Purdon starts the 2020 motocross season in victory
Tristan Purdon couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2020 season…
The Red Bull KTM motocross star left onlookers in awe as he went 1-1 to snatch MX1 victory at the opening round of the season in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
On a track notorious for its unforgiving sand and demanding weather conditions, Purdon’s performance was particularly impressive. Despite some slow starts by his own high standards, his consistent pace was unmatched as he worked his way up the ranks of what was a highly competitive field.
The victory comes at the perfect time for Purdon, who is still waiting to hear the outcome of the 2019 MX1 Championship. “I’ve been so excited for a fresh start and to put last season behind me, and winning the opening round was the perfect way to do it! I came into 2019 with a lingering wrist injury, so I feel like a different person starting the year with nothing holding me back,” said Purdon.
It was a somewhat disappointing day for Red Bull KTM teammate Kerim Fitz-Gerald, who received a DNF in the first moto of MX1 due to technical issues. In MX2, however, he managed to wrap the day up in sixth overall. As the reigning national MX2 Champion, Fitz-Gerald will look to come back swinging in defense of his 2019 title.
The journey to the start line of Rover Raceway was perhaps tougher than the race itself for Jonathan Mlimi. The rider was sent to the sideline in 2019 after breaking his leg during a practice ride. With a new appreciation of the sport, Mlimi managed to lead a portion of the second heat and finish the day in sixth overall. Having given but a glimpse of his true potential in the High School Class, Mlimi commented: “It gave me a lot of confidence to see that I’m capable of pushing the pace up front. Unfortunately, I’m still dealing with a niggle from the accident and felt it in the second moto especially. I’m going to get that sorted before the next round and come back stronger!”
Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA
On February 21/22, the opening round of the 2020 Freestyle Motocross season is set to explode with the 20th anniversary celebrations of NIGHT of the JUMPs taking stage in Germany’s capital of Berlin.
Creating an entirely new event for the Berlin crowd, NIGHT of the JUMPs hugely successful FMX Teams event will make its debut in the capital city with Freestyle of Nations hosting three of the strongest teams possible.
The Berlin crowd will witness not only the best Freestyle Motocross competition from their favourite riders, but in a new format featuring the best FMX Run from each rider, Best Whip, Synchro Comp with two riders jumping side-by-side and FMX Best Trick. Not to be outdone, some of the best Freestyle Mountain Bike riders will join in the competition in a very unique way.
The host nation, Team Germany will be led by the newest and youngest ever FMX World Champion, Luc Ackermann. Luc will be wanting to recreate the same magic which saw him win the 2019 World Championship, Red Bull Dirt Diggers and the 2019 Freestyle of Nations where Team Germany won in Hamburg last year with tricks like the crazy Double Backflip.
Luc’s older brother, Hannes Ackermann will return to Berlin fresh off a big year in 2019 after landing his first ever Front Flip combo’s. With the German crowd behind him, will Hannes be able to bring new combos to help Team Germany win, with the 3rd rider and Berlin local, Kai Haase, who oozes style and has the big tricks to back it up!
The World Team is overflowing with awesomeness with the return of the Unicorn and only rider ever to perform the Triple Backflip, Josh Sheehan from Australia. Josh had previously held the most consecutive World Championship wins in 2012 and will return for the first time in 5 years to NIGHT of the JUMPs. As a Red Bull X-Fighters Tour Champion and X Games Gold Medal winner, Sheehan will want to win his first ever Freestyle of Nations event also.
Returning to the World Team is the former World Champion, Javier Villegas from Chile. Villegas was part of the 2017 Freestyle of Nations winning team and won’t settle for second best in 2020. The only rider to have helped create, build and then compete on the Red Bull Dirt Diggers event, Jamie Squibb from England will return to the World Team in his hope to finally join the winning team, after being part of the 2018 and 2019 World Teams which were narrowly relegated to second place by Team Germany.
While Team Germany and the World Team have won the last 3 events between them, it will be Team Spain’s return to the Freestyle of Nations which should have even the best FMX riders worried. At the inaugural 2014 Freestyle of Nations on the largest ever indoor NIGHT of the JUMPs course, Team Spain were the clear winners. Maikel Melero who was part of that first winning team will return as a 5-time World Champion, and will be accompanied by the Spanish young-gun Marc Pinyol, who is ready to land something special in Berlin. The stage is set for History to be written by the 3rd ‚act‘, with the Spanish ‚Tandem Team‘ of Antonio Navas and Rocky Florensa who will ride the same bike in the first ever FMX competition ever. Team Spain is not a team to be underestimated.
