In what ranks as the most hotly contested pack of contenders in years, more than a dozen SX1 class riders will line up as potential winners when the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship roars into life in Bathurst, NSW, in just over a week’s time.
The new look Supercross championship kick off on Saturday, October 10, is set to be huge, taking place on the same weekend as the annual V8 Supercars motorsport feast at Mount Panorama, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
With a capacity crowd predicted at the Bathurst Showground Supercross event – which takes place in the evening, allowing V8 fans a full day of four-wheel action on the Mountain before venturing down into town for the Supercross spectacle – a packed line-up of star riders from Australia and around the globe means the high-flying two-wheeled action will be world-class and non-stop all night long.
In the premier SX1 category, Team Motul Suzuki rider Matt Moss rolls to the startline as defending two-time national Supercross champ and has his sights set on an historic three-peat of championship wins. And with the recent news the official Suzuki team – which also includes young gun Kale Makeham – will be wound down at the end of this year, the squad will be wanting to go out on a high.
But keeping hold of that number one plate is no given for the determined Moss – who has fought back to full fitness after a mid-season crash in the MX Nationals – as the list of championship challengers this year is extensive.
NPS Kawasaki Monster Energy Racing Team riders Adam Monea and Dylan Long are ready for the title fight. Monea ran second to Moss in last year’s Supercross title and recently finished third in the MX Nationals, so his form is strong.
“I one-upped my motocross racing this year so hopefully that’s a sign that I’ll do one better and take out the Supercross this year as well. Myself and the team are always chasing bigger and better results. The new KX450F is unreal and the team has the bike set perfectly after testing so I think we’re in for a winner this year,” said the 26 year old Victorian.
Meanwhile Long, who joined the Kawasaki team mid-season to replace injured lead rider Jake Moss, stepped right up to the plate and scored a moto win in the MX Nationals, to prove he’s one young rider who does not let reputations stand in his way.
“Riding the new KX450F for the first time was as if I had ridden it before. It was so easy to get used to and the changes made to the ergonomics mean that you can work it a lot easier around the track. The power is awesome, it’s so light and you pretty much feel like you’re on a KX250F but you’ve got the power of a KX450F and a quick one at that,” Dylan commented.
“We’ve already spent plenty of solid hours testing and it’s payed off because now the bike feels unbelievable and it’s the best fit I’ve had for a long time so I will be out there to put it right up the front”, said Dylan who will make his maiden appearance on a 450cc motocrosser in the upcoming Supercross season.
Kawasaki Team Manager, Troy Carroll, says that in the wake of a lighter and faster 2016 KX450F and on the back of the performance from both riders in the 2015 MX Nationals, the team is expecting impressive results in this year’s Supercross season.
“Both riders are fit and healthy and we been testing with the new KX450F. We are nothing short of excited to see strong progression from each rider after a brilliant performance in the MX Nationals. It’s unfortunate that Jake Moss is still recovering from a leg injury but we are glad to have Dylan continue on and ride in his place”, said Troy.
“Adam is one of the favourites to take out the Supercross this year and if he stays injury free then we have everything in place for him to achieve that. Dylan is progressing nicely for his first ride on a factory 450cc. Results from testing on the new KX450F are positive and you can tell from his Supercross training that he is going to be one to look out for so overall the outlook is very positive and we are happy,” Troy commented.
“The last five weeks have been very busy with a lot of development that goes into setting up a new factory racing bike and the team mechanics have been on the ball to have put together a machine that we are very, very excited to start racing with. There is a fair bit of difference between Motocross and Supercross setup and the new model is super responsive so we are really looking forward seeing what the riders can do with it.”
The KTM Motocross Racing Team also has a double-barrel attack ready and raring to go. The factory backed KTM outfit features newly crowned MX Nationals champion, Kirk Gibbs, fresh from his appearance at the final round of the World MX GP Championship in the USA, who is partnered by Luke Styke, who is a MX2 and SX2 champion from the 2013 season.
Motocross legend Craig Dack’s CDR Yamaha Racing team is back in Supercross in a big way this year, and will field a three rider squadron for the series. After a lengthy spell on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury, Jacob Wright returns to action for the Supercross championship, joining team mates Kade Mosig and experienced veteran Dan Reardon on the factory backed blue bikes.
The Penrite Honda Racing team is making a bold move to bolster its arsenal for Supercross, signing on international aces, American Gavin Faith and US-based Venezuelan champion Anthony Rodriguez to race the entire series. For Faith this will be his fifth straight season racing Supercross in Australia and after winning his second SX2 title last year, for 2015 he’s stepping up to the SX1 class alongside Rodriguez.
In the Husqvarna camp, young gun Jesse Dobson has recovered from injury and is set to start the Supercross series aboard his factory supported Husqvarna, while Aaron Tanti will also be flying the Husqvarna flag under the watchful eye of his team boss, another Aussie motocross and supercross legend, Craig Anderson.
Victoria’s DPH Motorsports Peter Stevens Yamaha team is fielding Lawson Bopping in SX1 this year, and given he wound out last year’s championship third overall, he’ll only be wanting more of the same in 2015.
Meanwhile Victorian privateer Sam Martin on his Byrner’s Motorcycles Suzuki RM-Z450 is keen to mix it up with the factory team stars. Martin scored a third in the final round of last year’s SX1 series, which helped him take a top ten finish in the championship.
Do the math and that’s more than a dirty dozen of serious contenders for SX1 glory … as we keep on saying: bring on Bathurst and bring on the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship!
2015 Australian Supercross Championship
Round 1: October 10, Bathurst, NSW
Round 2: October 17, Jimboomba, Queensland
Round 3: October 31, Adelaide Showground, Wayville, South Australia
Round 4: November 21, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Round 5: November 28, Allphones Arena, Homebush, NSW
Round 6: December 5, Knights Stadium, Sunshine, Victoria
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