We have the latest dirt on the world of motocross, supercross and off-road every Wednesday on MotoOnline.com.au.
The greatest news of the week had to be on Monday when Chad Reed was honoured a Member of the Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday holiday. It was an announcement that was kept very hush hush by Reed and his team, however some did have an idea of what was going on (ie, guessed!) when you read the predictions in the iMoto Community.
The fact that Reed was honoured while still competing and that he’s the second youngest in history to receive the honour, it’s a great thing for him and the sport. As an indication of just how important it was, Reed received the most national press he ever has on Monday and was even featured on the front page of The Australian! Congratulations to all involved, especially the TwoTwo – you deserve it.
Brett Metcalfe is on the road in his motorhome and has stayed back east following High Point, riding and training in what are more humid conditions on the east coast ahead of Budds Creek this weekend. It’s difficult to simulate race conditions when testing in California, so hopefully this next step will help Metty return to the form he enjoyed last year.
I was able to check in with Michael Byrne yesterday afternoon for a couple of stories I’ve been working on, and he had just finished a day of travelling in order to complete some testing with Factory Connection. Byrner said the track he’s testing at is super rough and filled with sand whoops, which will hopefully help him get his BBMX Suzuki to where he needs it for the coming outdoor rounds.
PJ Larsen returned last weekend at High Point for JDR/J-Star/KTM, but the bad news is that his nagging wrist injury proved too painful to meet his potential come time to race. The word is that PJ may unfortunately be forced to miss more races to let his wrist continue recovering. Watch this space…
The MX Nationals Twitter feed has revealed that we can expect Chris Hollis and Glenn Kearney on the gates at this weekend’s Coonabarabran round of the series. Why, you may be asking yourself? Because the Australian Off Road round at Dungog had been cancelled due to weather. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Toby Price in the mix too! We haven’t had confirmation from the guys yet, but hopefully Hollis and Kearney do show up as expected.
One rider on a roll entering Coonabarabran is defending three-time champion Jay Marmont. The CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha rider excels when he’s confident, which he very well should be since he’s won the Manjimup 15,000 and Queensland State Motocross Championships on consecutive weekends. Just how much desire does Marmont have to finish off the MX season strongly? He drove up to Queensland, stayed up there for the week and is now heading to Coonabarabran on his way back home. Expect big things come Sunday.
A surprise performance could be had from Todd Waters this weekend, the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing rider returning from injury to make his 2011 debut. Waters was solid against the likes of Marmont and his teammate Michael Phillips at Coolum on the weekend, even winning two motos. It’ll be great to see him back in the mix this weekend, win or lose.
Speaking of Phillips, the Kiwi contender will still be in action this weekend despite initially joining the team as a replacement for Waters. A podium at Murray Bridge and various other strong results mean Phillips will remain alongside Waters and Cheyne Boyd for the rest of the nationals. As for Boyd, he’ll also be strong at Coonabarabran after winning the Victorian state titles round at Swan Hill on the weekend.
We reported it earlier this month, both Billy Mackenzie has officially confirmed his GP return in Britain at Matterley Basin in August. BillyMac is doing it in a bid to gain a position on the Motocross of Nations team, and he could head in there full steam ahead as it’s almost directly following the MX Nationals season.
Australian Off Road
The Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship must be cursed with bad luck, this weekend’s fifth and sixth rounds yesterday postponed due to the heavy rain in the Hunter region. It’s a shame for a series that’s been struggling for consistency in recent years, but there’s no doubt that once it does get things going its way it’ll have a strong future for years to come – largey thanks to the top riders and great teams involved!
One rider who is relieved that the Dungog round has to be rescheduled is Motorex KTM Off Road Racing’s Ben Grabham. Grabbo suffered a broken hand at Finke on Sunday, albeit still winning the event, and he was uncertain if he could race the AORC this weekend. Now though, Grabbo has extra time to recuperate and he’ll be determined to continue his E1 class battle with Stefan Merriman in the coming rounds.
That’s all for another week, thank you all as always for stopping by once again on MotoOnline.com.au!