said Green. “Having Styke and Driscoll in the team benefits me as much as I assist them in that I can use their energy and youthful exuberance to keep me going.

“Yamaha have been great to work with over the years and I’m 100 percent a Yamaha guy. I’m proud to represent not only this team but also Yamaha and still believe I’m more than capable of mixing it with anyone in Australian off-road.”

After dominating the E1 division, Styke is targeting outright honours next season as he endeavours to put an end to Daniel Milner’s commanding display throughout the last two years.

“Off-road was completely new to me this time last year and almost every event I went to I had to learn not just about the bike, the rules or the riding, but also the formats and the fitness required to succeed at the highest level, so it was a lot to take in all at once but I was happy with how the year turned out,” Styke explained.

“But for 2019, I now have that experience, so my time and focus can be on fine tuning my program to get the most from myself and being better again. Last year the goal was to win my class, in 2019, the next step is outright and although Milner is riding exceptionally well and one of the best riders in the world, there is no point racing if we don’t have him as the bench mark and try and beat him.”

For Driscoll, next year will mark his graduation to the professional ranks after previously contesting, and claiming victory, in the under 19s category.

“I feel like I have a good foundation to enter the professional classes now and confident I can mix it up with the best in the class right from the get go,” said Driscoll. ““Having watched closely how someone like Josh prepares himself and seeing the professionalism he approaches his racing enables me to learn that being successful is more than just hanging off the throttle.

“Being back with AJ and the team is great and we have a really good thing going. The bikes are awesome and we have an awesome group of people around us so hopefully Luke, Josh and myself can all push each other to have an even better season that last.”

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Jordi Torres returns to WSBK with Pedercini Racing in 2019

Jordi Torres returns from MotoGP to WorldSBK in 2019

Having completed the latter part of the 2018 season in MotoGP with Avintia Racing, including earning his first championship point in the premier class, Jordi Torres will return to WorldSBK in 2019, with Team Pedercini Racing.

MotoGP Japan Motegi Sun Jordi Torres
Jordi Torres – MotoGP 2018 Twin Ring Motegi

Torres has found success in every championship he has competed in, the 31-year-old arriving in WorldSBK back in 2015 with Aprilia, partnering Leon Haslam on the RSV4 RF and picking up a phenomenal race win at the final round in Qatar, as well as several podiums.

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Torres GP AN
Jordi Torres

Torres continued competing in World Superbike after that, riding on a BMW in 2016 and 2017, before making the switch to MV Agusta machinery for 2018.

In late September this year, Torres moved over to the MotoGP paddock to replace the injured Tito Rabat at Reale Avintia Racing for the final races of the season.

A former Moto2 race-winner, the Spaniard adapted well to his new bike and picked up his first point at the season closer in Valencia.

MotogGP Rnd Thailand Jordi Torres
Jordi Torres

Now Torres faces a new and exciting challenge in 2019 and the Spanish rider is ready ahead of his return to the WSBK championship.

Jordi Torres

“I’m happy to have found a historical Team of WorldSBK that runs with a winning bike. Kawasaki is the right bike for the WorldSBK Championship and I cannot wait to try it to express everything that this bike can give on the track. I believe that I and the Team will take away from us a lot of satisfactions. A special thanks to Lucio Pedercini for giving me this opportunity. I trust the team and I know that it has the experience to give me the weapons to fight and express my potential. It is a pride for me to be part of Team Pedercini and a I have a great desire to start working.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Torres
Jordi Torres – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14

Lucio Pedercini – Team Pedercini Racing Manager

“I am very satisfied with what is happening around the team, after a troubled year now I am sure I have a strong rider at the height of the vehicle we have. With Jordi we will certainly be competitive and ready to always be in competition to enter the top ten. I take this opportunity to invite all the fans to Verona at Motorbike Expo in January where we will present the whole team and the 2019 program and to thank Jordi for having agreed to live with us on 2019.”

Source: MCNews.com.au

Dack believes CDR Yamaha will ‘elevate’ new signing Gibbs

South Australian native fits team qualities says team owner.

Image: Supplied.

