Factory opportunity opens for 2024 season in the United States.
Triple Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss has landed a surprise deal with Indian Motorcycle Racing in MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan categories with the S&S Cycle-operated factory team.
“To have the opportunity to don Indian Motorcycle red leathers and compete on behalf of such a historic brand is a true honour,” Herfoss commented. “As a motorsports enthusiast in Australia, I’ve been envious of all the bagger racing taking place in the States, and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pilot an S&S Indian Challenger and ride for a factory team who has a championship to its name.”
Indian has signed Herfoss to join defending Super Hooligan champion Tyler O’Hara, the pair to be equipped with the Indian Challenger in the King of the Baggers and the Indian FTR in the Super Hooligan ranks.
P2 overall in Yamaha reunion for ProMX MX1 runner-up.
Image: Phil Smith.
A P2 finish for CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team regular Jed Beaton at the Woodville GP marked his first proper shakedown on the YZ450F, opening his stint of races across the Tasman with Altherm JCR Yamaha that will see him contest the 2024 New Zealand Motocross Championship.
Beaton scored second in all three of the motos behind top Kiwi Hamish Harwood (CML KTM Racing), who claimed all three race wins on his way to the overall victory.
“It was good to race Woodville on the weekend, it’s been a long time between races since I didn’t do supercross in Australia,” Beaton told MotoOnline. “I had roughly a three-month break before getting on the Yamaha, but I felt pretty comfortable basically straightaway, which has been really good.
“I came over to New Zealand do a few races and their championship, I just wanted to shake the cobwebs out and try get some gate drops in before the ProMX series starts back at home.
“Woodville went pretty good on the weekend. Like I said, it’s been a while between gate drops, so I suffered pretty bad from arm pump and it was a little bit uncomfortable. I felt quite good by the time we got to the last moto, so I was pretty happy with that.
“The track was quite difficult, we had a fair bit of rain throughout the day, so it made the track fairly one lined and slick which meant that starts were important. I just didn’t really execute the starts how I wouldve liked.
“I was pretty much just in there battling behind Hamish in the last two races just following him around. i felt like I had good pace to try and pass and get out to a gap, but unfortunately there just wasn’t many passing options and I didn’t want to risk too much in my first race of the year, plus while I’m still getting used to the Yamaha.
“I’m pretty happy with where we’re at on the Yamaha, I’m feeling comfortable quite quickly, the transition has been smooth, so there’s a lot of positives to take from the weekend and I’m looking foirward to working with Josh [Coppins] now and trying to improve the bike even more.”
Beaton will now set his sights on the opening round of the 2024 NZMX championship at Rotorua on Saturday, 3 February, where he’ll contest the MX1 series with Josh Coppins’ Altherm JCR Yamaha team.
Back-to-back Penrite ProMX MXW champion Charli Cannon emerged victorious at the inaugural FIM Oceania Women’s Motocross Cup at Woodville over the weekend, the newly-signed Honda rider’s consistent 1-1-2 scorecard leading Team Australia to the win.
Joining Cannon on the podium were Australians Taylah McCutcheon (Kawasaki) and Taylor Thompson (Husqvarna), with McCutcheon claiming victory in the final moto, preventing Cannon from clean-sweeping the event.
It was far from smooth sailing for Cannon in the lead-up to the event, the 18-year-old revealing that she’d undergone surgery on her right thigh to clean up a wound caused by a footpeg only a matter of weeks out from Woodville.
“I was nervous about racing,” said Cannon. “But I wanted to race for Australia and if I could race, I was going to give it my all. The injury was scary, the footpeg tore through my thigh and I needed surgery.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect. Winning the overall and helping Australia’s victory in the Oceania championship is an experience I’ll never forget. Every member of the team did an amazing job to help Australia secure the win.”
Finishing in P4 and P5 were Team Australia’s Madison Healey (GasGas) and Maddison Brown (Honda), making it a lockout of the top-five for Australia.
Splits with ER Motorsport organisation after title-winning campaign.
Image: Foremost Media.
