MotoOnline is at it again with the latest in the world of motorcycle racing via the Racing Insider.
This weekend marks a massive season finale for the 2010 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals, where defending dual Pro Open Champion Jay Marmont is well on track to clinch a third consecutive crown at Coolum in Queensland.
It’s been an epic season to date, with Marmont’s 40-point lead heading into the final weekend of racing coming as a slight surprise considering the closeness of the racing that we’ve seen during the season.
Thanks to a superb overall at Moree last Sunday, Marmont’s first of the year, he was able to stretch his lead from 16 to 40 with just six motos to go and 150 points up for grabs this weekend.
You have to give credit where it’s due to Honda privateer Dean Ferris for currently sitting second in the series as a rookie, and what a revelation he has been so far this season.
Ferris scored his first ever Pro Open moto victory at Moree and will be looking to continue that form this weekend, however Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s Cody Cooper is also continuing his recent run of form with another podium.
The big question mark remains over Kawasaki’s Billy Mackenzie, who struggled to put it together at Moree, however Coolum marks one of the lone tracks on the calendar that he has actually raced at before in a state round since he’s based up there.
This weekend’s overall victory could be anybody’s, but at this stage it’s going to be a mammoth task to steal the crown from Marmont as some rear shock settings have really improved his form on the 2010 Yamaha YZ450F.
The Lites class title is all but confirmed for American PJ Larsen, however JDR Motorex KTM teammate Ryan Marmont made a stunning debut to clinch a surprise overall win at Moree last weekend.
Marmont will have to fight hard to hold onto second place in the series this weekend though as just a few points separates him from third place Kirk Gibbs and fourth place Cody Mackie – all three in very good form as the season winds down.
We have to give a big shout out to Michael Addison for taking his first moto win in a little while as well, the Western Australian taking his first National win on the east coast for the AXIS Motorsports Honda team.
The Under 19s title is definitely going to go down to the wire between the in-form Ross Beaton and season-long leader Josh Cachia, so keep an eye on that one come Sunday afternoon as well. It’s looking as though it’s going to be a winner takes all round for those guys.
As for silly season speculation, we’ll let the season wrap up and bring you all that we can in next week’s Insider!
Before we wrap up the Aussie Motocross section, here’s a huge get well soon to Brendan Harrison, who suffered a broken femur this week and has undergone surgery to repair the injury. Tough break, mate.
Make sure you all enter our final MX Nationals Tipping Competition round of the season, with this round’s prize being a signed Jay Marmont #1 jersey from FOX as worn during the 2010 season.
It’s expected that the big Valentino Rossi to Ducati announcement will be made when the series returns to Europe in the Czech Republic for Brno next month, with most in the paddock already speak as though it’s a done deal.
The most likely situation is that it’s all agreed upon as the final details are worked through, however as Casey Stoner has said since it was announced by Honda that he would be joining them, he knew before the season began that he was going to HRC.
Just because the deals are done, doesn’t mean they’re always going to announce it right away.
One of the major rumours doing the rounds right now is that Fiat is going to Ducati with Rossi as a secondary sponsor to Marlboro, leaving Yamaha likely to switch to Petronas colours if an agreement can be reached. Petronas is an associate sponsor of Yamaha’s at the moment.
Apart from all the silly season talk, perhaps the biggest topic in grand prix racing right now is the engine regulation that limits teams to using just six engines per rider for the entire season.
Most riders including series leader Jorge Lorenzo are already using their fourth engines as of the Sachsenring, with the Fiat Yamaha star switching to number four after that spectacular blow-up during Saturday qualifying in Germany.
Rossi is in good shape since he missed a couple of grands prix, so he’s only on engine number three, while Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi is already due to ride with his fifth engine of the year!
You may have noticed the Tech 3 Yamaha guys stretching their allocation at the Sachsenring as both Ben Spies and Colin Edwards finished up with their third engines, now set to begin this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca with brand new fourth engines.
The word going around Sachsenring was that the Tech 3 team is due to get increased support from Yamaha with updated parts since the two Texans have struggled for top speed with their 2009-spec YZR-M1s in recent races.
Speaking of Yamaha, keep an eye out for all of those guys to adopt special liveries this weekend! Everybody always seems to come up with something cool for Laguna Seca.
Finally on the topic of MotoGP, we should all know by now that Roger Hayden will be joining brother Nicky in the premier class this weekend as he replaces the inured Randy de Puniet. Roger found out the news via a simple text message from big bro on Sunday!
The performance of Damian Cudlin in Moto2 on Sunday was spectacular in his maiden GP, the current German Supersport leader putting in a brilliant effort to make the most of his one-off ride. It will be interesting to see if the seventh place finish puts him in the shop window for future races and teams.
This weekend’s Laguna Seca round will see Aaron Gobert contesting the FIM e-Power International race, so keep an eye out for his progress in the electric bike series onboard a Brammo.
The Suzuka 8 Hours round of the Endurance World Championship is on this weekend, where Aussies Steve Martin, Damian Cudlin and Wayne Maxwell will be out to impress amongst a world class field.
Martin is the reigning world champion with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team and finished fourth at Suzuka last year, while Cudlin will switch to Yamaha for this round since his regular Honda EWC team won’t be attending the round due to reported financial struggles.
As for Maxwell, he’s had plenty of seat time in recent weeks at Suzuka and has the fortunate position of having an ultra fast Japanese teammate in Chojun Kameya on the Sakurai Honda team, which finished on the podium last year.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for young Victorian Brodie Waters in the Suzuka 4 Hours support race, the Aussie Supersport contender who is contesting the event for Moriwaki Racing on a Honda CBR600RR.
It seems Aussie Josh Brookes has hit his stride at exactly the right moment in British Supers as he prepares to enter his first World Superbike round with the HM Plant Honda team at Silverstone next weekend.
Brookes almost swept last weekend’s Snetterton round apart from a bike failure in the final race of the weekend, which is a massive feat considering the competition in the UK at the moment.
Current ASBK points leader Bryan Staring had incredibly bad luck as he got taken out in turn one of the Superstock race after qualifying sixth, however the word is that he may be back on the HM Plant Honda at Brands Hatch next month.
I spoke to current ASBK champion Josh Waters briefly on Facebook yesterday, the Suzuki star who suffered a devastating testing crash that left him heavily concussed in the lead-up to his AMA Superbike debut.
Waters was eventually ruled out of last weekend’s Mid-Ohio round, but all indications are that he’ll be on track this weekend at Laguna Seca with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team alongside Tommy Hayden.
While he said he wasn’t feeling 100 percent just yet as of yesterday, let’s hope he heals up in time for the Californian event that’ll be held alongside the MotoGP World Championship round on the same weekend.
A quick trip to Disneyland yesterday should have helped him get into the swing of things!
That’s all for this week and, as usual, thanks for reading and stopping by at MotoOnline.com.au!