Spaniard beats 300 riders to win the opening race of WESS 2019 in Portugal.

The World Enduro Super Series roared back into life this weekend with Mario Roman coming out on top at the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares to stake an early claim for the title of Ultimate Enduro Champion 2019.

Mario Roman

Here is all you need to know:

– Britain’s Jonny Walker made the early running, taking victory in Friday night’s Endurocross race. Spanish rider Alfredo Gómez then picked up the baton, winning Saturday’s Prologue on the cobbled streets of Porto.

– 300 competitors, including 50 pros, entered Sunday’s Hard Enduro feature race in the baking Portuguese heat.

– Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler set the early pace, eating up Gómez’s hard-won headstart with ease and taking a six-minute lead into lap two.

Manuel Lettenbichler

– Lettenbichler, however, appeared to run out of steam at the crucial moment and he was soon reeled in by Roman and South Africa’s Wade Young.

– Roman then broke the resistance of both Young and Lettenbichler, opening up a gap of four minutes over Young to take an emphatic win at the first WESS event of the season.

– Graham Jarvis crossed the line in third and looked like he’d snuck in at the last for the final podium spot, but Lettenbichler reclaimed the place when he was awarded time he lost on lap one due to a track-marking error.

Graham Jarvis and Billy Bolt

– Roman said: “I feel amazing, it’s so good to get the win. In 2016 I finished about a minute behind Alfredo [Gómez] and then two years in a row I had mechanical issues with my bike, but I always believed in myself and knew I could do it this year.”

– Young said: “It feels great to get second today. At one point I was down in sixth and I was lacking some confidence after struggling in one of the rivers – that spent a lot of my energy. I came back strong though and towards the end people were starting to get tired and I was able to dig a little deeper and keep going.”

– Lettenbichler added: “I had to stop to move a bridge on the first lap so that cost me some time, but thankfully they’ve awarded that back to me and I’ve come away with third. It would have been nice to get the win, especially after leading for over half of the race. But whatever the result, I am happy with my riding and it’s been a good start to this year’s WESS championship.”

Taddy Blazusiak

The next stop for WESS 2019 is France’s Trèfle Lozérien AMV from May 17-19.

Wade Young

Alfredo Gomez

Wade Young

Words by Red Bull Content Pool, Photos by Future7Media

 

World class stunt rider Robbie ‘Maddo’ Maddison will return home to the Illawarra on November 9 as a special guest to perform at Wollongong’s Round 3 of the Australian Supercross Championships presented by Yamaha at WIN Stadium.

The American-based Aussie plans to go big for fans on November 9 performing his famous Freestyle Motocross Stunts that launched him onto the International scene.

A huge coup for The Australian Motorcycle Festival taking place next door at Lang Park on the same date, will feature Maddo performing additional stunts on the water and another high in the air to coincide with his performance at the Supercross track.

“I can’t wait to come home to the Illawarra,” said Maddison.

“The Supercross is going to be incredible in WIN Stadium and to perform in front of a packed stadium will be something very special.

“Make sure you get to the Gong early on Saturday, November 9 for the Australian Motorcycle Festival and enjoy two more stunts that I will attempt. I am not announcing just yet what stunts fans will see but let me say, I am going for the trifecta, Land, Sea and Water of Stunts!”

Maddison has performed incredible stunts including multiple world long distance motorcycle jumps, incredible stunts jumping the Corinth Canal, from the ground up to the top of Las Vegas replica Arc De Triomphe and then back down, jumped off a long distance Ski Jump surfed Tahiti giant waves on his custom Waterbike and has a portfolio that includes the official stunt rider for 007 in the Bond movie Skyfall and so much more.

Fans will be able to meet Robbie at the official Supercross meet and greet session just prior to WIN Stadium gates opening at 5pm on November 9, 2019.

Tickets to the Australian Supercross Championships Rd 3 WIN Stadium Wollongong (6pm-9pm)are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.

Tickets to the Australian Motorcycle Festival will be available at the gate. (10am-4pm Nov 9/10).

Maddison laying day one of his epic Freestyle Motocross tricks that have wow’d fans for over a decade.

