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MID WEEK MOTO Fullnoise.com.au’s Look Into All Things Moto

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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Welcome to MID WEEK MOTO presented by Fullnoise.com.au, our look into all aspects in the world of dirt bike racing.

While we have a host of news and press releases updated daily on the Fullnoise.com.au website there are always little bits of interesting, odd and not so true information floating around the traps!

This week we are going to break down the 7th round of the MX Nationals held at Conondale on Sunday

The Champ Retires
Jay Marmont leading the opening moto before announcing his retirement at season's end under the CDR awning at lunch time - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
The biggest news coming from Conondale was the announcement from Jay Marmont that he will be retiring from full time professional racing at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

The announcement was not a shock to most, with rumors floating around for the past couple of months that this would be Marmont's last season of racing.

The good news is, Marmont will race the remaining rounds of the 2014 season giving his fans a chance to say one final goodbye and there is no doubt that there will be a huge crowd on hand at the next round being held at Raymond Tce on the 3rd of August as New South Wales Motocross fans get their final chance to see their home state rider in action.

Big Holeshot's
Luke Arbon pulled a massive holeshot in the final MX2 race of the day - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
There were some big holeshot's at Conondale and probably none more popular than CDR Yamaha's Jay Marmont's in the opening MX1 moto.

While Marmont's was the most popular holeshot of the day, the biggest holeshot of the round had to go to SD3 Husqvarna's Luke Arbon in the final MX2 moto.

At the start of the final MX2 moto we were on the complete opposite side of the Green Park complex as the bikes launched from the gate, however were able to capture Arbon exiting the second corner well clear of the field thanks to our trusty Cannon 70-200.

Drunks Hill - The Extension
Dylan Long was one of the riders who had the crowd on their feet every time he hit the extension on his KTM 250 SX-F - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
There have been some big jumps on the national circuit over the past few years including the huge step up at Coonabarabran and also the new Table-top / Step up seen at Wonthaggi earlier this year.

However neither of these jumps bring as much crowd excitement and involvement than the extension jump at Conondale that launches over the spectator area named DRUNKS HILL!

This year the track was in prime condition for allowing riders to his this huge step down jump, with the majority of the MX1 riders going all out along with a big portion of the MX2 and a few MXD riders.

By day's end only a handful of riders were continuing to hit it consistently after more than a few riders where caught out by the jump.

Riders who come unstuck throughout the day included MX2 racer Kayne Lamont who blew out his rear wheel in moto 1, Luke Arbon who blew out his front wheel in also in moto 1 and MXD rider Lochie Latimer who ate it big time after landing a little sideways. The good news was he was able to get back up and re-mount his bike, though very slowly!

Penalties
While we did not capture the moment Clout was forced off the track, we did capture him rolling off the throttle and easing his way back onto the track - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
It has been awhile since I have seen so many penalties handed out in one day at a round of the MX Nationals. Luke Clout kicked things off with a 10 second penalty after getting pushed off track going up the hill heading into turn two in the opening MX2 race. I did not see Clout come off the track but did seem him slow up look over his shoulder and re-enter the track. There was no doubt he cut a portion of the track.

To his credit he took the penalty and raced his heart out to still finish the moto classified in 4th place after his penalty.

Nathan Crawford was black flagged at race end after his muffler fell off mid way through the race. Due to the new rules regarding noise regulations, Crawford who originally looked as though he would loose his full race result due to the excessive noise was eventually penalised with a 3 spot demotion.

Fellow MXD racer Brock McLeary also copped a time penalty, though we are not sure exactly what it was for.

Epic Efforts
There were some big individual moto's put in on the weekend, but probably none more than Beaton's opening moto coming from last (31st) to 2nd in 20 minutes of racing! - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Conondale threw up some great individual rides across the weekend. Kirk Gibbs was a standout in the MX1 class coming from mid pack to 2nd in the opening race.

He then pushed all the way to the finish line in moto two, to finish second to Billy Mackenzie by half a wheel. Gibbs ended the day with a ride through from third to first in the final moto to take the overall round win.

Other notable rides in MX2 included Jesse Dobson who ran up front in the opening moto and went on to finish the day 8th overall and Brock Winston who finished 6th overall with three very solid rides.

In the MX2 class the standout was Caleb Ward. For a rider who is known as a sand specialist, he cleared out from the field in the opening two moto's on the hard pack conondale track, then charged his way from last to 10th in the final moto to take the round win.

Luke Arbon's wire to wire win in the final moto was also an impressive display of riding.

