Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Well, that was it – the last official weekend of summer. Did you get out and enjoy it? Did you ride? Did you race? Did you take a well-deserved break? I hope you managed to do all of those things. Some of the best weekends of the year happen at the end of summer and into fall…if you can get your head around the fact that we’re headed straight into snow or rain season.
In my neck of the woods, it was 28 degrees Celsius and felt like the low 30’s with the humidex factored in. It was one last hurrah for the hot sticky weather…and I loved it!
On Friday, Jeff McConkey and I got the chance to ride the all-new Yamaha YZ450F up at Motopark. Like I always say, although I’m more involved in the sport now than I was even when I was racing, I just don’t get the chance to throw a leg over a bike very often, so this was an exciting day for me.
Actually, I can’t believe I had a hard time ‘throwing’ my leg over the bike! Seriously, when did I stop being able to simply get on a damn bike?! Are there any motocross bike models coming out with a ‘step through’ design? Don’t get old, folks.
The big thumper from Yamaha has been changed from the ground up, and they’ve really come out with a winner for 2018. While the 250F simply gets “bold new graphics,” they’ve done their homework with the 450.
Here’s a list of the key improvements for 2018:
- New electric start with lightweight starter motor and lithium ion battery with BMS
- New wireless smartphone-based Power Tuner with expanded functions
- Revised rearward cylinder slant and engine mounts
- Revised cylinder head and compression ratio
- Revised intake and exhaust cam profiles, timing and valve springs
- New lightweight piston and revised piston pin with DLC coating
- New lightweight ACM and new ECU
- Revised air box cover and air filter
- New 44mm Mikuni FI throttle body
- Revised exhaust header and muffler mount
- Revised rads
- Revised clutch and transmission
- New frame and revised swingarm
- Revised triple clamps, fork and piggyback shock
- Revised front and read DID rims
- New lightweight aluminum handlebar and new lightweight 520 drive chain
- New lighter 6.2L fuel tank, body work and flat design seat
The list of technical updates is extensive, but there are just too many things to list here over a single cup of coffee! What it all amounts to is an instantly-noticeable improved 450 for the coming season. They had the blue model set to mellow and the new white model (or “purplish white” as they’re calling it) set to grunt.
Unless your last name is Goerke, you won’t be able to blame the mellow setting for your lack of wins, as it is still a well-handling rocket. The bike felt great as soon as I got on it and went out for my first lap. As rusty as I am, the Yamaha 450 made me feel comfortable…but there’s no need to look at lap times, OK!
Jeff put in many more laps than I did, so watch for a report from the Media Ride Day soon here on the site. I shot a bunch of video, so we’ll be sure to get that up here on DMX as soon as I’m finished a couple more cups of coffee.
Thanks for a great day, Yamaha and Motopark. I should mention just how perfect the track was for us media types. Thanks for all your effort.
9th Annual Gopher Dunes Sandstorm
I can’t believe I just wrote that. 9th annual? Wow, time sure flies. I remember being at the first one back in (hmm, lemme do some tricky math here…) 2009.
Emily and I decided Saturday would be the day we headed over to Gopher Dunes, just outside Tillsonburg, Ontario, to check out the Arenacross portion of the weekend as well as the Shift Holeshot Challenge to be held once the lights had to be turned on for full effect.
As soon as we got there it looked like something big was going on. Derek Schuster and the gang had the tight AX track set up perfectly and the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team rig was parked right next to the grassy knoll that lines the track. It looked pretty cool.
This Sandstorm weekend really has the potential to build into something bigger. Seriously, this place should be lined up to get in and qualified. There aren’t many places you can find a challenging yet safe outdoor Arenacross-style track to hone your potential indoor skills on. I was a little disappointed that more racers didn’t take advantage of this opportunity. This is how you get better, folks.
The 65 and 85cc classes should have been stacked! The Junior classes should have had qualifiers, and the Intermediate classes should have included all the local and not-so-local B riders. Having said all that, the racing was great and a few top-level Pro riders showed up to do battle.
The gate for the Pro motos included Colton Facciotti, Dylan Wright, Austin Watling, Tanner Ward, Kyle Keast, and Nathan Bles. That’s some good talent, right there. Chris Pomeroy got thrown to these wolves because he was the only Vet rider who showed up to race.
Everyone, check out this next video of the 2nd Pro Open moto. The track is made to suit every level of racer. The finish line even lands in a flat section that is safe even if you come up short. Get out there next time!
They also held their first annual Shift Holeshot Challenge where 3 riders lined up and raced the 100-foot start that took them down to the finals in each class. It’s events like these that gave the day the feel of a fun-filled amateur national event from down south. It was cool.
In the end, Austin Watling won the event, but then a curve ball was thrown at him. He had to go best 2-out-of-3 against Colton Facciotti. If Austin won, Colton would have added his own $100 to the money Austin won for taking the event and donate it to a charity.
Austin took the first race, but Colton came back and took the final 2 starts. Like I said, it was a great evening and I really hope we see this thing grow into a 2-day, must-attend event for 2018.
