Features 8 Feb 2012

Moto Insider: 5

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Welcome to a rather late edition of the Moto Insider column here, our fifth one of the 2012 season, which will also be one of our shorter ones for the year due to a variety of reasons.

The first reason is that early tomorrow morning I personally fly out to Fiji to meet up with Ryan Marmont and family for his wedding, which means I’ve been busy preparing features for Thursday and Friday, amongst other things.

Reason two is that while the Aussie race season is now less than two months away, it’s been a particularly quiet week in terms of breaking news or information on a national level.

First things first though, Cody Mackie will be riding for Jeff Ward Racing for at least two more races in the San Diego and Dallas rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, but there are whispers that he could be in for more.

In fact, when the JWR truck heads east to Dallas next week there will be three Kawasaki KX450Fs in there – one for Mackie, one for Kyle Chisholm and another for Josh Grant if he’s ready to return. Don’t be surprised if he stays on even once JG is back.

The Australian link to JWR is Lucas Mirtl, who is a partner in the team and all-round good guy. With a lot of interest surrounding Mackie’s move to JWR, it’s basically been a win-win situation despite the disappointments of Grant’s injury.

Cody Mackie will stay on at Jeff Ward Racing for at least two more rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Image: Simon Cudby.

As for the future, JWR could be the perfect place for the likes of Jay Marmont to take up guest rides in the U.S. if our very own Monster Energy Kawasaki team starts to share resources with JWR. We’re also hearing that the alignment of Monster Kawi teams worldwide could benefit our locals.

We recieved confirmation last week that Monster Energy Kawasaki has switched from Michelin to Dunlop for this year, as well as Renthal handlebars. We’re expecting KYB suspension to be confirmed next, which will make for a brand new effort from team green.

With Ben Townley also requesting Honda switch from Michelin to Pirelli, the French manufacturer seems to be officially out when it comes to a factory partnership in the MX Nationals. Kawasaki and Yamaha have Dunlops, while Suzuki, Honda and KTM are all on Pirelli tyres from what we know.

Speaking of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Australian team, Troy Carroll announced via Twitter this morning that he has some very exciting news to announce if he can get it all finalised. We’re guessing it’s sponsor related, because when I spoke to him soon after, he was on a flight to Sydney…

I also had a chat to Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team owner Yarrive Konsky this morning about a number of things, but he also hinted that we’re likely to see more sponsorship decals on his factory CRFs this year. Between Ben Townley and Brad Anderson, that team has enjoyed plenty of the pre-season spot light so far.

By the way, make sure you check out the latest edition of Australasian Dirt Bike (ADB) Magazine if you get a chance, as I pieced together a very insightful interview with BT in January. He’s in a good place right now and I can’t wait to see him in action.

In the interview Townley confirms he is likely to do a number of AMA Pro Motocross rounds, but we don’t know who with just yet. There have been all sorts of rumours late regarding a connection between TwoTwo Motorsports and Honda Australia, but I’m not going to comment on that until I find out more – I’ll be trying my best!

Will Ben Townley appear in the AMA outdoors later this year? We're tipping he will. Image: Graeme Baynes/Watchbox Images.

Aussie regulars Townley, Josh Coppins, Cody Cooper and Todd Waters will all do battle in the opening New Zealand national of the year this weekend, so that will be our first real indication of form from a Kiwi perspective entering the outdoors.

Another thing to take a look at is the official MX Nationals Facebook Page, as series promoter Kevin Williams was out at Wonthaggi last week taking some images and filming some short interviews with some of the Victorian-based riders.

What we did notice was that Sam Martin was in GYTR Yamaha colours and will likely partner Shaun Redhead in that Under 19s program (stay tuned this month for an official announcement). It’s also been confirmed, but not officially announced, that Jay Wilson will ride for Raceline Pirelli Suzuki.

Apart from that in the Under 19s you can expect Dylan Long aboard a KTM for the new Choice Racing team, Billy Jackson will be on Lee Hogan’s BCP Honda Fox Racing team, Axis Motorsports will have Mitch Norris and Ben George. That’s all I can think of (or have heard) for now, but let us know if you know any more.

That’s it from me for this week, but remember that tomorrow we’ll have our weekly AMA Supercross feature from Steve Matthes (The Matthes Report), which should keep you up to date with all things you’re looking for in the U.S.

And remember, follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/motoonline) or Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/motoonline) for all things moto from behind the scenes 24/7.

One more thing before I go here, you may have noticed in the Column area of the site we have a section called BT’s Blog, plus we have another top lever factory Lites rider that we’ve just locked in for the season – stay tuned for that. We’ll also try get a U19s rider and maybe even an FMX or AORC contender.

Thanks for reading, check back next week! In the meantime though, visit daily for all the news and features we can produce on a day to day basis.