Throwdown No.97 – Styke Ready To Defend
What’s this “Throwdown”? It’s a digital home for rumour, fact and innuendo, delivered on a weekly basis. Covering a broad spectrum of the off-road world’s news, the Throwdown will touch on everything from racing to trailriding; from industry tidbits to issues facing the sport. It’s about delivering you timely information all in one place so you don’t have to scour the internet looking for it.The Monster Energy MX Nationals will return to Horsham in Victoria for the first time in two years when round seven is hosted on Sunday, 15 July.New Zealander Josh Coppins leads the way in the MX1 class for CDR Yamaha, while in the MX2 class it's Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing's Luke Styke who looks to run away with the title, winning three of the six rounds contested so far. Pressuring Coppins are Australian rising stars Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) and Lawson Bopping (CDR Yamaha). The pair have been victorious in recent rounds, determined not to let Coppins take the Australian national title back to New Zealand. Horsham will also see the return of Monster Energy Kawasaki's current four-time Australian Motocross Champion Jay Marmont, who sat out the sixth round with post-surgery infections that he suffered during the mid-season layoff. Josh Cachia will be another rider to watch, assuming he will be fired up and looking for a win following a mechanical failure creating a huge set back to JDR Motorsport's chances of taking home the title.Styke's margin out front stretched to 46 points with his win at in Queensland earlier this month. "I'll think about the championship when it's done," Styke admitted. "I've got a pretty good points lead, but you can't rely on that. You've just got to keep pushing hard, working hard and not slacking off. Check out this mid season update video and listen to what Styke has to say about the season so far.---Word on the street is that moves are afoot to stage a large-scale "pool party" on the Monday following the final round of the MX Nats in Coolum, and to make the thing an annual affair. Despite the potentially chilly weather in late August, there's talk of scantily clad Monster girls, poolside margaritas and beach volleyball, all within stumbling distance of the Sunshine Coast Airport. Bring it on!---Transmoto videographer, Russell Brothers' Lachlan Russell in NZ for a few days shooting with Ben Townley for the next video instalment of his recovery update for sponsor, Jetpilot. Townley was put in Hospital after his crash at round 2 of the Monster Energy MX Nationals at Coonabarabran. "We're following all his rehab and training that he's doing in New Zealand to get back to 100% before he throws a leg over a motorcycle again," said Russell. Take a look at the first instalment while we wait for the second. ---Round 10 of the MXGP is taking place this weekend over in Kegums, Latvia, with Clement Desalle leading the championship points in the MX1 and Jeffrey Herlings holding the red plate in the MX2, following Round 9 in Uddevalla, Sweden. Have a read about Geoff Meyer's past experiences in "Old School" Eastern Europe in this weeks MXGP Insider.---Chad Reed hasn't raced since February, but he's got plenty happening. Have a read through our USA Insider from Jason Weigandt and find out what he's been up to. Check out this cool little video of Chad chillin' out at his training facility too.KTM King of Nepean, Australia's Biggest Dirt Track Title is taking place this Sunday, set to showcase the strongest field of competitors ever. Plenty of big names involved for 2012, so it's definitely worth looking into.---Yeah, they can ride bikes, but how much do they know about what's going on around them in their beloved sport? Check out Jason Anderson and Martin Davalos going HEAD2HEAD in Motocross Trivia.---Jump over to Vurb Moto and take a look at "Victims of Larocco's Leap." Jaw dropping guaranteed!---The latest Instagram image of James Stewart(@therealjs7) looking extremely Zoolanderish. Quote, "We take training in this house very serious," unquote. We have wonder though, who's got the raw end of the deal, the mutt or JS7?Is it only us that thinks the 2012 "WR450F A4DE" sounds a little naff? Aside from the alphabet soup name, having a motorcycle model as naming rights to the Australian 4-Day Enduro just seems a little weird. That said, it rolls off the tongue a little easier than last year's Yamaha Yamalube Cycra GYTR Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE)", and no one can complain about the unconditional support that Yamaha has given to off-road racing in Australia over recent years, as major sponsors of both the A4DE and AORC.---Defending KTM Hattah Desert Race champion Toby Price claimed his third consecutive victory for Motorex KTM Off Road Racing at Mildura in Victoria on 7-8 July. Everything is falling into place for Price this season, winning the Finke Desert Race and currently dominating the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC). Price finished the grueling eight-lap race in four hours, 16 minutes and 21.135 seconds aboard the KTM 450 SX-F, 5:48.948sec ahead of his nearest rival Yamaha's Josh Green. It was a huge day of firsts for Yamaha's Josh Green - first event on the YZ450F, first attempt of a desert race, first ride back from a broken scaphoid — but none of these obstacles were able to keep the 22-year-old from taking the second step on the podium. Green wasn't the only Yamaha racer on the podium, with his team manager, AJ Roberts, coming third.Price's Motorex KTM Off Road Racing team mate Chris Hollis wasn't so lucky, colliding with Mildura local Warren Smart early in the race. Hollis' handlebars snapped clean off, leaving him with a sprained thumb and a knock to the head, luckily walking away no more serious injuries. Smart also came pretty close to bumping Josh Green off not too much further along the track. ---Safari organisers have confirmed that this year's course will travel through the iconic surf country of north-west WA in late September. The 90,000ha Gnarloo Station (some 150km north of Carnarvon) is famous for its dramatic Indian Ocean coastline and world-class surf breaks, and promises to offer a brilliant backdrop to Leg 3 of the September 21-29 event. "Part of the course is along a coastal cliff less than two metres away from the ocean," confirmed Gnarloo owner Paul Richardson, "so the views form the helicopter are going to be amazing." Sadly, the timing of this year's Safari coincides with both the ISDE in Germany and the MXoN in Belgium. For more information, check out www.australasiansafari.com.au. PS: We can't help but mention that Gnarloo Station's mechanic is called "Feral". True story.