Features 22 Jan 2014

MX Hub: 3

An all-access view of Australian motocross and supercross, presented by Alpinestars.

The Australian motocross industry is buzzing after Chad Reed’s big win last weekend at Anaheim 2, a sensational performance that will go down in history as one of his greatest – a true underdog story despite his status as two-time champion.

This year’s series in the US is shaping up incredibly nicely as a mixture of experienced guys seem to have upped their game to fend off the newer. For Reed, it was an emotional result that will certainly place momentum on his side at this stage.

Matt Moss didn’t have the best of races after jarring his wrist again in the main event, which has to concern Suzuki Australia somewhat. He’s hoping to stay over there for at least four more rounds, but in the back of his and Suzuki’s mind will no doubt be his title defence back home.

It’s an interesting dynamic because although it’s nice to test yourself against the best, the big picture and money earner is here at home in the oudoors and supercross. He’ll also be keeping an eye on the guys preparing for motocross back here – namely twin brother Jake, who looks to be in awesome form aboard the Kawasaki.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Either way, Moss, along with fellow guest rider Lawson Bopping have been doing Australia proud in their appearances to date especially in the semis, indicating the calibre of talent we have back here on local soil. Aussie racing is stacked right now with good teams and top riders.

By the way, did you see Moss switched from One Industries to Alpinestars and Bell between the Phoenix rounds of supercross? Suzuki Australia will make that transition for 2014, which is a pretty big story for the defending champion team. Another thing you may have noticed at A2 was that Chad Reed was wearing Oakley goggles for the first time after sporting a pair of black unbranded Fox goggles in earlier rounds.

The local news at this time of the season is particularly quiet apart from a few team announcements, but it usually really gains momentum through February and then kicks up another gear in March. As our ‘silly season’ news story suggested earlier in the week, there’s a few things to be decided and confirmed, but for the most part we’ll know who will be where in 2014.

That’s it from me for this week, here’s Makker with his latest from the week gone by…

This weekend provides one of the first hit-outs of the year for a number of Aussie and Kiwi racers, with the prestigious Woodville Grand Prix going down in New Zealand’s North Island.

The Woodville GP is a cracker two-day event. I used to regularly make the trip down to the tiny settlement to watch the likes of a 16-year-old Chad Reed go up against the three King brothers, Darryll, Shayne and Damien and (a much younger) Josh Coppins.

The past couple of years this event has been used as the first major shakedown for a some MX Nationals hopefuls, and 2014 looks set to continue that tradition, as Motorex KTM sends Kirk Gibbs and Ford Dale over. CDR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie will also make the trip over and camp under Josh Coppins ‘ Altherm JCR Yamaha tent for the weekend.

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

Last year the now-retired Ben Townley dominated the event, and this year he’s again put his hat in the ring, but as a competitor in the iconic ‘river race’. This race starts using the normal motocross track, but then dives into the shingle-based river (complete with holes that can swallow your bike whole) next to the circuit for about 200 meters before joining back to the track. It’s a spectacular, unique and always entertaining event that sets Woodville apart.

As for the Kiwis, the short money is on Townley’s teammate Cody Cooper to bring home the MX1 bacon, although he’ll face a significant challenge from the Australian contingent. In MX2, I’d expect JCR racer Scotty Columb to be strong enough to see off any serious challenges, and hopefully prove he’s worth a spot on an Australian race team for the MX Nationals in the process.

I for one am keen to see how it all unfolds, as it could throw up our first real insight to how everyone is stacking up before the MX Nationals kicks off at Broadford in March. We’ll fill you in with the details early next week!

That’s all from me for this edition. As always, remember to check out all of MotoOnline.com.au’s social networking channels and be sure to Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for even more behind the scenes insights. Just search MotoOnline.