Smartop/Bullfrog Spa MotoConcepts rider Justin Brayton continued his impressive campaign, scoring a notable podium finish in Indianapolis. Brayton got off the line to a seventh-place start aboard his CRF450R before working his way into fourth by lap three. On lap 21, Brayton took advantage of another rider going down in front of him to secure the final podium position. It was a challenging evening for Team Honda HRC's Christian Craig, as crashes left him in 16th by the checkered flag.
The Indianapolis Supercross marked the first of two 250SX East/West Showdowns, with riders from both regions competing for the top spot. It was a dream night for GEICO Honda's Jeremy Martin, as he rode impeccably aboard his CRF250R from start to finish. Martin scored the holeshot and led wire-to-wire, taking his first victory of the season.
The third Grand Prix of the 2018 Motocross World Championship finished at the RedSand MX Park in Valencia, Spain, with Tim Gajser eighth and sixth in the two MXGP races aboard his Honda CRF450RW machine, after winning Saturday’s qualifying race. With an overall result of sixth, the Team HRC rider is now 11th in the championship standings, despite missing the first round due to injury and then competing in two back-to-back rounds.
Team Honda 114 Motorsports' Hunter Lawrence was fifth overall in MX2 after two fifth-place moto results on a track that didn't really favor the Australian. He sits in fourth place in the championship as the series now has a weekend off. Bas Vaessen also showed encouraging speed after missing out at Valkenswaard with a shoulder injury with his two 11th place finishes for 10th overall while Calvin Vlaanderen of Team HRC kept up his consistent performances with a pair of sevenths. Unfortunately, Vamo Racing's Marshal Weltin wasn't able to add to his points haul, despite running consistent lap times in his two motos.
Rockford Fosgate/TiLube Honda’s Chris Blose took over the Arenacross 250AX points lead with an exciting overall victory in Rampa, Idaho. Blose and Jacob Hayes traded main-event wins, but the Red Rider earned the win by virtue of having also won the Head to Head race. Taking fourth overall was Blose’s teammate Heath Harrison, who sits third in the points chase.
After a stellar front-row starting performance aboard the CBR1000RR SP2, Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier finished just off the podium in race one at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit, then backed that up with a solid sixth place in race two. The two American Red Riders–Triple M Honda’s PJ Jacobsen and Camier’s teammate Jake Gagne–had a tougher go of it, the latter thanks in part to a crash in qualifying.
Today’s second of four stages of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was a high-speed affair full of many steep dunes. To avoid potential accidents, riders were forced to be prudent and pay close attention to the road books. The day's stage was the longest of the competition with a total of 323 miles, including 179 miles of timed special. Kevin Benavides continued to shine as the leading rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team. The Argentine upped the pace, narrowing the gap with the riders ahead. Benavides finished in second place on the day and holds third in the provisional standings, less than two minutes behind the leader. American Ricky Brabec, sixth yesterday, repeated the performance today. Tomorrow’s third stage will feature a total of 231 miles, including 175 miles of special timed stage.
For the second year in a row, a Red Rider won the Road to Dakar–the free entry to the Dakar Rally that goes to the winner of Mexico’s Sonora Rally. Last year it was Mark Samuels, and this time around it was Skyler Howes, who was victorious aboard a CRF450X. Competing in his first rally, the Utah resident dominated the four-stage event through the Sonora Desert, with bivouacs in San Luis Rio Colorado, El Golfo, Puerto Lobos, and Kino Bay.
JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell (son of desert legend Johnny) had a strong showing at the third WORCS round of the year, notching two podium finishes on the rough Lake Havasu course aboard his CRF250R, despite having to come from behind in both races. The Californian was third in 250 A and runner-up in Pro 2 Lights. In the headline Pro division, Campbell’s teammate Trevor Stewart started sixth and finished just off the podium aboard his CRF450RX, while fellow Red Riders Cole Shondeck, Justin Jones (himself the son of a Honda racing legend, 1972 AMA Motocross Champion Gary), and Mark Samuels also finished in the top 10.
After finishing round one in second, defending ATV Motocross Joe Hetrick bettered his results by one at round two at South of the Border in South Carolina, posting 2-1 moto scores to take the overall victory. The successful performance moved him to within three points of the series lead, with fellow Red Rider Jeffrey Rastrelli–third in South Carolina–not far behind.
Rick Schroeder with Honda technician Benny Breck
The Honda Red Rider Support rig was on hand at this weekend’s Freestone Spring Championship in Texas, where the Red Rider class winners were Louisianan John Moeller in Junior (25+)–with a perfect 1-1 moto tally–and Missourian Rick Schroeder in Senior (45+). Also of note was Californian Brook Whipple, who finished third in Women (12+).