Features 17 Apr 2019


The current week in dirt bikes, presented by Thor MX Australia.

Words: Alex Gobert/Jeremy Hammer

It was a thrilling weekend of Pirelli MX Nationals action at Broadford last weekend, but there was one aspect in particular that stuck with me on departure Sunday afternoon. This is Motoview on MotoOnline.com.au, presented by Thor MX Australia.

What I’m referring to above is the spectacular performance of Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) contender and current E2 champion Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders, scoring an MX1 moto podium in what was his first-ever MX Nationals appearance. Aside from his incident in moto two, he very well could’ve been in the top three overall.

It’s well-recognised that Australia has produced the best enduro riders on the planet in recent years and Sanders is no doubt at the highest of levels. But to see him consistently challenge at the pointy-end of Australian motocross’ premier category was mindblowing. It really was.

In the end, Chucky delivered 3-DNF-6 scorecards for 10th overall and it makes you wonder how he’d go with more experience. Then again, as one of the AORC’s elite and as a Hattah Desert Race favourite, he’s probably earning a pretty comfortable living racing dirt bikes in his own discipline. Let’s hope we see him do more anyway!

Image: Foremost Media.

Also in the mix for the second time this year was another AORC contender in Daniel Milner, scoring ninth overall via a consistent effort aboard his 350 EXC-F. The Victorian actually revealed last week that he was considering doing a complete MX Nationals campaign in 2019, but a clash or two ended those plans, so he too deserves props for what he achieved on Sunday.

Overall it was a mega weekend of action, the track was prepared extremely well – especially for Broadford – and it coped nicely with the heat we experienced over the weekend. Next up will be Murray Bridge’s double-header rounds, which will be one of the more instrumental weekends of the championship in 2019.

Before I do hand this over, we’ve received positive news that Jy Roberts has woken from his coma and continues to recover in hospital. We don’t have much more information to report at this point and he still faces a lengthy road to recovery, however, the progress appears to be promising for the moment. Here’s Jeremy…

Yet another epic weekend of racing in the Pirelli MX Nationals! Three rounds in, and well, the series has served up an intriguing start to year, particularly in the premier class.

Image: Foremost Media.

This time last year after the third stop – which marked round four with Wonthaggi’s double-header – eventual champion Dean Ferris held an astonishing 58-point lead. To show just how competitive the 2019 field is, 58 points is currently the gap between leader Hayden Mellross (Raceline KTM Thor) and 10th’s Charlie Creech (Husqvarna), as just nine markers seperate the first four.

It’s pretty incredible stuff when you put it into perspective like that. As Alex said, Murray Bridge’s double-header will play an instrumental role in the how the championship pans out. There are number of factors why, but mainly, there is so much to gain, yet so much to lose in such a weekend of racing.

Have a bad day on Saturday, or worse, injure yourself, and there goes a bunch of points that will be extremely difficult to earn back in the current state of the field. On the other hand, you could capitalise on another’s misfortune, setting you up for the title in the final half.

Of course, there’s always the fact of entering the mid-season break with momentum and confidence on your side, otherwise it will be a long seven weeks reflecting on that last race. We can never rule out all of the top contenders having great weekends, which would be the ideal scenario, setting us up for one helluva second half of the season. Four riders going for the crown, when was the last time we saw that?

That’s it for this week, we’ll catch you next Wednesday with another Motoview presented by Thor MX Australia feature! In the meantime stay tuned to MotoOnline.com.au for the latest daily content and be sure to follow us on social media via @motoonline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.