Features 5 Feb 2014

MX Hub: 5

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

As we work through week five of MotoOnline.com.au’s operations for 2014, much of the interest has centered around the Enduro-X Nationals as it kicked off in Brisbane,but rest assured that a wave of moto content is just around the corner.

This time of the year has been particularly quiet in terms of news domestically, but when it comes to competition, there’s been all kinds of Aussies racing worldwide – Chad Reed, Matt Moss, Lawson Bopping and Dean Ferris in the US; Todd Waters in Italy; Dan McCoy and Luke Arbon in the UK; plus a selection in New Zealand.

The four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships will commence at at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Saturday, which will allow us to gauge further how a number of MX Nationals contenders are tracking including Billy Mackenzie, Kirk Gibbs, Ford Dale, Cody Cooper and more.

But there are of course a number of contenders also not across the ditch, including Moss in America, twin brother Jake who has been pounding out laps with Kawasaki in Australia, his teammate Adam Monea who arrived in Queensland today for testing and Jay Marmont back at CDR Yamaha.

While NZ in recent seasons particularly when Josh Coppins and Ben Townley were racing in Australia was almost a necessity in the lead-up to the nationals, the guys listed above and others will be unknown quantities entering Broadford – and all will be strong.

Appin and Queensland Moto Park are effectively the hotspots for pros during the pre-season in NSW and QLD, so for local riders, they’ll have an opportunity to see the country’s best on multiple occasions over the next few months.

Image: Dylan Wills.

Image: Dylan Wills.

Dylan Wills, currently sidelined with injury, has been exploring photography recently and posted the above photo of Jay Marmont on the CDR Yamaha circulating at Appin this week, but for more check out his Facebook page at 64MX Photography.

A number of people have checked in saying Marmont looks back at home on the YZ450F with CDR and that he’s ripping on the practice tracks, but obviously we won’t see for certain until the nationals open at Broadford next month.

Another factory team still yet to be announced for 2014 is Husqvarna under the direction of Craig Anderson Racing, but while no word has been released officially, the former champion continue to post clues via social media and it would seem an announcement is imminent after taking delivery of the bikes.

One major rumour doing the rounds as of late last week was that Jay Foreman’s Suzuki squad was in jeopardy, potentially leaving Matt Moss out of a ride with number one plates for both motocross and supercross.

Well, Suzuki Australia insists that’s not the case (click here for the full story), which is a relief following the unfortunate closure of its factory superbike team despite winning the Australian championship with Wayne Maxwell last year.

Moss was initially expected to return home following four or five rounds of American Supercross, but instead he’ll stay on for San Diego at least this weekend and abort plans to race in New Zealand in the lead-up to the outdoors from what we understand.

That’s it from me for this week, thanks for stopping by, here’s Makker…

This morning I had a bit of a chat with former CDR Yamaha racer Lawson Bopping, who’s over the States running a privateer gig for the first six rounds of the AMA Supercross Championship.

Boppo has actually had a fair bit of coverage over the five rounds to date, although the majority of it is for the wrong reasons as he takes various dirt samples at each round, most of which are from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Battling both shoulder and knee injuries, Bopping hasn’t managed to make a Main event yet, but is hoping his luck will change this weekend at San Diego, before he flies back to Australia next week.

The weird thing is that Bopping is flying back to more uncertainty than what he’s facing in the US at the moment. His phone has barely sprang to life during the off-season and he currently has no offers to ride this year’s MX Nationals.

With the first round just seven weeks away, that’s an alarming prospect for any top racer, especially one who’s regularly in the hunt for top five placings.

It sucks to see a guy try so hard and show so much promise, only to have his best-laid plans thwarted by something out of his control. You see, Boppo battled glandular fever for the lion’s share of 2013, and it severely hampered his results.

But it’s almost as if the teams are looking at the results on paper and not the story behind them, and he’ll be the first to admit the face-value of his results last year are average at best. Sure, everyone carries niggles and injuries throughout the racing season, but battling an illness for an extended period of time is another level.

I really hope something comes along for Bopping. It’d be a huge waste of talent to see him absent from starting grid and have him fade into the background like Errol Willis, Luke Arbon, Cheyne Boyd and Cody Mackie have done. I know a career in motocross is only short, but at 24 years old, Bopping’s still got a shitload of racing left in him.

That’s all from me this week. 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.