Moto News Weekly for September 17, 2019
Proudly brought to you by Dunlop Geomax
What happened this week
- Brad Freeman dominates EnduroGP of the Czech Republic
- Sanders claims outright victory at Hedley AORC final
- Daniel Milner crowned 2019 E2 AORC Champion at Hedley
- Luke Styke claims back-to-back E1 AORC titles
- 2019 NZ Vets & WMX Nationals decided at Central Hawkes Bay
- Brian Anthony races to 21st in World Sidecar Motocross championship
- Herlings tops MXGP final in Shanghai, China
- Australian Junior Dirt Track heads to Somersby this weekend
- FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy new team award announced
- 2020 Team Honda HRC rider line-up announced
- Regan Duffy replaces injured Evans for Aussie MXoN Team
- Shaun Simpson announces 2020 MXGP team
Brad Freeman dominates EnduroGP of the Czech Republic
Ideal conditions welcomed competitors to the sixth round of the FIM Enduro World Championship. Glorious late summer sunshine, spectacular special tests, and big battles all came together to offer a high-level show to the many spectators.
For the second day was no difference as the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic continued to play out in Uhlirske Janovice, where the riding conditions were different thanks to the large number of entrants churning up the track on Day 1. Different pitfalls had appeared, ruts became deeper, and new stones were unearthed.
It was a strong weekend for Brad Freeman taking the wins across both days from Steve Holcombe, and claiming the 2019 E1 Championship title in the process.
“This season has not been easy, and winning this second senior title in my career really means a lot to me. It’s a reward for all the hard work with my great team. Now all we have to do is finish the job in two weeks’ time in France…”
In E2 meanwhile a new winner emerged on Day 1 – Joe Wootton, with Alex Salvini cleaning up on Day 2, with an eye on that E2 title.
“What a race! I’m really happy to have won E2 today. I have retained my championship lead this weekend, despite losing it briefly yesterday. As everyone saw last year, the title can be won or lost until the last second, so I will go to the final round with the will to do my best.”
Steve Holcombe couldn’t overcome Freeman on the overall, but he still took the E3 victories, and is obviously aiming to claim the title, with Danny McCanney in the running as well.
“It’s been good to get back to racing again after the summer break. I’ve worked hard to return to fitness but coming to Czech I was still unsure of how fast I could be across the whole weekend. Despite wanting to win, it unfortunately didn’t work out that way. My fitness is not yet in a position to properly challenge for that top step and on Friday I also hurt my ankle in the super test, which didn’t help matters. I struggled to get going on Saturday morning, but came good towards the end of the day and felt like I kept that going during Sunday. I’ve a bit more to find in the enduro test but know that with the more races I get under my belt, the more I can build that fitness and strength back. As things stand, I’ve got an 18-point lead in Enduro 3, so the focus heading to the final round in France is to lock that title up. Although I’m 10 points behind in EnduroGP, all is not lost. There are still 40 points up for grabs, so I’ll keep pushing as best I can.”
Aussie Wil Ruprecht took the Junior overall win on Day 1 too, along with the J1 victory, with New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald close to clinching the Youth 125cc class, but not quite making it.
“It was so good to get back on top of the podium, It’s been a long road back from breaking my shoulder and to take the double win was excellent. It just would not have been possible without my family backing me and the Edmondson’s help. Of course, the Sherco Team supporting me as well. I just love riding and it’s fun to be back racing. I’m ready to fight for the Championship in France.”
The final two days of racing in the 2019 Enduro World Championship GP season will take place in Ambert, France on September 28 and 29, here’s a run down of the EnduroGP of the Czech Republic first however:
Day 1 – EnduroGP of the Czech Republic
Brad Freeman put in a performance worthy of his EnduroGP leader status; he set the best time on seven of the day’s tests on Day 1. The young Brit did not make any mistakes, always featuring at the top of the timesheets. In addition to taking the day victory, his greatest satisfaction was to have been able to hold off his closest title rival, compatriot Steve Holcombe.
Holcombe has shown that he has returned in better shape and as determined as ever, but a catastrophic start to the first day in the Czech Republic ruined his hopes of catching up with Freeman. A broken brake cable and crooked handlebars cost Holcombe a lot of time.