Honda has sensationally withdrawn from the Australian Superbike Championship after splitting with the ER Motorsport team that operated Penrite Honda, just months after clinching the 2023 crown with Troy Herfoss.
It was no secret at The Bend’s final round of last season that ER was yet to commit beyond that round following Herfoss’ decision to exit the team and Honda has now formally confirmed it’s quitting the series in terms of factory involvement.
“While the decision to step back from the Australian Superbike Championship in a factory capacity this year is a challenging one, it is essential for us to redirect our resources and energy towards initiatives that align more closely with the evolving needs of our customers,” explained Tony Hinton, general manager of powersports and products at Honda Australia.
“We are very grateful for the success we have shared with ER Motorsport over the last six years, they have represented the Honda brand with passion, seamlessly run the team with professionalism and have secured results we are very proud of. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the partnership than as the reigning champions.”
The announcement went on to state that ‘importantly, Honda Australia wants to assure its fans and partners that this withdrawal does not signal a diminished commitment to motorsports. Honda will be actively supporting select privateer efforts during the 2024 ASBK season, affirming its dedication to nurturing talent and maintaining a positive presence in the racing community’.
Herfoss won two ASBK championships as part of the Penrite Honda team, firstly in 2018 upon debut with the team, before finally repeating again in 2023. He also won the title with Honda in 2016 when Paul Free managed the factory program.
It’s unclear if ER Motorsport – owned by former national level racer Deon Coote – will be involved in the sport next year, while the future of Herfoss also remains up in the air. He has constantly been linked to a deal in the US-based MotoAmerica series during recent weeks.
Triple ASBK champion Josh Waters will race-on with McMartin Racing in the 2024 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) for a second full season with the Ducati-equipped team.
Waters first won the title as a rookie in 2009, before he repeated in 2012 and 2017 – all onboard Suzuki machinery – and is now targeting a record fourth crown.
“It’s a great feeling to be continuing with McMartin Racing for another season,” 36-year-old Waters commented. “We had some great pace last year in what was really our learning year together, so with that, to come so close to an Australian title was a bitter pill to swallow.
“There is no hiding how gutted we were to come so close to the championship, but it just gives us something much bigger to work on as we head into our second season together. There is a wealth of knowledge within the McMartin Racing team and our results throughout the year certainly reflected the strong partnership we have.”
After Waters finished runner-up to fellow three-time champion Troy Herfoss last season, McMartin Racing owner Craig McMartin is determined to go one better. The team previously won the 2021 ASBK championship with Wayne Maxwell.
“We are very fortunate to have Josh continue with McMartin Racing in 2024,” McMartin said. “Last years’ season was one of the most competitive we have seen in recent years and to have the championship come down to the final race of the year was certainly one for the history books. We are looking forward to working with Josh for our second season together.”
Lawrence collects first Triple Crown win in Arizona
Tomac climbs to second all-time with 450SX triumph.
Image: Octopi Media.
The standout 250SX West rider in 2023, Jett Lawrence put his previous Triple Crown misfortune in the past with his first victory in the alternate format of racing during the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross visit to Glendale, Arizona while Eli Tomac ascended to second all-time with the 51st victory of his career.
Scores of 1-3-1 put Lawrence atop the class for the fifth of six races thus far in 2023.
Levi Kitchen of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire both had enough speed to pressure Lawrence during each of the three races, with Hampshire reaching the checkered flag first in Race 2.
Hampshire claimed second overall on the strength of his race win, while Kitchen took 3-2-2 results to the final podium step.
Pierce Brown was fast all day aboard his TLD Red Bull GasGas machine, finishing 4-4-5 for fourth overall on the night. Unfortunately, Brown fell in the first turn after the night’s first gate drop and hit the ground again after Race 1 was red-flagged and restarted.
Failing to fully capitalize on the absence of newly injured Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Cameron McAdoo, Enzo Lopes (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) finished seventh, fifth, and fourth in Glendale for fifth overall.
Derek Kelley was competitive for the local team AEO Powersports throughout the event and finished sixth overall. Kelley led Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop MotoConcepts Racing), Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM), Robbie Wageman (Bar-X Suzuki), and Carson Mumford (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) in completing the top 10.
