It was a little bit of a slower week on the news front over the past seven days, with only a couple of big international events taking place, but sit back and read on as we have a look back at the first week of February and some other random contend from the week gone.
Well, didn’t the first Triple Crown of 2022 threw up one of the biggest stories of the year so far?
By now, everyone would have seen Vince Friese playing the villain and slamming into the back half of Christian Craig’s championship-leading Star Racing Yamaha on the opening lap of the second race; momentarily turn Craig into a real-life Superhero, yep for a moment there, Craig became Superman, flying halfway across the stadium, well maybe not halfway, but dam did he get ejected!
It was not great to watch, not completely unexpected, and not the result that both Craig and Friese were chasing, though once again, Craig showed he is hands down the best rider in the 250 West class this year.
Craig coming from dead last in a short moto and working his way back to 4th spot and in the process salvaging second place overall for the round! That is his second championship saving ride of the season, and we are only five rounds in.
However, let us take nothing away from the man who stood on top of the podium on Saturday night. Australia’s Hunter Lawrence has been on the edge of winning his first main event all season and did not let this opportunity slip powering his HRC Honda CRF250R to a race win and the overall round win.
His race win in the second leg of the triple crown was impressive, holding off a fast-charging Michale Mosiman for the final two laps. If Mosiman had made his way by, Lawrence would have finished the night in second spot, but the Queensland come through to win his second-ever 250 SX main event.
TOMAC TAKING CONTROL
Eli Tomac is fast starting to look like the rider to beat in 2022, with the 2020 SX Champion becoming the first two-time winner for the season, taking back-to-back round wins.
It’s an ominous sign for the competition; Tomac’s starts which are usually his Achilles heel, are on point, his speed is only matched by Jason Anderson, Chase Sexton, and maybe Dylan Ferrandis, but the latter though on the same bike as Tomac can’t buy a start inside the top ten.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Malcolm Stewart threw his name in the mix, and if he can find himself consistently on the podium could be another rider who puts his name up as a championship contender.
RedBull KTM’s reigning champion Cooper Webb still looks off; we keep hearing about KTM having a new 450SX for this season and that could be the reason he is struggling; however with Aaron Plessinger and Webb already both putting the bike on the podium this season, both Webb’s teammates in Plessinger and Marvin Musquin putting in the results we kind of expected of them; it’s hard to see it just being the bike being the issue.
It could just be a combination of a few things, the new bike, Webb’s new training program, a little bit of a championship hangover, or maybe a pre-existing injury that he is still riding through, what ever it is, the current champ does not look himself at the moment and will need to turn things around quickly to stay in this title fight.
WORLD SUPER ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP HEATS UP
The second round of the 2022 World SuperEnduro headed to Hungry on the weekend, with Billy Bolt winning ahead of Taddy Blazusiak and Jonny Walker.
I have not had the chance to sit down and have a good look at this year’s championship so far, but the tight indoor racing always provides a lot of entertainment.
Check out the highlights above to see some of the crazy action from round two.
THE CHAMP IS DOWN BUT NOT OUT
2021 MXGP Champion Jeffrey Herlings suffered a broken left heel in a practice crash the day after winning the claiming victory at the opening round of the Spanish national championships.
Herlings is now in a race to be ready in time for the opening round of the World Championships that are set to take place in just over a week on the 20th of February at Matterly Basin in the UK.
Anyone who is a fan of Australian motocross would have seen Regan Duffy’s post’s across social media regarding the injuries he sustained late last year racing a state title event in his home state of Western Australia.
We all knew at the time of the accident it was a big one, and he suffered some severe injuries, but it is not until you read his complete account of what happened; it hits home how serious and life-threatening the results of the crash were.
I literally teared up reading the two posts on Instagram; as a parent, I can’t even imagine what his dad was going through driving from the track to the hospital, not knowing what was happening as Regan was transported to the hospital in a critical condition.
I don’t know Regan Duffy really well personally, just the occasional hello at the race track. I have been lucky enough to watch him first-hand trackside on numerous occasions and have massive respect for what he can do on a dirt bike.
I first noticed him at the junior nationals held in Tasmania back in 2018.
From there, we have watched him progress into one of Australia’s best riders and a world-class rider who had already captured the eye of team managers around the world with his amazing MXoN results.
While Regan has made massive progress on his recovery already and is much further ahead of where doctors thought he would be, there is still a long road ahead for him, but no matter what, we will be watching him and wishing him all the best with whatever the future holds.
ON THE LOCAL RACING FRONT
There were a couple of big local races held around the country on the weekend, including another big two-day event held at Wonthaggi in Victoria and the Opening round of the Western Australian Supercross Championships taking place on the other side of the country.
