Features 25 Jun 2014

MX Hub: 25

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

This weekend is one of the busiest of the year for MotoOnline.com.au as alongside the hotly anticipated MX Nationals resumption at Swan Hill, the Australasian Superbikes are on in Queensland and regular contributor Adam Spence is heading to Sweden for the first of our 2015 bike launches. More on that later.

The mid-stages of the year have swept upon us quickly, but as we get to the gritty end of the racing season, now’s time when things get real. From here on in, championship winners will be determined and every weekend counts – both here in Australia and around the globe.

That’s not to suggest previous rounds didn’t count, because of course all points count toward the titles, but right now is when the reality sets in and nerves rise in the race for championships. In Australia especially, the mid-season break is a definitive mark that the final rounds are upon us.

Fans will be stoked to read earlier today that Williams Event Management (WEM) has invested in a satellite uplink for its live streaming, which should effectively mean no more hiccups in the procedure. From here, expect racing as it happens and live!

Make no mistake that this is an expensive exercise put in place by WEM for those at home, which indicates a positive step forward in association with My Sport Live. While all other band aids failed, this is a true fix upon the investment.

It will be interesting to see who ends up at Penrite Honda Racing for selected rounds to cap of 2014 in the MX Nationals, with team owner Yarrive Konsky stating on social media that the team will field a privateer rider in select rounds.

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

“Privateers take note,” Konsky wrote. “I have been involved in the sport for 26 years and appreciate how hard privateers do it. I have helped over 80 riders in the past 12 years with various levels of support because I know how hard it is to race with little to no money or support. I was working nights in a petrol station whilst traveling Australia and racing out of a van.

“Honda MX have unfortunately had riders suffer some injuries that will see them unable to participate for the remainder of motocross. We will be running a rider in the Vet championship at Swan Hill. Our idea is to test with a rider or two following Swan Hill for Conondale, Raymond Terrance and Gladstone – we may run one or two privateer riders in an effort to give them a chance of a lifetime, a chance I only ever dreamed of growing up.

“Who do the fans think deserves a chance? I don’t know peoples stories, I don’t know who is putting in and who should be given the opportunity. Thanks to Penrite Oil Company, Honda Motorcycles, M2R Helmets and Alias as well as SCOTT and Pirelli Motorcycle Tyres Australia we will give some privateers a rare opportunity.”

To me, as an observer, what I get from that is that while I’m sure the said Vet rider will be back on track for Coolum’s second and final round of that series, there’s also a chance we will see Ben Townley on track at that event. If he is to contest a one-off round (if he’s not heading to the US), smart money sits with Coolum.

The other big news this week locally was the signing of Daniel McCoy to the Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team. Of course he started the year with TM, got injured, split with the team and was going to ride his own Suzuki. But then the Husqvarna opportunity came up and here he is back in a factory seat again.

Love him or hate him, McCoy is usually a free-agent at just the right times (think CDR Yamaha in 2012, plus both Honda and KTM last year). I don’t think it’s ideal the way we see him switch teams, but then again I’m sure if CDR Yamaha or KTM actually retained him in a proper role for the following MX season he’d have happily stayed at either team.

That’s about it from me this week as, between MotoOnline and CycleOnline.com.au, we run out of hours in the working day once again! Here’s Simon Makker…

Finally we’re heading back into the action! After a five-week stanza in proceedings the 2014 MX Nationals fires up again this weekend and it’s shaping up to be a ripper. With a handful of riders returning from injury, including KTM pilot Ford Dale, the fields will be bolstered back to the depth we saw before round one.

Image: Andy McGechan/BikesportNZ.com.

Image: Andy McGechan/BikesportNZ.com.

As we outlined in yesterday’s Rewind, last year’s round six at Appin straight after the break proved to be one of the most pivotal rounds of the championship. Two MX2 contenders – Josh Cachia and Luke Clout were scratched from the title hunt, while early season leader Todd Waters lost a huge chunk of ground to eventual champion Matt Moss after he rode with a freshly broken collarbone.

We haven’t seen the same amount of mid-season break injuries that we did in 2013, so it’s now all or nothing for the blokes to muscle up for the remaining rounds of the series.

I expect Billy Mackenzie to continue his show of form in the MX1 class, especially when the softer track gets rough at the end of the day, while my money is on either Kale Makeham or Kayne Lamont to come out on top in the MX2 class.

While that goes down, the Red Bull X-Fighters championship heads to Madrid, Spain, for the third round of the championship. With the event held in its traditional home of the Plaza Del Toros, the tight course isn’t going to suit Australia’s double backflipper Josh Sheehan, but might play into the hands of the inventive Clint Moore and Thomas Pages, who have mastered all types of Body Varials and spins.

Finally, Red Bull KTM’s Dean Ferris was initially expected to return to action at Muddy Creek round of the 2014 Lucas Oils Pro Motocross Championship this weekend. However, Deano hasn’t give us an indication either way as to whether he’s a starter, and we haven’t heard any word from the KTM camp. Fingers crossed we see him back and causing all sorts of havoc in the highly competitive class ASAP.

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