Features 17 Oct 2013

Top 10: Most eligible riders for 2014

MotoOnline.com.au names the leading candidates for factory seats in Australia next year.

With the silly season heating up quickly for 2014, the pressure is on both the teams and the riders to come up with the goods if they want to be in the mix next year.

MotoOnline.com.au’s compiled a list of Australasia’s top 10 most eligible racers who are still on the market and searching for a seat ahead of next season.

Just to keep things fair, we’ve listed these guys in alphabetical order, so as not to cause any grief or angst.

Lawson Bopping has spent the past two seasons at CDR Yamaha. Will he return for 2014? Image: Grant Reynolds/FiftySix Clix.

Lawson Bopping has spent the past two seasons at CDR Yamaha. Will he return for 2014? Image: Grant Reynolds/FiftySix Clix.

Lawson Bopping
Current team: CDR Yamaha
Best 2013 result: Fourth at Murray Bridge, Wonthaggi and Appin MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Ninth in MX1
Current Australian SX standing: 10th in Pro Open
Rundown: Boppo’s 2013 definitely hasn’t gone to plan. A mixture of health setbacks, inconsistencies and bad luck have kept the promising 24-year-old off the podium, although he’s always been there-or-thereabouts in the championship mix. The kid has style, speed and plenty left in the tank, but has yet to ink a deal for 2014. We can’t see that lasting long.

Rhys Carter
Current team: Privateer
Best 2013 result: Fourth at Coolum MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Sixth in MX2
Current Australian SX standing: NA
Rundown: The easygoing Kiwi privateer has been on the MX Nationals circuit for a couple of years but really seemed to find his feet in towards the end of 2013 despite being on a near-stock RM-Z250. He attracted the attention of Raceline Pirelli Suzuki for a guest ride at Coolum and he rewarded them with a career-best fourth overall. Given the opportunity, Cartwheel would be a solid, yet vastly under-rated investment for 2014.

Brenden Harrison
Current team: Choice Motorsport KTM
Best 2013 result: Second at Mt Gambier SX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Injured
Current Australian SX standing: Ninth in Pro Lites
Rundown: After a couple of years ravaged by injuries and broken bones, Harry has proved he’s back where he belongs. By his third event back at the Mt Gambier round of the Terex Australian Supercross Championship, Harrison has already stood on the podium, won heat races and set fastest lap times. The kid is back and he’s hungry to make up for lost time.

Kayne Lamont
Current team: Choice Motorsport KTM
Best 2013 result: Sixth Broadford MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Eighth in MX2
Current Australian SX standing: NA
Rundown: Lamont dominated the 2012 MXD class and has impressed in his rookie year in MX2. He’s a top 10 regular, represented New Zealand at the MX of Nations and has the work ethic of a Clydesdale horse. Lamont is very eager to return to Australia in 2014, and now that he’s found his feet in MX2, will push for podiums and possibly race wins if he’s given the opportunity.

Dylan Long
Current team: Privateer
Best 2013 result: Third at Darwin SX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Fifth in MX2
Current Australian SX standing: Fifth in Pro Lites
Rundown: Three fourth-place finishes on countback and fifth in the standings across both MX Nationals and Australian Supercross in his rookie season and still no ride? Say it ain’t so! Dylan Long has turned a patchy early 2013 around to become a podium hunter across both disciplines of racing. A mid-season parting with the Choice Motorsports team seemed to give him more drive and motivation, and now the privateer is earning himself a reputation as a solid, consistent rider.

Is Jay Marmont's tenure at Monster Energy Kawasaki almost over? Image: Grant Reynolds/FiftySix Clix.

Is Jay Marmont’s tenure at Monster Energy Kawasaki almost over? Image: Grant Reynolds/FiftySix Clix.

Jay Marmont
Current team: Monster Energy Kawasaki
Best 2013 result: Third at Darwin SX (round one)
2013 MX Nationals series result: Seventh in MX1
Current Australian SX standing: Sixth in Pro Open
Rundown: Yep, you read correctly. Four-time Australian Motocross Champion and defending Australian Supercross Champion Jay Marmont is yet to sign a deal for 2014. After two years at Monster Energy Kawasaki, Marmont will be the first to admit he hasn’t lived up to the expectations that he, the team and the general public have placed on him, with the exception of claiming the supercross championship last year. Will he stay with Kawasaki for another shot at the MX Nationals championship? Your guess is as good as ours!

Adam Monea
Current team: Monster Energy Kawasaki
Best 2013 result: Third at Wonthaggi MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Eighth in MX1
Current Australian SX standing: NA (injured)
Rundown: Another rookie yet to ink a deal for 2014 is Adam Monea. Lil Monz changed up his program this year by jumping up to the Open class with Monster Kawasaki. A third overall at his home round at Wonthaggi was the highlight of his year, but he’s proved on many occasions that he has the strength, fitness and pace to run at the pointy end of the pack. With another year’s experience in the big boys’ class he could win races.

Kade Mosig
Current team:
CDR Yamaha (SX only)
Best 2013 result: Third at Appin and Hervey Bay MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: 19th in MX2 (injured mid-season and former team folded)
Current Australian SX standing: Seventh in Pro Open
Rundown: 2013 has been a weird year for Mozzi. He got caught up in a first-turn pileup at Wonthaggi that saw him miss a bunch of rounds with injury, he returned for two consecutive podiums, his team folded from underneath him, then he signed a supercross-only contract with CDR Yamaha. The talented Victorian has voiced his eagerness to stay with CDR for 2014, but at this stage nothing is signed or set in stone.

Jake Moss
Current team: Campbell Mining Suzuki
Best 2013 result: Second at Darwin SX (round one)
2013 MX Nationals series result: Sixth in MX1
Current Australian SX standing: Second in Pro Open
Rundown: Mossy has spent the past two years racing as a privateer and slaying giants in both the MX Nationals and Australian Supercross. He’s fit, healthy, knows exactly how to get the job done, and is currently second in the SX title hunt at the mid-way point of the season, just a four points shy of his twin bro, Matt. If there’s ever a time for someone to give him a factory ride, it’s now.

Jay Wilson
Current team: GYTR Yamaha
Best 2013 result: First at Mt Gambier SX, plus Hervey Bay, Toowoomba and Coolum MX
2013 MX Nationals series result: Second in MXD
Current Australian SX standing: First in MXD
Rundown: The 2008 junior world champion is looking for a home for next year for his first serious lash at MX2. After a frustrating start to 2013 with Yamaha’s MXD team, Wilson turned a corner at Conondale when he finished fourth in MX2 during a guest-ride appearance. From that point it’s like a lightswitch has gone off in his head and he’s found more speed, aggression and stamina. Yamaha’s intention is for GYTR riders to progress to Serco Yamaha when they step up to MX2, but Wilson has yet to ink a deal.

Riders off the market (not all announced):
Josh Cachia, Luke Clout, Cody Cooper, Ford Dale, , Joel Dinsdale, Kirk Gibbs, Billy Mackenzie, Kale Makeham

Riders in deep negotiations or expected to re-sign:
Hamish Harwood, Ryan Marmont, Matt Moss, Brock Winston

Dark horses yet to sign a deal:
Luke Arbon, Cheyne Boyd, Jake Emanuelli, Dylan Leary, Cody Mackie, Sam Martin, Dan McCoy, Geran Stapleton

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