As a big fan of Jimmy Carr (British TV presenter/comedian for those that don’t know him), his stand up shows, 8 out of 10 Cats, and his Big Fat Quiz of the Year programme, which will be on TV soon – I was pumped when I got asked to put this article together. As he covers each month of the year on the quiz it reminds you of all the happenings that took place over the last 12 months, and probably what you were doing at the time too. This is a handful of highlights over the season that was… 2014.
Just like right now, we’re all looking ahead to January and the most anticipated race of the year in motocross/supercross, Anaheim 1. Last year’s edition was no yawner and to be honest it never is! Bubba crashed out massively through a whoop section while setting up Ken Roczen for the pass for the lead, which left Kenny to take his first Supercross victory in the premier division. After the race was RV2 wondering if it was such a good idea to let Roczen share his trainer for the season and perhaps the seed is sewn for a move to the GPs?
January also sees Chad Reed showing everyone that he still has the minerals and takes a memorable win at Anaheim 2.
Elsewhere, most of Europe is under water – not literally – so there isn’t much action to report. The UK Arenacross series gets underway and turns out be a sell out tour, with many of the British Championship regulars racing, however it’s Frenchman Fabien Izoird on the LPE Kawasaki that leads the way in to February.
The outdoor motocross scene kicks off in style with the Hawkstone International taking place towards the end of the month. Tommy Searle arrives in a filthy white Porsche 10 minutes before the MX2 qualifying starts in true rock star style, obviously there aren’t many petrol stations turned £5 car washes in his area which is shame.
Later on, that Jeffery Herlings lad absolutely destroys the competition, proving that Dutch riders can be good sand riders if they work at it. He’d obviously spent a few weekends at FatCat prior to get used to the soft stuff.
Elsewhere, Jason Anderson and Cole Seely lead the way in a pretty tight battle for the 250 West crown, separated by four points after six as the East series kicks off in Texas. The opening East coast round is won by Adam Cianciarulo who takes the W at his first proper Supercross race after a disastrous outdoor season in 2013 (after a heavy hit of salmonella wiped him out).
The world and British championships kick off this month. With the GPs starting off with a couple of flyways, Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin trade wins at the opening two rounds while Jeffery Herlings takes both rounds in commanding fashion. It may have been oh-so different had Max Anstie’s bike made it to the finish however, after leading the way in Qatar quite convincingly. What followed may just be the most bizarre interview in the sport…
“I know I’m the fastest. He knows I’m the best. There’s no one that can do things that I can do.” – Max Anstie
The UK Arenacross series comes to a close and it’s Fabien Izoird that takes the championship after leading the way from the second night at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.
The Maxxis British Championship springs in to life all the way down south at Landrake, Cornwall. No surprises in MX1 as GP runners Shaun Simpson and Jake Nicholls trade wins and are joined on the podium be reigning champion Kristian Whatley.
Over in MX2 its tight at the top with Matiss Karro and Mel Pocock tying on points after Karro wins two and falls in the last race. Veteran and all round PR dream Bryan Mackenzie wins the last moto of the day proving that Maxxis tires shouldn’t be sniffed at all…
April saw some top GP riders get themselves in to a right sh*tty situation while getting their midweek motos in. Glenn Coldenhoff crashed himself out of the MX2 points-chase after a couple of GP race wins early on in the season all on his own.
Meanwhile Max Nagl, Todd Waters, and Mike Kras, all landed on a stricken bike that took each of them out of contention for a few months with various injuries, with Waters suffering the worst with a broken tib, fib, hip, and collarbone. Ouch!
Ryan Villopoto wraps up his fourth straight Supercross championship in fine style at the penultimate round held in New York City. The weekend before in Seattle some riders take part in providing urine samples for testing, with mixed results. But more on that little story later…
Back to Europe and the EMX 250 championship kicks off in Bulgaria and Great Britain gets two guys on the box, in the shape of little Watson and Steven Clarke, good work boys!
Lewis Gregory wins round two of the all-new EMX 300 two-stroke class at Talavera de la Reina in Spain, ending a 14 year drought of British riders winning there on a two-stroke since Gordon Crockard back in the year 2000! A stat not helped by the fact that GPs weren’t held there for about 10 years and that no one really races two-strokes anymore! But who cares, facts are facts!
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicks off at Glen Helen and Jeremy Martin schools the field on how to twist it on a 250f, winning both motos by a comfortable margin.
In the 450s it’s local boy Josh Grant that pretty much comes out of nowhere after missing a third of the Supercross rounds, and takes the win in the opening moto of the year. Just like when he won the opening moto back in 2010 at Lakewood, he starts moto two on the ground, pulls in to the mechanics area, then puts on charge of epic proportions to come back to 15th in the race and 5th overall on the day. That doesn’t sound like much but he was way, way, way, back at the start.
Ryan Dungey passes team-mate Ken Roczen with three corners to go to take the win and the overall and somehow Roczen has to try and look happy on the podium after nearly getting the win in moto one as well.
By now all the major championships are well under way and there’s a lot going on! Grand Prix racing returns to another classic track, and more importantly, one with hills! Flat tracks used at the highest level of racing just isn’t right, especially with the power of 450s… and 250s for that matter.
Anyway, the track in question is Maggiora, Italy, and Cairoli wins both races, which must have been awesome for him and his home crowd.
Back to the British scene and the Maxxis series returns to Whitby for the first time since 2007. Three former Swift Suzuki team-mates from 2008 are racing together in the MX1 class and only one of them leave unscathed. EBB goes down on an already injured shoulder that he damaged earlier in the year and is out again for a couple of months, and Jake Nicholls leaves with his little finger barely attached to his hand.
This ended his season right there as what was left of his finger was a right mess but his surgeon worked his magic and saved Jakes career. However, as we all now know, he’s back on motocross bike getting ready for 2015 and looking good on the 350.
Don’t miss part two, July – December. Check back here in a few days.