This week in US powersports racing.
Gagne Wins Again With Escalante And Beach On The Podium At COTA
Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha’s Jake Gagne won his 10thMotoAmerica Medallia Superbike race of the year at Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, but he was just as happy for the two who joined him on the podium – podium first timer Richie Escalante and Gagne’s teammate JD Beach.
Gagne, who wrapped up his third MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship two weeks ago, won the 39th AMA Superbike race of his career on a steaming hot Saturday in Austin by 2.5 seconds over Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Escalante, the Mexican earning the first podium of his Medallia Superbike career after his near-picture-perfect race that was a popular result with the entire paddock.
Ditto for JD Beach’s third-place finish with the season-long flat tracker reaching the podium in his just his second race as the replacement rider for the injured Cameron Petersen. The podium was Beach’s first in the Superbike class since he finished second to Cameron Beaubier at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2019.
Beach ended up just .172 of a second behind Escalante after hounding him in the closing laps and 4.38 seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz was fifth, 18 seconds behind Gagne and 8.4 seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander, the New Yorker righting the ship after a tough couple of rounds.
Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong was just a few seconds adrift of Alexander in seventh with Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates was eighth, matching his best finish of the year.
Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa was ninth in his Superbike debut on Cameron Beaubier’s vacated BMW M 1000 RR with Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounding out the top 10.
Notable among the non-finishers were Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin and Vision Wheel M4 Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch. Herrin battled with Gagne early, then slipped back into the grasp of Escalante and then Beach and Jacobsen. While running fifth, Herrin’s Ducati suffered a mechanical problem that took him out of the race.
Paasch, meanwhile, crashed out of the race uninjured in the early laps.
Superbike Race One
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
- JD Beach (Yamaha)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Corey Alexander (BMW)
- Bobby Fong (Yamaha)
- Ashton Yates (BMW)
- Stefano Mesa (BMW)
- Max Flinders (Yamaha)
Jake Gagne – Winner
“We’ve talked about it enough, but it’s nice to not have to think about the championship. That’s priority number one of the year. That’s the primary goal. To get that done, it feels nice. We can just kind of go racing. Obviously, there’s been some bummer luck for some of those guys. I feel like I’ve been on the lucky end all year. But regardless, I’ll take it. It was a tough, hot race for sure. The first lap was kind of wild. Me and (Josh) Herrin went back and forth a little bit, which was fun. I think even just going into turn one, he was up the inside. I released the brake, he released the brake, and we just kind of played that game for a little while. It was a bummer. I think he had a bike issue. Just kind of put my head down. I saw on the big board that it was Richie (Escalante) and JD (Beach) up there second and third after a few laps or mid-race. Congrats to both these guys. They really earned it. I know Richie has been at this Superbike game for a while now. The guy is so talented. And JD, he’s okay. Congrats to JD. It’s a great day for the team and Richie. It’s just cool to get up here on the podium with these guys. Tomorrow I’m sure will be another burner. I know these guys want to get a win, both of them. Hopefully we can learn a little bit overnight and go out there and put on a show again tomorrow.”
Richie Escalante – Second Place
“I think my team, Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki is still working. It’s difficult. The level is super high. I need 37 races to finally finish on the podium, so one year and a half. Working really hard, training hard, and finally I know the tracks when it’s more flow, more like sector one here. Smooth for my style. So, I know Pittsburgh, the Ridge, Laguna Seca, here are good tracks for me to battle for the podium. Finally, I finished in P2. Really difficult weekend. Super-hot out there. In the beginning, I felt very strong. I lost a little bit of time to pass (Josh) Herrin. Then I just tried to concentrate on my pace. In the last laps, I can ride the bike just waiting for finish the race. It’s spinning everywhere, on the limit. Everybody is in the same way. Super happy. I think when you feel the podium, you want more. So, I hope to stay there tomorrow. I know it will be difficult, but I’ll try my best. I know my team will push hard tomorrow in the 15 minutes (the Sunday warm-up session) more to improve a little bit more the grip, but super happy. Finally, P2.”
JD Beach – Third Place
“It was a hot one. I’m so pumped. This team has worked so hard to help me, when they’ve got this guy (Gagne) going for the title, and even Cam P (Petersen). He’s been at the races and I’m riding his bike. He’s still trying to help and root me on. It’s been great to work with this team. They just work so damn hard. It feels so good to get this podium. I’m up here with the best guys in the US. To do that after five years, I can’t even put it into words. I think I’m just babbling right now. It’s so awesome. I hope I can do it again. It feels good to reassure myself that I can still do it. As a racer, there’s always self-doubt and these last few years I’ve had a lot. To come back out here two weeks on the bike and put it in third with it being 110 degrees out on a track that I think I was two seconds faster this weekend than when I was racing full-time before. So, it feels great.”
Newly crowned three-time Medallia Superbike Champion Jake Gagne (1) won his 10th race of the year on Saturday at Circuit of The Americas. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Richie Escalante (54) finished second for his first career Superbike podium. Josh Herrin (2) suffered a mechanical problem and PJ Jacobsen (99) and JD Beach (95) finished fourth and third, respectively. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Jake Gagne crosses the finish line and celebrates the 39th Superbike victory of his career.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
(From left to right) Richie Escalante, Jake Gagne, Will Morton and JD Beach celebrate on the podium at COTA. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Saturday photos available HERE
Forés Wraps Up Supersport Championship At Circuit Of The Americas
After Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Xavi Forés started the season with a record-breaking eight wins in a row, which set a new record in the Supersport class, the Spaniard’s victory tally suddenly came to a halt at Brainerd where he finished both races off the podium. And then, at Pittsburgh, he finished second in both races. Well, on Saturday at COTA, Forés returned to his winning ways with a championship-clinching victory.
Starting from the middle of the front row, Forés got a good jump off the line and led the first two laps of the race. Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott, who earned the pole position, overtook Forés on lap three, but then Forés was able to get past Scott two laps later, and he held on to the lead for the remainder of the race. Forés took the checkered flag by a little more than a second over Scott, and Scott’s teammate Teagg Hobbs completed the podium in third.
“When I accepted this challenge, I was expecting to fight for victories, but I was not expecting to fight for winning the title, winning eight races in a row and then win again,” Forés said. “It was a very nice season for me because at the end of the last year I was considering with my wife to retire, because I was not enjoying racing. I was doing Moto-e, something that I didn’t want to do. But then when I contact Ducati again and the team, they offered me the Supersport and I said, why not? I want to enjoy riding the bikes again. So, it was nice. It was a little bit disappointing at Daytona. The first race was a bit of a mess there. The bike wasn’t running well. I did only three laps. I was a little bit confused when I came back home. Since Road Atlanta, I felt so good on the bike. We worked really hard on the bike. Most of my job was at home watching the last year’s races to learn the layouts. Today we are here. We won the title. I have to say that the last races were really tough. He was pushing me to the limit all the time. In Pittsburgh had no more. He was putting meters away on me. I was expecting to win the title there. That hurt. You always want to win, and that time he was stronger than me. Today, I let him (Scott) pass. I let him lead the race to try to understand his pace. After three laps I decided to pull my pace out. I thought I was going to put more gap, but he’s a dog. He’s always there. He pushes really hard. He’s a smooth rider. I think this year the championship and also the series did a big improvement in several aspects. I would like to see him in the World Championship because he is a top contender, for sure. Now it’s time to enjoy my title with the time and move forward for tomorrow. There is another race, hot race. Let’s try to win again. Back home, because I have 24 hours (the Bol d’Or 24 Hour next weekend) so it’s going to be a busy month for me.”
