Tag Archives: Toby Price

Toby Price biography coming soon

As Aussie Toby Price goes for his third Dakar Rally title in January 2022, book stores across the country will be busy stocking up on his biography.

Endurance: The Toby Price Story is his incredible and inspiring journey from childhood racing prodigy on a remote farm in the Australian bush to the top of the podium in one of the world’s most unforgiving race events and recipient of an OAM at age 33.

Widely renowned for his ‘Bush Mechanic’ persona and one of the most beloved figures in Australian sport today, Toby has overcome many formidable bumps in the road: The death of his adored sister, Min; the tragic loss of mentors and rivals in the desert; countless broken bones and an accident that should have paralysed him for life.

The 34-year-old from Maitland, NSW, has seven Finke wins across bike and car classes, five Hattah Desert Race victories, five Australian Off-Road Championships, and two National Enduro championships. 

In 2015, Toby made his first attempt at the soul-destroying, 9000km, 14-day Dakar Rally. 

A stage win and an overall podium earned Price a full-time seat on the KTM Factory Red Bull Racing Team. 

He now has two Dakar titles, in 2016 and 2019, and sadly crashed out while chasing the lead last year in Saudi Arabia.

He will be back next January aiming for his third title.

Endurance: The Toby Price Story is co-written with Andrew Van Leeuwin and will be published on 1 February 2022.

Andrew is an award-winning journalist who has specialised in motorsport for more than 15 years. 

Tony Weber prepares to learn to ride

He started his career at Australasian Motorsport News in Melbourne, working his way into the top digital editor role before relocating to Mainz, Germany, in 2012. 

During a three-year stint in Europe he covered a number of series, including the DTM, while working for Autosport, before returning to Australia as part of Motorsport.com‘s global expansion in early 2015. 

He currently leads Motorsport Network’s Supercars coverage and is considered one of the top motorsport journalists and podcasters in Australia. 

He lives in Perth with his wife Anne, kids Nico and Billie and chihuahua Coco.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Toby Price racing all-new KTM 450 Rally this weekend

Toby Price back on the bike this weekend

Signing a two-year contract extension earlier in the year, Toby Price returns to rally competition this weekend in Morocco after being forced to withdraw from this year’s Dakar due to injury. The Australian will be looking to get back up to speed with his pace and navigation on the bike in Morocco and continue to test and develop the latest version of the rally machine.

A new engine, frame and many other changes

The result of over two years’ development, the all-new 2022 KTM 450 Rally will make its first competitive outing in Morocco. With new bodywork, a new engine, a new frame, and many other upgrades and improvements over the current model, the state-of-the-art rally machine will continue to undergo testing and evaluation at the Rallye du Maroc.

I think I need a box of tissues and some alone time…
Toby Price

“For sure I’m excited for the event here in Morocco – it’s been a long time since I’ve raced a rally since I was forced to miss the first two rounds of the season. The plan for the Rallye du Maroc is take things step-by-step and continue to build my speed while giving the new bike a proper shakedown. The main focus for me is to be back on form for the big one in January, but for now I’m just happy to be racing again and can’t wait to get back in the swing of things.”

Toby Price – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Covering more than 2,600 kilometres and challenging riders with over 1,600 kilometres of timed special stages, the 2021 edition of the Rallye du Maroc will be based around the Moroccan town of Zagora. 

Opening with a short 10-kilometre Prologue, the race will then deliver five long, full stages held on fast tracks and open desert. As well as outright speed, accurate navigation through the sand dunes and rocky pistes will be key to a strong final result.

Coming into the event with a healthy 20-point lead in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies standings, Matthias Walkner is in good shape to fight for his second world title. The Austrian topped the Silk Way Rally earlier in the year with a commanding performance that saw him take the lead by the midway point of the race before never looking back. That, combined with his runner-up result at Rally Kazakhstan, shows Walkner is on form and ready for the challenges that lie ahead in Morocco.

Matthias Walkner

“Finally, after a three-month break, we’re ready to go racing again. It’s been a busy time in between the events as we spent around five weeks in America testing and training. That was really intense, but also very productive. I was really pleased with how I rode at the last round we raced in Russia and I’m hoping I can carry that form through to Morocco. My goal is to do my best as always, but hopefully enjoy a safe race. If all goes well, we should be close to the front at the end of the five days.”

2022 KTM 450 Rally

Showing impressive pace at the 2021 Dakar Rally and earning himself a third-place podium finish, Sam Sunderland came into the first round of this year’s world championship keen to maintain his momentum. Unfortunately, a crash on the final day in Kazakhstan resulted in the Brit being unable to continue. Now back on the bike and close to 100 percent, Sunderland hopes to use the Rallye du Maroc to build his speed while testing the new 2022 KTM 450 RALLY.

Sam Sunderland

“It’s been a little while since my last race, so I’m looking forward to Morocco. It’s always been an important race due to the type of terrain, and it also being quite close to Dakar on the calendar. I’m going to be riding the new bike, so I’m really keen to see how that performs under race conditions. Obviously, there are still some changes and adjustments to be made, and the boys have been doing a lot of hard work to get it ready. But there’s no test quite as good as the stresses of competition. Personally, I’m feeling good and pretty much back to full fitness after my little upside-downer in Kazakhstan, so I’m really excited to get back to it.”

2022 KTM 450 Rally

Making his competitive debut for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Kevin Benavides will be using the Rallye du Maroc to not only continue adapting to the KTM 450 RALLY, but also settle into the team in race conditions. The 2021 Dakar winner signed to KTM in April but was unable to attend the opening two rounds of the world championship due to injury. Now back to his best and keen to build his speed during the final two rounds of the championship, Benavides is fully focused on defending his Dakar title come January 2022.

Kevin Benavides

“For me, this is going to the first race with the KTM team, so of course I’m really excited, but also extra motivated to do well – I feel like a new rider and I’m really looking forward to getting started. At the beginning of the year, after signing with the team, the world championship was my main goal, but unfortunately after injury that was impossible. Now, looking ahead to this race and Abu Dhabi in November, these last two races of the year will be more about training and getting to grips with the new KTM. On the positive side, I don’t feel any pressure now, of course I want to do well and plan to focus on my navigation and rhythm, but it means I have time to properly settle into the team, get to know everyone, and enjoy these two events ahead of Dakar in January.”

