Barcia Back on Blue

After the announcement of Davi Milsaps crash right before the Monster Cup, in which he suffered a shattered elbow and suspected concussion, 2018 wasn’t looking great for the Monster Energy sponsored Factory Yamaha Team. With Cooper Webb still out with injury (he’s only just got back on the bike this week) and as Chad Reed not resigned for ’18, there were no active riders cutting laps.

Justin Barcia, having split from JGR Suzuki after a lacklustre 2017 season was racing as a privateer at the Monster Cup and obviously displayed enough talent to get the fill in ride, which was just made public today. 

JGR Suzuki, previously JGR Yamaha, which Justin also rode for, was known to have ‘disagreements’ between Barcia and the YZ450F he was campaigning in 2015 and ’16. But with 2018 being an all new chassis from Yamaha, maybe things could be a little different for Barcia, who will fill in for Davi for the first 6 rounds of Monster Energy Supercross.

After that? Well depending on results we would imagine that Barcia will be back to privateer life. But, and this is a big outside BUT, if Bracia was sitting in the top 3 in points after the first 6 rounds, It wouldn’t be unrealistic for Yamaha to keep Barcia on throughout the rest of the season. Again, a pretty big BUT – only time will tell…

Official Yamaha Press Release:

Cypress, CA – November 15, 2017 – Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Davi Millsaps had surgery last week due to complications with his left elbow that he fractured in early October while practicing for the Monster Energy Cup.

According to Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., “We initially hoped that Davi’s fractured elbow wouldn’t require surgery, but it’s been a particularly difficult injury, so he had surgery last week in order to take care of some lingering issues. We’re hopeful that the procedure will improve the timeline for his recovery.”

Davi commented, “Unfortunately, I pretty much shattered my elbow when I crashed last month, and Dr. Viola in Colorado performed surgery this past Wednesday, November 8, to repair the damage. Dr. Viola said that everything went well with the procedure, and he’s confident that my elbow will be 100%. I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible.”

“Davi’s injury still needs time to heal properly,” McCarty added. “And we don’t want to risk making the situation worse by having him start the season when he is not completely ready. So, Justin Barcia has been contracted to race for what we anticipate will be the first six Monster Energy Supercross rounds. Anything beyond that is still dependent on Davi’s condition, and his fitness to race.”

Commenting on his return to Yamaha, Justin said, “First of all, I wish Davi well in his recovery. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m really happy to be back with Yamaha again, and especially to be racing for the Yamaha Factory team. I’m proud to have my number 51 on the brand-new 2018 YZ450F, and A1 can’t come soon enough for me!”

Davi’s teammate Cooper Webb, whose left thumb was injured during practice at the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA in Jacksonville, Florida, this past September, is now healthy and getting reaquainted with his #2 YZ450F. This week, he and the team will begin preseason conditioning and testing at the Yamaha supercross track in preparation for the opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross season on January 6 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.

“I rode last week on some outdoor tracks in Southern California, and it was awesome! My thumb didn’t give me any issues,” Cooper said. “I’ve also been working hard off the bike to be in the best possible shape I can be in, and I feel really good. The new 2018 YZ450F is an amazing bike, so I know there won’t be a whole lot of time required to get it fine-tuned for A1. It just comes down to me putting the laps in and getting up to race speed and conditioning. I will be ready for A1.”

Close Racing at Super-X Finale

Grason Veitch secured the Junior 125/250cc title at Round 2 of the NZ Supercross Championship Winton over the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

CLOSE RACING AT SUPERCROSS CHAMPS FINALE

It was an exciting, edge-of-the-seats finish to this season’s New Zealand Supercross Championships at the second and final round in Southland on Saturday.

The scene had been set for a thrilling conclusion to the championship after close racing at a rain-drenched and muddy round one in Tokoroa a week earlier, but this time there were no downpours to ruin the party.

