Honda’s pre-season World Motocrosss preparations continue throughout Europe

Honda’s pre-season World Motocrosss preparations continue throughout Europe

All four of Honda’s official world MX riders were in action this weekend at three separate meetings, as they each continue their respective pre-season preparations ahead of the start of the world championship season next month in Bulgaria.

Honda's pre-season World Motocrosss preparations continue throughout Europe - Photo 1 of 1

Honda World Motocross riders Rui Goncalves and Evgeny Bobryshev took part in their second race of the week at the third round of the Italian Championship in Cingoli. Conditions were tough but both riders showed well, narrowly missing out on the podium positions. Looking to build on an impressive win last time out, Bobryshev went 4-3 across both motos while team mate Goncalves improved on his Faenza performance with 9-5 finishes.

In the UK, LS Honda Racing’s Shaun Simpson contested the Hawkstone MX International at the ‘home of British motocross’. The hard charging Scot started well with 5th in the first moto and improved with a solid 4th position in the second to take 4th overall. Simpson went one better with a podium in the super final, which saw the top 20 riders from MX1 and MX2 riders competing.

Simpson’s LS team mate, Ken De Dycker, was on top form on the continent as he dominated the second round of the Dutch MX Championship in Halle. Big Ken took the double victory in the MX1 class, cementing his superiority early on by winning the first moto by nearly a minute!

Rui Goncalves, Honda World Motocross

I was riding more confidently than Faenza but still felt tight on the bike and was tensing up a lot in the first moto, so finding hard to get into my rhythm. Between motos I didn?t really change anything on the bike, just worked on resolving what I was doing wrong and finding my focus. It worked as I felt much smoother in the second moto and was able to get a better result.

Evgeny Bobryshev, Honda World Motocross

Honestly I was not too happy with my riding today but I am pretty pleased with the result considering. I found the conditions hard with real deep, deep ruts. It just been raining so hard this week…this is not how Italy should be is it!? I do feel like I have now clicked with the bike and feel like it is becoming my bike.

Shaun Simpson, LS Honda Racing

I like it at Hawkstone as the place has been good to me in the past but I wasn?t really getting on with the surface if I?m honest. It was soft and loose on top but with a hard base underneath that was pretty slippy. Nevertheless my results kept improving as the day went on and when I got the start I was comfortable holding good pace at the front.

Ken De Dycker, LS Honda Racing

It was important to go out and get good results but what is more important is to get a good feeling before the start of the world championship. This was my last race before the season starts so I was concentrating on getting everything right with the bike and the settings and I look to carry this forward into the season ahead.

Image provided by: Sarah Gutierrez

Rider Training Seminar in Puerto Princesa FIM Asian Moto

With no less than the defending Asian champion as instructor, local motocross riders and enthusiasts are in for a treat when the National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association organizes an advanced rider training course as a side event of the opening round of the 2011 FIM Asian Motocross Championships slated on March 24-27, 2011 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

Tomoya “Kamikaze” Suzuki has agreed to impart his skills and knowledge in the motocross discipline to the growing number of local disciples of the extreme off-road motorcycle sport. Suzuki endeared himself to local motocross fans with his uncanny riding style that he displayed last year in the local legs of the continental championships held in Puerto Princesa City and at the Speedworld MX Circuit in Parañaque that enabled  him to clinch the Asian 125 (MX2) crown.

The opening leg of the 2011 FIM Asian Motocross Championships is supported by the City of Puerto Princesa led by Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, Oakley, Polisports, Colt 45, Spyder Helmets, Du Ek Sam Marketing, Kia Motors Palawan, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Tourism (DOT). The groundwork to render 1.2 kilometer racetrack compliant with the FIM’s technical and safety standards is being overseen by Puerto Princesa City Administrator Agustin Rocamora, Sports Director Tony Reyes and Oplan Linis’ Mrs. Ellen Hagedorn, the better half of the city’s CEO.

