Tag Archives: Toby Price

Dakar Rally plan to limit top speeds

After the death of two riders in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia in January, organisers are planning a series of measures to make the race safer including power restrictions to limit top speeds.

Over the years the rally has reduced engine sizes to 450cc to limit the high speeds of some riders who approach 200km/h on dirt and sand.

With the deaths of Paulo Gonçalves and Edwin Straver this year, organisers are now discussing a range of new safety measures.

They plan to have separate stages for motorcycles to the rest of the categories to limit the amount of fast and open sections and therefore top speeds.

There are also plans to limit the power of bikes and/or install speed limiters.

The antiquated navigation paper rolls that require the riders to take a hand off the bars to scroll through the routes will likely be replaced by more modern electronic handsfree versions.

It might also avoid the problem this year when an error in the roadbook forced officials to amend the finishing results on a super marathon stage this year.

Toby price in Dakar dunesTwo time Dakar winner Toby Price of Australia goes over the paper route map

We don’t expect they will get satnav units, but the new units will include visual and audible warnings.

Like most other international motorcycle racing, airbag jackets will also become mandatory.

Limit welcomed

2020 Africa ECO Race Andrew HoulihanAndrew Houlihan

Albury racer Andrew Houlihan who competed in the challenging 14-day 2020 Africa ECO Race from France to Senegal this year has welcomed the changes.

Andrew hopes to compete in next year’s Dakar when the changes are expected to be implemented.

“I think it needs to be slowed down a little,” he says.

“There were some crazy fast sections in the Africa Eco Race as well.

“Trickier navigation would also help. We had a little bit of the electronic road book in the liaison stages at Rally Du Marcos last year and it wasn’t too bad.

“I still like the idea of the paper roadbook but pre coloured like we had at Du Marcos and at Dakar.”

Dakar Rally organisers have met with the sport’s governing body, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme and some race teams to discuss the safety measures.

There has been no announcement yet, but we will follow developments.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussies do us proud in tough African rally

As we celebrate Australia Day weekend and Toby Price’s podium finish in last week’s Dakar Rally, let’s also celebrate three Aussie riders in an equally tough African rally.

Three Australians competed in the gruelling 14-day 2020 Africa ECO Race from France to Senegal.

The event is probably closer to the original Dakar Rally when it was held in Europe and Africa before shifting to South America after a 2008 terrorist threat cancelled the event. This year it moved to Saudi Arabia to “follow the oil money”!

Aussies do us proud

Matt Sutherland African rallyMatt Sutherland

Australia was proudly represented at the Africa ECO Race by Matt Sutherland (KTM), Andrew Houlihan (KTM) and Peter Caldwell (KTM).

Matt, who was born in Ballarat but now lives in Vancouver, was a late entry replacing a rider in Lyndon Poskitt’s Team Races 2 Places who had to withdraw due to illness. Matt finished the rally in seventh place.

“It was a crazy hard race,” he says.

Matt Sutherland African rallyMatt Sutherland

Andrew (pictured top of the page) from Albury is an experienced international off-road racer. He finished 21st outright and is on a mission to compete in the Dakar next year.

“I came with no expectations other than to finish,” says Andrew.

“I had a couple of bad days and a few really good days.”

He has already had great success in Australia and now has backing from Coca-Cola Energy for next year’s Dakar.

2020 Africa ECO Race Andrew HoulihanAndrew Houlihan

Peter, who now lives in Saudi Arabia, finished 36th after losing plenty of time in an early stage when he got lost in the sand dunes.

He finished 30 hours off the pace so even finishing the tough event was a great achievement.

Peter Caldwell Africa RallyPeter Caldwell

African event

Riders struggled over the 14-day event with the demanding terrain, some stranded in the desert for up to 30 hours. One stage has to be cut short due to multiple serious crashes requiring evacuations by helicopter.

The Africa ECO Race is an annual rally raid that starts in Europe and retraces much of the path of the original Paris-Dakar rally, ending on the banks of the famous pink lake – Lac Rose – in Senegal.

The event started after the 2008 Dakar was cancelled one day before it was due to start amid fears of a terrorist attack in Mauritania.

While the Dakar was relocated to South America, diehard fans were disappointed it had left Africa.

So the ECO Race was created to ensure the original format and character of the Paris-Dakar continued.

Matt Sutherland African rallyMatt Sutherland

Andrew says they travelled through “some of the toughest terrain in the world.”

“Whilst the Dakar Rally is the best known rally in the world, the Africa ECO Race is often referred to as the real race to Dakar as it retraces much of the old Paris-Dakar route and finishes at the original end point in Dakar, Senegal.”

This year’s event started under lights in Monaco on 4 January 2020.

Competitors then travelled to the port of Savona in Italy to board a ferry which took them to Tangier in Morocco.

From there they competed for 12 days racing over a distance of 6,500km through the mind-blowing landscapes of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal.African rally

Each stage was between 300 to 750km, with the average day being a distance of 400 to 500km.

The race was won by Italian Allesdandro Botturi on a Yamaha, ahead of mostly KTM riders.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Moto News Weekly | Anaheim II | Dakar | X-Trial | SuperEnduro

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Strong Aussie showing at 2020 Dakar Rally

After Africa and South America, the most recent chapter of Dakar Rally history, in the Middle East opened, with the Monster Energy Honda Team taking a leading role, with Ricky Brabec taking an early lead and the eventual win by 16min-26s.

Runner up was Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing), with Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) completing the top three, as top Australian competitor.

Toby Price – P3

“I’m really happy with another podium at the Dakar – every time I’ve made it to the finish at this event I’ve got onto the podium. So far, I’m either a number one or a number three guy. The most important thing is to be here safely at the finish. Obviously, we came here to win, but it just wasn’t our year. Yeah, after 18 wins in a row it would have been nice to get a 19th, but I think KTM’s winning streak won’t be topped for a very long time. We’ll go away now, regroup and come back stronger for 2021 and take that number one plate back.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Toby Price – 2020 Dakar Rally

Fellow Australian and privateer Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) came home in 13th, with a best stage finish of sixth.

Rodney Faggotter – P13

“Wow its done! Top 20’s most stages, with a career best of sixth in stage 10 for a career best of 13th overall. I had a solid two weeks and rode the most “in control” but also the best I have ever done. The riders in front of me are the best rally riders in the world and most of them full time athletes – I’m pumped to be near and amongst these guys! Two weeks flat out and it comes to a instant stop and now I try get to reflect and appreciate everyone’s support and messages. Instead of going through and saying last but not least – I want to call out to my awesome hot beautiful supportive wife and best friend. Love ya babe!!! Thank you. And my boys Matt and Nate for their support! It’s so hard on family back home following the race especially when you disappear off the charts due to helping at a accident/or a mechanical failure or even just technical timing glitches. Massive shout out to the Dragon Yamaha team and my awesome mechanic Quentin Brossier. He says only a few English words and I say none French – so we get along great! He worked overtime all through the night sometime triple checking and sorting everything and I never had a issue. Thanks bud! Big thank you to Yamaha Motor Australia and Yamaha Motor Finance, Yamaha Motor Insurance Australia without their commitment to assist me this year – I would not have been here full stop. And also a big thanks to fellow competitor Ben Young for helping me get to the start line. So many others that helped or have helped previously – that got me to this point that I so much appreciate. Thanks guys.”

Rodney Faggotter Dakar Rally

Rodney Faggotter Dakar Rally

Rodney Faggotter

New Zealand’s Phillip Wilson (Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team) was 53rd overall, with Ben Young (Duust Rally Team) coming home in 58th.

Trevor Wilson finished 76th, while Matthew Tisdall completed the 2020 Dakar Rally in 96th.

