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Hello and welcome to a brand new year on MotoOnline.com.au, where we’re proud to present a revamped and seriously restructured version of our weekly domestic motocross regular feature, MX Hub. Sound familiar? That’s because it was previously dubbed the MotoInsider, and before that, the Racing Insider.
But not only for 2013 has the name of this very feature been revised, because we’re now including additional analysts in the MX Hub thanks to MotoOnline regulars Simon Makker and Adam Spence. Between us, we hope to share all we can from behind the scenes on a weekly basis.
We have made a number of changes to the way MotoOnline operates this year, hopefully to improve it for our visitors, but if you missed my ‘The Go’ blog on Monday upon our return from holiday then check it out by clicking here. That details all of the changes and will form the basis of what we think will be a platform for Australian motocross exposure in the years to come.
All the attention this week surrounded the Monster Energy Supercross opener in the US, as four Australians took on the challenge of racing against the world’s best. Of course, Chad Reed’s back for his 11th season in the big time, while current Australian Supercross number two Dan McCoy is also trying his hand in America on a privateer Yamaha.
In the recently renamed 250SX class, Kade Mosig is riding for the fresh new Australian-owned ADR Racing (that ADR stands for Aussie Dave Racing!) team on a Kawasaki KX250F, while Josh Cachia is in with the also Aussie-owned JDR/J-Star/KTM team.
Reed, McCoy and Mosig came into the series with momentum on their side since they just finished off the Australian series, while Cachia opted to sit that out and head to the US early with JDR to test and prepare for his first full Western Regional 250SX campaign.
Meanwhile, McCoy and Mosig will only be doing the first six races up until San Diego in about a month’s time, and then they’ll head home. Mosig has a (highly speculated) seat at the Zero Seven Motorsports Kawasaki team to come home for, while McCoy is yet to secure a deal in Australia despite his stunning SX performance.
Yes, you did read correctly above, as we had mentioned before the break, all sources are leading to Zero Seven being Kawasaki mounted next year. Mosig will feature some pretty heavy Kawasaki support in the MX2 class from what we hear, while Cody Mackie is almost certain to join the team as their lone MX1 contender.
McCoy’s circumstance is a strange one, because while he adapted extremely well to the CDR Yamaha he was handed right before supercross, the team did in fact sign Billy Mackenzie alongside returning rising star Lawson Bopping (although they’re yet to be announced either!).
What I expect McCoy to do is either race as a privateer on a Yamaha with technical support from CDR (until supercross when he rejoins them anyway), or simply sit out and be some kind of a ‘super-sub’ if anybody is injured. While he’s known as somewhat of a stadium specialist, McCoy has been on the podium various times outdoors and won the MX2 round at Toowoomba in 2011 from memory.
In speaking to McCoy for the Race Recap interview we did yesterday, he is pretty content on focusing on America for now and whatever happens when he gets home is what he’ll have to deal with. Right now he’s on the biggest stage of all and he wants to make his personal investment in his career count.
Anyway, the ball is just getting rolling for Australian teams preparing for the outdoors over here, with three months still remaining until the gates officially drop at Raymond Terrace. Who is working the hardest in the early stages? I would bet it is the Honda and Kawasaki MX1 teams that have to get those KYB air forks dialled fresh for 2013.
Although, as we’ve seen in the US, both the Honda and Kawasaki factory teams have switched them out for the factory Showa SFF Air Fork. There is a customer version available through Showa and Pro Circuit, so don’t rule out that happening over here if things don’t gel quickly enough.
While on the topic of Honda quickly, Ford Dale has been back on the bike up on the Sunshine Coast doing some trail riding, according to a few of his Facebook posts. That’s a very good sign at this early stage of the year, because he could prove a real contender outdoors in his step up to MX1 as long as he’s 100 percent fit and ready.
There’s going to be a heap to cover in the coming weeks as teams are officially announced and riders finally able to speak about their new deals, plus Williams Event Management has mentioned a “twist” in the MX1 series that’s yet to be announced for this year – apparently a world first! We’ll keep our ears to the ground for the latest on that, too.
For now though, here’s Makker fresh back from a homeland vacation in New Zealand, and on that note, he may as well fill us in on his Kiwi mates after the Sumercross and heading into the NZ nationals!
Aww howzit, fullas! Hope you all had a mean as summer break and went at it hard!
