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The final round of the Terex Australian Supercross Championship is upon us this weekend at Newcastle Showgrounds in New South Wales, the fourth stop on the calendar in what has been a whirlwind inaugural series under the management of International Entertainment Group.
At this stage you could say the series has exceeded expectations and the interest has been large, but we expect this weekend’s finale in Chad Reed’s ‘backyard’ to be the biggest of the season when it comes to the standalone events.
Newcastle is one of the hotspots in Australian motocross, full of talent and featuring a massive fan base for the sport. It’s only fitting that Reed’s final race on home soil before heading back to the US with his TwoTwo Motorsports team is in the area.
Reed took a trip down memory lane earlier this week as he visited his old high school at Kurri Kurri, speaking to the students and even signing autographs alongside his young son Tate. It was a special day for the Reeds, especially when you think that he and wife Ellie have been based overseas essentially as soon as they left school.
Like last weekend in Toowoomba, the weather could be a major factor this weekend as initial forecasts indicate a 50 percent chance of rain in the region. Hopefully we get lucky and have a strong final round of competition, but it’ll certainly be a nail-biter if the rain does fall.
Defending champion Jay Marmont holds a slim seven-point lead in the Open class standings ahead of CDR Yamaha recruit Dan McCoy, while Reed is 15 points off the lead now in third, tied with both Todd Waters and Lawson Bopping for that position. If it’s muddy, anything could happen!
The Lites class is a similar story as American Gavin Faith holds down a nine-point lead over Ryan Marmont, fresh from his first win of the season in Queensland. Meanwhile, the in-form Kade Mosig is just six points back from Marmont.
While it’d be ideal to see these titles decided in the dry, giving the locals one last shot to battle against Reed, it has to be a nervous time for the guys leading the series or in championship contention.
One interesting factor and a very important one is that despite their form in supercross, McCoy or Ryan Marmont do not yet have deals locked in for 2013 as they scramble to save their careers. It’s late in the game and while their recent form has been spectacular, difficult seasons outdoors have severely affected their campaigns.
We often have both Western Australian and South Australian fans looking for supercross events in their states, and an interesting development this week on Facebook was that if Shane Metcalfe can convince US-based brother Brett back for a round next year, IEG managing director Yarrive Konsky would ensure a round in SA at least for 2013.
This weekend will mark the final appearance of many riders in their respective current teams, including Billy Mackenzie at Monster Energy Kawasaki. He’ll take a seat at CDR Yamaha next year (still yet to be announced!) alongside the returning Lawson Bopping, while McCoy may be back in blue for the SX series.
Saturday night will also mark Todd Waters’ final appearance for Motul Pirelli Suzuki and what a combination that has been. After that, expect him to join KTM’s new-look factory team for next year alongside Open class rookie Kirk Gibbs, who is still recovering from his horrific Coolum crash.
JDR Motorsports will also contest its final race in Australia as KTM’s official factory team, next year instead focusing on their US pro and amateur teams. However, expect the team to be back in a smaller role for supercross next season with Josh Cachia at least.
Luke Clout is the latest talent to join Dan Reardon’s Alteregoelite training program, the teenager almost certain to remain at Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing for 2013 alongside Luke Styke. That will be an awesome combination outdoors if it does in fact happen.
The Lites class could be reduced in some way for next year as both Honda and Kawasaki’s leading factory teams will focus on the 450s. Honda may support some satellite teams, but the championship-winning Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team won’t field a CRF250R outdoors.
Monster Energy Kawasaki will have Jay Marmont and an unannounced rookie in the 450 class, with the majority of speculation linking Adam Monea to the seat in what would be his return to work alongside Troy Carroll in the Queensland-based team. As for team green’s 250F team, it remains up in the air at this stage as does the future of Kade Mosig.
Last week we saw Williams Event Management hint toward a return to the traditional 30-minute motos outdoors in 2013, which was met with some very positive (and some not so positive) feedback from those in the industry. We’ll have more next week, but it’s expected this will happen and it’s also suggested that an announcement regarding the series next year will be made next week.
That’s all we have for today, thanks for stopping by and remember, we’ll be full-throttle throughout the off-season even when the racing wraps up on Saturday night. Moto never stops!