Pos. Rider Team Time/Gap
1 RICKY BRABEC MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 40H 02′ 36”
2 PABLO QUINTANILLA ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING + 00H 16′ 26”
3 TOBY PRICE RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM + 00H 24′ 06”
4 JOSE CORNEJO FLORIMO MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 + 00H 31′ 43”
5 MATTHIAS WALKNER RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM + 00H 35′ 00”
6 LUCIANO BENAVIDES RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM + 00H 37′ 34”
7 JOAN BARREDA BORT MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 + 00H 50′ 57”
8 FRANCO CAIMI MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM + 01H 42′ 35”
9 SKYLER HOWES KLYMCIW RACING + 02H 04′ 01”
10 ANDREW SHORT ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING + 02H 10′ 40”
11 STEFAN SVITKO SLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM + 02H 13′ 32”
12 ADRIEN METGE SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY + 02H 33′ 14”
13 RODNEY FAGGOTTER YAMAHA MOTOR AUSTRALIA + 02H 54′ 22”
14 JAUME BETRIU FN SPEED TEAM + 03H 31′ 58”
15 JAMIE MCCANNEY MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM + 03H 42′ 24”
16 JUAN PEDRERO GARCIA LS2 AVENTURA TOUAREG + 03H 45′ 33”
17 MACIEJ GIEMZA ORLEN TEAM + 03H 51′ 42”
18 LAIA SANZ GAS GAS FACTORY TEAM + 03H 58′ 16”
19 KEVIN BENAVIDES MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 + 04H 02′ 31”
20 MAURIZIO GERINI SOLARYS RACING + 04H 08′ 16”
21 ROSS BRANCH BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM + 04H 23′ 20”
22 JACOPO CERUTTI SOLARYS RACING + 04H 26′ 00”
23 MARTIN MICHEK MOTO RACING GROUP (MRG) + 04H 30′ 41”
24 SEBASTIEN LAGUT NOMADE RACING + 05H 21′ 45”
25 PAUL SPIERINGS HT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING + 05H 50′ 43”
26 MILAN ENGEL MOTO RACING GROUP (MRG) + 06H 03′ 09”
27 ANTONIO MAIO YAMAHA FINO MOTOR RACING + 06H 15′ 21”
28 PATRICIO CABRERA FN SPEED TEAM + 06H 49′ 18”
29 EMANUEL GYENES AUTONET MOTORCYCLE TEAM + 08H 02′ 31”
30 ARUNAS GELAZNINKAS ARUNAS GELAZNINKAS + 08H 15′ 51”
31 FAUSTO MOTA XRAIDS TEAM + 08H 42′ 54”
32 MARIO PATRAO KTM FACTORY TEAM + 08H 44′ 09”
33 OLIVIER PAIN TEAM JOG – NOMADE RACING + 09H 06′ 45”
34 BENJAMIN MELOT BENJAMIN MELOT + 09H 15′ 05”
35 LOIC MINAUDIER TEAM ALL TRACKS + 09H 47′ 47”
36 FLORENT VAYSSADE TEAM VAYSSADE FLORENT + 10H 36′ 10”
37 ANTHONY BOURSAUD ANTHO MOTO SPORT – DRAG’ON RALLY TEAM + 10H 50′ 18”
38 PETR VLCEK PETR VLCEK + 11H 48′ 57”
39 ROMAIN LELOUP TEAM REPAR’STORES + 11H 57′ 56”
40 MYUNGGUL RYU KLYMCIW RACING + 12H 37′ 50”
41 MIRJAM POL HT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING + 13H 35′ 03”
42 ZAKER YAKP WU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM + 14H 11′ 52”
43 CHARLIE HERBST NOMADE RACING + 14H 15′ 15”
44 KRZYSZTOF JARMUZ 115MOTO + 14H 32′ 09”
45 PHILIPPE GENDRON NOMADE RACING + 14H 49′ 16”
46 ENRIQUE GUZMÁN XRAIDS TEAM + 14H 55′ 42”
47 PHILIPPE CAVELIUS CAVELIUS TEAM + 15H 01′ 24”
48 NICOLAS BRABECK-LETMATHE TEAM CASTEU + 15H 28′ 49”
49 ALESSANDRO BARBERO ALESSANDRO BARBERO + 15H 31′ 58”
50 SIMON MARCIC MARCIC + 15H 40′ 26”
….
53 PHILLIP WILSON BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM + 16H 06′ 32”
58 BEN YOUNG DUUST RALLY TEAM + 16H 53′ 51”
76 TREVOR COLIN WILSON TREVOR WILSON + 21H 53′ 24”
96 MATTHEW TISDALL BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM + 40H 24′ 27”

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Toni Bou wins X-Trial Round 3 in Budapest

Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou burst back onto the 2020 trial scene, snatching a 65th career win in the indoor discipline, in the third points-scoring round of the X-Trial World Championship held in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

X Trial R Toni Bou mc

X Trial R Toni Bou mc

Toni Bou – X-Trial Championship Round 3 – Hungary

Budapest played host to round three of the FIM X-Trial World Championship where the spectators in the Laszlo Papp Arena were treated to a thrilling display from Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou.

Bou cruised through the opening qualifying round to claim a spot in the second knockout phase. The champion scored better than the other seven riders over the five-section preliminary phase.

Subsequently in the knockout phase, Bou again fared better than adversaries Gabriel Marcelli and Jaime Busto, earning himself a place in the Grand Final against Adam Raga.

Bou and Raga, both displaying top-level riding skills, faced off in the final over six sections, only to finish tied on points. The ‘run-off’ section failed to decide the winner, with both riders fiving the section. Eventually the victor was adjudicated to be Bou on merit of a count-back, the reigning champion having scored better in the second round. Bou now boasts a 15-point advantage over Adam Raga.

Toni Bou

“It was a really, really tough trial. Adam rode really well today. We were able to win the first round and also the second which proved decisive for the final run-off. I gave it everything in the final, but I wasn’t experiencing very good sensations, and I couldn’t find my balance, but I had enough aggression to keep fighting until the end, where I cleaned the two final sections while there was everything still to play for, so it all turned out fine in the end. I want to congratulate Adam because it will be really tough to beat him this year.”

X Trial R Toni Bou mc

X Trial R Toni Bou mc

Toni Bou tops the podium from Adam Raga and Gabriel Marcelli

Repsol Honda Team will be back to tackle the fourth round of the X-Trial World Championship on Sunday February 2 in Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi.

Results X Trial Budapest 2020

Pos. Rider Nat Team Points
1 BOU, Toni SPA Repsol Honda Team 20
2 RAGA, Adam SPA TRRS Factory Team 15
3 MARCELLI, Gabriel SPA RG Team 12
4 FAJARDO, Jeroni SPA Sherco Factory Team 9
5 CASALES, Jorge SPA Gas Gas Factory Team 6
6 BUSTO, Jaime SPA Vertigo Factory Team 4
7 GELABERT, Miquel SPA Vertigo Factory Team 2
8 BINCAZ, Benoit FRA Beta Factory Racing 1

X Trial Rider Standings

Pos Rider Nat. Team Points
1 BOU, Toni SPA Repsol Honda Team 60
2 RAGA, Adam SPA TRRS Factory Team 45
3 BUSTO, Jaime SPA Vertigo Factory Team 22
4 FAJARDO, Jeroni SPA Sherco Factory Team 21
5 GELABERT, Miquel SPA Vertigo Factory Team 20
6 MARCELLI, Gabriel SPA RG Team 18
7 CASALES, Jorge SPA Gas Gas Factory Team 12
8 BINCAZ, Benoit FRA Beta Factory Racing 7
9 MARTIN, Toby GBR Beta Factory Racing 1
10 TOULY, Kieran FRA Scorpa Factory 1

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Billy Bolt dominates Spanish SuperEnduro Round 3

Where Blazusiak dominated in Germany as Billy Bolt struggled, the young Husqvarna rider took his revenge during the third round of the season in Spain, setting the fastest time in the Akrapovic SuperPole and proceeded to take three victories in front of the passionate Spanish crowd – the maximum 63 points on the night! Having learned from his mistakes in Riesa, he completely dominated proceedings in A Coruña.

Billy Bolt SuperEnduro Round

Billy Bolt SuperEnduro Round

Billy Bolt

In the first race he quickly placed himself directly behind Taddy Blazusiak after the Pole took the holeshot. With a very slick track, conditions seemed to suit Bolt, who usually thrives when there’s a lack of grip.

From the second lap onwards, he lead the way in front of Blazusiak and Jonny Walker, with the latter finally seeming more comfortable and confident. The British Factory KTM rider finished in third, and Blazusiak was unable to hunt down Bolt, forced to settle for second behind the unstoppable kid from Newcastle.

Jonny Walker SuperEnduro Round

Jonny Walker SuperEnduro Round

Jonny Walker

In race two the riders have to face a ‘reverse grid’, but Bolt didn’t waste much time getting past early leaders Pol Tarres and Diogo Vieira. While Bolt made his escape, Blazusiak and Walker found themselves stuck in traffic, and despite Bolt suffering a fall he kept out of reach as he crossed the finish line and took the chequered flag.

Three laps from the end of the race, Blazusiak was only in eighth position, but his fighting spirit came to the fore and he battled back to an important fourth. Jonny Walker took second, and Alfredo Gomez third.

Alfredo Gomez SuperEnduro Round

Alfredo Gomez SuperEnduro Round

Alfredo Gomez

Determined not to let Bolt get too far ahead in the standings, the two KTM riders pulled off fantastic starts in the last race. Blazusiak was leading Walker while Bolt was further back. But on the second lap Blazusiak went down, letting Walker shoot past.

It seemed as if Taddy’s team-mate was finally on for a race win, but a mistake cost him near certain victory. In the end, no-one could stop Bolt as he charged through for his third victory of the evening. Jonny Walker and Taddy Blazusiak completed the top three in this final race.

Billy Bolt

“I’m made up by just how well tonight has gone. It’s the first time I’ve won all three races and taken the Superpole, so all in it’s gone about as perfect as it could have done. After my performance in Germany I wanted to come here and redeem myself. But to be honest, when I walked the course I didn’t expect it to suit me so well. However, as the night progressed I adapted to the changing terrain and conditions. You needed to muscle the bike around in places, but at the same time be calm and patient. I did my best to avoid mistakes and take the opportunities when they came to me. It worked, especially with race three – that felt perfect. Of course there’s still a long way to go in the championship, we’re far from over, but to take maximum points and get the leader’s red plate back is fantastic.”

Billy Bolt SuperEnduro Round

Billy Bolt SuperEnduro Round

Billy Bolt

Jonny Walker

“It’s been another good night and I feel like I’m showing that I’m making steps forward with each round. I’m delighted with second and another visit to the podium. On a tricky course I managed to get good starts and that made a big difference. I wasn’t always the fastest on the track, but I was consistently hitting my lines every lap, which was making things count. Looking at my results as a whole, I’ve improved each time. Fourth in Poland, third in Germany and now second tonight, that gives me a lot of confidence heading into the next round.”

Jonny Walker SuperEnduro Round

Jonny Walker SuperEnduro Round

Jonny Walker

Taddy Blazusiak

“The track was the real decider tonight. It either worked for you or it tripped you up. Unfortunately, for the majority of the time it got the better of me. I felt like after practice I had it figured out and in race one I managed to get it right. You needed to let it come to you – in a way ride slow to go faster. In race two things sort of came undone and I made too many strange mistakes. It was the same in race three, too. But I’m experienced enough not to dwell on it. There’s a lot of racing left to go in this championship and I’m looking forward to returning to the stadium in Budapest where I know I can show what I’m capable of.”

Taddy Blazusiak SuperEnduro Round

Taddy Blazusiak SuperEnduro Round

Taddy Blazusiak

Alfredo Gomez

“I made things difficult for myself when I crashed in the Superpole and ended up sixth. That meant I had a poor gate position and it was difficult to fight in the first corner. In race one I started seventh and recovered to fourth. I managed to capitalise on the reversed grid for race two and exited the second corner in fourth. I found my rhythm pretty quick and took third there. With fifth in race three I ended up fourth overall, but I showed in race two that with a decent start my pace was good.”