Steel Commander Stock 1000 – Gillim Takes Over
It’s the final round for the Steel Commander Stock 1000 Championship this weekend at Circuit of The Americas, and Saturday’s race gave a little bit clearer picture of who might win the title. But it’s not quite decided yet.
Before the race even started, championship leader Ezra Beaubier was unfortunately scratched from the grid due to illness. Polesitter Hayden Gillim had one less contender to deal with, and he made the most of it. The Kentuckian led the race from start to finish aboard his Disrupt Racing Suzuki and won with a gap of more than eight seconds back to Travis Wyman whose runner-up result was the fifth podium finish of the season for the Travis Wyman Racing BMW rider. Third place went to Beaubier’s Orange Cat Racing BMW teammate Kaleb De Keyrel, which was his sixth podium result in 2023.
Gillim currently leads the championship by 13 points over De Keyrel, 17 points over Beaubier, and 24 points over Wyman. So, it all comes down to Sunday’s race two, the final race of the season to decide it all for the liter-bike riders.
“It sucks whenever one of the guys that has been up front all year and the guy that we’ve all been chasing isn’t here to defend his points lead and everything.” Gillim said. “We’re all feeling pretty rough this weekend with the heat and everything, so hopefully he gets better and is able to be out here tomorrow with us. It sucks, but honestly, it’s so tight at the front that it wasn’t just Ezra (Beaubier) that we had to think about. Kaleb (De Keyrel) was four points behind me coming into this race. Travis was 15 points behind me. So, really for me, my whole goal this weekend was just to win. That’s the only way I know. I’m from Kentucky, so I don’t do math too good, so I just figured if I’m in front of everybody I don’t have to worry about it. It’s been a good weekend. This morning, like Travis (Wyman) said, we found a little bit. I was able to follow Diego Perez one lap this morning and it helped me quite a bit because he was faster in a couple spots that I thought I was going pretty good in. I learned a little bit from him and was able to use that and get my lap times down into the time range that I needed to have a chance to fight with Travis. So, it’s good. I did what I needed to do today. We’ve got a lot of racing left this weekend still. Just focusing on staying healthy, staying hydrated, staying cool and just having a good weekend.”
Mission Super Hooligan National Championship – O’Hara Crowned
Tyler O’Hara was crowned as the champion of the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship on Saturday at COTA, but not before a last-lap bash-fest in the final corner that left his teammate and championship rival Jeremy McWiliams on the ground and out of the race.
O’Hara won four races en route to the title and the last one was the most intense with him and McWilliams going back and forth all the way to the final corner on the last lap. With the two banging into each other repeatedly on the entrance and apex of the final corner, McWilliams spun his Indian FTR 1200 up and was highsided. The Ulsterman was fortunate to not suffer serious injury but is likely to miss tomorrow’s race and O’Hara had his second straight championship in the class.
History was made on Saturday when Stefano Mesa rode the electric Energica Eva Ribelle RS to second place, giving the company its first podium finish. Mesa ended up nine seconds behind O’Hara and a second clear of DiBrino Racing KTM’s Andy DiBrino, who earned his fifth podium finish of the season.
Zone 9 Racing/EDR Performance’s AJ Peaslee and Vigilante Racing’s Nate Kern rounded out the top five.
“It started in 17/18,” O’Hara said of the last lap. “Well, it started in 16, and he protected and then I rolled it to get a good exit. Then I was on the outside of 16/17 and he kept going wider and wider and wider. I about had my shoulder on his tire. Then it was just a battle into 19. We both stopped. Then basically going down the straightaway we were rubbing, and rubbing is racing. Then he parked it in the corner and then we both go for it. I think he just lit the tire up and then highsided, otherwise he would have had me. Honestly, I was expecting it to come down to tomorrow. I’m glad that he’s okay. He’s a true competitor. He’s the salt of the earth, as he would say. He’s lovely. I’m so glad that he’s my teammate. He has made me a better rider this year. He has made the whole team better.”
Mission King Of The Baggers – Kyle Wyman On Top
H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s Kyle Wyman was the fastest of the of the King Of The Baggers field when it counted most: in the race.
Wyman, who came into the Circuit of The Americas round trailing Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson’s Hayden Gillim by three points, took his sixth win of the season while leading a Harley-Davidson takeover of the podium spots and he emerged from Saturday’s scrum with a two-point lead over Gillim after topping the Kentuckian by 2.1 seconds.
Gillim’s teammate James Rispoli finished third, another two seconds behind but some 11 seconds clear of Kyle Wyman’s brother and teammate, Travis Wyman. Roland Sands Design/Indian Motorcycle’s Kyle Ohnsorg rounded out the top five and was the first of the Indian Challenger riders.
Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods’ Tyler O’Hara and Jeremy McWiliams failed to start the race. O’Hara’s bike, which he crashed earlier in the day when the chain broke, didn’t run right on the sighting lap while McWiliams was bruised and beaten from his highside crash in the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship race.
Sac Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands/Indian’s Bobby Fong was on the move in the race and gaining ground on Rispoli when he crashed out with a lap to go. Fong had earlier shown the speed to be a potential winner when he won the winner-take-all Mission Challenge earlier in the day.
“I was only worried about him if he (Fong) beat me to turn one,” Wyman said. “I felt like we had pace. I don’t know what happened to him during the race. I don’t know how things shook out. I knew that if I could get in front that I could make guys work for it, for sure. That Challenge was a disappointment because we didn’t win, but I learned a lot in that about getting off the line and what to do if I am in that situation during the points-paying race. So, it’s still good knowledge to bank for tomorrow. I got the start I needed. Got a good, clean first lap. I think I saw .3 to Hayden (Gillim) on the first lap and tried to just push as hard as I could without decking the thing out or doing something silly. We had a good balance there and were able to stretch it out a little bit and just chip away at it, one lap at a time. Really happy with how I rode. I don’t think I really made a mistake that race. Everything was pretty clean. I’m really happy about that. Two-point lead, three points back. Doesn’t feel any different. It’s tight no matter what. Anything can happen. We’ve got three more left. Try to do something with the bike to prove a couple things tomorrow in the morning warmup but, overall, we’re pretty happy.”
Jeremy McWiliams (99) and Tyler O’Hara (1) battled to the last corner in the Mission Super Hooligans race at COTA when McWilliams crashed out, handing victory and the title to O’Hara.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
The Steel Commander Stock 1000 race storms towards turn one at Circuit of The Americas on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Xavi Fores (12) won the Supersport race on Saturday at COTA over Tyler Scott (70) and with the win wrapped up the championship. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Kyle Wyman (33) pulls away from the chasing pack in the Mission King Of The Baggers race on Saturday at COTA. With his win, Wyman took over as the championship points leader.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Saturday photos available HERE
Chase Sexton Wins SuperMotocross Playoff 1 in Inaugural Post-Season Race
The SuperMotocross World Championship kicked off with Playoff 1 of the inaugural post-season, a culmination of Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons. The racing was thrilling on a racetrack built along and across the four-lane zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton earned two convincing Moto wins to take the Playoff 1 event overall victory.
