Kyle Middleton takes fourth Australian X-Trial title
The final round of the 2019 Australian X-Trial Championship headed to Wollongong, New South Wales on July 27, marking the first time that the series has ventured across to the East side of the country.
Tasmanian’s Chris Bayles took the win in a stunning victory with Reigning Champion Kyle Middleton, narrowly tying up the Australian Championship in a night of twists and turns that could not have been scripted.
In the Qualifying Round, Middleton was in fine form dropping only five-points. Meanwhile Bayles was tied on 12 with Western Australia’s Neil Price for third and NSW’s Kevin Zarczynski was only three-points behind on nine. Zarczynski’s younger brother, Colin, had a few unlucky mistakes that cost him a place in the final along with Craig Austin who had a number of great rides but unfortunately could not finish them off.
The Wollongong audience was roaring when the riders returned to the arena for the Final and they certainly got a show. The first section saw Zarczynski, Price and Bayles all fail to complete the tallest Waco Kwikform Scaffold Step, before state hero, Middleton made it up in a stunning ride. With a five-point lead Middleton had some room to relax into Section 2. Zarczynski and Bayles both had a couple of safe rides on the very slippery concrete, before Price failed to complete the section, and Kyle made an uncharacteristic mistake and slipped off one of the lower pipes and touched the ground.
This reduced Middleton’s lead to only one point going into the notorious Barrier section. Zarczynski, slipped off for five points, failing to complete and then both Price and Bayles rode beautifully to clean the Barriers consecutively. Middleton then failed to complete the first major turn dropping to 12 points and back to fourth place. This moved Bayles into the lead on only seven-points. Section four all riders failed to complete and with Middleton and Zarczynski both having big crashes, in the Pipes.
After the tyres and races, the final results were Bayles first on 14-points, Price second (16), Middleton third on count back (17) and Kevin Zarczynski (17) fourth.
“I was super stoked with the result and my riding. The sections were all or nothing. The crowd’s vibe was unreal, really got the riders motivated.”
The third place for Middleton meant the Championship standings literally had Bayles and Middleton tied on 45 points apiece, and meant they had to be separated by the combined observed scores over the two events, giving Middleton his fourth Australian X-Trial Championship with Bayles in second and Price rounding out the podium in third.
“Round two was a tough one! I am sore, I was challenged but the crowd really helps me get to the end. Not everything went to plan for me but I am absolutely stoked with my fight and managed to just sneak in the championship result.”
Jacob Thorssell claims Scandinavian FIM SGP wild card
Swedish star Jacob Thorssell raced to his first Swedish Championship in Hallstavik to clinch the Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand Prix wild card for Malilla on August 17. Thorssell did it the hard way after reaching the semi-final with 10 points, while Andreas Jonsson, Linus Sundstrom (both 13) and Kim Nilsson (12) all progressed automatically through to the final as top scorers in the heats.
The semi shoot-out for the last final spot saw Thorssell beat Ludvig Lindgren – younger brother of SGP star Freddie – Victor Palovaara and Pontus Aspgren. Thorssell then carried his momentum into the medal race, beating Rospiggarna legend Andreas Jonsson on his home track, denying him a record-equalling eighth Swedish title in the process. Nilsson was third with Sundstrom fourth.
The Scandinavian SGP will be Thorssell’s third World Championship appearance after he made his debut as a wild card at the 2016 Stockholm SGP, scoring one point. He then scored four points as a track reserve in the Swedish capital a year later, winning heat 12 ahead of SGP icon Tai Woffinden, Freddie Lindgren and Martin Smolinski.
Charles Wright to wildcard British FIM Speedway GP
New British champion Charles Wright hailed his first national title “an unbelievable achievement” as he booked his place at the British FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff on September 21.
Wright started the British Championship Final in Manchester as one of the meeting’s dark horses to triumph. He ended it wearing the famous No.16 SGP wild-card race jacket he’ll don when he takes on the world’s top riders at the Principality Stadium.
The Stockport-based racer produced a lightening start to see off Danny King, Craig Cook and Chris Harris and win the Grand Final at the National Speedway Stadium – just 10 minutes from his home. The rider admits joining the British Championship roll of honour and earning his ticket to Cardiff will take some time to get his head around.
