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.”

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

The 2019 AMA Supercross series came to a close for Team Honda HRC at Las Vegas’s Sam Boyd Stadium, with Ken Roczen racing to a solid fourth-place finish aboard his CRF450R, while teammate Cole Seely secured a respectable sixth-place result. In the final main event of the year, Roczen got off the line to a seventh-place start and advanced to fifth by lap two. The German continued his charge, closing in on fourth and making an impressive pass through the whoops to secure the position. Toward the end of the 22-lap race, Roczen advanced on third but was unable to make the pass, taking the checkered flag in fourth. Meanwhile, Seely struggled off the line, coming around the first turn outside the top 10. By the completion of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race, he had methodically advanced through the pack to sixth.

Ken Roczen  94

“I’m pretty happy with how tonight went. I struggled in the heat but we went back to an earlier setting and things were a lot better in the main. I still didn’t get the best start but made some passes pretty quick, working my way into fourth. I actually felt good throughout the whole race and didn’t lose steam, which is what I’ve been fighting a lot this season. We’re still trying to fully figure out what was or is going on, but it seems to be a little better than before. I’m so happy to make it through a whole supercross season and am looking forward to heading into outdoors.”

Cole Seely  14

“Vegas as a whole went pretty well. Practice was okay. I qualified decent but not great, which I kind of expected because I’m not normally the best qualifier, especially in Vegas. It normally takes some time for me to figure out the track. I had a good heat, running in second for most of the race, then finishing third, so I was pretty happy with that. Going into the main, I knew if I could get a good start I’d be able to end the season on a positive note. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the start I wanted and ended up just outside the top 10. I had a good a flow going though, so I knew if I just put my head down and hit my marks that I could end up in a good position. I just started picking my way through the pack. I felt like I wasn’t using a ton of energy, so I was able to maintain my pace throughout the whole race more than normal. I was really happy with how I was riding and ended up sixth.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Once again, our starts hindered us tonight in the main event. Both Ken and Cole didn’t get the best jumps out of the gate, so we really need to dial those in. It’s hard to battle for the lead or podiums when you’re not putting yourself in a good position from the start. However, I think they both rode well. Their intensity was better tonight throughout the entire race and didn’t taper off. This season as a whole was definitely up and down, but we’re happy that both riders were able to make it through uninjured.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“We got fourth tonight, which isn’t necessarily what we want, but overall it’s still pretty good. It would have been great to end the season with a podium, but Ken rode well. Bike-wise, we made a few changes after practice and for the heat race, but Ken struggled so we ended up switching back for the main. Time to focus on prepping for outdoors.”

Jordan Troxell

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“I think tonight went pretty decent. Things started a little slow but I think Cole rode well in his heat, getting a good start and putting in some solid laps. He rode well in the main too but got a bad start and had to make his way through the field. He still managed to finish sixth, which is good. It’s been a rollercoaster season for Cole. He’s shown good speed at times but also struggled to put it all together. I’m happy that we were able to make it through the whole season though, and now we’ll turn our focus to outdoors.”

Overall Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 379 Red Bull KTM
2 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 361 Monster Energy Kawasaki
3 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 350 Red Bull KTM
4 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 319 Team Honda HRC
5 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 290 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
6 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 223 Rockstar Husqvarna
7 SEELY Cole 14 USA 211 Team Honda HRC
8 SAVATGY Joey 17 USA 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki
9 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 171 RCH Racing
10 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 163 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
11 HILL Justin 46 USA 162 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
12 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 155 Bowers Racing
13 OSBORNE Zach USA 154 Rockstar Husqvarna
14 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 154 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
15 REED Chad 22 AUS 151 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
16 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 123 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
17 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 119 Chisholm Racing
18 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 113 TPJ.com/Fly Racing
19 RAY Alex USA 73 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
20 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 65 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
21 GARDNER Carlen 805 USA 53 None
22 BREECE Ryan 86 USA 48 None
23 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 46 Rockstar Husqvarna
24 ALESSI Mike 800 USA 37 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
25 BLOSE Chris 111 USA 36 RJC Racing/AEO Powersports
26 GRANT Joshua 33 USA 34 Monster Energy Kawasaki
27 MARTINEZ Cole 68 USA 29 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
28 POLITELLI Austin 981 USA 24 Old Town Construction/ TripTagger/ Yamaha
29 STARLING Justin 68 USA 18 AJE Motorsports
30 STEWART Malcolm 27 USA 17 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Round 15 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to the mile high city of Denver for the first time since 1996. Home-state hero, Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo both captured victories at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their respective classes, each earning their fifth win of the 2019 season.