Alfredo Gomez SuperEnduro Round

Alfredo Gomez SuperEnduro Round

Alfredo Gomez

Billy Bolt now has 169 points in the standings, and takes over at the front of the championship by six-points ahead of Blazusiak. Walker is 33-points back, but not out of the title chase. Gomez is now fourth, 10 points from Walker.

Prestige Class Results – 2020 SuperEnduro Round 3
Prestige Overall Event Classification

  1. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 63 points
  2. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 49
  3. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 46
  4. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 39
  5. Blake Gutzeit (RSA), Husqvarna, 29

Final 1

  1. Billy Bolt
  2. Taddy Blazusiak
  3. Jonny Walker
  4. Alfredo Gomez
  5. Tim Apolle

Final 2

  1. Billy Bolt
  2. Jonny Walker
  3. Alfredo Gomez
  4. Taddy Blazusiak
  5. Will Hoare

Final 3

  1. Billy Bolt
  2. Jonny Walker
  3. Alfredo Gomez
  4. Taddy Blazusiak
  5. Alfredo Gomez
  6. Blake Gutzeit

Provisional Classification

  1. Billy Bolt 169 points
  2. Taddy Blazusiak 163
  3. Jonny Walker 136
  4. Alfredo Gomez 126
  5. Blake Gutzeit 89

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Juniors

America’s Ty Cullins, leader of the Junior category, experienced his worst evening since his debut in the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship. The TM rider didn’t finish in the top three during any of the races in A Coruña. The Californian fell foul of the many pitfalls in the Spanish arena. After several crashes, he failed to find the pace or the confidence to fight at the front.

Bulgarian KTM rider, Teodor Kabakchiev, was the big winner of the evening. After taking victory in race two, and a couple of second places, he took overall victory in Spain. The first race was won by Dominik Olszowy ahead of Kabakchiev and Leon Hentschel.

Kabakchiev took top honours in race two ahead of Milan Schmueser and Hentschel. And the German Sherco rider won the last race at the expense of Kabakchiev and France’s Adrien Jacon.

The Junior Championship therefore has a new leader in the form of Leon Hentschel, who now has 138 points, Cullins limits the damage by leaving A Coruña second in the rankings, five-points down.  Following his excellent evening, Kabakchiev is now third on 125 points.

Junior Class Results – 2020 SuperEnduro Round 3
Final 1

  1. Dominik Olszowy
  2. Teodor Kabakchiev
  3. Leon Hentschel
  4. Raul Guimera
  5. Adrien Jacon

Final 2

  1. Teodor Kabakchiev
  2. Milan Schmueser
  3. Leon Hentschel
  4. Adrien Jacon
  5. Dominik Olszowy

Final 3

  1. Milan Schmueser
  2. Teodor KabakchievLeon Hentschel
  3. Adrien Jacon
  4. Alessandro Azzalini
  5. Dominik Olszowy

Provisionnal classification

  1. Leon Hentschel 138 points
  2. Ty Cullins 133
  3. Teodor Kabakchiev 125
  4. Adrien Jacon 121
  5. Milan Schmueser 76

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Aussies tackle 2020 Africa ECO Race

Australian Andrew Houlihan has finished 21st outright in the gruelling 2020 Africa ECO Race, with the 14 day off-road rally seeing riders struggle at times with demanding terrain, some stranded in the desert for up to 30 hours, and one stage cut short due to multiple serious crashes requiring evacuations by helicopter.

While the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia has captured plenty of attention in recent weeks, three Australians, Andrew Houlihan, Matt Sutherland and Peter Caldwell have been tackling an equally demanding event in Northern Africa.

Africa ECO Race Stage Andrew Houlihan

Africa ECO Race Stage Andrew Houlihan

Andrew Houlihan – 2020 Africa ECO Race Results

The Africa ECO Race is an annual rally raid that starts in Europe and retraces much of the path of the original Paris-Dakar rally, ending on the banks of the famous pink lake – Lac Rose – in Senegal.

This year’s event started under lights in Monaco on the 4th January. Competitors then travelled to the port of Savona in Italy to board a ferry which took them to Tangier in Morocco. From there they competed for 12 days racing over a distance of 6,500km through the mind-blowing landscapes of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal. Each stage was between 300 to 750km.

Andrew Houlihan entered with no expectations other than to finish safely, and is no stranger to the challenges of off-road racing having won multiple motocross titles in Australia, but at the age of almost 50 he made his international debut in the Hellas Rally in Greece in 2018.

A major crash in that rally almost cost him his life, and after a long recovery he came back in 2019 to compete in four international rallies including the Hispania Rally in Spain (placing sixth in class) and the Rally du Maroc where he came eighth in the Enduro Cup category.

The 2020 Africa ECO Race was the next step on Andrew’s journey to his ultimate goal of competing in the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, and Andrew’s previous successes helped to gain sponsorship from Coca-Cola Energy.

The energy drink division of Coca-Cola, one of the most recognised and valuable brands in the world, has put their support behind Andrew, his teammate Mexican rider Juan Pablo Guillen and their Nomadas Adventure team.

A field of 74 motorbikes started this year’s rally, but the tough conditions took their toll on the riders and machines with only 61 rolling up to the start line for the final day.

Stage 8 was particularly hard on riders with many bikes still stranded in the Mauritanian sand dunes overnight. For many of those stranded the rescue mission would take up to 30 hours. Two days later tough conditions and multiple serious crashes caused the early termination of the 600km 10th stage.

Andrew’s 21st place in the 2020 Africa ECO Race is despite facing his own challenges during the event. A fuel pump failure in stage 2 cost him over an hour and a half while he siphoned fuel with his CamelBak from one fuel tank to the operational one, as well as ongoing hand cramps over the final three days.

Andrew Houlihan

“I had a couple of bad days and a few really good days. Very little sleep for 12 days and just enough food to keep going each day. We saw the best and the worst of Northern Africa and it was an emotional and physical roller coaster. Every day at some stage I would ask myself, why am I doing this. There were some serious accidents, riders stuck in the dunes for 24 hours, bikes and cars breaking down, crazy African desert dwellers to contend with and many new friendships made. I’m happy to finish in 21st position overall despite a couple of really bad days. It’s time to get home to Katie and the kids, add some more titanium pins and screws to my body, recover and get ready for the next race!”

Africa ECO Race Andrew Houlihan

Africa ECO Race Andrew Houlihan

Andrew Houlihan – 2020 Africa ECO Race Results

Fellow Australian Matt Sutherland who was born in Ballarat but now lives in Vancouver, was a late entry into the rally. He replaced a rider in Lyndon Poskitt’s Team Races 2 Places who had to withdraw due to illness. Matt finished the rally in seventh place.

Peter Caldwell (KTM) finished 36th after losing plenty of time in an early stage when he got lost in the sand dunes.

2020 Africa ECO Race Results

Pos. Rider Time
1 BOTTURI Alessandro 48:47:30
2 ULLEVALSETER Pal Anders 48:51:29
3 POSKITT Lyndon 49:39:26
4 LUCCI Paolo 49:43:02
5 BENKO Martin 54:11:17
6 CZACHOR Jacek 54:23:10
7 SUTHERLAND Matt 54:33:29
8 DABROWSKI Konrad 55:23:37
9 STASIACZEK Pawel 55:49:55
10 GRITTI Giovanni 56:24:33
11 JOHNSON Michael 56:57:37
12 LA CAVERA Blasco 58:12:42
13 MINELLI Gabriele 59:03:22
14 BARATIN Amaury 59:04:13
15 BERGLUND Anders 59:34:56
16 BOCOUM Mamadou 60:04:42
17 GUILLEN Juan Pablo 60:13:16
18 SAVELKOULS Stephan 60:25:05
19 MAESTRAMI Lorenzo 60:26:13
20 CRAISS Michael 60:44:27
21 HOULIHAN Andrew 61:00:12
22 LABINSKY Robert 65:38:23
23 CHATELIER Thibault 66:11:04
24 GöRLACH Fabian 67:11:20
25 EVANS Joey 68:20:50
26 ZATKO Jan 69:06:26
27 RAAFF Gregory 69:14:20
28 HULTQVIST Joakim 69:56:32
29 CONREAU Christophe 70:45:50
30 VAN DER WOUDEN Bram 71:27:22
31 ENOCHSSON Per 71:54:58
32 STROMAETHER Per 72:19:45
33 DORS Richard 76:19:50
34 LINES Edward 76:54:40
35 COMINARDI Davide 77:29:29
36 CALDWELL Peter 78:40:14

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Under-21’s Speedway heads to Undera

Australia’s best Under 21 Speedway riders converge on Undera this Saturday night for the 2020 Australian Under 21’s Speedway Championship, with a 16-rider field to tackle the tight technical Undera circuit, near Shepparton, from 5pm, January 25, 2020.

Motorcycling Australia Track Events Manager, Sam Redfern, said the 16-rider field were the best of the best and Australia’s future world champions including recent Australian Senior Solo Speedway Championship competitors Jaimon Lidsey and Zach Cook who both put in strong performances against senior riders.

Under s Speedway Championship Jaimon Lidsey

Under s Speedway Championship Jaimon Lidsey

Jaimon Lidsey

Sam Redfern – Motorcycling Australia Track Events Manager

“This is a fantastic field of Australian talent for the Under 21’s Speedway Championship at Undera, with Jaimon Lidsey aiming for his third Under 21 title in a row. Undera recently held the successful senior national championship and fans should definitely expect spectacular action and racing this Saturday night. Junior speedway is in a very healthy state and these young guns have the talent to represent Australia on the world stage. I would certainly encourage speedway fans to get to Undera Speedway on January 25 for what will be a fantastic championship meet.”

