News 7 Feb 2017

Australians set for Indonesian MXGP wildcard appearances

Webster, Tanti and Crawford apply for world championship debut.

Image: MXN.

A swarm of Australians are set to converge on the Pangkal Pinang Circuit for the MXGP of Indonesia next month, as a selection of MX2 wildcards have applied for the second round of the 2017 world championship.

Aaron Tanti of the Proformance Yamaha squad, and first confirmed to contest the event, used connections within Indonesia to put a one-off Husqvarna-based deal together for his first grand prix appearance.

“The wildcard entry came about for me because I was racing the Indonesian nationals over there, so that’s how that deal all happened,” Tanti told “We spoke about it and they asked if I wanted to race the MXGP and I obviously said yes.

“We were trying to get a Yamaha over there, but we couldn’t purchase a Yamaha over there, so we’ve ended up purchasing a Husky, which will have a few bits and pieces on it and I’ll also take my suspension over.”

Lining up against a selection of the world’s best motocross racers, Tanti expects the experience to be challenging and plans to give himself as much time as possible aboard the FC 250 prior to the event.

“I’m going over there a few days before the event to ride the bike, so we should be alright,” he said. “I really have no massive expectations, it’s the MXGP, so it’s the best riders in the world. I’ve always wanted to do it, but qualifying will be the first step to even doing anything.”

Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster will also contest the MX2 category, but with the luxury of having his own race bike on site at the event.

“Bayden Blanchette initially asked if I wanted to do the event through the Indonesian guys, but they could only get me Kawasaki or Husqvarna bikes,” Webster told “Obviously I can’t ride a different brand of bike, so I kind of ran it by my mechanic as a bit of a joke as we were looking into doing a lot of pre-season races, and I didn’t really think they were going to do anything about it.

“My mechanic, my team manager, Mark Luksich, and a personal sponsor of mine, Andrew Blanchette, kind of got it all together and made it happen. They’re going to send a bike over for me and it’s going to be a great experience to go over and do a bit of racing.”

It is also understood that Kawasaki Racing Team’s Nathan Crawford, although moving to the MX1 class domestically for 2017, will contest the MX2 category in Indonesia on his own personal program. With confirmation imminent, he was unable to comment when contacted this afternoon.

Wildcard entrants Tanti, Webster and Crawford will join the existing Australian MX2 contingent of Hunter Lawrence, Caleb Ward and Jay Wilson for the 5 March event.