MotoOnline.com.au goes behind the scenes for the latest look in Australian and international dirt bike news.
Welcome to what will be an all-new style of the Moto Insider feature right here on MotoOnline.com.au, what I like to call an evolution on our previous style after testing it out on our partner CycleOnline.com.au last week. It’s been a huge week, so let’s get the ball rolling…
- Back-to-back races can be the kind that make or break teams and riders in motorcycle racing, a sport where injuries can occur and machine maintenance is paramount. Heading from last weekend’s Appin round to Raymond Terrace this weekend, there’s little wonder that this week marks one of the busiest of the entire MX Nationals season for everybody.
- So what did we learn from Appin? One, we learnt that consistency is key. Again. Two, we learnt that having the outright speed doesn’t guarantee you of a win even if the Open motos are slightly longer now. Three, we learnt that the titles are anyone’s to take – at least in the Open and Under 19s categories.
- How about Matt Moss in the Lites? He was spectacularly fast and looks as though he’s gaining momentum on the KTM. However, not even he can recover from bad starts and crashes in 2011, leaving American Phil Nicoletti to take the spoils of motos three and four on Sunday. And good on him, because he rode awesome.
- You could tell the track and hot weather were taxing on the riders after the opening motos, almost all of them sitting quietly between the second and third motos pondering how they were going to make the most of what was shaping up to be a tough afternoon. The deep ruts that formed in the mud during qualifying became super tough once Appin’s usual hard pack surface formed during the afternoon.
- After suffering a severe ankle injury in New Zealand just one week prior to Appin, Josh Coppins turned up at Appin unsure if he would even be capable of riding on Sunday. Turns out he did, and he has a number one plate for the round to prove it. Never say never.
- While Coppins was recovering, his countryman and new Kiwi champ Cody Cooper had a tough day, resulting in a painful rib injury after he crashed on the tricky uphill double that’s placed directly out of a tight right-hander. Coops was unstoppable in moto one and was leading moto two before the incident occurred, dashing his hopes for the day. The question is, will he be back this weekend?
- CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha had a Japanese flag on the side of its new semi at Appin, paying tribute to the disasters in Japan. CDR boss Craig Dack said the flag was on the truck both because the team is Yamaha’s factory effort, as well as simply because he likes the country and wanted to show his support.
- We mentioned in the Pit Pass that Serco Yamaha had a new awning hanging off its semi at Appin, however it’s yet to be fully completed at this point as the team awaits some finishing touches. It always did look kind of strange having a semi with quick shade-style tents placed alongside in recent years.
- There was an American guest contesting the Appin round in the Open class, being young amateur rider Aaron Siminoe. He was riding under the JDR Motorsports KTM banner and was doing a pretty good job until he unfortunately crashed during one of the early motos and was knocked out from what we can gather.
- Word is slowly starting to spread that JDR Motorsports is planning a European operation in the future to go alongside its Australian and American programs. The Aussie-owned team has been most impressive since launching a few years ago, well and truly putting itself and Aussie riders on the map.
- Pretty much every time we interview Matt Moss he speaks of returning to America with the JDR team, which would be the ultimate opportunity for somebody like him. In familiar surroundings I’m sure he would make a real impact over in the U.S, and as long as he wins this year in Australia as he has been then I believe it’s almost certain that he’ll return Stateside in 2012.
- Speaking of the Moss brothers, Jake’s return with Serco Yamaha over the weekend was a quiet one, but that’s about all we can expect following his disastrous shoulder injury suffered in Germany earlier this year. Here’s hoping he returns to fitness soon and regains the AMA podium form that he has displayed in recent years.
- Is it just me or has Jay Marmont made a breakthrough with his speed in 2011? We haven’t seen him score the fastest qualifying time in a long while and he managed to do so at Appin, and then come race time he was on the gas apart from slow starts and bad luck. Considering he had five crashes on the day, he was pretty pumped on his podium result.
- Selected members of the Monster Energy Kawasaki crew could be heading to the U.S. next week to continue development alongside Pro Circuit directly following Raymond Terrace. The news broke via team manager Troy Carroll on Twitter, and he’s even offered to pit board for last year’s Aussie Super X champ (and current AMA West Coast Lites title leader) Josh Hansen while he practices during the week.
- With Raymond Terrace coming up this weekend, the word is that it could be a mud-fest once again similar to last season when the series visited Barleigh Ranch. The track is one of the most popular on the calendar, however Mother Nature just doesn’t seem to want to cooperate when it comes to track preparation when the Nationals roll into town.
- Also guys, don’t forget in case you missed any of our content over the weekend direct from Appin, we had a Pre Show film, Post Show film, Race Reflection films, Pit Pass image gallery and Track Access action image gallery – all uploaded within 24 hours of the event (most of which was up by lunchtime on Sunday!).
- James Stewart has again been in the headlines this week, this time for his out of control take-out on Aussie Chad Reed in Dallas. Stewart got squirrelly through the whoops and collected Reedy, costing him the series lead and very well almost ruling him out of the race altogether. What is going on with Bubba right now? I never though it would turn out like this considering his early season form at A2, etc.
- Even though it hasn’t been aired here in Australia yet, I’ve been reading that CBS opted not to mention Stewart’s arrest during the telecast of the Dallas Supercross. It’s a difficult thing to believe and a real shame for the sport that they didn’t, and many are stating that it’s reasons like that which are why Supercross isn’t taken seriously by the general public as a ‘real’ sport.
- Reedy is probably in a good position right now even if he’s not leading the series. Yes, every point counts, but not having the pressure of being the series leader can be a positive and I think Chad will run with that to make the most of it. Even though RV is undoubtedly quick, two more danger-men are rapidly rising up the points ladder – Trey Canard and Ryan Dungey.
- RPM featured X Games legend Travis Pastrana on last night’s program, speaking about everything from the Nitro Circus to his upcoming NASCAR career. To check out what TP had to say for himself, you can see the interview on ONE HD’s site by clicking here.
That’s all for this week, thank you as always for stopping by to catch up on the latest from behind the scenes!