News 3 Aug 2011

Moto Insider #30 has the latest dirt on the world of motocross, supercross and off-road every Wednesday. has the latest dirt on the world of motocross, supercross and off-road every Wednesday.

Australian Motocross

How about Jay Marmont’s record-equalling fourth straight Australian Motocross Championship in the premier class? The guy is an absolute class act and I’m proud to be right there with him as both a friend and his PR officer throughout his title run in 2011.

There was something about Jay on the weekend that seemed super relaxed, with no sign whatsoever that he would have a championship on the line come Sunday afternoon. He was his usually friendly self to his many fans, cooperated with sponsors as requested, and in the end, dominated on track like nobody else has all year.

It’s been no secret that many have credited Jay’s past titles to consistency, but this year he was different. With nine moto wins and three overalls (plus another round where he tied for victory at Moree), Marmont is arguably in the form of his life at 28 years of age. Funnily enough, the consistent approach seemed to come easier in years past!

Marmont has now equaled Craig Dack and Stephen Gall at four national titles, but keep in mind that the modern era forces riders to battle for those championships over a longer duration and with many more races on the line. We said it last year when speaking about title number four for Jay, but imaging next year if he grabs a fifth?

You can see the relief just moment after Marmont learns he is 2011 MX Nationals Champion. Image: Alex Gobert.

You can see the relief just moment after Marmont learns he is 2011 MX Nationals Champion. Image: Alex Gobert.

Everybody’s hearts went out to Jay’s teammate Josh Coppins on Sunday afternoon in Coolum. He practically had the title in the bag with two races to run, enjoying an 18-point advantage before his untimely crash in the first turn of moto three with Dean Ferris. Straight away it was obvious Josh was in severe pain, and he later admitted that right there and then he knew the title was over.

Coppins lost the 2007 world championship in similar circumstances when he was a shoe in for the crown, so this will be a bitter pill to swallow as he prepares for expected surgery in Europe. Still, he can hold his head high for both raising the bar on and off the track in Australian motocross in 2011. He’s fast, focused, and a pleasure to work alongside from a media standpoint.

While Coppins is likely to be going to Europe for surgery, Monster Kawasaki’s Billy Mackenzie will be going over to race the British Grand Prix. The Scotsman has found a home in Australian motocross over the last two years, but a good showing could see him tempted to return to the GP circuit for 2012. He says he wants to return to Australia, so at the end of the day I guess it depends what financial opportunities and equipment levels are put forward to him.

Australia’s greatest rising star right now is Mackenzie’s teammate Ferris, who is also going to Europe between the MX Nationals and Super X. Dean had a horror finish to the season after going so strongly earlier on, so he’ll be going to watch and possibly chase a ride over there for next year. If he doesn’t secure a deal, Kawasaki has confirmed they want him back in green.

Another young guy that we need to mention is Todd Waters. He has returned from injury and straight away asserted himself as the top guy at Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing, no doubt potentially rising to be a title contender again next year. Yarrive Konsky needs to hang onto this kid, keep working with him and the rewards will be rich once it all comes together.

Matt Moss narrowly held onto the lead in the Pro Lites class of the MX Nationals for JDR Motorex KTM, eventually winning by 10 points ahead of Serco Yoshimura Yamaha’s Kirk Gibbs. The pair were the class of the field all year long, themselves raising the bar in that category as two of Australia’s best young riders.

With Moss almost certain to be returning to the U.S. in 2012 for KTM and JDR Motorsports, that leaves Gibbs as the clear title favourite in the Lites. However, Gibbs could be on the shopping list of a few 450 teams considering his form in recent seasons. Watch this space…

Another rider in the Lites who wants a 450 ride is Phil Nicoletti, the American who scored a podium finish in the Lites series on debut for Monster Energy Kawasaki. Will he get an Open class ride? Probably not, but he did show flashes of speed this year in the Lites. He’s not yet confirmed to be returning for Super X either.

According to MA, Moss will be eligible for Team Australia at the Motocross of Nations in France this September. It was originally thought he was too old since the MX2 age limit is 23, but that apparently is counted for riders’ ages at the start of the year. So who would you pick? Dean Ferris or Matt Moss for the 250F ride? Good luck to the selectors.

Will we see Matt Moss on Team Australia at the MXoN in 2011? Image: Alex Gobert.

Will we see Matt Moss on Team Australia at the MXoN in 2011? Image: Alex Gobert.

Speaking of the Moss twins, Craig Dack told us on Sunday evening that Jake Moss will only be on the CDR team if he can prove his fitness is high enough in time for Super X. Moss is currently healing from shoulder surgery and had been penciled in by CDR to team with Marmont, but it depends on his health at this stage. Fingers crossed he is back in time and capable of winning like he did at various times last year.

This current class of Under 19s contenders is really going to make an impact when they step up to the Pro Lites over the next few years. Errol Willis is fast and determined, plus Luke Arbon will be one to watch next year as he’s forced to move up due to his age. The question is, will Yamaha boost Arbon up to the Serco team, or will the GYTR Rockstar Yamaha team make a Lites ride for him.

One rider who has made great headway in the closing rounds of the season has been Jake Emanuelli, picking up a podium at Coolum in his rookie season. You would think that GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha will be considering him for a ‘factory’ seat next year in the U19s.

If you’re taking it easy on the couch tonight, make sure you tune into SPEED News Australia at 7.00pm (replay at 9.30pm) for highlights from the Coolum MX Nationals round. We understand there will be around a minute and a half shown on the event, which is a great thing for the motocross in Australia alongside other top sports around the globe.

Also airing highlights of the season finale tonight will be ONE HD’s RPM program, so check that out at 10.30pm this evening or check your local guide for replays tomorrow. It’s great to see these shows recognise the stars of our sport and also the effort that WEM is putting in to constantly improve upon the product.

Those who were at Coolum on the weekend would have noticed the atmosphere was alight on both Saturday and Sunday, with the industry putting together trade displays with autograph sessions, promo models, and competitions. It really did add to the event, and the huge crowd made it all worthwhile for everybody involved. Now we just need to see that consistently produced throughout the series! had a goggle race of sorts on Sunday morning at Coolum, with Oakley’s Mick Sinclair taking on SCOTT’s Joel Ryan and VZ’s Johnny MacLean in a race to see who could switch lenses faster. We have a video of the battle in the works, so you’ll have to wait until it’s published to see who won!

The atmosphere at Coolum was electrifying on Sunday. Image: Alex Gobert.

The atmosphere at Coolum was electrifying on Sunday. Image: Alex Gobert.

There’s no rest for Marmont and various other national regulars as this weekend will see the King of the Cross take place in Western Australia. Marmont won the race last year and judging by his recent form, you can bet he’ll be on track to take it out again on Sunday.

That’s all for this week’s special championship edition of the Moto Insider, capping off what has been a full on couple of weeks to conclude our MX Nationals coverage for 2011.

Between now and Super X though, be sure to stay tuned in as we provide all the latest news as it happens, plus some very special features to keep you all entertained along the way.

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