Features 1 Apr 2017

Deadline

Recalling this week in dirt bikes, presented by Alpinestars Australia.

It was an early start this morning to travel down to Victoria for the first round of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals season and, upon arrival, it was definitely worth the wait.

We’ve put more effort in than ever to produce quality local content throughout the off-season on MotoOnline.com.au, but there’s nothing quite like having the real-deal race weekends to work with.

A lot of people probably assume that the time off provides more of an opportunity for us to take it easy, but realistically, since we try to maintain the same level of content, it’s harder in a lot of ways. Once the gates on the series, the storylines really begin to unfold.

While we’re most definitely excited to see the likes of last year’s top three Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha), Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) and Todd Waters (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) do battle in MX1, the incoming candidates are just as fascinating in many ways.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

With Brett Metcalfe (SD3 Husqvarna) in for a full season, Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) returning from injury, Aleksandr Tonkov (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) arriving in time, Kyle Peters (Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki) here from the US, Luke Clout (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) back home and Nathan Crawford (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) stepping up from MX2, that’s a lot of new riders on factory-level teams.

Factor in the existing riders – some of which are on new teams – and the never-ending entertainment of MX2 and MXD, we’re in for a cracking season that we can’t wait to get stuck into. There are so many questions to be answered, which can only be a positive.

In terms of our content, we have some new methods to be introduced, some fresh features and plenty of the regulars that our audience has grown to enjoy, so that will be really exciting for us to roll out.

I have a heap of things going on here at the moment, so I’ll wrap this one up at this point – make sure you stop by on Sunday for all the action on MotoOnline.com.au. Here’s Spence…

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for the best riders in Australia to make their way behind the gates for round one of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals this weekend in Wonthaggi! It feels like yesterday that we were at the season-finale in Coolum watching Dean Ferris, Jed Beaton and Mitch Evans claim titles in their respective categories.

The season-opener is always quite interesting because there’s a lot of factors that go into the event. First round nerves, yes, even the best still get nervous, click here for proof that even Brett Metcalfe gets nervous still! New teams, new bikes, pre-season injuries, there’s a list of factors that go into the event and it’s hard to get a true read of how exactly the season will pan out.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

But there is one thing for certain – you can really hurt your championship chances at the opener. Most riders will need to calm themselves down, find their groove and log a solid result, because otherwise they could find themselves on the ground and down the points ladder very fast.

I have a feeling we’ll see a selection of riders throwing down some serious times in qualifying in an attempt to get into the heads of their contenders. You can always tell that there’s a sense of urgency in qualifying at round one, these guys are not messing around and they want that mental edge on their fellow racers if they can get their hands on it.

We’ll be at the event all weekend so be sure to stay tuned to MotoOnline.com.au for pre-race insights and obviously on race day our coverage will be comprehensive to ensure you don’t miss any of the major headlines. That’s all from me this week, I’m sure we’ll have a tonne to talk about following round one so strap in for a big week next week!

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