Not only will the Freestyle Motocross competition be dominated by some of the biggest names in the sport, the MTB competition which forms part of the overall scoring will be just as big. With Germany’s own MTB star, Lukas Knopf being joined by Poland’s own super star, Szymon Godziek the bar for the MTB competition has also been well and truly raised. With the roll-in going from 6 metres high to a staggering 11 metres, the Berlin crowd can expect to see some wild MTB tricks by some of the best riders in the game.
With an all new event, and all new side events, the Freestyle of Nations in Berlin is primed to be the biggest spectacle to be held under the roof of the Mercedes Benz Arena.
NIGHT of the JUMPs / Freestyle of Nations 21./22. February 2020 Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin /Germany
Team Germany: Luc Ackermann Hannes Ackermann Kai Haase
Team Spain: Maikel Melero Marc Pinyol Antonio Navas / Rocky Florensa
World Team: Josh Sheehan Javier Villegas Jamie Squibb
Two times FIM Cross Country Rallies World Champion Pablo Quintanilla is the latest rider to be inducted as an FIM Ride Green Ambassador and will join Takahisa Fujinami, Greg Hancock, Marc Márquez, Randy de Puniet, Alex Salvini and Laia Sanz in working for future generations by promoting a culture of sustainability in the day-to-day practice of sport and in everyday life.
Multi FIM MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez was the first ambassador to be appointed when the programme began back in 2012. Since then further ambassadors have been added to the programme who represent different genders and cultures, motorcycling disciplines and geographical areas, this diverse team of top riders lend their voices to convey the FIM’s sustainability policy and help to safeguard the future of the sport.
Chilean born Quintanilla, who before switching disciplines in 2012 was a thirteen times national motocross champion has the worthy pedigree to join his peers in this important mission, that puts top athletes at the service of humanity and the future generations. Along with the other FIM Ride Green Ambassadors, Pablo has been invited by the FIM to be a leader and play a major role in the contribution made by our sport to a greener and more sustainable World.
A regular competitor in the Dakar and other rally events in more recent years, which are hosted in some of the most beautiful and natural locations on the planet, Quintanilla is fully aware of the importance of the campaign for sustainable sport, and such is ready to accept his mission as a FIM Ride Green Ambassador, which will include: Representing the FIM in environmental activities; Supporting the campaign through social media; Be the FIM Voice for the Ride Green Campaign. Pablo recognises that the voices of the Ambassadors are a powerful force that can captivate millions of fans. Sport represents a very valuable vehicle for the promotion of attitudes that are simple to adopt but represent a major contribution to the crisis and to mitigating climate change.
Speaking about his new role Pablo Quintanilla explained: “I am very happy to have been appointed as an FIM Ride Green Ambassador. It is an honour for me to join this great team of riders who are committed to protecting the environment and respecting the natural landscape in which we compete.”
“Our sport is beautiful and a big challenge at the same time. The motorcycle connects us to nature and allows us to realise just how important it is to preserve it around the World.
Katia Juarez, Director of the FIM International Sustainability Commission added her comment: “Today we are very proud to welcome Pablo Quintanilla to help us raise awareness in Latin America, a continent that is very active in motorcycling. After eight years working with the Ride Green Team across all disciplines and Continents we can confirm that greater awareness has been achieved in our community through the work done by these fantastic athletes. Thanks to Pablo’s popularity and motivation to help protect the nature, we can expect to see still more inspiration amongst our fans thanks to the messages conveyed by these exceptional riders.”
Last weekend saw the annual FIM Conference of the Commissions, when all thirteen Commissions sporting and non-sporting gathered for this important meeting that welcomed almost three hundred FIM Family Members from all around the world, and yet again was declared a great success.
This meeting creates a unique opportunity for the commission members to meet and share ideas with their colleagues and with the FIM Board of Directors, the FIM Administration plus the FIM World Championship Promoters.
Diverse and different, but fundamentally linked aspects of the FIM’s core activities were addressed in the Plenary Session, which also showcased the Commissions’ activities. Following on from last year’s new initiative, FIM President Jorge Viegas again invited the FIM World Championship Promoters to join the Plenary Session. Each Commission Director and Promoter explained the main changes, projects and challenges for the year to come and the near future.
As part of the ongoing directive to open the FIM to the outside World, the FIM President welcomed international media from different disciplines, with representatives from Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Sweden to attend the Plenary Session for the first time.
