Respected factory Yamaha team leader shares his opinion on 2020.
Motorcycling Australia (MA) should keep pressing forward in its bid to host the Australian Motocross Championship in 2020, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team owner Craig Dack has insisted as the sport moves to establish a new era at a national level.
Dack has operated the winningest team in Australian motocross history for over 25 years and, despite coronavirus presenting immense challenges globally, he is adamant that plans should be set in place to line-up later this year if the possibility is there.
Following the early departure of Williams Event Management (WEM) as promoter of the MX Nationals in late June, MA has been working to get an internally-managed motocross series off the ground, but has faced ongoing hurdles with a second wave of COVID-19 prompting state border closures and added restrictions in various parts of the country. It’s also been working to save this year’s Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in recent months.
Defending MX1 champion and now Husqvarna-supported team owner Todd Waters yesterday suggested that the governing body should pause competition until 2021 in an effort to stabilise the series, however, that way of thinking has been met with disappointment from Dack, who himself was a multi-time Australian champion during his generation of racing.
“That’s what we are – professional racing teams,” Dack commented when queried by MotoOnline. “So, to hear Todd Waters think we should pull up for the year, that’s disappointing. I mean, the sport of motocross was left in a pretty bad position when the previous promoter, WEM, pulled out at the 11th hour, so that certainly didn’t help anything.
“I’ve been talking with MA, trying to help wherever I can, just as a passionate person that’s been in the industry for 30-odd years, to assist them in putting the pieces back together, really. Why wouldn’t we all try and make something happen if we had to? All my partners, we’re ready to go either way if we do or don’t race. We’re fine, we’ve brokered deals and all our partners are understanding of both ways.
“I just think that we owe it to the sport to give it its best go. Think of the position that Motorcycling Australia has been left in. You know, they’ve got off-road, motocross, supercross, road racing, all getting pushed back to those last three or four months of the year because of COVID obviously, so if they don’t keep trying to put a championship forward, they would be derelict in their position. That’s what they have to do and we should be supporting that.”
MotoOnline broke the news that a selection of team owners led by Penrite Honda Racing’s Yarrive Konsky had been investigating options to set up a hub of sorts for a rapid-fire outdoor series to take place within a single state, which Dack commended, but it still appears that MA’s strategy of forming a condensed multi-state series in the final quarter of the year will be the likely, more traditional step.
“Talk of the hub was all blown out of proportion,” added Dack. “There’s been four of us getting together – myself, Yarrive, Gavin Eales and Mark Luksich – and, when motocross was left high and dry at the 11th hour, we have been trying to help MA as four positive people, not four negative people.
“MA are doing a really, really good job at the moment with a really good vibe, because everybody I speak to, friends of mine like Marty Craggill, John Chiodo from Monza, all the pure motorcycle people in the sport really like [MA CEO] Peter Doyle. He’s a motorcyclist, like me, like you, and we all forget that. As long as we don’t forget who we are – motorcyclists who are good people – if we all pull together, we’re going to be strong.
“That’s what’s happening and what I’m feeling with MA. We’ve got people who are very keen to help MA because it’s being led by a good leader. It really is. How many people have been able to say that for a lot of years? It’s a fact that Peter Doyle’s doing a good job.
“The hub thing came up as an option, it was discussed, and I never thought that could ever happen because it’s a lot more complicated than it looks, but Yarrive was doing some investigation, doing his bit as another passionate person of the sport and that’s a good thing. We want more positive stuff, not the negatives. There’s a big chance [racing’s] not going to happen as well, I realise that, but let’s at least have a positive frame of mind – that approach that keeps you going.”
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy will once again field Kirk Gibbs if the Australian Motocross Championship goes ahead this year, alongside new team signing Hayden Mellross, who is contracted to complete the outdoor and Australian Supercross Championship riding the factory-backed YZ450F.