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The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD: 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:'s Look At The Major Australian, International and Local State Races and Events Being Held This Weekend

2016 Motul MX Nationals Round 1: Horsham Victoria
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
2015 MX1 champion Kirk Gibbs returns with the KTM Australia racing team this year and will take aim at back to back titles.
The opening round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals heads to Horsham this weekend and this years championship could not be more exciting.

The MX1 class alone is jammed packed with talent, and while the MX2 has been well and truly over shadowed by the big bike class, it is still going to be a very hotly contested championship with a host of young talent ready to take on some very experienced campaigners.


Heading into the 2016 there are four names that are being thrown around the most in regards to who is the favourite for this years title.

2015 MX1 Champion Kirk Gibbs, 2013/14 Champion Matt Moss and the two riders who are returning from the world stage in Dean Ferris and Todd Waters.

Wilson‰Ûªs Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki's Todd Waters and CDR Yamaha's Dean Ferris have centred around most of the talk heading into this weekend, with some predicting the two riders to be the clear favourites on their return to domestic racing after spending a few years racing the World Motocross Championships. Both riders are previous multiple round winners here in Australia and both before leaving Australia spent seasons where they held the championship leaders red plate. However neither rider was able to put a complete season together and will both be looking for the first senior Australian title at years end.
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Matt Moss will be looking to capture the form that took him to the 2013 and 2014 MX1 titles
Matt Moss who had a dream 2013/14 seasons with the Motul Suzuki team winning both the Motocross and Supercross championships had his run completely turned on its head in 2015 with the same team, with early season crashes followed by an incident with a piece of track machinery running any chance of a third straight title. For 2016 Moss has made the move over to the NPE Monster Energy Kawasaki outfit lead by Troy Carroll and will be aiming to find the consistency he has had in previous years.

The last time Waters and Moss went head to head for a title it was a great battle both on the track and off the track with some interesting banter between teams and riders during a few podium ceremonies, hopefully though both riders are on different teams this time around I would expect more of the same if things are close again in 2016.

Gibbs though the reigning champion, is coming into the season opener as somewhat of the underdog after sitting out the end of the Supercross season last year with an injury. Being the underdog is nothing new new for the Factory Australia KTM rider who hails from Mount Gambier in SA, but time after time Gibbs has proven he has the speed to run with anyone at any given round and combined with his consistency he will be a tough competitor again this year. And lets not forget that he did kick off 2015 with the opening round win at Horsham.

While the four above mentioned riders head into the year as the favourites there are two more riders that should be true championship contenders in 2016 and it would not be a surprise to see either NPE Monster Energy Kawasaki's Kade Mosig or CDR Yamaha's Daniel Reardon walk away with the big trophy at Coolum in late August.
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Todd Waters joins the Willson Coolair Motul Suzuki Factory Racing team alongside Luke Wilson for the new year
Mosig was a standout in 2015 racing for the CDR Yamaha team, showing he can be a consistent threat to win at any given round finishing both the MX and SX Championships in second position. Though I personally have not seen him in action early this year on his new Kawasaki ride I have had a lot of people tell me he is looking faster than ever and if he can bring the consistency he was showing last year in with that speed he will be a genuine contender again this year.

Dan Reardon finished 2015 known as the come back kid, though not really a kid as he will head into 2016 as the elder statesman of the field. While Reardon will head into the Supercross championship later this year as the pre-season favourite, carrying the #1 plate into that championship, don't count him out of the mix to win outdoors, he has the speed and experience on his side and only got quicker all throughout 2015 and we expect despite the shoulder injury he suffered at the end of SX he would have continued to build on the momentum he gathered last year.

Now we all know six into one will not go, which makes the 2016 Motul MX Nationals a mouth watering prospect as it is. The good thing is for us race fans it only gets better!

One rider we have not mentioned and will not feature at season end in the championship standings is SD3 Husqvarna's Brett Metcalfe who has returned to Australia to contest the opening four rounds. Metcalfe will be a race and round winning contender at all four of the opening rounds and could really play a big part in how the early season championship shapes up.

So far we have seven riders who are a genuine chance of winning this weekend at Horsham, now add to that another five riders who will all rightfully so be heading into the weekend with the expectations of at least standing on the podium and with a chance to walk away with a moto or round win and quite possibly be a dark horse to win this years title.
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Jay Wilson has made the move up to the MX1 class after winning the MX2 championship in 2016
The Crankt Protein Honda duo of Jay Wilson and Dylan Long, DPH Yamaha's Lawson Bopping, Factory KTM's Jesse Dobson and KTM Privateer Jacob Wright all have the speed and determination to not just put themselves on the podium but could quite possibly bag moto wins during 2016.

Dylan Long proved last year he has the outright speed to win taking a moto win himself, Lawson Bopping on his day is as fast as anyone in Australia, Jacob Wright has spent pretty much the past 18 months on the sidelines injured but prior to that was fast heading towards becoming a week in week out race winning contender, Jesse Dobson who is only 19 years of age has already shown that he can run inside the top five in the MX1 class over the past two years and is only getting faster and more consistent each year and of course Jay Wilson is coming off a hard fought MX2 championship win that was both mentally tough both on and off the track.