2022 KTM 450 Rally

Covering six days of racing, round four of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Rallye du Maroc – kicks off in Morocco from October 8-13.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Toby Price extends KTM Factory Racing contract to 2023

Toby Price to remain with KTM Factory Racing until 2023

Toby Price’s highly successful team-up with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will continue until at least 2023, with the Australian racer extending his current contract for two more years.

Toby Price

“I’m super-excited to sign up for another two years with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team. It feels like a big family to me and is definitely a home away from home, so another two years with the guys is certainly something I’m looking forward to. Hopefully, I can repay the confidence they have in me by taking another few wins. There really is no other team like Red Bull KTM, they really take good care of us and I really look forward to getting away to the events. The whole team and crew have been a huge part of my racing for the past four or five years, so I’m really happy to still be a part of it, and we’re developing the new bike too, which is going well. My injury seems to be healing well. There were definitely some unwanted complications at first, but now after three surgeries I’m in a much better place. I’d say I’m around 60-70% fit, so not far away from being ready to go. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on two wheels and racing my bike again. The plan is to get back on the bike as soon as it’s safe to do so and build things up before heading back overseas to do some racing again. The goal over the next two years is to definitely add another Dakar title to my name, and if I can add two, that would be even better!”

Toby Price – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Price is focusing on the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, and of course the Dakar Rally which he’s won twice, as he starts his seventh season with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.

Toby Price began his racing career in motocross before making the move to enduro. Enjoying huge success at home in Australia, Price holds five Australian Off-Road Championship titles, as well as several wins at the notorious Finke and Hattah desert races.

Toby Price – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

He represented his country at the ISDE in 2014, placing second in the overall, individual rider standings. The talented racer then contested his first Dakar in 2015, where he placed an impressive third on the podium. Since then he has ridden the Dakar every year, finishing no lower than third every time he has finished the arduous event.

Contesting his seventh consecutive Dakar in 2021, Price was the leading KTM rider at the close of stage eight. A crash 155km into stage nine unfortunately resulted in a shoulder injury that forced him to withdraw from the event. Following a period of rehab and recovery, where the 33-year-old underwent three separate surgeries, he’s now close to being ready to start his preparations for racing again.

Toby Price – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Jordi Viladoms – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager

“We are pleased to be continuing with Toby for the future and building further on everything we have achieved together. We know what it takes to accomplish rally success and we look forward to battling for more race victories in the future. Toby is a special rider, and we know there is never any question over his race winning mentality; over the years there have been many memorable moments where Toby’s attitude, approach, and ability to twist the throttle has been unforgettable. He’s passionate about racing and winning, and this really shows. We have a really strong line-up in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally squad, and we’re proud that Toby will continue to fight for our team. We can’t wait for the next races with him and of course Dakar 2022.”

Robert Jonas – Vice President Motorsports Offroad

“We are of course very pleased that we have confirmed an agreement with Toby to extend his contract for a further two years; we are looking forward to continuing to fight for more Dakar and race wins together with the KTM 450 RALLY. Toby is a huge asset to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team not only with his experience and talent, but also with his personality and can-do attitude. We saw again at this year’s Dakar his raw speed and talent on a bike; I am sure he will continue to fight for victories as part of our very strong team and rally line-up with his usual grit and determination.”

Source: MCNews.com.au

Moto News Weekly | Wildwood 2020 | Dakar prep’ | Signings

Moto News Weekly Wrap
December 8, 2020

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Wildwood Rock Extreme 2020

Tim Coleman has conquered the 11th running of the Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro in a new knockout format, specifically designed to meet Covid19 rules and restrictions.

The 2020 format was a new creation and riders had to work hard with a ruthless sprint format this year. With no rest between objects, arm pump was the main factor for rider error, particularly after a tough year with the lack of opportunity for many to train. The event was almost called off, however the limited number of allowed riders was very close to full, with racers keen to get back out there.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme
2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme

Each class had two heats on a longer course (1.5km) involving the well known prologue area and an added natural terrain section that provided further challenges. Riders could not afford to drop any time in either heats with times being combined and the fastest four moving into the final.

Tim Coleman – 2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme winner – Image by Russel Colvin

The final format was the man-made area or prologue course as it’s known bye many, with two laps providing some great chopping and changing in all classes to decide outright winners in each class.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme – Owen Lock

Riding for the Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team Tim Coleman was here to impress, taking out the Gold Class win with a total time of 5m44s with clean wins in both heats leading up to the final. Callum Ceglinski put in a solid second, with the desert king Ben Grabham in third, making it a Sherco 1-2-3 finish.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme
Tim Coleman

“Wildwood was my first Hard Enduro and I’d never taken home the win, so it’s something I’ve really wanted to tick off my racing bucket-list. The field may have been slightly depleted, but there was still great competition there and I had to really have a crack to bring home the win. The new 2021 Sherco 300 SE Factory feels great honestly. It’s just so good for this type of racing, and having the full support of the Sherco Factory Team made a big difference on the day. I’m already excited for next year’s event.”

Tim Coleman and Derek Grundy – Image by Russel Colvin

Silver class was won by Billy McCulloch (7m14s), ahead of Ian Derwent and Max Koczak. Bronze class was won by Ash Green, (10m02s), ahead of Michael Chapman and Nathan Xerri.

Being the first post-COVID Extreme Enduro to be held in Australia was a tough challenge and was only approved with easing of the rules one week before the event, as motorcycle riding was not deemed as a professional sport prior.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme – Tim Coleman

Under the changed guidelines Wildwood could operate with a total of 500 people in groups of 50, but keeping to the Covid19 Event checklist it was decided to not host any spectators for the event and instead live stream the event to the people at home.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme – Sam Preece

Wildwood would normally operate over three hours with each rider doing a individual timed section of the course. In the 2020 edition it was a total different feel with riders parked apart and grouped in 20s to not over crowd the course with people. With further changes seen, each rider was able to bring one support person on the day to help them if needed. Temperature checks done on every person attending the event added yet another new twist to Wildwood.

Ben Grabham – 2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme – Image by Russel Colvin

With no injuries to any riders and most bikes going home with few battle scares the event was seen as a great success from all angles, particularly considering it was so close to being called off, after changing the date to the 29th of November.

The 2021 event date has been set for November 7, 2020,  as part of the National Grassroots Hard Enduro Championship. Click the result images below for zoomed in view.

