News 16 Jan 2017

CRF Honda Racing takes on Penrite naming rights for 2017

Increased support across the board for Sydney-based outfit.

Image: Foremost Media.

CRF Honda Racing and Penrite Oil have joined forces for 2017 to create the Penrite CRF Honda Racing team as they gear up for another season touring the Australian motocross and supercross circuit.

This new partnership between Penrite and CRF Honda Racing will provide the expanding team an exciting boost according to owner Mark Luksich.

“We will become a Penrite team for 2017,” Luksich told “It’s is something we’re very excited about and we’ve received some really good support from them.

“For 2017 the team will be titled Penrite CRF Honda Racing and that’s definitely one of the biggest changes for us, it has really given our team a boost and we’re very happy to welcome Penrite on board.”

Following on from 2016, the team will maintain their previous rider roster with Kyle Webster in the MX2 category and a confirmed move to the MX1 ranks for Joel Wightman.

“We’ll be keeping the same two riders as they did a pretty good job last year,” said Luksich. “We would have liked to have had Joel step up to a 450 team, on red of course, but that wasn’t able to happen with the way the Honda 450 program was restructured for 2017.

“Ideally we wanted to keep the team an MX2-only team, but we wanted to try and reward Joel with a 450 ride, which Honda agreed to and likewise with our additional sponsors.”

With Wightman contesting the MX1 category for the entire 2017 motocross and supercross season, Luksich confirmed he will bring in a guest American rider to once again field a two riders in the SX2 category during the Australian Supercross Championship.

“We will keep Kyle focused on the MX2 class, which is more of our role for Honda,” he explained. “In addition, we will also put a guest American rider on for supercross to join Kyle, so we’ll have three riders all up during the supercross season.

“Depending what Joel can do this year, we’ll see where he may be able to move on to as we’ll probably revert back to a 250-only team for 2018. With everything going right, we hope that will be a stronger situation and we may even place a ‘D’ rider in our team to fill the missing link we have between ourselves and some of the development teams.”

Making the jump to the premier class for the first time in the team’s short history, Luksich believes the transition should be quite smooth with the all-new 2017 CRF450R and support from the factory Honda crew during the year.

“It’ll be a little bit harder, but to be quite honest, we have more of a battle on the 250 because you’re always looking for more horsepower, particularly with a rider the size of Joel,” he said. “So that right there eliminates one issue right away.”

“Suspension wise, I don’t think it’ll make much difference and everyone is so excited about the new Honda 450, so I don’t think we’ll have to do a lot of work to that. We will also get feedback and support from Paul Free on what he’s doing with the Crankt Protein Honda Racing team.”

With an MX2 front-runner and an MX1 rookie under the awning for 2017, Luksich believes they again have a solid combination of riders and looks forward to building the revamped program throughout the year.

“I never like to overstate our riders, but I genuinely believe Kyle is capable of a top three,” he added. “He learnt a lot in 2016 when it comes to race craft, he already had plenty of speed, so he’s a genuine top three for us in 2017.

“When it comes to Joel, he’s just so stable, I know it’s Kirk Gibbs, Dean Ferris, Todd Waters and more out there, but he’ll always be there after those guys with a good start and staying on the bike, I think it will be a really good experience for him.

“We had a good year last year, I’m proud of what they did and this year will definitely be exciting. I don’t want to build it up too much, I believe in taking it step-by-step, so that’s what we’re doing.”

Yet to be released to the general public, the all-new Penrite CRF Honda Racing team livery is expected to be revealed shortly.