Scottish Six Days Trial News

2019 will see the first of our support programs assisting new talent though the Scottish Six Days Trial.

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We’ll be entering four riders in the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) running from Monday May 6th to Saturday May 11th 2019 in Fort William. Our four riders will be Allan Adamson, Neil Dawson, Graeme Wilson and Duncan Wood. We’ll be profiling each of the riders and the team in future issues of the magazine.

Riding new bikes supplied by Scorpa the team will be taking on the toughest challenge on the Trial riding calender and will be the first of many groups that we support through the SSDT in the years to come.

The team was selected to pilot what will be an ongoing commitment to bring newer riders into the competition, riders that may otherwise have been unable to compete due to financial or other constraints.

In future years that selection process will be refined change but will focus on bringing newer riders up to this level.


So why are we doing it?

Our first visit to the SSDT came last year when we spent the week in Fort William following the event.

Anyone that has passed through the town and taken time to look at the SSDT can’t help but be impressed by the level of coordination and organisation that has gone into getting the SSDT together and maintain it as the world level success that it is.

We heard stories of riders of all ages and experience levels and couldn’t help but be in awe at this motorcycling spectacle.

We also heard from riders that were not competing, some due to financial concerns and others who seemed to need a bit of a nudge to get their names into the pot. With Motorcycle based sports facing a reduced number of young riders we felt a need to do what we could to make a difference. A look at many of the Club and some National level motorcycle series is enough to see that it is the ‘older and bolder’ crew that make up a lot of the start numbers with few new faces around the paddock.

That isn’t particularly sustainable and in order to develop less experienced and new riders they need the opportunity to compete at higher levels and see a path toward it.

This is our small part to try to move some of these riders up a level and compete alongside some of the best riders in the world as well as getting the message out there to others that might consider joining their local club.
We will be providing all the support and logistics the riders need during the SSDT so that they can focus on their riding. The two less experienced riders in the team will have experienced riders to help them get around the sections and guide them throughout the week.

Over the coming months we’ll be profiling the team letting you know more about them and their experience in addition to bringing you updates on the SSDT plans.

During the event you’ll also be getting a lot more news from us with daily media spots, video and news updates keeping you up to date with the team’s progress and the SSDT standings.

We couldn’t do this without the support of the SSDT Committee so have to give a massive thanks to them for their enthusiasm and encouragement in getting the project together.

Stayed tuned for more…


Webb and Blazusiak ready to race Superenduro 2019

FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Cody Webb and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak are ready to take on the 2019 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, which starts this coming weekend December 8, in Poland. As defending FIM SuperEnduro World Champion, Webb heads into the series opener flanked by six-time SuperEnduro champion Blazusiak.

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The five-round championship opens in Krakow, Poland at the Tauron Arena where Blazusiak remains undefeated on his home turf. The series then moves on to Germany for round two at the beginning of January before heading to Spain and Hungary, then concluding in Bilbao, Euskadi (Spain) for the fifth and final round.

2018 champion Cody Webb is keen to get his title defense off to a winning start in Poland. Despite the American’s speed and consistency throughout the 2018 season, the championship battle went right down to the wire at the final round in Sweden. Webb ultimately claimed the overall victory by a margin of 14 points. Injured at Erzberg during his 2018 WESS season, Webb returned to competition to contest the 2018 AMA EnduroCross Championship where he finished as series runner-up following six bruising rounds. Now at full fitness, Cody hopes to repeat his 2018 successes and claim a second consecutive SuperEnduro title.

Cody Webb:“2018 was a year of highs and lows for me. Winning the SuperEnduro Championship was a massive goal of mine and the rest of my year was looking promising before getting injured at Erzberg. I’ve been gaining momentum ever since coming back from that injury and I’m looking to defend my SuperEnduro title and come out swinging in Poland.”

Following his short-lived retirement, Taddy Blazusiak made his return to competition one year ago at the opening round of the 2018 SuperEnduro season. Coming away with a win, the Polish rider would go on to take his fight for the title to the final round. Unfortunately, the multiple world champion came up just short and eventually finished third overall for the season, just one-point from the runner-up spot. Enjoying a strong WESS championship in 2018, Blazusiak finished fifth and is now hungry to earn a seventh SuperEnduro title. 

