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Q&A: ProMX rider actions – MotoOnline.com.au


Options 27 Feb 2024

Q&A: ProMX rider actions

Unpacking the important thing rider and workforce signings main into season 2024.

It’s all change in Australian motocross for 2024 and the Penrite ProMX Championship is shaping as much as be one other closely-fought collection. As we depend down the times to the gates dropping on the primary motos at Wonthaggi, check out a few of the greatest low season rider adjustments on this newest Q&A characteristic.

Picture: Equipped.

Q: How a lot of a title risk will Luke Clout be at his new residence with Empire Kawasaki?

A: Former MX1 champion Luke Clout’s swap from CDR Yamaha Monster Power to the Empire Kawasaki workforce was an enormous speaking level late final 12 months, however from all accounts he’s having fun with the change. The previous two years have been a tricky street for Clout as he handled a near-constant string of accidents, however ending 2023 with a memorable AUSX championship principal occasion win in Melbourne might be the injection of confidence he must be an everyday customer to the winner’s circle once more this 12 months. At this stage, Clout will enter Wonthaggi match, wholesome and with loads of pre-season seat-time on the brand new era KX450, which ought to see him begin the season strongly.

Q: There’s been a shake-up within the KTM Group workforce line-ups. What can we anticipate to see in 2024?

A: There will likely be each new and acquainted faces throughout the KTM, GasGas and Husqvarna groups this 12 months. For the KTM Racing Group, Nathan Crawford steps up for his foray into the MX1 class, whereas teenager Kayden Minear returns for his second 12 months in MX2. The ever-experienced Kirk Gibbs – beforehand a fixture at KTM – has moved throughout to be the MX1 rider for the GasGas Racing Group, the place he’ll sit alongside reigning MX3 number-one Byron Dennis, who will begin his rookie MX2 profession in 2024. In the meantime, Todd Waters returns because the MX1 rider (and workforce proprietor) for the Raceline Husqvarna Racing Group, joined by former Serco Yamaha rider Rhys Budd (MX2) and Jack Mather additionally now in MX2.

Picture: Equipped.

Q: Honda Racing and CDR Yamaha Monster Power are each fielding actually robust MX1 groups. Might 2024 come all the way down to a battle between the crimson and blue corners?

A: There’s no query that each the Honda and Yamaha groups are going all-in for 2024, of their quest for the MX1 title. The CDR workforce boasts final 12 months’s high two racers, defending champion Dean Ferris and the always-threatening Jed Beaton, which on paper places them in a powerful place to carry the MX1 trophy this 12 months. Nonetheless, that is the one title that has eluded the Honda workforce for many years, and with four-time MX2 champion Wilson Todd stepping as much as be part of Kyle Webster for his first full MX1 marketing campaign, the scene is ready for a captivating showdown. Nonetheless, the likes of Clout or Crawford may spoil the celebration for each groups. On the similar time, Honda Racing is once more well-positioned to defend its MX2 title hopes, with Alex Larwood and Noah Ferguson becoming a member of super-fast Kiwi Brodie Connolly underneath the crimson awning. Of observe, Honda Racing has additionally signed Charli Cannon, who’s the favorite to once more declare the MXW crown this 12 months.

Q: Who’s not going to be again behind the gates for this season?

A: We anticipate to see a lot of our traditional regulars both lacking from motion, or solely lining up for choose occasions this 12 months. Probably the most high-profile of the 2024 omissions is former MX1 champion and CDR Yamaha Monster Power rider Aaron Tanti, who’s pursuing his goals within the US with the PRMX workforce. Whereas it hasn’t gone to plan as he continues to get well from a shoulder harm, he received’t be lining up in Australia this 12 months. In the meantime, Empire Kawasaki common Haruki Yokoyama has signed with Honda Dream Racing to return to the All Japan nationals. Nonetheless, as a result of he’s nonetheless working with Ross Beaton in Victoria, he may nonetheless line up for the occasional ProMX spherical. The opposite huge question-mark hangs over former GasGas Racing Group rider Regan Duffy, who endured a tough time as he returned to racing after his near-fatal crash in 2021, and he has been changed by Gibbs on the GasGas workforce. There hasn’t been any phrase about Duffy’s plans for this 12 months’s collection.

Picture: Equipped.

Q: How will the closure of Serco Yamaha have an effect on the bLU cRU’s MX2 presence?

A: After 22 years as one of the vital aggressive groups in Australian motocross and supercross, Serco Yamaha closed its doorways on the finish of 2023 after the workforce misplaced its official Yamaha backing. Whereas disappointing information, Yamaha has confirmed it should subject three riders within the MX2 class by means of the Yamalube Yamaha Racing workforce, whereas WBR Yamaha will transfer to a MX3-only workforce with 4 riders underneath the tent. The Brisbane-based Yamalube Yamaha workforce will once more subject Jayce Cosford, whereas Kaleb Barham’s late 2023 kind noticed him rewarded with a seat on the workforce, and Ryder Kingsford has moved throughout from WBR. The brand new construction successfully streamlines Yamaha’s presence throughout the three courses they usually now have a devoted workforce for every, moderately than supporting three MX2 groups.

Q: Might 2024 be Brett Metcalfe’s closing 12 months of full-time competitors?

A: Irrespective of which manner you take a look at it, South Australia’s Brett Metcalfe has loved a exceptional, long-standing journey on the high of the game, and what could be a extra becoming finish to his profession than for the quantity 24 to finish 24 years {of professional} racing in 2024? Metty, who turns 40 in Might, instructed MotoOnline final week that this was more likely to be his final 12 months of full-time racing, and can sign it with a return to Kawasaki – a model he spent a lot of seasons with, whereas racing within the US and Canada. Metcalfe will once more be driving for his personal Penrite GO24 Group, and with two South Australian rounds on the ProMX calendar this 12 months, there will likely be loads of alternatives for his residence followers to cheer him on one final time.

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