News 14 Dec 2022

CDR Yamaha 'still working on' ongoing WSX commitment

ProMX, WSX and AUSX scheduling makes for added challenges.

Image: Foremost Media.

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy is still working to firm its ongoing 2023 World Supercross Championship (WSX) commitment amid multiple scheduling conflicts that will complicate the team’s program in the back-half of this year.

Despite there being no direct date clashes, the provisional six-round WSX series unveiled last week will overlap with both the Australian ProMX Championship and Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) calendars.

ProMX will once again span over a relatively similar timeframe in the new year, with the eight-round series commencing on 5 March at Wonthaggi and concluding between 19-20 August at Coolum.

The expanded WSX championship calendar is due to commence on 1 July at Villa Park, Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, and closes once more at Marvel Stadium with the Australian Grand Prix from 24-25 November – notably one month later than it did this year.

Next year’s AUSX series is yet to be finalised, however, a draft outline being circulated privately has the series commencing in early October and concluding on the WSX weekend in Melbourne, which means it too will largely be taking place at the same time as WSX and will result in severe logistical challenges if Australian teams are to continue to utilise their existing rider line-ups and crew members across both series.

“First of all, we only just got the calendar for World Supercross,” Dack commented when contacted by MotoOnline. “So we are still in the process to see if it all makes sense. We really want to do it, as the pilot series this year was unbelievable, which kept me motivated to make this happen.

“Raising the money and getting everything together is something that we are still working on. We’ve always wanted to have an Australian flavour to our world series supercross team and hopefully use a couple of our Australian riders.”

In the two-event pilot WSX championship this year, CDR fielded Australian regulars Luke Clout (WSX) and Aaron Tanti (SX2), alongside Americans Josh Hill (WSX) and Kyle Chisholm (SX2). While Tanti and Clout have re-signed for 2023, both Hill and Chisholm have contracts riding opposing brands within the US. Regardless, a major clash between the German WSX round and the SuperMotocross World Championship (WSX) finals in Los Angeles come October could further reduce the amount of capable American-based riders available.

As WSX this year commenced more than a month after the conclusion of ProMX – and fittingly in the build-up to the AUSX championship rather than being run simultaneously – it made the entry of both Tanti and Clout a viable option. That won’t be the same this year, since those riders would effectively have to split their outdoor and supercross preparations at the business-end of ProMX if they are to contest the opening two WSX rounds in July.

With Tanti the defending national MX1 champion after lifting a first-career premier class crown this year and former title-winner Clout expected to return to form following an injury-plagued 2022, it is unlikely that CDR would be willing to compromise its outdoor efforts by sending its riders into supercross-mode with two motocross rounds still to run. Still, Dack is hopeful of things eventually lining up to maintain a WSX presence.

“Motorcycling Australia and Matt Falvo, in particular, I spoke to them about trying to do the best they can and not having any calendar dates clash with World Supercross,” Dack continued. “You’ve got probably the two highest-profile motorcycle racing teams – the Honda team and our team – on a world stage with world-class riders in WSX. I think that is a really good thing for our sport here in Australia, particularly if we have got Australian riders in it.

“Having us do that world series supercross is a good thing for younger generations to aspire to and see that they might be able to get onto one of those teams in Australia, it’s a stepping stone to an international career. To MA’s credit, they did a lot of work and it is very difficult for them to satisfy everybody, but they were able to develop a motocross calendar that doesn’t clash with WSX.

“However, in saying that, there are a couple of rounds of World Supercross and Australian motocross that intermingle, meaning there is a ProMX race in Australia one week and WSX the next weekend somewhere else. That is not ideal and that could be a problem… Say Aaron Tanti or Luke Clout is leading the Australian motocross series at the time we want to go across and do global supercross, that could cause quite a lot of consideration from everybody involved, because do we jeopardise a motocross championship going into a World Supercross Championship?

“There are a lot of moving parts in all of this and we still have yet to see the Australian Supercross Championship calendar that is pending as well. At the end of the day, I can always just get American or off-shore riders, which scraps that problem, however, that’s not what I want to do – I want to have an Australian flavour in the team. Not only would that be good for World Supercross, but it sends a good message to Australian up-and-coming riders.

“All that said, I really believe in the series and the people involved, so I am determined to keep CDR involved in world series supercross in the years ahead.”