News 26 Oct 2011

Moto Insider #42 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 Supercross

It seems that Australian Supercross just can’t catch a break when it comes to the weather, with round one of the Monster Energy Super X series an absolute mud-bath in Melbourne last Saturday night.

Upon arrival at the stadium, bikes were looking supreme as teams put the finishing touches on their race weapons for the relatively short five-round season. Brand new bikes with high quality components were soon looking very much second hand, as mud covered every part visible.

It was a shame to start the season out that way, especially since most were rained upon last year, however you can’t deny that the guys on the podium in each of the classes deserved their rewards at the end of the night.

Tye Simmonds was exceptional for JDR Motorex KTM in his comeback ride after a season in the U.S, looking better than ever despite just minimal time on the 450 SX-F. Strong in his heat and even better in the main, he was able to take his first ever Pro Open ‘W’, as he calls it.

The original format was scrapped on the start line for the Opens, with riders voting for the round to be switched from a pair of 10-lap finals to a single 12-lapper considering the conditions. Interestingly, the one guy to vote for the Double Header despite the conditions was Billy Mackenzie.

With GP experience and an obvious talent for riding in the mud, Mackenzie was the early leader in the Open main event before crashing. He took his second podium in as many Super X attempts, but he’s adamant he wants to move up one position on the box from second.

Don’t underestimate the form of Ryan Marmont on the 350 SX-F. He completed the podium on debut in the class filled with 450s, and I think he would have been up there rain, hail or shine. This won’t be his lone podium of the season, which bodes well going into Wollongong this weekend.

The gates dropped on Monster Energy Super X last weekend in Melbourne. Image: Rice Photography.

The gates dropped on Monster Energy Super X last weekend in Melbourne. Image: Rice Photography.

Arguably the most accomplished team in Super X this year is CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha, but both Jay Marmont and Jake Moss were left down in the back half of the top 10 in round one. Struck by bad luck and again struggling in wet conditions, both of these guys will be focused on wins in upcoming rounds. They’ll be praying for dry weather.

Jake’s brother Matt was the winner, as expected, in the Pro Lites at round one, but he was challenged the whole way. In fact, the standout from Melbourne would have to be Dean Ferris, who won his heat and the first final in the Double Header format before crashing while leading in the second final.

Riding a Monster Energy Kawasaki with great support from Pro Circuit, Ferris looks like he has starts dialled, which will be vital throughout the series. He was mad on Saturday night after the races, disappointed in his mistakes, and vowing to climb back into title contention.

One other guy to stand out was Gavin Faith. He struggled in the finals, but if you were to see him in the heat race, he was fast. Faith actually battled with Mossy early on and then pulled a gap. It didn’t count for much, but it did serve notice that he’s much better than his overall result from round one indicates.

Another of the most intriguing battles to watch all year long will be the rivalry between Errol Willis and American guest Joey Savatgy in the Under 19s. The class was a nice addition to the series, with Willis getting the upper hand in Melbourne and determined to add the title to his outdoor success. Watch them duke it out over the next four rounds.

Timing became a huge problem at round one when the system crashed, presumably due to the weather and track conditions, meaning that the main events were hand-scored. This is a nightmare for the timing team, but thankfully they got it all worked out within a day or two and we had results for all main events. Nice work, ladies!

Did you miss our official Super X Post Show from round one? If so, check it out right here. We also had a Pre Show posted and will continue to do both thanks to Guy Streeter all year long in association with our friends at Super X and Global Action Sports.

The plan is to have practice footage included in our Pre Show as of the second round, plus as you would have seen in the Post Show from last week, we offer the only pre-TV glimpse of the actual race action and will do so week in, week out.

Round two is this weekend in Wollongong as I said earlier, and unfortunately according to the Bureau of Meteorology, rain is forecast more often than not this week. Saturday’s forecast is a ‘shower or two’ with a max of 24 degrees, so fingers crossed it is just a small shower and not an all-out downpour of rain!

Also, make sure you enter our Fantasy League competition. Round two is open for entry, so click on this link and take your pick in the tipping competition. We have custom number one plates to give away at each round and for the series, but it’s intended to be a bit of fun on the side while watching the races.

Social networking is all the rage right now, so as long as we have internet at the races, be sure to check out and for all the behind the scenes action and images at each round.

Don’t forget, Melbourne will be aired on SPEED television this Friday night at 7.30pm AEDT, so tune in and enjoy the coverage from round one. I know we will be!

American Motocross

Big news from the U.S. came in overnight, with James Stewart confirmed to be joining Joe Gibbs Racing on the Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX team riding a YZ450F for at least the next three years in a multi-year agreement. It was actually USA Today that broke the story before the press conference, and then the industry media followed from what we could make out.

The entire story is in Breaking News right here on, confirming he’ll be riding supercross and the outdoors next year. What’s interesting is that JS7 will be riding on Pirelli tyres and will use Showa forks, rather than Yamaha’s preferred KYB. I saw a photo of Stewart testing with Showa forks back in July. Was it a JGRMX bike?

What had to be a huge lure for Stewart is JGR’s association with NASCAR, and it is our understanding that he’ll be behind the wheel of a Late Model car as soon as next month. We could see James in the Nationwide (NASCAR’s second tier) series as soon as 2012. What he wants to do over the next three years on two wheels, however, is beat Jeremy McGrath’s win record of 72 indoors.

James Stewart was today confirmed for Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX in a multi-year agreement.

James Stewart was today confirmed for Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX in a multi-year agreement.

The final piece of the off-season now surrounds Chad Reed. At this point I’d say he’ll be remaining with Honda, but the amount of factory support he’ll have isn’t known. TwoTwo Motorsports deserve factory bikes, but we will simply have to wait and see what the team will announce. What Chad does have coming up is the Genoa Supercross in Italy on 19 November.

Super X round winner Tye Simmonds has made it clear he wants to head back to America next year to continue his apprenticeship over there, but he needs a ride still at this point after JDR opted to become strictly a Lites program with KTM.

What will be helping him out is Racer X’s coverage on the web of Super X, which is being completed in partnership with us here at MotoOnline. Simmonds being showcased on their homepage earlier this week for his opening round triumph has to be good for his chances.

Needless to say, I’m certain the entire Australian dirt bike industry is thankful and very proud to be featured in Racer X’s online coverage while the U.S. off-season is taking place.

That’s all for another week here in the Insider column, so thank you for stopping by and supporting us and our sponsors on the site. Remember to stay tuned over the next month for the most complete Super X coverage on the web.

Just quickly, before we wrap things up, sends our thoughts to the family, friends and fans of fallen MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli this week, who tragically lost his life in the Malaysian MotoGP round last weekend. Here’s a nice tribute to ‘Super Sic’ that we spotted on the web.

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