Chase Sexton earned perfect 1-1 Moto scores in Charlotte to prove he’s the racer to beat in the sport’s first ever post-season. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen returned to racing after taking most of the AMA Pro Motocross season off; he earned second overall with 3-3 moto scores. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis showed top speed as he took home third overall in Concord with 2-4 moto finishes. In 250 Class racing, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda earned the event win through 4-1 Moto scores in the highly competitive and aggressive 250 class.
The first-ever post season event treated fans to a great start of the premiere off-road motorcycle series. The SuperMotocross World Championship is composed of two Playoff rounds and one Final, raced over the three consecutive weekends. The points payout will double at Playoff 2 and be awarded at triple their normal payout at the Final. When the dust has settled, the 450 Class SMX Champion will earn a cool $1,000,000 championship win bonus and the 250 Class SMX Champion will take home $500,000. The riders competing were seeded based on their combined points of the two 2023 race seasons and allotted points equivalent to one race prior to the start of the post-season.
Ken Roczen led the early laps of the second moto in the 450 Class.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
In the 450 Class’ first moto Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia grabbed the early lead out of the unique split start that funneled 22 riders together at the corner exits of two separate first turns. HBI Racing’s Ty Masterpool ran in second with Chase Sexton in third, Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger in fourth, and Dylan Ferrandis rounding out the top five. Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, who had just completed an undefeated AMA Pro Motocross season two weeks prior, was off to a mid-pack start. Within a few laps of the 20-minute plus one lap moto Sexton used the track’s split lane to take the lead from Barcia. From there Sexton put down smooth, fast laps and pulled clear of the field. Just before the Moto’s midpoint Jett Lawrence tipped over on the track’s off-camber corner and remounted back in tenth place. Roczen was the rider on the move, getting up to third place behind Ferrandis as Barcia found himself back in fourth. As the race clock ticked down, Sexton held a lead of more than eight seconds while behind him the battle tightened up for second place. At the checkered it was Sexton, followed by Ferrandis, Roczen, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, and Plessinger. Lawrence managed to climb back to seventh at the finish.
The second 450 Class Moto and final race of the day saw privateer Ty Masterpool grab the Holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, Roczen and Plessinger. Roczen wasted no time, slipping into second in the first few turns then taking over the lead in the first pass through the track’s long rhythm section. One lap into the Moto Roczen was pulling a gap on the field of Masterpool, Cianciarulo, Anderson, Sexton, and Barcia while Jett Lawrence sat in tenth. On the next pass through the rhythm lane Cianciarulo crashed, handing third place to Anderson. Sexton was on the charge and moved into third as Lawrence reached seventh place back in the pack. Before five minutes was off the race clock Sexton was into second place and looking up the track at Roczen, who held a 5.5 second lead. Sexton inched up on Roczen, then just after the Moto’s mid-point he quickly closed the gap. Sexton used an inside line on the off-camber turn to take over the lead and pull out a comfortable gap. With just over two minutes left on the race clock Lawrence leapt past Roczen to grab second place. Sexton went unchallenged to the checkers to sweep both Motos, take the event overall win and its $100,000 win bonus, and extend his points lead in the post-season.
Jo Shimoda (#30) used 4-1 moto scores to earn the 250 Class victory at the sport’s first post-season race. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
In the 250 Class’ first Moto, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker grabbed the Holeshot ahead of three Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammates Levi Kitchen, Justin Cooper, and Haiden Deegan, as well as Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco. Kitchen used the track’s split lane to take over the lead on the first lap. Just two minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap Moto the 2023 Eastern Regional 250SX Class and 250 AMA Pro Motocross Champion, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence, washed out his front end and fell, going from a mid-pack spot to last place in the 22-rider field. Hammaker was next to crash, in a near replay of Lawrence’s fall the lap before. Hammaker’s slide-out dropped him from second place back to sixth. Five minutes into the Moto, Kitchen held first place ahead of Deegan, DiFrancesco, Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, and Jo Shimoda. Just past the race’s midpoint Deegan started applying heavy pressure on Kitchen for the lead while about eight seconds behind them DiFrancesco and Vialle scrapped for third. With just over five minutes left on the race clock Deegan took the lead via a different option in the split lane. Shortly after, a battle for third place saw Vialle emerge with the spot. At the checkers Haiden Deegan grabbed the first-ever SuperMotocross post-season victory, Kitchen earned second, and Vialle took third.
Ryder DiFrancesco took the Holeshot in the second 250 Class Moto but Vialle was around him just after the holeshot stripe. Shimoda, Hammaker, and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith were close in tow. First moto-winner Deegan was in 13th and post-season favorite Hunter Lawrence was 19th after tipping over in the first corner. Shimoda put early pressure on Vialle but could not break through. Between the two racers, the Moto winner between them would take the overall victory and the $50,000 race win bonus. Deegan reached fifth place before the race’s midpoint and, with the front pack still running very close, had the lead within sight. Further back, Hunter Lawrence seemed unable to climb higher than 12th place. With just over six minutes left on the race clock Shimoda used an outside line to pass Vialle in one of the tracks’ wide, sweeping turns. Shortly after that the top four broke away from Deegan, putting the rookie’s chance at an overall win out of reach. Shimoda built a 2.6 second lead by the final lap and cruised into the sport’s history books as the first event winner in SuperMotocross post-season racing.
Jackson Vick earned the win in the SMX World All Stars race, a 65cc class of young racers between the age of 8-12. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Between the 450 and 250 Class motos a 65cc World All-Stars invitational race was run on the full SMX track. Cobra Elite’s Gavin McCoy grabbed the early lead of the 22-racer field composed entirely of riders between the ages of 8-12. Munn Racing’s Brycen DeJonge held second early but JK Cycles’ Jackson Vick was on the move and took over second a few turns into the race in the motocross-style section of the course. Within the opening lap Vick had moved into the front spot and from there he pulled away from the field. Late in the 8-minute plus one lap race, Dunlop’s Easton Graves moved into second place and held it to the end with McCoy earning third place.
The SuperMotocross League holds Playoff 2 next weekend, September 16th, in Joliet, Illinois at Chicagoland Speedway. The same seeded riders are guaranteed a spot on the gate and the same LCQ racers will have to battle their way into the points-paying Motos. The overall finishing positions for Playoff 2 will pay double points to the racers. 450 Class racers will rack up points toward winning the $1,000,000 championship win bonus. 250 Class racers will vie for the championship prize of $500,000. With large finishing bonuses all the way down to the 22nd position, the racers will battle harder than ever on the world’s most challenging tracks for their piece of 2023’s total purse of $10,000,000.
Opening Ceremonies at Chicago’s SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff 2 begin at 7:30PM Eastern Time. The event will be broadcast live on Peacock, with two race re-airs – the first on NBC on September 17th at 12:00PM ET and the second airing on CNBC on September 18th at 1:00 AM ET.