Racing on the night kicks off with practice from 5pm, rider introduction at 7pm and racing from 7.30pm.


2020 Moto X Step Up returns to Adelaide

Following a successful Australian debut at the 2019 Superloop Adelaide 500, the Moto X Step Up competition will return for 2020, with the unique motocross competition attracting adrenalin-seekers from all over the world as competitors attempt to jump a bar as high as 55 feet.

An international rider line-up headlined by Australia’s own Jarryd McNeil will see some of the world’s best Moto X stars head to Adelaide to compete for the top prize.

McNeil, the reigning four-time Moto X Step Up X Games Gold Medallist (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) took out the inaugural Superloop Adelaide 500 crown in 2019 and is looking forward to returning to Adelaide to defend his title.

Jarryd McNeil

“It was awesome to win the first ever Moto X Step Up competition in Australia at last year’s Superloop Adelaide 500. It’s cool to see so many Aussie fans at the event, embracing Moto X Step Up and cheering us on. This year the field is just as competitive, if not more, with a number of international riders. I’m looking forward to the challenge that it brings and trying to retain my title.”

American Colby Raha who claimed bronze in the Moto X Step Up and gold in the Real Moto X Gold Medal at the 2019 X Games is McNeil’s main rival in the field and looking for redemption in 2020.

Colby Raha

“I’m stoked to head back to Australia and compete in the Step Up competition. It’s cool to see how big this sport has grown in Australia over the years and the level of riders coming from Down Under. The competition was close in 2019 and I’m ready to go again, the Aussies better watch their backs!”

The Czech Republic’s Filip Podmol will return to Adelaide after a successful Moto X debut at last year’s event clearing 36 feet, along with Italian Massimo Bianconcini who took out fifth place in the 2019 X Games Moto X Step Up competition, rounding out the field in what is set to be a thrilling spectacle for fans.

Similar to high jump, Moto X Step Up will see the bar increase in height, beginning at 30 feet and sometimes reaching 55 feet in order to secure eliminations. If a rider is unsuccessful in their two attempts they are eliminated. The winner is declared when one rider remains after multiple elimination stages over the four-day event, kicking off on February 20.

The Superloop Adelaide 500 will take place 20 February – 23 February, 2020. Tickets for the 2020 Superloop Adelaide 500 are now on sale. For more information on the event and Rose Rooftop visit: www.superloopadl500.com.au (link)


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2020 Empire Kawasaki riders announced

The direct collaboration between Kawasaki Motors Australia and Empire Kawasaki is entering into its second full season, with Tyson Cherry and Empire Motorsport to run the largest Kawasaki supported Motocross and Supercross racing effort in the 2020 Australian Motocross Nationals and Australian Supercross Championship.

Empire Kawasaki Riders Announced

Empire Kawasaki Riders Announced

Continuing on from 2019, Deakin Hellier will be competing on the Kawasaki KX250 in MXD and MX2 sharing, “Feeling super adamant on putting some good results on the board for the 2020 MX season, my bike this year is feeling awesome. The new 2020 KX250 has really blown me away this year excited to show my potential.”

Jayden Rykers, will be competing on the Kawasaki KX450 in MX1 adding, “I’m really happy to be joining the Empire Kawasaki team for 2020. I had a solid year last year and had the speed to run with the top riders and I’m looking to continue on with that form. I’ve spent some time on the test track on the new bike and I feel really comfortable on the bike, and think that as a whole, it suits my style better than my previous bike. This, paired with a better preseason will see me hunting the podium throughout the year.”

Team Manager, Tyson Cherry also commented on the year ahead, “2019 was an awesome year for us, learning a new bike and building a relationship with Kawasaki Australia, we are excited to continue our partnership with Kawasaki. Deakin and Jayden are both putting in a lot of work on and off the bike; we are all excited to get to round 1 and get the season underway.”

Kawasaki Motors Australia National Sales & Marketing Manager, Robert Walker is looking forward to a strong year for the Green Team, “We have established an great relationship with Empire Kawasaki. In 2020 we are looking forward to seeing the team on the podium and supporting the Kawasaki brand with some great results.”.


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Indian announce 2020 European Flat Track Series

Indian Motorcycle and the Dirt Track Riders Association (DTRA) have announce the race schedule for the 2020 Indian Motorcycle European Flat Track Series.

Following a successful inaugural series in 2019, Indian Motorcycle has worked with the DTRA to select events that ensure the ‘Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series’ championship is accessible and exciting for a wide range of rider abilities.

Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series tombing dsc

Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series tombing dsc

2020 Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series announced – Image by Tom Bing

Three classes will allow entries ranging from the thundering 750cc+ multi-cylinder ‘Hooligan’ road-based machines, such as Indian FTR 1200 and Scout, to the Open-entry ‘Pro Class’ dominated by lightweight DTX based machines and a growing Pre-1975 ‘Vintage Class’.

All classes cater for first-time amateur and Pro riders alike, with circuits catering for mixed ability, including fast ½-miles, tight short tracks and a TT, with a four round championship with the three best results to count.

2020 Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series

  • Round 1: 2nd-3rd May Hells Race, Holland – Light Shale Short-Track
    Open to all Classes. Held at this well-established event at the Dirttrack Lelystad Stadium, this is a fantastic event to open the series.
  • Round 2: 6th-7th June Greenfield TT, United Kingdom – Dirt-Track TT Course
    Open to Pro and Vintage classes only. Greenfield TT incorporates a spectacular jump section which is unsuitable for the Hooligan road-based machines, it also makes-up a round of the UK DTRA Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Nationals Series.
  • Round 3: 13th June – El Rollo at Wheels and Waves, San Sebastian, Spain – Dirt Short-Track
    Open to all Classes. The El Rollo dirt-track race at Wheels and Waves is a massive event in the European motorcycle calendar.
  • Round 4: 18th-20th September Krowdrace, Parchim Germany – Shale 1/2 Mile
    Open to all Classes. Run for the first time in 2019, Krowdrace is expanding in its second year and will be running at this excellent ½-mile venue.

Individual event prizes will be awarded on top of local event prizes as follows: Winner Pro – 200 Euros; Winner Hooligan – 150 Euros; Winner Vintage – 150 Euros.

The series is free to enter and prizes and benefits will be available only to registered riders. Registered riders will agree to abide by the rules of the series and the local rules and licence arrangements of each local race organisers. Registrations will open during January and close just before the first meeting. Full rules for the 2020 series will be found on the DTRA website and, of course, locally at each event. (Link to registration via DTRA: www.dirttrackriders.co.uk)

Indian Motorcycle will announce its 2020 team and rider lineup soon.

Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series

Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series

2020 Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Series Poster


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Shayna Texter with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for another two years

KTM Motorsports have announced that 18-time AFT Singles winner Shayna Texter has signed a two-year contract extension with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team to compete in the American Flat Track Championship Singles class through the 2021 season.

Texter, a Pennsylvania native, will return aboard the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, a bike that led her to three AFT Singles Main Event wins last season. As a part of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s debut season in 2019, Texter has been an integral part of the brand’s testing and development in American Flat Track racing. Finishing seventh overall in the series last season, Texter will look to improve her standing and go after even more race-wins in 2020.

Shayna Texter

“It’s an honor to be continuing my relationship with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. They have created a culture of winning that I am happy to be a part of. We learned so much together last season with the new team and we won three races together, but now we turn our attention toward 2020 with new goals that I look forward to accomplishing on a Red Bull KTM.”

AFT Rnd Minnesota Mile Singles Shayna Texter ERV

AFT Rnd Minnesota Mile Singles Shayna Texter ERV

Shayna Texter – Image by Scott Hunter

The 2020 American Flat Track Championship kicks off on March 14 in Daytona Beach, Florida. For more information on the American Flat Track Championship, please visit their website https://www.americanflattrack.com.

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2020 Championship Calendars

2020 AMA Motocross race schedule

  • May 17 – Hangtown Motocross Classic – Rancho Cordova, CA
  • May 24 – Fox Raceway National – Pala, CA
  • May 31 – Thunder Valley National – Lakewood, CO
  • June 7 – Florida National – Jacksonville, FL
  • June 21 – High Point National – Mt. Morris, PA
  • June 28 – Southwick National – Southwick, MA
  • July 5 – RedBud National – Buchanan, MI
  • July 19 – Spring Creek National – Millville, MN
  • July 26 – Washougal National – Washougal, WA
  • August 16 – Unadilla National – New Berlin, NY
  • August 23 – Budds Creek National – Mechanicsville, MD
  • August 30 – Ironman National – Crawfordsville, IN

2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Calendar

  • Jan. 4 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Jan. 11 – The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Jan. 18 – Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Jan. 25 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
  • Feb. 1 – Ringcentral Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
  • Feb. 8 – Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
  • Feb. 15 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
  • Feb. 22 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
  • Feb. 29 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
  • March 7 – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Fla.
  • March 14 – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis, Ind.
  • March 21 – Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
  • March 28 – Centurylink Field, Seattle, Wash.
  • April 4 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, Co.
  • April 18 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
  • April 25 – Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • May 2 – Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

2020 MXGP Calendar

  • March 1 – Great Britain, Matterley Basin (EMX125, WMX)
  • March 8 – The Netherlands, Valkenswaard – (EMX250, WMX)
  • March 22 – Patagonia, Argentina, Neuquen
  • April 5 – Trentino I, Pietramurata – (EMX250, EMX 2t)
  • April 19 – Spain, (TBA) – (EMX125, WMX)
  • April 26 – Portugal, Agueda – (EMX125, EMX250)
  • May 10 – France, Saint Jean d’Angely – (EMX125, EMX Open)
  • May 17 – Italy, Maggiora – (EMX Open, WMX)
  • May 24 – Germany, Teutschenthal – (EMX250, EMX Open)
  • June 7 – Russia, Orlyonok – (EMX250, EMX Open)
  • June 14 – Latvia, Kegums – (EMX250, EMX Open)
  • June 28 – Indonesia, Jakarta
  • July 5 – Indonesia, Palembang
  • July 26 – Czech Republic, Loket – (EMX65, EMX85, EMX 2t)
  • August 2 – Belgium, Lommel – (EMX125, EMX250)
  • August 16 – Sweden, Uddevalla – (EMX125, EMX250)
  • August 23 – Finland, Litti-KymiRing – (EMX125, EMX250, EMX 2t)
  • September 6 – Turkey, Afyonkarahisar – (EMX Open, WMX)
  • September 13 – China, (TBA) –
  • September 20 – Emilia Romagna, Imola – (EMX125, WMX)
  • September 27 – Motocross of Nations, France, Ernee