There were two big standouts in the MXD class. First up was Joel Wightman's maiden moto win in the opening moto. The Yamaha mounted rider was in great form. Unfortunatley a crash in the final moto will see him sidelined for a little while.

The biggest ride of the day came from GYTR's Jed Beaton.

Beaton jumped early at the start of moto one and got caught up in the start gate. The first year MXD rider passed 29 riders to go from last to second in the 20 minute moto!

Beaton followed up with another 2nd place finish in moto 2 and the win in moto 3 to take the ovearll round win and the points lead in the MXD class.

Retro Round?
Ben Townley ran the Retro Penrite Oils Colour scheme at Conondale on Sunday - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
While Conondale was not the official retro round for 2014, that is to take place at round nine at Gladestone, all three factory supported Yamaha teams and the Penrite Oils Honda MX team all ran retro graphics for the round.

Yamaha based their bikes on the Yellow livery from the 1977 factory bikes, while the Factory Honda bikes adorned and old school Red, White and Blue Penrite Oils company colour scheme.

Photo's Galore
With Retro Graphics, New Racewear, Epic racing, A huge jump or two and some fantastic sunny surroundings, all photographers on hand at Conondale had plenty shooting opportunities all day long - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
After round six of the MX Nationals being a virtual photographer ghost-town with just a couple of photographers on hand, the sunny conditions at Conondale had a host of photographers out shooting the great on track action.

The result? A plethora of great images from the first of three rounds of racing action in Queensland for the 2014 season. Instagram, Facebook and the internet in general has been flooded with some great images from Conondale which can only be a great thing for the sport of Motocross in this country.

New Racing Apparel
Luke Arbon showing off some of the new 2015 Shift MX Race-wear, expect to see a lot more new apparel at the final three rounds of the season - Credit: Aaryn MInerds
We are getting to that time in the year when the gear companies of the world start to introduce their new line up of race-wear. Shift MX Australia launched their all new apparel last week with a host of Shift MX riders show-casing their new look colour-ways and styles at Conondale.

The Serco Yamaha team riders of Luke Clout and Jay Wilson unveiled some of the new 2015 Answer race-wear that certainly looked the goods. Check out the photo gallery from round seven to see both the riders in their new get up.

We are expecting to see fresh new race-wear from Fox, One Industries, Troy Lee Designs, JT Racing, Thor, Alias, Alpinestars and more at the coming rounds.

Also something new for the weekend was Billy Mackenzie's helmet for the final moto, no doubt it turned a few heads.

Missing In Action
While rider numbers are a little down in the early stages of the second half of the season, it has not taken away from the great on track action - Credit: Aaryn MInerds
Rider numbers were down to start the second half of the 2014 championship. After a promising start to the season with large rider numbers across all three championship classes and with the introduction of the new South and North championships for privateers to contest in their local regions things were looking promising.

Round six of the series at Swan Hill was very low on numbers compared to the opening five rounds, but with the series moving to Queensland and the opening round of the North Regional Cup in the MX1 and MX2 classes I personally thought rider numbers would be back to early season figures.

The MX1 class saw a total of 25 riders, which is not to bad and it was great to see a handful of local riders taking the opportunity to race the event and put themselves in the running for the North Cup that is being contested at the Conondale, Raymond Tce, Gladstone and Coolum rounds.

The MX2 class which saw strong rider numbers at the start of the season with a good mix of two and four stroke machinery on the line was down to 29 riders on Sunday with well over half the field supporting two stroke machinery.

The one noticeable absentee from the MX2 class on the weekend was the Raceline Pirelli MX2 line up of Ryan Marmont and Geran Stapleton. Stapleton is recovering from injury while at this point in time we are not 100% sure why Ryan is currently out of action, something for us to chase up!

The addition of Dylan Peterson was great to see (along with his SIC Kawasaki team-mate Lawson Bopping in MX1) aboard the sole Kawasaki KX250F in the field, after long time Kawasaki mounted privateer Joel Green made the switch to a KTM 250 two-stroke during the mid season break.

The MXD class which is nearly always overflowing with entries had 31 entries for the round.

While the numbers may be down, it is in no way taking away from the on track action, with some of the best racing seen in years playing out at each and every round this year.

While it is great to see 40 riders taking off from the gate, seeing riders getting bad starts and not get held up by back markers and able to put themselves back in the running for a top result even in a 20 minute moto does have a unique and pretty cool quality to the Australian race scene.

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