Tickets are on sale now to be a part of the sport’s first post season with Playoff 2 up next and then the Final in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23rd, where the sport of Monster Energy Supercross got its start back in 1972 with the Superbowl of Motocross. For ticket sales, race information, updates, track maps, and more please go to SuperMotocross.com.
450 Class podium (riders left to right) Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton, and Dylan Ferrandis.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
450 Playoff 1 Results
- Chase Sexton, LaMoille, IL., Honda (1-1)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (3-3)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Bedarrides, France, Yamaha (2-4)
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-2)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (4-5)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (5-6)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (6-8)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (8-7)
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (10-9)
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, OK, Kawasaki (12-10)
450SMX Class Championship Standings
- Chase Sexton, LaMoille, IL., Honda (50)
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (38)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (38)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Bedarrides, France, Yamaha (37)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla. Suzuki (36)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (32)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (30)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (27)
- Adam Cianciarulo, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki (24)
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (22)
250 Class podium (riders left to right) Haiden Deegan, Jo Shimoda, and Tom Vialle.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
250 Playoff 1 Results
- Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (4-1)
- Tom Vialle, France, KTM (3-2)
- Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (1-5)
- Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (7-3)
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (8-4)
- Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (5-8)
- Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (2-11)
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (9-7)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (12-6)
- Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (11-10)
250SMX Class Championship Standings
- Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (42)
- Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (42)
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (39)
- Tom Vialle, France, KTM (38)
- Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (35)
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (30)
- Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (28)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (27)
- RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Husqvarna (26)
- Maximus Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (25)
SMX World All Stars Results
- Jackson Vick, KTM
- Easton Graves, KTM
- Gavin McCoy, Cobra
- Brayton Kreglow, Yamaha
- Joseph Vicari, KTM
- Carter Gray, Cobra
- Jaydin Smart, Cobra
- Anderson Waldele, KTM
- Beckham Smith, KTM
- Brody Bircher, KTM
PODIUM RESULT FOR RED BULL KTM’S TOM VIALLE AS SMX FINALS SERIES OPENS IN CHARLOTTE
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle has opened the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Finals series with second position in the 250SMX Class at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway, as 450SMX Class challenger Aaron Plessinger finished sixth overall.
Finding comfort on the hybrid layout from the outset, dual MX2 World Champion Vialle posted the fifth-fastest qualifying time, setting him up for the pair of 20-minute plus one-lap motos. After a top 10 start in Moto 1, Vialle raced his way up through the field and would finish with a convincing P3 by race’s end.
Powering his 250 SX-F to the second moto holeshot, Vialle led the field for the majority of the encounter, before claiming a P2 result, and sealing the runner-up result for the round. With his combined moto scorecard and regular season seeding position, Vialle sits P4 in the 250SMX standings, four points outside of the lead.
Tom Vialle: “I felt really good here in Charlotte, especially with this mixed track between supercross and motocross. There were sections where it was more supercross and others motocross, but overall, I was really happy with the circuit and my bike worked great in both conditions! I got a strong start in the second race and could really just focus on what I was doing – now I can’t wait for the next round in Chicago!”
Plessinger powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to the eighth-fastest qualifying time in Charlotte, as riders were faced with damp conditions to open the day in North Carolina. A top-five start in the first moto saw Plessinger battle hard toward the front of the pack, charging across the finish line for a fifth-place score.
A mid-field start in the second outing saw Plessinger have his work cut out for him, as the number seven made passes throughout the moto to finish in sixth place. That placed him sixth overall at SMX Playoff 1 and he retains third position in the championship with two rounds remaining in the finals.
Aaron Plessinger: “Charlotte was a wild one! The track turned into a really good race track – the split lane was interesting and, overall, I had a really good time today. We’re still in good position, so really, I’m just going to go back and do work. We’ll keep working and set our sights on another good outing in Chicago.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Maximus Vohland began his Charlotte race day by slotting in behind his teammate Vialle in qualifying, recording the sixth-fastest time. Hampered by two poor starts in each moto, the Sacramento native finished with a hard fought 10-12 moto scorecard for 12th overall.
Maximus Vohland: “Really disappointed with my starts today. I put myself in bad situations out of the gate, which meant I had to come from behind in each race, which is never ideal. I’ll go back to the drawing board this week and figure the starts out so we put ourselves in a better position for Chicago.”
Next Race: September 16 – Joliet, Illinois
Results 450SMX Class – SMX Playoff 1
1. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 1-1
2. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, 3-3
3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Yamaha, 2-4
6. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 5-6
Results 250SMX Class – SMX Playoff 1
1. Jo Shimoda (JPN), Kawasaki, 4-1
2. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM, 3-2
3. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha, 1-5
12. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, 10-12
Standings 450SMX Class 2023 after 1 of 3 finals
1. Chase Sexton, 50 points
2. Jett Lawrence, 38
3. Aaron Plessinger, 38
Standings 250SMX Class 2023 after 1 of 3 finals
1. Jo Shimoda, 42 points
2. Haiden Deegan, 42
3. Hunter Lawrence, 39
4. Tom Vialle, 38
10. Maximus Vohland, 25
STEWARD BAYLOR CLAIMS LITTLE RACCOON NATIONAL ENDURO VICTORY AS BEN KELLEY TAKES TOP-FIVE
WELLSTON, Ohio. – KTM-supported racer Steward Baylor has claimed the NE Pro1 Class victory at Round 7 of the 2023 AMA National Enduro Series, with FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley earning a fifth-place finish at the Little Raccoon National Enduro this weekend.
For Kelley, a consistent ride throughout the Little Raccoon NEPG event saw the FMF KTM Factory Racing rider progress from eighth place after the opening section to fifth by race’s end, navigating the technical Ohio terrain onboard his KTM 350 XC-F for a top-five result.
Ben Kelley: “It was a consistent day of racing for me in Ohio. Dry, dusty conditions paired with hilly, off-camber single-track trails made for a technical day of racing where precision was key. A few mistakes throughout the day, but that’s expected. I built up speed and comfort on the bike with every test and, overall, I’m content with the way I rode and finished the day. It’s going to take time to build up my confidence again when it comes to enduro racing, but I’m trending in the right direction and looking forward to finishing the season strong.”
In capturing his second-consecutive National Enduro Series round win, Baylor remained in contention throughout the entirety of the race in Wellston, battling between the second and third positions before a blitz on the final section saw him climb from third to P1 on the podium. As a result, multi-time series champion Baylor has climbed to fourth in the standings.
Round 8: October 1 –Mathews, Indiana
NE Pro1 Results
1. Steward Baylor Jr, KTM, 1:27:01.323
2. Grant Baylor, KAW, +9.247
3. Ryder Lafferty, GAS, +16.488
5. Ben Kelley, KTM, +44.218
Herrin Takes Race Two Over Gagne At Circuit Of The Americas
Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin made up for a dismal Saturday at Circuit of The Americas with a straight-fight win over three-time Medallia Superbike Champion Jake Gagne in Sunday’s finale in the MotoAmerica Superbikes at Texas.
