Throwdown No.94 – X Games is looming
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.After Super X promoter, Global Action Sports, withdrew as organisers in mid February, the Australian Supercross series was up in the air. International Entertainment Group put their hand up to take over the series and, this week, announced the dates and venues for the 2012 series. Originally all four venues where announced but it was quickly withdrawn by Motorcycling Australia, with their Communication Officer Megan Hannan saying, "There was a miscommunication and as a result the announcement was made prematurely. At this stage we don't know when Round 2 will be finalised." The series will head to Dubbo (NSW) on October 13/14 for the opening round while Round 2, which was originally scheduled for Phillip Island on October 27, was quickly amended and is still unconfirmed. Round 3 takes place in Newcastle (NSW) on November 17 and the final round will be held at Toowoomba (Qld) on November 24. --- Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto was over in Europe for the Thor launch this week and stopped in at the GP of Belgium to take a look at the World Motocross Championship scene. European correspondent, Geoff Meyer, had a quick word with Villopoto and discovered RV2 aspires to race in the European motocross championship in the future. That's not the only thing uncovered. It's no secret that Villopoto's contract with Kawasaki finishes this year, but he's come out and said he's willing to talk to all the manufacturers who want to come to the table. We hear Honda have been whispering in his ear of late... --- ICEONERACING's Dean Ferris will miss the remainder of his rookie season in the World Motocross Championship after opting to get surgery to repair a dislocated right shoulder, which he sustained at the French GP. --- Did you notice the entire Australian Junior Motocross World Championship team was all KTM riders? We didn't either, but the KTM boys couldn't resist boasting about their success. The 2012 event will take place at Sevlievo in Bulgaria on August 26. --- The biggest up-and-coming Australian motocross star to look out for at X Games will be Meghan Rutledge. She scored an invite to race the Moto X Women's Racing beside the likes of X Games Gold Medalist and two-time WMX champion Ashley Fiolek, X Games Gold Medalist Vicki Golden and five-time national champion, Jessica Patterson. Meghan raced the opening two rounds of the AMA Motocross season and won Moto 2 at Hangtown, then backed it up with a podium-third at Freestone. Expect some big things in the future! The 2013 Husqvarna range has been released with the big focus on their TCX250R and TCX310R models - the cross-country specific machines - which receives a new cylinder head and fuel injection system. The entire range gets new colour scheme, decals, new grips and handlebar pad. The TE449 and TE511 also see the repositioning of the charcoal filter system. --- We've received word about a helicopter crash at this year's Finke Desert Race. A local Alice Springs helicopter operator, who was carrying Ryan Branford's father and a few of his friend, was flying low alongside Branford when they hit the ground and crashed. Two of the occupants, including Branford's father, were flown to Adelaide hospital for emergency surgery for spinal injuries, broken sternum, cracked ribs and a broken leg. --- The Yamaha Desert Racing team, run out of Centretune Motocycles in Longreach Qld, will kick off a big effort at the 2012 Australian Safari in September. Fielding Shane Diener and Rod Faggotter as the strike riders, as well as Vern Strange as a support rider, they'll battle it out on the new 3000km course, which follows Western Australia's coastline, before heading to Murchison, Carnarvon, and back to Geraldton. To follow their Safari efforts head to their new Facebook page. --- We found these spy shots of the 2013 Beta two-stroke range, with Beta's test rider, Fabrizio Dini, at the helm. Word is the Italian-based company will be releasing a 250 and 300cc two-stroke. Beta Motorcycles Australia's Gary Grealy said, "The factory has told me the 2013 details will be released on July 10." --- The world's biggest extreme enduro athletes will descend on X Games for the second running of the Enduro X event. You'll have the likes of Polish star, Taddy Blazusiak, battling recent Romaniacs winner, Graham Jarvis, and Erzberg's King of the Mountain, Jonny