News 23 Nov 2011

Moto Insider #46 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

There you have it, Monster Energy Super X has been and gone for yet another year. It’s hard to believe that next year will be its fifth in operation under Global Action Sports, which we hope will go ahead and take place after a promising year in 2011.

Things were certainly scaled back for this year compared to year’s past, but realistically, maybe the sport in its current state suits the smaller venues and doesn’t necessarily need live television.

In fact, I heard many in recent weeks say that they enjoyed the smaller venues at Maitland and Ipswich even better than the larger, spread out NRL stadiums. Everything seemed more compact, but the atmosphere was raised, and that’s something that money cannot buy. You have to give credit to the organisers for constantly modifying the proceedings after reading and hearing feedback.

Where we are at right now, I’m not entirely sure. Do they fight to go big again with stadium-based races in big cities next year, or do they search for even more suitable smaller venues that more than likely are better on the budget? Who knows right now, so lets just wait and see what presents itself for 2012.

For now though, we have to congratulate the champions, those being Jay Marmont, Matt Moss, Errol Willis and Billy Jackson, plus their respective teams and supporters. These guys are the show and there’s no doubt that Australian talent is on the rise. We really are witnessing world-class competition.

Personally, I need to say thank you to GAS for allowing us to film in association with them to create the only official Post Show of the series, and also to all the riders and teams for cooperating with all our requests for info and time during the year. It’s been a great season here on MotoOnline and we hope you all enjoyed it!

Australian Motocross

More pieces of the puzzle that is the silly season have been signed for next year, with Ben Townley confirmed in Queensland to be joining Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing for next year. The team is going ‘all in’, so to speak, and the speculation suggests that they’ll switch to Pirelli tyres and Pro Circuit suspension in a big to help BT and Brad Anderson win next year.

What else do we know? Well, Ford Dale is set to be confirmed as Honda’s rider in their full time return to the Lites class. We don’t have anything official, but I understand it’s a done deal. Same with Kade Mosig and Monster Energy Kawasaki, everybody knows it’s done, but they haven’t announced it.

Tye Simmonds confirmed he’ll return to Australia full time for next year with JDR Motorex KTM over the weekend. As happy as I am to see him back, I would have preferred to see him get another season in the U.S. Still, he’s only 19 and has a big career ahead of him. Who will be his teammates at KTM? Nobody knows.

Ryan Marmont is expected to be racing at least four rounds of AMA Supercross alongside Matt Moss in the Lites. What that means is that he’ll again spend the start of the year in America, before returning home to race outdoors unless he’s absolutely killing it.

The fourth East Coast round at Daytona is on 10 March, but the nationals don’t start until April this year. That gives him a few solid weeks to prepare for the MX Nationals, unless he is right up there in the standings of course…

I would also expect both Josh Cachia and Brenden Harrison to spearhead JDR’s Lites program, because both have been impressive this year and tend to get on well with the family that is JDR. These are just my assumptions though.

Motul Pirelli Suzuki has Todd Waters signed, but it’s yet to be decided if they will sign a second 450 rider. While it’s a good idea on paper, there is also the challenge of taking extra bikes and additional equipment to the races. We have no idea who they will sign for the Lites, but Steven Clarke has been mentioned.

Jay Marmont could take his titles to Monster Kawasaki alongside Billy Mackenzie for 2012. Image: Sport The Library.

Dan McCoy and Cody Cooper are yet to lock in seats at Suzuki and both are in the frame for that second 450 seat. Then you have Lawson Bopping, who has been outstanding for Raceline Pirelli Suzuki, but we understand that team will focus on Errol Willis in the Pro Lites and bring in another Under 19s rider.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Open program will again see Billy Mackenzie back for a third year, but of course they are still awaiting the signature of Jay Marmont. He says he plans to test the bike before committing, so we’re still waiting to see how that will all pan out. From what we hear and understand though, he’s very serious about the switch.

Depending on whether Marmont goes to Kawasaki or stays at CDR Rockstar Energy Drink Yamaha, I would say the future of others will then fall into place around that. To be honest though, if I was Craig Dack and had a seat to fill alongside Josh Coppins, I’d put a rising star like Bopping on to learn all he can. He’s young enough to learn, but experienced enough to take advantage of a factory 450.

Luke Styke is already signed at Serco Yoshimura Yamaha, plus Kirk Gibbs will almost certainly be back alongside him. That is unless he steps into Marmont’s massive shoes at CDR, if he does in fact go to Kawasaki. Like I said, Marmont is the key and once he’s done, the others will fall into place.

Apart from those guys mentioned, some I haven’t heard much about include Dan Reardon and Cheyne Boyd. Both are proven riders, but injury affected them this year. Reardon might be staying at JDR for all we know, but Boyd is definitely out at Honda.

With the racing done and dusted for the season, one final major event on our schedule is this Friday’s ADB Awards in Sydney. It’ll be a who’s who of the industry and I’m excited to be a part of it as they return to a nighttime awards evening.

By the way, we’re hearing the 2012 MX Nationals calendar is complete at 10 rounds, set to start on the first of April and there will be a number of two-day events during the season. That’s all we know, but stay tuned for an announcement when WEM releases it.

Chad Reed raced in memory of Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli at Genoa.

American Supercross

He might have sat out the Super X season, but Australia’s Chad Reed was back to his winning ways at Genoa last weekend in Italy. Reedy battled with Justin Barcia for the W and had a great time doing it, but what I thought was cool was that Reed wore a butt patch in memory of fallen MotoGP legend Marco Simoncelli. Awesome work, Reedy!

Our friends over at Racer X have been doing some pretty cool coverage of the pre-season tests and all that in the U.S. so far, so be sure to get over there and take a look at various image galleries and films. That is the benchmark we all strive for and Racer X just does it so, so well.

Australian Off Road

The Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro last weekend was absolutely dominated by British rider Graham Jarvis. As a front-runner in events such as Erzberg and Romaniacs, we knew he would be good, but considering the Wildwood wasn’t that extreme in comparison, many had their doubts.

I actually spoke to Jarvis in the lead-up to the event and he was expecting a tough weekend, however come the main event he absolutely dominated and won by a lap over the entire field! Matt Phillips was the top AORC contender in third, while Chris Hollis’ debut on the KTM saw him claim sixth.

Toby Price crashed in a rock section and injured his back, but fortunately he was released from hospital on Sunday night and was cleared of any serious injuries. The battle between Price, Hollis and Phillips is going to be phenomenal in 2012.

Well that’s all we have time for this week, thank you as always for ready and we’ll be back at the same time, in the same place next Wednesday with the Moto Insider column!

Graham Jarvis schooled the Aussies for Husaberg at the Wildwood Rock. Image: Russell Colvin.

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