2020 American Flat Track

  • Round 1. March 14: Daytona 200 &  TT – Daytona Speedway, FL
  • Round 2. March 28: Atlanta Short Track – Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA
  • Round 3. April 4: Charlotte Half-Mile – Charlotte Speedway, Concord, NC
  • Round 4. May 2: Texas Half-Mile – Texas Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
  • Round 5. May 9: So-Cal Half-Mile – Perris Speedway, Perris, CA
  • Round 6. May 16: Sacramento Mile – Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA
  • Round 7. May 30: Red Mile – Red Mile, Lexington, KY
  • Round 8. June 13: Laconia Short Track – New Hampshire Speedway, Loudon, NH
  • Round 9. June 20: OKC Mile – Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Round 10. June 27: Lima Half-Mile – Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH
  • Round 11. July 4: New York Short Track – Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY
  • Round 12. August 9: Buffalo Chip TT – Buffalo Chip, Sturgis, SD
  • Round 13. August 11: Black Hills Half-Mile – Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD
  • Round 14. August 22: Peoria TT – Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL
  • Round 15. September 5: Springfield Mile I – Illinois Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
  • Round 16. September 6: Springfield Mile II – Illinois Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
  • Round 17. September 12: Williams Grove Half-Mile – Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Round 18. September 26: Meadowlands Mile* – Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ

2020 Australian Speedway Senior Solo Speedway Calendar

  • Round 1, January 3 – Kurri Kurri Speedway, Loxford Park NSW
  • Round 2, January 6 – Diamond Park, Wodonga VIC
  • Round 3, January 7 – Undera Speedway, Echuca Road, Undera VIC
  • Round 4, January 9 – Olympic Park, Regina Street, Mildura VIC
  • Round 5, January 11 – Gillman Speedway, Wilkins Road, Gillman SA

2020 WESS Enduro World Championship Schedule

  • Round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 8-10
  • Round 2: Trefle Lozerien AMV (France) May 21-23
  • Round 3: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (Austria) June 10-14
  • Round 4: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland ) June TBC
  • Round 5: Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 21-25
  • Round 6: Tennessee Knockout (USA) August 15-16
  • Round 7: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (UK) September TBC
  • Round 8: Hixpania Hard Enduro (Spain) October TBC

2020 FIM Speedway GP Calendar

  • May 16 – PZM Warsaw SGP of Poland – Warsaw
  • May 30 – German SGP – Teterow
  • June 13 – Czech SGP – Prague
  • July 18 – Adrian Flux British SGP – Cardiff
  • July 25 – Swedish SGP – Hallstavik
  • August 1 – Betard Wroclaw SGP of Poland – Wroclaw
  • August 15 – Scandinavian SGP – Malilla, Sweden
  • August 29 – Russian SGP – Togliatti
  • September 12 – Danish SGP sponsored by ECCO – Vojens
  • October 3 – Revline Torun SGP of Poland – Torun

2020 Australian Dirt Track Championship dates

  • April 11-12 Australian Junior Dirt Track Championships
    • Mick Doohan Raceway, QLD, North Brisbane Jnr Motorcycle Club
  • October 17-18 Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships
    • Fairburn Park, ACT Motorcycle Club

2020 Australian Track Championship dates

  • May 16-17 Australian Senior Track Championships
    • Qurindi, Tamworth, NSW, Tamworth Motorcycle Club
  • September 26-27 Australian Junior Track Championships
    • Gunnedah, NSW Gunnedah Motorcycle Club

2020 Australian Off-Road Championship Calendar

  • Round 1 & 2: Toowoomba, QLD 22 – 23 February 2020
  • Round 3 & 4: Dungog, NSW 14 – 15 March 2020
  • Round 5 & 6: Nowra, NSW 18 – 19 April 2020
  • Round 7 & 8: SA 1 – 2 August 2020
  • Round 9 & 10: Omeo, VIC 19 – 20 September 2020
  • Round 11 & 12: Wynyard, TAS 17 –18 October 2020

2020 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Calendar

  • Round 1: December 7, 2019 – Krakow, Poland
  • Round 2: January 4 – Riesa, Germany
  • Round 3: January 18 – A Coruna, Spain
  • Round 4: February 1 – Budapest, Hungary
  • Round 5: March 14 – Lodz, Poland

2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road East/West Calendar

  • 2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road East Series
    • March 28-29: RevLimiter Extreme Enduro, Decatur, Texas
    • May 16-17: Madd Moose, Marquette, Mich.
    • July 4-5: Tough Like RORR, Tamaqua, Pa.
    • July 18-19: Fallen Timbers, Little Hocking, Ohio
    • Aug. 1-2: Battle of the Goats, Taylorsville, N.C.
  • 2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road West Series
    • Feb. 8: King of the Motos, Lucerne Valley, Calif.
    • March 28-29: RevLimiter Extreme Enduro, Decatur, Texas
    • May 2-3: EnduroFest, Reno, Nev.
    • June 6-7: Last Dog Standing, Devore, Calif.
    • June 20-21: Stix and Stones, Kellogg, Idaho
  • 2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship
    • Aug. 14-16: Trials Training Center, Sequatchie, Tenn.

2020 FIM Flat Track World Championship Calendar

  • Round 1 – June 13: Diedenbergen DE
  • Round 2 – July 26: Boves-Cuneo IT
  • Round 3 – September 5: Morizès FR
  • Round 4 – October 3: Pardubice CZ

2020 King of MX Calendar

  • Qualifier 1 – February 15-16, Bega – Top 7 qualify for final
  • Qualifier 2 – February 29-1 March, Narrabri – Top 7 qualify for final
  • Qualifier 3 – March 14-15, Bathurst – Top 6 qualify for final
  • Qualifier 4 – March 28-29, Wagga Wagga – Top 6 qualify for final
  • Qualifier 5 – April 18-19, Lake Macquarie -Top 7 qualify for final
  • Qualifier 6 – May 9-10, Sydney – Top 7 qualify for final
  • Final – June 6-8, Undisclosed Location

2020 Australian Motocross National Championship Calendar

  • Round 1 & 2 Horsham, Victoiria April 4/5
  • Round 3 Newry, Victoria May 3
  • Round 4 Gympie, Qld May 24
  • Round 5 Conondale, QLD June 28
  • Round 6 & 7 Maitland, NSW July 25/26
  • Round 8 & 9 Coolum, QLD August 22/23

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Source: MCNews.com.au

Toby Price third as Brabec wins the Dakar Rally 2020


Stage 12 of the 2020 Dakar Rally marked the final day of racing, with riders covering a total of 447 kilometres, including a timed special of 374 kilometres from Haradh to the finish at Qiddiya. Ricky Brabec led the overall standings by a comfortable 13min-56s from Pablo Quintanilla into the day, while Toby Price was 22min-34s off leading pace.

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec ABI

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec ABI

Ricky Brabec

Monster Energy Honda Team ace Brabec had snatched the leader’s spot on day three and refused to relinquish the top spot until the race wrapped up, two stage victories and 5000 kilometres later.

It was Pablo Quintanilla opening the track from Toby Price, with just 8min-30s separating the two, while Ricky Brabec seemed to be playing it safe with his lead, with teammate Kevin Benavides reportedly stopping and waiting for him.

Jose Cornejo set the pace in the first 69 km, with Brabec not far off, before Brabec upping the pace and taking the lead by km 119.

The final timesheet of the stage would see Jose Cornejo take the win from Brabec, who trailed him by 53-seconds, while Toby Price was 2min-53s off Stage winning pace.

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Toby Price – Image by Rally Zone

Luciano Benavides was fourth, and Pablo Quintanilla fifth, Kevin Benavides sixth and top Sherco Adrien Metge in seventh, followed by top Yamaha in eigth. Macieg Giemza and Andrew Short completed the top 10.

Aussie Rodney Faggotter completed the final stage just outside the top-10 in 22nd, 9min-33s off leading pace.

The final standings would see Ricky Brabec retain most of the lead he held into the final stage, taking the overall win by 40h-2min-36s, with Pablo Quintanilla runner up, 16min-26s in arrears.

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

Ricky Brabec – P1

“It’s a dream come true. Hopefully we can come back next year and repeat it. I know that it’s not going to be easy as the Husky and KTM boys will be breathing down our necks. I’m really excited to be here for Honda and for America as well. To be the only American to accomplish this goal is amazing. I think it’s really a dream come true. Now we’ve got to set our goals higher and accomplish more. We are going to come back next year and try and repeat this but, as I said, it’s not easy. We are happy. It was a big, tough race. A lot of kilometres. The team worked great together. The riders were good and the whole team worked well together so I’m really happy. The bikes were really good. We are all here. We are all happy and safe. That was the first goal. I can’t thank everyone enough – Honda, Monster and every one of the sponsors behind us. Thank you all so much. It’s the first time in Saudi Arabia. The scenery was insane! I love it. Hopefully I’ll be back next year. I’ve got a five-year contract so I think we’ll be back.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

Pablo Quintanilla – P2

“I feel amazing. To spend most of 2019 in recovery and now to be here with my best ever result makes me extremely grateful. I never thought that I would be in this position at the beginning of the race. I would like to thank the team for their hard work over these two weeks – they have done an amazing job. Overall, my race has gone really well, it’s been a tough event for everybody, and the main goal was always to reach the finish. A podium at the Dakar is like a dream come true, especially after such a hard one this year. I still want that win so I’ll work hard and be back next year.”

