The 2009 Australian Motocross Championship has wrapped up at Coolum, Queensland, with two massive days of racing and four Australian Champions crowned.
Jay Marmont (Yamaha) has taken out his second Australian Pro Open Motocross Championship ahead of teammate Cheyne Boyd (Yamaha) and Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha).
With a massive 75 points up for grabs the Pro Opens title was always going to come down to the wire but no one could have predicted just how close that would be.
Marmont not only took out the Championship win, but also the round win, after taking the flag in two out of three motos.
In the first moto, Marmont, determined to maintain a decent points buffer between himself and Boyd, took the holeshot and stayed in the lead.
By the end of the first lap two battles were raging, one between Marmont and McFarlane, and the other between Cody Mackie (Kawasaki) and Boyd.
By the third lap Boyd had caught and passed Mackie while Marmont held his own against McFarlane, staying out in front despite numerous attempts to catch him.
Marmont and McFarlane were soon out to a massive lead with Boyd riding a lonely race back in third place – the three maintaining their positions until the flag.
While Marmont scored yet another holeshot in the second moto, Boyd was determined to make up for the previous race and came out blazing, flying past Marmont to take an early lead.
Boyd was unstoppable and rode his own race to the finish line, with Marmont cruising across in second place with McFarlane only just winning the battle between himself and Kiwi Darryl Hurley (Suzuki).
In the third moto Marmont wrapped up his 2009 Championship campaign in fine style, taking line honours ahead of Hurley and his teammate Boyd.
“It’s unreal to win back to back Championships,” Marmont said. “I came into this Series knowing it was going to be harder; there have been a couple of young riders who really stood up and after reading the forums before the Series started I wasn’t considered a favourite for it.
“There were a lot of riders who had been doing the hard yards in the pre-season and I knew it was going to be hard.
“I couldn’t do it without my family, just having Abby come up this weekend I lifted an extra 50 per cent and also having Lila here – it’s an unreal feeling having ‘Daddy’ on the back of your riding pants and knowing that they’re out there cheering for you.”
“You can’t start a Series like I did and let them get away from you,” Boyd said. “People asked me what I changed and what I did but I knew I was on the right program and didn’t change anything and it was just a matter of time.
“It was so frustrating at the start of the year but to walk away with so many wins towards the end of the season and to finish the way I’ve finished it great.
“I would have liked to have won today, but Jay is so strong and smart he was always going to be tough to beat.”
“I’m happy with third, I made few mistakes throughout the year but it’s great to be back,” said McFarlane. “The new team is great and we’ve learnt a lot and we’ll be back better and stronger next year.
“The rest of the guys are riding really fast and the Championship was tough but it’s great to be a part of it.”
Matt Moss (Suzuki) won the eighth and final round of the 2009 Australian Motocross Championship and has taken out his first Australian Pro Lites Title with Tye Simmonds (KTM) in second place and Luke George (Kawasaki) in third.
In what has to have been one of the most exciting classes to watch in 2009, the Pro Lites, and especially the top three riders, have taken the racing to another level, with epic on-track battles continuing to enthral spectators at every round.
In the first moto Moss was out to a flying start, demonstrating some of his best riding all season, and was followed by Simmonds and Ryan Marmont (Yamaha).
While the order of the top three didn’t change throughout the race the time between them did, with Moss out to an eight second lead ahead of Simmonds by the time he took the chequered flag.
An on-form Moss scored another holeshot in the second moto and was out to a massive lead with Simmonds in second and Dean Ferris (Honda) in third.
While Moss continued to extend his lead, South Australian rider Kirk Gibbs (Yamaha) put in the ride of his life, stepping up from fourth into second place forcing Simmonds and Ferris to battle it out for third place.
By the time they cross the line, Moss remained in front, with Gibbs in second and Simmonds pushing ahead of Ferris to take third place.
Following the second moto, Moss had accumulated an unassailable points lead, and with one moto still to run, was not about to take it easy.
The third moto got underway, however, on the first jump George crashed and the race was re-started.
In has to be a day to forget for George, not one but two of his bikes blew up and in addition to crashing he was unable to finish two of the three motos forcing him to settle for third overall in the Championship standings.
The race was re-started and Moss once again dominated proceedings however he did face an early challenge from Ferris.
While Ferris put in a solid effort he was unable to stop Moss, who made it three motos from three, ahead of Ferris and Gibbs.
“Taking the round win is a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Moss said. “I had a DNF in the first round and I just had to fight the whole way to the end and I’m so happy to get the win. I’m lost for words because this is just unbelievable.”
“Congratulations to Mossy, to be 25 points down in that first round and to bring it back that’s a pretty good feat in itself,” said Simmonds.
Throughout 2009 Moss, George and Simmonds haven’t merely raised the bar in the Pro Lites class; they’ve consistently pushed it into the stratosphere, with their on-track battles over-shadowing even the premier Pro Opens class throughout the season.
Despite a strong build-up, ongoing mechanical dramas and a crash in the final moto kept George out of contention allowing Moss to dominate all three motos.
Luke Styke (Yamaha) took out the 2009 Australian Motocross Under 19’s Championship after taking out the round eight ahead of teammate Harley Quinlan (Yamaha) and Josh Cachia (Yamaha).
In the first moto Styke had an uncharacteristically bad start, while Quinlan raced ahead with Cachia in second and Ross Beaton (Yamaha) in third.
By the flag, Styke had only made it back up to fifth place while Quinlan, Cachia and Beaton held onto their positions.
Styke was first out of the gate in the second moto, flying out to take the holeshot and the lead.
At times he was challenged by Tasmanian rider Beaton, who started to reign his teammate in and was followed by Dylan Peterson (Honda) Styke held off Beaton’s charge, to take the flag and wrap up the Championship with one moto to spare.
