Though we won’t get any photos until it is officially unveiled at Hay Days in September, BRP has offered a few details on changes to the Ski-Doo MX Zx 600RS race sled for 2014. 2014 MXZx 600 RS Updates • New Body Style • New Rear Suspension • New Track • New Tunnel • New [...] more]]>
Though we won’t get any photos until it is officially unveiled at Hay Days in September, BRP has offered a few details on changes to the Ski-Doo MX Zx 600RS race sled for 2014.
2014 MXZx 600 RS Updates
• New Body Style
• New Rear Suspension
• New Track
• New Tunnel
• New Front Suspension Geometry
• New Steering Geometry
• Increased cooling capacity
• Improved Clutch Calibration
• Improved ECM Calibration
• More HP
According to BRP, the Valcourt Race Shop team is concentrating on improved holeshots, easier steering and better suspension calibrations for the snocross set-up. More details (and photos) to follow September 6th at Hay Days.]]>
It seemed like just about every weekend this winter, we were writing about an Arctic Cat sled on top of a podium. With snowmobile racing all wrapped up until next fall, Arctic Cat says its racers have claimed more high-point championship titles than anybody else.
“When you win most of the battles, you’re likely going to win the war,” says Team Arctic Race Manager, Mike Kloety. “In USXC cross-country especially, yet also in ISOC snocross and RMSHA hillclimbs, we won more than our share of the battles and, as a result, took home most of the championship high point titles.”
Arctic Cat found its greatest success in the USXC cross-country circuit, where Team Arctic racers claimed high-point titles in 13 of 20 classes. Headlining the cross-country domination were Christian Brothers Racing Pros Ryan Simons and Zach Herfindahl, who finished 1-2 in both Pro 600 and Pro Open championship tallies. Other stand-out title performances in USXC belong to Benjamin Langaas, who won both Expert 85 and Improved 85 titles; And Jolene Bute, who won all 10 Women’s finals (and the Championship title) during the season.
In ISOC National snocross competition, Team Arctic/Monster Energy superstar Tucker Hibbert reclaimed the Pro Open Championship title after winning 11 of 16 finals, plus his sixth Winter X Games gold medal in a row. Joining him atop the ISOC Championship box was Team Arctic’s Josh Zelinski, who captured the Pro-Am Plus 30 high-point title.
In the MIRA enduro circuit, Cadarette Racing secured the overall Pro Enduro Championship with racers Troy DeWald and Ryan Spencer.
Out west in the RMSHA hillclimb series, Team Arctic’s Rob Kincaid, Chance Buckallew and Kaycee Balls added championship titles to their win tallies, reinforcing the team’s strength that was also highlighted by Kyle Tapio’s King of Kings title (and five total victories) at the Jackson Hole World Championships.
“As much as we value and appreciate individual race wins, I believe that high-point titles tell the most complete story about Team Arctic,” says Kloety. “These championship titles reflect speed, consistency, mechanical aptitude and, of course, dedication. So on behalf of everyone at Arctic Cat, we want to thank all the racers, crews and teams who made 2013 a season of championship success.
“Likewise, I want to express our gratitude to all Team Arctic racers who took part in the 2013 race season. We’re already moving forward with improvements to our race sleds and program for the coming season, and we’ll be back in the action this summer with grass drag competition.”