That makes 11 riders who will be at a minimum looking to walk away from this weekend with a podium or at worst a top five finish, if that does not have you excited about the first gate drop at Horsham this weekend nothing will.

While the battle up front will be tight, keep an eye on a handful of other riders who will be pushing the above mentioned 11 riders looking for their own way into the top ten including local rider Aaron Watts, Wilson Coolair Suzuki's Luke Wilson, KTM mounted Joel Milesevic who has shown blistering speed around Horsham in the past and if he can keep it upright could be the biggest surprise of the round.

Aaron Tanti is back with support from a new Yamaha team in the form of BBR Racing Yamaha and also keep an eye out for Honda privateer Nick Murray and South Aussie Izak Maule who has returned to riding after a nasty back injury at the end of 2015 with all three riders looking for top ten results in 2016.

On the down side there are three riders that would be considered big threats to win races at every round that will not be lining up in 2016. Adam Monea had a stallar season in 2015 finishing third in the MX1 class with the NPE Monster Energy Kawasaki team and was on track to do likewise in the Supercross championship before injury struck.

Despite his great form Australia's third best motoross rider from 2015 was unable to secure a ride for this year, showing just how brutal the sport can be at times.

Cody Cooper who just wrapped up his fourth straight New Zealand championship leading hom both Australian MX1 title favorites Dean Ferris and Todd Waters was also unable to line up a ride in Australia this year, while KTM Australia's second championship contender Luke Styke will miss the season after re-onjuring an achillies injury suffered during SX last year.

<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
2007 250F champion Jake Moss returns to the MX2 class for 2016 and will be a title favourite from the get go
The 2016 MX2 battle is shaping up to maybe just be one of the best we have seen in years and though the riders are head into Horsham with a lot less fanfare than their MX1 counterparts, an interesting combination of experienced riders and fresh talent will line up to be crowned king of the small bore racers.

Trying to break down who will not only win, but be a genuine contender in the MX2 class this year is near on impossible and having the 2014 and 15 champions out of the mix as Luke Clout moves overseas to race and Jay Wilson moves up to MX1, the 2016 title really is wide open.

Leading the way in the experienced rider list of contenders for 2016 is none other the NPE Kawasaki's Jake Moss. Moss has had a shocking run with injuries over the past few years and the move back to the MX2 class could be exactly what he needs. We have all seen in the past what he is capable of aboard a fast 250F and he will head into this season as one of the pre-season favourites.

Caleb Ward heads into the year as the rider who has the most individual round wins in the MX2 class over the past two years after he and Luke Arbon both finished 2014 with three round wins a piece, though Clout took the title and again in 2015 Ward after missing races early in the season due to injury finished the year off with a season high three round wins.

Over the past few years I have been told that Ward can only win when he holeshots, he can only win in the sand, he can only win on a two stroke, yet the rider from South Queensland keeps proving a lot of people wrong. For 2016 KTM Australia have taken him under their wing under the factory tent and if he can pull it all together for 10 rounds he will be hard to beat.
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Caleb Ward has six round wins under his belt over the past two seasons and will be aiming to build on that in 2016.
As just mentioned, Luke Arbon finished 2014 with three round wins and while his run was not quite as good in 2015 he was still impressive and a race and round winning threat at most rounds. With another solid off season under his belt the SD3 Husqvarna front man is ready to get this year started.

Nathan Crawford will be the other rider to watch aboard Husqvarna machinery. Another exceptionally talented rider who can produce a win at any given moment, Crawford adds to the mix of championship contenders.

Yamaha much like in the Australian Off-Road Championship head into the MX Nationals with a host of small-bore championship contenders across a number of different teams. Serco Yamaha will lead the way with young gun Wilson Todd moving up from the MXD class after winning the 2015 title and is sure to be a race winner and possible title threat in just his first year in MX2.

Alongside Todd is Wade Hunter who was super impressive last year as a privateer before joining the DPH Yamaha team for Supercross where he got the taste for standing on the podium. Hunter heads into round one a a big title threat and if he can get on a run early in the year will prove tough to beat down the stretch.

Jed Beaton is one to keep an eye on, super talented with speed to burn the move to the DPH Yamaha team might just prove to a great thing for the Tasmanian. A proven race winner Beaton is another rider to throw into the mix of title contenders this year.

Racing for the Proformance racing Yamaha team (Think WBR Kawasaki from 2015) Kale Makeham is another rider to make the move back to the small bike for 2016 and has proven in the past that he is a front runner in MX2. Confidence is key with Makeham and a couple of early season results will have the Victorian in with a shot of this years MX2 crown.
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Dylan Wills is back on KTM machinery for 2016 but with added support as the Raceline team makes the move to Orange. Wills has impressed me over the past couple of years. After spending his early days in the MXD class hitting the deck in spectacular style, he has worked hard to become a genuine MX2 contender both in motocross and supercross and can not be overlooked as a big threat in 2016.

