Throwdown No.96 – Bopping’s Coming!
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.How cool was it to see CDR Yamaha youngen, Lawson Bopping, claim his maiden MX1-class MX Nats win last weekend when the MX Nats returned to Queensland's Hervey Bay circuit for the first time in many years?! Boppo's outright win was only the second by an Aussie rider this season (Suzuki's Todd Waters won Round 5 at SA's Murray Bridge), and it elevates him to equal third in the premier-class points chase with Honda's Brad Anderson (behind Waters and Bopping teammate, Josh Coppins) with four rounds remaining. --- Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing's Kirk Gibbs took home second overall at Rd 6 of the MX Nationals in Hervey Bay over the weekend. Take a hot lap with him around the track! For full results from Hervey Bay, head to our results page. --- Just when Factory KTM pilot, Italy's Antonio Cairoli, was looking on-track for his sixth World Motocross Championship win, he suffered two DNFs at last weekend's Swedish Grand Prix and relinquished his stranglehold on the MX1 class's red plate to Suzuki's Clement Desalle. The reason for his zero points haul? He got a rock jammed in his chain in the first moto and then was simply engulfed by a huge mud pool in the second. With Desalle now leading the points standings and Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel just 9 points behind Cairoli in third, you can expect the determined little Sicilian to come out firing in the Latvian GP next weekend. For a closer look at the most disastrous day of Cairoli's career, check out Geoff Meyer's MXGP Insdier column. --- Kawasaki Australia held a quasi launch for the 2013 KX450F yesterday at Mt Kembla MX track near Wollongong, NSW. Transmoto's motly-looking moto crew of Ollie Sharp, Mark Brown and Greg Smith were in attendance, frothing to throw a leg over the latest offerings from Kawi. Both machines feature upgrades to the EFI systems, styling and suspension; where the KX450F receives Kayaba's new PSF "air fork" while the KX250F gets Showa's second generation SFF front-end. Keep an eye out on Transmoto for a sweet launch video and September's Issue of Transmoto magazine for the launch report. --- Suzuki Australia expects to hold official press launches for the 2013 RM-Z450 in August and the RM-Z250 in September, with locations yet to be announced. As for dealer delivery, expect to see the new models in on the shop floor by mid-September. For all the details of the new RM-Zs, including information on their SFF forks, have a read of our report. --- JDR Motorsports have done it again! You'd be crazy to miss this one! --- With the AMA Pro Motocross Championship resuming this weekend at Red Bud, expect more on-track fireworks between series leader, Ryan Dungey, and James Stewart, who returns from injury. Check Jason Weigandt's USA Insider column for the pre-round bench racing. --- Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto has been nominated for ESPN's Male Action Sports Athlete of the Year. Villopoto earned a lot of hardware over the past year including the 2011 AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross titles as well as claiming the 2012 AMA Supercross Championship. You can vote for Villopoto here. --- Chad, Ellie and Tate would like to introduce their new addition to the family - baby girl Kiah Mattox Reed. Man, there's some depth in the field for this weekend's Hattah Desert Race! And we're not just talking about the fact the 2012 event has attracted a record 570 entries. Having dominated both the AORC and Finke already this year, reigning Hattah champ, KTM's Toby Price, is the clear favourite. He'll be joined by KTM teammates, Chris Hollis, Ben Burrell and Brad Williscroft, with fourth placegetter at Finke, Matt Fish, also aboard a 450SX-F. But the KTM boys will be up against a ramped-up effort from Yamaha and Honda riders this year. In the blue corner, there's the Active8 Yamaha trio of AJ Roberts, Jarrod Bewley and Josh Green (all YZ450F-mounted), plus young Victorian AORC charger, Daniel Milner, who's rocking up without his Ballard's Yamaha team to give Hattah a crack on a YZ450F. For Honda, GHR Honda's Jake and Todd Smith will be joined by the Alice Springs-based DERT Honda trio of David Walsh, Daymon Stokie and Simon Thompson, who ran second, sixth and 13th at Finke this year. But let's not forget local Suzuki rider and five-time winner, Warren Smart. Word on the street is that Smarty is fired up to claim back what Toby Price has deprived him of for a few years now. And how stacked is the field in the 35 to 45 Years Masters class? There's Brad Williscroft, Cameron Taylor, Craig Carmichael, Mark Kirkman and many more big-name riders of yesteryear. --- After the operations to fix his hips last year, we were starting to think that the once invincible KTM Enduro Factory Team rider, David Knight, might