Another Brit completed the overall podium! Danny McCanney took third in Uhlriske Janovice, 53 seconds behind Freeman. And if three Brits weren’t enough, this English trio were joined by Joe Wootton! The young rider took his best result so far in Senior with fourth overall and a class victory.
Brad Freeman took E1 victory on Day 1 ahead of Matteo Cavallo and Davide Guarneri. The E2 class had a brand new winner in the form of Joe Wootton, from Larrieu and Salvini. Steve Holcombe won in E3 ahead of McCanney and David Abgrall.
The Czech GP also saw the return to competition of the Wil Ruprecht. In the absence of Verona, and now fully fit, he dominated the overall class. Leading from start to finish, he left no chance to any of his rivals to challenge him.
The Australian won in front of an impressive Antoine Magain, who snatched second place from Theo Espinasse at the end of the day by just one and a half seconds!
In J1 the podium was the same as that of Junior Overall: Ruprecht, Magain and Espinasse. The J2 class went to Enric Fransisco, ahead of Ruy Barbosa and Léo Le Quere.
New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald made it his mission to come back from his broken shoulder with a vengeance. He won the Youth 125 class ahead of Matteo Pavoni and Nathan Bererd.
In the Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup, Tom Elwood took another victory in the Open 4-Stroke category. In Open 2-Stroke, Patrick Halgas manage the win. David Knight gave more reason for British fans to cheer today, winning the Open Senior category.
EnduroGP of the Czech Republic – Day 1 Top 15
|1. FREEMAN, Bradley||GBR||Beta||1:01:18.48|
|2. HOLCOMBE, Steve||GBR||Beta||1:01:50.75|
|3. McCANNEY, Daniel||GBR||TM||1:02:11.74|
|4. WOOTTON, Joe||GBR||Husq||1:02:25.16|
|5. CAVALLO, Matteo||ITA||Sherco||1:02:29.34|
|6. LARRIEU, Loic||FRA||TM||1:02:37.12|
|7. SALVINI, Alex||ITA||Honda||1:02:55.17|
|8. CHARLIER, Christophe||FRA||Honda||1:03:17.07|
|9. HERRERA, Benjamin||CHL||Beta||1:03:17.30|
|10. GUARNERI, Davide||ITA||Honda||1:03:25.54|
|11. OLDRATI, Thomas||ITA||Honda||1:03:33.70|
|12. BASSET, Antoine||FRA||Husq||1:03:50.69|
|13. MIRABET, Kirian||ESP||Honda||1:04:03.76|
|14. ABGRALL, David||FRA||Beta||1:04:10.65|
|15. GESLIN, Anthony||FRA||Beta||1:04:17.71|
Day 2 – EnduroGP of the Czech Republic
Brad Freeman delivered another perfect performance in the EnduroGP class on Day 2. The Brit barely had to look over his shoulder all day, despite exchanging special tests with his major rival Steve Holcombe. He goes into the final round of the season in Ambert (France) with a 10-point lead over Holcombe. Danny McCanney, consistent and quick, took another EnduroGP podium on Sunday.
The weekend was filled with emotion for Brad Freeman – in addition to his two EnduroGP wins, he also took two victories in the E1 class and simultaneously won the world title for the second time in his career! Cavallo and Oldrati completed the E1 podium on Day 2, and France will see which of these two Italians will be runner up in the championship.
In E2, Salvini can consider himself back in business after Day 2. The Italian had to bring all his talent, power, and determination to win. He took the class victory in front of main title rival, Larrieu, while Redondi completed the top three today.
For Steve Holcombe the goal is clear: the E3 title. However, he needs be wary because Danny McCanney, second placed in the standings, has all the skill and speed to snatch the crown from him in France. David Abgrall completed the E3 podium on Sunday.
In Juniors, it was Theo Espinasse who took his first overall class success in 2019. The Frenchman had to go all out to claim this feat, and there was an intense fight between Espinasse and the ever-impressive Antoine Magain, as well as with Enric Francisco.
In J1, Espinasse won ahead of Magain, and the likeable Dan Mundell took a great third place after graduating from EY to EJ this weekend. Enric Francisco did the double in J2. In fact the podium was the same of that on Day 1 with Ruy Barbosa second, and Leo Le Quere third.
Coming into the weekend there was a good chance that New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald would be crowned Youth 125cc Champion. But after meticulous points calculations, it turns out that the ever cheerful Kiwi will have to wait a bit longer yet!