Words, Video, and Photos: Australian Supercross Championship

Team HRC returns to Italy for the fifth round of the 2019 motocross world championships with Tim Gajser, Brian Bogers, and Calvin Vlaanderen all raring to go after what has been an extended break in the series. With the last round on the hard-packed Trentino circuit in Italy, five weeks ago, the schedule now heads to Mantova in the Lombardia for what is a sandier surface for the riders to compete on.

Like the last round, a large number of Slovenian fans are expected to cross the border and cheer on the Honda #243 and after his win in Trentino, Gajser is looking to reward that support with a win at a track that he won on previously in 2016, the last time they held a GP on this circuit. Confidence is certainly high that he can close the gap even further in the championship race and with the Trentino victory under his belt, the plan is to maintain that high level in this next series of events that sees the riders’ race six times in seven weekends.

Brian Bogers is also excited to get back to racing after this break, especially given that it will be at a Mantova track that saw him get his first ever MX2 podium back in 2016. This result, plus his top 10 finish in Trentino at the last round has meant that there is real hope that Bogers can start putting in good finishes in the MXGP class on a regular basis, something that he wasn’t able to do previously due to his injury problems of 2018.

For MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen, the break came at a good time as he looked to recover from his fractured fibula which he sustained in timed practice at the MXGP of Trentino. After missing that race, he got the surgery done right away and has used this break to recover as best he could, eventually getting the green light from his doctor to ride yesterday. With just a few days to get back into race shape, Mantova will be a tough assignment, but it is one that Vlaanderen is relishing as he looks to get back the points he missed out on in Trentino.

With races in Portugal and France up next after Mantova, and then Russia, Latvia and Germany following on quickly after them, this is the beginning of a tough stretch for all the riders. However, the Team HRC trio are all coming out of this break with a point to prove and are highly motivated to get their best results possible on their Honda CRF machines. Their timetable starts at 12:30 local time (MX2) and 13:00 (MXGP) on Saturday 11th May, in what seem to be changeable weather conditions in Mantova.

Tim Gajser  243

In this break, I did two Slovenian championship races just to keep me in race shape. I also kept training hard as I know this is important in order to maintain my speed and fitness. I’m just excited to get back to the MXGPs because it feels like a long time since my win in Trentino. However I like the track in Mantova because in the past, I have won the event so it’s nice to go back there and I’m really looking forward to showing what I can do there this year.

Brian Bogers  189

It was good to have a little time away from the races because it is a long and tough season but I still kept working very hard to keep building up my level of fitness and speed. After my second race in Trentino when I got my first top 10, it gave me motivation to continue with what we’ve been doing because I saw that the effort was paying off and we were heading in the right direction. Unfortunately, I had a small crash last week which meant I had to miss the Dutch Championship but everything is fine now and we are back on the bike and I’m really looking forward to racing in Mantova. It was at this track that I had my first podium in 250s so I like the track and I like riding there and I can’t wait for the gate to drop this weekend!

Calvin Vlaanderen  10

It has been a difficult period of time but I am happy to be back on a bike and riding again before this weekend. Obviously, I would have preferred to have a bit more time to get ready but I am glad to have only missed the Trentino round and I am still confident in my ability to ride well in Mantova. Before the injury, my fitness was at a good level and I did as much as I could to maintain that during the break so I just have to do my best to compete for these next few weeks. I want to thank all the members of Team HRC for the support they gave me during this break and I can’t wait to get this next part of the championship underway.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

I am extremely excited to get back to the MXGP races after this break. We left the action on such a high with Tim winning in Trentino, so this provided great motivation to everyone to keep that going. Brian also got his first top 10 of the season so he wanted to maintain that level. It was also good for Calvin because this gap in the races meant that he is recovered from his leg injury that he sustained at Trentino and he should be able to compete in Mantova. It’ll be hard work for him because he hasn’t ridden much but he had good fitness before the injury so we are confident he should still be able to pick up points. Of course for Tim, who has previously won here and for Brian, we have high hopes that they can continue their form, and put both Honda’s inside the top 10 and potentially on the podium.

