Features 17 Jun 2013

Top 10: First half 2013 MX Nationals highlights

MotoOnline.com.au takes a look at the Top 10 MXN highlights from the first half of the season.

With the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals series currently in its mid-season six-week break, MotoOnline.com.au takes a look back at the Top 10 highlights from the first five rounds of action-packed racing.

Todd Waters dominated the first three rounds of the MX1 series. Image: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library.

Todd Waters dominated the first three rounds of the MX1 series. Image: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library.

Waters’ triple treat

Motorex KTM’s Todd Waters unleashed an assault on the MX1 class, sweeping the opening three rounds with an undefeated moto score amongst a stacked field of riders. Waters was did enter the series as a hot title favourite, but the Queenslander’s early season performances proved to exceed many expectations.

Styke’s domination

Following a gutting title loss in 2012, Serco Yamaha’s Luke Styke has hit 2013 with a level of focus an intensity that his competition is finding hard to match. Styke has won four out of five overalls and is yet to finish worse than second overall to date.

Clout’s MX2 win in only two attempts

Serco Yamaha rookie Luke Clout came into the 2013 season as almost an unknown quantity. We all knew the 18-year-old was fast, but many were unsure how he would handle the MX2 ranks. Clout finished fourth on debut and went to to take the overall at Murray Bridge’s round two – impressive to say the least.

GoPro Super Pole success

The introduction of the all-new MX1 GoPro Super Pole system has been a success for the most part. The enhanced fan interaction in undeniable, riders get to showcase their sprint skills, earn some cash and most importantly take away valuable championship points.

These vital points have made overall winning decisions on multiple occasions, love it or hate it, the Super Pole is a winner.

Rookie wonders

2013 has been the year of the rookie with the likes of Adam Monea and Kirk Gibbs laying down solid performances, both riders earning podiums within the first-half of the season.

Rookie Clout currently sits second overall in the MX2 class, not to mention KTM two-stroke mounted Kale Makeham who has landed multiple podiums during his rookie MX2 campaign.

In the MXD class rookies control the leaderboard with Hamish Harwood, Jack Simpson and Jesse Dobson holding down the top three spots respectively. MXD regular Jay Wilson also took his GYTR Yamaha to fourth overall in a wild card MX2 appearance at Conondale.

Luke Styke has dominated the MX2 class to date. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Luke Styke has dominated the MX2 class to date. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Two-stroke resurgence

The once forgotten two-stroke’s have made a strong return during 2013. The MX2 podium has been graced regularly by premix riders, with Kale Makeham and Brock Winston landing themselves spots on the box aboard their KTM 250 SX’s.

In the MXD championship chase, KTM two-stroke riders Hamish Harwood and Jack Simpson hold the first and third places respectively. With the correct rider onboard and a well-tuned machine, these two-strokes are proving to be a forced to be strong again and again.

Yamaha goes retro

For their 30th anniversary, Yamaha Australia put on a great retro-themed round at Conondale in Queensland. CDR Yamaha, Serco Yamaha and GYTR Yamaha had their bikes and riders decked-out in super cool retro graphics and gear.

The white and red throwback look generated a buzz within the industry and definitely had the older generation reminiscing about their racing days while the current generation of racers rocked the old-school look on track.

Moss’ momentum

Motul Pirelli Suzuki’s Matt Moss slowly generated momentum during the first-half of the season and now finds himself in a strong position to fight for the 2013 MX1 title.

Moss took his first overall win of the season at Broadford’s round four and backed that up with a runner-up spot behind teammate Cody Cooper at Conondale. Currently training with Dan Reardon in the US, expect Moss to come back even stronger.

Roll-off round

Conondale’s round five of the season saw a complete ban on tear-offs. For obvious environmental reasons, the traditional vision-clearing systems were forbidden and the less-reliable and unfamiliar roll-off system was the only option for riders.

This was the first time riders were faced with a roll-off only option and it certainly caused more than a couple riders to have vision issues throughout the day on the rough natural terrain circuit.

Cachia’s courage

Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s Josh Cachia has battled a painful wrist injury throughout the first five rounds of the season. The MX2 contender has been visibly effected by the injury, but continues to push through the pain in a bid to earn his first-ever title in the class.

Cachia looks to have his injury under control at this point with consistent podium results under his belt. With the six-week mid-season break currently under way, a healthier Cachia will be even more of a threat in the MX2 class.