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Pablo Quintanilla

Australian Toby Price was third overall, 24min-06s off winning pace, with Jose Cornejo in fourth and KTM’s Matthias Walkner completing the top five.

Toby Price – P3

“I’m really happy with another podium at the Dakar – every time I’ve made it to the finish at this event I’ve got onto the podium. So far, I’m either a number one or a number three guy. The most important thing is to be here safely at the finish. Obviously, we came here to win, but it just wasn’t our year. Yeah, after 18 wins in a row it would have been nice to get a 19th, but I think KTM’s winning streak won’t be topped for a very long time. We’ll go away now, regroup and come back stronger for 2021 and take that number one plate back.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Toby Price – Image by Rally Zone

José Ignacio Cornejo – P4

Today’s stage was short but intense. I battled it out with Walkner and Luciano Benavides. They started out in front of me, so I started the special very focused, trying to reduce the time. In the end I didn’t make any mistakes and was able to win the final stage of the Dakar, and thus finish fourth in the general standings. I’m very happy with the way the entire rally went. The team has finally achieved the victory we were looking for after so many years. I’m very happy with the whole team, they have worked so hard.

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo ABI

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo ABI

José Ignacio Cornejo

Matthias Walkner – P5

“Firstly, it feels really good to cross the finish line, especially after such a fast Dakar in a new country. For sure, I’m not so happy with my result as my goal was to reach the podium. I know I made some mistakes in the first week where I lost some time, and it was very difficult to make that back up – especially as so many riders were competitive this year. The good thing is, I felt good with my speed and my navigation for most of the rally. Unfortunately, even with 11 good days, one bad day can spoil your race in rallying. Overall, I’m happy because I know I did my best and the team and the bike have been perfect.”

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Matthias Walkner

In sixth was Luciano Benavides, followed by Joan Barreda in seventh, with Franco Caimi the top Yamaha in eighth. Skyler Howes took ninth and Andrew Short 10th.

Luciano Benavides – P6

“It’s been a really tough Dakar and a very crazy race with lots of ups and downs. Overall, I have really enjoyed it and I’m happy to be here at the finish line. I knew this year would be a big challenge and would be a new experience for everyone, so my plan was to take it day by day and the main goal was always just to finish safely. I’m very happy with my pace, I have learnt so much and was able to really use that knowledge at this year’s event. So many riders were competitive, with times very close on a lot of the stages, so to come away with sixth overall is great. I’m really looking forward to the coming season now.”

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Luciano Benavides

Joan Barreda – P7

“This was a Dakar that from the beginning was really tough for me. I spent a few days with some great difficulties, but little by little I began pulling back and picking up pace. I had a bit of bad luck with the cancellation of the two stages and the change of engine also penalized me. But in the end the good feelings came back. We have to stay positive but despite all the difficulties, I have finished another Dakar.”

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda ABI

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda ABI

Joan Barreda

Franco Caimi – P8

“It’s a huge relief to finally arrive at the finish of this year’s Dakar Rally. It’s been a really rough two weeks that we have passed through with many different challenges to overcome. Thankfully, we did overcome everything and today we arrived at the finish. The whole team has worked so, so hard, not just during this Dakar but during the whole year. Obviously, I wish Adrien and Xavier all the best for a fast recovery and will now take some time to enjoy this moment and reflect on the event. I’m pleased to have finished, especially after two years of not finishing. It’s been a real adventure and I’m also pleased with some strong stage results. Now it’s time for some rest and then to make plans for the season ahead.”

Dakar Rally Stage Franco Caimi

Dakar Rally Stage Franco Caimi

Franco Caimi

Andrew Short – P10

“I’m really happy to get to the end of this year’s Dakar – it’s been a long race, good fun, but very tough for me, I had a lot of challenges. The first week in the north was beautiful – I’ve never raced anywhere like it. I had some issues in those first few days that really put me on the back foot for the rest of the event. It took a lot out of me as you prepare all year for this race and to have such a big knock so early on was tough. This is only my third Dakar and I’m still learning. A two-week event like this is certainly different to a one-week world championship event and you have to be able to gauge your speed the whole way through. I definitely want to be back here next year for Dakar 2021.”

Dakar Rally Stage Andrew Short Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Dakar Rally Stage Andrew Short Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Andrew Short

Top overall Sherco rider was Adrien Metge in 12th, while Australian Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) came home in 13th.

Rodney Faggotter – P13

“Wow its done! Top 20’s most stages, with a career best of sixth in stage 10 for a career best of 13th overall. I had a solid two weeks and rode the most “in control” but also the best I have ever done. The riders in front of me are the best rally riders in the world and most of them full time athletes – I’m pumped to be near and amongst these guys! Two weeks flat out and it comes to a instant stop and now I try get to reflect and appreciate everyone’s support and messages. Instead of going through and saying last but not least – I want to call out to my awesome hot beautiful supportive wife and best friend. Love ya babe!!! Thank you. And my boys Matt and Nate for their support! It’s so hard on family back home following the race especially when you disappear off the charts due to helping at a accident/or a mechanical failure or even just technical timing glitches. Massive shout out to the Dragon Yamaha team and my awesome mechanic Quentin Brossier. He says only a few English words and I say none French – so we get along great! He worked overtime all through the night sometime triple checking and sorting everything and I never had a issue. Thanks bud! Big thank you to Yamaha Motor Australia and Yamaha Motor Finance, Yamaha Motor Insurance Australia without their commitment to assist me this year – I would not have been here full stop. And also a big thanks to fellow competitor Ben Young for helping me get to the start line. So many others that helped or have helped previously – that got me to this point that I so much appreciate. Thanks guys.”

GasGas Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz was the highest placing female competitor, finishing stage 12 in 25th and completing the 2020 Dakar Rally in 18th overall.

Laia Sanz – P18

“I will remember a lot about this Dakar. Of course, I will remember Paulo, a true Dakar warrior. So, I have mixed emotions. I will also remember it because it is the race that I managed to start and finish my 10th consecutive Dakar, this is something I am very proud of. I think I’m the first Spanish rider to do that. Dakar is never easy, but when you have a crash it becomes so much harder. So, I’m pleased that I managed to overcome everything and finish the race, and also to have been the first rider to represent GasGas Motorcycles. It’s not been the best for me in terms of my overall result – after my crash on stage two I was riding in a lot of dust and the average speed was a little too high for me during the second week. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and want to thank all the GasGas Factory Racing team for their support.”

Dakar Rally Stage laia sanz

Dakar Rally Stage laia sanz

Laia Sanz – Image by Rally Zone
Source: MCNews.com.au

Good Samaritan Toby Price on Dakar podium

A Good Samaritan act, shortened and cancelled stages and incorrect roadblocks hampered Toby Price in his valiant efforts to win his third Dakar Rally.

Despite all the hurdles, Toby finished on the podium today as the best KTM rider after a strong third place in the 429km 12th and final stage.

 

The event was won by American Ricky Brabec (Honda), the first American to win the gruelling event held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Ricky also brought to an end KTM’s winning streak of 18 titles with his 16-minute win over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna).

Toby Price Good Samaritan Dakar RallyToby congratulates Ricky

Good Samaritan

Toby had said he was “comforted” by the fact that he virtually sacrificed his third rally win by being the first to stop for fallen rider Paulo Goncalves in the seventh stage.

Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour, leaving less opportunity for Toby to make up time. The 10th stage was also cut short when too many riders crashed.

In the wake of these setbacks, Toby’s podium finish is a truly champion effort.

Toby Price Dakar rallyToby celebrates with victory donuts!

Toby wasn’t the only Aussie who did us proud in the Dakar as both a tough competitor and aa Good Samaritan.

Mr Consistency, Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha, Queensland) finished most stages in the top 20 and recorded career best 13th outright and a sixth in one stage.

Rodney Faggotter Good Samaritan Dakar RallyRodney Faggotter

Like Toby, on the 10th stage Rodney stopped to help a crashed rider and was given the time back by the officials.

“I had a solid 2 weeks and rode the most ‘in control’ but also at the best I have ever done,” Rodney says.

“The riders in front of me are the best rally riders in the world and most of them full time athletes. I’m pumped to be near and amongst these guys!”

Fellow Aussies Ben Young (KTM), Matthew Tisdall (KTM) and Trevor Wilson have also done well to keep going. 

Ben Young Toby Price attacks in last-ditch Dakar effortBen Young

Ben as finished 70th with an overall 58th position in his second Dakar.

Trevor finished 62nd today and was 70th overall in his debut. The Brisbane schoolteacher flies back home today and will have a celebration party at the Eaton Hills Hotel tomorrow from 1pm.

Trevor Wilson Dakar RallyTrevor Wilson

Matt finished in last place at 100th and placed last in 96th!

However, even to finish a gruelling Dakar is a massive feat and to have all four Aussie entrants complete the event is a tribute to their heroics.

About a third of the 158 field did not finish due to crashes or mechanical failures.

Five women made it to the finish of the Dakar led by Laia Sanz in 17th place overall, with Dutchwoman Mirjam Pol, South Africans Kirsten Landman and Taye Perry, and Spaniard Sara García also in the general classification.

For the first time the Dakar rally was run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on tomorrow (18 January 2020) at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. Sp far he has raised more than $5000.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction has closed with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner says he will auction an old race suit for the first time, but no details are available yet.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings is raffling off his 1977 Triumph T140V.

Triumph bushfireDeus Trumpy

Money raised will be split among the Australia Red Cross, Save The Animals and Rural Fire Service.

You have the chance to win it by making at least a $50 donation via PayPal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Quintanilla narrowly wins Stage 11 from Walkner | Dakar 2020


Stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, the penultimate day of racing, saw riders cover 744 kilometres, with a timed special of 379 kilometres, with riders still needing to personally care for their machines and tyres in order to complete the stage successfully.

