News 27 Jan 2017

Yamalube Yamaha Racing boss supportive of MX2 wildcard option

Top MXD talent could transition to pro category for final rounds.

Image: MXN.

The opportunity for MXD racers to wildcard in the final two MX2 rounds of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals is a positive initiative, according to Yamalube Yamaha Racing team manager, Scott Bishop.

A reduced eight-round schedule introduced for the MXD series this season will see the Under 19s field absent from Toowoomba and Coolum, however top-level riders will have the chance to step into MX2.

“I think it’s a good initiative,” Bishop told “It gives riders a chance to be able to see what the next level of racing is without having to commit to it first.

“I think it’s good to allow riders to take that next step in an environment where they can experience the racing without jumping in and doing 10 rounds of it. You can see what it is, get the experience and find out whether you’re ready for it or if you’re not ready for it.”

Although the one-off MX2 option has been available in previous years during the middle of the series, this updated structure now offers championship contenders the chance to contest the events without any chance of interrupting title runs.

“It has been around in previous years, but this year with the series finishing early, it just frees you up to be able to do it,” Bishop explained. “When it’s mid-series and you’re in a championship hunt, it’s a big call to pull a guy out of a championship to go and do another race – you might jeopardise what you’re employed to do.”

Bishop is hopeful the eight-round schedule will encourage riders to make the jump to MX2 for the Toowoomba and Coolum rounds following the MXD season finale in Port Macquarie in New South Wales on 30 July.

“By doing it at the end of the series, you’re free of commitment and able to go and do that race with a bit of freedom,” he added. “Hopefully this encourages guys to do it and they get a good field of MXD riders in the class up in Toowoomba and Coolum.”

In regards to Yamalube Yamaha Racing riders, Cooper Pozniak and Cody Dyce, Bishop has multiple options in place ahead of the season, admitting the eight-round schedule may also offer the chance for increased supercross preparations.

“We’ll leave it up to our guys and see how the championship pans out,” Bishop said. “Obviously with supercross so soon after motocross, that also then gives both of our guys, who are both quite inexperienced in supercross, an opportunity to start getting ready for that. For us, we won’t make a solid decision until we’re closer to it and have a feel for where they’re at.”

The 2017 MXD championship – won last year by Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Mitch Evans – is set to kick off at round one of the Motul MX Nationals series at Wonthaggi, Victoria, on 2 April.