And what a moto it would be with the next three positions to be decided with all three riders within one point of each other.
The celebrations began early for Styke in the final moto, with the 2009 Champ throwing his legs over the handlebars in a display for fans after once again taking the holeshot.
Beaton was caught in a start straight pile up forcing him to start from last place, while Quinlan and Cachia chased down Styke.
Cachia was then passed by Luke Arbon (Kawasaki) with the latter now battling for second with Quinlan.
In the second to last lap the top five riders were all within two seconds of each other when Quinlan put his bike down allowing Styke and Arbon to pass and hold on until the final flag.
“Today is a great day for me and it’s been a long time coming,” Styke said. “I’ve never done anything this big before in my whole life and it’s good to be on top for once and ride my own race.
“I’ve put in 110 per cent this year and I’ve trained my hardest and it’s really paid off.”
“I put everything I had into that last race and when I fell off my heart just dropped,” Quinlan said.
“I’m just happy to get up here in second place again and I can’t say enough about everyone that’s helped me out.”
“I’m just happy as hell,” Cachia said. “I can’t thank the team and all my sponsors enough, this one is for my best mate who recently passed. “I can’t wait for the Supercross and to continue doing the team proud.”
Tori Dare (Yamaha) has won the 2009 Australian Women’s Motocross Championship taking out the round win with Kristy Gillespie (KTM) coming in second place on both the day and in the Series with Nicole Davis wrapping up the Series in third place.
In the first moto for the final round, it soon became a battle between Dare and Gillespie however by the second lap Dare was already out to a seven second lead ahead of Gillespie.
Gillespie continued to chase Dare until the last lap board and was less than two seconds behind, with Rebecca Lipsett (Honda) a massive 43 seconds back in third place.
Dare held onto the lead and took the flag ahead of Gillespie with in second and Lipsett in third.
The second moto, once again, became a battle of the titans between reigning Champ Gillespie and Dare, who in her first year of Senior Competition has blown away the opposition.
Gillespie was determined to keep Dare within her reach throughout the duration of the moto, the two girls banging bars at every corner until Gillespie eventually got the better of Dare and started to pull out to an 11 second lead to take the flag.
In the third Moto, Dare seemed to have the title wrapped up breaking out to an impressive lead over Gillespie.
The young Yamaha rider managed to put more than six seconds between her and Gillespie, holding onto the lead until the flag with third placed Nicole Davis (Yamaha) nearly 35 seconds behind.
The fourth and final moto was a disaster for Gillespie getting stuck in the pack and having to ride her way through the field while Dare continued to extend her lead out the front.
At the flag it was Dare who took line honours with Gillespie working her way up to second place with Steph Cutler (Kawasaki) in third.
“Having the number one plate means a lot,” Dare said. “It’s such great competition and it’s been a big step up from the juniors.
“I wasn’t expecting to do this well at all, I knew the competition was going to very hard, especially with Kristy Gillespie, she’s a great rider, and I just had to do my best and it worked out.”
“It was a good season,” Gillespie said. “I knew it was going to be tough coming into this round it would have been nice to hold onto that number one plate but Tori rode very well and very consistently over the rounds so well done to her and we’ll be back next year.”
“In the first round I had a really bad run in the last couple of Races,” Davis said. “I didn’t give up, I thought that if I had a good weekend this round and got a couple of good races I could get a decent position overall and I did it!
“I’m stoked, it’s my first year of seniors, and it’s amazing.”
Darryll King (Yamaha) has taken out the inaugural Vets Cup at the final round of the 2009 Australian Motocross Championship ahead of Glenn Bell (Honda) and Peter Melton (Kawasaki).
Making its debut at the eighth round of the Series, the Support class for over 40s featured not one, but three former Australian Champions taking to the track, with Melton, Bell and King all battling it out for another shot at Motocross glory.
With more than 25 riders lining up for the Cup, Series Promoter, Kevin Williams, was impressed with the racing and is keen to have them stick around a while longer.
“I think bringing the Vets class to the round has certainly brought another dimension,” Williams said.
“They bring another crowd with them and a lot of people from yesteryear have commented how good it is to see them out there.
“They’re all pretty quick for a lap but certainly age is a factor!
“We’ll meet with Motorcycling Australia and see if we can develop it into a one round Championship.”
Series Promoter, Williams, was stoked with the 2009 season and is already looking ahead to 2010 and how he can make the Series better than ever.
“The 2009 Series has been one of the biggest we’ve ever seen,” Williams said. “There’s been some great competition – in the Pro Opens class with the two Yamaha riders, Jay Marmont and Cheyne Boyd, bringing it down to the wire, and also in the Pro Lites, the battle between Matt Moss and Luke George has been something special, and the Under 19s class has produced some great racing.
“At the final round to finish off with the Vets Cup – with three previous Australian Champions back out on the race track for the crowd and fans to see was awesome and in the Women’s class, Tori Dare certainly mixed it up with Kristy Gillespie.
“I think the depth of talent in Australia now is World Class – the riders that we have here today could race anywhere in the World and be very competitive.
“The lap times are faster than last year, the bikes are better; the team infrastructure has improved so all round everyone has lifted the bar in ’09.
“I would like to personally extend a big thank you to all the clubs who have put in the effort this year to make the Championship what it is.
“It takes around 70-80 people per round to make these events work and they’ve done a great job putting in a lot of hours and a lot of volunteer labour that has been invested into the venues.
“We’ve seen all of the venues improve this year which is fantastic for the sport and the future.
“2010 will see a number of changes in the Championship and we’ll have some announcements coming out in late September 2009, but we’ll continue with the different formats, they’ll be short and sharp and they’ll guarantee that fans who come to watch the Motocross are blown-away by the all the action.”