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Gold Class Results

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Gold Class Results

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Silver Class Results

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Silver Class Results2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Bronze Class Results

2020 Wildwood Rock Extreme Bronze Class Results

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Price & Sanders ramp up Dakar prep

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland are beginning the final stages of their pre-Dakar Rally testing, as they ramp up preparations ahead of the iconic event’s start on January 2. Joined by KTM Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders, who enters the upcoming Dakar as part of KTM’s junior rally program, the four KTM 450 Rally mounted riders are hard at work in Dubai as they count down the days to the gruelling 12-stage race.

Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland

With the 2021 Dakar Rally now just one month away, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have their sights firmly set on battling for the number one position at the world’s toughest cross-country rally. In what has been a hugely disrupted year, which saw the team make only one competitive outing following the 2020 Dakar, Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland are all fully fit and keen to get racing at the 43rd edition of the event.

Looking for his third Dakar title, Toby Price will go into the race armed with the experience gained from the 2020 event and aiming to secure another strong result. Like all riders this year, Toby was forced to spend more time off the bike than he would have liked. However, after travelling to Europe towards the end of the summer, the Australian has committed to an intense schedule of training and preparation on the run up to Dakar and will remain in the Middle East testing on his KTM 450 Rally, in preparation for the challenge awaiting him.

Toby Price
Toby Price

“Obviously, it’s been a really tough year for everyone. With all the restrictions, we’ve not been able to race like we normally would. We’ve only managed to fit in one rally since the Dakar in January, which was great, but I think everyone is looking forward to getting back to some serious racing now. For me, I pretty much had to leave home for the last three months and won’t be heading back to Australia until after Dakar. My base is now in Dubai and I’ll spend Christmas there on the run up to the event. It’s great that we can get out into the dunes for testing but it’s still a big sacrifice to make, missing out on the regular family time over the holidays. For the last couple of months, the team have been testing hard, things have been going well and there’s certainly nothing better to build your fitness than time on the bike. We’ve been able to try out a lot of new things and I’m really happy with how the bike feels. At the end of the day, I know the KTM 450 RALLY is going to get me to the finish, the rest is up to me!”

2018 Dakar winner Matthias Walkner prides himself on his navigational skills and with the 2021 event promising a more technically demanding route, this should fall into the Austrian’s favor. Happy with recent improvements made to his KTM 450 Rally, Matthias feels he is on form both physically and mentally and is looking forward to another solid race in the desert.

Also back at full fitness, Sam Sunderland is known for his speed in the dunes and with the 2021 Dakar Rally expected to contain more deep sand than seen in this year’s event, Sam is confident of making the most of his skills.

Facing his first ever Dakar, KTM Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders comes into the demanding race with only one cross-country rally under his belt. Joining the team in September, Sanders has endured an intense period of testing and training to get him up to speed with the skills required for success in the sport. Racing the Andalucia Rally just weeks after throwing his leg over a KTM 450 Rally for the first time, the 26-year-old put in an excellent performance including a win on the final stage. The Dakar is far more demanding however, but the young Australian racer knows the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

Daniel Sanders
Daniel Sanders

“The year has been a crazy one for me for more reasons than one. When I got the call to come ride for the team it was really cool. I flew over to Europe with Toby and I think I’ve spent about five months here testing and learning the skills needed for rally racing. We raced the Andalucia Rally back in October, which was a real eye opener, but other than a couple of mistakes, I was really pleased with my pace and my navigation. Winning the final stage was great but I’m realistic about the Dakar – I know it’s another level completely. Testing has been going really well – every day I spend on the bike I feel more comfortable. I couldn’t wish for better people around me either, all three of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing guys have won a Dakar – Toby has won two – and Jordi (Viladoms) has been amazing getting me up to speed in such a short amount of time. I know I have a lot to learn, but that will come with racing a few more events. Right now, I’m fully focused on the big one in January.”

2021 Dakar Schedule

Stage Date Start > Finish Total Special
P Saturday, January 2, 2021 Jeddah > Jeddah 11 km 11 km
1 Sunday, January 3, 2021 Jeddah > Bisha 622 km 277 km
2 Monday, January 4, 2021 Bisha > Wadi Al Dawasir 685 km 457 km
3 Tuesday, January 5, 2021 Wadi Al Dawasir > Wadi Al Dawasir 630 km 403 km
4 Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Wadi Al Dawasir > Riyadh 813 km 337 km
5 Thursday, January 7, 2021 Riyadh > Buraydah 625 km 419 km
6 Friday, January 8, 2021 Buraydah > Ha’il 655 km 485 km
Rest Saturday, January 9, 2021 Ha’il (Rest Day)
7 Sunday, January 10, 2021 Ha’il > Sakaka 737 km 471 km
8 Monday, January 11, 2021 Sakaka > Neom 709 km 375 km
9 Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Neom > Neom 579 km 465 km
10 Wednesday, January 13, 2021 Neom > Al-Ula 583 km 342 km
11 Thursday, January 14, 2021 Al-Ula > Yanbu 557 km 511 km
12 Friday, January 15, 2021 Yanbu > Jeddah 452 km 225 km
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Nathan Crawford returns to Australia to Serco Yamaha for 2021

After a season in Europe racing MXGP, Nathan Crawford has returned to Australia and will take up a seat on the Serco Yamaha team for the 2021 season.
The 23 year-old, Brisbane resident, is back on Australian soil and already back in the saddle of a Yamaha YZ250F as his preparations begin for the 2021 Australian motocross and supercross championships.

Nathan Crawford

He has returned after a 12 month stint in Europe where he had to grow up fast in his year contesting the MX2 (250cc) championship. Ultimately, injury and a desire to come home were the reasons for his return to Australia but he is still grateful for the international experience and racing at the highest levels.

Nathan Crawford

“Racing the world championships for a manufacturer supported team has always been a dream of mine and I’m glad I got to experience racing the best riders in the world firsthand. It was an amazing experience, and despite COVID, a year I will never forget. Travelling from country to country and racing on tracks that I had only ever seen on video or YouTube was awesome and I’m so glad I got to do it. I would love to have stayed longer, but a few things didn’t work out and I began looking at my options racing back here in Australia. Joining back up with the Serco Yamaha team is cool as we have a good working relationship from my time there in 2018 and 2019. The same mechanics are still there and not a lot has changed so it was nice to walk back into familiar surroundings and feel welcomed. It was much the same way stepping back onto the YZ250F. The bike feels so good and as a production bike, it is the best in the class. It’s great to be back. I feel motivated and determined to get my career back on track and I have unfinished business in the MX2 class, so I’m really looking forward to getting things started in 2021.”