---Shane Watts now seems to make an annual trip back to Australia around November to stage a few of his DirtWise riding schools. This year, the former World, GNCC, ISDE and A4DE champ also has plans to hook up with trail tour operators, Con Thermos and the boys from Ottway Off-Road Tours, for their "7-Day Trans-Tassie Odyssey" tour. Sounds like a great trip, and with Wattsy's story-telling prowess, it's likely to be an amusing one, too. For more info,check otwayoffroad.com or dirttraxtas.com.au and follow the links.---America's Jeff Fredette is set to race his 31st ISDE when the 87th instalment of the event gets under way in Germany in late September! Legend! Click here to show your support for no more than $20, and buy a pretty cool shirt.---Here's a sweet look at the track from the John Penton GNCC, which took place in Millfield, Ohio, over the weekend. Kailub Russell came second right behind Paul Whibley, who now holds a 6 point lead over Russell in the championship series. The series now takes a summer break until September 15 and 16, returning with the Unadilla GNCC.---Factory FMF/KTM rider Maria Forsberg wrapped up a perfect season remaining undefeated through the first nine rounds of the series to clinch the 2012 GNCC Women's Championship. Along with the nine consecutive wins, Forsberg claimed her third GNCC Women's title. In typical fashion, she started strong and led every lap of the race. Forsberg just returned from X Games 18 where she claimed her second consecutive Gold Medal in the Women's EnduroX. She sure is on a roll, now looking to see how she can size up in Men's class!No one ever said you had to be tied down to one extreme sport! Check out MTB rider Andreu Lacondeguy trying his hand at FMX riding along with some mental MTB freestyle! ---The highly-anticipated Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle motocross spectacular has been confirmed to take place at Sydney's Cockatoo Island once more. Tickets to last year's inaugural event sold out within three days, and fans were on hand to witness a local triumph as West Australian Josh Sheehan double-backflipped his way to a historic win. Cockatoo Island played host to over 11,000 fans in 2011 and Geoff Bailey, Executive Director of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust said the event offered a great chance to showcase the setting and its rich history. "The highlight of last year's Red Bull X-Fighters World Series event was seeing 11,000 fans, most of whom had never been to Cockatoo Island before, having a great time on the day," said Bailey. "Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour - its convict heritage and industrial landscapes, combined with the incredible views across Sydney Harbour, make it a spectacular setting to end the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series Tour." The world's top riders will converge on the iconic venue on October 6 where the final round of the World Tour will be played out. Tickets are on sale now.---Look's like Twitch is taking a break from shouting out to Snoop Dogg and all his twitter followers this week! Instead he sits down in front of the camera and talks about the beginning of his FMX career and where it has lead his life, including the spots he rides and the merch he endorses. No talk of his most recent X Games victory though? Is someone still a little bit embarassed about winning Best Whip?---Mark Brown does more than paint trick custom helmets for the country's best dirt bike racers. The Browns Grafix frontman and Transmoto test rider recently took on a job that involved stickering up an entire stream train for one of Cadbury's new "Joyville" series of ads. "It was a big job," says Brownie. "I set a new record, working for 50 hours straight, but we got the thing done. I believe the final TV ad will have a WiIly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory theme. They did a promo for it at Sydney's Central Station where a bunch of little oompah loompas jumped off the Cadbury train and handed out chocolate bars to a bunch of stunned commuters. In fact, there's some YouTube footage on that somewhere." And apparewntly Brownie is packing a few chocolate bars for anyone needing a sugar fix. Perks of the job, and fitting for a bloke whose surname is "Brown".---Yep, it's that time of the year when next season's riding gear starts to appear. Thanks to the sniping iPhone of Transmoto's itinerant adman, Andrew Hobbs, we've already seen a sneak peek of the 2013 gear from JT Racing and Alias (both distributed by Queensland-based McLeod Accessories) as well as an introductory vid of the new-season Fly gear. This week came the first images of the 2013 range of Thor riding gear, including a few more Thor/Volcom colab colourways. According to Transmoto's AJ Roberts (who works for Thor's distributor, Gas Imports, in Queensland), the late-July event in Brisbane to launch the new gear will be attended by a few bigwigs from Parts Unlimited in the USA - the worldwide distributors of the brand.---Entries are cranking for the 2012 Sunny Corner Trail Bike Ride, so get in fast if you want to secure your spot for a bromantic weekend away with the boys. For more info, go to www.sunnycorner.com.au. If you want to see just how cool Sunny Corner can be, check our our vid from last years event. ---What's happening with KTM's Freeride 350? The revolutionary hybrid plaything was first seen last year and initially expected to arrive in Australia in March. It was delayed until May, but never arrived. KTM Australia has now confirmed that the Freeride will arrive in the same shipment as the 2013-model EXCs and be available on dealer floors by early September. A press launch for the bike is likely to be held in mid September.---Sherco have released the Sherco X-Ride, which was first prototyped in 2011. The X-Ride is not a bike that can be classed specifically, as its technology is drawn from vast experiences in race, trial, enduro and supermoto. Described as a comfortable and manoeuverable bike, the X-Ride is designed for multiple terrain use, whilst being smooth, quiet and powerful. Could this bike be some competition for the KTM Freeride 350?---10 million views and counting in just three days?! If your not one of the 10 million, join the club and check out the epic video that is Gymkhana 5, featuring the legendary Ken Block, with a sneaky dirt bike appearance from none other than Travis Pastrana.