Features 27 Mar 2013

MX Hub: 12

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One of the special aspects of any pre-season is waiting to see the new colours that teams will unveil for the year ahead, usually including new riders and typically fresh sponsors that may have come onboard. As fans, the chance to see these professional race teams with new liveries can be as exciting as the racing itself.

It’s a new era these days though, because unlike back in the day when we’d either hope that the magazines grabbed an exclusive sneak peak or simply wait for the opening round, now we usually gain our first glimpses of new liveries via social networking or websites.

The teams are quickly realizing this too, because in 2013, the social activity will be larger than ever between Instagram and Facebook, plus Twitter in select circumstances. On top of that, YouTube channels are also becoming increasingly popular as teams produce their own content with the intention of going viral, which adds direct value for their sponsors.

Of course there is no set way to release information via the internet, but those that are good at it find it exceptionally rewarding. In fact, the more serious that teams take it, the better the results usually are and the better that fans respond.

It’s not only the teams that are getting in on the act either, as we are also seeing the various distributors and brands leveraging their sponsorships via social networking.

With only weeks until the season opener, teams have revealed their all-new looks and deals for the new year. Image: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library.

With only weeks until the season opener, teams have revealed their all-new looks and deals for the new year. Image: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library.

What we have seen a lot this particular off-season is teams organising their own photo shoots and sometimes video shoots, then uploading them at their convenience. From there, we tend to see them spread throughout the social networks and many times they also end up on this very website at MotoOnline.com.au.

It’s great fun for all and really is a sign of the times that can be taken advantage of by both factory teams and the privateer efforts. So with this trend expected to expand once the gates actually drop, get behind your favourites, get sharing, hash tagging and showing your support all season long. The fans – and motocross in general – will be the big winner in all of this!

We’re getting anxious for the season to start, these final few weeks seemingly dragging on before the Monster Energy MX Nationals commence at Raymond Terrace on Sunday, 14 April. Only then will some of our questions be answered, but then again, round one usually amounts in even more questions than answers. We can’t wait. Here’s Makker…

Well it’s been a pretty shitty week. Six days ago one of Australia’s brightest young freestyle riders and a good mate of mine, Tyrone Gilks, was taken in a practice crash as he warmed up to break Robbie Maddison’s 250cc long-distance jumping record.

To say we were shellshocked to the point of incomprehension is an understatement. Tyrone was supposed to be the next big thing to come out of Australia. He had talent to burn, an infectious, happy attitude towards life and you couldn’t help but love him and the crazy stuff his brain would conjure up.

At just 19 years old he’d already set four world records (three long-distance on 65cc, 85cc and 125cc, then becoming the youngest person to backflip a motorcycle at age 12) and it seemed the world was his for the taking.

Tyrone Gilks pushed the limits of our sport everyday.

Tyrone Gilks pushed the limits of our sport everyday.

I first met Tyrone back in 2006 when he came along as a 35kg midget test-rider for an ADB Roost 65cc shootout. Even then all he wanted to do was jump higher and further than the other testers, Luke Clout and Aaron Tanti – jumping and FMX were in his blood.

Over the years we kept in touch, but over the past year or so we became pretty good mates. I spent the week with him travelling to the 2013 NZ Farm Jam and there was never a dull moment with him around. The kid was so excited about life and living it to the fullest, and if I’d known that would be the last time we’d hang out I would’ve treated it differently. I guess that’s a natural reaction to the sudden passing of someone close.

It seems that death and action-sports go hand-in-hand: since 2004 we’ve lost some of Australia’s best riders including Jono Porter, Andrew MacFarlane, and now Tyrone. All three have left a gaping hole in the industry that will realistically never be filled.

Please keep Tyrone’s close family and friends in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow as his funeral is held at Cardiff, NSW. It’s going to be a tough day for a lot of people, regardless of whether or not they’re able to physically attend the ceremony.
You can take things from here, Adam.

It’s an interesting time in the pre-season currently, after the hype of all-new deals and team outfits seemed to hit a peak a few weeks back, we are now in that weird situation where the riders tend to go into hiding and really get focused on the task at hand – it’s nearly time for the riders to show what they have.

One trend we do see every year is riders who pair up as training partners. This is done for many reasons, some riders just enjoy the company of a good friend, or they feel the need to have someone right there to push them along. Whatever reason they have, I think it’s a great way to train and prepare for the upcoming season.

Jay Wilson is currently preparing to be a strong contender for the 2013 MXD title. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Jay Wilson is currently preparing to be a strong contender for the 2013 MXD title. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

GYTR Yamaha’s Jay Wilson and Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout are currently doing just that. Queensland based Wilson made the trek down to New South Wales this week, following Clout down south after he wrapped-up his most recent training/racing/photoshoot trip with his Queensland-based squad.

You have two 18-year-old energetic talents putting their heads together as they prepare to shoot for titles in their respective classes, with Wilson aiming to wrap up the MXD title, while Clout plans to take a run at the MX2 class championship in his rookie season. This combination could be deadly – for the competition that is.

Adding another positive element to the combination is the fact that both riders are Yamaha mounted. Surely this will help both riders improve their setups and pick up those extra tenths of seconds they are searching for.

But with Wilson planning to make the move to the MX2 class next year, could Clout be thinking ahead and holding his biggest secrets closer to him? This is one aspect of these training partner situations that must always come in to play – you will undoubtedly have to go out and race each other at some point in time!

In saying that we have seen the likes of Ben Townley and Ford Dale pooling their resources and combining their programs with great success. It can only be a positive for the sport, creating closer racing, better battles and good sportsmanship between competitors – you can’t ask for much more than that, right?

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