We are already at 9 riders with a genuine shot at the 2016 Motul MX Nationals MX2 crown but like the MX1 class there are a few more riders to keep an eye on.

Western Australia's Dean Porter is back and no doubt he will be leading the two stroke charge and can never be counted out especially when the series heads to Wanneroo for round six. He will be joined full time on the circuit by two fellow West Aussies with Kyle Webster who is now riding for the CRF Honda Racing team. Webster has shown glimpses of race winning speed and with a solid effort behind him this year will be a rider to watch.

Jayden Rykers rounds out the trio of West Coast title contenders and with a recent win in the New South Wales championship opener under his belt, will head into round one with plenty of confidence.

Make that four West Aussie riders with Josh Adams also listed to race this weekend in Horsham.

Nick Sutherland returns again for 2016 and will race under the BBR Yamaha banner in the MX2 class. Plagued with injuries for quite a number of years now, Sutherland when fit and healthy can run with anyone in Australia, hopefully this year is the year he can prove what is is capable of.

And lets not forget former MXD champion and current New Zealand MX2 champion, Hamish Harwood, the Kiwi lad can turn the throttle and knows he has what it takes to beat anyone on the line this weekend in MX2.

Picking a winner in MX2 this year is not easy and it is quite possible we could get to Coolum with 9 different round winners and five to six riders in the running to win the title at the same time we could see a break out year from a young rider or Moss could find his 2007 form and it will be one way traffic all season long, but that is why we drop the gate and go racing.

As we have done for the past few years we will once again embed the NRGTV live steam as the top news article on the site from first things Sunday morning making it as easy as ever to watch the racing live from your computer if you can't make it out to Horsham.

Along with the two pro classes both the MXD and 85cc Cup riders will be in action this Sunday at Horsham.

We will be at the track ourselves for the opening round capturing all the action and will have a gallery from the day's action up as soon as possible on Monday evening.

<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
Ryan Dungey holds the champonship leaders red plate heading into the final stretch of the 2016 AMA Supercross Championship
Fresh off its lone break in action for the 2016 season, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will make its return to the West Coast on Saturday, April 2, with its second visit to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

While championship leader Ryan Dungey carries his 27-race 450SX Class podium streak into the 12th race of the season, the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship will make its anticipated return to action for the first time since the seventh race in Arlington, Texas.

Australia will once again be represented in the SX class by Chad Reed as he takes aim at his first win of 2016, while Hayden Mellross will return to the track aboard his 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha to contest the West Coast 250 Class with his sights set firmly on his first top ten main event result.

CLICK HERE for live timing. Check Foxtel guides for TV viewing times.

2016 GNCC Round 3 : Steele Creek
<b>The DIRTY WEEKEND AHEAD:</b> 2nd and 3rd of April: MOTUL MX Nationals Special
The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, moves to Morganton, North Carolina this Sunday, April 3, for round three of the 13-race championship series.

With two wins behind him already, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing/Bel-Ray's Josh Strang looks to make it three-in-a-row at this weekend's FMF Steele Creek GNCC, an event that is now considered the Australian's home U.S race.

Strang's consistency has been hard to top, but FMF/KTM's Factory Racing's Kailub Russell will be looking to end Strang's winning streak and take his first win of the season. Russell, another North Carolina transplant, will attempt to utilize the home turf advantage this Sunday as he looks to capture his first victory of the season.

N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha's Daniel Milner sits in the third place position following a podium finish at the season opener. After having his career-best finish in Florida, the Australian struggled in Georgia but still finished ninth and heads into this weekend with hopes to make his way back to the podium.

2016 World Rally Championship - Round 1: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

After winning the 2016 Dakar Rally, Australia's Toby Price will be aiming to power his Red Bull Factory KTM Rally bike to the opening round win of the 2016 World Rally Championship being held in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Price will lead a three rider strong Australian contingent with last weekends Condo 750 winner Jake Smith entering the event aboard a privately built Smith Brothers Racing Honda Rally 450, while Rodney Faggotter who was battling with Smith at the Condo 750 until a crash put him out of the race has also made the trek to the opening round aboard his Yamaha.

Keep an eye on for daily updates on how the Aussie trio travelling.

- Tasmanian State MX Championships Rd 3: Interlaken Road, Oatlands
- Motocross Riders Assoc Club Series Round 1: Gillman MX, SA
- Go Girls Interclub MX Series Rd2: Hervey Bay
- Central Queensland Off Road Series Rd1: Yeepoon

FULLNOISE.COM.AU's Weekend Ahead

It is going to be a hectic weekend here again for us at As soon as this is posted it will be time to load up the car and make the reasonably short 440km drive to Horsham to take in all the action of the opening round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals.

While I am at the track, Gaz will be back in the office keeping an eye on all the racing going on around the world and keep the site updated with fresh news as it happens. With everything from AMA Supercross, World Rally, GNCC and plenty of domestic racing going on along with just as much in road racing circles around the world is is going to be another full on weekend of two wheeled action.

Catch ya at Horsham, just a little excited to get there!

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