In the cruellest of circumstances, Kiwi motocross phenomenon Courtney Duncan will be unable to race the final two rounds of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX), due to the flare-up of an injury in her right foot.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha rider has a dominant 21-point advantage over her nearest rival but has been advised today by surgeons, at her Belgium base, against risking permanent damage to her foot if she rides in this weekend’s penultimate round in the Netherlands. Duncan must take a three-month break from riding, which also rules her out of contesting the final round in Italy on September 30.

“I don’t think there’s a word to describe how I’m feeling right now. It breaks my heart to know I won’t be able to line up and go for the world title. I have to think of the bigger picture. I am only young and I’ve got championships to deliver in the future. I want to thank my sponsors and supporters and those who have stuck by me for the past couple of years,” Duncan (22) says.

She sustained the injury – twisting her foot and damaging the bones and ligaments – while racing in a round of the French Motocross Championship after the fourth WMX round in June. Her coach and Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins says it was a complicated injury.

“We had some mixed information about the recovery period. Initially, we thought it was shorter and with the penultimate round approaching, Courtney resumed riding after nine weeks. Unfortunately, she reinjured her foot 10 days ago. We have sought three different surgeons’ opinions and all of them concurred that under no circumstances can she ride a bike for three months. They all said there’s not even a remote chance she can ride this weekend.”

“It’s not an injury that’s just about managing the pain, as I know Courtney would just grin and bear it. It could affect her for the rest of her life if she damages her foot any further.”

“I am so disappointed for her, especially off the back of a rollercoaster three years. This year she rode so well and put herself in the best possible position to bring home a world title. The other WMX riders have been given a bit of a gift now but that’s sport – there’s soaring highs and crushing lows,” Coppins says.

Duncan has had a string of bad fortune over her three tilts at the WMX title. In 2016, while leading her debut championship – after winning three of her first four races – she crashed into an errant photographer, who was standing in the wrong place on a jump. She injured herself badly and missed out on two rounds and consequently the title.

In 2017, she was winning the second-to-last race of the season when she swerved to avoid a cluster of five fallen riders blocking the track and crashed into a fence – recovering to finish sixth. The race jury initially ruled the results would be awarded on the placings from the lap before the track was blocked, when Courtney was in front. But this decision was then changed and the results at the end of the race were reinstated, meaning Duncan did not have enough points to be able to win the championship.

She went out and won the season’s last race by 46 seconds, finishing third in the WMX – only three points away from first.

This year she won five out of the eight WMX races she contested throughout Europe.

Coppins is currently in Belgium with Duncan.

“While I would have liked to have been able to personally contact all the people around the world and particularly in New Zealand who have been involved in Courtney’s campaign, it is just not practically possible from over here. Please accept my apologies for breaking this bad news in a statement,” Coppins says.

Altherm JCR Yamaha would like to thank everyone for their support over the 2018 WMX season.

Duncan has requested that the media give her a few days privacy to process this disappointment. She is unsure when she will return to New Zealand at this stage.

 

The longest stage in the Atacama Rally, held on Wednesday in Copiapó, turned out to be a great success for Kevin Benavides behind the bars of the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider set off this morning from first place and proved to be not only unreachable, but also managed to chalk up the day’s fastest time.

This second stage, the longest of the Atacama Rally, with a total of 440.88 kilometres – including 375.91 against the clock – had the start of the special stage delayed due to the usual appearance of the ‘camanchaca’, a dense local fog that kept the security helicopter, which guarantees race safety, firmly grounded. Once the action got underway, it did so over 73 kilometres less than had previously been scheduled, reducing the special to a total of 303 kilometres.

Benavides set a cracking pace on a battle ground of mostly track, but with some off-piste where he was able to really put the Honda CRF450 RALLY through its paces. By the end of the 303 kilometres, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider had opened a one minute margin over the nearest second-placed rival. As a result Benavides now lies 1’53” ahead of Pablo Quintanilla in the general rankings.

American Ricky Brabec was the second quickest of the Monster Energy Honda Team, posting fifth, 3’17” adrift of his team-mate. Paulo Gonçalves and José Ignacio Cornejo both turned out solid performances and will be looking to claw back time from their adversaries over the coming days.

2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-3 , 2

Results Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BENAVIDES Kevin 2 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 3:44’04
2 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1’01
3 PRICE Toby 11 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2’05
4 WALKNER Matthias 3 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3’00
5 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3’17
6 QUINTANILLA Pablo 1 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +3’33
7 CAIMI Franco 8 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +4’27
8 GONCALVES Paulo 4 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5’55
9 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13’04
10 MENA Oriol 14 SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +13’13
11 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 9 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14’16
12 SHORT Andrew 12 USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +17’54
13 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20’09
14 GIEMZA Maciej 19 POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +30’21
15 RODRIGUES Joaquim 16 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +31’43

Indian Scout Hooligans back in action at DirtQuake VII this weekend

UNITED KINGDOM (August 16, 2018) – Indian Motorcycle returns to DirtQuake this weekend to race in the Hooligan championship decider as well as giving motorcycling celebrities the chance to show their skills in a Celebrity Hot Lap Challenge aboard the Indian Scout FTR750.

Taking place on August 18 at Arena Essex with support from Indian Motorcycle, DirtQuake VII is the inclusive festival of motorcycling that sees professional and amateur riders, plus celebrities from across the world of motorcycling, race flat track for the fun of it. With rare and unique bikes, family activities and star names, DirtQuake attracts a diverse crowd of motorcycle fans to enjoy a weekend centred on the racing which is the heart of the event. Such is the growing popularity of DirtQuake that, for the second year running, the event is being filmed for broadcast on a major UK television network.