Like I said, get there next year. Watch for a photo report and all the videos from the Holeshot Challenge later here on the site.
Pauls Jonass Takes MX2 World Championship
All I really know about Pauls Jonass is that he’s got enough S’s in his name to make most North Americans uncomfortable.
Herlings & Covington win French Finale while Jonass takes the MX2 World Title
(VILLARS SOUS ECOT) Pays de Montbéliard, France, 17 September 2017 – The final round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship is complete from the Villars sous Ecot circuit in France. Thousands of French fans braved the weather to see the gladiators of MXGP and MX2 race the MXGP of Pays de Montbéliard. The best of the Grand Finale were Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington. The celebrations didn’t end there though as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass was crowned the 2017 MX2 World Champion after the only Race 1.
MXGP raced into the first corner Sunday and Saturday’s qualifying winner, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie, took the Fox Holeshot. Almost immediately Team HRC’s Tim Gajser took the lead followed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff on the first lap.
By lap 2 Anstie found his way back past Coldenhoff as Gajser and Febvre rode away out front. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin ran 5th early and held off Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings for two laps before the Dutchman made it past.
Herlings continued his charge forward passing his teammate and countryman Glenn Coldenhoff. Paulin followed suit and also passed Coldenhoff on lap 6. Back at the front the crowd vibrantly cheered on their french hero Romain Febvre as he tried to catch up enough to make a pass attempt on Gajser. Febvre would get close but never close enough to make the move.
On lap 12 of 16 Herlings found his way around Anstie after following the Brit for 8 laps. Anstie tried to retaliate toward the end but would come up short. Gajser took the race win ahead of Febvre, Herlings, Anstie, and Paulin.
Race 2 kicked off with another good start from Anstie and though Herlings took Fox Holeshot Anstie had the better line afterwards and took the lead. Herlings and Anstie stayed together while Tim Gajser followed the entire race.
Behind Gajser was were the early action was seen as Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus fought to hold off 2017 MXGP World Champion, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and later Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev.
Cairoli later pulled off and did not finish but Bobryshev kept hounding Tonus eventually taking the position. 4 laps later Romain Febvre, who fell off of the start, took the 4th spot from Bobryshev and one lap later Bobryshev fell and would finish 23rd.
Back up front Herlings was looking for a way past Anstie, after recovering from a mistake, and at first had no luck. Several tries later Herlings found his way by Anstie who wasn’t in the mood to back down. The two riders had one of the best battles of the season giving the fans a proper finale.
In the end Herlings held the spot and took the overall, saying in the press conference: “In the second race I got my first FOX Holeshot of the year and that was a big surprise for myself, after the holeshot Max actually passed me straight back as he was on the inside. I had some good lines and I wanted to overtake him, I was next to him a couple of times in easier lines but then he changed the lines and he was actually riding perfect so it was hard to get passed him… but I eventually passed him and we made it.”
Tim Gajser took third in race 2 but when combined with his race 1 win he finished 2nd overall tied in points for the day with Herlings. Gajser also took 5th in the championship and in the press conference said: “I’m glad to finish the season so strong, to be on the podium, today I rode really good in the mud.”
Third overall was Max Anstie adding to his recent success in his rookie season. Anstie later said: “I think last year riding MX2 I was good but I’m a lot stronger now. In the second race I got good drive down the first turn, got past Jeffrey, had my lines and was sticking to them. I felt like I was just banging in lap after lap and felt good but I knew Jeffrey made a mistake and at that point, I didn’t really relax, but it kind of changed my mindset a little bit…Jeffrey got to me again and then I got back on it, tried to be smooth in my ruts and we had a good race to the end.”
Gautier Paulin finished in 5th overall but took 3rd in the final championship standings to which he said: “This season went well…I want more, we always want more. Still 3rd is a good achievement and we look forward to next year and putting the program together, we know where we need to work, my week points and where we want to improve the bike.”
Antonio Cairoli on his championship season stated “I’m very happy about the season we worked very hard to win and we made it. I really enjoy riding and already now I’m looking forward to next year because I know where we can improve.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 36:11.477; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.247; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:39.593; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:50.557; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +2:02.538; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), -1 lap(s); 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 9. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), -1 lap(s).
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:48.664; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:05.272; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:36.515; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:02.368; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:38.161; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:40.996; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:46.297; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +1:56.974; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +2:05.011; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s)
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 45 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 45 p.; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 40 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 40 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 31 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 28 p.; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 27 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 27 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 26 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 16 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 722 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 672 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 602 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 544 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 530 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 519 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 443 p.; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 439 p.; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 436 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 424 p.
MXGP Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 834 points; 2. Husqvarna, 698 p.; 3. Yamaha, 659 p.; 4. Honda, 631 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 584 p.; 6. Suzuki, 440 p.;
When the MX2 racing started many looked to the #41 of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass as he had the chance to clinch the 2017 MX2 Championship in race 1.
However the race started out challenging for Jonass when after taking the FOX Holeshot he collided with another rider and went down. Pauls struggling to get his bike up and going again and just when he did he fell once again in the next corner.
