Features 9 Apr 2014

MX Hub: 14

An all-access view of Australian MX and SX, presented by Alpinestars.

Welcome to our ever-popular MX Hub feature; MotoOnline.com.au’s mid-week look at a number of topical things in the sport presented by Alpinestars. With the domestic racing season now all systems go, this indeed is one of the best times of the year altogether.

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

MX Nats roll on

This weekend one of our favoured rounds of the Monster Energy MX Nationals will take centre stage at Appin in New South Wales, which always produces some fine racing and a heap of spectators to watch the action. Notable topic this weekend will be the return to a two-moto format for the first time this year, which will certainly suit some more than the triple-moto structure. By the way if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you download the MXN Magazine’s second issue, which doubles as an event program for round two (details here).

Boydy’s ride park

Close observers would have seen longtime pro and former MX1 national number two Cheyne Boyd has launched his own riding facility, ‘Park 4 MX’. He’s taken over the Broadmeadows venue down there in Victoria and is currently revamping the place, so that will be killer to see how he progresses.

Sinclair switches to Kawasaki

Did anybody else catch a post on social media by FMX legend Cam Sinclair over the past week that he’s now riding Kawasakis through Peter Stevens? If not, then now you know! Sincs has traded his Yamahas for Kawis, not only in freestyle but also for his regular motos down on the tracks of Victoria. Coupled with his change to Fox lifestyle clothing for 2014, there’s been quite a few new deals going on behind the scenes for the former top level racer.

Yamaha flies high

It was interesting to see yesterday upon the FCAI’s release of new bike sales in the first quarter of 2014 that Yamaha’s YZ250F was the highest-selling dirt bike in the land to start the new year. The position had previously belonged to the WR450F enduro machine in terms of adult bikes, so it’s a real sign that if new motocross technology is introduced and the marketing/sales pitch is well received, consumers will go for it. Kawasaki was also particularly strong in the MX ranks coming in behind the Yamahas. Click here for the complete rundown – like I said, it’s interesting stuff and always creates a good old debate on social media!

Bikes of the best

In case you missed it yesterday, MotoOnline posted our usual ‘Bikes of the MX Nationals’ gallery yesterday and it’s always a hit with our readers. Follow this link to check them out and be sure if you get a moment to let us know your favourite either on the site or via Facebook. There’s some trick bit of gear in there; very diverse between brands and (two or four) strokes.

125cc Cup

With numbers again strong across the board entering the Appin round of the MX Nationals this weekend, the 125cc Junior Cup of talented two-stroke racers is stacked with emerging talent – 40 riders in fact! With a blend of Yamahas, KTMs, Husqvarnas, TMs and even some Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki models, it’s going to be fascinating to see (and hear). No doubt they’re getting vital track time in ahead of the Australian junior titles at the same venue in September/October.

This it from me for this week, here is Simon Makker with some of the latest he’s heard and looking forward to…

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

Bopping to re-emerge?

Former CDR Yamaha racer Lawson Bopping was a notable absentee from the starting grid at Broadford. The Canberra lad failed to land a ride after returning from racing the opening six rounds of the AMA Supercross Championship, partly because he’s still battling a long, frustrating illness. However, Boppo fans might get the chance to see him in a few weeks’ time, after he confirmed to us earlier today that he was thinking of racing the Wonthaggi round of the MX Nationals. It’s probably going to be a one-off appearance at this stage, but we can’t wait to see him back on the track regardless.

Groombridge steps up for Honda

With Cody Cooper out for a yet-to-be-determined period after needing his face reconstructed, Penrite Honda Racing announced yesterday they were enlisting fellow Kiwi Brad Groombridge to take the reins of the vacant CRF450. Groombridge impressed many with his solid seventh overall in his debut MX1 outing at Broadford, and should be right up there in the thick of it on Sunday. Groombridge’s appointment effectively put an end to the rumours that Honda mentor Ben Townley would pull on a jersey this weekend, although there was some footage shot earlier this week on social media that had BT101 tearing his home track a new one.

Appin’s battle lines are drawn

This weekend’s second clash of the MX Nationals is shaping up to be a ripper. Not only will there be a point to prove for some of the blokes who didn’t start the season the way they wanted at Broadford, but Appin has homeground advantage for a number of big guns. The locals who’ll be hoping to have the crowd behind them are Jake and Matt Moss (now that’ll be a scrap to keep an eye on), Jay and Ryan Marmont, Daniel McCoy and MX2 favourite Luke Clout plus quite a few others. Let’s just hope the forecasted rain stays away!

Win on Sunday, don’t sell Monday?

The suits and marketing gurus at Suzuki Australia must be scratching their heads and wondering what the hell’s going on. Yesterday’s FCAI motorcycle sales figures for the first quarter of 2014 showed that the Suzuki RM-Z450 only just scraped into the top 10 motocross bikes sold, with 108 units leaving dealership floors. Compare that to the 360 YZ250Fs that Yamaha sold in the same timeframe and the fact that off-road motorcycle sales are down almost 10 per cent on last year and you can see the issue. What makes that figure even more astounding is the fact that Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss piloted the RM-Z450 to two national titles last year. Whatever happened to the phrase ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday?’. The again, Yamaha’s YZ250F did win with Luke Styke in MX2, plus being an all-new model helps.

That’s a wrap for this week’s MX Hub. 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.