Escasa 1000 Preview, Russell Wins GNCC Title, Supercross Rumors! – The Weekly Dirt: October 30, 2013 – Inside the Weekly Dirt, we all check in on preparations for the Escasa 1000, take a look back at the Ironman GNCC and evaluate a few Supercross rumors.

By the DR Staff

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet pertaining to off-road news from around the world. Recently we check in on preparations for the Baja 1000. We also appear back at the Ironman GNCC plus evaluate a few Supercross rumors. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s reach it.


Escasa 1000 Teams Shaping Up

These are just some of the riders and Team Green staff who attended the Kawasaki Team Green Baja Reunion that commemorated the 25th anniversary of Kawasaki’s first Baja 1000 win. Among the faces (from left) are Paul Krause, Dave Pyle, Garth Sweetland, Skip Norfolk, Reid Nordin (kneeling), team manager Mark Johnson, Jeff King, Mitch Payton, Jim Perry, Larry Roeseler, Jose Gonzales, Anna Cody, Ted Hunnicutt, James DeGaine, Ron Heben, Kevin Foley and Ty Davis. Photo By Mark Kariya

These are are just some of the riders and Team Eco-friendly staff who attended the Kawasaki Team Green Baja Reunion that will commemorated the 25th anniversary of Kawasaki’s first Baja 1000 win. Among the faces (from left) are usually Paul Krause, Dave Pyle, Garth Sweetland, Skip Norfolk, Reid Nordin (kneeling), team manager Mark Johnson, Jeff King, Mitch Payton, John Perry, Larry Roeseler, Jose Gonzales, Anna Cody, Ted Hunnicutt, Wayne DeGaine, Ron Heben, Kevin Foley and Ty Davis. Photo Simply by Mark Kariya

(From left) Bruce Stjernstrom, Jose Gonzales and Skip Norfolk recall one of the funny moments they shared while at Kawasaki. Though all three have gone on to other jobs, they couldn’t pass up the chance to mingle again with their old Team Green friends. Photo By Mark Kariya

(From left) Bruce Stjernstrom, Jose Gonzales and Skip Norfolk recall one of the funny moments they shared while at Kawasaki. Even though all three have gone onto other jobs, they couldn’t shun the chance to mingle again with their outdated Team Green friends. Photo Simply by Mark Kariya

Lots of memorabilia from back in the day took attendees to the glory years Team Green enjoyed in Baja. (The run started with the first Baja 500 win in 1987 and finished with the 1996 Baja 1000 triumph.) What a barn-burner the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is shaping up to be! Photo By Mark Kariya

Lots of memorabilia through back in the day took attendees to the glory years Team Green liked in Baja. (The run started with the first Baja 500 win in 1987 and finished with all the 1996 Baja 1000 triumph. )
What a barn-burner the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is shaping up to be! Photo Simply by Mark Kariya

SCORE has shortened the course a bit from initial reviews with total mileage of the cycle that starts and finishes within Ensenada now about 833, although it’ll still start for bikes and ATVs at 11: 00 P. M. on Thursday, November 14, with qualifying for begin position taking place the day before.

Unlike the Baja five hundred, the Bonanza Plumbing/FMF KTM manufacturer team will pin its expectations on just one squad: Mike Brownish, Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramirez and–get this–Kendall Norman!

On the 500, of course , Norman ran his own Kendall Norman Racing/Red Bull group with partner Ryan Abbatoye; it was their first race on an Anthony Dibasilio-prepped KTM 450 XC-F similar to the one ridden by the Brown/Caselli/Ramirez trio to second behind the Johnny Campbell Racing Honda threesome of David Kamo/Colton Udall/Timmy Weigand.

The JCR Honda team is the defending race plus series champ, of course , and will rely on those three once again. Then there’s the THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Principles Kawasaki-mounted unit of Robby Bell/Steve Hengeveld/David Pearson/Taylor Robert that should also be right there, with hints brewing of a mystery rider possessing a supercross background being added to that team.
In what’s often considered a tune-up for the 1000, all of the three teams raced the Mark Burr Cycles 24 Hours of Glen Helen last week with modified rider line-ups, mostly to make sure their illumination systems are up to par. JCR Honda added Ryan Dudek to the mix, Mike Brown rode as part of ZipTy Racing/Bonanza Plumbing KTM with Ity Davis/Bobby Garrison/Gary Sutherlin and THR’s Robby Bell teamed up with Philip Hollis (who was on his long ago to Australia after being area of the Aussie World Trophy team in Six Days) plus Ty Renshaw and Justin Seeds.

Honda clawed its way back through an early mechanical setback to sprint past Kawasaki in the final hours for the win by just a minute plus 34 seconds, unofficially. Purvines Racing Beta’s Ryan Abbatoye/Nick Burson/Max Gerston/Justin Morrow/Jason Parsons/Tallon Taylor claimed the Open Expert win and third overall while KTM was fourth.

Speaking of 24-hour events, probably the biggest one around will be the 24 Hours of Starvation Ridge upward in Washington state with nearly 100 teams/entries fairly average. The course is more open and flowy than the confines of Glen Helen, taking full advantage of the eastern Washington venue.