With frigid temperatures and snow flurries throughout the day, Tomac kicked the day off by pushing through the snow and qualifying with the fastest lap time while his teammate Joey Savatgy was close behind in third. The Kawasaki teammates came out in front of the pack in 450SX Heat 2 with Savatgy in second and Tomac in fourth. Tomac challenged his title contender as they raced side-by-side for multiple laps until finally the No. 3 KX™450 of Tomac made a clean pass and continued making his move to the front. By Lap 7, Tomac was able to catch Savatgy and pass him for second, where he would go on to cross the finish line. Savatgy fell back to finish fourth.

As the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, Savatgy launched out of the gate to another second position start, while Tomac was not far behind in fifth. Similar to the heat race, there were great battles going on up front where Savatgy held a top-3 position before being passed by his teammate and two others, but still earning another impressive top-5 finish. Meanwhile, the crowd came to life as the Colorado native was riding with confidence, resulting in a dominant performance; nearly three minutes into the race, Tomac had blasted by each rider in front of him and began checking out from the rest of the field. Tomac went on to lead the remaining 23 laps and crossed the finish line with nearly an eight-second margin of victory.

Despite the roller coaster weather, over 50,000 Colorado fans filled the stadium and made sure to extend their warm welcome back to the city as they stood on their feet all night chanting “Tomac!” With the encouragement from the crowd, Tomac was able to gain some valuable points and now sits in second place, 18 points out of the top spot in the 450SX Rider Point Standings with two rounds remaining.

Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Kawasaki

“Wow, tonight was like something I dreamed of; this was the loudest crowd I have ever heard and it was so special for me to kind of repay them with this win. It has been such a great weekend and I mean, it wouldn’t be Colorado without some snow! I’m thankful for my entire Monster Energy Kawasaki crew and proud of all the progress we’ve made throughout the season. We’ll continue to work hard and keep pushing to close the gap on the title for the next two rounds, it’s not over yet!”

Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki

“I wasn’t sure how this weekend was going to go after hurting my shoulder last weekend, but I was determined to get back out there and give it my all. It wasn’t easy, but overall I’m proud to put Kawasaki up front again and thankful for my team’s support. I got more experience running up front with the top contenders and I’m still shooting for a podium finish, but another top-5 is good, especially given the circumstances. I’m looking forward to a weekend off and allowing myself to rest up and get ready for New Jersey.”

In the 250SX class, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders also rode great in qualifying with Cianciarulo clocking the fastest lap time and Garrett Marchbanks with eighth position. Cianciarulo carried that speed into Heat 2 as he started in third, quickly took over the lead by Lap 4 and then went on to take the checkers.

The 250SX Main Event saw Cianciarulo running in second, stalking the leader and strategically maneuvering his KX250 to find his way around. He played cat and mouse for a few laps before making the pass stick and going on to lead the remaining 15 laps. Cianciarulo secured his fifth win of the season and extending his lead in the 250SX Western Region Rider Point Standings with only the East/West Shootout in Las Vegas remaining in the series.

Marchbanks struggled throughout the night and was forced to compete in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) after not being able to finish his heat race. He went on to lead every lap and get the job done in the LCQ. Despite a poor gate pick for the Main Event, Marchbanks rocketed off the start and nearly grabbed the holeshot, but unfortunately collided with another rider mid-air before the first lap was complete causing an early end to his night.

Cianciarulo and Tomac’s win in both 250SX and 450SX classes in Denver give Kawasaki their fifth event sweep of the season.

Adam Cianciarulo – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

“I am so pumped to get this win! I felt so good all day and just synced with my KX250 perfectly tonight, so it ended up being such a good race. Plus, the energy of this crowd here in Denver was incredible throughout the race. I love this type of racing where we’re all throwing it out on the line and the crowd is going crazy, especially since we’re close in points. Now I just have to get the job done in Vegas.”

Garrett Marchbanks – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

“I’m thankful I’m not badly injured and I’ve got a great team that will help me get back to where I need to be. I know where I belong out there and we’ve made a lot of progress this season. I’ve learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to finishing out the season in Las Vegas in a few weeks.”

Words and Photos: Kawasaki Racing