It’s been a while since I sat down at a keyboard and put words down regarding anything dirt bike-related, not taking into account Instagram posts, and even then, looking back through my posts from last year, they were well down.
In fact, 2023 turned out to be a mess, and for the first time since 2008, I did not contribute anything to the fullnoise.com.au website, apart from some archived images.
The worst part about about not covering anything in 2024 was the fact that all of our domestic national championships that I have covered over the years all continued to grow, and looking back on last year, it is fair to say the ProMX championship continued to grow, and the AORC continued to produce more world-class Off-Road talent.
For my part, the only ProMX round I could attend was the local round down the road from my South Australian home at Gillman, and even then, my involvement was limited to helping out my home club for the round by swinging off one of the BBQs. Luckily, it was located right next to the finish line, so I could take in most of the day’s racing action.
While not making it to any other rounds, including missing out on the final ever National Championship race at Coolum, to finish the year, I could view much of the action on SBS. At the end of the day, it is fantastic to watch the national championship on free-to-air television in Australia, with an excellent production and an incredible team of commentators.
At the AORC, I was a little more involved with taking my son to race the opening six rounds; the plan was to attend all 12 rounds across the six weekends; however, after the Victorian round was postponed and eventually cancelled, leaving my full-time job of 8 years, plans quickly changed. We could not make it across to New South Wales for the final two weekends of the year.
While I did not cover the events, the six rounds (Three Weekends) we attended were fun and diverse, to say the least, with Mendooran in New South Wales providing some of the best racing conditions of the year.
The round at Queensland Moto Park was a bit of a dusty mess but provided riders with a completely different challenge from the opening weekend while also giving junior parents the workout of the series with a good 1km walk to and from the pits to the start of the junior sprint, not going to lie, I did not see every sprint start and finish that weekend!
It was dust of a different kind when we returned to my home state, with the S.A. round handing riders a powdery rock-filled sand venue mainly, with some sections of moist Sandy loam and some pure rocky sections.
Missing Kyogle and Dungog sort of sucked for many reasons, especially after riding both regions in the past and knowing how good and different the trails are in those parts of New South Wales.
With the AORC and ProMX done for the year, the Australian Supercross Championship was fast upon us and quickly became the catalyst for a renewal of shooting dirt bikes again.
I could not pass up a call from Mick Sinclair to shoot the opening round in my hometown, and it gave me the motivation I needed to get my camera gear fixed and serviced finally.
Shooting the event was intense and probably not my best work, being a little rusty; however, the whole experience reminded me just how much I enjoyed doing it, the thrill of being close to the action, watching the best in the country doing what they do and trying to capture the speed and action that comes with the excitement of Supercross.
The experience also gave me a good glimpse into the way the series is being run and just how much time and effort Kelly Bailey and her entire team at AME put into every minute of every event. Sometimes, it is easy to sit back and criticise a promoter for what they are doing wrong and pick on the small things. Still, from my point of view and from what I witnessed at round 1 of the Championship in 2023, while it was a short series, it was a good series and a great base to continue to build on in the coming years.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the funds to make it to Newcastle for round 2, but like all other Aussie SX fans who could not attend, I captured all the action live at home on 7 Plus. Then again, for the final round at Melbourne, while being just 10 minutes down the road at the time, I could not attend and watched all the action on my phone while at a dance competition.
SO WHAT’S NEXT
Finishing off 2023 back behind the lens of a camera was one step I needed to accomplish on my path back to where I wanted to be; the second step was to get back into the swing of typing, which has not been so easy and this article right here is the first step.
There have been numerous articles I have “Written” in my head since the middle part of last year that I could not get myself to sit down and type out. I could have written three different articles on my experience of shooting Supercross for AME, probably another couple on my experience from watching the Australian round of the World Supercross Championship from the stands as a fan. However, I could not force the words out of my head and onto a page.
After getting this article out, I hope to move on to those next.
For now, the plan is to punch out a weekly article on the local race scene in Australia, focusing mainly on the ProMX Championship, AORC and, of course, the Australian Supercross Championship later this year.
On top of that, there is once again a vast array of Aussies racing globally. It has always been one of the things I have enjoyed covering the most, so I plan on following and covering as many riders progress along the way.
Much of that will start this weekend, with the 2024 Dakar starting tomorrow and the AMA Supercross Championship starting this weekend.
