Throwdown No.74 – The pass

12 years ago

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.


Like this pass? See it on Stewart’s GoPro

TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed has taken the red plate in the AMA Supercross series after finishing second at Round 4 in Oakland. The Aussie was leading the final for the first half of the main, but JGRMX’s James Stewart pulled a clean overtaking manoeuvre and went on to win. “I’m disappointed with that ride,” said Reed. “I had an amazing start but rode tight, didn’t flow my lines and didn’t hit the marks. I was in a great position to win the race but I didn’t grab it by the balls and get after it. I rode like a little girl.” Reed and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey are now tied for the Championship lead on 85 points; two points ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. With four different winners in four races (only the second time in AMA Supercross’s 40-year history), Reed says, “It will come down to Vegas. I don’t see anyone of us that can separate and run away with the championship. Anything can happen when the stakes are this high.”

Bubba showing the goods for the seven-page feature in the latest Transmoto Magazine. Pic: Cam Baird

Bubba is back! That’s what some people are claiming anyway. And after his first win of the season at Oakland last weekend, who can dispute that? However, US correspondent, Jason Weigandt, pointed out that it appeared as if Stewart rode safe and didn’t show the dominant Bubba performance we’ve seen in the past. But is that a bad thing? Stewart’s approach has previously been ‘win or die trying’ and while his past wins have been spectacular, he’s also suffered serious injuries and damaged his title chances through unfortunate crashes. The new, refined Stewart may be the perfect balance that will bring him closer to winning his third AMA Supercross Championship. Time will tell. And if you want to delve further into Stewart’s decision to move to JGR and look closer at his custom YZ450F, pick up Transmoto’s March issue where we cover it in a seven-page feature.

GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac posted back-to-back wins in the West Coast Pro Lites class this weekend and now leads the championship by 15 points. But word has it he may have to step up to the Supercross class sooner than he thought. With Trey Canard out with a broken vertebrae, Honda need a 450cc rider to fill in, and it looks like Tomac might be the man to do it. The 20-year-old is only in his second year of professional SX racing and finished second in last year’s West Coast Lites championship. You might also remember that he went out and smoked the field at Hangtown in his debut on the Pro racing scene in 2010 (finished the season sixth Overall). If true, it could be an interesting debut in the Supercross class.

Rattray had the red plate for the opening three rounds of the West Coast Lites SX series. Pic: Hoppen

Anyone notice Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray didn’t make the main event at the Oakland Supercross over the weekend? Reports out of the US say he suffered a concussion and fractured his C7 vertebrae during a heat race crash. Running third in the Pro Lites Championship before the injury, it’s a disappointing end to Rattray’s West Coast Lites title chase. “I’m really bummed out about my injury,” said Rattray, “but I’m very thankful that it didn’t end up worse.” Rattray will spend a few month recuperating and hopes to be back racing at the Seattle round on April 21. The West Coast Lites championship will take an eight-week break after San Diego in two weeks’ time.

One rider to look out for is Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin. He came out of the first turn in the Lites final in 10th place at Oakland but raced back to second. Musquin says it was all about finding the right lines, “I found some good lines and made some clean passes.” When asked about making the comeback to second, all he could say was, “I can’t believe it after I started in 10th.” According to fellow KTM rider, Aussie JDR’s Matt Moss, “Marvin is consistently one of the fastest guys out there. I try to hook onto him at the KTM test track these days.” Moss posted his career best of fifth place at Oakland.

New Zealand’s Ben Townley has made the inaugural cover of Dutch magazine, The Art of Motocross. Nicely done, BT! Check www.theartofmotocross.eu for details.

How much horse power do you think this custom Suzuki’s got?

Anyone else see these bizarre images of recent Team Motul Suzuki signing, Todd Waters, on Facebook earlier this week? Yep, weird and captivating, all at the same time. We were tempted to call the young Queenslander to get the story behind the photo shoot, but thought it was more amusing to leave it open to your imagination.


Following last week’s revelation that ISDE Assistant Team Manager and KTM Motorex Off-Road’s Mick Carusi was unsure whether he’ll be able to make the event due to existing commitments, it has now been revealed that Carusi has now officially withdrawn from the position. “After communicating with Mick via telephone, we can confirm that, after having had pressure from management on his team that the ISDE was too close to the A4DE, Mick has made the decision to withdraw from his position as ISDE Assistant Team Manager,” confirmed MA Communications Officer, Megan Hannan. “The selection process for a replacement Assistant team Manager will now be undertaken by the ISDE Team Management in collaboration with the Enduro Commission. Your publication will be notified of the resultant decision in due course.” We’d also like to qualify our statement in last week’s Throwdown that suggested Carusi didn’t nominate for the position. It turns out the nomination was, in fact, done on is behalf. So, more importantly, who will take Carusi place? Our money is on Damian Smith, who was Assistant Manager for the Aussie team last year in Finland.

After last week’s rumour about Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team testing the all-new 2012 WR450F was denied by Team Manager, AJ Roberts, we asked again this week when Roberts popped into the office while the team was down in Sydney. While the answer was once again “No!”, the former three-time AORC champ did say it with a cheeky grin on his face.