A day after his Ducati Panigale V4 R failed him in race one, the bike was perfect on Sunday and so was Herrin. After all, you don’t beat Gagne and his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 unless you’re at the top of your game.
Herrin led off the start and stayed out front for all 10 laps of the red-flag-interrupted race with Gagne on his tail the entire time. At the finish it was Herrin four seconds ahead with Gagne giving up the chase on the final lap. The pair were the only riders to lap in the 2:09s with Gagne getting the fastest lap of the race with his 2:09.746 to Herrin’s 2:09.776.
Third place went to Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen with the New Yorker some five seconds behind Gagne.
Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong was a come-from-behind fourth and closing on Jacobsen, ending up some six seconds adrift of the BMW.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch ended up fifth, five seconds ahead of Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates, who had Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa nipping at his heels and just .341 of a second behind at the finish line.
Mesa’s teammate Corey Alexander was in the fight for seventh when he made a great save of what looked like a certain crash on his BMW M 1000 RR. Alexander was well clear of Team Brazil’s Danilo Lewis with Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounding out the top 10.
Among the non-point scoring riders were two of the three podium finishers from yesterday – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha’s JD Beach and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante with both riders crashing. For Beach it was his second crash of the day as he also crashed in the first portion of the race, prior to the red flag. Escalante, meanwhile, crashed out of third place while right behind Gagne.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was collected by the sliding Beach. None of the riders suffered injury.
There were three different manufacturers on the podium and four different makes in the top five: Ducati, Yamaha, BMW and Suzuki.
With just the two races from New Jersey Motorsports Park remaining on the schedule, Gagne and his insurmountable 382 points have wrapped up the championship with Herrin solidifying his hold on second place. Herrin is 28 points ahead of Jacobsen, 261-233.
Superbike Race 2
- Josh Herrin (Ducati)
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Bobby Fong (Yamaha)
- Brandon Paasch (Suzuki)
- Ashton Yates (BMW)
- Stefano Mesa (BMW)
- Corey Alexander (BMW)
- Danilo Lewis (BMW)
- Max Flinders (Yamaha)
Josh Herrin – Winner
“I feel like a broken record saying this, but getting track time at this track prior to coming here and having some time on this bike before we came here to race is what we needed. I knew that. I knew all year that we were struggling with just trying to get up to speed. It took all the way until the second half of the Saturday race for us to be comfortable and then Sunday would be good for us. I don’t want to celebrate too much. I feel like a linebacker getting a sack or something in a football game when you’re down by 30 points because we lost the championship. But it feels good to get this win. I’m so happy to be a part of this team. Bobby Shek, the DeNaples, Ducati USA. Everybody that puts this program together, Warhorse and HSBK Racing. It’s an amazing program. I don’t think anybody realizes how special of a relationship we have with everybody on the team. It’s just truly something special and I’m happy to be a part of it. Just so pumped that we could get another win. Glad that we have two more chances. It’s special too because we got the Ducati DRE event tomorrow, so it’s going to be a really awesome way to celebrate with all the awesome Ducati family and spin some laps around COTA and just have some fun. So, congrats to these guys. Congrats to Jake (Gagne) on the championship. Congrats to my teammate, Xavi (Forés), on wrapping up the championship this weekend in Supersport. That was cool to see us get two back-to-back championships in the Supersport class. I’m stoked. Thank you to everybody.”
Jake Gagne – Second Place
“Josh (Herrin) seriously rode his butt off. I think he stepped it up a lot. I know he got screwed yesterday, but he rode an awesome pace. I wasn’t even looking at the lap times, honestly. I was just struggling after a few laps. After the halfway point I was just kind of hanging on. But the bike was working really good. It was hot and greasy. At that point, I wanted to bring it home. That was all the fight I had today, for sure. So again, hats off to Josh and the team. It’s good to see him up here and get some redemption from yesterday. Still a good weekend. We’re up here on the box. Of course, I would have liked to make it a little bit more of a race, but I just couldn’t pass him anywhere. I was struggling with my own stuff. Good race, again. I’m happy to leave here with another podium. We brought this Yamaha home. Again, congrats to Josh because I think he rode really awesome from my perspective.”
PJ Jacobsen – Third Place
“Yeah, I think I was a bit lucky there to get third with some guys crashing out. Richie (Escalante) was pretty strong. I could see Josh (Herrin) and Jake (Gagne) in the distance, but I could just never close the gap. As the track got greasier for me, I was losing the front in a lot of spots. Then the rear was going past the TC and would just come around. It was really difficult. It was hard to get the grip for me because I was struggling with both front and rear, so I really couldn’t push. It was hard. Just trying to get back to the podium with my gap I had on I think it was Bobby (Fong). That was coming down a little bit too because I kind of just eased up as I was having some issues and problems. It’s good to take home another podium here. Josh rode great. He did a great job getting the win, and Jake. They’re super-fast and super strong all the time, so they did a good job. They beat me today.”
Josh Herrin (2) leads Jake Gagne (1), Richie Escalante (54), PJ Jacobsen (99) and the rest of the Medallia Superbike pack on the opening lap of the race on Sunday at Circuit of The Americas.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Josh Herrin (2) held off Jake Gagne (1) to earn his second Medallia Superbike win of the season. Richie Escalante (54) crashed out of third place, handing the position to PJ Jacobsen (99).
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Bobby Fong finished fourth in Sunday’s Superbike race, matching his best result of the season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Herrin celebrates his victory, the 10th Superbike win of his career. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Sunday photos available HERE
Gillim Takes Steel Commander Stock 1000 Crown With Victory At COTA
The 2023 Steel Commander Stock 1000 Championship was decided on the final day of the class’s season, and even though Disrupt Racing Suzuki rider Hayden Gillim didn’t need to win the race to the win the title, the Kentuckian got the victory anyway, which was his sixth race win of the year.
Gillim started from the pole, but he had to withstand an early challenge from Travis Wyman Racing BMW’s Travis Wyman. At about the halfway point of the race, Gillim overtook Wyman for the lead, and he kept it all the way to the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Wyman crossed the finish line in second.
Third place went to PDR Motorsports Kawasaki rider Diego Perez, who was competing in his first Steel Commander Stock 1000 race weekend of the year.
“Everybody before the race was telling me where I needed to be and everything,” Gillim said. “Like I said yesterday, I’m not good at math, so I wanted to win the last one. I didn’t want to sit there. I knew Travis (Wyman) from the first couple of laps was going to be hard to pass. It took me a while. The first pass I made on him, immediately he came back by. So, the second pass, I made sure to kind of block a little bit going into that next-to-last corner. Knew I had a little bit on the brakes going up into one, just from the first time he came back by me. But it was good. It was so much fun to race with him. We’ve raced so hard over the years. For us to be dicing it out the last race of the year is a lot of fun. He definitely made me work for it today, though. But the whole team, Disrupt Racing 4SR team, has been working their butts off this year. We had a really bad start to the season and to be able to finish it off with the couple wins we did here is pretty special, and to have the whole Nichol family here running 4SR in the U.S. is amazing. They’re like family to me. Having them here with us is really awesome. To be able to bring it home for Jesse and Danny Hwilka this year is really special. They’ve been wanting it really bad. I got their first win for them and the first podium. And now, the first championship. So, it’s really special. It’s a bummer because my wife isn’t here and my son isn’t here, but they’re at home watching. She made me tear up a little bit on the podium because she was crying on the phone. So, I wasn’t able to get out some of the stuff I wanted to say on the podium. This is really awesome.”
