News 6 Sep 2012

70’s Say: MXoN 2012 preview

CDR Yamaha’s Lawson Bopping looks ahead to the Motocross of Nations in Belgium.

To be selected for Team Australia in the Motocross of Nations is great, a really good feeling for me at this stage of my career. It’s a little tough with training because everybody has gone into supercross mode, but I’ll ride both and can’t wait to go over to Belgium.

It’s going to be a lot different for Australia, not the usuals with Chad [Reed], [Brett] Metcalfe, since they’re unfortunately injured and we’re all pretty young. It will be a great experience with Todd Waters and Luke Styke, so I’ll do my best and look forward to it.

September is a massive month for us with the 2013 model YZ450F arriving for supercross. I’m still riding motocross as well, so it is busy, but I’m really happy to be in this position. I’m not sure what to expect at Lommel, but I know it will be a massive challenge.

The track will be really tough and from what Josh [Coppins] has told me, the roughest part of Wanneroo is pretty much like the whole track at Lommel. That’s crazy, but I’ll have the same approach as what I did before Wanneroo and I did well there.

Racing guys like Dungey, Cairoli and Herlings, guys like them, will be big for me, but I need to take it as another race and not let the pressure get to me or anything. I don’t think there are massive expectations for us to perform, because we’re not really the A team. None of us have done the des Nations before, but we’ll do out best and I’ll try to learn as much as I can from it.

Lawson Bopping will ride MX1 for Team Australia at the MXoN this month. Image: Simon Makker/

It’s been a while since we’ve done a column here and since my last one, I was able to win my first round of Australian Motocross. I got back from the States all fresh and won at Hervey Bay. I felt like I rode well, got great starts and it just all came together for me on that day.

Then we went to Horsham for round seven and I’ve never ridden well there. I tried to make it work, rode well, but got poor starts all day. I left that round pretty mad though, because I was coming off a massive high from Hervey Bay and it was rainy and a hard day at Horsham.

Anyway, I got over that and then we went to Appin. That weekend started off great as I qualified first, but I suffered from terrible starts all day. I was eating roost all day coming through the pack, just didn’t work out how I wanted to that weekend.

Moree was kind of the same deal as well, I rode well, but went down off the start in the second moto. I don’t mind that track, Moree is good, definitely better than Horsham and Appin. The last 30-minute moto was good, I came from a fair way back to finish third.

After that I was fed up with my starts, so we did a bunch of testing between Moree and Coolum. I just did starts and starts and starts, tried a few different things with clutches, pipes and stuff. I ended up going back to the pipe I started the season with.

Bopping celebrated his first career MX Nationals win at Hervey Bay. Image: Dan McCallum.

Coming out of Moree I was third in the championship into the last round at Coolum. In the first moto there I was fourth and Brad Anderson finished a fair way back with bike troubles or something, so the pressure was off a little bit.

In the second moto I was third, but on the first lap I came down a straightaway, jumped off a single and landed on a big braking bump. It kicked me over the handlebars huge, had a massive crash.

Somehow I wasn’t hurt, but the bike was all bent, had no back brakes and the pipe was facing the sky. The whole deal was pretty bad, so I finished that moto in 17th.

Entering the last moto Brad, Cody Cooper and I were all within like two points of eachother in the battle for third, but in the last moto I struggled. My arms blew up, finished sixth or seventh and went back to fifth in the championship for the season.

That was tough, going from third to fifth in the championship. That was a big bummer for me, but it was still a decent year and we all went really close to the podium. That happens though, I’ll move on and look forward to the des Nations and supercross coming up!