Features 18 Dec 2009

Moto Awards 2009

MotoOnline.com.au launches its inaugural yearly awards for the year that was in 2009, highlighting the best and worst in the world of Moto.


This year has been a challenging one in many ways for motorcycle racing and bikes in general, but when all’s said and done we’ll forever look back on 2009 as a year where standout performers achieved great accolades.

Split up into road and dirt categories, MotoOnline.com.au awards the over- and under-achievers in our first ever Moto Awards feature to cap off our Features section in our first year of operation.



Ben Spies
You may be surprised by this one, but American rookie Ben Spies put together an exceptional rookie season to win the Superbike World Championship on Yamaha’s YZF-R1 after winning three AMA Superbike titles in succession. Yes, Vale Rossi was a standout in MotoGP once again, but Spies injected life into the WSBK series and beat the people’s champion Nori Haga straight up at his own game.

Josh Waters
Much like Spies, everybody expected Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s Josh Waters to contend for victories in his rookie season, but not many would have bet that he’d win the Australian Superbike Championship at his first attempt. Waters finished on the podium at every race during the season, won five races and beat Motologic’s dynamic duo of Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell after a spectacular final round sweep.

Troy Herfoss
As the reigning AMA Supermoto Champion from 2008, TJRS Australian Supersport rookie Troy Herfoss took a massive gamble in switching to the black top fulltime. In the end it proved a top decision with fifth overall in the title chase, with the icing on the cake being a race victory at Phillip Island’s season finale. Herfoss wasn’t just a Supersport rookie, but a total road race debutant. Expect big things in 2010.


The MotoGP World Championship was the best road series in 2009.

MotoGP World Championship
As the pinnacle of the sport, you’re probably not surprised to see MotoGP awarded as the best series, but in fact it’s not actually for what they’ve achieved in 2009. The MotoGP series has taken the top gong thanks to its decision to reintroduce 1000cc engines in 2012 – a move that’s sure to put a smile on the dials of many sideways-fans throughout the world.

Aprilia RSV4 Factory
The Aprilia RSV4 Factory was a late arrival this year, but everything about it exudes quality and it’s been hailed as the closest production superbike to a MotoGP racer that you can buy. Granted, we haven’t sampled the new BMW S 1000 RR sportsbike just yet, but the Aprilia certainly makes for an incredible ride thanks to its sharp chassis and awesome V4 engine. Ducati’s Streetfighter naked bike also deserves an honourable mention in that segment.

Fiat Yamaha
There’s no doubt that Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were the standouts of MotoGP 2009, finishing first and second in the title for Fiat Yamaha after a gigantic mid-season fight for supremacy. The results of The Doctor and Lorenzo were dominant during the course of the season, securing Fiat Yamaha the team’s title and Yamaha the manufacturer’s crown to boot.

Catalan Grand Prix
There were a lot of MotoGP rounds this year that made headline news around the globe, but the epic battle between Rossi and Lorenzo at the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain, was the one that left almost everybody speechless. Lorenzo lead into the final corner until Rossi made the unthinkable happen in a last corner pass, winning the race and marking his first big chink in Lorenzo’s armour.

Wayne Maxwell – Phillip Island ASBK
Following Friday and Saturday’s performances at Phillip Island’s final ASBK round, we wouldn’t have blamed you if you went to the TAB and placed some big money down on Wayne Maxwell taking out the championship. That all came to a crushing halt on the opening lap of race one on Sunday, with Maxwell crashing out in a massive way and watching his title hopes fly out the window in the process. Check it out right here!


Stoner's mystery illness was disappointing, but he bounced back in the end.

Casey Stoner’s Mystery Illness
Australia’s 2007 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner was a favourite to reclaim his crown for Ducati, starting the season with a bang with victory under lights in Qatar, but his health quickly dwindled and his season derailed, sitting out three GPs mid-season. Stars of the sport wrote him off, but he silenced critics with two massive wins upon return including the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Kawasaki Quits
Team Green announced that it’d be withdrawing from MotoGP in January, leaving Italian Marco Melandri without a seat at the last minute. The Hayate Racing Team, mostly made up of ex-Kawasaki crew, saved him with use of the former factory Kawasaki, but the ZX-RR is now extinct for next year and will be nothing but a museum piece.


Chad Reed
Australia’s very own Chad Reed has taken out the inaugural dirt bike International Rider of the Year award here on MotoOnline.com.au, pretty much racing year-round in AMA Supercross where he finished a close second behind James Stewart, won the AMA Motocross Championship in his return, and then defended his Australasian Super X crown.

