Features 31 Mar 2012

In Brief: 2012 MX Nationals Rd1 Conondale

MotoOnline.com.au has a host of behind the scenes updates from Conondale's opener.

In a new feature for MotoOnline.com.au on the Saturday evening of every Monster Energy MX Nationals round, we’ll post this In Brief feature for a host of updates direct from the track.

  • The big news for the 2012 MX Nationals is the sheer size of the series, with semis rolling into the pit area left, right and centre, as well as plenty of professional privateer outfits. Think it was big last year? Well this season is going to blow your mind!

The pit in Conondale has a spectacular vibe already before bikes have even turned a wheel. Image: Alex Gobert.

  • The word in the pit this afternoon was that Ben Townley is considering racing Coonabarabran and also Wonthaggi, which locks him in for the first three rounds this year. Nobody at Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing would confirm.
  • Tye Simmonds unveiled Red Bull Mobile as his title sponsor as we reported in news, and I think everybody is pleased to see the energy drink giant expand its involvement. He’s going to surprise if he gets a start.
  • What we are mostly seeing so far is that presentation is everything right now. Sponsors are in the sport, but we do need more, and I believe that commercial managers will be the next step. One team that has made headlines is the rebranded Zero Seven squad.
  • Cheyne Boyd has an experienced wrench on his side at DPH Honda in former factory man Brad MacAlpine. At the Zero Seven team there is Steve Powell, so although these teams are relatively new, they have experience on their side.
  • The track at Conondale is fast and flowing, with some huge new jumps that should make for some fun for the riders. In fact, one tabletop was so big during press day that the riders refused to jump it and the organisers have decreased its size for race day.
  • Billy Mackenzie has a good vibe about him this weekend, with his dad over from Scotland and I know he wants to impress. He has a new number, new teammate and two full seasons under his belt in Australia now. Plus, there’s no doubt he wants to show Brad Anderson that he’s best from the UK.
  • Many are coming in under an injury cloud including Jay Marmont with a tweaked knee, Ryan Marmont and Kirk Gibbs with saw wrists, plus I’m hearing Josh Cachia went down pretty hard last week. They’re all racing though and should be ready to go come race time.

The factory tank of Townley is the same they run in the AMA outdoors. Image: Alex Gobert.

  • One thing we are seeing in the series with the return of 30-minute motos are custom tanks on the 450s. Townley has a factory HRC tank, while Brad Anderson has a different version due to a supply shortage. The CDR guys have trick carbon tanks, which I am a huge fan of, and I know that some teams are still a bit nervous about going the distance as we speak.
  • The new Tag live timing system URL will be released in the morning, set to be a great new asset to the series. I’ve seen a bit of behind the scenes info on how it works and it’s absolutely trick. Stay tuned for news in the morning on where you can find it.