Features 20 Mar 2013

MX Hub: 11

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We’re now within a month of the Monster Energy MX Nationals series, the weeks ticking by quickly and the final preparations taking place right across the country.

It’s the next couple of weeks that the rush really sets in, and anticipation does nothing but build upon the pressure in the race toward round one.

The Sunshine State series commenced at Toowoomba in Queensland on Sunday, where it was again Luke Styke that stole the show, as he did a week earlier in Canberra during the East Coast round. Styke won the Pro Open round with 2-1 results, while he took the double in the Pro Lites for Serco Yamaha.

Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s Ford Dale won the opening moto of the Opens before tweaking his knee and suffering a DNF in the second moto, but we’ll have a Catching Up interview with him tomorrow and he says it’s all clear so he’ll be healthy for Raymond Terrace.

The Open podium overall was rounded out by Suzuki-mounted Jake Moss and CDR Yamaha satellite rider Daniel McCoy, who is one of many that has opted to spend time in Queensland training for the week or so ahead. Robbie Marshall was a fine fourth upon return to racing, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jay Marmont was fifth.

Meanwhile, some factory names, like Marmont, a little further down the field than expected included Adam Monea in seventh, and Matt Moss in 15th. The latter suffered from arm pump during the event and was ninth in moto one before failing to finish the second.

Luke Styke has been dominating the pre-season events, setting himself up for a solid 2013 season. Image: Liam Foulds/LF Sports Photography.

Luke Styke has been dominating the pre-season events, setting himself up for a solid 2013 season. Image: Liam Foulds/LF Sports Photography.

Don’t look into these results too much though, because you can guarantee all will refine their programs leading into the MXN series. Will it be enough to contend for victory? That’s something that we simply won’t know until Raymond Terrace’s gates drop.

Another impressive guy in the Lites was Brock Winston, who has obviously gained some momentum racing in New Zealand recently. He was second overall with a pair of thirds, while Kade Mosig completed the podium with 2-4 finishes. Styke’s teammate Luke Clout recovered from a fifth in moto one to score second in moto two.

What do we learn from all of this? Well, I would say that we’re in for some surprise performances this season and it could very well be the most competitive fields we’ve ever seen in the outdoors.

Until we see these guys on track with the likes of Ben Townley, Cody Cooper, Todd Waters, Kirk Gibbs, Lawson Bopping, Ryan Marmont, etc, it’s extremely hard to predict who will be where.

Speaking of BT, some late mail is that he suffered a broken collarbone over the weekend and has undergone surgery. Nothing official has been said, but we’ll have more when we have it.

That’s all from me for this week, here’s Makker.

As each round passes we’re starting to get more of an idea of the speed and pace of where certain racers are at as we enter the final month of preparation before the MX Nationals.

While a smattering of Aussies and Kiwis do battle in the NZ Motocross Championship, another handful have been testing their mettle at a state level. This has seen some big-named riders line up behind the gates of these club races as they continue the fine-tuning and pre-season testing before the real show comes to town in a little over three weeks time.

Over the weekend a bunch of Pros undertook some pre-season sparring at the Toowoomba round of the Sunny State motocross championship. While the actual event and track preparation apparently left a lot to be desired it still proved an interesting hit-out in the Pro Opens.

Be sure to check out Makker's Catching Up interview with Ford Dale tomorrow. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Be sure to check out Makker’s Catching Up interview with Ford Dale tomorrow. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Serco Yamaha’s Luke Styke claimed the overall in the MX1 class (aboard his practice bike) as he continued his searing run of early form, ahead of newly-mounted Suzuki rider Jake Moss, and Yamaha’s Daniel McCoy. Northstar Yamaha’s Robbie Marshall (who I’ve heard will contest the entire MX Nationals Championship now) was fourth and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jay Marmont fifth.

Ford Dale finished ninth overall in his first 450 outing, but that doesn’t tell the story of how he actually won the opening moto and led almost all of the second race before crashing on the final lap and pulling off with a tweaked knee.

I did a great interview with Ford Dale yesterday (which will be online tomorrow), and I can tell you he’s more excited about this season than I’ve ever seen him.

He’s teamed up with former top racer Harley Quinlan for his training, is seeing a sports psychologist and is heading to NZ next week to learn as much as he can from his teammate Ben Townley. Ford means business this year and will rattle more than a few cages during the season.

Over to you Spence!

It seems like each week we see another small piece of the puzzle come together in lead up to round one of the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals – this latest piece I speak of is Jake Moss. Moss has been an uncertainty throughout the off-season, but after speaking to him throughout the past week he revealed his all-new program today.

During the official season launch at Raymond Terrace, there was an extra Suzuki RM-Z450 parked next to the Motul Pirelli Suzuki truck, running the very familiar number six. Having a history with Suzuki and his brother Matt now back on the team, it was obvious that this would be a smart move for Jake.

He will remain part of his Campbell Mining outfit from last year, which has now been officially named Campbell Mining Suzuki for 2013. Moss will receive his bikes from Suzuki Australia, while Motul Pirelli Suzuki team manager Jay Foreman will look after his suspension with RG3 components for the season.

Jake Moss sent us this sneak peak of his 2013 Campbell Mining Suzuki setup.

Jake Moss sent us this sneak peak of his 2013 Campbell Mining Suzuki setup.

We have already seen that Moss can put together solid results on a privateer setup, and this season should be no different. Being back on Suzuki’s alongside his factory mounted twin brother has success written all over it. Although Jake will be on a privateer bike, you have to expect that some of his brother’s factory knowledge will come in handy. Stay tuned for more on Jake’s 2013 program tomorrow right here on MotoOnline.

As Gobert mentioned, Jake has been up in Queensland getting some pre-season seat time under his belt and it is worth mentioning again that Serco Yamaha’s Luke Styke has been dominating those events – the guy is on fire right now.

The MX2 contender obviously feels comfortable on his 450, which he used to practice on most of the time. But in speaking with the 2013 MX2 title favourite today, I learnt that he had big plans in his mind for the future – and it did not include the expected move to the 450 class.

Styke is hoping to wrap up this MX2 outdoor title and follow his dreams of competing in Europe. He explained that wasn’t looking to move up to the MX1 ranks for 2014, instead he would rather lay down some solid results on paper (an MX2 championship) and start looking for deals overseas.

Surely watching the recent success of fellow Aussie Dean Ferris in the FIM Motocross World Championship is fueling that fire for Styke, and I don’t doubt that he has the grit and pure determination to make it happen. But as always, Styke had his mind on the current task at hand, not getting too far ahead of himself – he definitely has unfinished business in the MX2 class.

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