Nathan Crawford

The second rider on the Serco Yamaha Team will be announced in the coming days. Racing for the newly restructured ProMX championship gets under way on April 11 and will run eight rounds to a double header conclusion at Coolum in August. The Australian Supercross Championship is pencilled in to start in September with five rounds to make up the series.

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Purvis & Larwood return with WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha for 2021

Two rising stars of ANZAC motocross racing, Maximus Purvis and Alex Larwood will return to the WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Team for 2021, but with a slight twist. Both will make their debut in new classes for ’21 with Purvis making the leap to the MX1 (450cc) class while Larwood will step into the MX2 (250cc) class.

Purvis, the current New Zealand MX2 champ, is keen to return to Australia for the new season and 2021 marks his third year with the WBR Yamaha team. During the break in racing this year, Purvis was able spend time on the Yamaha YZ450F back in his NZ base and found the bike exactly to his liking.

When the discussion of 2021 came up, Max expressed a wish to race the YZ450F and the WBR Yamaha team were able to make that happen and support him in the same manner as previous years.

Maximus Purvis

“2021 needs to be a huge year for me and one that establishes me in Australian motocross. The move to the 450 class is one that excites me as I have been riding one in New Zealand for the last eight months and I feel really comfortable on the bike and suits the way I ride. I love the horsepower it generates and think that I’m now at the right size and age to step up and make a go of it. Being back with WBR Yamaha is also great. We have a great working relationship that has grown over the past few years and they are a good group of guys to go racing with. The dealership is also close to where I base myself while in Australia, so they are always available if I need anything. My first goal is to defend my New Zealand MX2 championship with JCR Yamaha and then head over to Australia in March to get set up and ready for the Pro MX championship starting in April.”

Maximus Purvis

Continuing into his second year with WBR Yamaha, South Australia’s 17-year old-Alex Larwood will move into the MX2 class and is set to rattle the cages of the big names in the class. Larwood was slated to race the MXD (under 19) division in 2020 but with the cancellation of racing and also a change to the class structure in 2021, he will make the transition into the MX2 class.

Reports early in the 2020 season had Larwood down as superfast, but a broken leg halted that progress. He is now healed up and returning to full training in preparation for the new year and will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with when national racing gets under way in April.

Alex Larwood

“It’s great to be back with WBR Yamaha again and racing the MX2 class on the YZ250F. I had put in a lot of work at the start of 2020 and was feeling great on the bike but my leg injury kept me sidelined for a while and that has only made the motivation stronger. I’m looking forward to racing the MX2 class and going against the best guys in Australia. It will be a big step but I have been training with a lot of riders already in that class and feel comfortable riding with them. The leg is nearly 100% and I have a full program ready to go in the off season to ensure I hit round one in great shape. I can’t wait to get started.”

Alex Larwood

WBR Yamaha is a motorcycle dealer in the Victorian border town of Echuca. Ran by the Whitten family, the racing arm of the business has become a great promotional tool for WBR Yamaha and one that owner, Travis Whitten, is passionate about.

Travis Whitten

“Our whole family is into racing and as the business has grown, so has both our and Yamaha’s investment in racing with us. In 2021, we will be fielding two riders in the major classes and I’m confident in both the talent and determination of Maximus and Alex to succeed. The knowledge that we learn from racing can be feed directly back to our customers and we can provide them with real world information that can make the most of their purchase. 2021 is a step-up up for our race team and one that we are looking forward to and the season can’t get here soon enough so we can be back at the track and doing what we love with two riders determined to achieve their goals.”

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MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 announce 2021 line-up

Yamaha Motor Europe and the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team have announced a three-rider line-up for the 2021 EMX125 Championship. The team has retained Dutch talent Ivano Van Erp and welcomed two new riders, Latvian Karlis Reisulis and Italian Ferruccio Zanchi.

As the 2017 Junior Motocross 65cc World Champion, Van Erp is already a recognised name in European motocross. The 15-year-old Dutchman joined the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team in 2020 and completed a positive first term inside the EMX125 class aboard a GYTR kitted YZ125 with three top-10 race finishes during the latter stages of the championship.

Reisulis made his EMX125 debut in 2020 at round five of the nine-round series, in Mantova, Italy. The 15-year-old finished seventh in both races for seventh overall and quickly established himself as one of the best performing rookies. Having scored a total of four top-10 race finishes during the five rounds he attended this year, Reisulis has proven he has potential for the future.

Completing the 2021 line-up, Zanchi will become Yamaha’s youngest Official motocross rider as he makes the step up from the 85cc class to the 125cc category. The 14-year-old will join van Erp and Reisulis on the EMX125 Championship gate, where all three riders will race GYTR kitted YZ125s throughout the 2021 season.

Loic Le Foll – MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 Team Owner

“I am very happy to announce our team for 2021. We have already spent a year with Ivano, and he is an exciting rider for the future. This year was a learning year. He showed good speed at the end of the year, which is positive as he looks to move up the standings next year. As for our two new kids, I am very happy to recruit Karlis and Feruccio because they had already caught our eye last year at the Junior Motocross World Championship in Arco Di Trento, inside the 85cc class. These boys are very young, very talented and very hardworking. 2021 will be the first year on a 125cc for Ferruccio and the second season on a 125cc for Karlis, who will aim for a big result. We are going to organize a lot of training sessions together because I am sure our three riders will upgrade each other.”

Thorsten Lentink – Yamaha Motor Europe MX Racing Coordinator

“At Yamaha Motor Europe, our aim for the 2021 season is to strengthen the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team, and the presence of the GYTR kitted YZ125 inside the EMX125 Championship. The EMX125 class makes up the bottom step of the Yamaha Racing pyramid alongside the YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup and is one of the first steps to becoming a full-time professional racer. I am confident that we can make some good progress inside the series with our 2021 MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 rider selection. It is exciting to keep Ivano van Erp for another year. This year he entered the EMX125 championship as a rookie and has already shown some positive progress. Karlis Reisulis rode a few EMX125 races this year and had great speed for a rider that was new to the class. He immediately felt confident after his test on the Yamaha YZ125, and we think that both Ivano and Karlis will be upfront fighting for good championship points in 2021. As for Ferruccio, he is only 14 years old and has been on our radar since the 2019 Junior Motocross World Championship. At such a young age, he will have the time to adapt to the YZ125. Consistency will be his main priority in 2021.”

