Team Ohlins / Langston Motorsports / KTM Season Best at 2012 Indy Supercross

The team was at full strength this weekend with the return of Taylor Futrell (#86) who has been recovering from a collarbone injury. Les Smith (#46) and AJ Catanzaro (#93) both made the night show with 11th and 17th place qualifying times respectively. Taylor encountered some unfortunate mechanical issues in the first free practice that prevented him from participating in the first timed session. He made the second timed session but a lingering mechanical issue forced him to miss the night show.

AJ was in the second heat race and came off the gate with a mid-pack start. He worked his way into a qualifying position where he remained until an untimely mistake on the last lap put him into the LCQ. AJ did not get a good start in the LCQ and was unable to work himself into a transfer position.

“I rode well enough in my heat race to qualify but did not finish the job,” said AJ. “I am somewhat frustrated right now because I know I am capable of so much more but can’t seem to make it happen at race time.”

Les Smith had the best night of his season. He too was in the second heat race and came off the gate with a top ten start. Les made some key passes early on and worked his way up to a season best 5th place finish moving him straight to the main event. In the main event, Les had a mid-pack start and was on the move getting into 10th position when during the 5th lap the race was red flagged. There was a staggered green flag GNCC style re-start to continue the main. Les was able to maintain his 10th position off the start taking 9th place around the mid-way point. Les finished in 9th giving him his best overall finish for the season.

“Even though I did take a nasty spill in the whoop section during free practice, I felt really good on the bike and the track all night,” said Les.  “Man, seeing the smile on my mechanic Nick Burns’ face every lap made it even more fun. Our team is really coming together and I have a lot more work to put in so we can keep improving,” he said.

Grant Langston, Team Manager, said “I am so happy for Les, he’s such a good kid and really earned this result. I knew it was only a matter of time before he would be in the top ten and I know he will now only work harder to continue improving,” he said. “It feels especially good knowing we were the top KTM Lites team of the evening. Now we just have to find the right changes to make in AJ’s program so he can start living up to his potential,” Langston said.

Gaurtier Paulin Wins 2012 Dutch Championship Round in Heerde

Gaurtier Paulin Wins 2012 Dutch Championship Round in Heerde

Gaurtier Paulin Wins 2012 Dutch Championship Round in Heerde - Photo 1 of 1

Factory Kawasaki racer, Gautier Paulin, has won the 3rd round of the Open Dutch championship at a rough and sandy Heerde circuit. Having spent the week testing sand settings with the Kawasaki Racing Team, Paulin was eager to try those out in race conditions and Heerde provided the ideal scene.

A red flag in the opening laps saw the first MX1 moto re-started however Paulin could not make the most of the re-start and had to be content with a 4th place finish.

Some changes in bike and suspension settings would give Paulin more confidence going into the second grueling moto and having to avoid a first turn pile-up he was shunted out of the top ten. Gautier put his head down and fought an amazing come back race to pip Goncalves for second on the last lap and steal the overall from the Portuguese rider.

“I want to dedicate this win to the team – they are all doing a great job since I joined them this Winter. The team is based in the Netherlands, but they haven’t  won there in a while! The track was very strange, with a lot of slow corners and some deep holes. My feeling was not so good during the first race, so I didn’t take any risks and just secured a fourth position. Between the races we worked on the suspension settings, and the result was perfect. Last week we worked mainly on the engine, and we had no time to work on the suspension. But we found a good balance today, and I’m happy to see that we are all working in the same direction, with great results. If I had a good rhythm earlier in this heat I think that I would have won, as I finished so close to De Dycker. This week we’ll continue to work and prepare Mill, the next round of the Dutch series. With the new parts the engine is so powerful, we need to work with Kayaba now on the suspension. We have three weeks prior the GP in Valkenswaard, and I’m confident,” Confirmed Paulin.

Image: KRT

Results MX1 Heerde:

Race 1:

  1. Evgeny Bobryshev Rus Honda
  2. Kevin Strijbos B KTM
  3. Rui Goncalves Por Honda
  4. Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki
  5. Herjan Brakke NL Yamaha
  6. Ceriel Klein Kromhof NL Honda
  7. Marcus Schiffer D Suzuki
  8. Bas Verhoeven NL Honda
  9. William Saris NL Yamaha
  10. Xavier Boog F Kawasaki

Race 2:

  1. Ken de Dycker B Honda
  2. Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki
  3. Rui Goncalves Por Honda
  4. Marc de Reuver NL Kawasaki
  5. Kevin Strijbos B KTM
  6. Marcus Schiffer D Suzuki
  7. Herjan Brakke NL Yamaha
  8. Marvin van Daele B Kawasaki
  9. Bas Verhoeven NL Honda
  10. Lars Oldekamp D KTM

MX1 Overall:

  1. Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki 40
  2. Rui Goncalves Por Honda 40
  3. Kevin Strijbos B KTM 38

Top Five for TLD’s Cole Seely in 2012 Indiana Supercross

Top Five for TLD’s Cole Seely in 2012 Indiana Supercross

Cole Seely ended his run as fill-in rider for Factory Honda on a good note by finishing fifth in the Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. By all accounts it was a successful experiment as Seely put in several great rides during his time on Trey Canard’s CRF450.

Top Five for TLD's Cole Seely in 2012 Indiana Supercross - Photo 1 of 3

Photos by Kardas

Saturday night in Indy started out with some fireworks for Seely. He wanted to put an exclamation mark on his final race and he was letting it hang out. Running second in his heat he made a pass for the lead and set his sights on the checkered flag. But just after he made the pass on Metcalfe he lost his front end in a turn and went down. He still collected himself and went on to qualify in the 8th position.

The main event saw Seely start mid-pack and put in a determined, smooth ride to fifth place by the end of the night. He was making passes on some of the best riders in the world as a part-time rider in the class. Impressive indeed. Cole was bummed that his time on the 450 was over but extremely thankful for the opportunity. And he is really looking forward to the rest of the season.

Top Five for TLD's Cole Seely in 2012 Indiana Supercross - Photo 2 of 3

“I’m so thankful that Erik and the crew at Honda gave me this opportunity,” said Cole. “I feel stronger than ever mentally and physically right now so I’m excited to take that momentum and carry it into the final few rounds of the west region sx series and also the outdoor nationals. We have about a month of motocross testing to do and then we are going to go into the final three rounds of the series with a championship in mind. If nothing else I want to come out of the last few races with some wins. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Troy Lee Designs / Lucas OIl / Honda team will do some outdoor testing before resuming the West Coast Lites series on April 21 at Qwest Field in Seattle, WA.

Top Five for TLD's Cole Seely in 2012 Indiana Supercross - Photo 3 of 3

Yoshimura Suzuki Captures Well-Earned Fourth at 2012 Indy Supercross

Yoshimura Suzuki Captures Well-Earned Fourth at 2012 Indy Supercross

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing celebrated their best night of Supercross so far this year at round 11 of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Series at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, on Saturday night. Brett Metcalfe raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to his first-ever Supercross-class heat race victory, and then went on to bring home an impressive fourth-place result in the Supercross main event.

Yoshimura Suzuki Captures Well-Earned Fourth at 2012 Indy Supercross - Photo 1 of 2

As the evening’s racing commenced, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Metcalfe was feeling strong and looking good. Going into his eight-lap heat race, the Australian rider did not disappoint. He came off the gate swinging and got the holeshot, then he held onto the lead to take his first heat race win.

“We came in with a different approach with bike setup this weekend,” said Metcalfe. “It was evident in my first lap of practice. I just felt so much more comfortable and could really attack the track and ride the bike. I was really stoked; the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great. We got great starts and qualified the best we have all year. In the heat race, we ripped the holeshot and it felt awesome to get out there in front. I was able to hold on and get my first heat win of my 450 career, and that was a big achievement for me.”