Tom Elwood continued the British success in 2019. By winning again he became the first Open 4-Stroke winner in the Enduro Open World Cup. In Senior David Knight took his 12th victory in as many race days. The giant from the Isle of Man could do a ‘clean sweep’ if he gets the double win in France.
EnduroGP returns in two-weeks for the grand finale of the 2019 EnduroGP season in Ambert (France).
EnduroGP of the Czech Republic – Day 2 Top 15
|1. FREEMAN, Bradley||GBR||Beta||59:59.13|
|2. HOLCOMBE, Steve||GBR||Beta||1:00:35.25|
|3. McCANNEY, Daniel||GBR||TM||1:00:55.08|
|4. SALVINI, Alex||ITA||Honda||1:01:20.99|
|5. LARRIEU, Loic||FRA||TM||1:01:34.15|
|6. CAVALLO, Matteo||ITA||Sherco||1:01:46.97|
|7. OLDRATI, Thomas||ITA||Honda||1:01:49.31|
|8. REDONDI, Giacomo||ITA||Husq||1:01:51.91|
|9. HERRERA, Benjamin||CHL||Beta||1:02:00.37|
|10. CHARLIER, Christophe||FRA||Honda||1:02:02.38|
|11. WOOTTON, Joe||GBR||Husq||1:02:10.30|
|12. BASSET, Antoine||FRA||Husq||1:02:23.90|
|13. VERONA, Andrea||ITA||TM||1:02:48.26|
|14. GUARNERI, Davide||ITA||Honda||1:03:19.25|
|15. MIRABET, Kirian||ESP||Honda||1:03:33.33|
2019 EnduroGP Standings
2019 E1 Standings
2019 E2 Standings
2019 E3 Standings
Sanders claims outright victory at Hedley AORC final
Daniel Sanders earned top outright honours as the 2019 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) concluded at Hedley, Victoria over the weekend of 14-15 September. Sanders also earned the double victory in E3 at Hedley’s final rounds of the AORC series, just two weeks after clinching his class championship aboard the factory Husqvarna FE 501.
It was Sanders who stormed to victory in class during Saturday’s penultimate round of the championship, finishing second in the outright classification following a hard-fought battle in the three-hour Cross Country format with Daniel Milner.
Newly-crowned champion Sanders maintained his perfect winning record in Sunday’s E3 finale, going undefeated in the series by securing the win while also topping the outright times to round off the year on a particularly high note.
“It was an awesome season, not only for me, but everyone in the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team as well. We pushed really hard and got the FE 501 working really well this season, so it’s good to get it done here in Victoria and to deliver for everybody at Husqvarna Motorcycles. My family and friends were here this weekend as well, so it’s a great reward to get it all wrapped up.”
2019 AORC Round 10 Saturday- Overall Result
2019 AORC Round 11 Sunday – Overall Result
|Rider||Rider||R1-R5 Total Time|
2019 AORC – E3 Final Standings
Daniel Milner crowned 2019 E2 AORC Champion at Hedley
Daniel Milner claimed the E2 Crown in the 2019 Australian Off-Road Championship, following the final rounds over the weekend at Hedley, Victoria. Saturday’s 10th round saw Milner emerge victorious in his class, while also topping the outright times. In the process, he was crowned the 2019 AORC E2 champion aboard the KTM 450 EXC-F.
Multiple national champion Milner was able to make it a clean-sweep in the E2 division after taking out another class victory in round 11. This time around, he was runner-up in the outright classification.
“And just like that it’s all over for another year. Unfortunately I pulled up short of the outright title but was fortunate enough to still come away with the E2 title. It has been a roller coaster of a season with plenty of ups and downs, but all I can do it take the positives out of the year and build on them for next season. The weekend was really good at Hedley for me. Halfway through the year, having the problems that I had, it’s been a struggle to get back on top. I’m starting to ride back to where I felt I could, so in Saturday’s Cross Country I was fired up and pushed hard! This is my third year in a row that I’ve actually had a clean-sweep in class, so I’m stoked to have done that and am really happy to bring home the E2 title with KTM.”
The ever consistent Josh Green with Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing did what he does and rode his way to more podium finishes over the weekend in the E2 division. Green finished second both days in class and inside the top four Outright to finish off another good season for the experienced campaigner.