“I have come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and every year I seem to be going better and better. But I just can’t believe what I have done today. I beat some fantastic riders that I looked up to, and I have done it. I was just gating. I felt fast on the track and I knew if I got to that turn first in the last one, I was away. It’s an unbelievable achievement and I am so proud of myself. There’s nothing on it for me – I can just go out and enjoy it and see what I can do. I’ll see if I can beat a few GP boys and get the crowd going. There’s no pressure on me. I am there and that’s the main thing.”
Wright did it the hard way after reaching the semi-final on 11 points, while King and Cook qualified for the Grand Final automatically on 14 and 12 respectively. He won the semi ahead of Harris, Steve Worrall and Lewis Kerr, before pulling off the start and race win of his career in the decider to earn his SGP debut.
Sherco’s Michael Metge wins 2019 Baja Spain Aragón
The 36th edition of Baja Spain Aragón was fiercely contested again and the outcome was never certain until the finish of the fourth stage. Ultimately, Michael Metge managed to impose his pace and confirm victory for the second successive year, the Frenchman finishing ahead of Junior rider Tosha Schareina and Joan Pedrero.
Cautious at the start, because he was taking part in Baja Spain Aragón with his rally motorcycle that was much heavier and less manoeuvrable on the winding tracks around Teruel, Metge took the lead in the opening stage and held on, despite the challenge from his rivals. Benjamin Melot finished eighth and maintains his lead in the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup standings.
“I did not think I would make such a good result. But riding with our Sherco Rally allowed us to test new settings. I quickly had a good feeling with the bike and I was able to keep up a good rhythm throughout the race. These settings are very interesting because David Castera, who was present on the second day on the Baja, told us that the first week of Dakar 2020 would be on beautiful tracks. Santolino obviously shared the same settings and we were able to fight on the tracks. I know his track record in Enduro and I was happy to beat him. It gives me confidence. Unfortunately, he took 14 minutes of speeding penalties. On the second day, young Tosha (Schareina) was very determined but, in the first special, I lost three to four minutes to the refueling because I had to repair the Stella bracket. On the first day, I fell and the bracket weakened and I arrived at the refueling with the Stella in hand.”
In the Women’s category, Rosa Romero won Baja Aragón and finished in front of Rita Vieira and Sara García. In Juniors, victory fell to Tosha Schareina, ahead of Maciej Giemza and Adam Tomicek.
The final round of the FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup is the Hungarian Baja on August 9-11.
Overall Results – Bike
- Michael Metge (Sherco) 6h30’21
- Tosha Schareina (Husqvarna) +3’39
- Joan Pedrero (KTM) +7’18
- Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) +14’36
- Martin Micek (KTM) +21’10
FIM Cross-Country Bajas World Cup standings
- Benjamin MELOT (FRA) 45
- Jakub PIĄTEK (POL) 26
- Aaron MARE (ZAF) 25
- De Gavardo TOMAS (CHL) 19
- Sultan AL BALOOSHI (ARE) 18
2019 Red Bull Romaniacs about to kick off
Excitement builds at round five of the World Enduro Super Series as Red Bull Romaniacs approaches race day in Sibiu, Romania. Long regarded as the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye, round five of WESS marks the 16th edition of Red Bull Romaniacs.
On the eve of race day, riders from the 50 competing nations enjoyed a City Ride parade through the narrow, cobbled streets, supported by hordes of spectators who enthusiastically cheered them on.
Featuring five days of racing, with a Prologue on the streets on Sibiu followed by four days in the surrounding mountains the Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye looks set to be one of the toughest and most demanding events on the WESS calendar. The race will test the riders’ skill, stamina and mental strength.
Offering a teaser to when the action kicks off, the Gold class riders assembled on the prologue course to sample what’s on offer for 2019. For most it was an opportunity to test both body and machines ahead of the start of the racing, while others used it as a chance to size up their racing lines.
“For me Red Bull Romaniacs is all about the mountains. I enjoy the prologue, but I’m a bit too steady – it must be my age! I’m aiming for a strong Off Road Day 1 and then see where things are at. It’s a long week and the competition is tougher than ever, but I didn’t come here to finish second.”
“Last year’s Romaniacs was the hardest race for me, but I got through it and I plan to do the same this year. It looks like the weather might play a part again but I think I am better prepared and have been working a lot on my training. My plan is to get to the finish and earn good WESS points before the next two rounds at Hawkstone and Solsona, where I think I have a good chance of taking the win.”
