News 19 Mar 2010

Oz MX: New-look JDR Motorex KTM team ready for 2010

Simmonds will ride KTM's all-new 350 SX-F in 2010 with JDR Motorex KTM.

Simmonds will ride KTM's all-new 350 SX-F in 2010 with JDR Motorex KTM.

JDR Motorex KTM is leaving no stone unturned in an effort to secure both the 2010 Australian Pro Open and Pro Lites Motocross Championship titles, announcing a top rider line up for the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, set to commence on 28 March at Horsham in Victoria.

The team will enter American import PJ Larsen and two-time Australian Motocross Champion Ryan Marmont in the Pro Lites class, along with new talent Tye Simmonds and former world number two Andrew McFarlane in the Pro Open category.

Nineteen-year-old Larsen is renowned for his dominance in junior racing, including a win at the World Mini Bike Championship Loretta Lynns. Larson also recently placed fifth in a round of the AMA Supercross Championship, where he was a stand in rider for Tommy Searle on the KTM USA Factory Team. PJ will be based in Australia during the motocross season, racing on the KTM 250 SX-F in the Pro Lites class.

“Fitness wise, I’ve had a pretty intense training regime in place since December last year, so physically I’m prepared for the Australian Motocross Championship, and now that I’m in Australia pre season testing is underway,” said Larsen.

“I’m familiar with how JDR Motorex KTM operates having raced the Brisbane Supercross round with them last year, and I’m also familiar with racing KTM motorcycles having recently raced the KTM 250 SX F in the AMA Supercross, where I was replacing Tommy Searle on the USA KTM Factory Team.

“My best result with the USA KTM Factory Team was fifth at a round of the AMA Supercross, and considering the calibre of rider entered in the AMA is renowned to be a cut above the rest, I’m very pleased with that result.

“Since I’m quite familiar with racing the KTM 250 SX F my pre season testing is more about bike time, and preparing for the conditions of outdoor motocross racing. There are a lot of fast riders entering the Pro Lites class for the Australian Motocross Championship, and I’m looking forward to the battle ahead.”

Returning to the team for a third consecutive season will be 24-year-old Wollongong racer, Ryan Marmont, who knows what it takes to win a Motocross championship, having scored himself the Pro Lites title with KTM back in 2007. Marmont also has the added benefit of reigning Pro Open Champion, Jay Marmont as his older brother, and training partner.

“When JDR Motorsports confirmed they were switching from Yamaha to KTM for our race bikes I was pretty excited, because I knew for the Pro Lites class I would be again racing on the KTM 250 SX-F,” said Marmont. “I won the Australian Supercross Championship in 2006 on the KTM 250 SX F, and then the Australian Motocross Championship in 2007 on the KTM 250 SX F, so I have a lot of confidence in this bike.

“I haven’t had to do any testing because the team provided me with a great bike package up front, reinforcing my trust in this KTM machine. The bike feels better than what it was when I rode it back in 2006 and 2007.

“Preparation wise for the motocross, I have been spending some time in Queensland with my team mate Andrew McFarlane riding around his local tracks, and also getting out on tracks in NSW with my brother Jay. Obviously with Jay holding the number one plate in the Pro Open he’s a great training partner, and I constantly learn from him. We have some fun battles ourselves pre-testing – he knows I’m always up to challenge him.

“Last year at the start of the motocross season I was injured at the first round, and that haunted me for the entire series, so I’m really hoping my fitness preparations leading up to this year’s racing will help me avoid injury or recover quickly for a solid season ahead.”

In the Pro Open Class, the international experience of 32-year-old Queenslander McFarlane won’t go unnoticed. In the 2009 Australian Motocross Championship, Andrew placed third in the Pro Open, and has high hopes for improving on that position this season as he enters for the first time ever on the KTM 450 SX-F.

“2009 was my first time back racing in Australian since the year 2000, when I secured every possible Australian Supercross and Motocross title there was on the dirt bike calendar,” said McFarlane.

“When leaving Australia, I spent most of my time in Europe competing on the World Motocross circuit, and 2005 was when I claimed my ranking as world #2. After competing in Europe for several years, I headed to the USA, and raced in various AMA Supercross and Motocross rounds, but never really felt grounded on American soil. I felt it was the right time to return to Australia, and at 32 years of age I wanted to secure a future for me, and my family back home.

“I had some good results racing back in Australia last year, but I did have a few setbacks with injury, after colliding with riders where either myself, or my bike came up worse, than the others.

“Besides the setbacks I still managed to secure third in the 2009 Pro Open Australian Motocross Championship behind Cheyne Boyd, and Jay Marmont. They’re certainly great competitors, but there will be a lot more competition in the mix this year with the likes of UK rider Billy McKenzie coming out, and also Cody Cooper returning from New Zealand.

“I know with my international experience I can be competitive against these guys, and I’m looking forward to riding the KTM 450 SX F, as I have never raced on a KTM before.

“I also have my father Ron on board as my mechanic this year, which brings me back to the grass roots of my riding. He was my mechanic before I left for Europe, and together I believe we know what it takes to win. Dad’s support along with the commitment of JDR Motorex KTM Racing to see all their riders on the podium, should reward me with some positive results for the season.”

Anticipation is high for new team rider, young gun Tye Simmonds from Bourke in NSW, with the 17-year-old renowned industry-wide as the next big name to come up through the ranks.

Simmonds placed second in the Pro Lites class of the Australian Motocross Championship last year, and will be stepping up to race in the Pro Open class for 2010 on the long awaited KTM 350 SX-F machine, debuting the bike in Australia up against the 450 machines.

“I had a great season last year progressing from the junior ranks to take on my first year in Pro Lites racing for the Motocross, and then the Pro Open racing in the Supercross,” said Simmonds. “Unfortunately, I tweaked my knee during the supercross season which required surgery on my ACL, so for the past four months all my preparation leading up to the Australian Motocross Championship has focused on maintaining fitness. I’ve been in the Gold Coast working with Tim Cole on Stephan Gall’s training program, and that has helped a lot.

“My game plan for this year’s Australian Motocross Championship is to ride my own race, and set my own achievements with each championship event I enter. I’m not focused on who my competition will be or what they’re doing preparation wise, I’m just focused on getting the best out of my riding with a goal to podium at each round.”