In the 20-lap main, Metcalfe continued to charge hard after getting another good launch on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. Metcalfe rode aggressively and battled for a podium position for the entire race, running as high as second place before succumbing to a bit of fatigue and finishing fourth.

“In the main, I got another good start on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450,” said Metcalfe. “I came out of the corner about third or fourth. Then I was able to charge through and get up to second, and ran up there for half the main event. Then I dropped back a few positions because I got tired running up front and holding everybody off, but I was fighting as hard as I could.”

Yoshimura Suzuki Captures Well-Earned Fourth at 2012 Indy Supercross - Photo 2 of 2

Metcalfe and the Yoshimura Suzuki squad hope to build on the momentum of their first Supercross heat race win and solid main event result as they head toward the series’ next stop in Canada next weekend. Said Metcalfe: “This weekend in Indy was a good start for us with the new setup for the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. I’m looking forward to carrying this on to Toronto next weekend, and I’m really stoked about that.”

Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s next event is the 12th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, March 24th, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia earns podium spot on crazy night in Indy

GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia saw his four-race winning streak in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series snapped on Saturday night, but he still salvaged a podium finish by crossing the line third.

“For now, I’m calling this the ‘nightmare race,'” Barcia said. “The track was just brutal, and it was just a weird night overall. But it’s great to finish on the podium again and not lose many points.”

As disappointing as the third place was, the final outcome could have been much worse. Barcia got caught up in a mob scene in the first turn of the Lites main. He briefly went down during Lap 2, and came up in ninth place.

Barcia worked his way into eighth place by Lap 4 when Kyle Cunningham went down hard, bringing out a red flag.

The stoppage triggered a new-to-2012 staggered restart rule. Had three laps or less been completed before the red flag, the riders would have gone back to their gates. Since it had gone beyond the three-lap mark, the riders were lined up in a single column that stretched from the hole shot line to near the starting area.

“It was a confusing scene,” Barcia said. “It’s the first time they’ve had to do this, so it was crazy – but it fit the madness of this race.”

While Barcia was still eighth, the gap between himself and the front of the field was greatly reduced. Barcia made the most of his second chance to storm through the bunched-up field and claim his spot on the podium.

Barcia leaves Indy with a 22-point lead over second place Darryn Durham.

The night was just as helter-skelter for GEICO Honda’s other two riders, but neither Lites rider Justin Bogle nor Supercross rider Kevin Windham had luck on their side Saturday.

Bogle seemed poised to make the most of his second chance following the red flag. He restarted sixth, worked his way up to fourth within three laps before a spill dropped him to eighth. The rookie dug back in to finish sixth.

“I switched things up and just tried to have fun this week,” Bogle said. “I felt good in practice today and I played it safe and got third in my heat race. The main was pandemonium, pretty much. I was feeling really good after the restart, but had a fall. I’m getting sick of these rookie mistakes. I know I’m learning, but I really want to get to the point where I have things figured out.”

Bogle is now in seventh place in the Lites standings, 11 points behind Jake Canada for sixth.

Indianapolis was more unkind to Windham than it was to Bogle. Windham suffered two hard spills during the night and ultimately finished 18th in the main.

The first crash happened when James Stewart went down right after the start of the first Supercross heat, collecting Windham and a handful of other racers in a pileup. The second came 10 laps into the main event when he was running fifth and battling for position with Mike Alessi. The two made contact and Windham wound up the worse for wear in that exchange.

“I’m sore everywhere right now,” Windham said. “My GEICO Honda was running good, I won the LCQ. It just didn’t come together for me anywhere else tonight.”

After his finish, Windham drops to fifth in the standings and is five points behind Davy Millsaps for fourth.

The GEICO Honda team gets little to time to rest as they are back at it on March 24 for the next Monster Energy AMA Supercross event at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

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