Features 22 May 2013

MX Hub: 20

Take an all-access look at your sport every Wednesday on MotoOnline, presented by Oakley.

Last weekend was a huge one in Motocross, with the MX Nationals, American outdoors and world grand prix races taking place across the planet. For fans it was one of the most spectacular weekends of the year.

It was interesting to see the differences between the three series worldwide, as highlights began to make their way onto the internet Monday morning. All three were very different, but I for one am proud of what we have right here in our own backyard.

A heavy dose of water made the track a muddy mess for practice and qualifying (as Makker speaks about below), meaning that by the time the motos came it was the most gruelling circuit of the season so far. In the end, there were mixed emotions on the conditions.

Some said it was single-lined and even a joke, while others – including former GP winner Billy Mackenzie – were relatively happy with the track during the motos. It was rough, damn hard work and created an interesting mix of racing including a lot of mistakes we don’t usually witness at this level.

The weekend upon return to the Broadford State Motorcycle Sport Complex was developed as a heritage round of sorts and the word is it will further evolve in that direction over the coming years. Craig Dack was one in particular who was in favour of the conditions and series promoter Kevin Williams later suggested it was a ‘real’ Motocross track.

Either way, the stories developing across this series are enthralling and as we approach the halfway mark, I’m still just as excited to see the action every weekend as what I was at round one.

Thick mud from pre-event watering made practice supremely difficult at Broadford. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Thick mud from pre-event watering made practice supremely difficult at Broadford. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

A few riders who really impressed me during the weekend at Broadord, not to mention the obvious ones right up front, included the ever-determined Brock Winston, Tye Simmonds, Jacob Wright, Rhys Carter, Dylan Peterson and Kieran Scheele. They all put on nice charges at times. Plus, Ryan Marmont’s moto one performance was nice to see him back up front.

In the lead-up to Broadford reports came from Europe that Youthstream president Giuseppe Luongo is still very much interested in having the world championship return to Australia – most likely Broadford, considering its history.

The return of the GPs almost happened a couple of years ago, but didn’t eventuate, however this time it seems to be on the radar if Youthstream can reach an agreement with Motorcycling Victoria.

With the rise of riders like Dean Ferris back on the world stage, it’d be great to see our current crop in action at home against the world’s best for the first time since 2001. Watch this space.

Todd Waters almost had to park his Motorex KTM last weekend due to a serious head injury sustained at Leyburn’s Sunshine State round a week before Broadford, but the Suzuki RACESAFE team was able to approve him and he did a superb job to score inside the top five. For more on that, click here.

What we also saw last weekend was Ford Dale ruled out and he’s uncertain for the season remainder. It’s a bitter blow for Carlton Dry Honda and the current MX2 champion, but as we know, it’s very taxing to race with knees that aren’t 100 percent in Motocross. Click here for an update we did today.

A developing story right now involves Dylan Long and the Choice Motorsports KTM team, as rumours from Victoria suggest the pair have parted ways following Broadford. We’ll have more on that before the week’s out.

Is Dylan Long's time up at Choice Motorsports KTM? Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Is Dylan Long’s time up at Choice Motorsports KTM? Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

The major head-scratcher for me this year has been Jay Marmont’s lack of results on the Monster Energy Kawasaki. He struggled outdoors last year through injury, but bounced back to defend his Supercross series and looked completely comfortable on the KX450F.

Since then he was very strong at Raymond Terrace with second in moto one to start the 2013 MX Nationals, eventually finishing fourth overall. After that he’s yet to feature inside the top 10 overall at all, which is uncustomary for the four-time champion. Not many are doubting he’ll be back, but it’s a definite talking point and pressure is mounting while rookie MX1 teammate Adam Monea is shining at the moment.

That’s all from me this week, here’s Makker with his rundown from the weekend that was.

Well, Broadford was nothing if not interesting. We saw two new race winners in both MX1 motos and momentum swing heavily towards Luke Styke in the MX2 class.

On top of that, the sole rider to have qualified for all four Super Pole finals, Ford Dale, may be out for the rest of the season with a(nother) knee injury he picked up within the first couple of corners of his Super Pole lap.

Joel Dinsdale fair dominated the MXD proceedings, class rookies Adam Monea and Luke Clout continued to impress and punch well above their weight, and Todd Waters, who was battling through a serious head-knock the prior weekend, didn’t feature on the podium for the first time this year.

Ford Dale's season is in doubt with a knee injury. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Ford Dale’s season is in doubt with a knee injury. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

I think one of the main reasons for the topsy-turvy weekend was the track conditions. I’m not having a go at the Broadford Club, but you’d think that after so many years of race meetings they’d have a reasonable idea of how much water the track can handle.

In spite of this, what the riders faced during qualifying was a almost comical mudbath. It was a crystal clear day but the track looked like it’d be hammered by a monsoonal deluge.

The riders struggled to get up some of the small hills at the lower end of the circuit, most of the the jumps were trashed within minutes and the track became a one-lined slot-car set as the lads found the driest, smoothest line and stuck to it. Venture off it and you were punished with a leg-paddling exercise through thick slop that refused to dry out all day.

It was disappointing to see the track become so one-lined due to over-watering, but I think the most disappointing aspect was that if could’ve easily been avoided. Plus mud splatters and roost is brutal on camera gear!

That’s all from me this week. Catch you all in seven days’ time.

Remember to check out all of MotoOnline.com.au’s social networking channels and be sure to Like/Follow us for even more behind the scenes insights. We will be further increasing our focus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the season ahead. Just search MotoOnline.