Taddy Blazusiak:“I’m coming into the SuperEnduro World Championship fit and strong. I had a small setback before Red Bull Knock Out and wanted to let that heal as best as I could before this indoor season. I’ve done a lot of testing and riding in preparation for this series and feel it’s going to be a good season, I’m really looking forward to it.”

The five-round 2019 FIM SuperEnduro Championship kicks off with round one in Krakow, Poland on December 8, 2018 before continuing in 2019 with the remaining four rounds. 

2018 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship

Round 1: 8 December 2018 — Tauron Arena, Krakow, Poland 
Round 2: 5 January 2019 — Sachsen Arena, Riesa, Germany 
Round 3: 26 January 2019 — Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain 
Round 4: 9 February 2019 — Papp Laszio Sportarena, Budapest, Hungary 
Round 5: 9 March 2019 — Bizkaia Arena, Bilbao, Euskadi (Spain)

Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team Cease Involvement With Enduro World Championship

Successfully representing Yamaha in international enduro competition for the last three years, the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team now have their eyes set on an exciting new project that will no longer see them participate in the FIM Enduro World Championship.

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Bringing their involvement with international enduro competition to a close at the 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro in Chile, Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team members are already looking ahead to an exciting future. The French-based squad have been Yamaha’s official representatives in the top-tier of global, FIM governed enduro competition since 2016.

Enjoying a wealth of success, the team saw Loïc Larrieu place as the Enduro 2 World Championship runner-up in 2016 and 2018, and the EnduroGP World Championship runner-up in 2017. WR450F powered Larrieu also claimed the outright victory at the 2017 ISDE.

In the 250cc category, Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team rider Jamie McCanney has finished as the Enduro 2 World Championship runner-up in 2017 and the Enduro 1 World Championship runner-up in 2018.

Complete details on the team’s plans for the future will be announced in the coming weeks.

Moto2™ Records fall with new Triumph 765cc engine

Two testing laps completed inside previously recorded Jerez circuit Moto2™ fastest lap

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On 23rd – 25th November Triumph attended the final testing weekend of 2018 at Jerez race track, with 2019 Moto2™ race teams trialling their new race bikes ahead of next season.

On Saturday 24th, two 2019 Moto2™ championship contenders riding different machines, both featuring the new 2019 Triumph triple 765cc race engine, recorded practice lap times inside the fastest recorded lap of Jerez Circuit of 1 minute 41 seconds (1’41.890). This is a landmark achievement in one of the first times the riders have ridden 2019 season race bikes in their new configurations.

On Sunday, it was predicted that riders would go even faster, but weather conditions prevented this. All teams used the full weekend on track to complete more testing, development and set up ahead of the forthcoming 2019 Moto2™ race season.

Steve Sargent, Triumph Chief Product Officer said; “This weekend feels like the culmination of 2 years of hard work by many people in Triumph. To hear all the bikes out on track at the same time is a dream come true for Triumph. We had direct and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the teams at Jerez as they gear up for the 2019 season. Bring on Qatar!”

Triumph completed a multi phase testing programme focused on maximising; performance, durability and drivability that included an extensive 2 year engine development program of factory-based, dynamometer and multiple track locations for testing completing more than 2,500 “race pace” laps have been completed at a range of European circuits.

To understand the background of their engine platform development, the Triumph Moto2™ triple race engines have been created based on the 765cc Street Triple RS engine, itself derived originally from the iconic Daytona Supersports 675cc bike.

These new race engines are built to bring more power and torque, designed to rev harder and run with a lower inertia and all delivered in a lighter weight package.

Triumph has also supported extensive ECU development testing with Magneti Marelli. This has been a track focused development program. In collaboration with Magneti Marelli, Triumph has supplied the base data and the provision of engines, a full test mule and Triumph technical support team.

Development engines were supplied via Externpro to the chassis manufacturers to test. These test have included current and former Moto2™ championship racers. Triumph has additionally provided ECU development input to the chassis manufacturers.


Rory Skinner wins the British Talent Cup

A well managed weekend in Spain saw Scottish motorcycle racer Rory Skinner became the first ever winner of the British Talent Cup championship after taking a brace of podium finishes in Valencia, Spain, this weekend.

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A well managed weekend in Spain 

The 17-year-old from Perth rode a mature race to finish second in Friday’s treacherous wet conditions, which saw just 10 riders finish the race, before completing the job with a stunning ride in Saturday’s dry finale. The former Aprilia Superteen champion and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race winner had needed just 14thplace to secure the title, but rather than ride cautiously for the points, Skinner fought a race long battle with Thomas Strudwick out front, as title rival Max Cook kept the pressure on in the battle for third.

