[Weekly Features]

Throwdown No.86 – Who is Superman?

5 years ago

Who is the man in the red cape? We name and shame; read on.

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 MotoConcepts No.7 special.
After last week's rumour-mill about James Stewart intentions to cut his three-year contract with Team JGR Yamaha short and move to Suzuki, more fuel was thrown on the fire at last weekend's Seattle Supercross when Team MotoConcepts fitted Stewart's #7 number plates to a Honda CRF450R that sat conspicuously under their pit awning. Is this further evidence that Stewart is looking to jump ship or just a practical? When the guys from RacerXonline.com asked JGR's Team Owner, Coy Gibbs, about the stunt, he was not impressed. "There's always an ass in the pit area," Gibbs said. "And that (_MotoConcepts_) happens to be ours. Normally the crew over there is straight comedy. I enjoy watching it, but this was a bit out of line." A joke it may be, but it seems clear that the relationship between Stewart and his JGR team is somewhat strained. --- Speaking of JGR, they've got Gavin Faith filling in for James Stewart until the former two-time champ fully recovers. Faith has been riding in the West Coast Lites Supercross, filling in for Will Hahn on the GEICO Honda Team, and finished sixth in San Diego. If you recognise the name, it may be because the youngster raced to second in Lites class in the 2011 Australasian Super X series aboard a Carlton Dry Honda CRF250R. --- Monster Energy Yamaha's Steven Frossard will attempt to compete in the GP of Italy this weekend for the third round of the World Motocross Championship after having a successful operation on his knee on Monday. The 2011 MX1 championship runner-up required surgery to remove a damaged anterior cruciate ligament and hopes to race the rest of the season before having a knee reconstruction. --- Harley Quinlan, who suffered serious spinal injuries while training for the MX Nationals back in 2010, has been making incredible progress ever since. He's got his sights set on the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympics and hopes to compete in the cycling category. The young athlete will head to Europe with the Australian Paracycling team on May 28 to race in Switzerland, France and Spain. His training regime is intense and involves six days on the bike, followed by five in the gym. Quinlan says, "I still have five years until the next Olympics but it doesn't feel like I've got long to prepare. I've got so much work to do and there's no time to muck around." That's dedication right there. --- The Manjimup 15,000 is on again this year, set for June 1-3 at the Cosy Creek Circuit in WA. The Junior racing is on Saturday while you'll see seniors Sunday. Entry on Saturday is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Sunday it's $30 for adults and $15 for children. There'll be a bonfire and bar available on Sunday. Event information can be found at http://williethomson.com/manjimup/ Enduro Despite the fact Ballard's Offroad Racing's Matt Phillips is sitting atop the Pro E2 class points table, it's no secret he's not happy with his race-pace aboard the new WR450F. However, he's obliged to tow the line and race the all-new flagship off-road model, rather than his preferred mount - the YZ450F that he claimed four Outright wins on last season. Some have even speculated that Phillips may resort to paying out his Ballard's contract and buying himself a CRF450R to race for the remainder of the season. When we fronted the young Tasmanian about the vicious rumours earlier today, he was adamant there was nothing to them: "My contract with Yamaha doesn't end until November, so you'll see me on the 2012 WR450F for the remainder of the season." --- The 2012 Australian Women's Cup International Six Days Enduro Team has been selected. KTM's Tanya Hearn will join Yamaha's Jess Gardiner and Jemma Wilson for the September event in Germany. The men's team is expected to be announced later this week. --- The Transmoto 12-Hour, powered by Insure My Ride, has been run and won. Despite more rain in the lead-up to the already rescheduled event, the call was made at the last minute to give it the green light. And what an amazing weekend it turned out to be for competitors. Those at the 12-Hour might have spotted a man on a Kawasaki riding around with a Superman cape. We felt it was our duty to name and shame - it was Flying Foreskins' rider, Mark Brown, aboard our T-Build 2012 Kawasaki KX250F (you'll next see him, cape and all, in our August issue of the magazine). For more on the 12-Hour, see our online pic gallery and race review. --- After three years, the Enduro World Championship will see the return of the Women's class for 2012. This season, the world's elite female enduro riders will race at four of the eight-round series. Starting in Spain in early May, they'll then head to Portugal, Italy and finish in France. Australian Women's enduro star, Jemma Wilson, will fly to Spain for the first round of the season straight after competing at this weekend's Coonabarabran AORC round. --- After last week's DNF at the GNCC due to a mechanical, Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing's Toby Price finished second in an American Cross-Country round and sixth in a National Enduro on the weekend before returning home to Australia to prepare for the upcoming AORC. "I just got back in from America yesterday and I feel good after scoring a couple of good results over there," Price said. "We're heading into the AORC halfway point now, so I need to get back focused on the series and keep consistent on that podium." --- Three-time winner of the Roof of Africa, Chris Birch, hits the rolling hills of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand for some freeriding action in his home nation.
Industry Renthal has put out an ad in the States featuring Little TwoTwo, Tate Reed, on his bike. The kid's not even two yet and he's an international sports star! --- Our Kiwi brethren, ilabb, helped stage the Fox ride day at their private motocross track over the weekend. The event is for people who've never ridden a dirt bike and gives them the opportunity to do it in a fun and safe environment. Take a look at their edit:

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jay Marmont has launched an official Facebook page. Go check it out. Sadly, Marmont teammate, Billy Mackenzie injured his wrist earlier this week and will be sidelines for three months. For the full story, click here.

Australian motocross legend, Stephen Gall, will head over to Namibia in Africa for the next eight months to help bring the latest Mad Max movie to life. Working as the Motorcycle Assistant Stunt Coordinator, Gall’s been told not to cut his hair to ensure he retains a suitably ‘feral’ look for the movie. Gall says, “If I don’t cut my hair for the next eight months, then who knows what I’ll come back looking like. I might even have dreadlocks!” Now that’s something we’d pay to see on the evergreen clean-cut Mr Gall!

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