In the framework of this Conference, the FIM Technical Commission hosted its first workshop, which was open to all FIM Family members and the international media in attendance. This event was headlined by three guest speakers – those being Jean-Philippe Cappelle – Michelin Competition 2 wheels Tyre Developer; Franco Gatto – Dainese D|air® System Coordinator and Professor Matteo Massaro – University of Padova who covered a wide range of engaging topics from their specialist spheres.
Over the weekend the various FIM Commissions conducted their own meetings to work on 2020 projects and activities. Everyone’s efforts and hard work over the two days were recognised and rewarded as the FIM Family as a whole enjoyed a cocktail and get together for a party at the FIM headquarters on Saturday evening.
Long and loyal service awards were presented to the following members:
10 years’ service: Mr ABOULWAFA Amr (QAT/QMMF) – CMI; Mr ALFONSO Bartolome (ESP/RFME) – CCR; Mr COLLINS John (GBR/ACU) – CEN; Mr COUTANT Patrick (FRA/FFM) – CCR; Mr CROWTHER Kevin (USA/AMA) – CMS; Mr DURAND Philippe (FRA/FFM) – CEN; Mr MAINDRON Jean Luc (FRA/FFM) – CRT; Mrs MAROZZA Francesca (ITA/FMI) – CAP; Mr MICHAUD Thierry (FRA/FFM) – CTR; Mr OLARIU Sabin (ROU/FRM) – CMS; Mr REQUEJO VIVES Carlos (ESP/RFME) – CCR; Mr RIETJENS Patrik (BEL/FMB) – CMS; Mr RUTKOWSKI Michal (POL/PZM) – CTR; Mr SASHIDHARAN Anand (IND/FMSCI) – CJI; Mr SIKORA Michal (POL/PZM) – CEN; Mr SZYMANSKI Piotr (POL/PZM) – CCP; Mr TSVETANOV Ivo (BUL/BMF) – CMS; Mr VAYSSIÉ Franck (FRA/FFM) – CCR.
15 years’ service: Mr PINEO John (CAN/CMA) – CTL; Mr RITA José (POR/FMP) – CRT
20 years’ service: Mr POSSELWHITE Mike (GBR/ACU) – CCP; Mr RIDA SBAI Larbi (MAR/FRMM) – CRT
Expressing his satisfaction, the FIM President Jorge Viegas said: “The FIM depends on the Commissions and their expertise to deliver its events and its programmes. The Conference of the FIM Commissions is a key opportunity to meet their members and Directors as the year’s activities gear up. This event is also about thanking and rewarding the volunteers for their dedication and service to the FIM. Since last year I have welcomed the FIM World Championship promoters to participate in the plenary session. For the very first time, we have also invited international media from various disciplines to join the session so they could meet the people behind the scene of motorcycling. I will repeat this invitation in the future. One of my important wishes is to open the FIM to the outside world.”
What SA National Motocross Round 1 Report Where Rover Raceway, Port Elizabeth When Saturday 15 February 2020 Community South Africa National
National season opener stuns PE
The 2020 MSA South African National Motocross Championship powered by Cannabis Energy and TRP Distributors kicked off in quite literal flying style at a scorching hot, sandy and spectacular Rover near Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Highlighted by a thrilling premier class MX1 show, the racing was out of the top drawer all the way down the classes with some dominant performances, while other classes proved a fight to the finish every time as searing temperatures nudged 40 degrees.
2019 frontrunner Tristan Purdon opened his season in fine style aboard his Red Bull KTM as he fought off Lloyd Vercueil (Florstore on Trend Yamaha) and David Goosen (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha) to win a thrilling opening open class MX1 race and then went on to do the double over KTM teammate Kerim Fitz-Gerald and Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Dragon Yamaha) in the second race.
Reigning MX2 champion Fitz-Gerald hit trouble in the first moto, while another favourite, Matthew Malan crashed his factory Husqvarna and struggled on injured to see Vercueil wind up second for the day from Raynard and Yamaha men Jesse Wright and Goosen, KTM riders Cameron Durow, Marco de Vrye, Regan Wasmuth and Johan Vogelesang, and Dylan Mostert, as Fitz-Gerald and Malan languished in 12th and 13th.
David Goosen (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha) got his season off to a perfect start with a double win, over Tristan Purdon (Red Bull KTM) in race 1 and Slade Smith (Summit Yamaha) in the second moto, but the consistent Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Dragon Yamaha) was third in each race to take second overall ahead of Purdon and Smith for the day. Cameron Durow was best of the rest ahead of fellow KTM riders Kerim Fitz-Gerald, Bradley Cox, and Joshua Mlimi, Yamaha pair Keegan Hickson-Mahony and Ryan Angilley and Seth David van den Abeele (Husqvarna).
