[Weekly Features]

Throwdown No.88 – Dissatisfaction in the AORC Paddock

5 years ago

What’s this “Throwdown”? It’s a digital home for rumour, fact and innuendo, delivered on a weekly basis. Covering a broad spectrum of the off-road world’s news, the Throwdown will touch on everything from racing to trailriding; from industry tidbits to issues facing the sport. It’s about delivering you timely information all in one place so you don’t have to scour the internet looking for it.

MX/SX Riders and teams are making the long haul over to Western Australia for Round 4 of the Monster Energy MX Nationals for the first time since 2009. Held at the notorious Wanneroo Motocross Track, the teams will battle it out in the rough sandy conditions, pushing riders and their equipment to the limit. Not only that, teams have been known to struggle with fuel-management during the 30-minute motos, with riders running out of fuel in the past. It'll be a good one to watch. --- So will MX1 series leader, Josh Coppins, maintain his lead after the WA round? See what he had to say at the Wonthaggi National and decide for yourself whether the Kiwi, and former world champion, has what it takes to go all the way. --- TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed has confirmed his team won't field a rider for the AMA Motocross season and will instead turn their attention to 2013. --- It's been flying around the web like fireworks: James Stewart made the switch to the Yoshimura Suzuki Team for the 2013-2014 seasons and will compete aboard a Suzuki in the 2012 AMA Motocross. We've also heard that former AMA Champion and Hall of Famer Johnny O'Mara - Stewart's trainer-come-mentor - has said Stewart has been flying around the test track this week and loves the Suzuki. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the Suzuki shoot which was held late last year when it was suppose to be a done deal. --- Following GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia's AMA Supercross win at Las Vegas last weekend, it was announced he'd ride for Team Honda Muscle Milk in the 450cc class for the 2013-2014 season. His debut appearance will be at the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium on October 20. --- Russell Brothers Films' Lachlan Russell is off to do an update with LKI's Harley Quinlan about his Paralympic aspirations (we had a quick catch up with Quinlan two weeks ago) and then flies out to WA to shoot our exclusive MX Nats video. --- Wanna see dirt bikes like you've never seen it before: at over 2,500 frames-per-second (ballistics speed)! The full 20-minute cut is cover mounted on our latest issue - on sale now. Enduro There are a lot of disgruntled Pro riders in AORC circles at the moment after a club round was held at Wonthaggi a week before the AORC was due at the venue. Riders were told attendees would not benefit at the national round because the tracks would be different... Alas, the track was identical and National riders who competed in the club round were at an advantage during the opening tests. Sadly, the exact same thing is set to happen at Broadford. Complicating the issue, pro riders have not been aloud to walk the track on Friday at Wonthaggi and Coonabarabran rounds, which some say have created two issues: one of safety (especially when the state round has chopped up the track the weekend prior) and ambiguities in the course (a lack of bunting in areas allowing riders to cut the course). --- So what have the pros done to turn the 2012 WR450F into a competitive racing machine? After removing a lot of weight from the bike - including the battery, starter motor and associated gear and wiring looms - and moving to a harder, more motocross-orientated shock, riders found the changes were upsetting the chassis balance. So to compensate, the WR-F riders have all gone back to the standard spring rate. You've got to hand it to the Yamaha engineers; it looks like they got it right the first time. --- Round the 170-200km mark, the Finke Desert Race organisers have taken out one of the big straights and made it into a windier section. This change will help make the event safer - the straight was a top gear flat out section - and slow competitors down. --- Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing's Josh Green has been sporting a broken scaphoid for the last two rounds of the AORC series - and then a crash during the Coonabarabran rounds saw him break a finger - but the determined 21-year-old says he wont sit out any national rounds. "I'll be racing next weekend's national round at Broadford," said Green, "but I've had to pull out of the Finke. My wrist still hurts but it's been improving. Doctors can never tell how long a scaphoid will take to heal so it's just a waiting game." Green currently sits second in the E1 class, and sixth Outright. --- The Motorex KTM Off-Road team is pre-running Finke all this week, however reigning Off-Road Champion, Chris Hollis, has opted to sit out of the event. Word is he injured his hip in a big crash while pre-running Finke last month and has not fully recovered. That, and his confidence and speed have taken a hit. The team has brought on board desert rider, Matt Fish, to fill in for Hollis. Also, they've opted not to replace four-time Finke champion, Ben Grabham. --- Motorex KTM Off-Road Team Manager, Brad Williscroft, has still got it! He took his record breaking sixth-straight victory at the Kamfari Mud Race in Darwin over the weekend. --- Our exclusive Transmoto 12-Hour video is online now. There were over 400 riders enjoying the pristine grasstrack and single trail. --- We'll have to wait until August for the official 2013 Husaberg launch before finding out whether the Bergs have dumped their reverse-cylinder engine and turned their four-stroke range into KTM copycats. At least that's what the rumours suggest... --- Taddy Blazusiak is human after all! The Endurocross fanatic missed out on a direct transfer to the finals in the AMA Endurocross opener at Las Vegas over the weekend before being pushed wide in the first corner and colliding with a trackside log, which saw him loose 20 seconds. He showed incredible speed however and salvaged third. --- Australian Women's riders, Jess Gardiner and Jemma Wilson, rode the Spanish round of the Enduro World Championship where they unfortunately didn't have the success they were hoping for. Gardiner DNF'd the race while Wilson fell 15-minutes behind her check-in time and was forced to retire. They'll now head to Portugal to line-up and try again. FMX With the Red Bull X-Fighters heading to Glen Helen, USA, for the first time ever this weekend, we've heard the course is looking wicked. There's epic wallriders, rails, a freeride section up against the hills and a quarter pipe! Industry
A new motocross game has hit the market, MUD FIM Motocross World Championship, and is available now on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3. You’ll be able to race the MX1 and MX2 classes with your favourite riders (like Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen and Tony Cairoli), as well as the Motocross of Nations. Plus, you can also have freestyle battles with your friends.

KTM Australia has launched a new Facebook and YouTube channel.

Australia’s biggest ATV Festival, the Thumb Pump 300 race, was held last month and it was Tasmania’s Troy Sheridan who took the Outright and 450cc win and walked away with the fastest lap. While in the Highbeam 100 – a thrilling night event – it was another Sheridan taking first place, Clinton.

Speaking of ATVs, The Australian Pro Quad MX Championship will join the MX Nationals at Wanneroo this weekend (May 12/13) for Round 2 and 3 of the series.

The 10-time Queensland and five-time National Enduro Champion, Kirk Hutton, will again be running coaching schools for junior and senior riders in the second half of 2012. You can find more details on his new website: http://www.kirkhuttoncoaching.com.

John Titman Racing has announced they’ve become the new Australia distributor for Hammerhead products. Hammerhead makes billet shift levers, brake pedals, launch controls, axle blocks, case savers and brake clevis. For more information on Hammerhead please contact JTR on 07 3245 7499 or sales@jtr.com.au.

Atlas have announced a new neckbrace due to be released in late June. It features an emergency release system, and open frame design for increased flex, back support to transfer impacts away from the spine and is put on like a helmet. No word on the RRP yet.

Motocross/Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath’s wife, Kim, has been diagnosed with Leukemia and is undergoing seven days of chemotherapy before having a bone marrow transplant. It’s sad news for the McGrath family – especially after Kim was previously diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and fought through. We wish them all the best.

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