Features 23 May 2012

MotoInsider: 20

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Hello and welcome to the 20th edition of MotoInsider right here on MotoOnline.com.au, coming to you each and every Wednesday with all the latest in Australian MX from between the lines, presented by our good friends at Oakley.

Murray Bridge’s fifth round on Sunday marked the halfway point of the Monster Energy MX Nationals, becoming a pivotal round for many in the series including CDR Yamaha’s MX1 points leader Josh Coppins.

Coppins saw his lead slashed in half from 42 points to 21 after a clash with Jake Moss in the final 30-minute moto, and he was frustrated with that fall that saw him lose a heap of points while title rivals Todd Waters and Brad Anderson raced away out front.

Leading at this stage is much better than trailing obviously, but it’s said that Coppins was aiming for a 50-point lead into the halfway mark. He’s scheduled to travel to Europe during the mid-season break, either to race some domestic races in Britain or Belgium.

There has been speculation and a real chance that he could race a GP or two in the place of Steven Frossard at Monster Energy Yamaha, however it’s also expected that Frossard will try to ride. We’ll keep an eye on that one, but the Lizard was uncertain as of Sunday afternoon.

Coppins isn’t the only top rider heading overseas this month, as teammate Lawson Bopping is today taking off to the U.S. in a bid to work on his speed at a heap of good tracks in Southern California. Daniel McCoy headed off yesterday as well, which is a good decision as really good tracks in NSW have been hard to find in 2012.

Josh Coppins' points lead being cut in half will make racing even more exciting in the remaining rounds. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

While those guys are heading overseas for seat time, there’s also a number of guys who plan on heading to Hervey Bay early for testing a general seat time. I expect the Queensland-based guys to be super fast at round six and I know that they’re going to be focused on that particular round over the next month or so. Luke Styke’s also heading up there with the Serco Yamaha team, from what we know.

Jay Marmont is undergoing surgery today and will use the break to recover from a number of injuries, including his troublesome knee and also arm-pump that he’s suffered all season (possibly due to his knee injury in an escalation or problems). He says he’ll be 100 percent for Hervey Bay, but his title chances are really slim at this stage, 94 points off Coppins.

These recent two DNFs have really hurt the four-time defending champion, but definitely don’t rule him out of race wins before the year’s out. Actually, don’t write him off in the title hunt just yet either, because it is Jay Marmont and as we know, anything can and usually does happen. If not, there’s always supercross!

The injury list is unusually long for Australian racing at this point in the season. Marmont and his brother Ryan are both injured, as is Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dylan Peterson, the man he replaced Billy Mackenzie, Kirk Gibbs, Luke Wilson, Jake Moss and probably more. Needless to say, this break in the season is vital for many.

The good news is that at Hervey Bay Brenden Harrison will be back and there’s a good chance we’ll see Ross Beaton return alongside Adam Monea at 07 Motorsports in the MX1 class. They’ll add to the competition for sure and we look forward to seeing them back amongst it following untimely pre-season injuries and surgeries.

It was great to see Ben Townley on hand in SA with the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team, mostly to help out Ford Dale. BT’s a fan of Dale and wants to help him win this MX2 title for Honda. I spoke to him during qualifying and he said that class is all about momentum, which is the main reason why the GP and AMA guys are so strong on 250Fs.

Josh Cachia's break through victory at Murray Bridge was well deserved. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Townley was also up in the commentary box with Kam Williams during the weekend’s MX1 motos, delivering a great insight as to what was going on during the races. We’re lucky to have such a world class guy here in Australia, riding or not, and hopefully we can grab him for the Pre-Moto Show at Hervey Bay as a guest on the panel.

It was awesome to see Josh Cachia break through for the MX2 overall at Murray Bridge, marking JDR/KTM’s first win of the 2012 season. He deserved this one and was pumped to get it done, especially since he’s the lone MX2 guy left on the team at this point.

Cachia’s 450 teammate Dan Reardon was also a major improver in South Australia, getting good starts and running up front during the motos. He did have a couple of crashes, but in comparison to previous rounds he looked solid and seemed to see light at the end of the tunnel. It was good timing too, because KTM’s Jeff Leisk was on hand and the 2013 models are just around the corner…

Last weekend was actually a big double header for me, since I went to Nitro Circus in Sydney on Friday night and then straight to Murray Bridge on Saturday morning. I’m a big fan of the Nitro crew and all the FMX guys actually, so if you get a chance anytime soon, make sure you go and check that show out.

Tomorrow we’ll have all the latest from the U.S. in The Matthes Report, or if you’re looking for some off-road action, check yesterday’s features for Adam Riemann’s Off-Road Observer column.

That’s all for another week here in the MotoInsider column, thank you for stopping by. By the way, go the Blues in tonight’s NRL State of Origin (that one’s for you, TC!).