 A good-sized crowd was certainly entertained at the Brent Scammell Honda-supported, TransDiesel, Mainstream Global Logistics and DRD magazine-sponsored series finale at the “world’s southernmost supercross track” at Winton, just north of Invercargill.

Honda Racing Team CRF450F rider Cody Cooper was again in sensational form and, although he didn’t manage another clean-sweep of wins in the premier SX1 (450cc) class, as he had at a damp Tokoroa six days earlier, the 34-year-old’s 1-1-2 score-card at Winton meant he still emerged as the top man at the event and wrapped up the title by 12 points from Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont (Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ450F).

Eventual third overall in the SX1 class this season was Ngatea’s Ben Broad (Whyteline Kawasaki KX450F).

Meanwhile, Motueka’s former Grand Prix motocross racer Josh Coppins (Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F) finished the job he had started a week earlier in the SX2 (250cc) class, finishing 1-2-1 in his three outings at Winton and taking the title by a comfortable 29 points from Tauranga-based former Rangiora rider Micah McGoldrick (Honda Racing Team CRF250).

Third overall in the SX2 class this year was Kotemaori cross-country ace Reece Lister (Bike Worx KTM).

Te Awamutu’s Daniel White (Kawasaki) had led the Junior 125/250cc class battle at Tokoroa, but he was a no-show at Winton and this left the way clear for Dunedin’s Grason Veitch (KTM) to nip in and take the crown.

Veitch impressed with his 2-1-1 results at Winton, eventually taking the title by 14 points from Christchurch’s Marshall Phillips (Yamaha). Third overall in the Junior 125/250cc class this year was fast-improving Ashburton rider Mitchell Stocker (KTM). 

Ashburton’s Ben Wall (Husqvarna) came from behind to win the Junior Lites (85cc) class. His 1-3-1 results at Winton meant he won the day by nine points from Palmerston North’s Rhys Jillings (KTM) and he eventually secured the title by 12 points from Jillings. 

Invercargill’s Jack Symon (KTM) had led the Junior Lites class by a solitary point after Tokoroa and he again rode solidly at Winton, but a non-finish in the final race of the championship saw him forced to accept third overall for the series.

 

Final standings in the 2017 New Zealand Supercross Championships

SX1 Class

1. Cody Cooper 117 points

 2. Kayne Lamont 105 points

3. Ben Broad 86 points

SX2 Class

1. Josh Coppins 117 points

2. Micah McGoldrick 88 points

3. Reece Lister  84 points

Junior 125/250 Class

1. Grason Veitch 109 points

2. Marshall Phillips 95 points

3. Mitchell Stocker 73 points

Junior Lites (85cc) Class

1. Ben Wall 100 points

2. Rhys Jillings 88 points

3. Jack Symon 74 points

Cooper Takes Out NZSX Round 1

Cody Cooper and his Honda Racing Team CRF450 took a hat-trick of wins at the Tokoroa round of the NZSX championship on Monday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

GOING GOT TOUGH BUT THE TOUGH GOT GOING AT SUPERCROSS

Track conditions were far from ideal, but Bay of Plenty’s Cody Cooper still produced an ideal opening performance at round one of this season’s New Zealand Supercross Championships in Tokoroa on Labour Weekend Monday.

The man-man circuit, on the outskirts of the South Waikato forestry town, took a hammering from overnight rain and the water continued to fall throughout the day, turning an otherwise pristine racing surface into a slippery mess.

It highlighted the calibre of the riders entered that racing was able to continue, although many riders did come unstuck in the treacherous mud at the TransDiesel and Mainstream Global Logistics-sponsored series opener.

 However, Honda Racing Team rider Cooper showed his international class as he tamed both the track and his SX1 class rivals, surging to a hat-trick of wins and building a solid nine-point advantage over his main rival, Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont (Yamaha), with Tauranga’s Roydon White (Kawasaki) claiming the final podium spot, eight points further back.