never climb to the top of the EWC podium again. But at the Italian round of the EWC last weekend, Knighter finally got the monkey off his back and went 1-3. Interestingly enough, it took a switch to KTM's 300EXC two-stroke to bring the Manxman his first win of the season. --- Only one point separates AmPro Yamaha's Paul Whibley and Factory FMF/KTM's Kailub Russell in the chase for the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series championship title. Round 9 of the series heads to Millfield, Ohio this weekend for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC and it's points leader Whibley who holds a slight edge after putting a last-minute pass on Russell to take the 2011 victory at Sunday Creek Raceway just one year ago. However, there may be a new contender in the previous championship duel now that WMR/KTM's Rory Mead has secured his second win of the season, bumping him into third in the overall standings. Mead, a New Zealand native, came to the US last season with hopes of one day becoming a champion like his predecessor Whibley, and Mead is slowly inching his way into the championship battle this season. Another added twist comes from 2010 GNCC champ Josh Strang, as he will be competing in his first GNCC since a leg injury at the final round of 2011. Strang will wear his 2011 National number 3 at the John Penton aboard his FMF/RPM/KTM 450. Strang's KTM counterpart, Factory FMF/KTM's Charlie Mullins, will once again watch from the sidelines as he mends an injury himself. The defending champ plans to return for the final four rounds of racing after summer break. X GAMES, X GAMES AND MORE X GAMES! Some sheer madness went down in Los Angeles over the weekend. Check out the results and watch plenty of highlight videos here. --- Surely, we weren't the only ones to feel duped when it was announced that Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg won the Best Whip contest at last weekend's X Games. Don't get us wrong; Twitch is a great rider and deserves all his previous X Games medals. He just didn't deserve this one. Edgar Torronteras, Jarryd McNeil and Todd Potter all clearly out-pointed Twitch, but, they didn't have as many Twitter followers as him. Yes, Best Whip was a popularity vote again this year and Twitch was a beneficiary of a world of retweeting twits (including Snoop Dog's massive following). Surely it's time the X Games dropped this farcical judging system for the Best Whip comp, as this is the second year in a row it's clearly failed to award the best athlete with a medal. --- Here's a sweet video shot at Coonabarabran, showcasing Round 2 of The Australian & Underground FMX Championships. The AUFMXC is a five round FMX competition series running from May through October, catering for both Pro and Underground riders. Video by Russell Brothers Films.
Husqvarna held the world launch for their 2013 models in Europe a couple of weeks back, but sadly didn’t extend an invitation to Aussie journos this year. What we can tell you is that the enduro models have come in for refinements rather than sweeping overhauls. The TE250 and 310 get the TC250-inspired cylinder head for 2013, along with a new Keihin EFI system. The Italian factory claims this boosts the 250 and 310’s power and torque output by between 5% and 8%. For the second year in a row, the frame gets additional gusseting to improve rigidity. All enduro models get new black grips, better-quality inlaid decals and a bar-pad, which finally comes on the bikes as standard equipment. Stay tuned for more information and images as they come to light in the coming week. Husqvarna’s Australian importer, Paul Feeney Group, confirmed with Transmoto that the 2013 TE449, TE511, WR250, WR300 and TC250 will be available by early September, with the TE250 and 310 not expected before November. RRPs will be announced closer to the release date.
Former 500cc GP great and Speed TV presenter, Kevin Magee, has signed on to ride a Triumph Tiger 800XC in this year’s APC Rally – a challenging 14-day course that covers more that 7500km of terrain form Australia’s Eastern Seaboard to the deserts of outback Australia. According to Magoo, “We’re bringing a team along from Speed TV and we’ll be delivering the highlight into your living room in upcoming episodes.”
The annual KTM ‘Ride 4 Kids’ event has been confirmed for Sunday, October 21, at the Wonthaggi motocross track in Victoria. The brainchild of Matt Manning, Ride 4 Kids is now into its 10th year and has raised an incredible $500,000 for Challenge and kids living with cancer, largely through the generosity of the industry sponsors Matt has managed to support this great cause. This year, there are prizes from O’Neal, Fox, and Scott, and two brand new 2013 KTM dirt bikes up for grabs.
Free stuff?! Where?! Everyone loves free stuff, so jump over here and find out how you can win yourself a brand new KTM.