Williams Event Management managing director, Kevin Williams, welcomed Monster Energy at today’s official series launch in Melbourne, entering WEM’s 16th season hosting Australia’s premier motorcycle racing series.
“Going into our 16th year of involvement in the championship, the rider line-up that we have is the best that we have seen in our time and probably also in the series’ history,” Williams commented.
“We are very excited to welcome Monster Energy onboard and are very encouraged by the growth in participation for 2012. Collectively we will give away 30,000 free kid’s tickets during the series and also create further opportunities for fans to win tickets, as well as money can’t buy experiences via promotions.
“We have an improved Tag Heuer timing system with the broadcasting of live results online, and will be working closely with the clubs to further promote the series on a local level.
“A true champion will be crowned after 10 rounds of racing and it really is a world class field – a great platform to develop Australian riders for the pinnacle of the sport in America. This year’s series will be closely monitored worldwide as a stepping stone for the next international stars.”
Monster Energy Australasian manager, Adrian Hunter, outlined the importance of the American energy drink giant in Australian motocross, further cementing its status as an international brand, as well as a true supporter of the sport on a global basis.
“For Monster Energy, motocross is where we really established ourselves as a brand,” Hunter explained. “The Monster Energy heritage has really come from moto, so for us it is really important to work with Kevin and take the sport to the next level in Australia.
“WEM is very open to our ideas and how we want to establish the brand within the MX Nationals, plus we also bring a lot to the party in resources and support. Monster Energy is very passionate about motocross and I will guarantee you, 100 percent, that you will see the series reach another level when we are involved.
“The sport is growing in Australia, we have international riders coming here, and I think that they will be pleasantly surprised with the series and the talent that Australia has to offer on a domestic level. Monster Energy is excited for the season to commence and help continue to drive the sport forward.”
In 2012 the Monster Energy MX Nationals will travel to five states over a period of five months in what will be a spectacular 10-round series, featuring some of the world’s top two-wheel talent.
Defending MX1 (Pro Open) champion Jay Marmont has joined Monster Energy Kawasaki for this season after winning four titles on the trot with Yamaha from 2008-2011, and he’s now more determined than ever to make it number five as part of an all-new team against a truly international line-up.
“I’ve been able to get a feel for the surroundings around me during the pre-season and have had a good amount of seat time on the Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F,” 28-year-old Wollongong resident Marmont said. “Every championship is tough in its own right and I’ve had to work for every one of them since 2008.
“It’s all been a building platform for this and I feel like this year will be the hardest yet. The depth of the field is easy to see and we all respect one another as rivals, but at the end of the day I’m prepared and I look forward to the new challenges with these internationals coming to try and win our Australian championship – bring it on.”
Not only has Marmont got to learn the ins and outs of the factory KX450F, he has new competition in the form of ex-world champion Ben Townley, who has signed for Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing. The Kiwi has been in devastating form back home in the New Zealand nationals and will enter 2012 as a clear title threat.
Another newcomer to Australian shores is defending dual British champion Brad Anderson, who has also signed for Honda in an all-star international line-up. Last time Anderson appeared in Australia during a one-off event, he won three motos from three starts at Raymond Terrace in 2010.
“It’s a really big move for me, to move to Australia from the UK, but I’m obviously really excited about it,” Anderson added at today’s press conference. “It’s a new goal for me because I’ve won the British championship twice now, so I wanted to set my sights on another title internationally.
“I’ve been doing loads of testing with Carlton Dry Honda and I feel really comfortable already – I just can’t wait to race. The series in Australia is a really good one and it’s an impressive championship, just unbelievable. I think we’re definitely going to give Jay a run for his money, hopefully be consistent and be on the podium every time out.”
Marmont’s former teammate Josh Coppins is back with Yamaha and is determined to win the title in what is his anticipated final year of professional competition, while Marmont’s new Kawasaki teammate Billy Mackenzie, of Scotland, will enter his third season in Australia. Between them, the former GP race winners have what it takes to challenge Marmont for the title.
Replacing Marmont alongside Coppins at Yamaha is Aussie rising star Lawson Bopping, who won races as a rookie last year, but now has the resources and factory equipment to really show his strengths in the premier class.
Motul Pirelli Suzuki has another Aussie young gun in Todd Waters, who joins last year’s NZ champion Cody Cooper as the team expands to two entries in the MX1 ranks. Between them, consistent podiums and multiple race wins during the season aren’t out of the question.
A wildcard for the title will be experienced Queenslander Dan Reardon aboard the JDR/KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F. Former JDR member Tye Simmonds will campaign a privateer Honda this year after a full season in the U.S, as will another New South Wales-based returnee in Jake Moss as part of his very own Campbell Mining/TLD/Maxima/Honda program.
With no less than 10 world class riders aboard factory equipment, this season will be a dogfight for the premier MX1 championship, further boosting Australian motocross as one of the premier dirt bike championship series worldwide.
Other championship classes again included on the schedule for 2012 are the MX2 (Pro Lites) and MXD (Under 19s) categories, as well as the Veterans, Juniors and ATVs at select events.
The 2012 championship series will commence on 1 April at Conondale in Queensland. Visit www.mxnationals.com.au for further information on the Monster Energy MX Nationals series.
2012 Monster Energy MX Nationals Calendar: Rd1 – 1 April – Conondale, QLD Rd2 – 14-15 April – Coonabarabran, NSW Rd3 – 28-29 April – Wonthaggi, VIC Rd4 – 12-13 May – Wanneroo, WA Rd5 – 20 May – Murray Bridge, SA Rd6 – 1 July – Hervey Bay, QLD Rd7 – 15 July – Barrabool, VIC Rd8 – 29 July – Appin, NSW Rd9 – 19 August – Moree, NSW Rd10 – 25-26 August – Coolum, QLD