MotoOnline.com.au tackles the hot topic of the all-new Darwin ASX location for 2013.
International Entertainment Group (IEG)’s announcement last week of the opening round of the Australian Supercross Championship being held in Darwin, NT, in conjunction with a round of the Australian Superbike Championship caught everyone off-guard.
Darwin hasn’t hosted a motocross or supercross round in recent history, but the biggest issue is the date of 12-15 September Why? Because it’s just two weeks after the final round of the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals.
MotoOnline.com.au hit up a cross-section of those whom the announcement will directly affect to find out their thoughts on the announcement.
Jay Foreman – Motul Pirelli Suzuki team manager
Having to travel to Darwin for the first round is going to be hard work, that’s for sure. The last two rounds of the MX Nationals are back-to-back on the road, then we need to pack everything and drive to Darwin. Somewhere in there we have to build and test supercross bikes while trying to win an outdoors championship as well.
At that time of year we usually try and build our next-year’s models for supercross, but there’s a high chance the 2014’s wouldn’t have even landed in the country by mid September.
I don’t know how we really got into this position and we weren’t consulted on the matter at all – we were just told it was happening and that was it. On top of that there’s a huge scramble to get everything ready for the opening round, but then there’s a month until the second round. It seems poorly organised to me.
Craig Anderson – Berry Sweet/Lucas Oil/Yamaha team owner
Those two weeks after the last round of the MX Nationals are going to be tough. It’s a lot of hard work switching from motocross to supercross at the best of times. Sure it’s tough for the factory teams to get everything organised and drive to Darwin, but it’ll be compounded even more for us as a privateer team. We didn’t have a Darwin round in the budget and it’s going to be tough on us for the rest of the year as a result I think.
I guess if it’s an ASX championship round you have to go, but I’m hoping it doesn’t go ahead. While the crowd is almost guaranteed to be good, the turnaround, the week-long trip, the bike preparation and rider testing is going to be a big, big task.
Todd Waters – Motorex KTM Racing
As a factory racer I don’t mind too much. I’ve never been to Darwin, so it’d be cool to check it out and maybe do a bit of fishing afterwards.
The thing I don’t like about the announcement is the gap between rounds one and two. I know [IEG’s Yarrive Konsky] is trying to mesh the supercross with high-profile motorsport events such as the ASBK, the MotoGP and the V8s, but if you’re going to have five weeks between two rounds, he should put some extra rounds in to help the teams and riders keep their momentum and build the profile and stature of the series.
The teams and riders, especially the privateers, are going to be spewing that there’s going to be so much work to do for one round that’s so far away, then basically wait around for a month.
Luke Wilson – Privateer
Going to Darwin is definitely not what we want to be doing. Nobody in our team wants to go there. We need more time to get everything sorted out between the two championships, and even the factory riders I’m mates with have said they’re going to struggle to get into a rhythm for SX in just two weeks. Personally I like to do a fair bit of supercross training simply because it’s so different to motocross.
I’ve done a few calculations and for us, based on the Gold Coast, it’s going to be a 32-hour drive one way. We’ll probably be ride for about an hour total, then we have to drive 32 hours back. That’s pretty shit, having to go to Darwin is going to make it harder for the rest of the year, as we only have limited funds.
Kam Williams – ASX series commentator
I think the concept is awesome and the location is fantastic as we’ve never been there before, but it’s borderline unachievable and you have to wonder if we’ll end up with a full gate of riders in each class. I personally don’t think we will, even if it is the first round. I do like the concept of cross-pollinating the two motocross and superbike markets, but the turnaround between the motocross and supercross is going to be really tough on a lot of people.
Obviously the ASBK calendar is already locked in, so why go to Darwin? Why not join them at a round that’s later in their series to give our guys more breathing room and minimise the gap between rounds one and two? Is it too late to change the dates?