Features 28 Nov 2015

Moto 360

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

It was billed as the race of the year and AUS-X Open is definitely living up to expectations. We’re live from the media centre this weekend and the buildup has been mega.

Practice earlier today was entertaining and a selection of VIPs got to witness the action, but the real battle will begin when the gates drop tonight.

While you can see the latest in terms of results and updates on MotoOnline.com.au and our Twitter, Ricky Carmichael was lapping in both the seeded and non-seeded sessions without a transponder. Wondering how he went? Hand-timed he was around a second off the top times.

So it’s all shaping up to produce some incredible racing, the guys at AME Management have really delivered a polished job in terms of the event, and we’re excited to be amongst it. Follow us all throughout the event and following for all the latest.

Image: Adam Spence.

Image: Adam Spence.

Here’s Simon Makker with more…

We’re currently sitting in the media centre about to witness the action from the AUS-X Open go down tonight and the atmosphere is already intense.

All afternoon there’s been a heaving crowd around the CDR Yamaha tent as thousands of punters try and catch a glimpse of American star Cooper Webb, Australian legend Chad Reed and CDR regular front-runners Dan Reardon and Cooper Webb.

Of course, Ricky Carmichael’s presence has caused no small amount of buzz and the nugget Floridian was almost mobbed by passionate fans as he walked across the pit area towards the starting tunnel.

There has been a little bit of confusion around RC’s actual involvement in the event too. We can confirm that RC will make an on-track appearance, but it is only for a spellbinding head-to-head match-up race with Chad Reed; the GOAT won’t actually line up for the qualifying, heats and mains.

As for the FMX Best Trick comp, word on the street is that Frenchman Tom Pages will throw his signature ally-oop flair tonight, despite crashing two attempts at it this afternoon (he’s unhurt), while Jacko Strong will attempt the frontflip or a fronty combo, Rob Adelberg will chuck a Cali Roll and Ryan Brown a Switchblade Flip. I haven’t heard what Taka Higashino has up his sleeve but I’m expecting the crazy Japanese rider will huck a Rock Solid Flip.

There’s been plenty of chat going on around the pits too as a number of the pieces of the silly season puzzle start to fall into place.

One thing is for certain though – next year’s rider line-ups and team personnel are going to have a vastly different look and feel to 2015, with no small number of conversations and deals being done behind closed doors.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

One of the big rumours going around is that the Honda team might sport a completely different look next year as there’s speculation the manufacturer could bring the team back in-house.

While there have been no announcements about who’s going to be riding for the red wing, both Jay Wilson and Dylan Long have been linked to seats. If that does come about, the team will have a completely different look and feel for next year and could signal something of a rebirth for them.

With Suzuki closing the doors on the Team Motul Suzuki team next year, a number of those staff are also looking to move around. It’s believed team manager Jay Foreman is going to be in charge of engine development at the new-look Wilson MX Suzuki team, while his son, Jess (who’s been Matt Moss’s wrench for years) has found a new home at the KTM Motocross Racing Team spinning spanners for Caleb Ward for next year.

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