Features 24 Jan 2015

Moto 360

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

Another week is in the books and, wow, what an interesting one that was for Chad Reed. 12 months ago he was in the press for his amazing Anaheim 2 win, then this year he’s again the talk of the sport after being black-flagged last Saturday night.

Plenty has been said about it by now, but to me the black-flag was overkill and the decision was made far too quickly by officials. Of course, safety is paramount, but setting this precedent will be a tough one to follow.

By this point it’s understood Trey Canard made an error in his decision-making and Chad was quick to retaliate, but as he has said, he wasn’t intentionally heading to take Canard out at the time of the incident when he had his hand off the handlebars.

Aside from Reed’s immediate disqualification from the race, it will be interesting to see the consequences moving forward. Most importantly though, for us as Aussie fans, fingers crossed he can regain top form and we see him back in contention for podiums and victories in upcoming races.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Of the other Aussies, it was awesome to see Brett Metcalfe make his way closer toward the top 10 in 12th at A2. Remember, this field is one of the most stacked in history and even making the main right now is a huge achievement. Combined with his outdoor skills, he deserves to be in the US fulltime and most likely will be in 2016.

Australian champion Matt Moss had to sit out last weekend, but he’s due back for Saturday night at Oakland, and it will also be good to see Australian Supercross number two Adam Monea make his second appearance this weekend now with some US experience on his side.

After a shaky start at A1 Jackson Richardson has regained the form we witnessed at the end of last year’s supercross season, claiming 11th last weekend in his second-consecutive main event showing of the year. Like Taylor Potter, Richardson’s decision to head to America without landing a factory ride at home first seems to be paying off slowly, but surely.

And for those keen on following the Aussie progress in New Zealand starting with the Woodville GP this weekend, here’s Simon Makker with his input from over the ditch…

This weekend marks what you could call the first high-profile Australasian race meeting of 2015, with the Woodville Grand Prix being held in the lower North Island of New Zealand.

It’s a race that’s steeped in history and has attracted some of the biggest named Australians over the years, including a young, fresh-faced Chad Reed when he first stepped up from juniors to seniors.

It’s our first glimpse at how some of the main players are shaping up for the upcoming MX Nationals season, with a number of Aussie riders crossing over for it, and will spend most, if not all, of their Australia Day travelling.

Among the Australians are KTM racers Kirk Gibbs and Luke Styke, CDR Yamaha’s young revelation Jacob Wright, Josh Coppins-backed MX2 front-runner Jay Wilson and a red-hot Caleb Ward, who will be racing for CMR Red Bull KTM team alongside one of NZ’s brightest stars, Josiah Natzke.

It’s going to be interesting to see how they go against the likes of defending champion Cody Cooper, who’s fighting his way back into form after a torrid 2014, Suzuki’s Rhys Carter, Honda’s Michael Phillips and JCR Yamaha’s Scotty Columb, all of whom have been showing decent pace early in the summer season.

Image: Jeremy McKnight.

Image: Jeremy McKnight.

It’s great to see more Australian teams using the Kiwi race season to get some seat-time before the MX Nationals fires up on March 29, and I think that trend will continue over the next few years.

There’s actually a fair bit of action happening over in NZ this weekend, with the Nitro Circus Live Tour kicking off their hectic 2015 schedule in Wellington on Saturday night.

There have been a few changes to the FMX line-up, with Steve Mini staying home to see the birth of their first child (any day now!) and Tom Pages, Brody Wilson and Chucky Norris not receiving the call up. Instead we’ve seen Jacko Strong, Brad Burch, Levi Sherwood and Nick Franklin added to the roster.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new show myself in a few weeks’ time, as it’s been a couple years since I last witnessed the carnage first-hand and I’m curious to see how much the performance has developed.

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