Here is the latest news from some of EBC’s assisted off-road motorcycle racers:
This month’s feature includes race reports from Natalie Kane, Chris Bailey, Cory Texter, Kirirom Endurance and
Here is the latest news from Chris Bailey who is achieving great winning results this season in the highly competitive Enduroland RaceXC Series, which he moved up into this year since turning 14 years of age. Chris has EBC “R” Series ATV brake pads fitted on his KTM 150 XC-W 2017 bike.
Here is Chris’s latest race news written by dad, Jon Bailey:
Enduroland RaceXC – Second Round – Ivinghoe, Dunstable Downs
This, the second race of the season, was our first trip to Ivinghoe for Enduroland RaceXC. This was a totally different venue to the last track, the track is on the Dunstable Downs, a chalky, hard packed race was in store.
This event saw slightly less riders but still a good turn out of 86. Nine o’clock came and saw all the riders ready on the start grid. The race started with the expert class, the youth group were 4th off the grid. As the flag dropped Chris got the holeshot again and won me a case of beer (thanks son). So the race was on! Chris quickly started to make his way through the field, leaving his other youth riders far behind and now starting to battle with the Clubman & Vets Class, which started a minute before him, so making time up quickly.
By the end of the first lap he was already up to 30th overall. This track had man made obstacles so Chris decided to take the op out for these.
Speaking to him after the race he said:
I thought the op out was the safer route as I wouldn’t get stuck or damage the bike.
Around 70% of riders also used the op out. Chris soon found his groove and settled in to a good pace, slowly making his way up the pack, with constant lap times, lap after lap. This being only Chris’s second race he was certainly getting the feel for his new bike, all the practice was starting to pay off. By 3/4 of the way in I pulled Chris in for a quick fuel stop, as he was so far ahead of the other youth riders, I didn’t think it would hurt, didn’t want him to run out.
When the flag dropped after the 2 hours, Chris finished a very respectable 21st overall and 1st in class, another great win.
Enduroland RaceXC – Third Round – Fred’s Farm, Chacombe near Banbury
For round three of Enduroland RaceXC, we headed to Fred’s Farm Chacombe near Banbury. This was the first race here for this season, this track is a great technical venue, from natural fields, to the woods and the big embankments, which you struggle to walk up. This is one of the bigger venues the club uses, and normally a lap will average 10-12 minutes.
We woke on Sunday morning to a damp track from the early morning rain, this being a grass venue wasn’t what we wanted, but sun was forecast and didn’t let us down.
The race started as normal in the set classes, Chris again got the holeshot and won dad a case of beer, but a few corners after the start Chris locked the front wheel on the wet grass and had a fast crash, with the bike landing completely upside down on the seat and handlebars. Chris sorted out the bike brushed himself down and got back to the race, now in last place in his class.
Not put off by the crash Chris knuckled down and started to make ground on the other riders, being more cautious with the braking. After a few laps the sun made an appearance and started to dry the grass, so Chris took full advantage of this and started to set a great pace, so much so he had regained the lead in his group. By this time the race was an hour in and Chris had started to settle in to a good rhythm and started to put out a good lead over the others. But with 20 minutes left he started to lose his pace, pointing to his wrist when ever we saw him. We later found out this was from the crash, but he pushed on and made it to the finish to take 1st in class and 28th overall. But better still he played his joker card, so double points for the win.
Be back next month with another report.
Natalie Kane and Frida Östlund, the Team Honda MX Sweden Girls, have been having an action packed season in the MXSM Swedish Championships. Natalie & Freda use MXS Series Moto-X Race Pads and Motocross MD series rotors on their Honda CRF250R bikes.
Here are Natalie and Frida’s race reports of the last three rounds:
Race report Borås – Round One
Natalie and Frida attended the premier of the Swedish championship which took place at the track of Borås near Gothenburg on 29th – 30th April 2017. They looked to be in for a wet weekend as it rained on Friday non stop but stayed dry for Saturday and the track was actually better with the natural watering in the girls’ opinion.
Saturday started with 10 minutes free practice followed by 15 minutes timed racing, Natalie had 1.5 seconds difference and Frida got a steady 5th fastest time for a good gate pick.
Race 1 – Natalie got off on a 4th place start, but quickly charged to the front by the end of lap one and never looked back winning by a comfortable 12 seconds lead. Frida started at the end of the top 10 and worked her way up to 4th, but suffered with arm issues and lost some places finishing a disappointing 6th in her eyes.
Sunday was much warmer and like a completely different track to Saturday as a lot of stones had been thrown after the girls’ 1st Moto so both spent most of the time trying to adapt to how the track was and find some better lines.