“I’m feeling good coming into this year’s Romaniacs, I’m lucky in that so far this year I haven’t had any major problems with my fitness, it’s just the strength in my arm that’s lacking a little. I have been spending a lot of hours on the bike on the run up to the event and I’m confident that my pace and skill is definitely good enough for the podium. I’ve won before and finished second last year so I know what to expect and what to do to succeed. It’s definitely going to be a challenge as always but I’m hoping the extreme sections this year will fit in nicely with the faster flowing tracks and we can get a really good race out of it. Obviously, nobody can control the weather and if conditions are bad it could make for a very tough race.”
“I’ve been looking forward to Romaniacs, partly due to what happened last year. I’m feeling good and more comfortable on the bike now and I think I have a really good package for the race. Everyone knows the event will be tough and the organisers always try to throw in a few surprises along the way. I know my pace is good, so if everything goes well, I’ll definitely be aiming for a position on the podium.”
“It’s nice to be back here in Romania and carry the #1 plate into this race. I’m excited to get going. We’ve worked a lot behind the scenes to be ready. I’ve got a new frame and switched to KYB suspension. Overall, I feel good and I’m happy on the new setup. I feel well prepared despite a slight shoulder injury. The goal is just to stay humble and level headed this week – take each day as it comes and be strong when it counts.”
2019 WESS Championship Standings after Round 4
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 2690 points
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 2570
- Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 2540
- Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 2314
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 2155
- Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 2125
- Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 2090
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 1900
- Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 1631
- Travis Teasdale (KTM – RSA) 1610
2019 World Enduro Super Series Calendar
- Round 5: Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 30-August 3
- Round 6: Hawkstone Park Cross Country (United Kingdom) September 21-22
- Round 7: BR2 Enduro Solsona (Spain) October 5-6
- Round 8: GetzenRodeo (Germany) November 2
AORC heads to Broken Hill for Round 7 – Aug 10-11
The 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) returns in two weeks to Broken Hill for Round 7, following a successful round at Kyogle in NSW. Now the championship heads to the Outback desert stage, with Dirt2Ride Events’ Lyndon Heffernan giving some insight into what’s to come. Entries can be done here (link) with a full race schedule to be found here (link).
Lyndon Heffernan – Dirt2Ride Events
“It has long been a dream of mine to create my own ‘bucket list’ event. And after riding the iconic Finke and Hattah Desert Races, I knew it had to be a desert race. After meeting the awesome crew from Silver City MCC, who had similar aspirations, the hunt for a great location was on. The Langwell Station become an option – a 110,00-acre sheep station situated 60km south of the iconic NSW Outback township of Broken Hill. After a quick trip and a day of riding around the place, I knew it offered the access, variety of conditions and the perfect venue to create a two-day event in picturesque, rugged terrain that every dirt bike rider will want to have a crack at. The crew from the AORC’s organising committee then approached me about incorporating the event into the prestigious national series last season, which is what we did.
“Logistically, it is way closer than Finke and/or Hattah for most NSW and Queensland riders. It is actually pretty central for those who live in a lot of east coast riding regions. We are trying to keep it affordable by camping at the track, and good value by offering up a good, long, hard ride. As it is a loop-style track like Hattah with varied distances for each class (see supp regs for full details), and not a point-to-point like Finke, the logistics are easy. Crews stay in one spot all weekend and no special equipment is needed. We want it to be a fun and easy-to-be-at, and still dish up an awesome desert riding experience – without the cost and logistical challenges usually associated with desert races.
“The event caters to a range of Junior classes, to a Pony Express teams race on Sunday Morning, and Senior capacity and veteran classes, so we’ve made sure there’s something for everyone. This will include a 4 Hour Cross Country for E1, E2, E3, EJ, Pony Express and Veterans Class. The Womens and Masters will feature a 3 Hour Cross Country and also the Juniors will have a 3 Hour Cross Country, its plenty of action for all.”
Entry for adults to watch all the action are $5, with kids under 16 free, while there’s a gold coin donation for parking, going to a local charity.
Husqvarna sign 125cc Junior Champ Mattia Guadagnini
Husqvarna have announced that they have signed 125cc Junior Motocross World Champion Mattia Guadagnini for the 2020 EMX250 Championship with team Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii.