Ryan Simons, Pro 600 & Pro Open
Benjamin Langaas, Expert 85 & Expert 85 Improved
Kevin Tinjum, Sport 85
Garrett Johnson, Sport 600
Joseph Wood, Vintage
Gerry Mattison, Vintage 50 Plus & Classic IFS 50 Plus
Jolene Bute, Women’s
Ean Voigt, Junior 10-13
Cole Lian, Junior 14-17
Marissa Kallock, Junior Girls 10-15
ISOC National Snocross
Tucker Hibbert, Pro Open
Josh Zelinski, Pro-Am Plus 30
ISOC Minnesota Regional Snocross
Jacob Blanshan, Pro Stock
Sasha Cook, Pro Women
Travis Kern, Pro Lite
Deon Guinn, Sport
Deon Guinn, Amateur 16-29
Jay Lura, Junior 14-15 & Junior 16-17
Ryley Bester, Jr. Novice LTD & Jr. Novice Combined
Evan Christian, Transition LTD & Transition Combined
Ayden Zimmerman, 120 Stock 4-5
MIRA Pro Enduro
Cadarette Racing, Troy DeWald & Ryan Spencer
Alexxa Callan, Pro Womens
Mark Wiedmeyer, Expert 85
Casey Pries, Semi Pro
Robin Deschenes, Semi Pro 600
Tyler Oomen, Pro Lite
Dale Lindbeck, Pro Stock
NSSR World Speed Records
James Leitl, Trail Stock 440 Fan
Joe Reinhardt, Trail Stock 700 & TS 1000
Valinda Hermanson, Stock 440
Patty Olson, Stock 500, 700 Single Pipe, Stock 100
Brandon Damask, Stock 600 Single Pipe
Brett Nelson, Imp Stock 500
Kris Doberstein, Imp Stock 600
Al Doberstein, Imp Stock 700, Super Stock Twin, 4-Stroke Stock Turbo
Doyle Swift, Imp Stock 1000 & Lake Racer All
Ed Ensor, Lake Racer
Kyle Shilts, 4-Stroke Stock Turbo IS
Steve Spire, Super Twin Lake Racer
Mike Martin, Super Twin Lake Racer 4-Stroke
Leighton Motorsports will have a very tough Pro Lite snocross team to beat next season, as East Coast Snocross Pro Champion Corin Todd and ISOC Sport Champion Zak Mason will join forces with top-ranked ISOC Pro Lite rookie Trevor Leighton.
Twenty-year-old Todd of Malone, NY captured the 2013 ECS championship riding a Polaris for the Bailey/Hulten team and will be relocating to the Midwest for his first full effort on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross tour. Eighteen-year-old Mason of Gaylord, Mich. also captured his national championship riding a Polaris and will be moving to Minnesota, along with his father and mechanic Rob, as he makes his debut as a Pro Lite rider this fall.
At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Leighton Motorsports set forth a unique plan to focus their efforts on the Pro Lite class, much in the same way Pro Circuit has done in motocross racing.
“Right after the X Games, crew chief Ray Hulten and I started talking about how we wanted to move forward long-term,” says Trace Leighton. “We decided to step away from the Pro Open class for now and really focus on the Pro Lite class next year. We want to develop the next wave of Polaris stars and the Pro Lite concept is just the first step. This is the first time Corin and and Zak will be supported by a factory-backed team and we want to keep these guys on our team and on Polaris for the next 10 years.
“All three of these guys have a similar demeanor and strong work ethic that will help drive each other to be their best. We know that our toughest competition will come from within the team and that’s what we want.”
To accommodate the new lineup, which will still include two-time Women’s Pro-Am Champion Jennifer Pare, the Fly Racing/Bully Dog-backed team has purchased the former Blair Morgan Racing trailer with multiple slide-outs and added work space.]]>
Royal Purple will provide support to Schultz by furnishing its advanced lines of synthetic lubricants, coolant and fuel system additives for his efforts both as a competitive snowmobiler and dirt bike rider. Schultz for his part, will provide the Royal Purple technical team with valuable feedback helping to make the company’s products even more effective.
Schultz, a veteran snowmobile and motorcycle racer for more than 15 years, can effectively split his racing career into two separate set of championship eras. From 1999 to 2008, Schultz raced internationally racking up a number of podiums. In 2008, while racing a professional snowmobiling event, Schultz abruptly lost control of his machine, crashing and hyperextending his leg in an accident that would ultimately require an above-the-knee amputation.