The Melbourne Enduro-X this Saturday at Broadmeadows MX Park is set to be a great day of racing with a stacked field hitting the extreme enduro track. With the entire KTM Motorex Off-Road team, as well as Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney, Luka Bussa and Ballard’s Offroad Racing’s Matt Phillips chasing a win, it’s sure to be an explosive battle in the Pro class. We’re mounting helmet cams on Phillips and Hollis so keep your eyes out next week for POV shots of the Enduro-X final. For more information about the event, check http://www.enduro-x.com.au.

World Endurocross star, Poland’s Taddy Blazusiak, has confirmed he’ll contest the opening round of the 2012 Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship – run by European Correspondent, Jonty Edmunds. On the back of the announcement that American Husqvarna rider, Ricky Dietrich, will race the series, Blazusiak has confirmed he’ll compete in as many rounds as time permits.

Motorex KTM Off-Road’s Chris Hollis will be wearing Oakley goggles in 2012. He joins the exisiting MX/Off-Road Oakley team of Jay Marmont, Lawson Bopping, Cheyne Boyd, Josh Cachia, Adam Monea, Jacob Wright, Dylan Long and Cam Sinclair.


JetPilot has signed on Monster Energy Showtime FMX rider, Kain Saul, for 2012. Saul will showcase his freestyle moves throughout the year for the Showtime FMX team and will also compete in the Crusty Demons cup held at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15-18.


Pirelli’s new Scorpion MX exTRa X tyres

Pirelli has released a key new model of off-road tyres – the Scorpion MX exTRa X. It replaces Pirelli’s MX Extra and is available in both MX and enduro sizes. The Scorpion MX exTRa X is claimed to last 20% longer than its predecessor and is designed for semi-pro and all-round riding. We’re getting a few of Pirelli’s new hoops for our long-term test bike, the 2012 KTM 500EXC, and will give you a thorough run-down in a future issue of Transmoto Magazine. Stay tuned.

It’s not all bad news for Hart and Huntington’s Ivan Tedesco after breaking his finger at the LA Supercross from a collision with Josh Grant. The two-time 125cc champion launched a new website this week: http://www.ivantedesco9.com/

You’ll be able to see this at the Gold Coast Motorcycle Expo on Feb 17-19

You can expect to see more of bikes like this at the Gold Coast Motorcycle Expo, taking place on February 17-19 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. It started life as a prototype Transformer character before being re-built into this handmade machine, coated in candy apple red and chrome embellishments. Cool, eh?

Mudgee Motocross Club is hosting their opening club day and night Stadium X event on March 3, and have $1000 up for grabs in the main event. Situated between Freeflight MX Park and Louee Station, gates open at 2pm with racing starting at 3pm. A full canteen and BBQ is available. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and $30 for the family. For more details, head to http:// www.mudgeemx.com.

Want a bit of afternoon entertainment? You should check out the YouTube series, Dao’s Place. In this episode, Dao shows you how to make the Dao Place Energy Drink to keep you “fit, strong and sexy”, using coffee, meat juice and Motul 800 two-stroke. Don’t try this at home kids…

Not motorbikes, but it’s still wicked cool. Check the Front Flip pulled on a snowmobile at the 2012 Winter X Games Best Trick event by Heath Frisby.

Gas Gas made a switcheroo and decided the remove the cartridge airflow system for the 2012 models

Were we the only ones wondering why those radical-looking 2012 Gas Gas two-strokes still haven’t landed in Australia? Originally due to arrive by November last year, the 2012 EC range is not expected until late February. It turns out that the Spanish factory made an eleventh-hour call to dump the original cartridge-style air filter that was, in some ways, central to the hype surrounding the new bikes, which delayed production. “My understanding is that in the final testing stage,” explains Gas Gas Australia’s John Fretten, “EWC pilot Ivan Cervantes told the factory that the cartridge system worked well, but limited airflow and horsepower at very high revs when he was riding aggressively. Even though all the marketing material had been released – including information about the radical airbox design – the Spanish factory thought it was prudent to delay production to fit a more conventional airbox.” Nonetheless, the EC250/300 do get other significant upgrades for 2012, including an all-new frame, a new Marzcocchi 48mm closed-cartridge fork, and Ohlins 888 shock. And, like many of the smaller brands coming out of Europe now, they’re very competitively priced in the Australian market. Find the 2012 prices here.

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

2 months ago


‘Beyond the Line’: a cool, bite-sized insight to the iconic annual Baja 1000 race.

2 months ago


The six key steps involved in replacing your bike’s old, worn graphics.


2 months ago

Entries Open: 2024 Transmoto 8-Hour at Narrabri, NSW

Public entries are now open for the third annual Transmoto 10-Hour at Tumut, powered by GASGAS, to be held on the March 16-17 weekend.

2 months ago


Buy your mate an exclusive ticket to watching AMA SX outside of the USA.

2 months ago


We walk you through the 10 key steps that’ll ensure your bike’s chain and sprocket are doing their job properly.

Royal Enfield

2 months ago


We answer your most FAQs about Royal Enfield’s landmark new Himalayan 450 adventure tourer.

2 months ago


Eight simple steps to help you declutter, service and update your bike’s handlebar-mounted controls.

2 months ago


Five simple steps to help you get your footpegs, rear brake pedal and gear-shift lever properly adjusted.