MIDWEEK MOTO – 2019 Week 1

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Midweek Moto returns for 2019, our chance to take a different look at everything happening in Moto and more

Well, 2018 is done and dusted, and though we are only a couple of days into the new year, three to be exact, nothing has really stopped around here as the new season of racing fast approaches.

There is no real offseason in the moto media world, sure the week or two leading up to Christmas is a little quieter, but at the same time we know in the back of our minds A1 and Dakar are just around the corner, and with the Australian Supercross Season finishing later than ever, the rumour mill and new team signings here in Australia are all happening, which we will touch on shortly.

While myself have been able to have a little bit of break with the web stuff here at Fullnoise. Gaz has been flat out continually updating the back end of the site making things more streamline for us all the time.

While the front end of the site got a beautiful brand new refresh last year, there is still plenty going on behind the scenes to keep the flow of information and news coming smoothly as technology changes.

We are looking forward to a big 2019 and getting to a wide variety of events and championship rounds
As always will be your one-stop shop for all things moto, covering as many championships across every dirt bike discipline from both here in Australia and around the world, from Motocross, Supercross, Desert Racing, Off-Road, Trail Riding, Speedway and anything else we can gather information we will cover.

While I have had to focus a lot on my other job over the past couple of years, ill be back on board for what will be my 10th year of working on the site with Gaz, and will be writing this weekly column along with helping the main man with news stories, some interviews, bike reviews, and race coverage along throughout the year.

We will once again mix things up and try to get to as many events as possible, including rounds of the AORC, MX Nationals, Australian Supercross Championships and will be hitting a lot more local state events up to continue our grassroots coverage or racing around Australia.

A1 is just around the corner, who do you have your money on for the 2019 title.
The big focus for the entire moto world at the moment is the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, it is arguably the biggest dirt bike championship in the world, and apart from the MXoN no other race really comes close to the excitement A1 brings.

We won‰Ûªt go into any big in-depth preview of the big race, the American sites have that well and truly covered along with the PulpMX podcasts.

For us Aussies, we have a few of our own to cheer on again in 2019, with the big one being Chad Reed who will line up for the JGR Factory Suzuki outfit and line up for A1 for his 18th straight year of racing the event!

The other big name of note for us Aussies to follow this year is Hunter Lawrence, however it will be a few weeks still before we see the Geiko Honda rider in action with the team making the wise decision to give him more time to get used to American SX tracks, with the former World MX2 contender set to race the East Coast 250 title.
Check out the Features section tomorrow for a quick interview with Tomas Ravenhorst.
We also got word the Victorian privateer Tomas Ravenhorst will race the West Coast rounds of the championship off his own back. We managed to get hold of Ravenhorst and emailed him a few questions about his plans, check back tomorrow for more info on what he is up in the U.S.

One rider missing from the start gates which has been a regular over recent years is Hayden Mellross, which is a bit of a shock. Mellross has shown some great speed in the U.S and hands down beat a couple of the American riders who have full-time rides in the U.S for 2019. As for what Mellross is up to next, he is currently keeping that close to his chest, but we will have a look at where he and a few others might land a little lower in this article.

One last note for A1, how can we watch it? Well, we are currently sending emails and doing some research and will have an article up on Friday at the latest with all the options we have found to help you watch A1 live or on demand.

Dakar will start in just a few days, we love this race and can't wait to follow it day in day out
While A1 will be the first big race of the year, as the excitement of that winds down, the tough men of Dakar will be lining up for their opening day of two weeks of racing.

As always we will have day by day updates on the event, so check in with us mid-morning every day for a full comprehensive run-down of what is going on and the latest results and standings.

There are two Australian‰Ûªs with Factory rides at the 2019 event, with former winner and off-road superstar Toby Price lining up for the formidable RedBull KTM team, while Rodney Faggotter will line up for Yamaha.

Joining the two will be 47 years old fully funded privateer Ben Young who will pilot of KTM Rally Replica along with the ACT‰Ûªs James Alistair Ferguson aboard a KTM 450 EXC.

Kirk Gibbs was one of the first high profile signings for 2019, moving to the CDR Yamaha team.
While it is somewhat quiet on the Australian scene, some team announcements have been made public in the lead up to the end of 2018, while others are still to be finalised or been uncorked via social media.