Mission King Of The Baggers – Rispoli Wins A Weird One
The city of Austin goes by the credo of “Keep Austin Weird.” Well, Sunday’s Mission King Of The Baggers race two definitely filled the bill.
The race was ultimately won by Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson’s James Rispoli. It was Rispoli’s second victory of the season and his first since the very first race of the year back in March at Daytona International Speedway.
Weird? Well here goes: Tyler O’Hara led the first lap before his Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods Challenger expired. By this point, championship points leader Kyle Wyman had crashed, but would remount and ultimately finish ninth. Then Bobby Fong led for a lap before his Sac Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands/Indian blew up. Rispoli was then back in front, a spot he held on to until the finish of the six-lap race. Behind him, however, things still changed with H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s Travis Wyman crashing out of second place on the last lap, which handed the spot to Rispoli’s teammate Hayden Gillim. Wyman’s crash also elevated Roland Sands Design/Indian Motorcycle’s Kyle Ohnsorg to his first career podium.
Fourth place went to Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods’ Jeremy McWilliams, despite a five-second penalty for jumping the start, with Team Saddlemen’s Jake Lewis rounding out the top five.
The bottom line: With two races left to run in the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Gillim leads the title chase by just two points over Rispoli with Wyman third, 11 points behind Gillim and nine adrift of Rispoli.
“It was mental,” Rispoli said. “Did Jeremy (McWilliams) jump the start? That’s the best start I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I got to be honest. Did Tyler (O’Hara) or did he just go? McWilliams has got that guy’s back. He had five seconds on the first lap. Me and Hayden (Gillim), I’m shaking my head like, ‘We’re going to get smoked because we can’t pass McWilliams right now.’ Not saying he’s not fast, he was just rolling everywhere. You could just see it. Just using that engine horsepower. But it’s carnage. I don’t know what happened. I thought everybody was stacked up behind me. When Bob (Fong) came through, he had some stuff kind of coming out. I got a little nervous because I had some stuff on my shield and I kind of let him go. I saw him looking back. Then he started cutting the chicane and I was like, ‘Man, if I was a betting man, he’s probably not going to get away with that twice.’ Then I kind of put my head down and I saw on the tower number 10. I was like, Travis (Wyman) is in second. Then I saw Hayden there. I just took a peek back and I saw I had some daylight. I was like, ‘dude, we’re just riding slow.’ I was doing 18s. I did a 17.9 when I kind of felt comfortable, when Bob was far enough away. Then I looked on the last lap. I looked back and there was no one there. Super thankful. Sometimes you don’t race against the fastest guys at the time of the race. To win like this probably has an asterisk, but we finished and we got points back and we got a win. I’m stoked. I’m really just pumped for the whole team. We struggled this weekend and it just goes to show you that as a team we can still persevere, we can still put things one and two and be on the box. Single digits going into the last round. Anything can happen. That’s what we want for the sport.”
Supersport – Scott In A Thriller
Old age and treachery was defeated by youth and enthusiasm in Sunday’s Supersport race with Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott besting Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Xavi Fores in a race that featured a thrilling last lap.
After a heated last lap that saw both riders on COTA’s expansive run-off areas at certain times, Scott withstood the constant pressure of Forés with the cool head of a rider well beyond what you’d expect of a 17-year-old.
The win was Scott’s third of the year and what he called the best of his young career. For Fores, it was his 11th podium of his championship-winning year.
Scott’s new Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Torin Collins finished third in just his second ride ever on a Supersport bike – a day after he finished fourth in what was his debut with the team and in MotoAmerica.
“This morning we made a few changes from yesterday,” Scott said. “They were all very minor, one or two very minor changes. But the big question was we were running out of gearing on the back straightaway. So, we were hitting the limiter. Before the restart, I tried to draft him and then see if I could pass in the braking zone. But the gearing, I started hitting the limiter at the first braking marker and was actually losing ground. So, I knew for the rest of the race and what eventually would become the restart that I would have to be really aggressive, really deep into the brakes, or lead down the big straightaway and hopefully he gets beside me. I had the confidence in the front end to be able to out-brake Xavi (Forés) for one of the first times this season. I was able to match him in the braking zones and came out on top in those battles. I can’t give enough thanks to the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team for preparing a beautiful bike this weekend, dialing in the electronics, Barry from Öhlins dialing in the suspension. It couldn’t be more perfect. The one thing also, I went with the zero front tire which was super soft. About halfway, I started tucking the front a little bit and I just had to be careful in the closing laps not to put a lot of bar input at the apex.”
Mission Super Hooligan National Championship – O’Hara Again
Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods’ Tyler O’Hara wrapped up the 2023 Mission Super Hooligan National Championship on Saturday and continued his party with a second victory on Sunday at COTA. The win was O’Hara’s fifth of the season and it came after a rough and tumble win on Saturday that saw his teammate Jeremy McWilliams crash out on the final lap in the last corner with the two basically locked in combat.
A banged up and bruised McWilliams finished second for his sixth podium finish of the season and it earned him second in the championship point standings.
DiBrino Racing KTM’s Andy DiBrino earned his sixth podium of the season and that placed him third in the final championship standings. DiBrino and McWilliams went into Sunday’s series finale tied in points with Ulsterman McWilliams coming away with the runner-up spot in both the race and the title chase.
“Today definitely wasn’t as hot, which was nice,” O’Hara said “A little cooler today. Yesterday was just an all-out, epic, one of those days like fighting with your brother in the backyard or something with the gloves off. It was epic. It was just clean all year. He didn’t hit me. He didn’t bump me. He rubbed me, and rubbing’s racing, and I’m okay with that. We push each other, and he’s great at putting in fast laps when he needs to. I’ve worked a lot on that this year and really had to dig deep to bring my level up and my speed. A lot of speed work in the training. He brings a lot to the development of this team. He brings a world championship level of preparation to our whole program. He makes everybody on our team better. He’s a warrior. We were both at the medical center this morning. We both had pretty good ones this morning. Hats off to them. S&S Cycles. They’ve been working so hard all year. Today we had a great first start. I could hear him. I was like, okay. I had a little battle with (Stefano) Mesa there. Then we got the red flag and just tried to kind of go around the first lap, keep my bike cool and kind of get some heat in the tires the last couple corners so I don’t have to sit there with my clutch. Got not the best jump. Jeremy (McWilliams) got a better jump and he stayed inside. I think that kind of pinched off a couple of the other guys. I kind of swung wide in, too. Three lap dash, it’s like the dash for cash. You’ve just got to go for it and bite your lip and get a little western. It was really fun. To cap it off with a win feels really good. Again, this one is for the team, everyone that works so hard. It feels really good. Andy (DiBrino) rode awesome all year. Looking forward to Daytona in March.”