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Brad Freeman renews with Beta until 2023

Beta has announced the renewal of rider Brad Freeman, who will continue his collaboration with the Beta Factory Team for three further years, until 2023.

Brad Freeman

The English champion owns a long series of consecutive successes in recent years, including five titles in the Enduro GP world championship, where he has shown great consistency of results, always competing for the title.

Brad and the Beta Factory Team will represent the colors of the Italian manufacturer on his Beta 300 RR 2T Factory in the Enduro GP World Championship, E3 category, where he defends the 2020 world title, as well as in the Italian Enduro Championship.

Brad Freeman
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2021 Honda UK ‘Crendon Fastrack’ motocross team announced

Honda UK have announced they are back in British Motocross Championship action with a brand new title sponsor and will be known as Crendon Fastrack Honda. The squad, backed by one of the UK’s leading Timber Engineering companies Crendon, will be formed of British champion Tommy Searle and Jake Nicholls returning in the MX1 class, with Jay Hague joining the team for an MX2 championship assault. The team will contest the UK’s two highest-level series, the British championship and MX Nationals.

2021 Crendon Fastrack Honda motocross team – Tommy Searle, Jake Nicholls and Jay Hague

Derbyshire-based Searle stays with the squad for a second year, following his successful 2020 season when he won the only professional championship to run in the UK, the MX Nationals. For Nicholls, who narrowly missed clinching the British title by a handful of points in 2018 after an injury, it will be his fourth year with the squad. This time both men will be armed with the all-new 2021 Honda CRF450R and are two of the most experienced riders in the class.

Former British youth champion Hague, who lives in Durham, heads up the MX2 category on the Honda CRF250R. The 22-year-old has tested the Crendon Fastrack Honda and says he’s excited to join the most respected and highest-profile team in the UK.

The Crendon Fastrack Honda squad is run by triple world 500 champion Dave Thorpe.

Dave Thorpe

“Our goal is to be the dominant team in British championship racing and we have everything in place to achieve that. After personally testing the brand new Honda CRF450R, I know we have the best machinery. And our team of mechanics and technical partners will ensure they are the ultimate bikes on the track. With Tommy Searle and Jake Nicholls, we have not only the fastest but also two of the most experienced and professional riders in the MX1 class. And with Jay Hague in the MX2 class, it’s a real opportunity for him to really shine. It’s great to have the full backing of Crendon. And of course we still have backing from many of our long-time partners who make it possible for the team to operate at such a high level. I’m certain the Crendon Fastrack Honda team will be the team to beat in the UK.”

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Albert Cabestany join GasGas TrialGP Team as manager

Experienced former Spanish and indoor World Champion is switching from competition to team management to lead GasGas’ 2021 factory trial team. Stepping away from full-time competition, defending Trial-E World Champion will now take charge of our factory trial team and guide them through both the X-Trial and TrialGP World Championships.

Albert Cabestany
Albert Cabestany goes from competitor to team manager in 2021

A rider with more than 20 years of international trial experience, Cabestany is not only hugely capable on a bike, he’s also incredibly knowledgeable off one. A consistent challenger for world championship honors, with no fewer than 85 outdoor and 90 indoor podium results to his credit, including 27 victories, it’s fair to say he’s been there, done it, and got a whole bunch of t-shirts!

Turning a page in his highly-successful career, Albert, who started his professional career riding for GasGas before returning to win two Trial-E World Championship titles in 2019 and 2020, will now start an exciting new chapter, leading from the front as he manages the GasGas Factory Racing Trial Team.

Focused on developing the team’s testing, training and competition program, the Spaniard will provide invaluable knowledge, experience and guidance, ensuring the team is perfectly prepared to take on the 2021 FIM X-Trial and TrialGP series.

Albert Cabestany – GASGAS Factory Racing Trial Team Manager

“After so many years competing in trial, this is the perfect next step for me. To be the GASGAS Factory Racing Trial Team Manager is such a unique and exciting opportunity, I’m really looking forward to working with our riders and doing all I can to continue the team’s success. For sure I’m going to give it my all and enjoy the experience. It’s an important team within the trial paddock, with high expectations, so I’m really excited about the future.”

Albert Cabestany
Robert Jonas – VP Motorsports Offroad

“Trial remains hugely important to GASGAS, both from a production bike point of view and also from a motorsport perspective. This is why we are pleased to have appointed Albert Cabestany as our new trial team manager. Albert is hugely experienced when it comes to all things trial, and while he is best known as a successful competitor, he also has considerable testing and development experience. We believe he will inject the right mix of energy and focus into the team and push it forward in 2021, allowing our riders to perform at their very best.”

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2021 Racing schedule

2021 AMA SX calendar

Date Event Venue Location E/W
Jan 16 Houston 1 NRG Stadium Houston, TX East
Jan 19 Houston 2 NRG Stadium Houston, TX East
Jan 23 Houston 3 NRG Stadium Houston, TX East
Jan 30 Indianapolis 1 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN East
Feb 2 Indianapolis 2 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN East
Feb 6 Indianapolis 3 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN East
Feb20 Glendale 1 State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ West
Feb 23 Glendale 2 State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ West
Feb 27 Glendale 3 State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ West
Mar 6 Daytona* Daytona Int. Speedway Daytona Beach, FL East
Mar 13 Arlington 1 AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX West
Mar 16 Arlington 2 AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX West
Mar 20 Arlington 3 AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX West
Round 17 Salt Lake City Rice-Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City, UT TBD

2021 Provisional MXGP Calendar

Rnd Grand Prix Date
1 MXGP of Oman, Muscat Fri 2 Apr – Sat 3 Apr
2 MXGP of Italy, TBA Sat 24 Apr – Sun 25 Apr
3 MXGP of Portugal, Agueda Sat 8 May – Sun 9 May
4 MXGP of The Netherlands, Oss Sat 22 May – Sun 23 May
5 MXGP of Germany, Teutschenthal Sat 29 May – Sun 30 May
6 MXGP of Russia, Orlyonok Sat 12 Jun – Sun 13 Jun
7 MXGP of Latvia, Kegums Sat 19 Jun – Sun 20 Jun
8 MXGP of Jakarta (INA), Jakarta Sat 3 Jul – Sun 4 Jul
9 MXGP of Indonesia, Semarang Sat 10 Jul – Sun 11 Jul
10 MXGP of Czech Replublic, Loket Sat 24 Jul – Sun 25 Jul
11 MXGP of Belgium, Lommel Sat 31 Jul – Sun 1 Aug
12 MXGP of Sweden, Uddevalla Sat 7 Aug – Sun 8 Aug
13 MXGP of Finland, Iitti-KimiRing Sat 21 Aug – Sun 22 Aug
14 MXGP of Igora Drive (RUS), Igora Drive Sat 28 Aug – Sun 29 Aug
15 MXGP of Turkey, Afyonkarahisar Sat 11 Sep – Sun 12 Sep
16 MXGP of China, TBA Sat 18 Sep – Sun 19 Sep
17 MXGP of France, St Jean d’Angely Sat 9 Oct – Sun 10 Oct
18 MXGP of Spain, intu Xanadu-Arroyomolinos Sat 16 Oct – Sun 17 Oct
19 TBA  Sat 30 Oct – Sun 31 Oct
20 MXGP of Patagonia Argentina, Neuquen Sat 13 Nov – Sun 14 Nov