As Jonass picked up his bike again the field was gone and it was led by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer.
Covington and Seewer were first followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen however had a pair of falls drop him back to a 7th place finish.
Jonass meanwhile was recovering from his errors and though he only needed a 12th to win the title by the end he made his way up to 5 behind Covington, Seewer, HRC MX2’s Jed Beaton, and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Hunter Lawrence.
Race 2 started with a Fox Holeshot for Thomas Covington over HSF Motorsports Brian Bogers and the #96 of Lawrence. Lawrence passed both Bogers and Covington on the second lap to take the lead.
HRC MX2’s Jed Beaton had another good race and was 5th the first laps while Jonass again had a bad start this time spinning off of the gate. Jeremy Seewer started the race 4th but by lap 5 was second behind Lawrence but 3 laps later Covington was again finding his rhythm and made it back by Seewer. Seewer on the next to last lap fell and dropped to fifth behind Beaton as Jonass who started in 9th made his way to 3rd.
Thomas Covington finished second in the race but won the overall. Covington in the press conference said: “It is good way to top off the year with a race like this, it gives me some more motivation through the off season and to be ready for next year. The last few weeks the starts have been really good and I think that is one of the biggest improvements I have made towards the last part of the season. The bike is just a rocket ship out of the gate and we saw that today. The start is so important in conditions like this and I made the most of it.”
Hunter Lawrence took his first career race win and second overall. Lawrence in the press conference said: “It was good to get the first pole position yesterday because normally my Saturdays are terrible so it was good to get that monkey off my back. I made some passes (in race 1) and then backed up my (pole position) result with a win in race 2.
Jed Beaton took his first career podium while filling in on the HRC bike. Beaton in the press conference stated: “I’m just thankful to be able to fill in and have the opportunity to race MX2. I got a bit lucky with Jeremy (Seewer) crashing on the last lap to get on the podium, but I’m all in all happy with this weekend and how my season went.”
Pauls took 5th overall but is the new MX2 World Champion in season that has been demanding physically and mentally he has proven to be the strongest. Jonass in the press conference stated: “It has been my dream since I started riding to be a world champion, it was a special moment when I accomplished that after the first race actually. I made it pretty tough for myself crashing in the second corner of the first race and then I got up, cleaned everything, then crashed again in the next corner. I started from dead last and finished fifth which was enough for the championship and I was really happy about that.”
Jonass came into the season after missing the end of 2016 with injury and since has matured into not only a fast rider but a consistent and smart one. Jonass reached the podium 15 of the 19 rounds in vastly different conditions around the globe and is well deserving of the World Champion title with 7 Pole Positions, 14 heat wins and 6 GP wins with the last coming at the MXGP of Czech Republic. Congrats on your title from the entire motocross community Pauls!
Coming away with a hard fought and well deserved second in the championship was Jeremy Seewer who said: “I am looking forward with a big smile, you know I’m really excited about the 450. I’m really looking forward to next Wednesday to ride and just have fun on another bike, go to the motocross of nations, and accept a new challenge.”
Third in the 2017 MX2 title chase was the rookie, Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen in the press conference said: “It is pretty incredible to be third in my rookie season. I tried to do the best I can and I came out third so I’m pretty happy with that.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 36:11.422; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:08.614; 3. Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:20.237; 4. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:53.472; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +2:11.199; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +2:16.250; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 8. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s); 9. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), -2 lap(s); 10. Magne Klingsheim (NOR, Kawasaki), -2 lap(s).
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 34:29.429; 2. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:06.026; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:31.358; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:32.182; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:36.050; 6. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:46.028; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:48.764; 8. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +1:04.132; 9. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:10.619; 10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +1:14.259.
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 47 points; 2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 43 p.; 3. Jed Beaton (AUS, HON), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 36 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 23 p.; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 21 p.; 8. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 21 p.; 9. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 20 p.; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 20 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 771 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 732 p.; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 579 p.; 4. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 532 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 504 p.; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 490 p.; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 460 p.; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 407 p.; 9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 395 p.; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 309 p.
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 848 points; 2. Suzuki, 766 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 728 p.; 4. Yamaha, 623 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 414 p.; 6. Honda, 370 p.; 7. TM, 156 p.
Click here to obtain the complete results
All the photos of the MXGP of Montbéliard will be available here
MXGP of Pays de Montbéliard – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1550m
Type of ground: hard pack
Weather conditions: changeable
Weekend Crowd Attendance: 39,500
MXGP was available across the board in high definition and is also globally available to view live and in HD on MXGP-TV.com. Here below the MXGP-TV LIVE Program and by clicking here you can check the complete list of countries and cooperating MXGP broadcasting networks
Canadian Kade Walker Wins in Italy
Lexi Pechout Wins in Japan
OK, have a great week, everyone. I’ve got lots of content to start sifting through this week. Watch for it to start trickling in throughout the day. It’s still close to 30 degrees C here in London, so I’m going to have to get the Scott Addict out on the roads again while it’s still hot enough to work on a goofy cycling tan!
Thanks for reading.