News 3 Nov 2010

Racing Insider #44

MotoOnline.com.au once again provides the all-access pass to the world of motorcycle racing in the latest Insider column.

Josh Hansen continues to lead Super X 2010, but expect Marmont to build momentum over the coming weeks. Image: Sport The Library.

Hansen continues to lead Super X 2010, but expect Marmont to build momentum over the coming weeks. Image: Sport The Library.

AUSTRALIAN SUPERCROSS
After a solid three weeks straight of racing, the 2010 Monster Energy Super X, Australasian Supercross Championship, will take a one week hiatus before heading across the Tasman to New Zealand next weekend.

With Justin Brayton and Kevin Windham over and out, it’s up to Jay Marmont to chase down runaway series lead Josh Hansen for the title, but don’t count out Dan Reardon just yet either.

While we’re going to miss Brayton and K-Dub in the series, we’re all excited to see Ben Townley for the remaining rounds of the series, plus Ivan Tedesco for the Sydney and Brisbane rounds. There’s no doubt they’ll both be quick and are both former Lites champions in the AMA.

An extra American that I’m hearing we’ll be seeing will be Jeff Alessi, younger brother of JDR Motorex KTM team rider Mike Alessi. I haven’t figured out what team he’ll be on yet – if you know, let me know – but I’m hearing he’ll be here for the final four rounds.

I mentioned back in September in Racing Insider #37 that Dutch MX2 World Motocross rider Joel Roelants was looking for a start in Super X, and it looks like he’ll have his wish granted with a Lites ride before the season’s out, presumably at Coastal KTM. He’s a fast guy, so it’ll be interesting to see a Euro in the mix.

Speaking of Euros, MX Nationals number two Billy Mackenzie is just about healed up from the broken collarbone he suffered while riding for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team in the States during the final outdoor rounds. Expect him to make his Super X debut at Parramatta, all going well.

Finally on the subject of Super X, FOXTEL’s SPEED Channel launched on 1 November and will be the ‘home’ of Super X from now on, so keep a look out for that.

AUSTRALIAN MOTOCROSS
MotoOnline.com.au broke the news this afternoon that Appin will host the third round of the 2011 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals, bringing the series back to Sydney for the first time in over seven years.

To check out the story in our Breaking News section, click here.

The new track at Appin, which is only used for racing and not for Appin’s famous weekend warriors, has proven a popular one for those who have ridden it, however not many guys at the pro level have at this stage.

Personally, I’ve ridden there at the launch of the 2010 model Yamaha YZ450F and also for the 2011 KTM launch, so click on the links below to see the track for yourself on video.

2010 Yamaha YZ450F launch videos

2011 KTM SX-F range launch videos

It looks as though the series will revert from being an East Coast only title again next year, with South Australia’s Murray Bridge venue expected to be back on the calendar.

The calendar will be released on Friday, so stay tuned for that and be sure to spread the word to your mates in a bid to give the ever-growing series a boost for the 2011 season.

Want a silly season update? How about Cheyne Boyd on a factory Honda? It’s not confirmed, but when it happens, remember you read it here first! He’ll be a dark horse for next year’s nationals.

Josh Grant has been spotted testing the factory Honda at Peris in California. Image: Shoei North America/Matt Pavelek.

Josh Grant has been spotted testing the factory Honda at Peris in California. Image: Shoei North America/Matt Pavelek.

AMERICAN SUPERCROSS
It seems many in the industry have assumed that Chad Reed will sign with the Troy Lee Designs Honda team for 2011 since images appeared on Twitter of him testing the team’s CRF450R with his famous number 22 on it.

Well, we’re hearing that’s not entirely the case at the moment, but unfortunately your guess is as good as ours when it comes to knowing exactly what the TwoTwo will do. Fingers crossed he finds out soon, and in turn, we’ll find out too!