2021 Yamaha AORC presented by MXStore calendar

Round Location Date
Rounds 1 & 2 Nowra, NSW March 27-28
Rounds 3 & 4 TBA, VIC April 17-18
Rounds 5 & 6 Kyogle, NSW July 17-18
Rounds 7 & 8 TBA, QLD August 6-7
Rounds 9 & 10 Kingston SE, SA September 18-19
Rounds 11 & 12 Omeo, VIC October 16-17

2021 Australian Pro MX calendar

Rnd Date Location
1 Apr-11 Wonthaggi, Victoria
2 May-02 Canberra, ACT
3 May-30 Gilman, South Australia
4 Jun-27 Maitland, NSW
5 Jul-25 Wodonga, Victoria
6 Aug-08 TBC, Queensland
7/8 August 14-15 Coolum, Queensland

2021 Speedway GP Calendar

Date Round Location
Apr-24 2021  FIM Speedway Grand Prix TBC
May-15 2021 PZM Warsaw  FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland PGE Narodowy
May-22 2021 German   FIM Speedway Grand Prix Bergring Arena
Jun-05 2021 Czech Republic  FIM Speedway Grand Prix Marketa Stadium
Jun-19 2021  FIM Speedway Grand Prix TBC
Jul-17 2021 Adrian Flux British  FIM Speedway Grand Prix Principality Stadium
Jul-31 2021 Betard Wroclaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix OF POLAND Olympic Stadium
Aug-14 2021 Swedish  FIM Speedway Grand Prix G&B Arena
Aug-28 2021 Russian FIM Speedway Grand Prix Anatoly Stepanov Stadium
Sep-11 2021 Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix Sponsored by ECCO Vojens Speedway Center
Oct-02 2021 Torun  FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland Marian Rose MotoArena

2021 Australian Senior Speedway Solo calendar

Round Location Date
Round 1 Gillman Speedway, SA 3 January, 2021
Round 2 Olympic Park, VIC 5 January, 2021
Round 3 Diamond Park, Albury Wodonga, VIC 7 January, 2021
Round 4 Loxford Park, NSW 9 January, 2021
Round 5 Mick Doohan Raceway, QLD 13 January, 2021

2021 Australian Speedway events

Championship Location  Date
2021 Australian Under 21’s Speedway Championship Gillman Speedway, SA 16 January, 2021
2021 Australian Junior Speedway Sidecar Championship Pinjar Park, WA 3-4 April, 2021
2021 Australian Senior Speedway Sidecar Championship Pinjar Park, WA 3-4 April, 2021
2021 Speedway FIM Oceania Speedway Championship Gillman Speedway, SA 30 January, 2021
2021 Speedway FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship Gillman Speedway, SA 17 April, 2021

2021 Provisional Australian Supercross dates

  • 25 September – Further information TBA
  • 9 October – Further information TBA
  • 16 October – Further information TBA
  • 23 October – Further information TBA
  • 30 October – Further information TBA
  • 6 November – Further information TBA
  • 20 November – Further information TBA
  • 27 November – Further information TBA

2021 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE)
May 19-22 – Harvey, WA

2021 Enduro Australian Three Day Vintage Enduro (A3VE)
7-9 May – Blackwood, VIC

2021 Finke Desert Race
11-14 June – Northern Territory

2021 Hattah Desert Race
3-4 July – Hattah, Victoria

2021 Motocross Australian Classic Motocross Championship
9-11 July – Nowra, NSW

2021 Motocross Australian Post Classic Motocross
16-18 July – Nowra, NSW

2021 International Six Day Enduro (ISDE)
30 August – 4 September – Italy

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Source: MCNews.com.au

Daniel Sanders wins final Andalucia stage | Price second

2020 Andalucia Rally

Day 5 – Stage 4

Closing out the Andalucia Rally, stage four covered a total of 233 kilometers, 210 of which were timed special held on the now familiar dirt tracks of the region. With much of the stage sharing the same route as used on previous days, navigation was less of an issue and riders were able to push harder on the fast, open terrain.

Kevin Benavides claimed the overall victory from Adrien Van Beveren (R) and Lorenzo Santolini (L)

The final day of the 2020 Andalucia Rally has seen Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team) win the overall, over seven minutes in front of runner up Adrien Van Beveren (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team), while Lorenzo Santoli (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) claimed the final podium position.

The final stage however was dominated by Australian Daniel Sanders, who finished seven-seconds in front of fellow Aussie Toby Price, with Jamie McCanney third for the stage.

Daniel Sanders - Image by Rally Zone
Daniel Sanders – Image by Rally Zone

In what was only his first competitive rally event for the KTM Factory Racing team, Daniel Sanders has shown he is more than capable of delivering accurate navigation and the speed required to mix it with the top rally racers. Just weeks after commencing his road book training, the likeable Aussie has claimed an international rally stage win – an impressive achievement for any rider. In successfully completing the Andalucia Rally – securing 11th place overall – Sanders qualifies for the Dakar Rally in January. His training will now continue over the months leading up to the iconic event.

Daniel Sanders – Stage 4 Winner

“I really enjoyed today, being more familiar with the navigation, I was able to focus more and start to push. I made a few little mistakes, but all through the day there was nothing in it, so I kept my head down and found a nice flow. Honestly, I thought I would place around the top-five mark, so to come away with the stage win feels great. I wasn’t aiming for the win, and definitely didn’t want to try anything stupid, but to go fastest with most of the top guys here is really encouraging. The whole team has worked really hard to fast-track my rally skills, but it looks like it’s paying off and I can’t thank them enough.”

