A selection of top contenders on the switch to supercross.
With just three weeks between Coolum’s final round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals and Jimboomba’s opening round of this year’s Australian Supercross Championship, the time allocated to transition between the two disciplines is minimal. For this edition of The Point, we checked in with a selection of riders to hear their thoughts on the from the gruelling outdoors to the stadium lights of supercross.
Dan Reardon (CDR Yamaha):
The biggest thing that separates motocross and supercross is the technical aspect of it. Other than actually riding a supercross track, it’s one of those things that you can’t train for, motocross and supercross are two completely different disciplines. Supercross is something you need to spend a lot of time with to be comfortable. It also depends how they build the tracks, the more technical the track, the harder someone will find it if they haven’t been riding supercross for quite some time. The first thing is judgement of speed and distance, that’s the first thing and then your timing. In terms of fitness, yes your heart rate will be higher for a shorter period of time, but generally that part of the transition is pretty easy.
Kale Makeham (Proformance Yamaha):
Having the short break can be tough, it’s different for everybody, but the guys battling for the championship are obviously going to focus on motocross compared to someone like me who’s missed a few rounds. You have to weigh up your options and decide what means more, if you want to finish motocross out strong or get prepared early for supercross. For me, my biggest concern right now is supercross because I’m out of the title chase, so I’ve actually switched over to a little bit of supercross during the last fortnight. I started on a motocross setup on an arenacross style track and I’m not about to have my first ride on the supercross bike at a supercross track. If I was in a battle for the championship, or selected for Motocross of Nations like some of the guys, then you’d definitely be focusing on motocross more for sure.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team):
It’s going to be a tough transition, it’s only three short weeks, it’ll be tough on everyone but it is what it is. In America they have it the other way around with the short transition into motocross, which is a little easier I think. Going from supercross to motocross you don’t need to be on your game so much, you can make mistakes here and there in motocross and get away with it. I think it’s nearly the wrong way around here, I think you need more time to prepare for supercross as you need to be so precise, but as I said, it is what it is. It’s going to be tough, especially with Motocross of Nations being the week after round one, I just hope I’ll be solid enough to put 20 laps in at the first round. I want to get through that one clean, head off to Motocross of Nations and then come back to get ready for round two.
Mitch Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing):
We’re obviously waiting until the end of motocross before we do any supercross testing, but we have a pretty good setting from last year that we ran, so I don’t think we’ll have to do too much testing. I wasn’t quite happy with the shock last year, so I might just have to change that a bit. I’ve always been pretty good at jumping, it’s things like the cornering speed that I try to work on, but we’ve been focusing on motocross at the moment. Thankfully I get two weeks of school holidays within that three-week gap between motocross and supercross, so in that time I can do a lot of training. I usually don’t do a lot of bike riding, so that should be very beneficial I think. I think the biggest thing is the training and how you prepare for supercross. It’s not long motos, it’s short and high intensity races, so I think how you train for it is the biggest factor.
Wade Hunter (Serco Yamaha):
Obviously I’ve had a rough motocross season, so I can ride supercross a little bit earlier than everyone else because I’m not in the title hunt. Last year I left it pretty late, I couldn’t get suspension for a while and it definitely takes a few weeks to get used to supercross. Last year I got on the bike with supercross suspension and I really struggled the first few days pumping up and not being able to turn the bike because the front end was so stiff. It’s mainly suspension for me because I adapt to supercross pretty well once I get a good feel for the bike, the jumps and that kind of thing isn’t too bad for me.