Both Tanti and Clout to split time between 450 and 250 classes this year.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team owner Craig Dack has outlined that the organisation has no concerns as Aaron Tanti and Luke Clout’s schedules span across both Penrite ProMX and the World Supercross Championship (WSX), on different capacity machinery.
Both riders were recently announced in CDR’s 2023 WSX line-up, notably to compete in the SX2 category on the global stage amidst their domestic commitments in MX1 outdoors.
Tanti is no stranger stepping across to a YZ250F for WSX, the reigning ProMX champion doing so last year and playing a starring role at Melbourne’s finals. Meanwhile, Clout’s 2022 season was plagued with injury, and while he contested the premier class of WSX on that occasion, his outings were impacted during both rounds with misfortune.
The highly-rated Australian duo complete Craig Dack Racing’s SX2 line-up in the 2023 WSX championship, while Americans Grant Harlan and Josh Hill – a mainstay at CDR in recent years – will represent the program in the 450 category.
“Basically, in a nutshell, I’ve got two guys, Aaron and Luke, in the prime of their career and riding exceptionally well,” Dack told MotoOnline. “They both can ride motocross very well and supercross very well – probably the last two guys in Australia where you could sort of say that.
“When we got one of the 10 licenses to do the World Supercross, I always wanted to use our current riders in that program for a few reasons… One, how do I not support my young riders that I have got – Aaron and Luke – and put them on the world stage? Because I think they deserve to.
“Secondly, our team being an Australian team, I want to have some Australian riders in it, not just all American riders, or other foreign riders. I wanted our own countrymen in there. What I want to say to all the riders in Australia, particularly our young Yamaha YZ65 riders, have a look at us, there is a clear path all the way through to CDR domestically and then onto the world stage.
“Yamaha Australia with Matt Ferry and Scott Bishop have seen that and acknowledge it. We all acknowledge it’s not the best scenario, trying to mix a couple of rounds of WSX in while we have a couple of motocross rounds left, however, I think Yamaha Australia with Matt Ferry and Scott Bishop has been sensible enough and brave enough, like I am, to allow our riders to put their best foot forward on the world stage.
“To us, weighing up all of the positives and the negatives, the positives way outweigh the negatives. Thank god I have a company that supports, and all of our sponsors including Fox and Monster Energy, if you see our team, we are carrying all of the same sponsors from Australia to the world championship.
“Hopefully, when people are watching World Supercross on live television when we are racing in Birmingham or Lyon in France, they are watching Australian riders doing well. Then when they come to the two remaining motocross races at QMP and Coolum, they get to see the guys they saw on the world stage. So it’s all positive as far as we are concerned.”
An added challenge for Tanti and Clout is that the final quarter of the ProMX calendar locally overlaps with the opening two WSX rounds. Essentially after round six of Australian motocross at Toowoomba on 26 June, the opening round of WSX takes place a week later in Birmingham, England, on 1 July.
From there, the second round of WSX moves to France on 22 July, with rounds seven and eight of ProMX then taking place on 13 August and 19-20 August at Queensland Moto Park (QMP) and Coolum, respectively. The remaining races of the WSX championship then span between 14 October and 25 November.
In addition, the 2023 Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) starts on 11 November at Newcastle, where both Tanti and Clout are contracted to compete in SX1 on YZ450Fs. Additionally, the final round of the WSX championship takes place alongside round two of AUSX at Marvel Stadium, where both riders will split their time between 450 and 250 competition.
“Both Luke and Aaron have a contract with CDR in Australia to do the Australian motocross and supercross championships on 450s,” Dack added. “However, they both jump onto a 250 – which they both ride extremely well and they love the bike – for two [WSX] races in England and France, between Toowoomba and QMP [rounds of ProMX], because we’ve got a month off in that time, so there is no problem to do that.
“They seem like they are adapting okay and Aaron adapted last year going between the 250 and 450. They are adapting fine going from one bike to another – we’ve already been doing that for a couple of weeks. Once we get the second round of WSX done in France, then the focus goes back on the two remaining rounds of the Australian ProMX Championship, which both riders are still in a big battle, big fight for that.
“We will then switch our focus 100 percent on that. Our energy is equally placed in both series, we are not focusing on one over the other. Our contracts in Australia are 100 percent focused, and our contracts in world series are 100 percent focused. Once we finish Coolum, then the riders switch into full-time supercross mode, and they will do Singapore, Germany, Canada and then Melbourne on the 250s, then jump on the 450s for the Australian Supercross Championship.
“For us, it feels really good, because Luke Clout has had quite a few injuries in the last few years, and this is a nice way to bring him back into supercross again, on the 250. Hopefully by the time the Australian championship comes, he is primed and ready to go on the 450. We all remember those last years before covid, we had those AUS-X Opens and all of that, Clout was pretty fast on the 450.
“It’s all a plan and it’s all going well and we’re excited on the… it’s sort of a big picture thing, CDR International, CDR domestically and sort of morphing into one entity.”
Ahead of the sixth round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship at Toowoomba, Tanti and Clout are third and fifth in the MX1 standings, respectively.