News 6 Apr 2010

Oz MX: Bopping and Addison surprise in NSW championship

The 2010 The Helmet Warehouse NSW Motocross Championships came to a show-stopping conclusion at the weekend, ending with some serious battles between some of Australia’s best riders, in front of big crowds and under perfect weather, culminating one of the most hotly-contested and biggest rounds of the championship despite the muddy conditions.

Following almost a week of rain, the Mt Kembla Circuit fast became a mud-fest for the opening round of junior competion and subsequently forced an early ending to the junior round. However, just 24-hours later and mother nature produced a perfect, sunny day for racing and whilst the track was still covered in mud, just about all senior entrants took their place on the grid for round one.

With a big crowd lining the fences of Mt Kembla, reigning Pro Open MX Nationals Champion and hometown hero, Jay Marmont, put aside his MX Nationals campaign to line-up for round one and didn’t disappoint. Looking strong in pratice, Marmont qualified strongly and took an outside gate, counting on a good start. However, what he wasn’t on, what a challenge from first-time Pro Open competitor, Lawson Bopping.

The factory Suzuki rider fought Marmont for the lead and took an early advantage in race one, but with a significant lead up his sleeve, he went down and handed the lead – and the win – to a very popular Marmont in race one. Kym Wright poked his head back into the MX scene to grab a credible third.

After throwing away race one, Bopping was determined to have one last stab at the local favourite, Marmont. However, in the same fashion as race one, Marmont jumped out early to grab the lead. This time, Bopping, was a little down the order and began to climb his way back. Standing for a majority of the race, Bopping powered up behind Marmont once again and through agression and raw speed, made his move on Marmont and checked-out to run away with race two. Marmont held onto second with Wright again riding to a well deserved third.

“It was a mud race and it’s a different deal, anything can happen,” Bopping told the Illawarra Mercury after the race. “It was only my third race ona 450 and it was great to ride with Jay. I learnt a lot just racing against him and watching him today. It was a good experience.”

Marmont was relieved the day was over, but loved being a part of this rapidly growing series.

“I’m glad it’s over, it was a nightmare,” he said. “I made a couple of mistakes, but Lawson [Bopping] rode really well. I owed it to my club and to Motorcycling NSW to be here, and I’ll go up to Port Macquarie for the second round as well.”

In the Pro Lites, four of Australia’s best 250 pilots went head-to-head in the two races on the day. Michael Addison, Ryan Marmont, Lawson Bopping and Cody Mackie lined up just inches apart in race number one and turned on an incredible fight to the flag.

By the time the race hit the 20 minute mark, it was Addison aboard his Honda whho had checked-out on the rest of the field to take the win. Mackie was the next rider, some seconds behind Addison, and took second place. Followed by Bopping and Marmont in third and fourth respectively.

Race two again saw Addison run away with the holeshot and the early lead, however this time it was Mackie who got stuck down the order in race two and was in second last place round turn two. Up front Addison had some dramas and slipped back to third, as Bopping and Marmont inherited the front of the pack duties. Addison tagged onto the back of the leading two and the trio began to take turns at diving up the inside of each other at every opportunity.

In the end, it was Marmont who held on to the win, followed by Bopping in second. Addsion held onto third, but more importantly, took home the overall round win. Marmont picked-up second on the day, with Bopping in third.

On Friday and Saturday, the biggest field of junior competitors, from far and wide converged on Wollongong to kick-off round one of the 2010 series.

Whilst intimittant rain turned the track into a minefield of mud, the 350-strong turnout of juniors still gathered up all of their courage and took on the rain and the Mt Kembla track – producing some incredible racing action.

The 50cc and 65cc riders were the hardest hit by the thick mud on-track, nevertheless they still took to the track like little champions and managed to finish out all of their races – albeit, a little slower than they’d have hoped.

In the older age groups, some of Australia’s next big names were hard at work, trying forge a name for themselves in their last few years as juniors.

In the 15 years classes, fans were treated to some of the best racing action of the weekend, with new Yamaha Junior Team recruit, Ben George fought hard with 85cc World MX Champion, Jay Wilson and local rider, Corey James and up-and-coming Hunter Valley rider, Jake Vella.

The four riders swapped race wins right across the weekend and battled for every single corner, bringing spectators and support crews to their feet in the pouring rain.

Whilst in the 13-u15 years, Honda Junior Team rider, Hayden Mellross, was railing the Wollongong track to continue his dominant NSW MX form.

Another highlight of the weekend was the form by several of the junior female entries in the way of Mackenzie Tricker and Megan Rutledge. The two Sydney riders went toe to toe as they have done many times in the past, but managed to spank a host of male counterparts in the process. Finishing on the podium against the boys.

Unfortunately, the weather conditions would eventually force and an early ending to junior racing after two rounds of racing, the event was still one of the most successful in the event’s history and provided a fantastic platform for the remainder of the series.

“Everyone at MNSW is over the moon right now following this weekend. We had a lot of elements working against us this weekend, but it is a testement to the Wollongong club, the officials, the marshalls and everyone involved that the event still was a huge success, so I really have to greatly thank all of them for their uncomprimised efforts in making this round what it was,” said MNSW general manager Daniel Gatt.

“Secondly, a big thank you has to go out to all the riders and their families for putting their faith in the series and still braving the conditions to ride. It was great to see so many riders out there despite the weather and we hope that we have repayed them with a great event, as we head into round two at Port Macquarie in June.

“Also, we owe a huge thank you to all of our series sponsors for 2010. The Helmet Warehouse and High Roller Energy both were present over the weekend and really added to the atmosphere of the weekend’s event.”

The 2010 The Helmet Warehouse NSW Motocross Championships now heads to the Hastings Valley Club in Port Macquarie in June for round two of the series, and with record numbers if entries for round one, be sure to get your entry in early so you don’t miss your chance to be a part of NSW’s premier motocross series.