With DirtQuake also playing host to the final round of the Dirt Track Riders Association Hooligan series, the Krazy Horse Race Team will be lining up with the four official Indian Motorcycle supported entries: Leah Tokelove, Chris Hatton, Jonathan Falkman and Lee Kirkpatrick. After a win at the previous round and currently third in the standings, Lee Kirkpatrick will be looking to maintain the winning streak to secure a podium position in the championship results. Leah Tokelove will also be challenging for a podium result following her stunning Hooligan class victory at El Rollo during the Wheels and Waves festival in June.

Indian Motorcycle are also adding extra excitement to the weekend by unleashing the American Flat Track Indian Scout FTR750 for a special Celebrity Hot Lap Challenge. Absolutely dominant in the US championship since 2017, with podium finishes in every 2018 round so far, the FTR750 recently secured a second consecutive manufacturer’s championship for Indian Motorcycle. Riders already confirmed for the challenge are superbike champion Neil Hodgson, former Grand Prix rider and motorsport commentator Steve Parrish, and Jenny Tinmouth who is the fastest women ever at the Isle of Man TT.

Round 4 of the World Enduro Super Series 2018 – Romaniacs Epic Edition 15

Today he had started the day with a 4 mins disadvantage behind Wade Young in the overall race progress – with the ultimate win in his sights. And Manuel Lettenbichler delivered again, as he did throughout this entire race: He won the day and only missed the title by a mere two minutes, ending up with a second place on the podium! His absolutely best result so far.

Wade Young seemed to be holding back a little during the morning while Lettenbichler was charging out of the gates on fire. After the second to last checkpoint Young let it rip and charged forward, regaining time he had lost to Lettenbichler during the morning. His strategy appears to have been to conserve energy in the morning and then go for a final spurt, which granted him the title: the winner of the 2018 Red Bull Romaniacs – Epic Edition 15. In fact, he is now the youngest ever winner of the Red Bull Romaniacs. This level of competition to the second and to the minute has never been seen before. Despite the craziness of the race and the unbelievable level of strain riders and bikes have to go through, it again shows, how much the performance level in this sport has grown.

Final overall result Gold Class after Offroad Day #4:

 

1   Wade Young RSA
2   Manuel Lettenbichler GER
3   Jonathan Walker GBR
4   William Bolt GBR
5   Alfredo Gomez ESP
6   Paul Bolton GBR
7   David Cyprian CZE
8   Blake Gutzeit RSA
9   Mario Roman ESP
10   Philipp Scholz GER

 

 

World Enduro Super Series schedule for 2018

 

–          round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (POR), 11. – 13. May

–          round 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (AUT), 31. Mai – 3. June

–          round 3: Trèfle Lozérien AMV (FRA), 8. – 10. June

–          round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs (ROM), 24. – 28. July

–          round 5: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (POL), 8. September

–          round 6: Gotland Grand National (SWE), 26. – 27. October

–          round 7: Red Bull Knock Out (NED), 10. November

Final overall result Gold Class after Offroad Day #4:

 

1   Wade Young RSA
2   Manuel Lettenbichler GER
3   Jonathan Walker GBR
4   William Bolt GBR
5   Alfredo Gomez ESP
6   Paul Bolton GBR
7   David Cyprian CZE
8   Blake Gutzeit RSA
9   Mario Roman ESP
10   Philipp Scholz GER

 

 

World Enduro Super Series schedule for 2018

 

–          round 1: Extreme XL Lagares (POR), 11. – 13. May

–          round 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble (AUT), 31. Mai – 3. June

–          round 3: Trèfle Lozérien AMV (FRA), 8. – 10. June

–          round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs (ROM), 24. – 28. July

–          round 5: Red Bull 111 Megawatt (POL), 8. September

–          round 6: Gotland Grand National (SWE), 26. – 27. October

–          round 7: Red Bull Knock Out (NED), 10. November

Calvin Vlaanderen has had a stellar race day at Loket as he wrapped up the MXGP of Czech Republic with a second place overall – and third consecutive podium finish – despite a difficult starting position. With a win in the first moto, a third place in the second race and 45 points overall – the same as the GP winner – the standard bearer of Team HRC in MX2 is now only 13 points shy of fourth place in the standings and 40 points away from the top-three.

Despite the 21st gate pick, Vlaanderen had an excellent start and was fourth as the MX2 field completed the opening lap of the race. After getting the better of Henry Jacobi and Michele Cervellin in the early stages of the moto, the 22-year-old rider from Cape Town put himself on the chase of the leading duo and powered his Honda CRF250RW machine first past Jorge Prado (lap ten) before taking the lead on lap 14 from Thomas Covington. Once at the front, Calvin never looked back and was five seconds ahead of the battle for second place before entering the final lap.

Vlaanderen was in eleventh place entering the first full lap of the second moto, and soon began his charge to the front. By lap six, he was all over Pauls Jonass for third and, after the two swapped positions a couple of times, Calvin lost a little bit of rhythm and ground from the Estonian opponent. Calvin did not give up and by lap 12 he completed the perfect pass on the reigning champion; it was a little bit too late, however for a last go at the overall win, which would have required a second-place finish after Prado edged Covington for first place in the moto.

The MX2 World Championship will return to action in a fortnight’s time (4-5 August) at Lommel in Belgium.