Daniel Sanders - Image by Rally Zone
Daniel Sanders – Image by Rally Zone

Claiming a provisional fourth overall at the close of racing is perhaps not the result that Toby Price wanted going into the Spanish event. Nevertheless, always one to ride intelligently, the two-time Dakar Champion was pleased with his race pace and navigation. Now, having used the Andalucia Rally to regain his focus and test various new components on his KTM 450 RALLY, Toby looks ahead to Dakar and is confident of a strong result.

Toby Price – P4 Overall

“Today wasn’t too tricky, we followed a lot of the tracks we’d been over earlier in the rally and so navigation wasn’t too much of an issue. I feel good in myself and on the bike and so I was able to push a little harder today. Finishing fourth and missing out on the podium is always a little disappointing, but we’re fit and healthy with no issues and that is always the main goal. We’ve learned a lot and have been able to test a few things so I’m really looking forward to Dakar now.”

Toby Price - Image by Rally Zone
Toby Price – Image by Rally Zone

Jamie McCanney also recorded a positive end to the Andalucia Rally, claiming third place on the final stage. At the head of the field for much of the day, McCanney frustratingly caught two riders and, without forcing the issue and risking a mistake due to the dust created in front of him, opted to bring home his WR450F Rally home safely. A great conclusion to the rally saw Jamie advance to seventh in the overall standings.

Jamie McCanney

“I’m happy enough with the overall result. Today’s stage was good for me. I think I was leading for a lot of it, but then because I set off 20th – I’m not sure why as I didn’t finish 20th yesterday – I caught up to some riders towards the end and then sat in their dust for 30 or 40 kilometres. It was unfortunate but the safe option. Leaving here healthy and happy with my riding and my Yamaha puts us in good shape ahead of Dakar.”

2020 Andalucia Rally Champion – Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides, who held the field in check in the final stage, conceding just 2’48” to the day’s winner, confirmed his position at head of the competition leaderboard. The Monster Energy Honda Team rider ends the race, leaving the nearest overall second-place rider trailing almost eight minutes behind.

Kevin Benavides – P1 Overall

“Today I went out intending to ride a stage with good pace, focusing on not making any mistakes. My elbow bothered me a bit, but as the day went on, it didn’t hurt so much. I think I rode a good final stage to close this race week. I’m very happy with this win: I needed it too. It’s a victory that rewards all the effort we have made. Now, we are going to continue with all the preparations to reach the 2021 Dakar in even better conditions. Thank you very much to the entire team for an exceptional job done every single day and for keeping the bike running perfectly throughout the race.”

Kevin Benavides
Kevin Benavides

Hard work paid off for Adrien Van Beveren at the Andalucia Rally as he enjoyed a mistake-free week of racing to claim second overall. Consistent results on every stage signalled that the Frenchman has returned from injury and is back to his usual, competitive form. With his 2020 Dakar Rally crash and subsequent surgeries well behind him, Van Beveren’s runner-up finish puts him in a positive position for the 2021 rally season.

Adrien Van Beveren – P2 Overall

“It’s been a really good rally for me. All week I have been consistent with no crashes, no navigation or speed zone issues, so it’s great to see that my training has paid off. I’m happy with the direction that I’m going in and will keep working hard towards the Dakar Rally. I’m so happy to be back to my old self and on the podium. A great result for myself and the team.”

Adrien Van Beveren
Adrien Van Beveren

In third place, taking his first podium racing against the cream of rally-raid riders, was the Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco TVS Factory).

Lorenzo Santolino – P3 Overall

“Yes super happy to finish third here. Maybe the fact that I am Spanish and we were racing on Spanish soil was good for me but it is nevertheless important for my confidence going into the Dakar. The team has been working hard to develop the bike and it went really well here, so many thanks to them.”

The 2021 Dakar Rally to be held in Saudi Arabia from January 3 to 15 will be the next event for many competitors.

2020 Andalucia Rally Stage 4 Results

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
3  JAMIE MCCANNEY YAMAHA WR450F RALLY 2:13:36 +00:01:16
5  ROSS BRANCH YAMAHA WR450F RALLY 2:14:13 +00:00:19
7  KEVIN BENAVIDES HONDA CRF 450 RALLY 2:15:01 +00:00:02
10  RICKY BRABEC HONDA CRF 450 RALLY 2:17:34 +00:00:23

2020 Andalucia Rally Overall Classification

Pos. Rider Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 10:30’51
2 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +7’42
3 SANTOLINO Lorenzo SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +7’54
4 PRICE Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12’22
5 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20’39
6 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +23’29
7 MCCANNEY Jamie GBR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +24’13
8 CAIMI Franco ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +24’45
9 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +24’54
10 TOMICZEK Adam POL Orlen Team KTM +26’00
11 SANDERS Daniel AUS KTM Factory Racing KTM +26:27

Source: MCNews.com.au

Aussies to lead 2020 Andalucia Rally starting order

2020 Andalucia Rally

Day 1 – Prologue

After many months of enforced inactivity, competitors finally got the chance to turn a wheel in anger over a nine-kilometre super special to decide the start order for tomorrow’s first stage, with Australia’s Toby Price and Daniel Sanders taking Red Bull KTM Factory Racing to a strong start for Stage 1.

2020 Andalucia Rally 
2020 Andalucia Rally

As informed observers of the super special won’t have failed to notice, not only are all the factory teams – Monster Energy Honda, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, GasGas Factory Racing, Sherco TVS Rally, Hero Motorsports Rally, Monster Yamaha Rally – present, many of them have been busy recruiting new talent.

Toby Price
Toby Price

Run right next to the rally’s hacienda bivouac, the prologue super special victory went to Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), with rookie teammate Daniel Sanders (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), while Yamaha’s new recruit Ross Branch (Monster Energy Yamaha Rally) was third.

Matthias Walkner was fourth, marking another KTM Rally Factory Team rider in the top five, with Andrew Short fifth and Luciano Benavides sixth, as top Husqvarna Factory Racing rider. Jamie McCanney, Franco Caimi and Adrien Van Beveren were seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, with Sebastian Buehler the final rider in the top 10 for Hero Motorsports Team Rally.

Daniel Sanders
Daniel Sanders – Image by Rally Zone

Australian Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders, astonished the off-road world by heading over to Europe last year and winning the ISDE aboard a 500 and since then has been on a number of team manager’s shopping lists.