Facing a career ending injury, where many athletes would have called it quits, Schultz instead took himself to task designing and building one of the most advanced artificial limbs able to withstand the forces involved in extreme sports like Motocross, Snocross and snowboarding. Since then, Mike Schultz’ Moto Knee and his company Biodapt Inc. have provided products to other athletes and veterans returning from war. The Moto Knee has been so effective, Schultz was able to return to competition; recording five podium finishes and four wins in ESPN’s winter and summer X-Games competition for adaptive Snocross and Supercross.
“Mike has shown incredible tenacity in the face of tremendous circumstances,” says Royal Purple Marketing Director, Randy Fisher. “An accomplished able-bodied athlete in his own right, the work he’s done following his amputation both as a sportsman and as an inventor is truly remarkable and we couldn’t be happier to help support him in all his future endeavors.”]]>
Polaris continued its torrid sales pace in the first quarter of 2013 with net sales of $745.9 million, an increase of eleven percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $673.8 million.
“We are pleased that consumers and enthusiasts around the world continued to make Polaris their brand and product of choice during the first quarter of 2013. While Off-Road Vehicles (“ORVs”) and motorcycles faced challenging 2012 comparisons, we were again able to outpace the industry and increase market share in both product lines,” says Scott Wide, Polaris’ chairman and CEO. “Our snowmobile business also generated strong retail sales and market share growth during the first quarter.”
Snowmobile sales totaled $14.7 million for the 2013 first quarter compared to $4.6 million for the first quarter of 2012. The North American snowmobile industry finished the season strong with industry retail sales up over 20 percent in the 2013 first quarter and up mid-single digits percent for the entire season ending March 31, 2013 due to more normal snowfall levels and later snow cover this snowmobile riding season. Polaris’ North American retail snowmobile sales once again outpaced the industry, resulting in increased market share for the season ending March 31, 2013 and four percent lower season-end North American dealer inventories for Polaris snowmobiles.
During the quarter, the Polaris introduced eight new model year 2014 snowmobiles, including seven all-new models under the Indy name. Sales to customers outside North America increased over 100 percent in the first quarter 2013 as Polaris moved additional product into the Scandinavian and Russian markets where snowfall levels drove healthy snowmobile retail sales increases.]]>
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) is working to become a publicly owned and traded company. BRP has filed a preliminary prospectus with the necessary securities regulatory bodies in Canada for a proposed initial public offering of subordinate voting shares. Should things go according to plan, non-controlling shares of the company will be available on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Financial Post reports BRP hopes to raise CN$250 million (US$243 million).
BRP produces many different kinds of vehicles including snowmobiles, watercraft, ATVs, side-by-sides and the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. The company controls several brands including Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, and Rotax.
The proposed IPO will be made through several underwriters including BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, UBS Securities Canada Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.
BRP was previously a public company until 2003 when the company was acquired by three parties: the Bombardier family (with an estimated 35% share), the Québec government’s public pension plan manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (15%) and Bain Capital (50%). Yes, that Bain Capital, though the acquisition came after the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Mitt Romney left to run the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The company’s existing owners will hold on to multiple-voting shares for the immediate future, though the Financial Post reports Bain Capital will eventually divest its stake of BRP.
[Source: BRP, Financial Post]]]>
The Yamaha Nytro MTX earned his first podium finish of the year in the 2013 RMSHA hillclimb series. Chad Jorgensen piloted his four-stroke sled to a third-place finish in the Pro 600 Modified class at Beaver Mountain in Garden City, Utah. This is just the second podium in RMSHA history for a Yamaha four-stroke snowmobile.
Jorgensen added a top-five finish in Pro 600 Improved, with Cable Willford finishing eighth in the class. Willford then grabbed a sixth and Kody Malmborg a 10th in Pro 700 Improved, while Jorgensen took a sixth in Pro 700 Modified and Kolton Malmborg added a sixth in Semi Pro Modified. Finally, Kolton put his Nytro MTX into the Semi Pro Stock final, marking the first time a Nytro has qualified among its 800cc two-stroke rivals in a stock class.
