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A Fast Start to 2022

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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Jack Simpson in Action at the opening round of the WORCS Racing series in the U.S – Image worcsracing.com

It’s hard to believe we have already finished the opening month of 2022 and have moved into February as the year of racing starts to really ramp up.

Locally several events took place in January, with the annual Coffs Harbour Stadiumcross kicking things off in New South Wales.

It proved to be a good weekend for Yamaha riders, with Matt Moss leading a Yamaha clean sweep in the Pro Open class, finishing ahead of the CDR Yamaha duo of Aaron Tanti and Luke Clout in what looked to be a wet and wild end to the event, things did not go to plan for new Honda signing, Dean Ferris who crashed during Friday’s practice and qualifying session and broke a collarbone.

In the Pro Lites MX2 class, it was Yamaha’s Rhys Budd taking the win ahead of Reid Taylor with Ryder Kingsford in 3rd.

Rhys Budd has continued his 2021 form, shown some early season speed in 2022 – Image File

The following weekend, racing moved to Warrnambool in Victoria for the Shipwreck two-day open. We headed over for the event for the fourth year in a row and, for the first time, had two days of high temperatures to contend with.

With the temp hitting the mid-30s each day with plenty of wind around, the track crew had their job cut out for them trying to keep moisture in the track, and while it was dusty, the club did a fantastic job over the two days to keep racing going and finished by lunchtime on Sunday.

While a couple of the Pro riders who were entered pulled out at the last minute due to Covid issues, there was still plenty of talent on track, with a host of Honda Ride Red riders competing over the two days.

It was a sea of Red out front in the A grade senior classes at Shipwreck, with Honda Race Red’s newest Victorian recruits Liam Andrews winning the A grade lites class ahead of Chandler Burns, while Honda Racing’s MX2 racer Benny Novac won the final moto of the weekend to complete and all red podium, and to top things off Wilson Greiner-Daish made it a Honda top four.

Things were not too much different in the Open A grade class. However, Bryce Ognenis put a stop to the Honda domination, with the KTM mounted racer finishing the weekend tied on points with another Honda Race Red rider in Ty Kean, while Novak and Burns rounded out the top 4. 

The Women’s class was also dominated by Honda riders, with Emma Milesevic taking a four moto clean sweep to win ahead of Madison Healey.

For Full Results from the 2022 Shipwreck 2 Day Open Click Here.

Blake Fox has stepped up to the MX/SX/AX2 class for 2022 and is already in great form.

On the weekend just gone, the first National series kicked off for the year when the opening round of the inaugural Australian ArenaX championship headed to Baccus Marsh in Victoria. 

Despite a deluge of rain hitting the venue on the day before racing, the Pro Traxx Australia team was able to deliver a first-rate track, with the event having nothing but praise from riders on social media in the days following the event.

Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the opening round but kept a close eye on the series social feed on Saturday along with a host of riders’ pages to keep track of what was happening. 

The entry list for the weekend was impressive, with a host of Pro riders and top junior talent lining up across all classes. 

The AX1 class came down to a battle between Matt Moss aboard his BBR 102 Motorsports Yamaha and Brett Metcalfe, who on the eve of the event unveiled his new ride for 2022, launching his GO24 KTM racing team.

After winning the opening race ahead of Moss and GasGas Australia’s Hayden Mellross, Metcalfe had to settle for second position behind Moss in the second race, with Joben Baldwin aboard his Honda Race Red CRF450 taking third.

Moss won the final race to make it two from two event wins under lights to start 2022, with Metcalfe finishing second overall just ahead of Baldwin, who managed to take second spot in the third and final race. 

In the AX2 Expert class, GasGas Australia’s Blake Fox claimed the overall win with two race wins and a 4th from Empire Motorsports Kawasaki’s Haruki Yokoyama and KTM privateer Reid Taylor in 3rd.

For full results from the opening round of the AX championship, CLICK HERE

The second round of the Australian AX Championship heads to Swan Hill in Victoria on the 12th of February; entries are still open. Both rider entry and spectator tickets can be found on the official website HERE.

AUSSIES ABROAD 

Jack Simpson has made an impressive start to his U.S adventure with a pair of second place results. – Image worcsracing.com

A number of Australia’s have taken to the race tracks around the world for the first time in 2022 over the past few weeks; we have been doing our best to keep track of them all; if there is anyone we have missed, let us know, we will be doing our best to keep track of all our Aussie racers on the international stage throughout the year. 

Jack Simpson – Jack Simpson headed to the United States for the 2022 race season to race for the SLR Honda race team and has started his season with some great results.

Kicking off with the opening round of the National Grand Prix Racing Series (NGPS), which is much like our Sprint Off-Road events here in Australia, Simpson finished second in the Pro II class aboard his Honda CRF250R, just 10 seconds behind race winner Mateo Olivera after 11 laps of racing.

It was a similar story the following weekend at the opening round of the WORCS championship, where Simpson once again finished second to Olivera by 40 seconds in a 2-hour cross country event. The result saw him finish 6th outright.

Jed Beaton – Jed Beaton had his first hitout with this FeH Kawasaki Racing Team at the opening round of the Italian motocross championship held at Alghero.

In the MX1 class, Beaton finished a credible 6th place just over 1 minute behind race winner Jeremy Seewer and finished a similar distance behind, but back in 10th position in the Superfinal combining the top 20 MX1 and MX2 riders.