Race 2 – Natalie unfortunately got caught up in a start straight crash, which was not her fault, but could not avoid getting taken out and run over by other girls. She was winded and a bit banged up as was her bike, but she rejoined the race almost a lap down and used her determination to get to an 8th place finish. Frida started at the back after just avoiding the start crash, so she worked hard, made some passes and got herself into 5th place, but a small mistake left her back in 6th again at the finish line.
Natalie needed 3rd overall and only 9 points down on the leader. Frida was 7th overall in the championship standing.
Natalie’s thoughts on the weekend:
I am really happy with how my speed is coming along and my feeling on the bike is just getting better and better. It was a really good weekend for me, every time I was out on track I was the fastest and I felt good but unfortunately I got caught up in this start crash which I don’t understand what even happened but I went down hard and struggled to get back up and ride but I finally got going again and struggled with the pain and got back to 8th position and posted same lap times as 1st even with a banged up body and bike so I am happy considering and it could have been worse.
Frida’s thoughts on the weekend:
I am very disappointed with this weekend because I can and should have been better but I struggled all weekend with the track and arm pump but I have nothing much to say really other than it is not good enough and I will work hard from now to the next race and hope to ride more like myself.
Race Report Uppsala – Round Two
The 2nd round of the Women’s Swedish Championship is done for the girls. This was a new race track on the calendar that Natalie had never been to and Frida once before previously, but they both thought the track was good and more like the World championship level being a little rough and more technical.
Natalie was involved in a start crash during the first round which she thought was only some stiffness and bruising but turned out to be a bigger problem when she tried to ride in round two. Something was wrong with her knee so following further check ups and scans, it showed Natalie had torn her LCL ligament (Lateral Collateral ligament) that normally takes eight to ten weeks to heal. All that being said Natalie still decided to try and ride.
In the qualifying round the track had been pretty heavily watered to last all day so it was a little slippy but Natalie managed one lap good enough for a 2nd place finish so she avoided riding any more to prevent injuring her knee any further. Frida struggled to get a clear lap but still had a 5th fastest time which was perfect for a good gate pick.
Race 1 – Natalie started mid pack but quickly made her way into the 2nd position and chased down 1st which ended in a race long battle with the leader Emelie Dahl who was racing on her home track. Emelie blocked Natalie from passing, she almost crashed into some lapped riders, so she decided to be safe and settle for a 2nd place finish. Frida started in a top three position but a 1st lap slide left her back in the pack and battling her way up. She was riding much better and got the whole way to 4th and battled hard for 3rd, but just could not make the pass and ended with a 4th position.
Race 2 – Both girls had a bad start, but a few laps in the race got red flagged because a rider crashed hard so a full restart was needed which went better as Natalie was in 2nd around the first corner and quickly moved into the lead, winning comfortably. Frida was inside the top 10 on the start and made passes up to 5th, but again battled between 3rd and 4th position the whole race. Just after getting into 4th position she had a huge crash and was lucky to walk away from it, but she was still able to finish in 5th position.
I am very happy with how my weekend went as I didn’t know what to expect or even if it was possible to ride a whole race with my injured knee because when I practised during the week I only did four laps. Also from the start crash I was sore all over my body so I have done no riding or training for two weeks. I just hoped the adrenaline would kick in at race time which it did and I was able to just ride though the pain and focus on doing whatever it takes to get as many points as possible to try and win another Swedish championship . The track was rough and technical so actually this helped me a lot to slow everything down a little bit and ride smart. Overall I am really pleased with my 2-1 score over the weekend and didn’t lose any points in the championship.
I felt much better this weekend even though the results do not show it as I should have been 3-3 in the races but some small mistakes meant I wasn’t able to make the passes stick and I ended with 4-5. I’m happy with my improvements in myself and my riding but I still want and know I can be better and closer to the front battling with Natalie and Emelie Dahl.
Race Report Ulricehamn – Round Three
The 3rd round of the MXSM Swedish Champion is done and dusted with some rain but overall it was a good weekend at the sandy circuit of Ulricehamn. The track was very tough and rough and there were a lot of crashes so we were happy to come away injury free and gain some points.
In the qualifying round both Frida and Natalie struggled to get one good lap but were happy for their gate pick of 6th for Frida and 3rd for Natalie.
Race 1 – Natalie didn’t have such a good start but made some quick passes into 4th, then took a few laps to pass for 3rd. She was working her way up behind 2nd and pressured the rider into making an easy pass but fought hard to get to 1st, only making the pass for the lead with a few minutes left to go to the finish. Frida had an average start and battled the whole race for a good position, but made a lot of mistakes ending up in an unimpressive 6th position.
Race 2 – Natalie again didn’t have a great start but made it to 2nd very fast this time and tried hard to make the pass on the 1st lap for the lead as she knew with no bike time and no physical training for the week that she was going to get tired, but unfortunately she ran out of steam and power earlier than she thought and couldn’t do anything but slow down and bring it home rather than make a mistake. She also came under a lot of pressure from the 3rd position but she never gave up and held on for 2nd. The overall win meant closing the gap to only four points behind the championship leader. Frida started in the top 10, kept it safe and rode her own race even though
she still struggled a little but finished in 4th position.