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team owner Craig Dack believes the outfit’s operations and resources will further elevate newly-signed athlete Kirk Gibbs in the later stages of his career.

Gibbs, a former MX1 champion and multi-time representative of Team Australia at the Motocross of Nations (MXoN), fits the mould of a CDR Yamaha lead rider, being experienced and well credentialed.

Multi-time champion Dack has bred a number of title holders through his organisation, assisting riders such as Jay Marmont, Josh Coppins and most recently Dean Ferris to the MX Nationals MX1 crown, winning nine of the past 12 premier class championships in the domestic motocross series.

“Kirk comes to us as an experienced racer with the qualities we look for in a professional rider,” Dack explained. “He is hard-working, dedicated and determined in character as well and talented and focused on racing. We believe surrounding him with the CDR Yamaha staff and on Yamaha machinery, we can elevate Kirk even further and look forward to a strong season from him.”

Gibbs will ultimately replace US-bound three-time Australian MX1 champion Ferris, while his former KTM Motocross Racing teammate Luke Clout is expected to join him under the factory Yamaha awning – an announcement due imminently.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Metcalfe to remain with Penrite Honda Racing in 2019

Appointment of second rider for MX Nationals yet to be determined.

Image: Foremost Media.

Brett Metcalfe will continue on with Penrite Honda Racing in 2019, the Victorian-based operation confirming the extended signing of the former international today.

Metcalfe enjoyed a successful end to his 2018 season after mixed campaign in the Pirelli MX Nationals, which was riddled with a number of unfortunate events, although he bounced back in the Australian Supercross Championship, challenging for the crown before earning runner-up honours.

“This year has been rewarding for many reasons,” said Metcalfe. “Winning a round of supercross was important for me and the team. I am building a trusting home at Penrite Honda, my family is settling in at home in Mannum and I am back in the motherland after 18 years overseas.

“The bonus was finishing second in the Australian Supercross Championship with a new team and on a new bike. We proved this year we could be competitive in motocross – we were in the top three several times in races and we scored some podium finishes.

“As a team we were lacking consistency but we worked on that in the second half of motocross season, and in supercross we turned a lot of things around which will better prepare us for next year.”

Team owner Yarrive Konsky hailed Metcalfe’s efforts over the year, while he also revealed that it’s yet decided if a second rider will be appointed.

“Brett and I have formed a trusting an open friendship and this certainly makes it easy to work together,” Konsky commented. “It is astonishing to think he accomplished everything he did when you really know what he has gone through this year, moving his life back to Australia and spending a lot of time apart from his wife.

“He has such a resilience, something only great athletes have. He has a home at Honda and we believe in his talents, he is a proven asset on and off the track. We want to do this properly and our focus is on Brett. We may have a second rider to do selected rounds of Motocross but this is yet to be decided.”

In 2018, Penrite Honda Racing fielded Metcalfe in the MX Nationals, along with youthful talent Callum Norton for a portion of the series, while in the supercross it drafted in Americans Justin Brayton and Bradley Taft.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Strang inks two-year factory Kawasaki off-road deal

Australian to remain in GNCC while also defending Full Gas Sprint Enduro title.

Image: Supplied.

Australian Josh Strang has inked a two-year deal with the newly-formed Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green to contest the 2019 and 2020 seasons of GNCC and the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series in America.

Most recently assisting Team Australia to the World Trophy crown at the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Chile, Strang earned fifth in the XC1 standings of the 2018 GNCC championship, while he also pulled through to clinch the outright title in the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series.

“I’m super excited to announce that I will be racing the new KX450 for the Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green for ’19-20,” Strang revealed in a statement.

“It’s crazy getting back on the brand that started my racing itch back in 1996 on a KX60. I have so many good memories on these bikes and I can’t wait to make more! Thank you to everyone that has helped make this happen.”

