This week we’ve been buzzing about the new Gas Gas two-stroke. To be honest, it’s been a very long time since we’ve been that excited about Gas Gas. It’s interesting that the make still has a presence at National Enduros–often, there will be more Gas Gases on the entry list than Suzukis. Earlier in the week, we got to ride the new EC300 and XC300 for the first time. Click here for the report. The company is serious about making a comeback. There were three brand ambassadors who attended the press launch: Steve Hatch, Fred Andrews and Damon Bradshaw. That’s a pretty impressive experience pool. Justin Jones rode for my photos and helped evaluate the bike. Jones and Hatch had an interesting connection. Steve rode on the winning U.S. ISDE Junior World Trophy Team in 1991. The next time that the U.S won that title was in 2015, when Jones lead the team.
Gas Gas announced that it will have support for the ISDE in France this August. There will be a bike rental deal and a technical support deal. It’s actually a bargain. For comparison, bike rental from Husqvarna is over $3000.
Gas Gas has designed three complete, exclusive options for its riders:
1. ASSISTANCE SERVICE: 1,000 €. This option only includes technical and mechanical assistance throughout the race days and Parts Service *
2. RENTAL SERVICE: 1,800 €. Exclusive rental only program for the new 2018 Gas Gas EC 250/300 models for racing in the ISDE. New bikes, registered and insured, with a purchase option with special conditions for the riders **
3. RENTAL + ASSISTANCE SERVICE: 2,500 €. The most complete pack for racing in the ISDE, the sum of both the above options
MEANWHILE, AT KTM
Last week, the KTM 250XC-W TPI was shown to the press. Mark Tilley attended for dirt bike. You can see his thoughts by clicking here. He also appears in the KTM-produced video below.
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THIS WEEK AT DIRT BIKE
While we’re waiting for the 2018 models, we’ve been riding our own two-stroke project bike. This Husky TC250 was built mostly by Dennis Stapleton with off-the shelf parts from Pro-X. RJ Wageman was the designated photo rider yesterday at Milestone MX.
Another project that we’ve been working on is Sean Foos’ KTM 450SX. Yes, we still ride four-strokes. I shot the photos with Sean yesterday, as well, but the project is still underway. It started off as experiment to learn more about the WP Cone AER fork, which is a fairly pricey upgrade over the stock AER 48. We also got into pipe testing and motor mods until the bike turned into a virtual works bikes. It’s still a work in progress, with more testing to be done.
CHANGES FOR ENDUROCROSS
As of 2017, the premier class of EnduroCross will be called Super EnduroCross. The name change is mostly driven by the desire to match the FIM “Super Enduro” World championship and to help people better understand our sport globally.
- The Super EnduroCross class will now have the top eight riders of the championship (present) seeded for final. Those eight riders will have a hot lap Saturday afternoon for the qualifier gate pick. They will then race a qualifier, a bracket race (top 12 from the qualifier) and the main event.
- Fourteen other riders will qualify for the night show during Saturday’s day program and will ride the first race of the evening. The top five of that race will join the eight seeded Super EnduroCross riders for the first Super EnduroCross race (gate pick qualifier).
- Super EnduroCross gate pick qualifier will have 13 riders lined up with the top 12 going to the bracket race.
- After intermission, the top 12 riders from the Super EnduroCross gate pick race will be part of a bracket race where the top riders will compete three times with the winner earning one championship point.
- Then we will have the Super EnduroCross B main (not part of a series championship) with the nine remaining Super EnduroCross riders and the winners of Amateur and Vet classes. The top two of that race will qualify for the Super EnduroCross main event.
The final race (Main event) will have 14 laps and a “No Joke Lane” that each participant will have to conquer one time during the main event. The Super EnduroCross class will also have one throw-away event prior to the final round in Ontario.
LAST DOG STANDING & JBC 10-HOUR
At KTM’s race shop, preparations are being made for the Prairie Dog’s Last Dog Standing next week. Cody Webb and Taylor Robert both have bikes that are being set up. This year the event will have a presenting sponsor: Endurocross. Spencer Bloomer has already fabricated the trophies.
The event will be on the same weekend as two other races at Glen Helen. First, the Prairie Dogs will host a night GP with 100 percent Pro payback on June 9th. The Last Dog will last pretty much all day on the 10th. And on the 11th is the JBR 10 Hours of Glen Helen, which will be held in two legs with a course change. There are a few nut cases (Paul Krause) who have made big claims that they will do all three.
WORCS IN THE HEAT
The following weekend is WORCS round 8. This should be in the heat of the summer, after many racing venues have taken a break. WORCS is making the best of it with special events.
After an awesome day of racing come hang with WORCS as we have some good ol’ Summer FUN! Bounce houses, games, WORCS Kids Crafts, Dunk Tanks and MORE!Want to show your love for the Pros and Sweep Riders? “A Buck a Throw to DUNK A PRO!!” Come a DUNK Your favorite WORCS Pro Racer (AND WORCS BOSS, SEAN!) in our DUNK TANK! $1 per throw all of the proceeds going to our sweep riders.Saturday night after racing, take a Lap around the track with DAD for Father’s Day!
Next, enter the Figure 8 Summer Festival Fun Racing. Open to MC, ATV and SXS and limited to 100 entrants! Cost to enter is simply a donation to the sweep riders! ($1 or a Million. Up to you.) WORCS will match whatever is donated! Winner of the race will win $100! (There will be a pro for each discipline that will lay down their lap time. If the winner also beats the pro time they will win an extra prize!)