Situated at the Beaver Mountain Ski Area, the racecourse uniquely started downhill, then made a turnabout and zigzagged up the hill nearly 1000 vertical feet – with plenty of jumps, bowl turns and gates along the way. Snow arrived just in time during the week to offer excellent conditions for hillclimbing, and the weather was equally agreeable with sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures during Friday qualifying. In all, Yamaha riders including Jorgensen, Cable Willford, Kody and Kolton Malmborg, and even Nathan Titus – available now that the woods- and ice-racing season is over – qualified in 12 different classes.
Jorgensen was revved up for the event and his top-five finish in Pro 600 Improved fired him up for Pro 600 Modified, where he quickly staged his Yamaha and raced to his dramatic podium finish – just 1.5 seconds behind the winner. The trip up the hill was a strong one, with Chad flowing beautifully, making each turn count and keeping his corner speed up. Now fully energized, Jorgensen lined his Nytro MTX up for his third final of the day, Pro 700 Improved. This time he was totally in the zone, flying up the hill at an incredible rate and building a nearly two-second lead on the clock by the halfway point before catching a bump while driving hard into a corner and then unloading. He had to settle for a 12th place finish, but seems on the path for future success – perhaps even an outright RMSHA class win.
“The team really pulled together this weekend,” says Yamaha snowmobile hillclimb technical coordinator Troy Johnson. “Kolton performed really well, qualifying in all three classes, and his sixth in Semi Pro Mod was his best result of the year. Also Chad was ready to win the Pro 700 Improved class and he nearly did it. I’m looking forward to more podiums in the next round, and maybe even a win.”
“I’m very proud of how the team has improved this season, ” says Yamaha Snowmobile Racing’s Eric Josephsen. “At first just qualifying our four-stroke Nytros for the finals was an achievement. Now we’re on the podium and knocking on the door for an outright win. I can’t wait for the season finale in Idaho next weekend.”]]>
Apparently Tucker Hibbert needed to taste snocross victory one more time this season. The Team Arctic pilot few to Sweden and picked up a win at the Clash of Nations Super Snowcross event.
With 16 riders in the main event, including Logan Christian from Christian Bros. Racing, Hibbert ripped a monstrous holeshot and ran away with the win, while Logan Christian charged hard through the entire race finishing in third.
“It was awesome to come back to Sweden, take a win and finish the season healthy,” says Hibbert. “It’s a great feeling flying across the world and having fans cheer for you. I’m always surprised by the amount of support and excitement from fans in Scandinavia.”
In the Pro Stock class, 16-year-old Martin Moland from Norway had an outstanding win. Moland’s Clash of Nations win came shortly after he was crowned the 2013 bronze-medalist in the Norwegian snocross championship. Luva Racing’s Alexander Berglund of Sweden rounded out the podium for Arctic Cat with a solid third place finish.
“Team Arctic has had a very successful 2013 snocross season and these wins and podium finishes at Clash of Nations make it an even better one,” says Mike Kloety, Team Arctic race manager. “It’s truly fantastic to see the highest level of enthusiasm these snowmobile race fans have for Team Arctic.”]]>
Kyle Tapio led Team Arctic to a hugely successful run at the 2013 Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimb. Team Arctic riders earned seven wins, including the top prize – the King of Kings title.
The star of the weekend was perennial champion Tapio. Riding an Arctic Cat M800 HCR with the ProClimb chassis, Tapio tamed a gnarly course at Snow King Mountain, winning both the 800 Improved and 800 Mod finals. But that was just a warm-up. When all of the class winners competed in the final King competition, Tapio won the Improved, Mod and King of Kings titles in convincing fashion.
“There’s a reason that Kyle is regarded as the King of Jackson,” says Al Shimpa, Team Arctic Hillclimb Coordinator. “For the second year in a row, he won two class finals, two King-of-class titles and the ultimate King of King championship as best of the entire event. He is truly an outstanding hillclimb racer.”