Walker. This year's track has a big first-turn hairpin that goes straight into a log hop (think of the carnage). Competitors will then cross the Erberg-style boulders, before hitting the raised log jump and crossing three separate terrains, which include water, sand and wood. They'll then move into the back straight where they'll have to overcome massive tyres and log piles. Another hairpin will see them cross the finish line where they'll face another two straight sections of rock and log jumps. With 27 entrants, it'll be one to watch. --- The June 23/24 Yamaha Watagan Trail Bike Rally has been postponed, with the event moved to August 18/19 due to recent heavy rainfall in the area. With less than two weeks until the 2012 X Games (June 28 to July 1), things are heating up in the FMX world as freestylers from across the globe prepare for the Moto X Best Trick event. The bar was set last year when Australia's Jackson Strong landed the first competition Front Flip and took the gold, defeating the likes of Cam Sinclair who pulled a Double Backflip Variation and Josh Sheehan, who did a Double Backflip. This year Strong has an all-new trick that he's been perfecting for the past six months, which he calls _The Jack_. He's not giving much away but there are rumours it could involve a 720-degree rotation. Strong has actually been doing training sessions at a local circus to fully understand the physics of the trick. If true, Strong isn't the only one attempting that move, with another Australian, Clinton Moore, making it no secret he'll be doing the 720 Spin. You'll also see Australian Cam Sinclair back again, as well as his friend, Mark Monea, whose claim to fame was his Front Flip 360, dubbed the Carry On, which he successfully executed and took first at the 2011 Monster Energy Cup. On the international front you'll see French Red Bull X-Fighters regular, Thomas Pages, Metal Mulisha's Taka Higashino (Japan), three-time consecutive X Games Best Trick gold medalist, Kyle Loza (USA) and Canadian FMXer, Bruce Cook vying for the title. With four Aussies entered in an eight-man field, let's see if we can dominate and win an all-Australian podium like we did for 2011. --- Four other Australians entered in X Games will be Jarryd McNeil, who'll be competing in the Best Whip competition. McNeil will be trying to improve on his controversial bronze medal last year - the winner is selected by audience vote, not judges, with some saying the US riders get favoured - but he'll be going head-to-head with five homegrown American riders, including Todd Potter, Jeremy 'Twitch' Stenberg, Mike Metzger and Josh Hansen. In the Freestyle event, Blake 'Bilko' Williams will make an appearance alongside Rod Adelberg. Plus, New Zealand's Levi Sherwood - the kid who came second to Josh Sheehan at last year's Sydney X-Fighters - will compete. Finally, we'll see extreme FMX expert, Robbie Maddison, battle it out in the Speed and Style. It's going to be one hell of a party! --- The third stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters due to take place in Turkey was cancelled due to heavy wind. Choosing not to reschedule, they'll now make their way to Madrid in Spain for the next round of the series, set for July 20.
Husqvarna Australia have a promotion on their 2012 off-road model range, with discounts of up to $2000, and up to $2900 saving on selected 2011 models. To put that in perspective, a 2012 TE449 retails for $11,995 but is on sale for $9995. While the TE310 for priced at $9995 and the TE250 is $9195. You can also pick up their motocross TC250 for $8995 or their two-stroke WR250 for $8095. Head to http://www.husqvarnamotorcycles.com.au for details.
Yamaha Australia are putting on two test ride events at Appin and Tamworth where you’ll be able to demo the all-new 2012 Yamaha WR450F. The Appin event will be held with the On Two Wheels dealership on July 1. The event is free and riders will be aloud to test the bike for 30 minutes on the enduro loop, but you must pre-register. For Appin bookings call (02) 4625 7518. The Tamworth event will take place on July 8 at the Currabubula Recreational Ground. For bookings call Mick at Ride! Motorcycles on (02) 6765 9810.
KTM and Husaberg have come on board and sponsored the 2012 Australian 4-Day Enduro. The two special tests will become the KTM Enduro Test and Husaberg Cross Test.
Trooper Lu’s Garage is now the Australian distributor for Suter Racing products and clutches.