While Gaz, as he has always done since starting this site back in 2004 ( Yep, 20 years ago), will continue to post all the news articles domestically and from around the world, and highlighting the Aussies in those news articles, I’ll do my best to track down all results from the Aussies out there and go a little more in-depth with how their weekends have gone.
When the domestic racing returns to action, the plan is to be at a lot more races in 2024, while the final number of events I get back to will largely depend on the time I can get off my full-time job, my sons own racing (Though we can tie a lot of his racing in with national events if things pan out) and of course finding the budget to make it to everything we want to.
I have put together a rough plan that should see us at the track at over half to three-quarters of the ProMX championship, hopefully all rounds of the AORC, that will be a work in progress, though with two weekends in Victoria and one in South Australia, getting to half of them should be easy enough.
Then, we will end the year by doing everything possible to get to all Australian Supercross Rounds.
THAT IS ALL FOR NOW, WELL NEARLY!
I wanted to type out a piece about this weekend’s upcoming Supercross, but it is fair to say that every angle of this weekend’s event has already been covered.
As it was, I sat on the couch today with Jayden (The Boy Kid) and watched Michale Lindsay and Lewis Stewart ( The British one, not the fast Aussie living in Asia) go their 450 picks for the top ten in the most stacked class ever, then sat and watched the RacerX preview shows. I then backed that up by heading to Twitch and watching the opening round of the MX Simulator Supercross Championship! Yep, I am a little bike-obsessed while still on Holiday.
If you want an Aussie perspective on this weekend’s A1, Fullnoise contributor David Hogan and his Always Moto Podcast have the below YouTube preview to get you going.
As for the Aussie’s to look out for, of course, all eyes will be on the Lawrence Brothers; there isn’t anything else that needs to be said there; all we can do now is sit back and cheer them on.
However, they will not be the only Aussies on the line, with Aaron Tanti lining up for the Partzilla PRMX Race Team in the 450 class. Tanti is coming off a nasty crash at the second round of the WSX Championship, though he looks to be back-cutting laps on his KX450 ahead of A1.
At this stage, he is not currently on the entry list for A1, though we are following up on that now. Even with 53 riders already listed, making the top 40 for the night show for Tanti should be easy enough.
Making the 22-rider main event will be challenging; not that he is not capable, he certainly is. Still, with the lineup as deep as it is for A1, there will be a lot of names that you would generally put in as top ten riders that will be battling for the final spots on the gate come main time. A quick review of the riders list will tell you that the LCQ will be insane.
EDIT: We have been able to contact Aaron and he has confirmed he will not be on the gate for A1. Just waiting for a little more information, but only just getting back on the bike in the past week or two, it might just be a case of needing a little more bike time before jumping into the most hectic dirt bike championship in the world.
New South Wales privateer Joel Wightman was all set to contest the opening rounds of the championship in 2023 before a last-minute call-up to race the Australian WSX round, which unfortunately resulted in a crash and injuries that left him with no chance to even fly out to America let alone run.
Wightman postponed his plans and will line up with support from Pro-Moto Suspension, DFD Plumbing, Incite Graphics and Fly Racing. This is not Wightman’s first time racing in the U.S. after heading over prior in 2020.
Making the night show this year should be comfortably on the cards; however, as talented as Joel is, making the main will be challenging, especially at A1.
One last Aussie is again on the entry list for A1, with Geran Stapleton listed to ride a Kawasaki KX250. Keep an eye out for him in the Heats and maybe the LCQ; there is undoubtedly a chance for him to make his way through to the 250 Main.
As for everyone asking how to watch, my best advice is to keep it simple and shell out the money to watch it via Supermotocross Video pass ( Yes, I cringe whenever I say or read the words Supermotocross ). Still, it is the easiest way to protect or get a mate to purchase the pass and head to their place to watch.
STILL NOT DONE
The Mighty Aussies of Dakar, Unlike the Lawrence’s our top two prospects at the 2024 Dakar are not brothers, however like the Lawrence’s, they are two of the favorites heading into one of the biggest dirt bike events of the year.
Again, there is not too much we can say that has not already been said about former Dakar winner and lead Red Bull KTM Factory racer Toby Price or Factory GasGas’s Daniel Sanders.
Both head into this year’s event with genuine chances of taking all before them and will challenge for every stage win.
Usually, there are a couple more Australians on bikes at Dakar, but a quick read through the entry list for this year does not show any other Aussies listed. If you know of any others on two wheels or a Quad, let us know, and we do some follow-up.