Natalie won the overall weekend and now has closed the gap to four points from the leader of the championship. Frida was 4th overall and now moved to 5th on the championship, one point from 4th.
I am really happy with the weekend as I had some pain in my knee but nothing major. It showed a lot that I haven’t able to ride or do any training for three weeks with small muscle strain and other injuries I picked up in Borås. It was very frustrating not having anything left to push in race two. This is big step forward and I am ready to work hard again now on and off the bike to get back into full fitness.
Pretty up and down weekend as I felt a lot better but the results didn’t so much show again in the 1st Moto as I couldn’t make the passes where I could have had another 4th. I have made some small steps in the right direction with a 4th in Moto 2 but I know it still can be much better and I am working hard to get back towards the front and bring how I’m riding in training days to race days.
Race Report European Championship – Round Three
The 3rd round of the European Championship took place on 17th – 18th June 2017 at the Schwedt circuit in Germany. The track was built on hilly ground and was half sand and half hard with some tight sections, so something a little different but it was fun. Natalie was back racing after missing the second round in Poland.
Saturday was a day full of pre-qualifying sessions and ended with a qualifying race which was good as it gave both girls more time to learn the track as they were struggling a little to find a nice flow. Natalie finished 4th in the qualifying heat which was good for the gate, but she was frustrated with the start as by the time she made it to 4th position the top three were gone. Frida suffered from arm pump but finished 10th and again gained a good gate pick. Sunday was race day and also the day when the results of the racing count. The weather was much hotter today with more than 30 degrees heat so it proved to be a test for all riders especially those who are not used to it like Natalie and Frida.
Race 1 – Natalie got an even worse start back around 15-20th position but found a few places to make passes inside the top 10 pretty quickly and eventually into 4th by mid way, but then she had a mechanical problem and had to pull out of the race. Frida had a much better ride this time getting into a good position inside the top 10, riding smartly to finish in 5th in her best position yet at the European
Race 2 – Natalie had a much better start in 5th and pushed hard to make the passes needed into 2nd, but by then the leader had a 12 second gap. Natalie was slowly getting closer and was four seconds behind when she again hit a small problem, so was to hard ride and came home in 2nd and still not so far off the lead. Frida had another great start in which she had battles back and forth inside the top 10, but struggled in the hot conditions with not enough bike time, until she began to fade at the end finishing still in a good 10th position.
I am happy with my weekend even though it has been filled with some bad luck and frustration again, but the bike problem was no-one’s fault and these things just happen, but I need to work on and sort out my starts to make things much easier for myself. Anyway it was another step in the right direction, riding wise and I will keep working to get back to full fitness and confidence on the bike after the small set back with my start of the season crash in Borås.
I’m happy with my weekend as it is the best result I’ve had in a race and the best overall result I’ve had also in the European Championship, so that’s nice for everyone who supports me and for myself confidence wise. I struggled still with my arm pump a little and not so much the riding during the past few weeks, but I am slowly getting closer to the old me.
The Kirirom Endurance Challenge started at the Peluksong Caltex petrol station, one of the more usual meeting points which serves as a gateway to the dirt tracks. There were about 10 riders wearing mainly red and orange who gathered at the petrol station.
It must be noted that orange is becoming a dominant colour for off-road racers in the Bodia dirt riding scene after the blue mania of the past few year, although red was always there and is probably here to stay.
Headed by Mr. Nimol on his XR650R, the mob followed and then crossed the railway track heading to the power line trail and the vast Cambodian plains of endless variations of sand and silt.
Cloudy skies and short showers of rain were a blessing as it kept the weather cool and the soil compact making it a perfect dirt riding day. By lunch time they had already covered some 80km of single trails crossing villages, between rice fields and shrub land. Some technical and some free to ride flat out hoping no cows will jump in the way.
Lunch was at the usual Phnom Brasat eatery and included the usual fried chicken, chicken lemon soup and chicken inner parts with water plants. Delicious!
After a lazy lunch another 60km back to PP with the guys although tired, still racing each other back to back on narrow sandy trails bordered by bamboo plants and infested with free ranging cows and an occasional ox cart.
All in all another happy Sunday ride!
Here is the latest news from 16 year old off-road rider Brad Croton who is based near Exeter in Devon and has EBC MXS brake pads fitted on his XC 150 2013 and Sherco X Enduro 2017.
Brad’s race report follows:
Brad Croton has been riding since the age of 13 and has made a steady progression over the last three years. He has had lots of experience in motocross/enduro racing and has taken part in various events including the Dawn till Dusk 12 hour two man event and also the Challcombe 10 Hour Race in his younger years.