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

2020 Dakar Rally – Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

Joan Barreda led Ricky Brabec and Kevin Benavides from the start, with the three Honda riders setting off first and leading the now 97-rider field.

Reaching the special it was Pablo Quintanilla on the attack, leading Matthias Walkner and Luciano Benavides, but 103 km in Luciano was setting the fastest pace, three-minutes ahead of Toby Price.

At the 108 km mark Ricky Brabec was losing time, sitting 6min-28s off the leader, and as the special progressed would fall further back to trail by nine-minutes, with Toby Price also 4min-51s behind the leader.

Matthias Walkner meanwhile closed in on leader Quintanilla, with just 11-seconds separating the two at kilometre 212, with Brabec falling further behind.

It would be Pablo Quintanilla who took the stage win from Matthias Walkner in the provisional results, with just nine-seconds between the two riders.

Pablo Quintanilla

“Honestly, the stage was really tough today – all off-piste and very fast. I felt good and was able to push as hard as I could. Overall, I’m really happy with my race and to be in this position going into the final day. After difficult months I have had coming back from injury, it feels great to be here and second overall going into tomorrow. As always I will give my all and we’ll see what will happen.”

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla

Pablo Quintanilla wins Stage 11

Matthias Walkner

“I had a really good stage today and made the most of my good start position to really push the tracks left by the guys in front. I was riding at 100% for the entire special. I ran out of fuel about two kilometres before the refuelling but was able to lie the bike on its side to get the last bit to the pump and luckily it was just enough to carry on. I made up some good time today, but with just one stage left it’ll be tough to make up much more time. I’ll definitely give it my best and aim for a strong finish to the rally.”

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner

Matthias Walkner

Luciano Benavides was fourth ahead of Joseo Cornejo, with Toby Price completing the top-five.

Luciano Benavides

“It was a really nice day today and the first time we crossed some big dunes, so I like that a lot. I was really worried about the fuel, so I eased off before the refuelling but made it ok. After that I caught the group in front and rode with them for the rest of the stage – just trying my best not to make any mistakes and get to the finish safely. I’m really happy because there’s just one more day to go now and I hope I can finish this Dakar strong.”

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides

Luciano Benavides

José Ignacio Cornejo

“Today was the first day of real dunes. I was feeling pretty much at ease. It was very entertaining and I had a lot of fun. I’m in one piece and the bike too is in perfect shape. Tomorrow is the final day and we are fighting to improve our overall positions. I think that compared to last year I have improved a lot, I feel a much more complete rider. I still have to improve some things but I am very happy with my progress.”

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo rallyzone

José Ignacio Cornejo

Toby Price

“I was able to make up a fair amount of time today but with the stage cut short yesterday it was difficult to get enough people between myself and the leaders. All-in-all it’s been a good day with very similar conditions to yesterday really – very fast and open. The sand has made for some tough going and like a few people today, I nearly ran out of fuel before kilometre 229. I managed to get in with about one litre left in the tank. One day to go now and I’m still feeling good so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price

Toby Price

Jamie McCanney was top Yamaha in sixth, 6min-22s off leading pace, followed by teammate Franco Caimi in seventh. Andrew Short was eighth, Kevin Benavides ninth and Ricky Brabec tenth, 11min-48s of leading pace.

Australian Rodney Faggotter was just inside the top 10 in 19th position for the stage, 24min-10s off leading pace.

Ricky Brabec retains his overall lead from an attacking Pablo Quintanilla in the overall standings, while Toby Price is third, 22min-34s off leader Brabec’s combined time.

Ricky Brabec

“There’s one stage left. The team is working well. I’m pretty excited. I can’t get my hopes up right now. Stage 11 here in the dunes was pretty tough. Starting up front due to the cancellation of the second part. So it was really hard to judge the time. Tomorrow there is one stage left and I’m in a good starting position. I’m confident to be focused and make it to the finish line.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec

Matthias Walkner and Joan Barreda complete the top-10, while Rodney Faggotter still sits in 13th.

Provisional Stage 11 Results – Dakar Rally 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

Barreda wins shortened Stage 10 | Price fourth | Dakar 2020


Stage 10 of the 2020 Dakar Rally was set to truly test all competitors and their machines with a long 534-kilometre timed special from Haradh to the temporary overnight bivouac at Shubaytah. It didn’t pan out that way, with weather proving an unexpected risk, and in the interest of safety, the stage was cut short at kilometre 345, with riders then travelling to the marathon bivouac untimed.

Stage Nine winner, Pablo Quintanilla, would lead riders into the special, trailed by Toby Price – three minutes behind, and Joan Barreda a further three minutes back from Price.

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla

Pablo Quintanilla

Barreda however was on the offensive, stamping his authority on the special, soon leading Matthias Walkner and Ricky Brabec. After 223km that remained true, with standings leader Ricky Brabec closing in, and Toby Price dropping to three minutes off the leader, now behind Kevin Benavides.

When riders resumed the special after the neutralised section they had 175km left to run, with Toby Price, Joan Barreda and Pablo Quintanilla leading the way. Conditions deteriorated however, with race direction halting the stage after 345km.

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

The day’s results were taken from the neutralised section, with Joan Barreda the fastest rider with a time of 2h-11min-42s for the day. Ricky Brabec was second fastest, 1min-7s back, while fellow Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides was third, making for a Honda 1-2-3.

Joan Barreda

“I think I rode a very good stage, although tomorrow I will have to start from the front and open the track in the dunes. Anyway, I’m satisfied with the pace that I’ve kept. I pushed hard to reach the frontrunners Price, Quintanilla which I managed to do at kilometre 130. Then we rode together as far as the refuelling where the organization then cancelled the rest of the special. The important thing now is that Ricky has the race under control and that Nacho, me and Kevin are fine. This is great for Honda!”

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

Ricky Brabec

“We are in the bivouac of the marathon stage and we have only two stages left. Today it was very windy, and with the sand that was rising it was hard to see well, so they decided to cancel the last part. Well, we have to go every day, there is no other plan or strategy to complete. The goal is to get to the finish line every day with the motorcycle.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec

Ricky Brabec

Kevin Benavides

“Today was a short stage, very fast at the beginning, with very dangerous cut dunes. I took it easy at first, as a precaution, and then I began to push a bit harder. In the end, at the refuelling we were told that the second part had been cancelled for security reasons, which seems right to me. I’m happy for us, it’s been a good day for the Honda guys, with a full podium. The bikes have done few kilometres, so they are fine and do not need much attention!”

Dakar Rally Stage Kevin Benavides

Dakar Rally Stage Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

Australian Toby Price came home in fourth, trailing the lead rider by 2min-37s, and fellow KTM Factory Team rider’s Luciano Benavides and Matthias Walker were fifth and sixth.

Toby Price

“My day has gone well. It’s a little frustrating that the stage was cut short as I was planning on finishing a little further back to make up more time tomorrow. It is what it is and of course it was definitely the right decision to make regards safety. The good news is, the bike’s in good shape and we’re all ready for tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’ll still be starting quite near the front, so it’ll be tough to make up a lot of time on the leaders, but I’m feeling strong and looking forward to the last couple of days.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price

Toby Price

Luciano Benavides

“It was a good stage for me today – really fast, off-piste at the beginning with lots of broken dunes. There was one section with really tricky navigation, where a lot of people got lost. I did well there and got through without making too many mistakes and arrived at the refuelling in about fourth or fifth. After that, I had been looking forward to the last part of the stage through the big dunes, but with the stage cut short we didn’t get to see that. My bike is good, with no problems, so I’m ready for tomorrow.”

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides

Luciano Benavides

Matthias Walkner

“It was a strange day today and quite tricky in places. The first 100 kilometres went well, navigation was ok and I made up some good time. At around kilometre 200 the wind was really strong so that made it hard to see the pistes, visibility was bad too and I ended up making a small mistake that cost me a couple of minutes. I really enjoyed the stage and it’s a shame it was shortened, but this is the race and we still have two unpredictable days to go.”

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner

Matthias Walkner

Pablo Quintanilla finished seventh, ahead of Ross Branch, Maurizio Gerini and Jose Cornejo.

Top Yamaha was Franco Caimi of the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team in 13th, with Australian Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) finishing the day in 39th position, 39min-51s off the leading pace.

Rodney Faggotter – During Stage

“Alls ok mod stage relatively, I’ve stopped with Jamie McCanney to help a crashed rider. He’s going to be ok and got him in the chopper. Now stopped at end of neutral zone – it seems they’ve run out of choppers…  Rest of the stage may be cancelled.”

Following Stage 10 it continues to be Ricky Brabec in the lead, from Pablo Quintanilla and Joan Barreda, while Toby Price is fourth overall.

Fifth is Jose Cornejo ahead of Matthias Walkner and Luciano Benavides, with Skyler Howes eighth, Franco Caimi the top Yamaha in ninth, and Stefan Svitko 10th. Aussie Rodney Faggotter retains his 13th place in the standings, despite a challenging day.

Stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally – the second leg of the marathon stage and the penultimate day of racing – will cover a total of 744 kilometres and include a timed special of 379 kilometres. Although stage 10 was shortened, riders will still need to care for their machines and tyres in order to complete the stage successfully.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Toby Price slides in shortened Dakar stage

Toby Price has dropped further off the lead after the marathon 534km 10th stage of the Dakar Rally was substantially shortened for safety reasons following several crashes.

Organisers said their rescue helicopters were all deployed for fallen riders and with strong winds picking up, they decided on a shortened stage.

The Aussie title defender and leading KTM rider finished fourth, some three minutes behind Joan Barreda Bort (Honda, Spain), losing another couple of minutes to outright leader Ricky Brabec (Honda, USA).