Strang, a former GNCC champion, has spent the last four seasons with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing where he enjoyed a number of race wins and championship podiums.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Wayne Maxwell back in Suzuki colours for ASBK 2019

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar
Wayne Maxwell joins Team Suzuki Ecstar for 2019

GSX-R mounted riders have won almost half the Australian Superbike Championships contested this century, and in 2019 Suzuki are determined to add to that tally by fielding one of the strongest two-rider outfits ever to line up for an Australian Superbike Team.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar
Wayne Maxwell

Current rider Josh Waters has three ASBK Superbike Championships to his name (2009-2012-2017), and joining him in the Team Suzuki Ecstar squad for 2019 is long-time rival, and 2013 Australian Superbike, Champion Wayne Maxwell.

Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 Australian Superbike Championship on a GSX-R1000 Suzuki
Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 Australian Superbike Championship on a GSX-R1000 Suzuki

That 2013 Superbike Championship for Maxwell was won on a Suzuki GSX-R1000, and he is aiming to repeat that feat in season 2019.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar

Wayne Maxwell

“I’m very excited to be joining Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia for the next two years. Last time Suzuki and I were paired together proved to be very successful, winning my first Australian Superbike championship. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the GSX-R1000, I know how fast and competitive the GSX-R is having raced against it the last few years, I’m super excited to get to work with Phil, Warren and the rest of the team on repeating our 2013 success.”

Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship when he rode for Suzuki.
Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship when he last rode for Suzuki.

The 36-year-old only this year broke his own ASBK Superbike outright pole lap record at Phillip Island that had stood since 2013, when that same weekend then 30-year-old took the Superbike Title for Suzuki by 34-points over Glenn Allerton.

Wayne Maxwell celebrates taking Superpole on the GSX-R1000 at Phillip Island in 2013

Suzuki are also working on a third, semi-satellite rider, for ASBK 2019 and soon hope to announce that signing too. Our tip for the gig is Alex Phillis.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar

Mat Mladin is taking young Max Croker up to the Superbike ranks in 2019 for his maiden season with the big boys.

Honda recently announced that Mark Chiodo would join 2018 ASBK Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss at Penrite Honda.

In 2019 Cru Halliday will step back up from Supersport to a Superbike ride at YRT alongside Daniel Falzon.

Glenn Allerton will line up again for NextGen BMW on an all-new S 1000 RR. Ted Collins may also have a seat on the BMW again next season.

Kawasaki look to have young Lachlan Epis joining Bryan Staring in the BCperformance squad.

And then of course there is that fella who will be turning up again on a red bike, three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss…

MotoGP ASBK CRw Bayliss Herfoss Allerton
Troy Bayliss – Image Colin Rosewarne

An ASBK pre-season test will be held at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 2-3.

2019 ASBK Calendar

  • ASBK Test – Phillip Island, VIC February 2 – 3
  • Round 1 – WSBK – Phillip Island, VIC February 21 – 24
  • Round 2 – Wakefield Park, Goulburn NSW March 22 – 24
  • Round 3 – The Bend, Tailem Bend, SA April 26 – 28
  • Round 4 – Morgan Park, Warwick, QLD July 5 – 7
  • Round 5 – Winton, Benalla, VIC September 6 – 8
  • Round 6 – Phillip Island, VIC October 4 – 6
  • Round 7 – SMP, Eastern Creek, NSW November 1 – 3

Source: MCNews.com.au

F1 champion Hamilton samples WorldSBK-spec Yamaha YZF-R1

British driver escapes uninjured following fall in private Jerez test.

Image: Supplied.

Five-time Formula One (F1) world champion Lewis Hamilton has sampled a Pata Yamaha WorldSBK-spec YZF-R1 in a private test hosted at the weekend in Jerez, Spain.

According to Italian media outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, the Mercedes AMG Petronas driver escaped uninjured from a fall while taking to the track alongside factory riders Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.

It’s understood the British ace was one of many riders to hit the circuit that most recently hosted testing for both MotoGP and WorldSBK, and despite the crash, he later returned to riding aboard another available machine.

Hamilton has a long association with motorcycles and is a current ambassador for MV Agusta, the Italian manufacturer recognising the multi-time world champion with a special edition Brutale 800 RR LH44 motorcycle.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Brayton earns fifth King of Geneva supercross crown

Craig and Barcia complete the top three in Switzerland.

