Features 21 May 2014

MX Hub: 20

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

Welcome to the 20th edition of the MX Hub presented by Alpinestars, in what is one of the busiest weeks in Australian motocross. On Sunday the teams of the MX Nationals converged on Murray Bridge in South Australia, before heading directly over to Western Australia for Wanneroo this weekend.

Murray Bridge was another interesting round that yet again indicated this year’s championships will be hard-fought across the board in MX1, MX2 and MXD. Momentum right now is crucial and during this, the middle stages of the season, every point counts.

The track last weekend wasn’t ripped as deeply as what some expected – especially when most had been training in sand or otherwise soft soil – but it actually stayed in good shape throughout the motos due to the cool weather conditions. The vibe was great and the crowd was lined up around the precinct.

South Australians stole the show with Kirk Gibbs and Luke Arbon claiming their first respective overalls in MX1 and MX2, much to the delight of the locals. Sometimes things just come together for a really nice story and that day in domestic motocross was definitely one of them.

Gibbs’ win was pivotal in the fact that he sliced the championship lead to Matt Moss from 22 to 13 points, with Moss experiencing a number of difficulties on his way to fifth overall. He was happy to depart the place on Sunday evening and holds high hopes into WA.

Adam Monea’s run of strong form continued with the moto one victory, but a clash with Billy Mackenzie in the second denied him any chance of the overall. Monea was vocal about the incident on social media afterwards, so that will be an interesting rivalry to watch unfold next time they’re on track.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

MotoOnline.com.au in association with newly-established film company Plan V have been releasing some Instagram exclusive clips from SA on Sunday, so be sure to check out @motoonline and give @planv_ a follow while you’re at it. We have some more cool content waiting in the wings.

That’s it from me for this week, I’ll hand it over to Simon Makker for a number of updates across the sport…

With consecutive weekends of racing, the MX Nationals is screaming towards the halfway mark at a rapid rate of knots. With all three classes featuring three different winners over four rounds, there are certainly no givens as to who will hold the trophies high at the end of August.

While Team Motul Suzuki’s defending champ Matt Moss is still tipped as the favourite to win back-to-back MX1 titles, it won’t take many off-days like he had at Murray Bridge (where he finished fourth overall) to slide into the clutches of the chasing pack.

KTM’s Kirk Gibbs is looking especially ominous and is growing in confidence and speed every weekend. So far he’s been the only rider to feature on the podium at all four rounds, and after talking to him for his Race Recap interview the other day, I think he’s only going to get stronger and more confident with each top-three finish.

This weekend’s round in the Wild West features arguably one of the roughest, toughest tracks in the country. Wanneroo’s deep sand sucks a bike’s power like nowhere else in Australia, and by the end of their final motos, every rider is going to feel like their forearms are about to explode into Popeye-esque pistons.

Growing up riding dunes and rough-as-guts sand tracks, you can bet your life savings that Gibbs is going to be a force to be reckoned with. And because this is the last round before the mid-season break, a convincing win will have the rest of the paddock – especially the Moss brothers, Adam Monea and Billy Mackenzie – stewing for six weeks about how they plan to beat him at Round 6 in July.

While all that’s going on, Australia’s Red Bull KTM pilot Dean Ferris threw a leg over his bike again for the first time this week. He jets off to the US tomorrow for the opening round of the Lucas Oils AMA Motocross Championship, although he’ll be sitting in the pits watching for now.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Stay tuned for a great interview I did with the bloke tomorrow, where he speaks about busting his wrist, when he’s due back behind the start-gate, and the implications that his untimely injury could have on his career.

And did you see the footage of France’s Tom Pagēs stomping the world’s first Bike Flip (NOT a Backflip!) out of a quarter-pipe yesterday? It’s bloody wild!

Strategically Pagēs’ video release is a very clever tactical move. With most riders traveling to Osaka for the second round of the Red Bull X-Fighters Championship as you read this, there’s no way they’ll be able to attempt the trick before Saturday’s contest.

It’ll be in the back of their minds all weekend, waiting for the defending champ to throw the Bike Flip for the first time in competition history. And word is that’s exactly what he plans to do. Pagēs even instructed the X-Fighters course builders to construct a second quarter-pipe that he can use specifically for a Bike Flip attempt.

It’s fair to say that with one 30-second video, the most innovative rider in FMX has shot the doors off the FMX barn all over again, and set himself up as a heavy favourite to claim back-to-back titles.

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.