The Fast Times

It’s Time for the Good, the Rad and the Gnarly: January 15, 2018

Axell Hodges
It’s the start of a new week, so it’s time to collate all the action from the weekend, for the good, the rad and the gnarly…

The Land of the Long White Cloud

2018 International Woodville New Zealand Grand Prix

It’s a new year, but the new season – well, the second half of it, anyway – has yet to begin. It is close, though. Like, really close, with King of the Mountain set for this coming weekend (be sure to keep scrolling for more information on that event, too). Then, one week later, the Kiwi motocrossers head to Woodville, for the iconic 2018 International Woodville New Zealand Grand Prix.

Yes, on the weekend of January 27 and 28, the 57th running of the Grand Prix will take place, which makes the event one of the country’s oldest motorcycle races – if not the most prestigious.

While the entry list is a veritable who’s who of Kiwi motocross, with a few Aussies thrown in to mix it up, the big news is that the Grand Prix has been given FIM Oceania status for 2018 and beyond.

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

The What: 2018 Honda International Woodville New Zealand Grand Prix
The Where: State Highway 3, Woodville
The When: Saturday, January 27 + Sunday, January 28
The Who: Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club

2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships

Cody Cooper
Photo: Lauran Robinson | Lauran’s Images

The weekend after Woodville has the Kiwi elite head back in the ‘Naki – just a fortnight after King of the Mountain – for the first round of the NZ MX Nationals, the first of four rounds. Who’s your money on to take the titles in MX1, MX2 and 125cc? Those aren’t the only classes, though, ’cause Motorcycling New Zealand has announced the introduction of two new cup classes that will run over those four rounds.

The first of the new cup classes is the 2018 Woman’s Cup. It will be held over the first two rounds of the 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships AKA 2018 NZ MX Nationals. This new cup class allows motos with a capacity of up to 125 cubes for two-strokes and 250 cubes for four-strokes. The points will accumulate at each round, with the Woman’s Cup being awarded at the second and final round (for the cup class) in Rotorua.

The final two rounds of the NZ MX Nationals will host the second of the new cup classes to be implemented by MNZ: the 2018 Under 19’s Cup. The class begins in Hawke’s Bay on March 11, and ends a fortnight later in Taupo, on March 24. Like the Woman’s Cup, the Under 19’s Cup allows two-strokes up to 125cc and four-strokes up to 250cc. The points will be accumulated at each round and the class cup will be awarded at the second and final round in Taupo.

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

The What: 2018 NZ MX Nationals – Round 1
The Where: Barrett Motorcycle Park
The When: Sunday, February 4
The Who: Taranaki Motorcycle Club

The World Stage

Monster Energy AMA Supercross

As with everything in life, professional racers can see it all change in a moment, even if you’re as prepared – both physically and mentally – as Marvin Musquin. Unfortunately for the “Flyin’ Frenchman” (and race fans around the world), that happened to be the case over the weekend.

After taking the win at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener in Anaheim, it looked like Musquin was going to keep that momentum going in to the second round in Houston, Texas. But a crash in a heat race took him out of contention for the night. That saw him lose the red plate and points lead to Jason Anderson, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider who not only won his heat race, but was able to chase down Ken Roczen, the early race leader, make the pass and gap the rest of the pack to take the win.

Heading into the third round, which heads back to Anaheim, Anderson holds a seven-point lead over Roczen and Barcia. Will the third round see the return of the other contenders out with shoulder injuries? That remains to be seen. But Eli Tomac, Dean Wilson and Musquin were definitely missed in Houston.

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

The What: 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Round 2
The Where: Houston, Texas
The When: Sunday, January 14
The Who:

450 SX

1. Jason Anderson
2. Ken Roczen
3. Justin Barcia

250 SX

1. Aaron Plessinger
2. Joey Savatgy
3. Chase Sexton

The Viral

Here’s how you slay it

You’ve probably seen one of Axell Hodges’ many edits before, which are normally shot at his “Slayground” compound, but it seems each and every one brings something new to the scene – even if it’s just Axell messing ’round.

For this clip, Hodges shared some of the highlights from his session at Pala Raceway, which also caters to the freeriders.

The Gear Bag

Fox Racing Instinct Boot

Fox Instinct Boots
Photo: Alick Saunders Photography

The Instinct is Fox Racing‘s premium, pro-level motocross boot. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a pro to wear the Instinct – ’cause, let’s face it, not many of us are. So, even if you’re a weekend warrior, an intermediate shredder, or an up-and-coming shredder who is about to turn pro, the Fox Racing Instinct boot is a smart option. That’s due to the advanced tech used in the boot to enhance the ride – for all those aforementioned skill levels – and keep the pilot safer.

Since its inception, the Fox Instinct boot has proven itself to be the world’s fastest motocross boot by winning the past four Supercross and motocross championship titles. This year, the boot receives a brand new Duratac rubber compound for improved durability and grip.

With a patent pending hinge and buckle system, the Instinct boot provides an immediate step in comfort and support. The exclusive hinge provides lateral support and locks out to stop motion before hyperextension, while the easy buckle system flexes fluidly with the boot for ease of movement.

The Instinct boot improves performance by giving you greater command of the dirt bike. A slim medial design gives you an intuitive feel of the bike, with a low ride chassis providing smooth shifting and better control of the rear brake.

The outsole and burn guard utilises a new Duratec compound for grip and durability. This proprietary rubber was engineered exclusively by Fox’s development team to give you, the rider, the greatest advantage on the track.

Now, you need to see for yourself why the Instinct is the motocross boot of choice for champions like Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen.

So, while you might not be as fast as Dungey or Roczen (even if he had “one hand tied behind his back”), you can wear the same boot. That will give you the same level of protection and performance, even if your performance isn’t world-class.

The Weekend

2018 King of the Mountain

Cody Cooper
Photo: Lauran Robinson | Lauran’s Images

This weekend, the first major event of the 2018 Kiwi motocross season will take place, and it’s set to be huge. That event is the Taranaki Motorcycle Club’s King of the Mountain, an event that has some of Aotearoa’s fastest motocrossers heading to the ‘Naki for an epic weekend of racing.

The line-up includes Cody Cooper and Rhys Carter, two rippers who went 1-2 at Summercross, the last major event of 2017. That bodes well for “Coops” and Carter, but also race fans that are on the bunting.

The Saturday is for minis and juniors, with sign-on beginning at 7.00am, and racing beginning not long after. The Sunday sees the seniors, vets and women tearing up Barrett Motorcycle Park, with practice from 8.45am.

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

The What: 2018 King of the Mountain
The Where: Barrett Motorcycle Park
The When: Saturday, January 20 + Sunday, January 21
The Who: Taranaki Motorcycle Club

Main Photo: Monster Energy


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