Image: Supplied.

Recently-crowned three-time Australian Supercross Champion Justin Brayton has earned his fifth King of Geneva supercross title after lodging a supremely consistent scorecard at the Swiss event.

The Smartop Bullfrog Spas Honda won the opening night of racing before bouncing back on night two to claim runner-up honours, granting him the King of Geneva crown over fellow Monster Energy AMA Supercross contenders Christian Craig (Geico Honda) and Justin Barcia (Monster Energy Yamaha Racing), who won the final night of racing.

Vince Friese (Smartop Bullfrog Spas Honda) was fourth overall followed by Jordi Tixier (KTM), while the top 10 featured a number of high-profile riders, including Cole Seely in sixth and Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) in ninth.

The 250 division was taken out by Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney SX2 victor Cameron McAdoo (Yamaha) for Prince of Geneva honours, with the top three being completed by Adrien Escoffier (Honda) and Julien Roussaly (KTM).

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Maxwell agrees to two-year deal with Team Suzuki Ecstar

Multiple Australian champion returns to Suzuki for next two years.

Image: Supplied.

Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia has revealed Wayne Maxwell will join the outfit in a multi-year agreement that will see him contest the YMF Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) through the 2020 season.

Maxwell, who lifted the 2013 ASBK crown aboard Suzuki machinery, makes a welcomed return to the manufacturer alongside three-time champion Josh Waters.

“I’m very excited to be joining Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia for the next two years,” said Maxwell. “Last time Suzuki and I were paired together proved to be very successful, winning my first Australian Superbike championship.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the GSX-R1000, I know how fast and competitive the GSX-R is having raced against it the last few years – I’m super excited to get to work with Phil, Warren and the rest of the team on repeating our 2013 success.”

Maxwell completed this year’s ASBK series second in the standings, ending a lengthy partnership with Yamaha. The 2019 ASBK field is beginning to take shape following announcements from championship heavy weights Yamaha Racing Team and Penrite Honda Racing last week.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

CDR Yamaha confirms Gibbs for 2019 MX Nationals season

Former MX1 champion to remain as a motocross-only rider next year.

Image: Supplied.

Following months of speculation, the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team has confirmed Kirk Gibbs will join the outfit for the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals in a special announcement revealed at the weekend’s bLU cRU King of the Valley in Oakdale, New South Wales.

Capturing the premier class crown in 2015, Gibbs is set to remain as a motocross-only rider for the third-consecutive year, where’s he’s anticipated to be joined by former KTM Motocross Racing teammate Luke Clout.

“I think every rider in the pits look at CDR Yamaha as the best in the business as their on-track success and off-track knowledge is unmatched in Australia,” Gibbs stated. “So now to be a part of that environment and have such an experienced team to lean on for advice is a big confidence booster and one that I think can push my results even higher.

“I have only had some initial set up testing on the Yamaha YZ450F and already I feel I have a bike that I can ride well and suited to my style of riding. The power is smooth yet strong and the chassis feels really stable, so I feel we are well-placed already and really look forward to working closely with Craig and his team in 2019.”

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team owner Craig Dack commented: “Kirk comes to us as an experienced racer with the qualities we look for in a professional rider. He is hard-working, dedicated and determined in character as well and talented and focused on racing.

“We believe surrounding him with the CDR Yamaha staff and on Yamaha machinery, we can elevate Kirk even further and look forward to a strong season from him.”

The South Australian native was part of Serco Yamaha through much of his MX2 career aboard a factory-backed YZ250F before transitioning to KTM in 2013 for his graduation to MX1.

The six-year partnership saw Gibbs lift the MX1 title in his third attempt while representing Australia at the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) on two occasions, plus he wrapped up the New Zealand Motocross Championship at the beginning of the year.

The number five is set to make his first 2019 appearance aboard the CDR Yamaha YZ450F in New Zealand to defend his title, before embarking on the MX Nationals in Australia.

Outgoing three-time champion Dean Ferris is bound for America as he endeavours to lock down a deal in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, while Dylan Long has recently been linked to Empire Motorsports aboard Kawasaki machinery.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

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