News 27 Jan 2017

Australian rider market settles ahead of 2017 nationals

Factory and satellite teams firm in lead-up to new season.

Image: MXN.

The domestic silly season is almost complete in the lead-in to the 2017 Motul MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, with a large portion of team management confirming who will be on-board this season.

Defending MX1 champion Dean Ferris will headline CDR Yamaha alongside team newcomer Dylan Long, who has transferred across from Crankt Protein Honda Racing for this season in place of Dan Reardon.

With both Long and Jay Wilson – who will switch to the MX2 World Championship – not re-signed by Crankt Protein Honda Racing at the end of last year, as the team instead opted for headline signing Todd Waters and highly-rated premier class rookie Luke Clout.

Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki landed American import Kyle Peters to lead its factory-supported squad into the new season, joining team mainstay Luke Wilson aboard the RM-Z450s. This will be their second term as an official manufacturer-backed operation.

SD3 Husqvarna has gained factory status for its 2017 campaign after signing Aussie international Brett Metcalfe for the complete series, alongside the returning Luke Arbon, who has opted to remain in MX2 for another year, and Kaleb Barham (MXD). The team will be based in-house at KTM/Husqvarna’s new Sydney headquarters.

A revamped KTM Motocross Racing Team is yet to officially confirm the continuation of 2015 champion Kirk Gibbs and Luke Styke as he returns from injury, however that announcement is imminent as both will remain on the 450 SX-Fs. It’s expected Raceline Pirelli KTM will name Jayden Rykers (MX2) and Wade Kirkland (MXD).

Kawasaki’s only announcement so far has come in the form of teenager Nathan Crawford, who will make his first appearance in MX1 this year, and the Troy Carroll-managed team has also been linked to MXGP standout Aleksandr Tonkov – who could be announced within the next month if a deal is cemented. The team has no plans to enter MX2 again.

Serco Yamaha has made supercross champion Jackson Richardson official alongside MXD champion Mitch Evans, while Wilson Todd has defected to last year’s outdoor title-winning team DPH Motorsport Yamaha alongside fresh 450 recruit Kade Mosig. Meanwhile, Yamalube Yamaha Racing has Cooper Pozniak and Cody Dyce for MXD duties.

Of the satellite teams confirmed, CRF Honda Racing has Kyle Webster (MX2) and Joel Wightman (MX1), at Proformance Yamaha is Aaron Tanti and Connor Tierney in MX2, Davey Motorsports KTM will include Daniel Banks (MX1), Hamish Harwood (MX1/MX2), Egan Mastin (MX2), plus Liam Walsh and Chandler Burns in MXD, and Synep Husqvarna has Keiron Hall (MX1), Dylan Wills (MX2) and Kane Fischer (MXD).