For that second year in a row (and third time in the past four years), the MotoSport Hillsboro KTM group took the overall, this year comprised of returnees Reid Brown, Don Boesphlug plus Monte McGrath plus newcomers Serta Jordan, Joey Lancaster and Irving Powers.

Getting back to Baja, Kawasaki Team Green possessed the peninsula during its run. It started its streak by winning the 1987 Baja five hundred in its first foray to Mexico, but it really got going the following calendar year and continued to dominate until finally withdrawing after winning the 1000 in 1996 for the 9th consecutive time.

Most of the people involved with the effort are still around, though they may no longer be at Kawasaki. But much like a high school re-union, getting everyone together can be a lots of fun and that’s what happened on Saturday night at Kawasaki’s corporate workplaces in Irvine, California: the Kawasaki Team Green Baja Reunion.

Over 160 former cyclists, support staff and volunteers (and their families and friends) gathered for a number of bench-racing, a taco feed, the opportunity to view lots of old photos, T-shirts and other memorabilia, and just getting together with close friends old and new, some of whom hadn’t seen each other in 20 years or more.

Among the cyclists were Anna Cody, Chris Crandall, Ty Davis, Ted Hunnicutt, John Krause, Danny LaPorte, Dave Ondas, Kenny Parry, Larry Roeseler plus Garth Sweetland. Team manager Indicate Johnson also made it as well as many of the techs who built and looked after the all-conquering KX500s, 250s plus 125s, plus Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton and Jim “Bones” Cash who were instrumental in the effort as well.

While the KX500 that will won the 1994 Baja 1000 was also on display (complete with its imposing trio of quartz-halogen lights), overnight time was mostly about remembering the folks who made it all possible. Regardless of many years not seeing each other, it seemed that old friendships were instantly renewed, with everyone marveling it had been 25 years since that first Baja 1000 victory. As the night time wound down, guests took the mike and shared anecdotes of what they remembered, some of the accounts possibly being told in public for the first time.

As Cody said within a Facebook post, “It was a excellent evening seeing everyone after a lot of years and hearing stories in the company of some very fast racers…as well since the mechanics and the men behind the team. ”

Right after the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, Team HRC Rally delivered two of its riders to the Merzouga Rally (handily, also in Morocco) for additional seat/testing time. Since it’s not a part of the FIM Cross-country Rallies World Championship, it’s not attended by many people top teams, but the team sensed it wouldn’t hurt to have Helder Rodrigues and Sam Sunderland taking part to further develop the brand-new CRF450 Rally that proved so superior last week.

It again proved to be an excellent week for both riders and their new bikes; they won four stages on the next five days and ended up going 1-2 with Sunderland topping the final day and the overall, Rodrigues a strong second after a navigating error on the third day.

That’ll be the final race for the team before Dakar and the expected showdown with the Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team’s Kurt Caselli, Marc Coma, Ruben Faria plus Francisco Lopez. —Mark Kariya


Rumor Mill: Things We’ve Overheard

We hear there will be statement soon about the format for the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Series. The new format for the night show “we hear” will be as follows:

450 Class

• Two Warmth races with four transferring through each heat

• Two Semis with five transferring from each semi

• One LCQ with 2 transferring from that

• Main Event total of 22 riders with last place obtaining one point

Bikers that don’t qualify for the Main occasion out of the heat race will go to the Semi but the Semis will be based upon finish. Odd riders going to one Semi with evens going to another. This means that if a rider is in Warmth one and doesn’t qualify that will doesn’t guarantee him to get Partially number one.

250 Class

The 250 class will function the usual format for the heat events (nine out of each heat) yet will take four out of the LCQ for a total of 22 riders over the gate. Last in the Main Event will get one point.

We all here at Dirt Rider like this modify (if it happens) because it gives riders more TV time that always wouldn’t get any and allows fans see more races upon any given Saturday night. —Kris Keefer


Russell Takes GNCC Title

Kailub Russell won the 2014 GNCC title with a come-from-behind victory at the Ironman GNCC. Photo Courtesy GNCC Racing/Ken Hill

Kailub Russell won the 2014 GNCC title with a come-from-behind victory at the Ironman GNCC. Photo Courtesy GNCC Racing/Ken Hill

Kailub Russell came out on top of a winner-take-all situation with Charlie Mullins to claim the 2013 GNCC XC1 title after taking a hard-fought win at the Ironman GNCC, the final round of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series in Crawfordsville, Indianapolis. Only two points separated the FMF/KTM teammates in the championship rankings heading into the race, and in the end, Russell topped Mullins by 37 seconds at the end of three hours of racing.
The win did not come easy, however , as Russell was penalized 15 seconds at the start from the race for inadvertently starting their bike before the green flag lowered. However , Russell was able to run down Mullins, who led the early part of the competition. After battling back and forth for the prospect, Russell took the lead for good at the midway point of the competition.

“It’s been great season but it hasn’t been without its struggles, that’s for sure, ” Russell said. I was required to dig myself out of a pit in the points earlier in the time of year and I gave myself another chance at the championship today and it’s a great honor to be up right here and battle with some of the best guys on earth. ” —Shan Moore

That’s all of the for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road planet.


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