“I gave it my best all season, Sanders and Milner are riding at such a high level at the moment and are just a bit above the rest of the pack. They are two world class riders and deserve their success, so congratulations to them. I’m satisfied with my year and think we did a great job as a team to stay in the hunt all year and remain consistent at every round. Racing the WR450F has been awesome fun and the bike has handled all the conditions well with no dramas at any stage. Thank you to everyone at Yamaha and our team sponsors for making 2019 enjoyable and look forward doing it again next year,” Green ends.
2019 AORC – E2 Final Standings
Luke Styke claims back-to-back E1 AORC titles
Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing’s Luke Styke has surged to back to back E1 class championships after securing victory at the final round of the Australian Off Road Championship, at Hedley in Victoria, over the weekend.
Styke came into the final weekend of racing carrying a 16-point lead in the E1 (250cc) category but couldn’t afford to take it easy as a gruelling weekend was ahead and plenty of hours of racing still to be completed.
In Saturday’s Cross-Country event, Styke started strongly and was leading the E1 class but made mistakes in the later stages of the three-hour race to allow his championship rival, Lyndon Snodgrass, to steal the round victory and move three points closer.
With the gap now at 13-points, Styke needed to finish inside the top five on Sunday to win the class if Snodgrass snatched the final round victory. But in typical Styke style, he won the final round in another strong performance and rolled across the finish line with his fist in the air celebrating another successful AORC campaign.
“Its good to get the championship win and go back to back in the E1 class. I struggled a bit on Saturday as my energy dropped dramatically in the final stages and I wasn’t at my best, but I was able to regroup overnight, get some food and hydration in and felt much better on Sunday morning. The team did a great job again and the bike was prefect all weekend. Three hours on a 250 on a fast and sandy course is hard work and then the boys put some hours in on Saturday night and it ran strongly and was perfect all weekend. Thanks to the event organisers and sponsors on another great series and I also would like to congratulate Lyndon, Fraser and Michael on making the E1 class a great race and exciting challenge this year.”
Riding the KTM 250 EXC-F, Snodgrass experienced great success during round 10, overcoming a pair of early falls to emerge victorious in the E1 division, while also finishing third outright. Sunday proved to be a more difficult outing, as a heavy fall saw him forced to climb the order to salvage a podium in E1. He managed to round out the day third in class and sixth outright.
“Saturday was really good being a Cross Country. I was feeling comfortable and, despite crashing twice after a bad start, I had to come through the pack and worked my up to third Outright and first in class. Today started off good with the two sprints, but then I had a crash and it sort of went downhill from there. I ended up second overall in the E1 championship, so I’ll take it and hopefully we go one better next year.”
2019 AORC – E1 Final Standings
2019 NZ Vets & WMX Nationals decided at Central Hawkes Bay
Report by Catherine Pattison
The overwhelming feedback from the popular 2019 New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Nationals revolved around a well-run weekend – where the champions of the future and the past converged to enjoy the natural Otane track.
It was a case of the who’s who and who-used-to-be-who turning up for some intense racing between the country’s elite females, in both the junior and senior grades, and also the top male riders aged over 30 years.
Hosted on the Twist’s property, by the Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club, the fast-flowing circuit earned a favourable review from two-time, former motocross world No.2 Josh Coppins. The Motueka-based, ex-international star comfortably cleaned up the Vets 40-44 years category, winning all five races and heading home runner-up Cambridge’s Damien King, a former multiple national champion and Barry Morris, in third.
While he won The Gathering of the Gods feature race for the top four riders from each Vet class, on outright speed, the final result was determined by adding the riders’ ages together with their points earned. The 70-79-year-old competitors were at an advantage here and consequently claimed some well-justified glory ending up on the podium. Peter Palmer topped the score sheet, followed by Reg Davey – the pair also finishing second and third respectively in the Vets 70-79 years class.
The Vets’ 40 to 54 years categories were headed by some seriously big names. British-born former Grand Prix star Kurt Nicoll, a four-time 500cc motocross world No.2, was one of them and only dropped to second once, winning the other four races to lift the Vets 50-54 years trophy.
Hamilton’s Amie Roberts was utterly dominant on her YZ250F in the Senior Women’s class, winning all five races to claim her first national title. The 20-year-old credited riding and training with her partner, top Kiwi MX1 rider Kayne Lamont, for helping her to reach the top of the podium.