Jay Marmont
Rockstar CDR Yamaha’s Jay Marmont proved once again in 2009 that he’s the best of the best in Australian domestic racing, defending his Pro Open Australian Motocross Championship and the finishing third in Super X behind internationals Reed and Dan Reardon. Marmont fought through the devastation of the death of baby daughter Lila during the Super X season, cementing himself as the “toughest man on two wheels” in Australia.

Toby Price (AORC) / Tye Simmonds (Oz SX) / Josh Grant (AMA SX)
We couldn’t settle for one rider when choosing the dirt bike Rookie of the Year, with Toby Price the major standout in claiming the Australian Off-Road Championship in his first attempt. Motorex KTM’s Tye Simmonds was also spectacular in Super X, the 17-year-old scoring a pair of podiums during the season. As for AMA Supercross star Josh Grant, winning Anaheim I is good enough for us in his first full season on the 450.

Reed was unstoppable at the final three Super X rounds. Image: Sport The Library.

Reed and Super X raised the bar to new heights in 2009. Image: Sport The Library.

Monster Energy Super X, Australasian Supercross Championship
You have to hand it to Global Action Sports, putting Supercross on the map in Australia with the Super X series. After gaining Monster Energy drink as the title sponsor for 2009, the live television was fantastic, the events were greatly improved and the racing was phenomenal. Reed’s transition to Kawasaki made it that much more exciting as the rest of the field were relentless in giving him a run for his money. Plus, the Monster Girls were easy on the eye during 2009, too!

2010 Yamaha YZ450F
Yes, this bike is a model for next year. But considering specifications of it leaked on the internet long before its announcement, we feel as though the reverse-cylinder 2010 model Yamaha YZ450F has been here all along. Once it landed in Oz for the Launch Test it proved the goods and testers from around the nation have given it rave reviews. Stewart and Marmont will have a very sharp weapon to defend their respective titles on next year. The Suzuki RM-Z250 and Honda CRF250R also deserve props for next year in being the first fuel-injected motocrossers on the market, but it’s yet to be seen who will take the top spot in 2010! If one thing’s for certain, the KTM 350 SX-F is going to be a favourite pending its release date…

Rockstar CDR Yamaha / Rockstar Makita Suzuki
Again we’ve had to select more than one winner for an award, with the Rockstar CDR Yamaha team deserving the award of Top Team due to its total domination of the MX Nationals series with Marmont and Cheyne Boyd. On the other hand, American-based Rockstar Makita Suzuki won both the 450 and 250 classes in the AMA outdoors thanks to Reed and Ryan Dungey. Plus, this team deserves an award in itself for giving young Aussie Matt Moss an opportunity for next year in the U.S!

Canberra Super X
The whole Super X season is geared toward the massive season finale at Brisbane’s QSAC Stadium, but when Jay Marmont was able to take a sentimental victory at Canberra Stadium it sent shockwaves through the sport. Jay and wife Abby have been as strong as it gets this year, and his victory in the Capital just two days following baby daughter Lila’s passing will be one that’s forever remember in Australian Supercross.

Cam Sinclair – Madrid X-Fighters
When you under-rotate on a double-backflip then it’s very likely that you’re going to go down in a huge way. That’s exactly what happened to Victorian Freestyle Motocross legend Cam Sinclair at the Madrid stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Spain during 2009. Lucky to escape the scary crash alive, Sinclair recently climbed back aboard the bike under six months after the crash and has hinted that he’ll try to Holy Grail of FMX once again. Watch Cam slam right here if you dare…

James Stewart has pulled out of the Brisbane round of Super X.

Stewart pulling the pin on Brisbane's Super X was a major disappointment for fans nationwide in December.

James Stewart’s Brisbane Absence
Australian Supercross fans were set to be treated to a massive event in December when Global Action Sports announced that James Stewart would be coming to Oz to take on Reed on home soil, but it never eventuated and fans were left massively disappointed of the news. An illness ruled Stewart out with over 20,000 tickets sold to Bridbane’s season finale, although we did get to see Davi Millsaps and Josh Grant in action. Word is that Stewart will be here for sure in 2010.

Coppins to Aprilia / Moss to replace Reed
After coming oh so close to winning the MX1 World Motocross Championship in 2007, New Zealander Josh Coppins has struggled to find that form in the following years and he’s now signed with Aprilia to contest next year’s world title on the Italian-made twin-cylinder MXV450 for 2010. Also shocking was that Rockstar Makita Suzuki chose to replace Chad Reed on the factory RM-Z450 with 21-year-old Aussie Matt Moss next year – we know how good he is, but that’s a great ride to land in the States for a rookie contender.