The races set next weekend marks the 8th straight year that the opening round of the Asian motocross series is being staged in Puerto Princesa City. NAMSSA President Macky Carapiet believes that this year’s event will be more exciting and better than previous editions with the influx of a new breed of young and exciting riders. Riders, teams and officials from Japan, China, Chinese-Taipei, Guam, Iran, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka, Hongkong, Australia and the Philippines have confirmed their attendance in the event.

The cream of the crop of local motocross will be seeing action on the same weekend when they compete for trophies and cash prizes at stake in the 13 categories comprising the 3rd leg of the Philippine NAMSSA National Motocross Series.

3-time National Motocross Rider of the Year awardee Kenneth San Andres, the ageless multi-titled veteran Jolet Jao and Bacoor, Cavite’s dynamic duo, brothers Migi and Miko Tolentino and last year’s Asian Junior 85 Champion Jean Erick Mitra head the list of the prominent local riders competing in the event. Other names to watch out for are Omar Aman, Chadwick Garcia and Mark Gonzales in the Intermediate class, Bryan Ursua in the Beginner Production class, Cheaster Hinayo and Tyrone Coralde in the Novice Local Enduro division, Joseph Penaso in the Open Enduro Class, Jason Sarmiento in the Underbone event, Gimo Gonzales in the Executive Class and Junjun San Andres in the Veterans Class.

Brothers Ralph and Christian Ramento, Mark “Reggie” Flores and Gabriel Macaso are the darkhorse entries in the Asian Junior 85 event where they will be squaring off against their counterparts from Chinese-Taipei and Sri Lanka. Tykes on bikes Zyden Buse, Jhetrick Marquez, Vincent Jimenez, brothers Peewee and PJ Galia from Southern Leyte and the Diaz siblings Iñigo, Iñaki and Anya from Calbayog City, Samar will be providing the action in the Junior 65 and Junior 50 cc divisions.    

The year 2011 marks the NAMSSA’s 18th year as the national sporting authority for motorcycle sports in the country and new announcements post this event are a series of big mx events in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, together with the launch of the new street race national series. For more information about the Motocross Masters of Asia and other NAMSSA events and activities, log on to and or call/text  0917847978. 

Supercross News: James Stewart injury update

Supercross News: James Stewart injury update

Supercross News: James Stewart injury update - Photo 1 of 2

Team San Manuel Yamaha Red Bull’s James Stewart had a disappointing night in Jacksonville on Saturday when a crash with several other riders, after the first turn on the track, took him out of the race. Starting out the day posting the fastest lap times and dominating his heat race, Stewart looked confident and ready to go. Stewart came out strong in the Main, getting a good start through the first turn, when there was an unexpected pileup leading into the first straightaway, resulting in a race ending crash. Though the Asterisk medical crew assisted him off of the track, further evaluation showed no signs of serious injury. Banged up and bruised, Stewart will spend the week recovering and preparing to race Toronto. “I was really hoping to pull this one out,” Stewart said. “It was my home state, I’m familiar with the tracks, all my fans were there cheering me on and it’s just really disappointing for me, my team, my sponsors and my fans. It’s all about Toronto and the rest of the season now.”

Courtesy Team San Manuel

Supercross News: James Stewart injury update - Photo 2 of 2

Honda, Honda, Honda

Man what a weekend for Honda. With everything going on in Japan I am glad to see there is a little good news for the people of Japan after the weekend. I think the spirit of the Japanese people has always been one of bravery, honor and the ability to focus on the task at hand. I think this weekend was a significant one for the Japanese people for many contrasting reasons, however today I will focus on the racing side of things, mostly.

