Most Supercross events form a sort of ‘funnel effect’ of on-track aggressiveness as racers in both classes, 450SX and 250SX, first must qualify for each class’ Main Event through either a Heat Race or a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). Championship points are only paid out in the Main Events, but Heat Race finishes determine gate pick, which can sometimes make all the difference. Because of this, riders fight for every position, but there is usually a type of pacing to the hard racing – in qualifying races every rider’s primary goal is to secure a slot on the starting line for the Main Event. Sometimes, however, nobody gets the memo, and that was the case in Oakland this weekend.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Every gate drop brought intense, physical, and aggressive riding that caused many laps to look like a title-determining fight. Perhaps it was the tight track that forced the close battling, maybe a parity in the classes made every inch more valuable, or maybe the season is underway just enough, at round five out of seventeen, that riders have decided it’s time to stake their claim to that position at the top of the winner’s podium.

From the first race of the night in Oakland that had hometown favorite Michael Mosiman running alongside and contacting last week’s winner Austin Forkner several times in one lap in the 250SX Heat Race 1, to the final corner of the final race, the 450SX Class Main Event, when Cooper Webb squared up the corner then physically moved Honda’s Ken Roczen out of the turn’s rut to grab one more step up on the podium, it was clear that racers in the Monster Energy Supercross series have put away the conservative strategies and now appear locked into a take-no-prisoners approach to gain points and ultimately hold the number one plate after the final round on May 2 inside Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

450SX Class Results

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
  2. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM
  3. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
  5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
  6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
  7. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
  8. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda
  9. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
  10. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda

450SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (113)
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (110)
  3. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (98)
  4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (96)
  5. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (95)
  6. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (90)
  7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (75)
  8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (73)
  9. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (69)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (63)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
  2. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki
  3. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
  4. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki
  5. Luke Clout, Hemet, Calif., Honda
  6. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godly, Tex., Honda
  7. Derek Drake, Corona, Calif., KTM
  8. Brandon Hartranft, Corona, Calif., KTM
  9. Aaron Tanti, Silverdale, NSW, Yamaha
  10. Martin Castelo, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (109)
  2. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (107)
  3. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (99)
  4. Brandon Hartranft, Corona, Calif., KTM (92)
  5. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (85)
  6. Jacob Hayes, Lodi, Calif., Husqvarna (73)
  7. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godly, Tex., Honda (72)
  8. Luke Clout, Hemet, Calif., Honda (66)
  9. Derek Drake, Corona, Calif., KTM (64)
  10. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., Husqvarna (63)

Credit: Sean Brennen – Monster Energy Supercross Wire Service

 

The 2019 New Zealand Supercross Championships wrapped up in Tokoroa on Saturday evening with stylish and stunning displays of riding from all combatants.

Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) motocross commissioner Ray Broad and MNZ supercross co-ordinator Jim Cooper both said they were impressed with the calibre of the riding that was on show at round one of the series at Winton two weeks ago and at the final round at Tokoroa on Saturday.

Oropi’s former national Supercross champion Ben Townley dominated the 450cc SX1 class at both rounds of the Transdiesel eni Lubricants-sponsored series, although Rangiora’s Cody Murphy was equally outstanding and went close to pinching wins from him on several occasions at Tokoroa.

Tauranga’s Roydon White raced the Tokoroa event only, but his performance on Saturday was enough to earn him the No.3 ranking.

In the senior SX2 (250cc) class, there was also one man in charge of proceedings this year, Mount Maunganui’s defending national SX2 champion Josiah Natzke.

Balclutha’s Madison Latta was also impressive in finishing the championships in the runner-up position, while Ohaupo’s Carlin Hedley and Richmond’s Liam Hutton produced fireworks in the fight for the last podium spot, Hedley eventually edging out Hutton by 12 points.

Hedley had won the Senior Lites (125cc) title last season but stepped up to 250cc machinery for 2019.

In other class results, Christchurch’s Marshall Phillips won the Senior Lites title this year; Rangiora’s Korban Paget topped the Junior 250cc class for a second consecutive season; Darfield’s Tyler Wiremu won the Junior 125cc class and Invercargill’s Jack Symon won the Junior Lites (85cc) class.

Hedley was additionally awarded the Des Caulfield Cup for “most improved rider” of the series.

Des Caulfield was one of the men who provided land when supercross first began in New Zealand in the 1980s.

“The award was recognition for the best-performed newcomer, who demonstrated he had potential to go forward in the sport,” said Broad.

“Carlin (Hedley) is starting to develop as a promising supercross rider and he is an extremely enthusiastic individual.”

Cooper added a comment that the “racing throughout this series was incredible”.

“The number of entries wasn’t huge, but the entertainment value was fantastic. We are looking ahead now to next season and building on this and keeping the fans coming along.”

Transdiesel eni Lubricants sponsored the series, while the Winton event was additionally sponsored by Brent Scammell Honda and the final round at Tokoroa is supported by Craig Stevens Yamaha

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 

2019 New Zealand Supercross Championships

It is going to be the start of a jam-packed, rip-fire three weeks of intensity when the New Zealand Supercross Championships kick off in the South Island this weekend.

The Brent Scammell Honda-sponsored opening round of three in the Transdiesel eni Lubricants-sponsored national series is set for Winton, just north of Invercargill, this Saturday.