Travis Wyman (10) leads Hayden Gillim (69) early in the Steel Commander Stock 1000 race at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday. Gillim would get past Wyman and take not only the victory but also the series championship. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Hayden Gillim celebrates winning the Steel Commander Stock 1000 Championship.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Tyler O’Hara (1) beat his teammate Jeremy McWilliams (99) to win the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship round at COTA. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
The Supersport race came down to a thrilling battle between Xavi Forés (12) and Tyler Scott (70) with Scott prevailing for his third win of the season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
James Rispoli leads Hayden Gillim and Travis Wyman en route to winning the Mission King Of The Baggers race at COTA on Sunday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Sunday photos available HERE
Immediate Updates Announced to 2023 FIM World Supercross Championship Schedule
SX Global, the promoters of the FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX), today announced revisions to their 2023 calendar. The 2023 WSX Singaporean, German and Canadian Grands Prix will not proceed as planned this year; however, the 2023 WSX Abu Dhabi & Australian Grands Prix will still run as scheduled, ensuring an exciting world championship battle of world class motor racing remains for 2023.
SX Global’s CEO, Adam Bailey, noted WSX’s continued commitment to hosting exceptional events as being at the core of the decision, with the calendar revisions being made for the long-term benefit of the championship.
“Singapore, Germany and Canada remain crucial growth markets for WSX, and we intend to return to each of those markets very soon. 2023 was to be WSX’s first foray into these markets and we want to make sure we do each of these crucial markets absolute justice.”
Adam Bailey \ SX Global CEO
He continued: “We want to do everything to the highest standard, and to ensure that every WSX experience is a fantastic and memorable one. In keeping with this mantra, the new ownership group decided these calendar revisions were required at this time. The recency of the ownership change has created logistical challenges that are difficult to overcome in a matter of weeks. Therefore, we’ll instead refocus to make sure that the 2023 Abu Dhabi and Melbourne WSX events are executed to the best possible level, and to continue the important progress of building the championship for 2024 and beyond. The 2023 WSX Abu Dhabi & Australian Grands Prix remain on-sale and the demand has been very strong. It is all systems go for both of these events as I say and they are shaping up to be our best events yet, with plenty of compelling and exciting racing still to come before our 2023 FIM World Supercross Champions are crowned.”
“To the many fans who bought tickets for the WSX event in Singapore – naturally you will receive full refunds. For those who have been waiting patiently for German and Canadian WSX updates, we understand you’ll be frustrated, but we will be back very soon to make sure it was worth the wait. These calendar changes have been made in alignment with the FIM, who remain fully supportive of our drive to make WSX one of the preeminent motorsports’ properties in the world. We’d like to thank our supporters for their patience and unwavering support throughout this period of transition for WSX.”
JALEK SWOLL LEADS THE WAY FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA IN SUPERMOTOCROSS PLAYOFF
The all-new SuperMotocross playoff format proved tough for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team at the first of the three-round series. But with a trio of hungry riders, and the opportunity to score big money to finish the season, the motivation is high to perform.
Jalek Swoll was the top scorer for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team in Charlotte, and with his 13-9 scores, he nabbed 11th overall with his FC250. That also matches his current championship position.
“I felt like with my riding I could have had a good day. I just couldn’t find the starts or the position to get out in front. That was very costly on this track, probably the costliest it’s been all year. I’m fired up and I feel like I’m good enough to be up there, so I’ve just got to figure it out and get out front and I think I can stay there,” said Swoll. “That’s going to be the main focus this week, getting some of those old starts back. It’s double points next, and triple points for the final round, so I’m not out of it. I feel ready to go, I just need to put the work in.”
RJ Hampshire was the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team’s top scorer during the regular season, and carried 18 bonus points with him heading into round one action. But crashes and a pair of tough moto finishes left him in 14th overall at the end of the day. But, with the help of the bonus points, he’s currently in ninth overall.
“Man, I kind of struggled all day. I missed the ball on comfort, and where I was on the bike. We’ll go back to work this week and I’m pretty confident we’ll figure something out to be more comfortable,” said Hampshire. “I just didn’t have any comfort today and was just along for the ride. It’s a pretty embarrassing day but we have seven days and we’ll get back to it next weekend.”
Talon Hawkins was 18th overall, following a 19-18 day, but with the bonus points that he carried into the playoff series, he’s currently in 16th position.
“It was a rough one. I know I have the speed, I’ve just got to get up there on the starts. I had a little mishap on the start in the second race so I had to come from the back. It’s hard to do when there’s not much separation,” said Hawkins. “I’m looking forward to next weekend and, hopefully, a little more Supercrossy track. Let’s get those starts.”
Next Event (SuperMotocross Round 2): September 16, 2023 – Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
SuperMotocross Playoffs: Charlotte
250 SuperMotocross Results
1. Jo Shimoda (Kawasaki), 4-1
2. Tom Vialle (KTM), 3-2
3. Haiden Deegan (Yamaha), 1-5
11. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 13-9
14. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 15-13
18. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 19-18
450 SuperMotocross Results
1. Chase Sexton (Honda), 1-1
2. Ken Roczen (Suzuki), 3-3
3. Dylan Ferrandis (Yamaha), 2-4
250 SuperMotocross Rider Point Standings
1. Jo Shimoda – 42 points
2. Haiden Deegan – 42 points
3. Hunter Lawrence – 39 points
9. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 26 points
11. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 22 points
16. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 13 points
450 SuperMotocross Rider Point Standings
1. Chase Sexton – 50 points
2. Jett Lawrence – 38 points
3. Aaron Plessinger – 38 points
JUSTIN BARCIA FINISHES SEVENTH OVERALL IN THE INAUGURAL SUPERMOTOCROSS PLAYOFF RACE
There was a lot to process for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team as they headed into zMax Dragway in Charlotte, NC, for the first round of the inaugural SuperMotocross Playoffs. The courses are different, with a hybrid Supercross/Motocross design that forces riders and teams to make setup compromises. Also, the three-event series features a progressive points system, with riders earning a standard points payout for the first round in Charlotte, double points at round two in Joliet, Ill., and triple points at the series finale in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Bring it on! The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team loves a challenge
- Justin Barcia was the ninth seed in the 450 class, which gave him 12 bonus points heading into round one
- Pierce Brown was the 14th seed, so he was equipped with an additional eight points before the gate dropped for the two 25-minute plus two lap motos in each class
When the gate dropped for the first 450 moto, Justin Barcia grabbed the early lead aboard his MC 450F Factory Edition. But he slowly slid backwards as the race wore on, eventually finishing sixth in the first moto. The story was similar for moto two, as he started in sixth, and fought to an eighth-place finish and seventh overall for the day. But after factoring in the bonus points, he sits in eighth overall in the series standings.
Justin Barcia: “We really got thrown a bit of a curve ball. Everyone has to deal with the same conditions on the track, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a happy medium between Supercross and Motocross with our settings, so we kind of fought it all day. We should have been near the podium, with how I felt body-wise, but I struggled with some arm pump today. We’re going to go home, regroup, try some stuff out, and come out swinging next week in Chicago.”