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Performance updates to CRF250R highlight extensive CRF lineup

From the fire-breathing, high-flying CRF450RWE all the way down to the friendly, cute CRF50F, Honda’s off-road motorcycle lineup is the most all-encompassing and versatile on the powersports market, a fact that was driven home when American Honda today made its first new-model announcement of the 2020 model year. With eight and four machines respectively, Honda’s CRF Performance and CRF Trail families offer something for everyone, whether they be pro-level racers looking to give Ken Roczen and Cole Seely a run for their money, youngsters preparing for their first two-wheel forays, or anyone in between.

The newest iterations of Honda’s proven full-size motocross models—the CRF250R and CRF450R, as well as the elite CRF450RWE—all receive important upgrades to raise performance levels even higher, while the CRF150R mini is back again in 2020. The CRF450RX and CRF250RX closed-course off-road racers benefit from the same improvements as their track-focused siblings, while the CRF450X off-roader and CRF450L dual-sport machine return for the new model year with updated graphics. At the other end of the spectrum, the approachable, fun 2020 CRF250F, CRF125F, CRF110F and CRF50F await recreational riders with trail-focused performance and proven reliability.

“For generations, Honda has demonstrated its commitment to the dirt bike market, and that’s never been truer than now,” said Chris Cox, American Honda’s Manager of Experiential Marketing/Press. “Our 2020 lineup of off-road models, including the CRF Performance and CRF Trail families, comprises machines that are top-of-class for motocross, off-road competition, trail riding and, in the case of the CRF450L, even using streets to extend off-road adventures. With such a capable and diverse collection of motorcycles, you can once again expect to see a lot of red on tracks and trails from coast to coast.”

CRF PERFORMANCE LINE
Last year saw Honda significantly expand its CRF Performance family to include machines for riding applications including motocross, closed-course off-road, pure off-road, and even dual sport. For 2020, a number of models in the lineup get important upgrades to keep Red Riders running at the front of the pack.

CRF450R
For 2020, Honda’s flagship CRF450R—the same platform raced by Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely—puts more engine-management choices at the fingertips of racers, with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, the system maximizes rear-tire hookup to keep all of the Unicam® engine’s horsepower driving the bike and rider forward, improving racing success regardless of track conditions. In keeping with racing-body regulations, the system measures rate of rpm increase and adjusts delivery accordingly, and a handlebar-mounted switch enables selection from three levels of delivery (most in class). In addition, the CRF450R’s front-rear balance is refined and handling is improved thanks to internal suspension updates, and a new battery position that lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Improved rear-brake pad performance and durability, and the exclusive specification of Dunlop Geomax® MX3S tires round out a machine that’s ready to take riders to the next level.

CRF450RWE
Following a successful debut year in which it quickly caught the eye of performance-hungry enthusiasts who demand the absolute best, the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) gets even better for 2020, with updates based on the machines in the Team Honda HRC factory race shop. Already a dominant force when it comes to lap times, this exclusive model now features a full titanium Yoshimura exhaust system, as a lightweight Ti header (the first of its kind on a Honda motocross model) joins the titanium Yosh muffler, all specifically designed to work with the model’s hand-polished ports. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, now comes standard, enabling three levels of intervention via a handlebar-mounted switch, and a new battery position lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Rounding out the changes are internal suspension updates, improved rear brake-pad performance and durability, new dual-compound Renthal grips and graphic updates.

CRF450RX
Ridden to the 2018 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) by JCR Honda’s Trevor Stewart, the CRF450RX returns for 2020 with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), improving rear-wheel hookup in the limited-traction situations so common in closed-course off-road racing. A new battery position lowers the center of gravity for improved handling, and internal suspension updates yield improved machine balance. Just like the 2019 platform campaigned by Stewart, SLR Honda’s Ricky Dietrich and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Andrew Delong, the 2020 CRF450RX maintains its off-road pedigree with a model-specific ECU and 18-inch rear wheel, aluminum side stand and large fuel tank.

