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KIARA AL TERZO POSTO | 27.07.2014
KIARA AL TERZO POSTO

Kiara - or is that Chiara (the girl herself prefers "K") ? - Fontanesi wrapped up her third consecutive WMX world title at Loket this morning after two turbulent races at the series finale. Compatriot Francesca Nocera held up series rival Meghan Rutledge long enough in the Saturday afternoon moto to leave the 20 year old needing just third in the final moto, and that is exactly what she got as Livia Lancelot ran out winner ahead of Rutledge. Once again Nat Kane, still not fully recovered from her June smack on the head, could not race and sole Brit Gabi Hamlet was a shadow of her usual self after a big crash in quali and didn't start race two.

ITALY'S NATIONS BOMBSHELL
.... Toni Cairoli to race MX2 ! | 12.07.2014
ITALY'S NATIONS BOMBSHELL<br />
  ....  Toni Cairoli to race MX2 !

Team Italia dropped a bombshell on Saturday evening in Finland when manager Thomas Traversini announced: "Toni Cairoli has volunteered to race the MX2 class at the Nations in September." The seven times world champion expanded: "I have won the MX1 class on the 350 for the last four motos at the Nations, but we want to win the team classification. I didn't race a 250F for five years, but I am the lightest member of the team and it will be easier for me to switch from a 350 than for my teammates to switch from a 450. We will only have a week and a half to set up the bike, but I am confident I can be competitive." TC's 450 teammates at Kegums will be David Philippaerts and Davide Guarneri.

2015 MXGP PROVISIONAL CALENDAR | 04.07.2014
2015 MXGP PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

Six overseas GPs, plus the return of Russia ! The 2015 GP season will see several dramatic changes with no GP in New Zealand, Bulgaria or Sweden, but two new ones in Argentina and a Dutch GP at the road race shrine of Assen. The list at the moment is strictly "provisional" as Youthstream are contractually committed to presenting a provisional calendar for the following year before July 1, but the direction is clear. The WMX girls have the chance to get hot and sticky with two overseas races in Qatar and Thailand at the start of the year. Click "More" to see the full list of 18 events.

HERLINGS GOES STATESIDE | 26.06.2014
HERLINGS GOES STATESIDE

Jeffrey Herlings will race at least one US National in August. KTM racing boss Pit Beirer confirmed the news over the weekend at Teutschenthal: "It is Jeffrey's dream to race there sometime and we promised him that we would make everything available for him to do so. He initially wanted to race Millville, but we didn't want him flying hectically backwards and forwards between two GPs (Ed: Millville is on July 19, the free weekend between Hyvinkää and Loket) but the cancellation of the Ukraininan GP gives him almost all of August free ... and Jeffrey would be out riding flat-out every day anyway on the practice track. It is not a condition that he has already clinched the world title at Lommel on August 3." There are three US Nationals in August - Unadilla on the 9th, Crawfordsville/Indiana on the 16th and Tooele/Utah on the 23rd.

TONUS ON HIS WAY HOME | 21.06.2014
TONUS ON HIS WAY HOME

Arnaud Tonus is on his way home this evening after crashing out of the German GP during free practice. The Swiss ace needed morphine after dislocating a shoulder when he cross-rutted before a step-up, and, in his absence, Jeffrey Herlings has the possibility to move 105 points clear in the MX2 world series tomorrow to make his hopes of clinching the title at Lommel on the first weekend of August a distinct possibility ! The Dutch teenager and Kevin Strijbos won the qualification races at Teutschenthal.


SALUTE, O SHOW | 17.06.2014
SALUTE, O SHOW

There is usually a show element to Italian GPs, particularly @ Maggiora, and 1986 Nations hero Johnny O'Mara was present at the weekend as the track winds up to hosting the world team contest again in 2016: "It's only the second time I've been back since. That race 28 years asgo was just one of those days you never forget; it was probably the best race of my career." The O Show was in the US "dream team" alongside David Bailey and Rick Johnson as they whitewashed the opposition, Johnny being the ultimate US hero when he passed current 500 world champion David Thorpe on his 125, though the crowing Yanks did ignore the fact that DT had no brakes !

BEN WATSON HOLESHOT | 14.06.2014
BEN WATSON HOLESHOT

Ben Watson made it the second holeshot of the day for Hitachi KTM when he led away the first EMX2 moto @ Maggiora, but Sulivan Jaulin, who had lapped even faster than Herlings in the morning quali, needed less than half a lap to nip past and run away with the moto. Ben stayed a clear second, Adam Sterry moved forward decisively to third before being pushed back to fifth late on, and Steven Clarke had to work hard to defend his red plate; away midpack and caught up on lap one, he came round first time outside the top 20 but worked forward methodically to ninth at the finish. And, the rain holding off, there was dust !

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER | 09.06.2014
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Back in 1970 British greats Dave Bickers and Jeff Smith, each in the twilight of their illustrious careers, flew out to New Zealand to contest the Gold Leaf International Series. When the points were tallied up at the final round the dynamic duo, still the best-known names in UK "scrambling" after their domination of the 1960s BBC Grandstand series, had identical scorelines and jokingly sawed the trophy in two. The two halves subsequently disappeared, but were recently unearthed by series organiser Tim Gibbes, himself a UK & GP regular in the late 50s/early 60s; mounted on new plaques, the halves were presented to Dave and Jeff at the recent Imola Reunion by none other than Les Archer, Britain's second ever FIM champion back in 1956.

STEVE DIXON'S FUEL DRAMAS
... Max Anstie disqualified from Trentino GP | 30.05.2014
STEVE DIXON'S FUEL DRAMAS<br />
  ... Max Anstie disqualified from Trentino GP

Max Anstie has been disqualified from the GP of Trentino on April 13 after the FIM fuel testers allegedly found discrepancies with the regulations in a fuel sample taken from the Brit's fuel tank after racing at Arco di Trento. Steve Dixon explained that the BikeIt Cosworth Yamaha team will not contest the finding but declared defiantly: "I am not a cheat. I am still waiting for the FIM to explain what was suddenly wrong with a fuel which we have used, and been tested with, for three years, but it is not worth appealing with only seven points at stake."


FIRST PODIUM FOR TIM GAJSER | 25.05.2014
FIRST PODIUM FOR TIM GAJSER

There hasn't been much joy for Honda this weekend outside of their 150 series, but a deserved career first GP podium for Tim Gajser after the Slovenian had stormed up the MX2 leaderboard to 4-3 salvaged some pride for Big Red. The winners ? Toni Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings of course. Log in tomorrow for a gallery of sweet images from Matterley Basin.

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