The 1996 500cc motocross world champion Shayne King, from New Plymouth was expected to feature strongly in the 45-49 years class but it was ex-GP racer Cameron Negus, of Rotorua who claimed the honours. Former veterans’ world champion Pukekohe’s Tony Cooksley, demonstrated he still had the goods, claiming the Vets 60-69 years title amongst a field of seven other riders.
Taupo’s Nick Saunders enjoyed a successful return to racing after taking the past four years off to start a family. He clean-swept the Vets 30 to 34 years category on his Kawasaki KX450 and is now considering re-entering the competitive motocross scene.
Next year’s New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships will be hosted by the Gore and Districts Motorcycle Club.
Women’s Results – Class Winners
- Junior 8-12 years 85cc – Ticayla Manson
- 13-16 years 85cc – Avalon Smith
- Junior 12-16 years 125cc/250F – Zara Gray
- Senior – Amie Roberts
- Vets 30-39 years – Kylie Foreman
- Vets 40 years + -Shelley Hickman
Men’s Results – Class Winners
- Vets 30-34 years – Nick Saunders
- Vets 35-39 years – James Robinson
- Vets 40-44 years – Josh Coppins
- Vets 45-49 years – Cameron Negus
- Vets 50-54 years – Kurt Nicoll
- Vets 55-59 years – David Wallace
- Vets 60-69 years – Tony Cooksley
- Vets 70-79 years – Neil Boniface
Brian Anthony races to 21st in World Sidecar Motocross championship
Brian Anthony and Gary Moulds have completed the World Sidecar Motocross championship in 21st place, despite running only four of the 14 GPs. The title was claimed by Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis.
“Eventful, good start in qualy but unfortunately a crash on the first lap left us a bit banged up. We got back on and a long way back, and started fighting for a direct qualification position. We made some awesome passes and got up to P10 so was happy with the end result. Unfortunately second row start and another broken knee brace but better that than me. 21st in the world championship and only riding four of the 14 GP’s together, well proud, thanks to the whole team and everyone who supported us.”
2019 World Sidecar Motocross Championship Standings
Herlings tops MXGP final in Shanghai, China
For the full report see:
Herlings wins MXGP of China | Prado goes 1-1 in MX2 (link)
The 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship concluded over the weekend in China, with Red Bull Jeffrey Herlings winning his second MXGP Overall of the season while Jorge Prado made a statement winning the last round of the season.
Being the last round of the season, the Shanghai Off Road International Circuit also witnessed the conclusion of one of the most spectacular seasons ever. Taking the top three spots in the final MXGP Championship standings were Tim Gajser, Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff while in MX2 classJorge Prado, Thomas Kjer Olsen and Jago Geerts finalized the MX2 Championship standings.
“I am very happy to win my third World championship title. We had a great off-season, the beginning was just amazing and then I won seven rounds in a row which was so special. Now at the end of the season I am struggling and not finding the flow unfortunately. Coming to this weekend I felt good, yesterday I was fast on the track and enjoyed it. In the qualifying race I had the holeshot and then made a mistake and hit my neck and I was sore. From 11th gate pick today I took two solid starts and we were close to Jeffrey and Glenn. Second race I was feeling good but jumped off the track and unfortunately I just missed the podium.”
“I felt really good all weekend on the track, and it was a really nice dirt today. I wasn’t going for the championship but I was pushing in the first race because I felt amazing, but things happen. I got a rock in my eye and then cut my chin when I crashed and I was fighting hard to get third position. I didn’t want to risk too much anymore. That’s amazing to get second in the championship. A big thank to my team for this season.”
“I feel like we did a great job this weekend. It was a solid start in the second race and I was second and led all the races, I started making mistakes and I was looking at the bigger picture that is the bronze medal and I got a podium, which was good. First race was great. I am so pumped, I knew I needed a great gate pick and I was able to hold of Jeffrey (Herlings) and Tim (Gajser).
Round Overall Winner – Jeffrey Herlings
“The first race I just couldn’t make to win but I am very thankful to win the last two races of the season and I am looking forward to next year. I wanted to save some energy in the first race, but the second race I missed the start a bit and it was a bit tricky. I managed to win it at the end, and I am pretty happy. I want to thank the team and my personal sponsors.”