CRF450X
With wins in 21 of the last 22 Baja 1000s (including 12 with the CRF450X), it’s no secret that Honda rules the legendary off-road race, and in the Baja debut of the model’s new iteration, SLR Honda kicked off the 2019 SCORE International series with a win in the San Felipe 250. A true off-road machine, the CRF450X is 50-state off-road legal and is suitable for year-round racing and trail riding. With off-road appropriate features like a sidestand, 18-inch rear wheel, headlight, sealed chain and six-speed transmission, it’s ready for desert expanses or tight woods, and it gets new graphics for the 2020 model year.

CRF450L
Having taken the dual-sport world by storm since its debut last year, the road-legal CRF450L expands customers’ off-road possibilities by enabling access to the best riding trails on public lands, even when that means connecting them via asphalt roads. Based on the CRF450R, the CRF450L is a performance off-road machine, but it also has the comfort and durability to make riding it and owning it a pleasure in the long run. Already armed with features like a titanium fuel tank, six-speed transmission and LED lighting, the CRF450L gets new graphics for 2020.

CRF250R
The machine that took Jace Owen to the 2019 Kicker Arenacross title victory and powered Amsoil Honda’s Jo Shimoda to the win at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Star race gets a host of important updates for 2020, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal front-and-rear suspension updates.

CRF250RX
Campaigned in national championship off-road racing by JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell, SLR Honda’s Tallon LaFountaine and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Austin Lee, the CRF250RX features closed-course off-road specific components like a large fuel tank, aluminum sidestand, and 18-inch rear wheel, and for 2020, it receives a host of important updates, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal suspension updates.

 

CRF150R (above)/ CRF150R Big Wheel (below)
Honda’s smallest motocrosser delivers smooth, ample torque across the rev range thanks to its Unicam four-stroke engine—unique in the mini MX world. Showa suspension components include a rear shock working through a Pro-Link rear suspension system, and a 37mm inverted fork. The CRF150R is offered in both standard and Big Wheel versions, the latter featuring larger wheels, a taller seat height, and more rear suspension travel to better suit larger riders.

 

CRF TRAIL LINE
Motorcycling is armed with legions of riders who got their start on Honda trail bikes, and with the 2020 lineup of CRF Trail models, that trend is sure to continue long into the future.

CRF250F
The flagship of Honda’s CRF Trail line, the CRF250F can take riders from their first time on dirt to tackling challenging trails. Electronically controlled Keihin fuel injection, it’s 50-state off-road legal, and and the SOHC long-stroke, air-cooled engine delivers quality power for smooth acceleration and excellent rear-wheel hookup. A steel perimeter frame and Showa suspension deliver confidence-inspiring handling and a compliant ride, both at speed and through technical sections. Add it all up and the result is a fun-but-capable trail bike that’s ready for anything—and any rider.

CRF125F / CRF125F Big Wheel
A mid-sized trail bike with power for full-sized trail obstacles, the CRF125F is available in both a standard version and the Big Wheel, which accommodates taller riders via larger front- and rear wheels, longer-travel suspension and a higher seat. The SOHC 124cc engine delivers its power smoothly, and Keihin electronic fuel injection offers dependability and clean running for 50-state off-road legality, while the steel twin-spar frame and Showa suspension deliver a smooth, nimble ride. With their fun performance and CRF Performance line looks, both versions of the CRF125F promise years of recreational trail-riding enjoyment.

CRF110F
No model more perfectly encapsulates Honda’s proud heritage—extending all the way back to the 1973 XR75—of offering four-stroke dirt bikes that are kid-sized but full-featured, and that beckon new riders to experience the trails. With a clutch-less four-speed semi-automatic transmission and a predictable power delivery, the CRF110F makes learning a breeze. Of course Honda’s proven durability means the machine will continue delivering smiles long after riding skills develop, so there’s no telling where it could take generations of youngsters.

CRF50F
The modern version of the classic, beloved, Z50, the pocketsize CRF50F delivers kids’ first riding thrills (and lifelong memories!) via a 49cc air-cooled engine with an automatic clutch. Ten-inch wheels enable a low seat height and facilitate spirited, nimble handling, helping pack more fun per cubic centimeter into this kids bike than any motorcycle around.

The 2019 WESS gets underway at the challenging Extreme XL Lagares stop.

