Features 16 Feb 2017

Top 10: Go-to Australian races in 2017

Events you should pencil into your schedule for the new season.

With world-class motocross, supercross and off-road events taking place throughout the 2017 Australian racing calendar, there’s a vast range of events to choose from as a fan of the sport. Luckily for you, here at MotoOnline.com.au we’ve put together a shortlist of sorts to help you decide which events you should attend throughout the season. We’ve got a stacked schedule ahead of us, and things are just starting to roll along for the new year, so check out this latest Top 10 list and start marking the dates in your calendar!

Image: AUS-X Open.

1. AUS-X Open:
Now with two strong showings under its belt, the AUS-X Open Sydney spectacular has become the largest and highly-anticipated event on the Australian racing calendar. With appearances by the likes of Chad Reed, Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto and Cooper Webb in the past two years, it’s one event that always draws a huge crowd with its stacked line-up of riders. Not only is the racing action world-class, but the freestyle aspect of the event is also impressive with an international field of riders throwing down some of the biggest tricks in the sport today.

2. MX Nationals (Wonthaggi):
It’s the event that much of the off-season bench racing is based around, the season opening round of the Motul MX Nationals series. For 2017 the opener moves to Wonthaggi in Victoria as the circuit makes its return to the calendar for the first time since 2014. On 2 April, riders in the MX1, MX2 and MXD categories will finally make their way behind the gates to do battle following months of preparation and testing. The season opener is also an exciting opportunity to see riders in the flesh aboard their new rides or in their fresh livery for the upcoming season.

3. Australian Supercross Championship (Coolum):
With the recent announcement that Coolum will not host the final round of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals, the season finale of this year’s Australian Supercross Championship will serve as the only event held at the popular Sunshine Coast venue as we speak. Set to take place on 18 November, the Queensland event will feature an incredible vibe and the excitement of the final round of the season with championships on the line in each category is sure to have you on the edge of your seat.

4. Finke Desert Race:
The Tatts Finke Desert Race, a multi-terrain two-day event held in Northern Territory desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community, is held each year on the queen’s birthday long weekend in June. The Finke Desert Race is the largest and most renowned desert race in Australia and attracts a high-calibre of contenders such as our very own 2016 Dakar Rally champion and five-time Finke winner, Toby Price. If you’re a fan of high speeds, a great atmosphere and watching highly-talented riders tackle gruelling terrain, the Finke Desert Race is a must-see.

5. MX Nationals (Conondale):
If you think of a dream motocross scenario, Conondale tends to fit the bill for almost every rider in the sport. The Queensland circuit features rolling green hills and a range of awesome natural terrain throughout, including easily the largest jump on the entire Motul MX Nationals circuit. Grab your family, your mates, or even your girlfriend and head out to Conondale this year and make a day of it – how can you go wrong with great scenery and Australia’s best motocross racers all in the same location? Plus, it’s now the lone national based up on the Sunshine Coast region.

Source: Supplied.

6. A4DE:
Heading into its 39th consecutive year running, the Australian Four-Day Enduro will again draw in the best off-road contenders from around the nation to shoot for victory over four days of gruelling competition. Set to run from 25-30 September in Toowoomba, Queensland, the event will again offer a range of tough terrain for riders to tackle in a bid to stand atop the podium at the closing of the fourth and final day.

7. Clipsal 500 Super Enduro-X:
Taking place alongside the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars event in Adelaide on 2-5 March, the New Holland Super Enduro-X, powered by Monster Energy, is featured every day of the event with the major competition scheduled to take place on Friday, 3 March for 2017. New for this year, the event is set to feature a hybrid circuit, half Enduro-X and half supercross, adding an increased challenge for the long list of strong contenders. The 2017 event will see the return of America’s Mike Brown, last year’s winner, Mitch Harper and last-minute addition to the rider roster, Ben Townley, to name a few.

8. Australian Supercross Championship (Jimboomba):
Taking place on 23 September, Jimboomba’s opening round of the 2017 Australian Supercross Championship is definitely an event to mark on your calendar. Following the closure of the Motul MX Nationals, riders and fans will reset for a completely new series and a chance for new champions to be crowned. Under lights in the warm Queensland weather, the Jimboomba event is always a fan favourite and the design of the circuit offers great viewing for all.

9. Australian Off-Road Championship (Dungog):
The Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) is the premier off-road series domestically and features a list of Australia’s greatest contenders across multiple categories. The 2017 series is set to kick off on 8-9 April at Dungog in New South Wales for rounds one and two of the 12 scheduled rounds on the calendar. Featuring double-header events for each weekend of racing, fans will be treated to two rounds of racing in Monkerai, a double dose of off-road action!

10. Hattah Desert Race:
Scheduled to be held from 7-9 July, the Hattah Desert Race is another huge race on the Australian desert racing schedule, and much like the Finke, it draws a massive amount of riders from around the nation. The Victorian event features a broad range of tough terrain to challenge riders and teams, it’s another gruelling off-road event that continues to test the limits of both man and machine every year.