Features 8 Aug 2012

MotoInsider: 31

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It’s an interesting time in Australian Motocross right now, with two very important weekends of racing right around the corner, not to mention what is shaping up to be one of the silliest seasons of all.

Moree and Coolum’s rounds of the MX Nationals are two of the most anticipated this year, as the two consecutive weekends will conclude the 10-round Australian Motocross Championship for another year.

They’ll also mark Josh Coppins’ final professional races of his career, and it’s believed that he could be making a parade lap of sorts during the weekend as a sign of respect from the series.

Coppins is a real working class hero, a guy who has elevated the level of domestic motocross during his two short years. For CDR Yamaha boss Craig Dack, replacing Coppins on the team will be a vital step that he wants to make count.

Does Dack go for experience or does he count on youth to pull him through? On paper, the guys closest to Coppins when it comes to desire is Jay Marmont, but he already departed CDR and Yamaha last year in favour of Monster Energy Kawasaki.

In a news story we completed with Dack earlier today, he admitted that Marmont was very similar to Josh. But, Marmont’s defection is still very fresh in his mind and lets not forget, it was to Dack’s arch-rival (and former CDR champion racer) Troy Carroll.

Realistically, Marmont moving back to CDR isn’t going to happen. As much as they both might suit eachother for 2013, a lot of things would need to align for it to happen.

Will Jay Marmont remain at Monster Energy Kawasaki in 2013? Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Instead, I would expect Marmont to either stay at Monster Energy Kawasaki, or sensationally join this new-look KTM team that’s being formed. As for Dack, his shortlist hasn’t yet been formed, but I have a feeling that we might be in for a surprise signing. Before that though, who will join Lawson Bopping in SX?

One thing that we do know, and Dack said it in our news story, is that you can never say never in motor racing. Remember when Valentino Rossi departed Yamaha for Ducati’s MotoGP team in a shock decision? Well, he looks to be eating humble pie and returning for 2013 – without a win on the Ducati.

By the way, Marmont raced and won at Southern Cross in WA last weekend, against first class competition in Brad Anderson. It may just be the boost the four-time national champ needs, and no doubt some strong results at the final rounds will increase his bargaining power ahead of next year.

An interesting thing in all of this is that Luke Styke, if he wins the MX2 title, would have to be keen on a 450 ride. If Dack doesn’t pick him up, could we see a rival manufacturer step in and give him the opportunity? It’s not as surprising as it may sound.

I mentioned last week that Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing may not run an MX2 bike and that seems to be the case, with Ford Dale an almost certainty to step up to MX1 alongside Ben Townley. Like Todd Waters, Dale can ride the wheels off a 450 and will win races if he gets a chance.

KTM’s future in the sport is all but announced, set to take their factory team back in-house. Anthony Giles let the cat out of the bag that Choice Motorsports will likely take on the MX2 program, while Rob Twyerould will make his return to racing as in-house team manager for the MX1 ranks.

Who KTM will sign, we don’t know. You can compare their assault to the US team’s program in 2012 when it signed Ryan Dungey. The guys in orange want a winner and are willing to spend money to get the right rider aboard the very new and ultra important 450 SX-F.

The list is a long one when it comes to riders linked to KTM, and it’s likely that they’ll go with either an Australian or New Zealander to spearhead the program on at least one of their 450s. When the music stops, expect KTM to have a race-winning contender.

Todd Waters is one of the most important names in this who scenario. He has been a revelation at Suzuki this year and really does fit in on the team. Like I’ve mentioned previously, money and future opportunities might be the key in where he signs for next year.

Todd Waters will be key in the 2013 silly season. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

What we do know is that paying rides are becoming more and more scarce around the world. What that means is that Euros and Americans are taking Australia very seriously right now.

Funnily enough, is while everybody is wondering who is talking to who, the general gist that I’m getting is that nobody has really started serious talks just yet. Informal chatter is the way right now, so I expect to see things heat right up straight after Coolum when champions are crowned.

Earlier we reported that KTM is supporting the 2 Stroke National at Coolum and now it’s been revealed by WEM that the class will be all-powers and they’re expecting some fire-breathing 500s on the start gate! True moto fans will absolutely love that.

We’ve seen International Entertainment Group roll out its social networking sites for both Facebook and Twitter this week (be sure to search them). A website is just a few weeks away, as are more details on the series, according to Yarrive Konsky.

What I’m hearing is that they are trying to get Chad Reed for two rounds, which you would have to say are Phillip Island maybe Newcastle’s finale? By the way, the recent date change to make Newcastle the final, rather than Toowoomba, was the right one in my opinion.

It’s a certainty that the series will have TV this year, which is good for the sport. On that topic, it’s believed that the MX Nationals could return to television for 2013 after a year off the box also.

As you can tell, it’s a busy time behind the scenes in the sport right now as next year’s proposals, etc, are pieced together as we speak, so stay tuned for a fun few months of speculation and announcements.

What we also have coming up are some bike launches, including the 2013 model KTM range on Tuesday next week. We’ve just uploaded a new Moto Poll in the right-hand sidebar, so tell us what 450 you’d like to purchase for the new season if you were in the market.

That’s all for another week here on the Insider, thank you for stopping by.