This high-profile event at Winton, at the VetSouth Super-X Track in Ryan Road, is billed as “the world’s southern-most supercross”. It is always an extremely popular venue and sure to draw a large crowd.

Following a week later is round two – but for the SX2 (250cc) class riders only – sharing the programme with the fourth round of five in the Australian Supercross Championships, and this will be staged at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

The New Zealand Supercross Championships will wrap up with round three at the Amisfield circuit, on the outskirts of Tokoroa, a week after that on November 23.

The entry list for round one is jammed with talent, with Bay of Plenty riders Cody Cooper, Ben Townley and Tyler Steiner among the fancied riders in the premier SX1 (open) class, with Rangiora’s Cody Murphy also with a chance of finishing on the podium.

The SX2 (250cc) class could be particularly hot, with former national supercross champion and former GP motocross star Josh Coppins perhaps the favourite, although it’s certain he’ll be challenged by strong performances from fellow Kiwis with international experience, young men such as Mount Maunganui’s defending national SX2 champion Josiah Natzke and Taupo’s Wyatt Chase, while riders such as Nelson’s Liam Hutton, Balclutha’s Madison Latta and the 250cc junior supercross from last season, Rangiora’s Korban Paget, could also feature.

The programme also includes races for Junior 125/250 and Junior Lites (85cc) class riders, as well as having races for mini 4-8 years’ 50cc class riders and mini 7-11 years’ 65cc class riders in a support role.

Motorcycling New Zealand supercross commissioner Jim Cooper said the series opener would be “an awesome spectacle”.

“There are some big names there among the entries. Supercross is great because it puts the sport in front of the public like no other. It’s great also to have the Australians involved at Mt Smart Stadium for round two and we’ll see a few more international stars there. We are trying to grow the junior aspect of the sport and so the mini support classes will be popular I’m sure.”

Transdiesel (eni Lubricants) spokesman Jason Steele said he was thrilled to be involved in the series once again.

“This is the third year that Transdiesel has supported the New Zealand Supercross Champs and we are really pleased to see the championship develop in the way it has, to now be included at Mt Smart Monster Energy event. Transdiesel is full of very passionate people and we all enjoy being involved in all types of motorsport and this year we look forward to our eni Kawasaki team winning a second supercross championship.”

The Winton event, hosted by the Southland Motorcycle Club, is sponsored by Brent Scammell Honda, Monster Energy supports the Mt Smart Stadium event and the final round in Tokoroa is sponsored by Craig Stevens Yamaha.

2019 New Zealand Supercross Championships calendar:

Round one: 242 Ryan Road, Oreti Plains, Winton, November 9, 2019
Round two: Mt Smart Stadium, Penrose, Auckland, November 16, 2019 (SX2 class only)
Round three: Moffat Road, Amisfield, Tokoroa, November 23, 2019

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Honda CRF450), expected to feature among the leaders in the glamour SX1 class on Saturday.

The KTM Junior Supercross initiative will once again take centre-stage at the high-profile 2019 S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship, set to be contested in Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia this November.

Globally recognised as a top-level introduction to the sport of supercross for aspiring stars aged between seven and eight years, KTM Junior Supercross will provide the opportunity of a lifetime for an incredibly fortunate group of youthful racers and their families.

There will be 10 positions available for the S-X Open event to be held at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland on 16 November, while 20 places will be available for the prestigious AUS-X Open Melbourne event to be held within Marvel Stadium on 30 November for the first time ever. Both world-class events are expected to be contested ahead of record crowds in attendance.

Successful applicants will be treated to a full factory VIP experience, including a KTM 50 SX built by factory technicians to ride during the event. A KTM gift pack provided to each young rider will feature a full set of riding gear to keep, plus trophies will be awarded to podium finishers.

Aside from extensive off-track activities and enjoyment that will include mentorship from KTM’s professional racers and a special rider signing where kids can meet their heroes, the KTM Junior Supercross entrants will take a dedicated track walk, two practice sessions and a fun-filled exhibition event during the S-X Open program.

Entry criteria will apply, with both events open to KTM customers only with 12 months of racing results being taken into consideration. Every applicant’s latest school report card, weight and height requirements must also be met.

The S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship will be highlighted by a superstar international rider line-up again in 2019, coinciding with rounds four and five of the upcoming Australian Supercross Championship season.

A factory experience like no other delivered by KTM Australia and KTM New Zealand, registrations for the 2019 KTM Junior Supercross events are open now, exclusively at www.ridektm.com.au.

Jeff Leisk – General Manager, KTM Australia: “To be involved in the sport at this level, young aspiring riders and their parents, will certainly enjoy the KTM Junior Supercross experience. We aim to make them virtually feel like factory riders for the event, to give them that experience on a real supercross track in front of huge crowds. It’s an incredible opportunity and inspires riders to go onto bigger things in the sport, much like Ryan Dungey and others who at one stage took part in the challenge. It’s a really inspirational experience and these events are genuinely world-class, so it’s a pleasure to continue our relationship with the event organisers, AME Management, because we really love what they are doing for supercross in the region. The fact that they even consider the KTM Junior Supercross to be one of the highlights of their events just goes to show that they have the right vision that’s inclusive of tomorrow’s superstars and, from my own perspective, I know what it was like to be a young kid and an aspiring racer. So, while I never got to do anything like this, I know how impressionable you are at that age and that’s why it’s really special to be involved and to be providing families with this type of opportunity.”