Despite starting moto one in 16th spot, Pierce Brown was able to climb inside the top ten before eventually finishing 11th with his MC 250F Factory Edition. In the second moto he scored an even better start, crossing the line in eighth on the first lap. While he moved up to seventh for a good portion of the moto, he finished in tenth spot for tenth on the day, and 13th in the standings after round one.
Pierce Brown: “For round one of the playoffs, it was a decent day. Qualifying went good, and I felt good in both motos. It was difficult in both motos to come through the pack. I finished tenth overall, so a decent day. It could be worse. We’re going to get back to work with only two to go, so we’ll make the most of it.”
Next Event (SuperMotocross Round 2): September 16, 2023 – Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Results – 2023 SuperMotocross Playoff 1
1. Jo Shimoda (Kawasaki) 4-1; 2. Tom Vialle (KTM) 3-2; 3. Haiden Deegan (Yamaha) 1-5 … 10. Pierce Brown (GASGAS) 11-10
1. Chase Sexton (Honda) 1-1; 2. Ken Roczen (Suzuki) 3-3; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (Yamaha) 2-4… 7. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) 6-8
SuperMotocross Playoff Standings – After Round 1
1. Jo Shimoda (Kawasaki) 42 points; 2. Haiden Deegan (Yamaha) 42 points; 3. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 39 points… 13. Pierce Brown (GASGAS) 19 points
1. Chase Sexton (Honda) 50 points; 2. Jett Lawrence (Honda) 38 points; 3. Aaron Plessinger (KTM) 38 points … 8. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) 27
MONSTER ENERGY®/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI RIDER JO SHIMODA WINS THE INAUGURAL SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ PLAYOFF 1
|Foothill Ranch, Calif. (September 10, 2023) – Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda brought home the first overall win of the SuperMotocross World Championship™ at the zMAX Dragway. Ryder DiFrancesco finished a career best, landing on the podium in Moto 2 and finishing fourth overall (7-3). Teammates Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner and Carson Mumford finished sixth (5-8), 13th (6-19) and 20th (17-DNS). Monster Energy® Kawasaki riders Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo battled the technical track finishing fifth (4-5) and 16th (9-22), respectively.|
Located on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina, the zMAX Dragway was opened in 2008 as an extension of the renowned Charlotte Motor Speedway, famous for its NASCAR events. Throughout its history, the zMAX Dragway has been a witness to countless record-setting performances and exhilarating moments in the realm of NHRA drag racing. This weekend marked a historic occasion as it hosted the inaugural round of the SMX World Championship. During the early morning qualifying sessions, Hammaker found his rhythm placing his KX™250 first in qualifying, while Shimoda was less than half a second behind in fourth. Forkner, Mumford and DiFrancesco finished the session in ninth, 16th and 17th.
At the start of 250 Moto 1, Hammaker catapulted out of the starting gate aboard his Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, securing the holeshot. DiFrancesco, Shimoda, and Forkner closely trailed, all within Top 10 positions. Mumford, unfortunately, encountered a pivotal mishap in the opening turn that momentarily would have him on the ground. As the race unfolded, DiFrancesco swiftly maneuvered himself into a podium-worthy position, capitalizing on Hammaker’s error, which caused him to slip to sixth place. With just minutes remaining, Shimoda made a push to battle for a podium spot, overtaking his teammates and ultimately finished in fourth. After a race long close battle of the teammates, Hammaker, Forkner, and DiFrancesco crossed the finish line in fifth, sixth, and seventh positions, respectively. After a challenging race, Mumford completed the race in 18th place.
In Moto 2, DiFrancesco wasted no time launching his KX™250 off the starting gate, securing yet another holeshot for Team Green. Shimoda followed closely in third place, with Hammaker in fourth. As the riders began exploring different racing lines on the distinctive track layout, Shimoda gradually closed the gap, surging past the leaders to claim second place from DiFrancesco. Hammaker maintained pressure on the frontrunners until a series of minor errors forced him back to eighth place, where he ultimately concluded the moto. DiFrancesco, on the other hand, remained in close proximity to the leaders and secured his maiden moto podium, finishing in third place. Shimoda executed a remarkable late charge, enabling him to make a decisive pass for the lead. As the checkered flag waved, it was the No. 30 machine that crossed the finish line first. Regrettably, Forkner’s mistakes in the moto resulted in a 19th-place finish, while Mumford, sidelined by illness, was unable to participate in Moto 2.
|“Wow, what a feeling. I knew finishing 4-1 would be hard to bring home the overall, but as soon as the team let me know I won, the emotions began. This is what it’s all about and over the past couple weeks I have been enjoying riding more than ever. Thank you to the fans and my amazing team for their endless support.” – Jo Shimoda|
|“I knew this time would come; my career best finish and a Moto 2 podium! I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone sticking behind me and believing in me and my program. I am looking forward to the next two rounds.”– Ryder DiFrancesc|
|“The day started off great, taking the top qualifying spot, but it slowly began to go downhill. I had great starts, but costly mistakes put me in a spot I did not want to be in. I am glad I’m healthy and we will get back to the drawing board for Round 2.”- Seth Hammaker|
|“I had a lot of nerves coming into this race having to make it into the final race from the LCQ. The speed was there all day and Moto 1 felt good to battle with my teammates. Looking forward to rebounding at the next round.”– Austin Forkne|
|“Today was not how I wanted to go out, but after Moto 1, the team and I decided it’s best to recover from my sickness before it got too serious. I feel much better now and am grateful for this opportunity.”– Carson Mumford|
Riders from Monster Energy® Kawasaki, Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson, faced the challenge of adjusting to a freshly designed SMX track configuration, ultimately securing the fourth and seventh qualifying positions in the morning.
During Moto 1 of the 450 Class, both Cianciarulo and Anderson began their races with strong starts within the Top 10. Anderson engaged in a rapid duel, eventually overtaking the reigning 2023 Pro Motocross Champion of Jett Lawrence, to secure the seventh position. Anderson, aboard his KX™450SR, methodically worked his way past competitors, advancing into the Top 5. A late surge by rider No. 21 enabled him to execute a swift pass, propelling him into fourth place, where he ultimately finished. Cianciarulo encountered an early mishap that caused him to slip back to the ninth spot, which he maintained until the conclusion of the race.
In the Moto 2 of the 450 Class, Cianciarulo and Anderson crossed the holeshot line, in the second and fourth positions, respectively, but it was Ty Masterpool on his KX™450 that grabbed the holeshot. As Lap 1 unfolded however, the No. 9 rider committed a significant error while running in third place, veering off track after the rhythm section and ultimately clipping a Tuff block. Anderson, initially positioned in fourth, executed rapid passes, propelling himself into contention for a podium finish. When the checkered flag waved, Anderson completed the race in fifth place, while his teammate Cianciarulo finished in 22nd position.
|“The SMX track was fun and the layout was something new for us, which I liked. I had some good battles with the top guys and ended the day in fifth. Now having a better idea of the SMX track layouts, we plan to do some more testing this week before Playoff 2 in Chicago.”– Jason Anderson|
|“I had a great time for the majority of the weekend, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us in the end. The silver lining is that I’m in good health and the upcoming race offers double points.”– Adam Cianciarulo|