Features 30 Jan 2016

Moto 360

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

One month into the new year and already things are ramping up here in Australia and abroad. While American Supercross is three rounds in, this weekend will also provide us the first chance to see the likes of Todd Waters and Dean Ferris on track in New Zealand.

The pair will be contesting the Woodville GP, which gives us an interesting insight to their progress locally after coming off a number of seasons in MXGP. Waters, of course, is back on board the Suzuki, while Ferris will form part of Josh Coppins’ Altherm Yamaha team in NZ.

Interestingly, with Australian MX Nationals champion Kirk Gibbs coming off injury, the KTM Motocross Racing Team doesn’t look to be doing the full season in New Zealand this year with Gibbs and Luke Styke. We’ll follow this one up, but that’s what we understand right now.

Regardless of if they’re in New Zealand, you can guarantee that our domestic national contenders will be entering all kinds of races in the lead-up top Horsham’s opening MX Nationals round in April (seems so far away right now, but it will be here extremely quick).

By the way, if you’re within reach of Oakdale this Sunday head out to support the Daniel McCoy fundraiser, hosted by his local club. It’s hoped McCoy will be able to return home sooner, rather than later, to continue an immense rehabilitation process, so any funds raised this weekend will greatly assist his cause.

And it was inspiring to see Toby Price return back to Australia this week following his incredible Dakar Rally win earlier this month. The mainstream press has really embraced his success this time around, which is a huge win for off-road motorcycling on a national level.

That’s it from me for this week, time’s absolutely flying by, but I will hand this over to Adam Spence for his part in the third Moto 360 presented by Alpinestars Australia of the year so far…

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Big news this week with Luke Clout singing a two-year deal with the MAD Racing Dirt Candy Suzuki team to contest both the indoor and outdoor championships in the 250 class. The deal came about following a risky decision to forego his 2016 Serco Yamaha deal in Australia to take a fill-in spot on the team with US rider Daniel Baker bowing out due to injury.

The 2014 MX Nationals MX2 champion took a serious punt and it paid off ended up paying off after the team liked what they saw during Anaheim’s third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship where he landed a 14th place finish in the 250SX main event.

We’ve now got two Australian’s contesting the West Coast 250SX championship in Clout and Hayden Mellross, something that’s surely keeping the fans back home even more excited for each weekend of racing. Just imagine if fellow Australian 250SX contenders Jackson Richardson and Geran Stapleton were injury-free currently!

Switching gears and focusing on our upcoming Australian series, we took the time to speak with reigning MX2 MX Nationals champion Jay Wilson today to see how his transition to the premier class was coming along. Remember, Wilson went from a career high to a string of lows following his injury right before the Motocross of Nations only to return from that and break his wrist almost right away.

Image: Cameron Taylor (DMT Visuals).

Image: Cameron Taylor (DMT Visuals).

It’s been a tough few months for the now Victorian-based rider, but he’s in high spirits and thoroughly enjoying the new Team Honda Racing CRF450R (check out his Instagram account @jaywilson_6 to see just how much he’s enjoying it). In speaking with Wilson, he admitted that his transition started slowly following an extended break due to injury, but little did we know, he was already preparing for this switch over a year ago.

Having worked alongside former MX Nationals MX1 champion Josh Coppins in recent years, Wilson mentioned that he and Coppins focused on altering his riding style to make his move to the 450 category a smoother process. The 250 and 450 are two different animals and it’s great to see someone like Wilson taking the initiative to look ahead in his career and make the changes to improve his chances of a strong rookie MX1 season.

If Wilson’s 2015 form is anything to go off, I feel he could be quite a surprise to a lot of people in 2016, the guy has the right people in his corner and a very mature head on his shoulders. He’s ticked that elusive MX2 championship off his list and instantly set his sights on premier class success.

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