Features 2 Jul 2014

MX Hub: 26

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

It’s been coming on for at least 12 months now, and as far as any particular race weekend goes, Swan Hill was a real indicator that the stars of ‘tomorrow’ have arrived. Kade Mosig winner of MX1 and Nathan Crawford top of the MX2s… a betting man would have scored great odds to pick that!

It’s the way things are though and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a new wave of top riders are flowing on into the classes. When you look at it on paper, CDR Yamaha probably has the most experienced team in the field, but don’t be surprised if that changes for 2015.

The return of the nationals was not only highlighted by the success of multiple riders, but also by the fact that Williams Event Management (WEM) executed what looked to be a faultless stream of the final motos using their new satellite trackside technology. Live timing or at least constant results were also working.

Due to a scheduling clash I personally was in Queensland for the Australian Superbikes during the Swan Hill weekend (and glad I was, hearing of the freezing, windy weather at Swan Hill!), but I was able to tune in and see the action live without hassle. One request, would be to potentially have both motos live, but baby steps are required, of course.

The news Dean Ferris will be heading back to Europe for the rest of the European MXGP rounds came as a huge shock late last week, effectively ending his stint in the US before he even got a lap on their national circuits. It’s a huge shame on that part, but hey, many of us are more than stoked to see him back in the world championships!

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

It’s good timing, too, because right now Adam Spence is on location in Sweden for this weekend’s GP, which will mark Ferris’ debut on the Husky. Spence just attended the 2015 launch of the brand and from all accounts it looks like he’s having a blast. Make sure you check the Bike Tests section of the site to see his first impressions.

I’ll tell you what though, Simon Makker has delivered a real quality piece this week below, providing a great insight toward what could happen in the whole MX2 two-stroke vs four-stroke debate. Over to you, Makker…

Anyone who’s put the knocker on the MXD class as a “soft” or “babysitting” class over the past couple of years got shut right up on Sunday. Two of the Husky-riding MXD title contenders, Nathan Crawford and Egan Masten, both took the opportunity to jump up and give the chockablock MX2 class a crack, seeing as their MXD series doesn’t restart until next weekend.

While Masten had a bit of a tough outing at Swan Hill, young Nato Crawford put the MX2 field to the sword and stormed to the overall win. Those of you playing at home might remember that Crawford made his debut MX2 appearance and round five at Wanneroo, where he qualified third and finished an impressive fifth.

After more than a little convincing from a couple of his sponsors and his mentor Jake Moss, Crawford agreed to front up again at Swan Hill and you can bet he’s pleased he made the mammoth drive down to regional Victoria now.

Nato has already said he’s making the jump up to MX2 next year, despite his tender age, effectively putting the rest of the field on notice that they’ll have to find an extra gear if they want to stay in the hunt.

At the same time that Crawford went 2-1 for the overall, fellow Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon blasted out a 1-2 for second on countback, and claimed the Southern Privateer Championship in the process.

The whole debate as to whether two-stroke 250s should be allowed in the MX2 class gathered even more traction over the weekend, with only three four-strokes inside the top 10.

By the end of the season we expect Kevin Williams – a vocal fan of having two-strokes remain at the MX Nationals – to make an announcement about the future of the MX2 class. For mine, there are a few options that could happen here:

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

1. WEM announces a two-stroke only National class, which could see the Vet and Junior classes scrapped from the series due to race-day time restrictions. The MX2 class will also be thinned down dramatically, and will potentially become even a smaller field than MX1 currently is.

2. We see some sort of horsepower or monetary restriction placed on two-strokes in order to try and maintain a level playing field with four-strokes. This could be difficult to govern without testing every bike on a dyno every weekend.

3. The 250 two-strokes will be forced to race in the MX1 field. This is probably the least likely scenario, I think, unless some crazy regulation is passed, limiting four-strokes in the MX1 field to 350cc. Wait a minute… 250 two-strokes versus 350 four-strokes could be pretty tantalising class, right?

4. WEM decides to keep the status quo and continues allowing the two-strokes to dominate the MX2 class in an effort to maintain privateer interest in the national series.

Basically, there is no easy, stand-out decision. Whichever way you look at it, some tough calls are going to have to be made in the next couple of months, but if there’s one thing that Kevin Williams is good at, it’s making the hard decisions and sticking by them.

As soon as we hear an outcome to this heated debate, we’ll let you know.

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