2019 MXGP of China Round Overall
|5||Van Horebeek, Jeremy||BEL||HON||14||16||30|
2019 MXGP Final Standings
|8||Van Horebeek, J.||HON||433|
In the MX2 class Jorge Prado’s winning streak continued in China, to top off an exceptional season.
“I’m happy to finish my MX2 career this way. I want to thank everybody from my team and everyone who helps me. It was an incredible season, many race wins and Grand Prix wins, and it is exciting to move to the MXGP class, we will work hard for that.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen
“It was a consistent season, the first part of the year was just amazing, the second part of the season was not as I wanted but overall I’m happy with my second position. I’m already thinking of how to improve next season.“
“I arrived in China with a few points and I managed to win, my season had some ups and down but I’m very happy about my third position. I’m looking forward to the Monster Energy FIM MXoN now and I hope Team Belgium can be again on the podium.”
2019 MX2 of China – Round Overall
|5||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||DEN||HUS||16||16||32|
|8||Larranaga Olano, Iker||ESP||KTM||14||12||26|
2019 MX2 Final Standings
Australian Junior Dirt Track heads to Somersby this weekend
This weekend the Nation’s best junior motor cycle riders from across the country will head to the Central Coast to contest the Australian Junior Dirt Track Championship for a two-day event over September 28-29, at Allen Park MVR Speedway, Debenham Road North, in Somersby.
Although some riders may be young in age they are much older in experience, skills and talent if the results shown at the recent Central Coast Cup event were any indication. Many of these young riders seem to have raised the standard for all riders if they are to have any chance of taking the championship.
With strong competition likely from Queenslanders – Riley Nauta, Nate Hicks, Lenny & Henry Snell and Steph Connors; Victorians – Cooper Antone, Jed Fyffe and Oli Bergic; and Central West NSW riders – Sam and Tom Drane, Noah Grabham and Beau Bailey being just a few riders to beat if they want to be crowned champion.
Forbes brothers Tom and Sam Drane along with Queenslander Riley Nauta have just returned from six-weeks of competition racing long track in America.
Riders from age-seven through to 16 will compete in their individual classes to hold the title of 2019 National champion. Several previous winners of this event have continued on to hold world championships.
The weekend entertainment will not only be provided by the high quality of the competitors but on the Sunday the crowd will be treated by a special appearance and demonstration ride by clinically blind Australian Ben Felten who is the current Guinness World Record and FIM record holder for the fastest land speed by a blind motor cycle rider.
Practice will commence at 9.30am followed by racing on the Saturday and racing opening from 9.30 am on the Sunday. Entry fee of $10.00 per car will cover you for the two-days of competition. So fill your car and be treated by the champions of tomorrow.
FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy new team award announced
It is now less than sixty days to go until the 2019 FIM International Six Days of Enduro takes place in Portimao, Portugal from November 11-16. As well as remaining the ultimate test of man and machine, the event in November will also incorporate the fourth edition of the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy. This will be contested over the final four days of the main event, starting with an initial acceleration test before three days of intense racing.
This edition of the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy will welcome the introduction of a new category – The Vintage Veterans Trophy Team. This will comprise of one team per country, nominated by the respective national federation.
Each team must include three riders, each aged at least fifty-years-old. These three riders must represent two of the classic categories (excluding EVO 86) of the Vintage Trophy. All three riders’ times will count in the overall results. The best three teams will be awarded according to their accumulative rankings.
2020 Team Honda HRC rider line-up announced
Team Honda HRC have announced their roster of racers for the 2020 race season, with a unique arrangement that will see two different riders competing in separate series alongside Ken Roczen, who earlier this year signed an extension to his agreement.
Joining the factory squad during the AMA Supercross series will be Justin Brayton, who has ridden for the Smartop/MotoConcepts/Bullfrog Spas Honda team for the past three years and had planned to continue in that partnership until this opportunity arose.
For the AMA Pro Motocross series, Brayton will pass the baton to current GEICO Honda rider and reigning 250SX East Champion Chase Sexton, who will join the factory 450 effort fulltime at that point.