If Brabec is victorious, he will be the first American to win the event and break KTM’s streak of 18 wins.

Toby says he is still “comforted” by the fact that he virtually sacrificed his third rally win by being the first to stop for fallen rider Paulo Goncalves in the seventh stage.

Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour, leaving less opportunity for Toby to make up time.

Shortened course

Toby Price slips in shortened courseToby tackles the dunes

“Today’s stage was cut short due to safety reasons,” Toby says.

There were a lot of drops throughout the course and I guess when we’re all traveling at such high speeds they do catch you out. I hope there were no serious injuries today and wishing those injured competitors a fast recovery.

“The cancellation of today’s stage has made it that much tougher for us to make up the time we needed. I was hoping to start a little further back tomorrow to make up that time but unfortunately that won’t be happening.

“We’re still in this race and aiming to get to the finish line strong.”

“Now I can really focus on the small number of remaining days to try and close this gap up to the lead,” he says.

Toby is dedicating his race to the loss of his friend, Paulo or “Speedy”.

Toby Price slips in shortened courseToby out on his own

Top 5 rankings

1 9 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 12′ 18”
2 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 34H 38′ 02” + 00H 25′ 44”
3 12 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 39′ 27” + 00H 27′ 09”
4 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 34H 40′ 51” + 00H 28′ 33” 00H 02′ 00”
5 17 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 53′ 49” + 00H 41′ 31” 00H 01′ 00”

Other AussiesRodney Faggotter shortened

Today it was fellow Aussie Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) who stopped to help a fallen rider.

“He’s going to be ok and got him in the chopper,” says the veteran Queensland competitor.

Rodney stopped in the neutral zone and said it seemed they had run out of choppers to ferry the injured riders.

The consistent rider had his first non-top-20 finish with a 39th placing which only drops him one place to 134th outright.

Despite the big dropout of injured riders in the shortened stage, the other Aussie bike competitors are still in the event.

Fellow Aussie Ben Young (KTM) finished 76th and moves up three spots to 6oth in his second Dakar while Matthew Tisdall (KTM) finished 101st and moves up two spots to 97th.

For the first time the Dakar rally is being run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. Sp far he has raised abouot $5000.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction has closed with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner says he will auction an old race suit for the first time, but no details are available yet.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings is raffling off his 1977 Triumph T140V.

Triumph bushfireDeus Trumpy

Money raised will be split among the Australia Red Cross, Save The Animals and Rural Fire Service.

You have the chance to win it by making at least a $50 donation via PayPal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pablo Quintanilla fastest in Stage Nine | Dakar 2020


Kevin Benavides was the first to start the day’s special after completing the 450 km of link stage for the morning as riders recommenced the 2020 Dakar Rally following the cancellation of Stage 8 in respect for Paulo Goncalves. Argentinean Benavides set off three minutes ahead of Joan Barreda who was in turn followed 3 minutes later by Matthias Walkner.

Competitors would need to complete a 886-kilometre stage nine that led the field from Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh. Initially faced with an arduous liaison, riders then entered the timed special that presented all with a challenging route made up of rocky tracks and stony riverbeds.

Dakar Rally Stage Kevin Benavides rallyzoneKevin Benavides was an early leader

Overall standings leader Ricky Brabec meanwhile started the ninth special of the rally in fifth position, behind Luciano Benavides, with Toby Price and Pablo Quintanilla setting off later and able to take advantage of the tracks left by the first riders to put in a strong performance. Toby Price was notable the fastest rider to reach the special, but it wasn’t too last…

A herd of particularly lively camels also made an appearance in a canyon 76 km into the special, with a helicopter quickly able to disperse them, ensuring they didn’t interfere with competitors.

Ricky Brabec took an early lead in the special, pulling ahead of Joan Barreda and Toby Price, with Barreda slowed by a minor fall.

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano BenavidesLuciano Benavides

Kevin Benavides was the first rider of the day to reach the 34 kilometre long neutralised section of the stage, heading pace with Barreda and Walkner, who set off after him.

Australian Ben Young, sitting 63rd in the general standings heading into Stage 9, had had a relatively trouble-free Dakar until today, suffering a fall on the first part of the special. He raced half of the 2019 Dakar Rally with a broken hand on his first appearance in the event last year following a fall on the fifth stage.

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias WalknerMatthias Walkner

With as little as 30-seconds splitting the top riders at times for the day, it was Pablo Quintanilla who claimed top honours, ahead of Toby Price, with both putting pressure on overall standings leader Ricky Brabec, who trailed the leader by less than four minutes and was in fourth position.

Pablo Quintanilla

“It was a strange feeling this morning after what happened to Paulo, but I think it was good to get riding again. There was a long liaison this morning and it was very cold, but I felt better when we hit the special and I was able to push right away. In the end, I won the stage, which was a fitting way to honour Paulo. But now, with stage eight cancelled, my strategy is more complicated. My goal from here is to push and try to make up as much time over the final three days as possible.”

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Factory RacingPablo Quintanilla

Toby Price

“It’s been a long day today and with it being so fast, it’s was really difficult to make up any time on the others as we’re all so close on these full-gas stages. Obviously, it’s been a really tough day mentally but we’re still cruising along in the race and the main goal as always is to make it safely to the finish line. We entered the Empty Quarter a little today but to be honest we only had 30 kilometres or so of dunes. I’m hoping these next few days will feature more. There’s definitely a lot of kilometres left to go so we’ll just try and keep it on two wheels.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby PriceToby Price – Image by Rally Zone

Joan Barreda meanwhile was third fastest for the day, while Ross Branch completed the top five.

Joan Barreda

“A good sporting day. I started out second and already by the refuelling I was opening track and overtook Kevin. Then the dunes arrived and there was a confusing area of navigation. Finally we were able to maintain good pace and make it to the finish line well. I’ve been opening track and moving forward for several days and it’s not easy. There are two stages with sand, then a shorter one, so it won’t be easy to reduce the time. We will try to take it day by day and cut the time down as much as possible.”

Dakar Rally Stage Joan BarredaJoan Barreda

Kevin Benavides and Luciano Benavides were sixth and seventh, with Jose Cornejo eighth, while Andrew Short and Matthias Walkner completed the top-10 for the day.

Aussie Rodney Faggotter remained strong and consistent, with 18th place just shy of 15-minutes off leading pace.

Rodney Faggotter

“Today I did 880+ kms! Solid day. Bike is down on top speed of the factory bikes but I’m happy with everything else, riding hard in the rough stuff to stay fast. Last few stages have been pretty boring track/racing wise and super fast but the scenery is magic! Like moonscape in places.”

The provisional standings following stage nine still see Ricky Brabec in the lead by almost 25-minutes, with Pablo Quintanilla second overall, and Jose Cornejo in third. Toby Price is fourth in the combined standings, ahead of Joan Barreda.

Ricky Brabec

“We feel pretty good. We are here at a windy bivouac. We are another day closer to the American dream of winning the Dakar. There’s three days left and tomorrow is the marathon. We have a lot of racing to do. The main goal now is to focus and stay positive after the incident that happened a few days ago. Right now we are going to rest and make sure our bikes are 100%, get some food, pack our bags for the marathon and try to stay positive. There’s a 21-minute gap in the general. So tomorrow Quintanilla and Toby start in front of me so the plan is to maybe catch them or maybe keep them in my sights. That way they will start in front of me for the next few days. I’m not really sure what is going to happen so we are just going to stay focused and not lose the twenty-one minutes. The marathon stage is really cool and is very relaxing. You don’t have to see the team and it’s only the riders in the bivouac. You can really soak in the camp life, because by now it’s stage ten or eleven and it’s nearly time to go home. It’ll be nice.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky BrabecRicky Brabec

Rodney Faggotter retains his 13th place standing following the days efforts.


Provisional Stage 9 Results – Dakar Rally 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

Toby Price stays in touch with lead

Aussie Toby Price has whittled a little off the lead of American Ricky Brabec with a strong second place in the 410km ninth stage of the Dakar Rally.

The 410km stage across rocky terrain was won by Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarana) less than two minutes ahead of Toby who is chasing his third win and a 19th consecutive victory for KTM.

Toby says with the stage being so fast it was difficult to make up any time up as riders were able to follow each other.

Brabec finished fourth with Toby shaving two minutes from the American’s overall lead.

With a 26-minute gap and only three stages to go, Toby has a real fight on his hands.Toby Price Dakar lead

It comes two days after Toby stopped to help fallen rider Paulo Goncalves and stayed with him until the helicopters arrived. Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour.

“Now I can really focus on the small number of remaining days to try and close this gap up to the lead,” he says.

Toby is dedicating his race to the loss of his friend, Paulo or “Speedy”.

We didn’t know Toby could speak French! (Sorry, no English video yet.)

Top 5 rankings

1 9 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 31H 59′ 29”
2 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 32H 20′ 22” + 00H 20′ 53”
3 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 32H 26′ 12” + 00H 26′ 43” 00H 02′ 00”
4 12 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 32H 27′ 45” + 00H 28′ 16”
5 17 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 32H 28′ 58” + 00H 29′ 29” 00H 01′ 00”

Other Aussies

Queensland veteran competitor Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) is proving consistent with yet another top 20 finish.

He came in 18th and remains in 12th outright.

He says his bike is down on top speed from the factory bikes and he had to ride hard in the rough stuff.

“Last few stages have been pretty boring track/racing wise and super fast, but the scenery is magic! Like moonscape in places.”

Rodney FaggotterRodney Faggotter

Fellow Aussie Ben Young (KTM) finished 73rd despite a minor fall on the first part of the special stage.

It should be remembered that he rode half of his debut rally last year with a broken hand after a fall on stage 5. He drops back five places to 63rd.

The only other Aussie competing in the bike category is Matthew Tisdall (KTM) who finished 104th and moves up three spots to 99th.

For the first time the Dakar rally is being run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction closed on Sunday with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com