Rory pulled off some stunning overtakes and led out of the final corner as they dragged to the line for the 17thand final time, however Strudwick was able to slipstream Rory and deny him a winning end to the season by just 0.015 seconds. Despite missing the win, Rory was understandably delighted as his 20 point haul saw him lift the championship title, 27 points ahead of Strudwick who was, in turn, a further point ahead of Cook. Between them, the trio won all 10 of the 2018 British Talent Cup races – Rory winning four and his rivals taking three each.

“At the start of year it looked like I might not have a ride at all this year, so I have to say a massive thank you to everyone at Dorna and the British Talent Cup for the opportunity this season,” said Rory. “All year Dani Ribalta and Alberto Puig have been coaching us on every aspect of racing, which has been very helpful.

“In the race today I just rode how I usually ride, because that’s what had gotten me to this position in the championship. Sure, I was a little bit nervous at the start but halfway through the race it had worn off and I got on with the job. I knew that I could be up the front with Thomas and I knew that he had good pace. I tried to hold him off but unfortunately he pipped me to the line. It was the championship that mattered though, and I am delighted to be to first ever British Talent Cup champion.” (RorySkinner.com)

Hickman takes provisional pole position at Macau GP 2018

With two wins under his belt, Peter Hickman heads out for his 4th official Macau GP with hopes of bringing home his third win.

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Peter’s first taste of Macau was in 2014, however after his bike failed causing him to crash in practice, he was unable to take part in the race. Returning in 2015 he took his first ever Macau GP win, in 2016 he earned a second win at the 6.1KM Guia Circuit. 

This year, under the Aspire Ho racing colours, with fellow Isle of Man TT star and 8 time Macau GP winner, Michael Rutter, Peter and his Smiths Racing team look to take his third win.

Riding under number 88, on his record-breaking Isle of Man Senior TT BMW S1000RR, Peter took to the streets of Macau at 23:30 UK time on Thursday 14th of November. In the early part of the session, a fallen rider lead to a red flag which stopped the session for 10 minutes. Peter took to the track immediately on the restart however another incident caused a second red flag just 5 minutes later. 

When the circuit was cleared, Peter went out and settled into a P5 position with a time of 2:34.249 he went on to take P2 with 2:30.434 before the chequered flag.

At 08:00 UK time, Qualifying started steadily with Hickman, putting himself in P5. As the session went on the Louth-based motorcycle racer, set the timing screens purple in his last sector and went fastest with a 2:28.2 

Looking confident it was Hickman, and fellow Aspire Ho rider Micheal Rutter who took control of the first qualifying session, swapping the top spot many times.

With 22 minutes left on the clock, Hickman regained P1, setting three purple sector times he raised the bar to 2:25.6 and returned to Smiths Racing in the pits. 

His final outing on the Guia Circuit saw him light up the timing screens in every sector and he went on to take provisional pole position with a time of 2:25.429 ahead of Qualifying 2, set to take place at 23:30 UK time. 


Peter Hickman:“It was a nice clean qualifying session, and Smiths Racing have given me a great set up here. The bike feels good, I feel good, and it was great to be duelling with my Aspire Ho / Bathams Racing teammate, Michael Rutter in the early parts of the session. We’ve both came here hoping to put the team on the top step, and we’ve made a strong start today.

Thanks to all the sponsors and fans following live. The support is mega, and it definitely helps drive me forward when I am racing so far away from home!” 

Live coverage of the Macau GP second qualifying session starts tonight at 22:30 UK time. With the 12 lap race taking place on Saturday morning at 07:55.


Glasgow Tigers to battle on despite declines in Speedway

Team owners reaffirm their commitment whilst the Tigers Den closes from Monday to Friday to cut losses.

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With the sport in somewhat of a decline across the UK and a number of other clubs being listed for sale, Glasgow Tigers have released a statement from co-owner, Gerry Facenna. 

“Against a backdrop of news that speedway clubs throughout Britain are being offered for sale or are closing down, and that the sport in general appears to be in decline, it is important that everyone connected to Glasgow Tigers isbrought up to date on our current status.

The costs associated with supporting the operations of Glasgow Tigers Speedway Ltd are very significant, and since taking over the club, each year we have incurred substantial six figure losses.  This is in addition to an initial significant investment that went into refurbishing the stadium.