A veteran rider with a solid résumé, Brayton brings experience and consistency to the table for the 17-race Supercross series. This isn’t his first stint with the team, as he raced with the factory Honda squad in 2012, when he scored his career-best series-overall placing of fourth, achieved with the help of five podium finishes and six additional top-five results. Since Brayton’s return to the Honda brand in 2017, he and the MotoConcepts team have opted to race Supercross only. The Iowa native is also a two-time Australian Supercross Champion and will in fact return Down Under this fall to defend that title with the Penrite Honda squad before turning his attention to preparing for 2020 aboard a Team Honda HRC CRF450R.
“I’m beyond excited to be riding for factory Honda in the 2020 Supercross season. Riding with the team in 2012 was the achievement of a dream for me, and I had my best season so far that year. Now I feel like I’m living my dream all over again, just a little older and more experienced to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Sexton will have the opportunity to once again campaign the 2020 250SX series with GEICO Honda before moving up to the CRF450R for AMA Pro Motocross. The Illinois native will not defend his East crown in Supercross, but will instead ride a CRF250R in the West region before beginning his Team Honda HRC agreement, which currently runs through the 2023 season. There’s also a possibility of him periodically competing in the 450SX class at East rounds, as a wildcard rider.
“I’m super excited to be joining Team Honda HRC. Factory Honda is a team that I’ve wanted to ride for since I was a kid, so to have this opportunity is honestly a dream come true. I’m looking forward to starting this journey with them, and I think it will be a successful one. I think the CRF450R suits me because I’m a bigger guy and I ride it well. Still, 2020 is going to be a learning year for sure. I’m just getting my feet wet in the 450 class, and it will be good to have an outdoor series under my belt to get me ready for a full 17-round 2021 Supercross series. I’m also looking forward to being teammates with Ken. We’re pretty close friends and train together every day, so I think this will push us both and take us to the next level. You couldn’t ask for a better guy to have under the tent, with his speed and knowledge.”
Regan Duffy replaces injured Evans for Aussie MXoN Team
Western Australian youngster, Regan Duffy (Raceline Motorsports), has been confirmed as part of the 2019 MXStore MXoN Australian team to compete at the 2019 FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN). Duffy will represent Australia at Assen, the Netherlands on September 28-29.
Duffy, who took out the 2019 MX Nationals MXD Championship will get his chance to impress on the world stage, and was understandably excited about the opportunity.
“I’m super excited to be able to partner both Dean [Ferris] and Kyle [Webster] on the 2019 Motocross Des Nations at Assen. I’m really looking forward to tackling the deep sand at Assen on a KTM 450 and hoping to do Australia proud.”
Duffy will replace Mitch Evans, World MX2 rider due to ongoing medical concerns. The line up will now consist of Dean Ferris, Kyle Webster and Duffy.
Shaun Simpson announces 2020 MXGP team
Shaun Simpson has announced that for the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship season he is planning to establish his own Grand Prix and British Championship race team using KTM and WP Suspension equipment. The 31-year-old will leave the RFX KTM team to race under his own ‘SS24’ banner next year.
The veteran struggled with the set-up of his race machine as well as basic technical issues in the last rounds of the current campaign and after recovering from a broken hand that forced to Scot to miss five Grands Prix in the mid-part of the season. Simpson has decided to tailor a racing operation around his needs and return to the modus operandi that served him brightly in 2014 and 2015 for GP success.
“I have almost fifteen years experience in the world championship and still totally believe I have the speed and the knowledge to run as high as possible in MXGP; definitely to get in amongst the factory boys,” he said. “Now is the time to do things the right way that will allow me to do my best on the track. For what feels like many reasons it simply hasn’t happened for me in the last month in MXGP but we have already taken some steps to reorganise and make sure we’re in the right direction for the Motocross of Nations and the last British Championship round. Thanks to the people involved at RFX KTM, but I know I can keep progressing in my career if we make this move. It will be far from easy but I can count on great support from KTM and it’s a brand that is a natural fit for me with the most competitive equipment. It’s exciting. We’ll start small but we want a high level of presentation because we know what sponsors and fans will expect. The goal will be a strong world championship campaign, the British title and a few surprise race appearances and then who knows where the team will grow for ’21.”
Simpson, who is the last privateer winner of a premier class Grand Prix when he triumphed at the 2013 Grand Prix of Benelux with a stock Yamaha, is likely to run as the sole rider in the new team but is beginning to confirm the scale and full ambition of the project.