Mitch Evans is back in action in 2022

Mitch Evans – Mitch Evans also made his return to racing at the opening round of the Italian championship finishing two spots behind Beaton in the MX1 Moto in 8th, then came home in 17th position in the Superfinal.

Hunter Lawrence – It was another strong result for Hunter Lawrence with a 4th straight podium result on the Monster Energy Supercross 250 West Championship.

Geran Stapleton – Geran Stapleton continued his quest to make his first 250 West main event in 2022, with the Victorian again missing out after a 12th place result in his heat race and 15th place finish in another hectic LCQ.

Brad West – Queenslander Brad West had his first crack at the Futures SX class at A2, putting in a solid qualifying effort to post the second quickest lap time; however, a little bad luck in the main left him with a still positive 5th place finish. 

MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS

Photo of Yamaha Supercross rider Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac is back in form and is looking like a real threat to win his second Monster Energy Supercross Championship

With the Monster Energy Supercross getting plenty of coverage worldwide, there is not much that has not already been said about the opening four rounds.

Four rounds in with only two big-name riders missing from the 450 class has made this one of the most exciting seasons in the current era. 

Both Adam Cianciarulo and Joey Savatgy have suffered what looks to be season-ending injuries ( Check out the Always Moto – Emergency Department for more details). Still, other than those two, everyone is fit and firing.

After four rounds, the top three in points look like the riders to beat. 2020 Champion Eli Tomac looks to have found his groove on the Yamaha; Jason Anderson has done likewise on the Kawasaki but might need to slow down on making enemies on track if he wants to take this championship to the wire. 

Chase Sexton looks to have found his feet and some consistency in the 450 class and has the outright speed to beat anyone on any night. 

Another former champion is also in fine form with 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Jason Anderson also looking for his second title in 2022

Outside of the top three, Dylan Fernandes looks to be the next best, but if the French rider can’t find a start, he will soon find himself out of contention; the field is just too deep to be coming from mid-pack and landing on the podium week in week out.

As for both the reigning champ in Cooper Webb and another pre-season favorite, Ken Roczen, despite some good rides, both riders look a little off. 

Webb, even though coming into round 3 was just 1 point out of the points lead, he currently does not look his usual self, while Ken, after winning the opening round, has not been able to recover after tip-overs or crashes the past three rounds, and is quickly finding himself nearly a complete race win behind the points leader. 

The 250 West class is a three-rider championship, though Michale Mosiman and Hunter Lawrence will need to find something special to beat Christian Craig this season.

FULLNOISE FRONT

Photo of dirt track riders Beau Baily leading Lachlan-Russell
With all forms of dirt bike racing kicking off for 2022, we will do everything we can to bring all results from as many disciplines as possible again this year.

Things are starting to get a little busier here at Fullnoise as the race season starts to come alive both here in Australia and on the International front. 

Most of the team and manufacturer’s pre-season team press releases are done and dusted, and riders in Australia are already deep into some pre-season racing. 

On the international front, Supercross is well and truly underway, and over in Europe, the national championships, which act as pre-season hitouts for the majority of MXGP riders, are starting to kick off.

TIME TO GET SCHOOLED AND GO RACING

Shane Metcalfe giving Jay some advice at the first Rev Rookies School in South Australia

The past few weeks have been a little frustrating, to be honest; most of my moto this year will be based around my sons racing, 

Things actually started well when we kicked off two weeks back with a school held at Gilman in South Australia, with the club running a new initiative for 2022, holding club coaching schools throughout the year with Shane Metcalfe as the head coach. 

The back to basics first school was a great way to make sure Jay was focusing on his technique and covering all bases when riding. 

We headed off to the Shipwreck 2 dayer as we have for the past the following weekend; Jay has generally had some good results at this event, finishing 3rd in the Div 2 50 class in 2020 and 4th last year in the 65C class with a near full gate last year. 

This year his pace was not too bad on the 65 on day one and ok on the 85; looking forward to a better second day, he managed to tuck his front wheel under the frame of another bike in the first turn on his first race of the day, spitting him over the bars. A trip to the medics saw him miss the 85 race. He returned to the gate for the second 65 race and nearly ripped the holeshot but was pipped by Lewis Jay Carafa and then faded back through the field with some sore ribs and shoulder. 

Our first couple of road trips away racing and riding have not gone to plan so far for 2022, lets see how the next 11 months go.

While it was not the weekend he was hoping for, it was still good to get away racing and cross the Victorian border for the first time in quite a while. 

Last weekend our initial plan was to head to the opening Australian AX championship, but unfortunately, we had already booked a Mountain Bike trip to Thredbo for the same weekend before the dates had been announced. 

In the end, we missed out on both; after traveling by car overnight to Bright in Victoria, where we were going to spend a day riding before heading to Thredbo, we got a call informing us that we had a close Covid contact with us. We had to turn around and head home. Nothing like a 2100km round trip in 28 hours! 

The one benefit from turning round, not being classed as close contacts ourselves, we were both able to get out for a moto ride on Saturday, marking my first ride for 2022, and dam did it feel good. 

It had been near on three months, but I finall got back out for a ride, it felt great!

I had been contemplating sitting on the sidelines for the year, squeezing a budget out to get both myself and Jayden on track gets tight at times, but after riding on Sunday, I realised it is time to get fit and get out and enjoy some riding and a little racing again in 2022. 

For now, it is back to finalising bikes and racing plans for the season ahead, some plans we were hoping to come to fruition don’t look like they will pan out, so its back to plan B and time to give our current bikes a freshen up ready to do another year of racing.

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