Features 17 Jan 2015

Moto 360

An all-access view of Australian dirt bikes, presented by Alpinestars.

Welcome to the second edition of Moto 360, on the eve of round three of Monster Energy Supercross in the US. The good news is Adam Monea’s in for Anaheim 2, but Matt Moss is unfortunately out after a practice crash during late during the week.

News has been relatively thin from the Australian camp on the ground in the US, but Alpinestars Australia just released this brand new ‘Behind the SXenes’ clip featuring Mossy alongside American regulars Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia. Worth a watch!

Locally we can expect confirmation this week that Cody Cooper has re-signed for Penrite Honda after missing pretty much the entire MX Nationals season through injury in 2014. It’s understood that the team has linked up with some new sponsors (including a return to Thor), so once they have images the news will be out.

This weekend Jay Marmont will be repping the new Penrite Honda colours and sponsors at the Troy Bayliss Classic in Taree (actually right now as we speak), plus 2007 champion Dan Reardon is also there on a Kawasaki – providing the All Star event a real motocross flavour this year. For the off-road fans, Chris Hollis is also in the mix.

Despite retiring at the end of last year, sources suggest Marmont could suit up for one or two motocross or supercross events this year, retaining the number two for 2015 as he winds down from his professional career.

Source: Instagram.

Source: Instagram.

While Marmont is keeping his familiar number two, there has been lots of changes aside, as Jacob Wright has number seven (previously 37), CDR Yamaha teammate Kade Mosig is eight (previously 48) and Honda returnee Ford Dale now number nine (previously 41). It seems single digits are becoming more and more popular domestically this year.

Williams Event Management (WEM) broke the news earlier this week that instead of television all MX Nationals will be streamed live again or on demand this year, this time through NRGTV in what’s said to be an enhanced package. And I believe it’s the logical decision.

If we were to choose between delayed television or live streaming online, I’d personally prefer the latter any day. As long as it all works (and it did for the most part once organisers had a satellite uplink), and the quality is easily consumable, the following will grow.

Some will say we NEED television, but unless a major network suddenly invests and interest in our sport big time (not going to happen right now), it costs hundreds of thousands to produce a decent product and there’s no guarantee of a return on investment – especially if it’s not on a major network.

That’s it from me for this week, thanks for stopping by, and I will hand it over to Simon Makker for his take on the past week…

Well stuff me with feathers and call me a pillow. If you’d told me a week ago that our very own Toby Price would be in a podium position in the notorious Dakar Rally with one day remaining, I probably would’ve had a chuckle, let alone winning the penultimate stage!

This is the toughest motorsport event in the world. It’s Toby’s first attempt at it and is still really learning the ropes of navigation events. He’s easily one of the youngest, most inexperienced competitors in the class.

But there he is, with one day remaining in the race, sitting in third overall and on the cusp of becoming just the second Australian to feature on the Dakar podium. Despite all this, though, mainstream media has practically refused to give him any sort of mention of attention – until today’s win anyway.

I get the fact that off-road racing is a minority sport and will never compete with the likes of cricket, NRL or soccer, but everyone has heard of the Dakar and the fact that one of our own is one the brink of a historic result should certainly be getting more mileage than it has been.

On the subject of flying under the radar, Scottish expat Billy Mackenzie quietly left Australia on Monday to return to the UK after competing here for four years.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

It’s surprising that a number three in the MX1 championship and the final round winner couldn’t land a ride here for next year, but I think that tells a lot about the talent that’s emerging from the youngsters stepping up into the MX1 ranks.

Despite trying to get in touch with him, Billy hasn’t told us what his plans are now that he’s back in the UK, but no doubt it’ll have something to do with racing, possibly with a team in the British Motocross Championship.

This weekend also sees the AMA Supercross Championship return to Anaheim, where last year we witnessed one of the greatest races of all time as Chad Reed came from nowhere to win the event.

Reedy is tied up for ninth overall in the series with Jake Weimer and Broc Tickle, but you can guarantee he’ll carry any extra spring in his step this weekend as he tries to kick-start his campaign at a round that has traditionally done very well at.

Anaheim 2 also sees Victoria’s Adam Monea front up on the gate for the first time to see if he can join the night show. Other Australians in action will be Brett Metcalfe and Jackson Richardson. Here’s hoping for some great results and some cracker racing on a track that sees the return of the under-over bridge!

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