This weekend, Team Honda HRC contests the penultimate round of the AMA Pro Motocross series at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland, where Ken Roczen looks to rebound after a wet weekend in New York that saw him finish with a pair of sevens. With only two rounds remaining, Roczen still has his sights set on his first overall victory. He is fond of the Budds Creek track, having wrapped up his championship there in 2016, but with the forecast showing potential thunderstorms, the German could find himself fighting similar track conditions to Unadilla.
In the 250 class, the GEICO Honda squad is looking for a positive weekend in Maryland with riders Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire, and Cameron McAdoo. Despite the grueling conditions at last weekend's Unadilla National, Sexton scored fifth overall, while McAdoo had a breakthrough performance, snaring the holeshot and leading laps in the second moto before finishing 11th overall. Hampshire struggled to stay upright, landing 12th.
Team HRC is heading to the north of Switzerland to take part in the 16th Grand Prix of 2018, the first of three back-to-back events that will keep the MXGP paddock alive and busy until early September. The standard bearers of the Milan-based official Honda effort are looking forward to the challenge, with a mix of fond memories and curiosity for what could be in store. The hardpack Frauenfeld-Gachnang track made its first appearance on the MXGP calendar in 2016, and it was the debut edition that was the most successful one for Tim Gajser and Calvin Vlaanderen: Gajser was second overall in the 450cc class aboard his Honda CRF450RW machine (with a win in the second moto), while Vlaanderen finished in the top five. Currently fourth and fifth in the championship standings, respectively, Tim and Calvin are looking forward to entering the last leg of the season strongly in order to move closer to the top three while aiming at more success. Todd Waters will be racing at the Swiss track for the first time, but with a dozen days away from racing to train in perfect health, the Australian is keen to show what he is capable of after a brutal weekend in Lommel.
The Atacama Rally has reached its halfway point with the completion of the third stage today. Despite an hour and a half delay due to the morning fog, participants finally got away and had to tackle a total of 208 miles on the looping Copiapó route, which took riders to Ojos del Salado during the 161-mile special. The terrain covered several miles of dunes plus faster track and dry river beds. The Monster Energy Honda riders earned satisfactory results, with Kevin Benavides taking third place in the special, leaving the Argentinean in second overall, 4'56" behind the leader, with two days still to run. Benavides again opened the track from start to finish. Paulo Gonçalves improved from the previous days and finished one minute behind his teammate, in fourth position. The sixth best time of the day was for José Ignacio Cornejo, and Ricky Brabec posted ninth on the day.
American Flat Track heads to the heart of dirt track country–Illinois–this weekend for the Peoria Motorcycle Club’s legendary TT. It is the season’s last race of this specialized discipline, and the most recent TT saw Honda-mounted Jacob Lehman surprise many by finishing second in the AFT Singles main. In the points standings, it’s Ryan Wells who is the top Red Rider, currently sitting second, and while the gap to first is substantial, the New York rider will be giving his all aboard his CRF450R.