Returning to competition after a violent crash last time out at Seattle, Stilez Robertson (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) crashed and was hit by three riders in the first race. The incident brought out the red flag and put Robertson and Luke Kalaitzian out for the night.
With six rounds down and three to go for the west region 250SX category, Lawrence leads Hampshire by 26 points, with Kitchen a further 26 back. The series will return to action for the year’s first 250SX East/West Showdown at East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium on April 22.
Image: Octopi Media.
Held in the midst of a fierce 450SX championship battle, the 2023 Triple Crown at Glendale will forever have a place in the sport’s history as the round at which Tomac moved past James Stewart for second on the all-time win list.
Race results of 1-2-1 for the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider were more than enough to secure the overall victory inside this year’s Super Bowl-hosting State Farm Stadium.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) executed a wire-to-wire victory of the night’s second race for the premier class, getting past Tomac at one point but taking control right back with a remarkable pass through the whoops. Sexton’s night of 4-1-3 race scores culminated in second overall.
The following positions were closely contested throughout the night, with TLD Red Bull GasGas rider Justin Barcia collecting his first Triple Crown podium on the strength of 3-6-2 results in the trio of races.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) could do no better than fifth in Race 2, limiting his potential on the night as he turned 2-5-4 results into fourth overall. With Tomac more successful on the night, Webb forfeited his stake in the championship lead leaving the season’s 12th round.
Fast in qualifying and competitive during the evening program, Ken Roczen added his Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki to the overall top five with 5-3-5 race results.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM), the returning Colt Nichols (Team Honda HRC), Dean Wilson (Fire Power Honda), and Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) comprised the remainder of the top 10.
It’s the long-awaited first top-10 result of the 2023 Supercross season for Wilson, aided by misfortune for Anderson. A crash for the Kawasaki rider in the night’s final race ended his night early.
As the series heads east to visit MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Tomac will take to the track with a seven-point advantage over Webb in the 450SX standings. Sexton heads into the 13th round 25 points in arrears of Tomac.
Bruised lung and multiple breaks throughout body outlined.
Image: Foremost Media.
GasGas Racing Team’s MX2 contender Noah Ferguson has revealed a long list of injuries following that practice crash in the week leading into Appin’s second round of the Penrite ProMX championship.
Initial x-ray results showed a fractured collarbone, which Ferguson has ridden through in the past and was confident he could do so again to secure valuable championship points heading into a four-week break. However, after attempting to race round two at Appin, the Queensland-based rider suspected that his injuries were greater than the fractured collarbone alone.
“Basically, after Appin, I went to get more scans,” Ferguson told MotoOnline. “I got a CT scan, MRI and ultrasound on some other areas of my body that I was feeling pain in. Turns out, I had a broken humerus, scapula, rib cage, T5 and obviously the collarbone, but I also bruised my lung, so I gave myself a good whack and wasn’t really aware of the extent. My first scans only showed a broken collarbone.
“Right now, the plan moving forward is to take it day-by-day, I don’t want to return to racing unless I feel I can really be competitive. So we’ll play it by ear heading into Wodonga and see what happens. It’s a bummer, I had a great start to the season and I was feeling great on the bike, but these things happen and this is the sport we’re in. I’ll learn from it moving forward and hope that it makes me a better rider overall.”
His 2023 season was off to a flying start at round one in Wonthaggi, qualifying fastest and taking home third in the opening round. The Penrite ProMX Championship now heads to Wodonga, Victoria, on April 16 for round three. Ferguson sits 14th in the MX2 standings after failing to score points in either of the two motos at Appin, despite lining up for qualifying and moto one.
E1 points leader has undergone surgery on broken left leg.
Image: Foremost Media.
Defending Yamaha Australian Off-Road (AORC) E1 champion Kyron Bacon has sustained a broken left femur in Tasmania and has undergone surgery to begin the recovery process.