Meanwhile, Motueka’s former Grand Prix motocross racer Josh Coppins (Yamaha) was a surprise last-minute entry in the SX2 (250cc) class and his world class experience enabled him to take a borrowed bike and score a hat-trick of wins on Monday, constructing a 15-point lead in the class over Hawke’s Bay cross-country racing expert Reece Lister (KTM).

The rider who had finished first-equal in the SX2 class last season and who had been pressuring Coppins early in the day, Tauranga’s Micah McGoldrick (Honda), was forced to accept third overall position after he crashed out of the third and final SX2 race of the afternoon in Tokoroa.

Consistency enabled Te Awamutu’s Daniel White (Kawasaki) to win the Junior 125/250cc class battle ahead of Dunedin’s Grason Veitch (KTM), while just one point separates Invercargill’s Jack Symon, Hamilton’s Dylan Westgate and Ashburton’s Ben Wall at the top of the Junior Lites (85cc) class.

The supercross nationals are now at the halfway stage with the second and final round set for the Cooper-VetSouth Supercross Track near Winton next Saturday.

 

Leading standings after the first of two rounds of the New Zealand Supercross Championships in Tokoroa on Monday:

SX1: Cody Cooper (Mount Maunganui) 60 points; Kayne Lamont (Mangakino) 51; Roydon White (Tauranga) 43.

SX2 (250cc): Josh Coppins (Motueka) 60 points; Reece Lister (Kotemaori) 45; Micah McGoldrick (Tauranga) and Clayton Roeske (Nelson) 34.

Junior 125/250: Daniel White (Te Awamutu) 54 points; Grason Veitch (Dunedin) 52; Marshall Phillips (Christchurch) 41. 

Junior Lites (85cc): Jack Symon (Invercargill) 46 points; Dylan Westgate (Hamilton) and Ben Wall (Ashburton) 45.

 

SUPERCROSS SERIES READY TO RUMBLE

BIGGER, BRIGHTER SUPERCROSS SERIES READY TO RUMBLE

Micah McGoldrick was one of the leading riders in last season’s national supercross championships. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 The annual New Zealand Supercross Championships are this year likely to provide twice the amount of thrills and excitement and possibly also twice the drama.

And it all kicks off this coming weekend.

The governing body for motorcycling in this country, Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ), was thrilled recently to announce a new, expanded competition for 2017 and quickly followed up on that with news that it had also attracted massive sponsorship support from two progressive New Zealand companies – TransDiesel and Mainstream Global Logistics.

Round one of the 2017 New Zealand Supercross Championships will be at the South Waikato Motorcycle Club’s resurrected supercross track at Amisfield, on the Monday afternoon of Labour Weekend, October 23.

Round two will be a week later, on October 28, and hosted by the Southland Motorcycle Club at its Winton facility.

The nationals were just one round last year, the racing solely at Winton, and the expansion to re-welcome Tokoroa into the schedule should add to the fierceness of the competition.

Bay of Plenty’s Ben Townley celebrated a hat-trick of wins in the premier grade, the senior open class, although he has indicated that he won’t be seeking to defend his title this season and this therefore means last year’s runner-up, Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper, is the obvious favourite to win this time around.

Last season’s struggle for senior 250cc (lites) class honours was a see-saw battle between Australian visitor Richard Evans and Tauranga-based former Rangiora rider Micah McGoldrick.

They ended up sharing the honours overall, Evans scoring 1-3-2 and McGoldrick 2-1-3, although Evans got the nod on the count-back rule, his placing in the final race superior to that of McGoldrick. 

With the North Island hosting a round this season, expect to see a great many more riders on the start line and possibly a few fresh faces on the podium. 

Balclutha’s Madison Latta won the junior 250cc title last year and Matamata’s Brodie Connolly won the junior lites title, although, once again, the greater depth of talent expected to show up this year could present something of a challenge to their dominance.

Host South Waikato Motorcycle Club president Cory Duckworth said the whole region was excited to have the event return to the town.

“We have been working hard on this for months now, with help from Ben Townley and Motorcycling New Zealand,” said Duckworth.

“The weather lately has caused us problems and you could count on the fingers of one hard the number of days we’ve been able to actually do eathmoving work on the track, but it’s looking great now. 

“The forecast for the weekend is good and we’re looking forward to it all happening now.”

 Racing begins about midday Monday and is expected to be completed by about 6pm.

Musquin’s Million Dollar Weekend

The world’s best Supercross racers headed to Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium once again for the seventh running of The Monster Energy Cup to do battle for the biggest single race prize purse in the sport.

The unique event boasts a hybrid Supercross/Motocross track layout and a high intensity race format of three, 10 lap races to make for one of the most exciting and anticipated events of the year.

The race is also perfect testing grounds for teams to test and tune their race machinery for the upcoming 2018 Supercross season.

Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin rolled into Vegas focused and ready to strike, riding flawlessly from his first lap on the course and raced to perfect 1-1-1 scores on the night. He took the overall Monster Energy Cup win and, with it, the million dollar grand prize – the first rider to do so since Ryan Villopoto in the debut 2011 race. 

The night kicked off with race one for the Cup class and would be the first time the riders would face the unique drop down, split start. Musquin got off to a third place start and quickly went to the lead on lap one, before the ‘Joker Lane’ came into play and moved him back to sixth. Marvin strategically took the Joker Lane a lap later to move into second and then made an impressive pass for the lead on lap three and raced off to take the win. 

In race two both Marvin Musquin and Broc Tickle executed perfect starts on their KTM 450 SX-F Factory Editions to come around 1-2 at the start. Marvin put his head down and the power to the ground and began to inch away from the pack, leading every lap and to take a convincing race two win and just one win away from the million. Tickle was regulated back to the third position on the opening lap and rode strong all moto to grab third at the finish and his first podium on his new ride.

Race three was the last race of the night, and a chance for Musquin to cash in on the million if he could once again claim another race win. With the entire packed stadium of fans on their feet and pressure at an all-time high, Marvin came out of the gate perfect to pull a huge holeshot and lead lap 1. Marvin rode flawlessly on the technical, slippery course and, lap by lap, inched away from the competition. With a comfortable gap built, Musquin rode a smart final lap and crossed the checkers to take a huge final race win to tally his perfect 1-1-1 score and grab the Monster Cup Million-dollar prize. 

“I wasn’t even thinking about winning all three motos, Musquin said candidly. It’s unreal to go out and win all three. We had such a long break between the second and third moto – which made it more stressful. The key was to get a good holeshot and try to go fast. To be honest, in my head I was thinking I would get a start around the top-three and then wasn’t sure what I would do. I knew it was going to be so hard to pass, so getting the holeshot was the best way to go out for the third moto. I think this is great for the sport – a lot of people are watching on tv. To see that someone is winning one million dollars in one night at a motocross race is unique. I think we got a lot of views, and people will be talking about it, that’s for sure. We were all in disbelief when I crossed the finish line. It’s super cool- this doesn’t happen often. I had so much fun.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson rode the edge all moto long to try and run down the leader by the time the checkered flag flew, but was forced to settle for second. His consistent 2-2-2 finishes would net him second overall on the night and a trip to the podium to claim his 35 thousand dollars in prize money. Teammate Dean Wilson used his great start to his advantage and kept his eyes fixed on his teammate all moto long. With pressure from behind, that would ultimately decide the final overall spot on the podium, Wilson held strong all 10 laps to claim third at the finish and log 3-5-3 moto scores for third overall, and put another Husqvarna on the podium to cap a great night for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team.

MONSTER ENERGY CUP RESULTS

1. Marvin Musquin (1,1,1)

2. Jason Anderson (2,2,2)

3. Dean Wilson (3,5,3)

4. Broc Tickle (4,3,4)

5. Jordon Smith (5,4,6)

6. Justin Barcia (10,6,5)

7. Josh Grant (6,7,8)

8. Benny Bloss (7,8,7)

9. Vince Friese (8,10,10)

10. Tyler Bowers (12,9,9)