Allied Vehicles are a major employer in the area and we have a great sense of corporate responsibility to our employees and the community in which we operate.  From the outset of Allied’s involvement, we stated that should the stadium/club make a profit, these profits would be re-invested in the club and community, and this remains the case.  However, our operating losses simply cannot be sustained.  Consequently we have now closed the Tigers Den from Monday to Friday to cut the losses during these times.  The Den will now only be open for speedway, football fixtures and any future major events.

With the upcoming BSPA AGM, we have made the decision that we will continue to support the participation of Glasgow Tigers as a Championship team in 2019, but unless we can make a significant turnaround in terms of operational costs and revenue, it is doubtful we will be able to support a Championship team the following year.

To help secure the club’s future, we are looking for volunteers across the whole club who can help with any activity from promoting, fundraising, working in the ticket office, selling food and beverage, selling programmes or 50/50 tickets, track staff, sponsorship sales, as well as off-season volunteers.  No matter your skillset or capabilities, we have roles that can suit everyone, and we will provide all necessary training.  As a volunteer you will gain access to the speedway for free when you are volunteering.  If you feel you can help in any way, please let us know and we will be in touch.  We have one of the best group of supporters in British speedway and we really need you to get behind us and help turnaround the position that we are in.

2019 is set to be a great season.  We have already started work on the track to make sure it is in perfect condition for the season starting, and our huge LED screen, which was purchased two years ago, finally has the required power supply coming into the stadium to operate it, which means it will be up in time for the start of the season. 

We are also delighted to announce that the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium has been chosen by the sport’s governing body, the FIM, to host one of four Grand Prix qualifiers on June 8, 2019.  Last season we had an U21 World Cup qualifier, and the FIM were impressed so much that they wanted to reward us with an even bigger meeting.  We’ve hosted a Great Britain v Australia Test Match and the League Riders’ Championship, but this is the most important event yet.  The line-ups for these meetings are genuinely world-class, with a mix of riders who have won Grand Prix and those who have won national and youth titles in their home countries.  Our race track and facilities are among the best in the country and this is a massive vote of confidence from the governing bodies in what we’re trying to achieve at Glasgow.  We’d like to thank Great Britain Speedway Team for their role in helping us secure this meeting, and next summer we are ready to welcome fans from across Europe for a truly international occasion. 

The biggest support you can continue to give us is to drive new fans into our sport, spread the news of what we do here and how great the sport is.  Tell your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbours and anyone else that will listen.  To save speedway we need your help!” (Glasgow Tigers)

Ross Maguire on winning form

It’s been a winning year for the youngster.

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Ross Maguire has been making waves as he progresses through Championships and has been noticed by more than one race series as a future contender. At 13 he has also been selected for this years SMS Academy – sponsored by Ride Scotland. We caught up with him at the end of his race season to find out what he’s being doing this year and what plans he has for 2019. 

Over to Ross for the rest for this story.

Ending the season on a high

Tarran and Taylor Mackenzie on the podium for the final outing of the season.

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Both lads ended the season on a high with Tarran taking another hard fought third place in Saturday’s opening Superbike race and Taylor taking victory in the final Superstock 1000 race.

Practice also went very well with both boys feeling confident after qualifying third and on the front row of the grid.

Unfortunately Tarran fell heavily in Sunday’s wet warm up session doing substantial damage to his bike which put him out of action for Sunday’s races.

Tarran:

“I went to Brands Hatch believing I could win so coming home third in Saturday’s race got the weekend off to a great start. I was much stronger than I had been mid season at Brands so was ready to attack on the next day. I made a small mistake in Sunday’s warm up but it cost me big time as it put me out of Sunday’s two races. I was a bit battered and my bike was wrecked so unfortunately we had to sit things out.

2018 has still been amazing for me as I’ve exceeded all my expectations in my rookie Superbike season leading races and finishing on the podium four times. The Yamaha R1 and the McAMS Team are the perfect combination for me so hopefully we can come back next year even stronger and ready to challenge for the British Superbike Championship”.