The first images have broken of Josh Grant on a Honda in testing and we’d have to say he looks pretty damn cool on the bike. The pictures confirmed that Red Bull have parted ways with Honda and have returned to KTM in its big return to U.S. racing. We also noticed that JG is in MSR gear for the new year, joining Windham and Nick Wey on the team for the new year it seems. For more images, check out Shoei North America’s Facebook page.

Anaheim is just around the corner ladies and gentleman, so get excited!

Finally in a bit of Aussie news Stateside, Michael Byrne has his tickets booked and will be heading over to France for the prestigious King of Bercy race that will be contested on 19-21 November.

AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE
We’re hearing that the 2011 calendar for the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship will be released in the coming weeks, coming on the back of last week’s V8 Supercars calendar confirmation.

At this stage the speculation surrounding the content of the ASBK calendar is high, however expect three two-plus-four rounds alongside the V8 Supercars Championship Series.

In looking at the V8 calendar, the Superbikes could race at Barbagallo (the Western Australia round returning to the V8 calendar), Winton, Hidden Valley, Queensland Raceway, Phillip Island or Symmons Plains.

As per season 2010, Phillip Island and Symmons Plains will most likely remain two-plus-four rounds, however the additional round alongside the V8s is anyone’s guess.

I doubt it will be Hidden Valley since the bikes were a success as a standalone event in the NT last year, while it is possible the bikes could have one of its two Queensland Raceway rounds alongside the V8s (that’s if there are two rounds in Queensland again).

I don’t believe the ASBK will hold a round at Winton, nor do I see them travelling all the way to WA for a two-plus-four event. It looks as though we’ll have to wait to see the calendar for the real answer.

As for an Eastern Creek round, at this stage sources suggest it won’t be happening, however we understand that negotiations are ongoing – it sure would be a shame to see the series miss out on a date at the Creek and in New South Wales for the second year in a row.

Here’s a quick update for the Six Hour: Triumph will be running a team with Christan Casella, Marty Craggill and John Chiodo on a Daytona 675. Expect more team revelations in the coming weeks.

I had an interesting enquiry this week from a European team asking about Bryan Staring and just how good he is. Well, I gave him my stamp of approval and the team seemed very interested, so maybe the current ASBK leader’s hopes of switching to Europe for 2011 aren’t over just yet. Let’s hope he gets a chance.

By the way, we keep hearing Kawasaki wants to be back with a factory team next year in an outsourced effort, with numerous riders and teams being thrown into the mix. With an all-new ZX-10R showing lots of promise, don’t be surprised to see some big names on the bike.

MOTOGP
This weekend will see Vale Rossi’s make his last start on a Yamaha as the series wraps up in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday afternoon before all attention is turned on 2011.

It’s funny how we spoeak about it being Rossi’s last ride on the M1, but the reality is that Australia’s Casey Stoner will also be campaigning his last race for Ducati before defecting to Honda – essentially handing his factory Desmosedici over to Rossi!

I’m just as excited to see Casey on the Honda and am also interested to see how Honda is going to structure its team for 2011 since it has three factory riders ready to roll on the Repsol squad, being Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.

There will be many riders debuting in new colours come next week at Valencia’s post-season test, and I also look forward to see if Toni Elias’ season in Moto2 has upped his confidence upon return to MotoGP with LCR Honda.

Hopefully Texan Ben Spies is fit to race this weekend and also test next week for Yamaha in his official factory debut to replace Rossi alongside world champion Jorge Lorenzo. A dislocated ankle can be a painful injury, but he’s said on Facebook this week that he’ll be in Spain and plans to ride just days following the injury that he sustained in a sighting lap crash at Estoril.

One of the biggest stories getting around MotoGP right now is the fact that Phillip Island will likely be the season-opening round for 2010. Dorna hasn’t announced it yet, but many are claiming it’s a done deal because the track temps are too cold in its regular October date – not to mention the rainy weather that we experienced this year…

Be sure to check back to MotoOnline for all the news as it happens, and as always, thanks for stopping by to read the Insider!

Sunday will mark Stoner's final outing for Ducati before returning to Honda next week.

Sunday will mark Stoner's final outing for Ducati before returning to Honda next week.

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