Joining Tapio on top of the Snow King podium were two additional Team Arctic teammates. David McClure won the 600 Improved class in addition to finishing second in 700 Improved and third in 800 Stock aboard his Arctic Cat M800 HCR. Likewise, Jeremy Archibald led a Team Arctic podium sweep of the 700 Improved class. Team Arctic racers scored 19 podium finishes at the World Championships.
“I’m so impressed with all of the Team Arctic racers and crews,” says Shimpa. “Everyone came to Jackson with their best effort, proving Arctic Cat dominated the toughest mountain race of the year. With three races remaining on the RMSHA circuit, I expect we’ll see a lot more wins before the 2013 hillclimb season concludes.”]]>
You’d be hard pressed to find anybody who’s had a more dominant snowmobile racing season than Tucker Hibbert. The Monster Energy/Arctic Cat pilot won 11 of 16 main events in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series as he clinched his seventh overall Pro Open championship.
So dominant was Hibbert that fans would hope that Hibbert would somehow get held up at the start of the main event so that they could see him come through the pack, methodically picking off the world’s best professional snocross racers in an on-the-edge rush to the front.
But more often than not Hibbert, had he not pulled the holeshot, would be in the lead within two to three turns and – for all intents and purposes – gone by the second lap. Not once did a racer track down and pass Hibbert for the lead on the ACS tour this year.
ISOC had a chance to pin down the champion to talk about his amazing season.
ISOC: Tucker, congrats on clinching your seventh AMSOIL Championship Snocross title. How’s it feel to win your title back this year after suffering through a tough season like 2012?
Tucker Hibbert: For sure feels good. I had a pretty rough year there last year, was not winning many races. Then with the injury at the end – it was just not one of my better years. But I kind of bounced back this year and was able to recover, pretty fast actually.
ISOC: Rewinding then to 2012, talk a bit more about your struggles – so we can set up the 2013 season better. Was it as much of an issue with you, or were there some issues with the sled as well – particularly a model year issue?
Tucker Hibbert: We did have a brand new race sled last year with Arctic Cat – something completely different than we had in previous years. So it definitely was a challenge that way … trying to get it dialed in and figure out how to get it to work correctly. It’s always a challenge for all the manufacturers whenever they come out with a new design. And then on top of that the snow conditions in 2012 (lack of) also made it very challenging.
ISOC: You opened up at Duluth (Minn.) this year not making the podium. Everyone was wondering if it’d be more of the same, the struggles continuing from 2012. But you were quick to silence those thoughts by sweeping the following rounds in Bessemer (Mich.) and Canterbury (Minn.). Were those two rounds the turning point for you this year, being able to put 2012 behind you and move forward with your title chase in 2013?
Tucker Hibbert: We ended up learning a lot about the (then new) sled in 2012, and had more time to prepare for 2013. So I felt we were really prepared entering Duluth. I ended up with two 5th place finishes, but I was actually pretty happy with that – felt I rode really well and knew things were going to be different this year. But yeah, Bessemer was really where things took off. I pretty much ran away on both days, and that’s where things really started to roll for us.
ISOC: People tend to forget how badly injured you were at Lake Geneva last year. You wound up in intensive care at a Milwaukee hospital for some time then had another setback after they sent you home. I’d think this put you behind in your dry land training schedule for 2013, but you seemed to return to AMSOIL Championship Snocross in as good of shape to start the seasons as you’d ever been.
Tucker Hibbert: I was for sure prepared. I think one of the things that helped out most was that I was able to ride motocross over the summer. Raced some local races, then went down to Steel City for the finals, qualified and ended up finishing mid-pack in the 450 class, which I was happy with because it was my first National in that class. I also was able to ride my mountain bike a lot, so we were ready for Duluth.
ISOC: You put together several impressive win streaks throughout the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season this year. You helped shut defending Pro Open champ Tim Tremblay off the top of the podium and held Ross Martin to only a couple wins. Still, despite your winning main event efforts you never really pulled away from Ross and Tim and only clinched the title at last week’s Lake Geneva final. So despite your impressive victory tally, the season was actually quite closer than it appeared.