Without going too deep into the full team lineups and possible rides for 2019 with our racing season still so far away, for this week we will have a quick rundown of what we know about the Australian 450 class, as for the most part all of the major factory rides have been filled.

We heard plenty of rumours at the launch of the Suzuki RM-Z250 at Park4MX late last year with many of them rumours then being announced via official team press releases soon after, then at the recent 2019 Yamaha WR450F launch more rumours surfaced, though many are still unconfirmed.

So what we know 100% at this stage is, CDR Yamaha will have a both Kirk Gibbs and Clout Clout heading Yamaha‰Ûªs 450 charges, while Richie Evans will also pilot a 450 for the Yamalube Yamaha Racing team.

Over at Honda, Brett Metcalfe will lead Big Red ‰Ûªs charge, while it has also be announced that Dylan Long will lead Kawasaki‰Ûªs new look team over at the Empire Motorsports team.
Brett Metcalfe will continue with the Penrite Honda outfit for 2019
Rounding out the Japanese brands, KSF Suzuki will continue to run in both the MX1 and MX2 classes in 2019; however, the team is yet to announce any riders and will be giving one rider the opportunity at being on their team via a contest that we will know a lot more about starting this weekend! Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram account to follow what is a pretty cool concept.

That leaves the two European brands.

DPH will continue to run the Factory Husqvarna effort in 2019, and I personally thought Mellross with no ride in the U.S would simply slide into the role of MX1 / SX1 rider for the team, especially off the back of his result at the New Zealand Supercross race.

However, we are hearing that Todd Waters is the rider most likely looking like he will land that ride, while at the same time hearing that Mellross will head to the Raceline KTM team, who will look after KTM‰Ûªs racing efforts in the big bike class in Australia after the in house team was closed down.

Both are just rumours at the moment but will be worth keeping an eye on.

One other rider who we are very surprised not to hear linked to any team at this point is Caleb Ward. He was a standout rookie in the MX1 class in 2018 and is on a talented rider.

We will have a bit more of a look at how things are going in both the 450 and 250 classes as the race season draws closer.

Something new for this year, we will run a product of the week as part of this article, be it something we are running ourselves, a product that has caught our eye or something that has crossed our desk, something to add to our ever popular new products section on this site.


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Tim Vare will be with us all year, testing bikes to give us a expert / Pro perspective of the new bikes we get our hands on.
As always we will be out and about ourselves riding and racing around the country this year and have a few of us that will be adding content and hitting the dirt in 2019.

Tim Vare recently joined us the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 Australian media launch and will be onboard all year long to play a big part in new bike launches and tests, along with doing plenty of riding himself.

Mitch Ladyman, that is DR Mitchell Ladyman is back behind the keyboard and the bars of a Beta 300RR and is ready to give his insight into his riding escapades. His articles are a little different than the usual, but in a great way and are always well worth a read, keep an eye in our features section for the latest offerings from our crazy snake-handling West Aussie.

I have no plan in giving away riding any time soon, though it just about felt that way in 2018, with our Yamaha YZ450 only racking up around 40 hours! Yep, that‰Ûªs less than 1 hour of riding a week, easily the least amount of riding I have done in a year since I got back riding in 2003, and one of those years included nine months on the sidelines.

I have still to organise myself anything for 2019, but am super keen to get back on a 250F, riding a 450 is fun, but when you are not riding week in week out, I find a 250F more enjoyable, and there is nothing like hafting to shift up and down through a gearbox.
My plans are simple for 2019, Race Hattah for the 10th straight time along with some new bike and product reviews
The only real focus I have at this point is Hattah, my 10th straight, and of course taking the boy riding every weekend!

Jayden will be back on board for Junior riding duties. It was pretty cool creating content with the boy last year with Yamaha being kind enough to give us one of the all-new YZ65‰Ûªs to play with.

He has come a long way in just six months aboard the 65, but still has a long way to go and will be back aboard a YZ65 for 2019 along with racing the 50 class for another year, probably his last in that class.

The bonus with Jayden racing is, it gives us a great excuse to cover some more junior racing and events throughout the year and we will be kicking things off in a couple of weeks with a trip to Warrnambool in Victoria for the Shipwreck 2 day open.

Well, that is about it for the first week of 2019.

Get out and ride.

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