Features 4 Nov 2014

Top 10: Things to watch at Brisbane’s ASX indoor

What to expect come the Brisbane Entertainment Centre return.

It’s been five years since Australia has seen an indoor round of the Australian Supercross Championship and it’s been seven since the Brisbane Entertainment Centre hosted a round of the series. With a huge number of new fans hitting the sport who have never seen or experienced an indoor supercross on Australian soil, MotoOnline has jotted down the top 10 things you can expect to experience at this weekend’s 2014 finale.

Image: Marc Jones.

Image: Marc Jones.

1. Smaller grids:
The starting grid will be chopped down to 12 riders. That means riders will have to go through the qualifying process in order to make the main event. However you can guarantee that there will be upsets and some favourites will miss out on making the final race.

2. A tight track:
Forget expecting to see an epic track brimming with amazing rhythm sections and multiple options. Indoor arenas such as the Brisbane Enetertainment Centre are significantly smaller than stadiums and showgrounds, and the track will reflect that. From what we understand, Full Throttle Sports has somehow squeezed seven lanes into the BEC, so it’ll be interesting to see the track layout and width on Saturday.

3. You’re close to the action:
Leave the binoculars at home, because you’ll be amazed at how close you’ll be to the action compared to the usual showgrounds and stadiums. To add to the experience, you’ll be sitting at the riders’ eye height as they hit the triples and soar up towards your perch. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to nail your perfect Instagram shot of your favourite riders.

4. Experience will pay dividends:
With such a big hiatus between indoor events, only a handful of Aussie racers have actually experienced what it’s like and know what to expect. Jay and Ryan Marmont, Matt Moss, Dan McCoy and Lawson Bopping have all ripped up arenas and will be drawing on their experience to help earn them a solid place in both the event and championship. AMA East Coast 250SX contenders Gavin Faith, Kyle Peters and Taylor Potter will also know how to handle themselves on the tight circuit.

5. The noise:
Mark our words: when the first qualifying heat fires up and roars off the line, you’ll be stunned at how loud the bikes sound in an enclosed space. You might want to consider bringing earplugs, or you could sit back and absorb the full experience.

Image: Marc Jones.

Image: Marc Jones.

6. The exhaust fumes:
With little ventilation while the event is on, expect the air to carry a blue tinge from the exhaust fumes, adding to the heady mixture of noise and visual excitement. With so many two-strokes now racing in the SX2 class, it’s going to feel like a return to the good old days as the premix fumes hang in the air.

7. A polished event that showcases our sport:
Series promoters Full Throttle Sports are eager to use the Brisbane finale as a showcase event to attract sponsorships and corporate backers next year. They’re going to do everything in their power to put on an impressive show that is entertaining, engaging and professional.

8. Creature comforts:
Forget lining up for festy portaloos and sitting on a picnic rug on bumpy ground far away from the action. Indoor supercross racing will see you sitting in a cushioned seat with an unobstructed view of the action, a wide variety of food and bevvies at your disposal, and cleaned, flushing toilets.

9. Crashes, T-bones and controversy:
As sure as the sun rises in the morning, expect to see some carnage. With a lack of passing opportunities in rhythm sections, riders will be trading plastic and forcing the issue a lot more in the hairpin bermed corners. It’s a case of either punt or be punted in most cases, but it’d be very surprising if we don’t see some new rivalries form after Saturday.

10. Crowd engagement:
There’s something about indoor racing that brings the action right to your lap and the crowd always responds and seems to be more vocal. Even the riders comment about how they can hear the crowd’s reactions, gasps and cheers as they respond to crashes and passes around the circuit.