Taylor:

“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits as I didn’t want to end the year without winning. The bike was mega so full credit to the team as we struggled in the wet at the last round but this time it was faultless throughout. I dropped back a bit in the middle of the race but I stayed calm figuring out where the grip was before moving forward again. I can’t thank the brilliant Bathams BMW Team enough for giving me the opportunity in the middle of the year and I am so happy to repay them with a win. It’s a pity that’s the last race as I know there is even more to come from me and the bike. I’ll have to wait but I’m already excited about my 2019 plans so there will be an announcement coming soon”.

As always we’ve enjoyed an incredible amount of kindness and support from friends and sponsors throughout the 2018 season. All of this has enabled Tarran to make a successful step up to the Superbike class and Taylor to get his career back on track after a difficult 2017 season. For this we incredibly grateful so thanks to one and all, we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey!

I’ll be in touch as soon as our 2019 plans are confirmed. (Niall Mackenzie)


Toby Price wins Cross-Country Rallies World Championship

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Toby Price has won the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with victory at the final round of the season – the Rally du Maroc.

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His win in Morocco elevated the former Dakar winner to the top of the championship standings, allowing the Australian to claim his first ever world title.

Winning two of the five stages of the Rally du Maroc, as well as the short, opening Prologue, Price secured the overall win ahead of his teammate Mathias Walkner with a comfortable margin of over seven minutes. With his nearest title rival Pablo Quintanilla finishing in fourth place overall, Toby leapfrogged the Chilean rider in the standings to claim the championship by a six-point margin.

Toby’s journey to the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship title has not been an easy one. A crash at the 2017 Dakar Rally forced him to retire early from the event with Price subsequently spending much of the year recovering from the broken femur he sustained. Returning to competition at the 2018 Dakar last January, Price impressed with his outright speed, ultimately taking two stage wins and finishing in third position overall. 

Riding with great consistency throughout the 2018 season has paid off for Price. Multiple stage wins as well as podiums at the Atacama Rally and Desafio Ruta 40, added to his win in Morocco, have resulted in the 31-year-old becoming a worthy 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion. 

Toby Price:“What an amazing season – I can’t believe it. It’s been a tough one and I didn’t expect to be at the top of the list at the end of it. I had some bad luck back in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the year, but after that every rally has gone well and I’ve finished on the podium at every round. To win the world championship with a win here in Morocco makes it all that little bit sweeter. If I am honest, I was nervous out there on the final stage today, there are no guarantees in rally racing, especially when I had to lead the stage out. This is my first world championship in any category so I am so, so happy. It’s all credit to my team and everyone at Red Bull KTM, without them behind me I wouldn’t be standing on the top step. I’m standing on the top of the world and it’s the best feeling ever.”

Jordi Viladoms – KTM Rally Sport Manager: “Winning the rally world championship is a great result for Toby and KTM. Last year was really tough with the injury to his leg. He wasn’t even fully fit when he arrived at the Dakar at the beginning of this year but he did an amazing job and took third position. This was already a great success considering what he had been through. As the 2018 season has progressed, Toby has shown more speed, more confidence and all his hard work has paid off by dominating this race and winning the championship here in Morocco. We are really happy for him and he deserves this title. We still have some time to improve even further and hope to arrive at Dakar even stronger.”

Wrapping up the Rally du Maroc in second place overall Matthias Walkner, although disappointed not to have taken the win, was pleased with his riding and the performance of his KTM 450 RALLY.

Matthias Walkner:“It was a tough day today – very fast, rough and the sort of stage that you could easily make a big mistake. I had a comfortable gap to the rider in third so I was able to take things a little steadier and aim for a safe finish. Overall, I am happy with my performance here in Morocco and thrilled to take third in the championship.”

Following an issue earlier in the rally where a heavy impact with a large rock damaged his rear tyre and mousse and resulted in lost time, it would always be a challenge for Sam Sunderland to bridge the gap to the front-runners. Despite the setback, the British rider posted some excellent stage results, enough to regain a position inside the top-10 at the climax of the event.

Sam Sunderland:“I am really happy with my rally here in Morocco – the team have all done a great job. I had some bad luck earlier on but overall I am pleased with how things have gone as my riding and navigation were strong throughout the rally.”

Team junior Luciano Benavides rode a solid Rally du Maroc and continues to gain valuable experience onboard his KTM 450 RALLY machine. The young Argentinian now looks forward to his next ride at the Dakar in three months’ time.

The next competitive outing for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team will be the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru, starting January 6, 2019. 

Final Standings – 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship

1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 91 points
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 85pts
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 75pts
4. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 70pts 
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 56pts