Tucker Hibbert: For me, I’ve always done well winning the main events (Lake Geneva’s win on Friday for Hibbert was his 80th career victory), but I’m not as strong in the qualifiers. Ross is strong in both, and he was able to keep pace in the points (without winning the mains). We did manage to open up the points a bit midway through the season, especially after Tim and Ross had some issues.
ISOC: After sweeping Bessemer and Canterbury you ran into some trouble at Deadwood (S.D.). That looked like a rough one, especially the Saturday night main event.
Tucker Hibbert: Deadwood was the most challenging race of the whole year for everyone. There was a lot of salt and dirt in the snow, and if you were not in the lead you were getting completely hosed with that snow by someone. I won Friday then Saturday I had trouble in the qualifier, so I didn’t get a good gate pick and ended up getting run off the track in the first turn. It was a race that could have been rough for us, but I put my head down and just got through it. (Hibbert finished 5th on Saturday at Deadwood.)
ISOC: One thing that really stood out this season was the reliability of the Arctic Cat ProCross F800. Is it safe to say, now that the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season’s over, that you didn’t have one mechanical failure all year?
Tucker Hibbert: We had no mechanical issues the entire season – which is pretty rare. The mechanics (including Tucker’s father, Kirk) were definitely on top of everything, had the sled dialed in for me every week. It’s a testament to how tough the Arctic Cat sled is, along with the boys that work through the night on it. Sixteen rounds plus two qualifying rounds in order to make the main – that’s a lot of laps to run without any sort of mechanical failure.
ISOC: Don’t take this the wrong way, but there came a point in the season where fans would kind of hope you got run off the track at the start or tipped over and stalled your sled – just so they could see you come through the pack to win (versus checking out early). What’s more thrilling for you, racing from behind or blasting the perfect holeshot and winning by 25 seconds?
Tucker Hibbert: I think as long as I win in the end either way’s fine. You really gain a lot of confidence by putting the hammer down and winning in any situation. The battles (coming through the pack) are a lot of fun. But there’s not really a better feeling than getting the holeshot and winning by a large margin. Then you know you did everything right. But yeah, I know the fans like to see me come through the pack. I know when it’s possible to win and when it’s not, but I think this year I was a bit more reserved and pushed hard enough to get close enough to the front – but not DNF.
ISOC: What was your favorite stop on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross tour this year?
Tucker Hibbert: Traverse City (Mich.) was a great race (Hibbert went 1st/1st). I liked that track a lot, and it was good to win after losing at the previous race at Deadwood. And it’s always fun to go to a new place with new snocross fans.
ISOC: You’re headed to Sweden today to race the Clash of Nations. You’ve been to Sweden before (for the 2010 World Championships), are you fired up to be going back?
Tucker Hibbert: Yeah, for sure. The fans in Sweden are pumped on snocross and really enthused about snowmobiling in general. It’s going to be a lot of fun going back, seeing new riders and faces. But for the most part all the best guys there already race over here, although you can’t count anybody out. And the guys from there race here definitely race faster when they’re at home in Sweden.
ISOC: Nice, and good luck next week. Last question … what are your plans on your dirt bike this summer?
Tucker Hibbert: At this point I don’t have a set schedule, but I’ll for sure be racing a handful of Nationals on the 450. I’m excited to get back on my bike. We’ll have a full off season this summer, unlike last year when I got hurt at Lake Geneva. So the plan is to get through the summer healthy and back to Duluth next fall in even better shape than I was last year.
ISOC: Sounds like a solid plan, Tucker. Congrats again on your AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Open title this year and best of luck next week over in Sweden.
Tucker Hibbert: Thank you, and thank to all the fans that came out to watch us race this year. Look forward to seeing everyone again at the start of the snocross season in November.]]>