The 17-year-old Italian, who leads the FIM European Motocross Championship EMX125 class with two rounds remaining, will step into the EMX250 class having enjoyed a highly impressive 2019 season to date. Holding a 13-point lead in the EMX125 series with only events in Belgium and Sweden remaining, Mattia has so far enjoyed six race wins including two double victories in Italy and moto wins in The Netherlands and Germany.
Winning both motos at the recent FIM 125cc Junior Motocross World Championship held at Arco di Trento, Italy, Mattia secured the coveted title in front of his home fans and joins the likes of Pauls Jonass, Tim Gajser and Jago Geerts in becoming a 125cc Junior World Champion.
“I’m really happy to continue with Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii for 2020. We are working really well together, and I think I can keep growing as a racer with them. I will race in EMX250 next year, which is another step for my career – a step that I am looking forward to and I’m confident about.”
Marco Maddii – Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii
“This is our third year together with Mattia and I’m very happy to continue our work in the next level of the EMX250 championship. Mattia has grown a lot this year and I’m proud of him as rider and person. Now he has finished his study and he will be totally focused on motocross. I believe he still has a lot to show with more training, testing and racing.”
2019 Australian Junior Dirt entries open
Motorcycling Australia have announced that entries are now open and Supplementary Regulations (link) are available for the 2019 Honda Australian Junior Dirt Track Championships.
Hosted by the Central Coast Junior Motorcycle Club on the 28th and 29th September, this event will highlight the talent that continues to emerge from Australian riders all across the nation. The 2019 Honda Australian Dirt Track Championships will be held at Allen Park MVRG on Debenham Road North, Somersby in New South Wales.
2019 Honda Australian Dirt Track Championships schedule
|Saturday 5th October||Sunday 6th October|
& Sign On
|7.30am to 8.45am||7.30am to 9.00am – if required|
|9.30am Parade Lap and National Anthem (Ben Felten)|
|Racing||Immediately after the conclusion of practice||Immediately after the conclusion of the Parade Lap and National Anthem|
- 50cc Division 2 7 – 9yrs
- 65cc – 7 – U9
- 65cc – 9 – U13
- 85cc 2 stk & 150cc 4 stk – 9 – u11yrs STD WHEEL
- 85cc 2 stk & 150cc 4 stk – 11 – u13 yrs STD WHEEL
- 85cc 2 stk & 150cc 4 stk – 13 – u16 yrs STD WHEEL
- 85cc 2 stk & 150cc 4 stk – 11 – u13 yrs BIG WHEEL **
- 85cc 2 stk & 150cc 4 stk – 13 – u16 yrs BIG WHEEL **
- 85cc 2-STK & 150cc 4-STK, STD & Big Wheel, Junior Girls – 11 to u16 yrs
- 85cc 2-STK & 150cc 4-STK, Slider only – 13 to u16 yrs **
- 85cc 4 stroke modified 7 – U10 yrs
- 85cc 4 stroke modified 10 – U14 yrs
- 100cc 2 -stroke to 150cc 2-stroke – 13 to under 16 yrs **
- 100cc to 150cc 2-Stk & 200cc to 250cc 4-stk- Girls -13 to u16 Yrs
- 100cc to 150cc 2-stroke & 200cc to 250cc 4-stroke -13 to u16 Yrs **
- 100ccto150cc 2-stk & 200ccto250cc 4-stk, Slider only13 to u16 yrs **
- 200cc to 250cc 4-stk – 13 to u16 yrs
- Support Class
- Div 1 4 to u9yrs DEMO
- 80cc 4 Stroke Standard 7 to U11yrs – NO MODIFICATIONS
Kristie Mckinnon joins Australian 2019 Trial des Nations team
Due to prior commitments Kristie Mckinnon originally had to dismiss her duties from the 2019 Trial des Nations (TdN), which this year takes place in Ibiza, Spain, however with those commitments now pushed aside, the nine-times Australian Trials Champion is back on deck and ready to help her teammates, Jenna Lupo and Lillie Yiatrou at the twentieth running of the Women’s Trial des Nations event.
Mckinnon brings a lot of experience and a lot of stability to the Australian team. The 34-year-old, who hails from Penrith, New South Wales, has been the Australian Trial Champion for the past nine years and represented Australia on at least ten occasions in the TdN. The 2019 Trials des Nations runs from the 28-29 September.