MX3 champion Ian Topliss (Motul Yamaha) made no mistakes as he started his over-40 Masters motocross title defence with a double win over over-30 Senior men Tyson Engelbrecht (The Roost KTM), Dwayne Kleynhans (Fast KTM) and Master rider Brett Bircher (Motul KTM). Jonathan Hubbard (KTM), Alec Combrink (Husqvarna), Andre Swart (KTM), Husqvarna men Gerhard Hanekom and Jaco van Zyl and Sheldon Watkins (Yamaha) rounded off the top ten.
Reigning champion Kayla Raaff (SA Bikewise Motul Kawasaki) picked up where she left off with a double Ladies Motocross win over Megan Jonker (Motul Leatt Husquvarna), who shared the seconds and thirds out with Natasha Rugani (KTM). Pegasus Husqvarna sisters Jadene and Cheyenne de Lima were next up from Kylie Kotze and KTM girls Savannah van Vuuren and Kelly Benn.
Ugandan Stav Orland (Orland Brothers KTM) and Ethan Hoffman (Dirt Rider Yamaha) shared the 125cc High School wins, but Orland took the championship leader’s red plate home thanks to his second race second place over Hoffman’s fourth. Liam Gilchrist (RPG Nutritech Husqvarna) took a second and a third en route to third overall ahead of Christiaan Cilliers (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha), KTM trio Mark-Anthony Filip, Jonathan Mlimi and Cuan Conway, Josh de Hutton (Yamaha) and KTM pair Miguel de Waal and Blake Young.
Zimbabwean Daiyaan Manuel (KTM) made 85cc Pro Mini his own over moto 2 second place lad Bryce Petersen (Linex Yamaha), Emmanuel Bako (KTM) and Kyle Townsend, who ended second in the first race on his Cannabis Energy KTM, with fellow KTM kids Luke Grundy and Wesley McGavin next up. Lucas Venter (Husqvarna) was seventh overall ahead of Tyler Tarantino (Motorex KTM), Wian du Plooy (Husqvarna) and reigning SA 85 Junior champion Seth Young (KTM).
Liam Botha (Eco Tanks Husqvarna) stamped authority on the 85cc Junior races with two wins, each time ahead of Alon Orland (Orland Bros. KTM) and Pieter Brink (Orange County KTM). Ryan Adler (Husqvarna) meanwhile fought Timo Maximo Toepfer (Fast Motul KTM) and Joshua Williams (Linex Yamaha) off for fourth ahead of Blake Osner (Husqvarna), Nathan Verster (KTM) and Yamaha duo Louis Mostert and Kodi Goosen.
Jordan van Wyk (CIT Husqvarna) won the second moto to take a surprise overall 65cc primary school motocross win for the day to carry the championship leader’s red plate to round 2in the Cape. Trey Cox (Motul Alfie Cox KTM) was second from Jack Pullen (Husqvarna) after reigning 65cc champion and race 1 winner Neil van der Vyver (Husqvarna SA) hit trouble in the second moto and only ended fourth for the day. Yamaha lighties Aiden Henley and Tyler Petersen, Husqvarna duo Sven Larsen and Christian Berrington Smith, Damien Venter (Yamaha) and Nicol Smit (Husqvarna) rounded off the top ten.
Last but not least, Andrew Wren (Yamaha) took Senior Support honours with a double win over KTM duo Connor Alcock and Denzyl Kennedy and Lario du Toit (Honda) in that order both times.
Chase Bekker enjoyed the perfect start to his baby 50cc Motocross season with two wins to claim the red plate aboard his Summit Racing Florstor on Trend Husqvarna over Trenton Kretzmann (Air Auto Africa Fox Husqvarna) each time, with KTM lads Maxwell Fourie and Aiden Retief sharing out the thirds to go third and fourth overall. Michael Enslin ended fifth for the day over Rayden Woolls (Supernova Husqvarna), Alex Cooper (Husqvarna), Motul Alfie Cox KTM duo Brody Bircher and Evan Frost and Skyler de Kock (iStyle KTM).
The South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented and sanctioned by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Racestar Graffix and the Sunoco Race Shop. The second round of the 2020 championship will be at Cape Town’s Zone 7 on Saturday 28 March.