Features 30 May 2012

MotoInsider: 21

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Following the first of five off weekends for the Monster Energy MX Nationals during the mid-season break, it’s been a relatively quiet week following the rushed first half of the 2012 season that we’ve experienced since it commenced in April at Conondale.

A selection of state races were staged last weekend including Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia’s state titles, while the Sunshine Coast series was run and won in Queensland.

There weren’t a heap of guys from the nationals racing, but Todd Waters was at Tivoli for the Sunshine States and he’s keeping his head down, maintaining focus during the MXN break.

What is interesting right now is that the Victorian state titles seem to be really strong at the moment, with rider development key down there. A lot of the MX Development (Under 19s) guys from the nationals are doing a lot of racing down there and it’s showing in the state’s results on a national level.

GYTR Yamaha’s Sam Martin is actually leading the Open championship in VIC and I’m sure that makes his transition back to the 250F for the nationals in MXD a fairly straightforward one. Joel Milesevic and Dylan Long have also been impressive in the Lites, placed 1-2 so far respectively.

Horsham’s next round of the Victorian state titles to be held on 23-24 June, just a few weeks before the nationals head there on 15 July. Expect a pretty strong turnout for that round as the national guys look to get more time on the track before the MXN event.

Todd Waters has kept himself in race mode during the Monster Energy MX Nationals mid-season break. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

The East Coast Motocross Series will commence this weekend at Appin and it’s expected that JDR/KTM Factory Racing riders Dan Reardon and Josh Cachia will be on hand. It’s a new series and one that may provide a base for further development in NSW, alongside the state championships.

We haven’t heard much about Australian Supercross 2012 since International Entertainment Group was announced as promoter. I contacted Yarrive Konsky yesterday and he said the wheels are in motion, but we’re still about a week short of any concrete information to be released.

We did mention the prior possibility of having supercross alongside the MotoGP and Deni Ute Muster recently, but unfortunately those ideas have been put on the backburner for now. A lot goes into arranging these types of events to coincide with other established events, so that isn’t going to happen for now.

What we do know is that the series will likely kick-off on the final weekend of September and develop from there. It’s expected to be held over four rounds, not on consecutive weekends, and that’ll be a decent base to start from as the rebuilding process of the sport begins.

We introduced Lawson Bopping as a columnist on MotoOnline last Thursday, as he jetted off to the U.S. for a few weeks of riding and training alongside the world’s best. Bopping has taken delivery of a white YZ450F (complete with CDR graphics and it looks trick!) and has been doing motos ever since.

This step for Bopping is an important one as he gets his first real taste of riding on U.S. soil, however he needs to be sure that he can replicate his new-found speed when he gets home and back into the swing of the nationals. As many know, the tracks in America are different to Australia, which can make the swap back a tricky one. Needless to say though, he’ll benefit big time from riding over there.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Billy Mackenzie could return from injury earlier than expected, potentially as soon as Hervey Bay on 1 July. He said this week on Twitter that his wrist is improving and he isn’t ruling out an early return for the season’s second half. With that in mind, a strong second half of 2012 will do wonders for BillyMac’s value next season.

Sam Martin is currently leading the Open Class in the Victorian motocross titles. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

This new Honda CRF450R has made worldwide headlines in moto over the past two days when it was unveiled, creating an all-new bike for teams to develop ahead of 2013. Early reports are positive, so you can bet that riders can’t wait to get their hands on one.

By the way, did anybody notice Chad Reed’s NASCAR debut at Hickory Motor Speedway last weekend? He was a guest of Marcos Ambrose Motorsport and did crash out of the race after a guy spun in front of him, but the word is that he loved every minute of it. The future of the TwoTwo could lead anywhere!

We’re relaunching MotoOnline’s partner site at CycleOnline.com.au within the next week or so, which will finally see our road coverage boosted back to the level that it belongs. Those with longer-term memories will recall that MotoOnline actually used to be half road/half dirt, before we opted to split the pair at the beginning of last year.

Well now, CycleOnline is back and it’ll be the one stop destination for Australian Superbike and sportsbikes on a domestic level. It’s an interesting time for the business and one that could lead to further expansions in the future – watch this space.

Remember, for all the latest from America, check back tomorrow when Steve Matthes posts his weekly Matthes Report. He’s there on the spot and has built a bit of a habit of predicting upcoming surprises, so make sure you tune in for his latest.

Or, if enduro is more your thing, head back to yesterday’s Off-Road Observer column that Adam Riemann pieced together for us yesterday. He has a unique perspective on dirt bike riding, one which relates to Aussie enduro riders better than anybody else out there.

That’s all for another week here in the MotoInsider column, thank you for stopping by! As always, search for MotoOnline on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest from behind the scenes.