This year Brad is racing in the ACU GBXC British Sprint Championship. Here is his latest race report:
The ACU GBXC British Sprint Championship got off to a great start at Rogers Hill Raceway in Dorset over the weekend of 10th-20th March 2017. This was a very close run sprint race with just hundredths of a second between the front runners.
I treated myself to a new Husky 125 TX last month so I’ve been doing a lot of training on that to get used to it.
I completed my first race on the new bike at the GBXC Sprints. Overall I won my class by a long way when I managed 58th out of 120 on Saturday and Sunday. I was happy with 58th overall.
I’m off to Erzberg, with a load of the British lads, which takes place on 15th – 18th June 2017 in Austria which I’m mega excited for!
When I’m back I’ll be back on the bike and ready to get back out there!
Thanks for your support!
Photo Credit: Michael Boston
Cory Texter has been racing at several events recently including the highly competitive, adrenaline-fueled American Flat Track Series.
Cory Texter’s Race report follows:
Hope everyone is doing well. I have been very busy traveling all over the country and competing.
Here is my race news of the season so far …
Lodi, California – Outlaw Event
The Lodi Cycle Bowl always has a big race the night before the Sacramento Mile. This track has been around forever and the locals are really fast here. It’s been a couple of years since I raced here, but I have always done well at this track. There were some fast riders in attendance. I felt good, but not great. I qualified 7th, finished 3rd in my heat, won my semi and finished 7th in the main event. I was really struggling with some bike setup. Nothing to phone home about, but it was nice to get some seat time and make some extra money while on my trip.
Sacramento, California – American Flat Track Series
Round five of the AFT series was in Sacramento. I like this track a lot. It’s smooth and fast. I have had a couple of top ten finishes here, so I was looking to keep that momentum going. For this race, Baker Racing approached me and asked if I was interested in riding their bike. I never rode it before, but I thought it would be cool to try something different and decided to give it a try.
I felt good on the bike and qualified 8th in both qualifying rounds. I got a good start in my heat race, but couldn’t match the pace of the top guys and finished 5th. I finished 7th in my semi and felt good, but the bike seemed a little down on power. I got a decent start in the main event, but I was having a tough time staying with some of the high horsepower bikes on the straightaways. I ended up finishing 12th.
I was a little disappointed in this result. I really liked the bike I was riding, but when they put it on the dyno after the race, they discovered there were a couple of things that needed to be adjusted to give it more power. After multiple mechanical issues this season, it was nice to finish the race and get some points.
Springfield, Illinois – American Flat Track Series
The Springfield Mile is one of my favourite tracks on the schedule. I finished on the podium in third place last September. I knew this season would be a little different with more factory bikes out there, but I still liked my chances of a good result.
I went out on my new race bike that we spent the last few months building and felt good on it. I was getting used to how it handled and the power of the engine, but the motor decided to quit on me in the first round of qualifying. This forced us to our back up bike for the rest of the afternoon.
My back up bike was a little down on power. I am never one to blame my motorcycle for a bad result, but I am also smart enough to know when I don’t have a strong horse that day. I could either feel sorry for myself that I didn’t have the best equipment that day or I could put my head down and ride what I had as best as I could without any excuses.
I qualified 34th, which is by far my worst qualifying result of the season. I don’t really let it discourage me because I know what I am capable of regardless of what my times are. In my heat race, I came from the back row and finished a really close 4th. I was again on the back row in my semi, but I got a good start and rode as hard as I could to finish in 8th.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in the main event. I knew I had to get a good start and try to tow behind some of the faster guys. I got off the line OK, but got pushed wide in the first corner. I came from 18th and was up around 14th or so when a red flag came out. I never like to see a red flag, but I knew it would probably work in my favour because I had a lot of corner speed, but I was struggling to get in front of the guys ahead of me. I would have a lot more speed in the corners, but the other riders would draft by me on the straightaway and park it in front of me in the next corner. It was frustrating. I couldn’t ride my own race because I was always having to wait behind other riders in the corners. I ended up getting a terrible restart and was back in 15th or so with only six laps to go. I made some aggressive passes and was catching up to the pack of riders ahead of me with a couple of laps to go. I just missed a draft pass at the chequered flags and ended up in 11th place, less than a hundredth of a second from 10th.
After finishing 3rd at the last race here, I wasn’t too happy with 11th, but under all the circumstances, I can’t be too upset. My team worked hard all day and I rode as hard as I could all afternoon.
It’s been a real tough season, but even with everything going on, I am still competitive with the top guys in the country. The fans have been really supportive and that alone makes it all worth it.
I will keep working hard preparing myself and my equipment for these next few nationals and the upcoming X Games in Minneapolis July 13th.