Honda absolutely laid the smack down on the racing world this weekend. Honda took wins in SX both classes, MotoGP and technically Moto 2. Moto 2 is a spec class so I guess they win every race, but I can’t fault them for having the best engine for the application. In MotoGP Casey Stoner and a rat pack full of Honda riders just put the paddock on notice. It was not a surprise to see the Honda’s up front, but so many of them and with new faces was very exciting. Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies rode admirably, but this weekend were no match for the top Honda riders. Valentino Rossi rode a smart race and I think really did the smart thing by not panicking and not throwing the bike into the gravel trap, something Casey Stoner did on a regular basis. I keep hearing that Rossi has the same complaints that Stoner did and that is not good news. Not because I think it is true, but more down to it gives the rider a mental parachute if things don’t go well. Hayden has demonstrated that the bike is capable of going fast at any time and that it just takes a “certain” type of guy to win on that bike, so I think they should start a new PR campaign and start giving their rider no more “outs”. 

Other American news from the weekend was that Suzuki was non existent as always and with Bautista breaking his femur last weekend we will no doubt see John Hopkins back in MotoGP. I have read quite a few interviews with Hopper and his last few years have been just down to put it bluntly, not good. However I believe this story has a happy ending and I think John has gotten most of his wrist issues fixed. I think if John can keep his focus in the right place he can ride himself back into a ride for next year, possibly one at Ducati? Yes Hayden’s seat will be up for auction next year and I doubt he will be back unless he strings together consistent top 5 results. Edwards will most likely move on and there should be a seat available where another American was already sitting. Tech 3 would be foolish not to replace the American with an American simply due to the fact that I believe they have a market established. If anyone actually reads this and knows John Hopkins, please contact me. I have someone that could help him with reaching his goals this year, for no real fee.

OK enough of the asphalt talk and let’s jump into some moto. I know that was a harsh transition but if I didn’t do it this would have become a speculation piece into a silly season many moons in the future. Trey Canard and Justin Barcia rode brilliantly last Saturday evening in Jacksonville. Both guys look like they are in a good place and their bikes look great. To keep the Honda train rolling, Chad Reed almost stuck his wheel back on the top step and had he rode the same way with Canard as he did Stewart I think he would have won. However Chad to the high road and make have given the little step of momentum Canard needs. Ryan Villopoto just crashed his way around the track all evening and the moto gods took a big giant turd in the middle of his championship run. Good news for Supercross fans and by doing that the championship has just picked up in a big way. This is been the season I have been dreaming of for years and so far it is in my running for greatest championship in Supercross history.

Justin Barcia has his arms around the championship while Dean Wilson learns to deal with how to continue working hard after achieving your first win and way too fat of a paycheck. When he runs out of money, and I hope it is fast, then he will pick up the effort and find his way back to the top step. I am assuming it will should be properly timed around the start of the nationals and if I were Mitch I would probably find something to fine him his whole paycheck for and then hold it until he gets his *** together. I would never intend on it being kept and I would return it no matter what, but I think it would do the trick. Of course that is my outside opinion of the situation and is based on a absolutely no first hand accounts of the situation.

Honda in my opinion is in a great position to regain the status as King of the Hill of the racing world. They are running a major tab back home and results were necessary in order to avoid some serious internal self mutilation. The Japanese culture has it’s roots buried into the understanding of Samurai methods and honor. These dudes don’t mess around and succeeding is not an option it is a necessity to live. Honda is going to give the Japanese people a shot of Nationalism that the country needs when trying to get back on their feet. Their economy has been devastated in every sociological aspect known to humans. The Japanese have been on the brink of extinction many times and their ability to make it through some of the bombings of Tokyo and later the drop of Atomic weapons is amazing in itself. Add in the Geological risk that they take on in their geographic location and in my mind it becomes even more of a tribute to the perseverance as a culture. I have dedicated my life to Tsunami research and awareness and will with out question spend a good part of my future in Japan. I hope that through my research and fundraising I can help countries like Japan’s become better prepared for any natural geological process.