Daniel Sanders

“I’ve been training with the team for the last three weeks and already its been a massive learning curve. The terrain around here looks awesome and I’m really excited to race my first rally. Obviously I’ve got a lot to learn but if I can pick things up as quickly as Toby (Price) I’ll be well happy. I’m really stoked to have finished equal first with him on the super special. Just hope I don’t have to open tomorrow!”

Daniel Sanders
Daniel Sanders – Image by Rally Zone

Adding, “What a cool way to start Rally #2 prologue. Finished on the same second as fellow mulleteer Toby Price – The lowest number gets to start first, a 3 min gap behind him for the start tomorrow. I am planning to try and not get lost and to focus on my navigation skill. At the end of the day I’m here just to learn and to finish to qualify for Dakar.”

The bike team with the biggest change of personnel is undoubtedly the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team with the winner of the last Rallye du Maroc, Andrew Short moving over to the French based team. He has been joined by another recent promising arrival on the rally scene, Ross Branch. If factory contracts are nothing new to ‘Shorty’ they are an unexpected pleasure for his Botswanan teammate.

Ross Branch

“I’m really excited to be on the race and super happy to be with the team. It is a dream come true for me. On Dakar 2020 I was thinking it was probably my last rally. It was getting really complicated for me as a privateer to keep raising the money, but now that stress has been taken off me and I can just concentrate on the racing. Finishing third on the super special is a good way of starting my ‘professional’ career.”

It isn’t just the factory teams who’ve been busy recruiting, with top privateer outfit HT Rally also upping their game by bringing aboard none other than experienced rally rider Xavier de Soultrait and three times enduro world champion David Knight.

2020 Andalucia Rally 
2020 Andalucia Rally

For the Monster Energy Honda Team, Ricky Brabec set off from first place, without references ahead, to tackle the opening kilometres of the Andalucia Rally prologue, eventually going on to post eleventh place, just twelve seconds adrift of the day’s fastest time. Very narrow gaps separated the frontrunners with several riders finishing within the same second. Joan Barreda finished just one second behind his American team-mate.

Argentine Kevin Benavides rode at a pace similar to his Monster Energy Honda Team squad-mates and took fourteenth position, one second off Barreda. José Ignacio Cornejo conceded some 35 seconds to the leader of the general standings, finishing in 21st position.

2020 Andalucia Rally 
2020 Andalucia Rally

2020 Andalucia Rally – Super Special Stage Results

Pos. Rider Nation Team Time/Gap
1 PRICE, Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 6’29
2 SANDERS, Daniel AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +0’0
3 EVAN BRANCH, Ross BWA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +0’03
4 WALKNER, Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +0’04
5 SHORT, Andrew USA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +0’06
6 BENAVIDES, Luciano ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +0’06
7 MCCANNEY, Jamie GBR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +0’06
8 CAIMI, Franco ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +0’09
9 VAN BEVEREN, Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +0’10
10 BUEHLER, Sebastian POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally +0’11
11 BRABEC, Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team +0’12
12 BARREDA, Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team +0’13
13 SANTOLINO, Lorenzo SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory +0’13
14 BENAVIDES, Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +0’14
15 DE SOULTRAIT, Xavier FRA HT Husqvarna Rally Team +0’14

Air bag testing underway at 2020 Andalucia Rally

Away from the musical chairs, the big talking point in the bike class is the introduction of air bags. Adapted from those used in MotoGP, they won’t actually be compulsory on this event but will be on the next Dakar. To let the competitors try them out, no less than five different models are available for competitors to test. Ever since airbags first appeared in road racing, engineers have been looking at ways of adapting them to rally-raid, but the particularities of off-road riding hasn’t made the process straight forward. The man in charge of bring it all together is ASO’s vastly experienced technical expert Thierry Viadot:

Thierry Viadot

“Here in Andalusia all the competitors have the possibility to test airbags that have been approved by the FIM for the next Dakar. These have been adapted for off-road use by incorporating passive security to protect the rider’s chest and back, which will inevitably increase body temperature. That however isn’t the principle hurdle to overcome. For me the major problem is defining the parameters for when the airbag deploys, as a function of the degree of shock and speed. The only way to accumulate the necessary data is to start using them now and in a few months the algorithms will have made considerable progress. Until that data has been collected and processed it is possible that airbags may deploy when not desired. But we just have to accept that if we want to progress.”

Next Up: Stage 1

The bikes go directly into the Stage 1 with David Castera explaining, “We will show the competitors pretty much all the types of terrain they will encounter on this rally. There will be some technical going at the start, a bit of sand over 30-40 kms, some more open tracks, alternating with more narrowing piste. Then in the last property crossed, on the final 40 kilometres, it’ll be more technical again, with some vegetation.”

Wednesday, sees the first full stage of the Andalucia Rally which will feature a total of 240 kilometres of timed special (two specials made up of 130 and 110 kilometres respectively) and a liaison of about 70 kilometres connecting the start and finish in Villamartín.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Jack Miller & Toby Price in motocross duel

As Jack Miller prepares to return to MotoGP racing this weekend, a video has been released of a motocross track showdown with fellow Aussie Toby Price.

It’s like one of those pub questions come to life: “Who would win a motocross race out of Jack Miller and Toby Price?”

The pair both started in motocross at regional tracks, so this showdown is held in Rockhampton.

Jack MillerJack Miller helmet motoGP biushfire appeal

Jack, 25, recently signed with the official Ducati Team for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

He won the German IDM 125ccc championship in 2011 and was runner-up in the 2014 Moto3 championship.

The Townsville racer made his MotoGP debut in 2015 at the age of 20 and joined Ducati in 2018 with the Pramac Racing Team, the factory-supported team of the Bologna manufacturer.

He has one MotoGP win to his name and finished last season eighth overall in the standings last year, taking five podiums.

Toby PriceToby Price lead

Toby, 32, is Australia’s first Dakar Rally champion.

He won the gruelling event in 2016 and again in 2019.

Toby also became the first Australian to win the FIM World Cross Country Championship and has scored a record six wins in Australia’s toughest motorcycle rally, the Finke Desert Race.

The motocross race

To find out who won the motocross showdown and claimed the unusual prize, you’ll just have to watch the video.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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
38 PETR VLCEK PETR VLCEK + 11H 48′ 57”
44 KRZYSZTOF JARMUZ 115MOTO + 14H 32′ 09”
50 SIMON MARCIC MARCIC + 15H 40′ 26”

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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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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