News 10 Nov 2016

Dale to make surprise comeback at Sydney's AUS-X Open

Former motocross champion standing in for Clout at Honda Genuine Racing.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

2012 Australian MX2 champion Ford Dale will make a surprise comeback at this weekend’s AUS-X Open in Sydney as he comes out of retirement to stand-in for Luke Clout at Honda Genuine Racing.

Dale initially retired from professional racing halfway through 2015 and has since raced a selection of local events in Queensland while recently taking on a role with assisting the Honda Genuine Racing and Penrite Honda outfits.

Team owner Yarrive Konsky revealed to that following the news of Clout’s absence this weekend, the team was in need of a replacement rider and after going through their options, Dale was a suitable candidate to fulfil the position aboard the Honda CRF250R.

“Unfortunately Luke Clout got hurt last weekend at Avalon, and coincidently Ford [Dale] was in Melbourne working with the team and the riders,” Konsky commented. “We spoke with Luke following his appointment with the hand specialist, and there was disappointing news that he wasn’t going to be able to compete in Sydney.”

“I sat down with the team and asked what we options we had – we’ve commercially agreed to have the motorcycle out there, and I’ve spent considerable money in building it. We spoke about several riders, and the question was raised, why not Ford?”

Konsky explained that Dale commenced testing immediately after the question was put forward, and after seeking advice from his core group and taking time to consider the opportunity, he accepted the position.

“Ford took a while to consider it – he was excited by it – he took some time to think about it, and he spoke with Justin and his partner Telena. He said he would love the opportunity to do it – he misses racing, and he’s been on a motorcycle this year racing some local races in Queensland.”

“He went out testing Monday afternoon as soon as we got the news [on Clout], and then he rode again on Tuesday. I said to him that I’m not going confirm whether you are or aren’t riding until you’ve ridden and can look me in the eye and tell me you’re comfortable. And yeah, we sat down and made the decision that Ford can race. All of our sponsors have been really supportive, Ford will race both nights and it will be great to have him back.”

Dale’s last professional race was with Konsky’s Penrite Honda squad at Raymond Terrace’s sixth round of the 2015 MX Nationals series in New South Wales, where he recorded a 10th place overall finish in the premier MX1 category.