Features 5 Nov 2016

Moto 360

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

It’s the eve of Melbourne’s fourth round of the 2016 Australian Supercross Championship and these rounds are just flying by. Unfortunately, with the rounds of racing flying by, that also means there’s less time for injured riders to return after a fall. These back-to-back events make it almost impossible for anyone to recover in time if they’ve suffered a substantial injury.

In saying that, as the series rolls on, we’re now seeing riders re-enter the series following injuries sustained at previous rounds. It’s nice to see American Chris Alldredge making his return to the series after crashing out on debut in Toowoomba. The Crankt Protein Honda Racing SX1 contender will again be a welcomed addition to the premier class this weekend.

Unfortunately, although we have the return of Alldredge, we also see the exit of both Todd Waters and Geran Stapleton this weekend due to injuries sustained in Adelaide. Both riders actually went down in the same section – those treacherous whoops that seemed to give everyone trouble during the event. Although both riders went down in the same section, they were entirely different styles of incidents.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Waters, for the second round in a row, went down hard in the whoops forcing him out of the main event. In speaking with the likeable Queenslander this week, he himself admitted he is unsure what the issue is as he considers himself strong in the whoops. Now carrying both thumb and wrist injuries from the crashes, he will sit out this weekend’s event in hopes of returning for the AUS-X Open on 12-13 November.

For Stapleton, coming off the back of a season-best finish of third place in Toowoomba, his early Adelaide exit was a tough one to swallow. Coming through the pack during the SX2 main event, Stapleton connected with Honda Genuine Racing’s Luke Clout and went down hard. The result? A fractured scapula and more than likely his 2016 season done and dusted.

The Victorian is remaining positive though, which is great to see. He’s going to do all he can to push for an AUS-X Open appearance, or even a start at the Tasmanian Rhythm X event one week later. It’s a long shot, but he assured me he’ll be doing everything in his power to give himself the best chance of racing again in 2016.

Looking ahead for Stapleton, a possible overseas venture may also be on the cards for 2017. With nothing confirmed at this point in time, I can’t say too much, but if all goes to plan, the impressive privateer will not be lining up at round one of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals. It’s always exciting to see Australian’s abroad, so let’s hope Geran can make this happen for the new year!

That’s all from me this week, here’s Jeremy Hammer…

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

It’s crazy to think we’re already at round four of the Australian Supercross Championship, and only a week away from seeing our 2016 champions crowned! Justin Brayton (Honda Genuine Racing) is certainly a favourite to take out the SX1 title as he holds a commanding 18-point advantage in the category.

I said it last week, it’s really going to be interesting to see if anyone can stop his dominating form. Obviously, he’s going to have some much stiffer competition at Sydney’s AUS-X Open with the addition of Chad Reed (Yamaha Factory Racing), Cooper Webb (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – that’s not to say that any of our Australia favourites can’t overcome him in the next three rounds.

As for the SX2 category, we’ve seen three different winners in as many rounds, however Hayden Mellross’ consistency – he hasn’t finished outside of the two – has put him atop of the standings with a 10-point lead. The New South Welshman rode flawlessly at Adelaide’s third round, and that’s a concern for his rivals.

Last weekend we saw Luke Clout (Honda Genuine Racing) enter the series and next weekend there will be another addition with American prodigy Justin Hoeft standing in for Caleb Ward on the KTM Motocross Racing Team. He was initially pencilled in for Melbourne, but there was an error in the announcement and he will in fact be debuting in Sydney.

Hoeft made his professional debut at Glen Helen’s USGP a couple of months back, recording an impressive sixth place result. There’s no doubt that he his fast and talented and next weekend will mark his first professional supercross race.

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