Briton Billy Bolt used his victory at the 2018 World Enduro Super Series season opener to propel him towards the inaugural title, however he faces a tough task if he wants to retain his crown in 2019 with eight brutal stops on the calendar.

The rider fended off German Manuel Lettenbichler, compatriot Nathan Watson and Spaniard Josep Garcia to triumph.

Bolt and his rivals return to Portugal again for the 2019 season opener this weekend with the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares the first of eight European stops that culminate in the season finale at Germany’s GetzenRodeo from November 2-3.

World Enduro Super Series 2019 calendar
May 10-12: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal
May 17-19: Trèfle Lozérien AMV, France
May 30-June 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, Austria
June 21-23: Hixpania Hard Enduro, Spain
July 30-August 4: Red Bull Romaniacs, Romania
September 21-22: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country, Great Britain
October 5-6: BR2 Enduro Solsona, Spain
November 2-3: GetzenRodeo, Germany

 

 

Here is a look at the riders to watch as champions from Beach Race, Cross-Country, Enduro, Hard Enduro, SuperEnduro and Trials take to the start line:

Billy Bolt
Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Bolt has had to overcome a knee injury he sustained during winter to defend his crown, however his supreme all-round bike skills mean that he is the rider to beat again.

Manuel Lettenbichler
Nationality: German
Team: KTM
Lettenbichler came of age in 2018 to take the title race down to the wire and a pre-season victory in the Dominican Republic suggests that he is firing on all cylinders again.

Nathan Watson
Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Beach Race and Classic Enduro specialist Watson scored a fantastic victory at 2018’s Red Bull Knock Out and can use the addition of BR2 Enduro Solsona to his advantage in 2019.

Josep Garcia
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Garcia’s Hawkstone Park Cross-Country win in 2018 saw him challenge for the title and the Classic Enduro specialist’s speed and raw talent will see him back in the mix this year.

Taddy Blazusiak
Nationality: Poland
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Five-time Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble winner Blazusiak’s 2018 thumb injury ruined his chances, but he looks set to prosper fresh off his SuperEnduro campaign indoors.

Wade Young
Nationality: South African
Team: Sherco Factory Racing
Young became the youngest winner of Red Bull Romaniacs before going on to win the Red Bull 111 Megawatt, so look for the Hard Enduro rider to battle it out again with the elite.

Graham Jarvis
Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
At 43 years of age, Jarvis is Enduro’s elder statesman however he stormed to victory at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble in 2018 and can still excel on his day.

Jonny Walker
Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Despite leading for the majority of 2018, Walker’s hopes of being the inaugural champion ended with a Poland crash so he will be out to rectify that now he is back healthy.

Lars Enöckl
Nationality: Austrian
Team: X-Grip
As Austria’s leading Enduro rider and top privateer, Enöckl switches colours for 2019 as he has moved from Gas Gas to X-Grip Husqvarna to try and improve on 10th overall in 2018.

Alfredo Gomez
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Injured prior to 2018, Gomez missed the opening three rounds of the season but he is now back to his best and more determined than ever to win every Hard Enduro on the calendar.

Travis Teasdale
Nationality: South African
Team: Eurotek KTM
Part of the new-look Eurotek KTM team for 2019, Teasdale is a rising talent on the world stage and should challenge for a top-five result on a consistent basis this season.

Will Hoare
Nationality: British
Team: Eurotek KTM
Hoare was one of the standout privateer riders during 2018 and he has since gone on to win the FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship so look for him to be in the 2019 running.

Pol Tarres
Nationality: Spanish
Team: TTR Officine Rigamonti
A relative newcomer to Enduro, the former FIM Trials Junior World Champion is a rider with lots of potential and has now signed to the new Italian outfit of TTR Officine Rigamonti.

Mario Roman
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Sherco Factory Racing
Aiming to excel at the series’ Hard Enduro races, Roman is a front runner and he will sight round four as his best opportunity as a proven winner of the Hixpania Hard Enduro.

David Cyprian
Nationality: Czech
Team: JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
Cyprian is the Czech Republic’s leading Enduro rider and he heads into the new WESS season fresh off a classy top-three finish at the 2019 FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship.

More info on iRideWESS.com

Words, Photo, and Video by Red Bull Content Pool