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Hello and welcome to the 29th edition of the MotoOnline.com.au MotoInsider column, presented by Oakley, on the eve of Appin’s eighth round of Monster Energy MX Nationals.
The Appin round is an interesting one on the calendar since it’s so close to the heart of Sydney, and much of the local industry is on hand to see the nation’s best in action. It’s the local round for many including Marmont, Bopping, Styke, Moss, McCoy and more, and we cannot underestimate the lift that these guys get from hometown support.
With just three rounds remaining it is crunch time. For those in the hunt for a title, every single lap and position will count between Appin, Moree and Coolum. The rest is history and now is when we’ll really see who has the mental strength to stay in contention.
For Queenslander Dan Reardon, these final rounds will mean a whole different thing. Announcing his retirement last week, Reardon has a weight off his shoulder. He showed that he could do well at Hervey Bay with a top five, so hopefully he can finish his career in good form.
It is a surprise of sorts to see Dan announce his retirement from motocross at 26, but when you consider his rapid rise while winning titles and earning himself a seat in the States, there’s not much reason for him to stay around if his enjoyment or drive aren’t as high as they once were.
Reardon’s retirement is just another element of this curious KTM case that we’ve been looking at in recent weeks. Sources suggest that it’s basically a done deal that KTM will take its MX1 team in house again next season, parting ways with JDR Motorsports altogether. Another team, not yet confirmed either, will field the brand’s MX2 squad, which will be a major shake up in the industry.
Who will ride for KTM? How serious are they? What is the reason for the JDR/KTM split? There are so many questions left unanswered right now, but I suspect we’ll know more before the outdoor season is complete. From what I’ve heard, a title contender to introduce the 2013 KTM 450 SX-F isn’t out of the question.
Speaking of JDR riders, Ryan Marmont is back riding and expects to race at both Moree and Coolum. He was initially believed to be out for the season’s remainder, but if he’s ready to race then it’s better to come back sooner rather than later if he’s to secure a factory job for 2013.
Billy Mackenzie is in a similar boat, coming back from injuries suffered early on in the season. He’ll be back this weekend for Monster Energy Kawasaki alongside Jay Marmont and Kade Mosig, marking the first time the team has raced with its intended line-up since Coonabarabran.
A new face on the MX1 start gates this weekend will be Australian Off-Road ace Toby Price. The Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing rider is using an off weekend to return to his motocross roots and chances are that he’ll do pretty good considering his current form. He’ll be pitted out of the Choice Motorsports operation (could they run KTM’s MX2 program next year?).
I did an interview earlier today with Craig Anderson, just about the progress of his Berry Sweet Strawberries/Lucas Oil Yamaha team. During our chat he mentioned that he could very well be hanging up his boots in 2013, but would consider racing just for the love of it as well.
Anderson’s status all depends on whether or not he can find another rider capable of top 10s who is looking for a job, and we’ve heard of a couple who are interested in the spot. Think back to Anderson’s teammate when he was at Woodstock Honda in 2008…
One final thing before we go, Josh Coppins said recently that he’s due to make an announcement regarding his future at CDR Yamaha this weekend. All indications point toward retirement, unless Craig Dack has somehow managed to convince him to go around again. Watch this space.
That’s all we have here for another week on the Insider, but thank you as always for stopping by and be sure to visit us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more from behind the scenes.