Features 11 Sep 2013

MX Hub: 36

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The good news just keeps flowing – confirmation today that Dean Ferris has secured a seat in the MXGP World Championship (formerly MX1) with Monster Energy Yamaha has been the icing on the cake in a stunning few weeks for the sport.

Ferris, who has really paved the way for the next gen of Aussie talent on the world stage, is the third Australian officially confirmed for a GP seat alongside Husqvarna MXGP factory rider Todd Waters and Luke Styke, who was yesterday confirmed aboard a Yamaha in MX2.

From an international perspective in 2013 it’s been somewhat more difficult to cover than usual. Chad Reed has suffered a horrid campaign and Michael Byrne struggled too upon return from injury. Brett Metcalfe killed it in Canada, but we did miss him from the US circuit nonetheless.

On top of that we saw the collapse of the JDR Motorsports KTM team, which in turn saw Josh Cachia’s American excursion end prematurely, plus it was a shame to see Matt Moss depart the AMA after a promising year last year.

Of course Ferris and the success of female stars Meg Rutledge and Mackenzie Tricker made for some great stories during the year, but it was a transitional period in a lot of ways. Now, we have three very capable rising stars in the world title chase and they’ve all stemmed from the heights of Australian Motocross.

Quite simply, I think the lot of us are excited for what’s to come on an international level and the future looks bright with Ferris, Waters and Styke now charging in Europe. It’s a real credit to Ferris for taking the chance in racing GPs at the close of 2011.

Dean Ferris will step up to the Steve Dixon-run Monster Energy Yamaha team in 2014.

Dean Ferris will step up to the Steve Dixon-run Monster Energy Yamaha team in 2014.

What we are seeing is a result of the strength of Australian Motocross at the moment, namely the Monster Energy MX Nationals and its competing teams. World class they are, which is proven by the general interest we continue to see from international websites.

In fact, through alliances with MotoOnline.com.au we’ve again seen in 2013 many stories and videos posted not only on Racer X Online, but also MXlarge.com – Europe’s number one site for grand prix racing. It’s something we are very proud of as our shared content puts local Aussies right in the spotlight of many grand prix teams.

Speaking of the nationals, I posted an intriguing interview with Williams Event Management’s Kevin Williams yesterday about the 2013 series and the current state of the sport. It’s long and detailed, ultimately outlining WEM’s position in the sport as it stands today (click here to view).

Here’s Makker…

As one championship wraps up, another begins. While this short turnaround between championships might be alien and feel rushed to Australians, the Americans have been running the two-week turnaround for years.

Then again, the geographical distance between the last round of the AMA Supercross in Vegas and the traditional opening round of the AMA Motocross at Hangtown, CA, is only a fifth of what our riders and teams face driving from Coolum to Darwin (and that’s not including them driving back to HQ first!).

All reports I’ve heard and seen on social media about this weekend’s opening round of the Australian Supercross Championship in Darwin have been extremely positive. There are promotional posters plastered all over town, the track-builders are putting the finishing touches to what’s been dubbed ‘the biggest Supercross track in Australia’ and there seems to be an infectious buzz of excitement going around the Australia’s northernmost capital.

Darwin's Supercross track is hyped as one of the sport's greatest ever in Australia. Image: IEG.

Darwin’s Supercross track is hyped as one of the sport’s greatest ever in Australia. Image: IEG.

So who can we expect to come out with all guns blazing at the opening back-to-back rounds? The Open class has widely been recognised as the most stacked it’s been in a long time, but then you throw in Americans Josh Hill (InsureMyRide/Hart/Huntington/DPH Suzuki) and Weston Peick (Carlton Dry Honda) into the fray, and really, it’s anybody’s game.

Jay Marmont has been training hard-out for supercross since the mid-season break in the MX Nationals, as he realised he was realistically out of the points’ hunt and decided to focus on defending his title.

Other riders we’re going to see return to the Pro Open start-gate include Kade Mosig (riding for CDR Yamaha), supercross specialist Dan McCoy (Motorex KTM), Lawson Bopping (CDR), and privateer Jacob Wright.

The Pro Lites class is also shaping up to be chockas with talent. Alongside defending champion Gavin Faith is Serco Yamaha’s Luke Styke (who’s riding a tsunami of momentum and confidence at the moment), Brenden Harrison (returning from a lengthy injury hiatus), 2012 U19 champion Kale Makeham, new Serco recruit Luke Arbon and the always consistent Ryan Marmont.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be a fascinating season. You can keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going down by checking out out all of MotoOnline.com.au’s social networking channels across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just search MotoOnline.

Catch ya next week!