I went back to the motherland for 10 days to my parents’ dairy farm a couple hours south of Auckland had had a blast catching up with everyone. It was my first trip back in over a year one thing that struck me this year was how much I’d taken the amount of amazing rolling hills and freeriding potential my folks’ place has.
While I was there I posted a bunch of landscape shots on Instagram and as a result a US filmer and a high profile US racer got in touch with me about potentially coming down to my parents’ place to shoot a full video! The next challenge is going to be convincing my old man that getting a bulldozer in to rip up his valuable grass is a good idea… Obviously it’s still super-early days, but fingers crossed it all comes off.
While on holiday I received a tweet from the Monster Energy Kawasaki truck (@monsterkawirig) saying 2011 Miss Monster Energy Cup Gemma Lee Farrell was also holidaying in NZ. As luck would have it she was staying at her parents’ place about 45 minutes away, so I didn’t need much motivation to contact her and line up an interview!
We met up at the (only) pub in the one-horse town of Pirongia and did a great interview, which will be up on MotoOnline tomorrow. We talked all things supercross, parties, Dirt Shark and Monster and it was refreshing to talk to a hot chick with a good head on her shoulders who was clued up on the moto scene.
The annual Whakatane Summercross also went down while I was back home. Basically it’s a renegade event without any Motorcycling NZ affiliation that has grown into one of the best races in the country. But this year it pissed down and transformed the ‘Summercross’ into ‘Soakercross’. Being a girl’s blouse I decided to stay home and keep my camera dry.
As expected, Carlton Dry Thor Honda’s Ben Townley swept the MX1 class from Justin McDonald, while local ripper Rhys Carter (who raced the final three rounds of the MX Nationals last year) held Taupo’s Cam Dillon and Scott Columb off to win the MX2 class by a point.
Anyways, I’ll catch you guys again next week for more behind the scenes glimpses into the motophotojournalism world. Over to you, Spence.
First up, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years, I know I sure did! I’m excited to be back in the office to kick-off the 2013 season, as we here at MotoOnline have a selection of new and exciting things in store for this year.
Before the break I took delivery of a fresh 2013 Suzuki RM-Z250 that will serve as our Project Moto for the year. I personally will be aboard the bike throughout the year and I can already tell you that even in stock form, this bike is great.
The Project Moto RM-Z250 will be updated throughout the year with the latest and greatest products on offer, so stay tuned as we will be posting regular updates and reviews on all of the products fitted to the bike.
Looking towards the 2013 Australian race season, we are still very much in the silly season, with many teams yet to officially announce their rider line-ups for the upcoming year.
Although we are experiencing a lack of officially announced programs at this point, I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on KTM’s all-new 2013 factory effort, before any official announcement had been made (after personally getting team manager Rob Twyerould’s permission before the riders could talk, of course.)
Both Todd Waters and Kirk Gibbs confirmed they would certainly be aboard KTM 450SX-F’s for the 2013 season – an exciting development which removed two key premier class riders from the equation, silencing those rumours for good.
Speaking to Gibbs about his new deal for 2013, he said that he would not be putting a large amount of pressure on himself, knowing he will be up against a stacked field in his rookie MX1 season. Gibbs told me he felt good on the bike with only minimum seat time, and don’t forget, the South Australian had just returned to riding after his nasty crash at Coolum last year.
Although Gibbs remains humble and looks to be trying his best to fly under the radar, I would tip the number five to be very strong – if you have witnessed him riding a 450, you will know that he can handle himself quite well on the big bike for sure.
Speaking of rookie seasons and unofficial team line-ups, Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing has locked in 18-year-old Luke Clout for the 2013 season, joining long time team member Luke Styke.
The Serco crew has been vocal amongst the social media world of late, and they used their Facebook page to unofficially announce that the two Lukes would be spearheading their MX2 campaign for the new-year.
Although Styke has not been seen at any local tracks recently, his teammate Clout has been staying busy getting in plenty of bike time. Head out to Appin’s Macarthur Motorcycle Club in New South Wales on any given weekend and you will almost certainly see the him and his YZ250F laying down some very fast laps.
By the way, did anyone else happen to watch round one of the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross series? If that didn’t get you pumped up for a great year of racing, I don’t know what will. We are definitely in for a great year of racing both overseas and right here on home soil.
Remember to check out MotoOnline.com.au’s social networking channels and be sure to Like/Follow us for even more behind the scenes insights. We’ll be further increasing our focus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the season ahead. Just search MotoOnline!