Top weekend for Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders in National and International Motocross Races

Top weekend for Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders in National and International Motocross Races

As the Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders make their final preparations for the MX1, MX2 and WMX World Motocross Championship season, they rode and impressed in several national championship rounds this weekend in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Top weekend for Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders in National and International Motocross Races - Photo 1 of 1

MX1 factory duo Tony Cairoli and Max Nagl rode in Cingoli, Italy in Round Three of the Italian Championship, which proved fertile ground for KTM’s Italian reigning MX1 champion. Tony scored a 3-1 result on the challenging track for a total of 200 championship points while Max finished with a 5-7 score for the day. Tony’s performance was hampered by the fact that he raced with the flu and a strength sapping fever.

World MX Champ Tony Cairoli: “It was a tough weekend because I was a little bit sick so I just went out and tried to do my best. I managed to get the holeshot in the first race but then I got tired and couldn’t push so I just defended third place. I felt a little better in the second race and I was happy to get that win. Now I need to get two wins in the final round of the championship next weekend. It will be tough but I will try to do it.”

Max Nagl said although the results were not good he was still happy with his riding. “It was very tough race and the mud was heavy but my riding was good, I didn’t get tired and I can push on the 350. The first race was okay but I had a problem at the start of the second. Then I crashed in the first corner and was last in the field. I managed to fight my way back to finish seventh so in those conditions it was quite okay.”

Tony now assumes control of the overall standings in the competition with one round to go next weekend. Max is sixth in the overall standings after having a DNF in the last outing in Faenza during the week.

Jeffrey Herlings in flying form in Dutch MX Champs

Dutch teenager Jeffrey Herlings was on top of his game in the Dutch MX Championship round at Halle winning both MX2 motos by a massive margin of 30 seconds and 40 seconds respectively. He had some discomfort from a thumb injury after a spectacular crash last weekend at the previous round in Gemert. Second in both races was factory teammate Jeremy van Horebeek of Belgium showing both these riders are itching to get down to business in the MX2 World Championship.

Jeffrey Herlings: “Everything was perfect today. The track was great. It was fun to ride and I won both motos”. Jeffrey said he had taken the week off to heal the thumb and an impressive array of bruises after last week’s crash. He will now concentrate on training in the last two weeks before the first GP in Bulgaria. The Red Bull Teka KTM Racing MX2 team for the 2011 World Championships also includes Ken Roczen who has returned to Europe after delivering some spectacular rides in the USA in the AMA Supercross Lites West competition.

Jeremy van Horebeek was also positive after his two second places on the typical Dutch sand track. “I am not really a specialist on the sand but I have been training with Stefan Everts on the sand in the winter and this result has helped to give me confidence. I want to try to get one more race in before the start of the GP season so I can continue to get my rhythm,” he said. Jeffrey and Jeremy were 1-2 at the start of the first moto and quickly pulled away to put a big gap between them and the following pack. Jeremy was third at the start of the second moto and while he still finished second he said the sand was getting quite tricky and he did not want to take any unnecessary risks.

Steffi Laier holds her own amongst strong field of MX2 riders in Genk, Belgium

Red Bull Teka KTM WMX factory rider Steffi Laier was also on the track this weekend in an international MX event in Genk, Belgium on Sunday and put in a courageous and impressive performance competing amongst a strong field of top MX1, MX2 and MX3 riders.

Steffi, the reigning Women’s MX world champion rode in the Dutch Woman’s Championship last week but won by such a big margin she decided to test herself alongside the men for some essential track motivation ahead of the opening GP in Sevlievo, Bulgaria in two weeks. Riding on a track heavy from recent rain that offered few overtaking possibilities and lines, Steffi won respect for her efforts. In race one she was fifth out of the start gate and although hindered with some arm pump problems still finished 14th. She was back at eighth after the start of the second race and eventually finished 13th for overall 15th in a field of more than twice that number of strong male riders.

Steffi Laier: “I have never ridden a track that was as rough as it was today, so I was a bit nervous about giving it full gas.” Steffi will continue training and testing to complete her final preparation ahead of her campaign to defend her world MX championship title.


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