Bacon sustained the injury while racing at a Tasmanian enduro event and went under the knife on Sunday to help repair the break in his left leg, with Motorcycling Australia’s Sporting Director Simon Maas instrumental in organising a high level of care in a timely manner.
“We had a race in Tassie on the weekend, just the Pony Express so I partnered up with my brother to have a bit of fun,” Bacon said to MotoOnline.com.au. “We had a pretty good start and I kind of came around this bit of a corner and the back just hit a rock, hit the wrong line.
“It just kind of happened quickly and threw me over the bars, landed in the scrub and my leg was kind of hanging sideways and a bit tender at the time. Ended up getting into hospital, had surgery the next day in the morning and am home now, which is good.
“The doctors are saying about six to eight weeks, I’ll kind of take it day-by-day and just see how it goes really. I’m not going to rush it, I’m just looking forward to being able to walk properly and just do normal things first, then slowly get back into racing and hopefully finish off the year strongly.”
The 2022 season marked a standout campaign for Bacon, also victorious in the Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) and was part of Team Australia’s third-placed Junior World Trophy Team at the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in France.
His 2023 campaign was off to a great start with victory in E1 during both days of the opening AORC event in Mendooran, and it is understood that ShopYamaha Off-Road Racing will look to field a replacement rider in his absence.
Breakthrough Bezzecchi scores maiden MotoGP win in Argentina
Arbolino on top in Moto2, Suzuki reigns supreme at Termas in Moto3.
It was a breakthrough MotoGP victory for Marco Bezzecchi in the wet conditions at Termas de Rio Hondo, as Tony Arbolino emerged on top in Moto2 and Honda-mounted Tatsuki Suzuki delivered a commanding performance in Moto3.
Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) took the lead in the first corner of the race and delivered a calculated and composed performance on his way to a career-first premier class win, ultimately crossing the line 4.085s ahead of Johann Zarco (Prima Primac Racing).
A spirited charge secured Zarco the runner-up position, showing strong pace as the race progressed to work his way forward from P8 and make a decisive move on Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing) in the closing stages to secure 20 points.
Third marked the first podium for Marquez with Ducati, the number 73 also securing pole position for the weekend to continue what has been an impressive start to his Desmosedici stint. He finished sixth-tenths behind Zarco come race-end.
Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) concluded an improved weekend with a P4 finish in Sunday’s GP, the Italian also finished fourth in Saturday’s sprint race amidst a positive uplift in form.
Completing the top five on Sunday was Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati), ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who recovered from being pushed off the track by Takaaki Nakagami in the early stages.
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) finished P8, as Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) completed the top 10.
Notably, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) charged from 15th to first to win the sprint race, but fell on the opening lap of Sunday’s GP and was classified P17. Reigning MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) crashed on lap 17 while running second, later crossing the line in 16th position.
Joan Mir didn’t contest Sunday’s GP following injuries sustained from a fall in Saturday’s sprint. The Repsol Honda rider suffered cranial and survival trauma in the incident.
In terms of the MotoGP World Championship standings, Bezzecchi – who finished second in Saturday’s sprint – leads on 50 points, with Bagnaia second on 41 and Zarco third with 35.
The second round of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship saw Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) emerge on top, besting pole-sitter Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) by sixth-tenths of a second.
Jake Dixon (Solunion GasGas Aspar Team) also stood on the podium in third, as Aron Canet recovered from a double long-lap penalty for jumping the start to finish fourth ahead of Pons Wegow Los40 teammate Sergio Garcia.
Arbolino now leads the championship by eight points ahead of Canet, with Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – who was P12 at Termas – third and a further four points back.
A commanding performance by Leopard Racing’s Suzuki saw the number 24 achieve a 4.57s second victory in Argentina, with Brazilian Diogo Moreira continuing his podium form in P2.
CIP Green Power fill-in Andrea Migno completed the top three, just over a tenth from Moreira, as Portimao winner Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) featured in positions four and five.
Notably, pole-sitter Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) crashed out of the race with eight laps remaining.
Holgado remains atop of the Moto3 World Championship standings, two points clear of Moreira as Suzuki elevates to third, 11 points from the top spot.
Round four of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) between 14-16 April.