Features 24 Sep 2016

Moto 360

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

It’s been a massive week at Foremost Media, not just with MotoOnline.com.au and our accompanying websites, but also with our production division. Supercross has given the sport a second-wind locally in September and it’s nice to see – especially in the build-up to AUS-X Open.

Jimboomba was a top start to the championship by all reports, so with Toowoomba right around the corner, South Australia and Victoria still to come before Sydney, it’s shaping up to be a really active couple of months.

I was truly impressed by some performances at the opener, not just the likes of Justin Brayton and Gavin Faith winning as widely tipped, but also to see Dean Ferris and Todd Waters show just how capable they are in the tight confines of a stadium, despite focusing on the outdoors in MXGP most recently.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

The general gist, through the success of the MX Nationals and with some of our young talent focusing on grand prix careers in the future rather than supercross, is that Australia is more of an outdoor country at the moment. But don’t be mistaken, we have a heap of really good supercross guys still.

What can we expect in rounds to come? I’m still thinking defending champion Dan Reardon (CDR Yamaha) will be the most competitive against the Americans over the course of a season. If he wasn’t 100 percent at Jimboomba, as it was indicated, then he will pose a real threat to Brayton’s title bid, but for now Brayton leads the way and has to be a favourite.

When you also factor in that Ferris and Waters were somewhat in Motocross of Nations mode still (they traveled direct to Italy following Jimboomba along with Mitch Evans), once they focus on supercross training they could improve even more again.

There were many expceptional performances, some disappointments as well, but for the most part everyone made it through round one and will reset for the second. There’s been a stack of content on MotoOnline.com.au in the week since, so take the time to have a browse around and you’ll be overloaded with in-depth info.

Before I go, best of luck to Team Australia at Maggiora this weekend, it really is a lottery of sorts when it comes to getting a strong overall result in MXoN, so hopefully all goes well and we can see some consistent performances with an all-domestic roster. I’m positive they’ll do awesome! Here’s Jeremy with more for this week…

The Motocross of Nations weekend is finally here and I’m pretty excited to see how our Aussie team stacks up against the world. It was an absolute bummer to hear that Jed Beaton had injured himself last week, effectively ruling himself out of the event. It definitely left Motorcycling Australia in a difficult position, however after speaking with Yamalube Yamaha Racing team manger Scott Bishop this week, I had a greater understanding of why they chose Mitch Evans as his replacement.

There is no doubt that Mitch is a capable rider – he is the reigning Australian MXD champion – but obviously many people are wondering about the riders in the higher MX2 category that could have potentially been next in line.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

With a bunch of injuries amongst our top crop of riders and many of our healthy athletes focusing on supercross, it’s narrowed down the picking order. Throw in that the news came through not even a week out of the event, meaning that if a selected rider was on an alternative manufacturer, it would turn into a logistical nightmare.

As it’s mentioned in the article I put together yesterday, Evans is the only plausible option. It’s a massive opportunity for him and could open the doors to an international career in the future. Good luck to the Australian squad and I hope they can show the world what we’re capable of.

Switching topics and looking back at last weekend’s opening round of Australian supercross, all I can say is what an epic event! Scott Bannan and his crew put on an awesome night show with a great atmosphere, they obviously did their homework to draw in a capacity crowd, which is a win for themselves and the industry.

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