Honda riders once again lead the way over in Victoria, with Honda Racing Australia’s Kyle Webster taking the win head of GASGAS Australia’s Hayden Mellross with KTM mounted Bryce Ognenis rounding out the podium
I don’t know much about Bryce, but his name has continually popped up at the pointy end of racing in Victoria over the past few weeks, including a win a Shipwreck and some front-running results at the opening round of the Australian Areancross Championship. We will certainly be keeping an eye out to see how he fairs at the opening round of the PRO MX Championships in late March.
And let’s not forget about Emma Milesevic, who not only won the Women’s class for the weekend but also finished 4th in the opening two races in the MX1 class aboard her Honda Racing Australia CRF450R
In the MX2 Pro class, it was Wilson Todd who claimed victory for Honda Racing Australia ahead of Yamaha’s Alex Larwood and Honda Ride Red’s Liam Andrews.
The MX2 class had several riders who will be considered ProMX front runners in 2022, with the likes of Yamaha’s Ryder Kingsford, KTM’s Nathan Crawford, and Kawasaki’s Haruki Yokoyama all making an effort to race the venue that will host the opening round of this year’s national championship.
For Full Results From Wonthaggi – https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1947868
Over in the West Empire Motorsports, Kawasaki racer Jayden Rykers took a clean sweep in the SX1 class at the opening round of the Berry Sweet W.A Supercross Championship ahead of Evan Browne and Jake Fewster.
In the SX2 class, Codey Rowe won all four races to take home first spot. Evan Browne made it a double podium performance with another second-place result, while Jordan Minear rounded out the podium.
For Full Results From W.S SX – https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1948089
AUSTRALIAN ARENACROSS ROUND 2
The second round of the 2022 Australian Arenacross Championship heads to Swan Hill in Victoria this weekend and is set to be even bigger and better than the opening round, with much better weather in store for both riders and organisers.
ProTraxx Australia has been in town all week, rebuilding the Swan Hill Arenacross track, with riders being able to look forward to another professionally built track by one of Australias best track building companies.
Along with all the on-track action, there will be plenty to see and do for race fans, with a carnival-like event planned around the racing, with plenty of giveaways and competitions from series sponsors.
Junior action starts at 9 am, with the senior riders hitting the track in the afternoon and into the evening.
FEMALE FACTORY SUPPORT
We see many pre-season team releases pop up in our inbox at this time of the year and the latest team rider announcement to come through from Yamaha Australia was a great one to see.
Female racers in Australia have had some outstanding support over the years, but that looks to have increased, especially in the motocross side of the sport in recent years, and rightfully so with so many talented female racers on the scene.
This week Yamaha announced that Charli Cannon would join Alex Larwood and Rhys Budd on the Yamalube Yamaha Racing team for the 2022 season, contesting both the Women’s championship and rounds of the MX3 championship.
Cannon joins a list of Female riders with some excellent manufacture support in 2022 who will continue to cover throughout the weeks ahead.
ON THE FULLNOISE FRONT
As mentioned at the top, it was a bit of a quiet week both internationally and locally.
While Gaz has been keeping the general news feed ticking over, David Hogan has been busy putting the all-new Australian designed and owned Fusport XRP Off-Road boots to the test.
If that was not enough, he has also put together his weekly “Emergency Department.” injury report together and produced a podcast to go along with it.
David has also kept himself busy running the Always Moto league within the PulpMX Fantasy competition.
He has entries open in the private league until the start of the East Coast swing, so if you are already tipping and looking for another league to join, give him a follow on Instagram, then head over to the Always Moto fantasy league.
THE PERSONAL FRONT
A bit is going on at the moment across many different aspects of life. Still, even with that, I was able to head out and spend both days last weekend on two wheels, spending Saturday doing downhill runs on the Mountain bike before heading to Murray Bridge on Sunday to ride the SCMX’s new track layout.
The club has done an excellent job freshening up the track, and while it was a hot, windy, dusty day, the overall consensus was a very positive one for the venue. For myself, it was just good to jump back aboard the KX250 again and get some more bike time.
Between fitting in my own riding and my day job, I have been looking at ways to expand what will hopefully be a weekly article in 2022. I have a few additions planned for next week, including some product highlights, mini-interviews, and a video highlights section to finish things off; I just need to find a couple of extra hours in each day!
I am also still in the process and getting Jayden sorted for the 2022 race season; hopefully, next week, we will finalise if we do end up getting a new 85 for the upcoming race season or just give his current YZ85 a complete refresh.
The YZ65 is all sorted and will see out one more year of racing, two if the kid stops growing!
This weekend will see us both head in different directions to find some bike time. I’ll once again be spending the weekend on two wheels taking to the streets, dirt paths, beach fronts, and some single track aboard the KX250 on the annual Port Pirie to Port Rickaby two-day trail ride.
Jayden will be staying local and heading to the second installment of our local club’s new junior program, ‘Rev Rookies,’ which is headed up by local coach Shane Metcalfe. The new initiative from the club has proven to be very successful, with around 40 riders, all under the age of 12, signing up for this Saturday’s event.