News 13 Jan 2010

Racing Insider #2 takes its weekly look at the world of motorcycle racing, this week including AMA SX; Oz MX; ASBK; MotoGP; WSBK and BSB.

Chad Reed and wife Ellie watch on as Stewart races to 25 points at Anaheim 1 last weekend.

Chad Reed and wife Ellie watch on as Stewart races to 25 points at Anaheim 1 last weekend.

Who would have thought that as we entered round two of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series this weekend at Phoenix that Australia’s Chad Reed would trail arch-rival James Stewart by 25 points in the title chase.

Unfortunately for Reedy and all of his fans it’s a bold reality, but it now puts him in a position to push hard without the stress of a title on the line right now as I wrote in my blog earlier this week.

Last weekend’s race certainly lived up to expectations as Anaheim 1 usually does, but it was largely thanks to Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey that the season opener turned out to be so good in 2010.

Reedy also confirmed last weekend that he and wife Ellie are expecting a baby boy this April, so a big congratulations to them in what is surely set to be a new chapter in their lives.

The series seems to be extremely deep in talent this year with Aussies Reed, Michael Byrne and Dan Reardon pushing to make their mark at Anaheim, however Reardon’s evening came to a crushing halt while he was in the top three during his heat race.

Reardo’s team has said that he’ll be okay after the scary crash, so we’ll hopefully see him on the line this weekend to continue his transition to the Yamaha with MotoConcepts.

As for Burner, we spoke to him yesterday for a Moto Talk and he is confident that he can continue improving as the season progresses, hitting the test track this week to dial in his privateer Kawasaki.

Looking for an update on the Moss brothers, Matt and Jake? Transworld MX has a nice little interview right here.

That’s it in Supercross news for now, stay tuned throughout the week and weekend for updates.

Good news came late last week that Kawasaki’s Luke George has started riding again following his major accident at the final round of last year’s MX Nationals, settling back into riding after five months off the bike.

Speaking of riders from the Newcastle area, it’s been very quiet on the Craig Anderson front lately, previously announcing his 100% Racing team way back in August last year but never actually naming a manufacturer for the effort.

Uncertainty also surrounds former Serco Yamaha rider Mitch Hoad, replaced on the team by Ford Dale, with no real indication as yet on what the former factory Kawasaki rider will do in twenty ten.

We mentioned last week that MX RAD will support the Coastal KTM team this year, making it a satellite squad for the factory effort, and that has now been confirmed.

Interestingly, the Coastal team will once again feature Daniel McCoy on the 450, while Danny Anderson will join him in the Open class for the New Year. Also joining team is Under 19s rider Josh Cachia and Beau Ralston, who will ride in the Opens again. Finally, Luke Bond will ride in the Under 19s for the team as well.

There is yet to be an announcement who will ride for the official factory KTM team run by MX RAD, however it’s very much likely to be Tye Simmonds and Andrew McFarlane in the Open class while Ryan Marmont is confirmed for the Lites.

We’ve been hearing whispers all throughout the off-season that Simmonds will switch to Suzuki, but all signs point toward KTM in recent weeks – remaining with the manufacturer he has spent much of his career with.

Another rumour that continues to do the rounds is that at least one of KTM’s new 350SX-F machines will be landing on Aussie soil soon, with one of the MX RAD guys potentially competing on the bike in the MX Nationals. Let’s hope that speculation becomes a reality because those bikes are unreal.

In thinking about that, perhaps KTM’s new 350 will be the perfect bike for ‘Doggy’ Marmont to step up and join his elder brother Jay in the Open class. Known to be a small-bore specialist, Doggy may just be the perfect rider to make the most of the 350 against the regular Open class 450s.

We will have to wait and see what happens over the next few months for all of this to finally pan out so we can get racing come April!

Most would have seen in the Breaking News that IEG is hosting a two-day practice session at the Island this month, so check it out and be sure to spread the word due to the late notice for the practice.

I’m particularly interested in this test because it’ll hopefully hurry up the teams who are preparing for the new year, potentially marking the debut of many riders on track in their new roles for twenty ten.

The news that came late yesterday afternoon confirming Wayne Maxwell’s position on the G.A.S Honda team wasn’t really surprising, but it is good to see that one of the country’s top Superbike stars hasn’t missed out on a seat for the new season.

We now await the future of Glenn Allerton to be confirmed, although as I’ve mentioned before it looks as though he’ll be teamed with Kris McLaren on a sattelite Honda alongside the G.A.S effort.

Some interesting news this week is that it looks as though Brendan Clarke will be an extra rider in this new Superstock 1000 A class, joining the likes of Ben Attard (TBC), Chris Trounson, Cole Odendaal and Jackson Leigh-Smith in the all-new class to be run within the Superbike ranks.

Clarke looks to be riding a Champion’s Ride Days-backed Honda in the class, while Andy Lawson Jr will likely step up to the Supersport class on a CBR600RR after a successful 125GP career to date.

Bring on round one already!

American John Hopkins will test the FB Corse MotoGP bike this week in Europe, although it’s uncertain what exactly he’ll do this year until he rides the BMW-engined prototype.

Hopper has had a nightmare couple of seasons due to injury in both MotoGP and WSBK, so if the FB Corse bike doesn’t live up to expectations then there’s every chance that you’ll see him in the AMA next season.

In saying that, Moto Matters is reporting that the team is highly confident of securing Hopper’s signature for the season, and it would be good to see another top rider in the premier class, adding another bike on the grid in the process.

While we wrap up the MotoGP section for this week, spare a thought for Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden, who are meeting the world’s press in Italy on the ski slopes at Ducati’s annual Wrooom event.

Casey’s just come from the Aussie summer, while Nicky will be familiar with the freezing weather after spending Christmas in his hometown of Kentucky for the U.S. winter.

The 2010 model Desmosedici GP10 is set to be released this evening at the promotional event.

Crutchlow won the WSS title for Yamaha in 2009, but the team has now folded.

Crutchlow won the WSS title for Yamaha in 2009, but the team has now folded.

Confirmation that Wilco Zeelenberg will be Jorge Lorenzo’s team manager at Fiat Yamaha in MotoGP next year also confirms the news that the world championship-winning Yamaha Supersport team has closed shop.

It’s a shame after the team won in 2009 with Cal Crutchlow, but certainly a sign of the economic times when sponsorship is evilly difficult to come by for even the best of riders and teams.

The Superbikes will test at Portimao in Portugal next week at the official test, while one month later they’ll all be here for the now annual pre-season test at Phillip Island just one week before the start of the season at the epic Island circuit.

One rider out to farewell Australia’s Oran Park Raceway, which is holding its last ever ride day today, was HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes, out at yesterday’s ride day doing laps on a Honda Fireblade.

Brookes will enter the 2010 season as a favourite for the BSB series on the factory Honda team, but he still enjoys swinging a leg over a wide variety of bikes, completing his final laps around the iconic Syndey-based circuit.

Other riders we’ve spotted out at Oran Park recently taking part at ride days include former AMA Superstock Champion Aaron Gobert, 2008 ASBK champ Glenn Allerton and title contender Wayne Maxwell.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading!