In the past, we have seen many Australians succeed in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Whereas the Europeans struggle to get accustomed to the indoor racing, the riders from down under have no such problems. But why is this? Well, the fact that they have a legit domestic supercross series is certainly a great help to their homegrown talent.
In my opinion, the Terex Australian Supercross series is the closest thing to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Although it is obviously of a different calibre, we have seen many national supercross series attempt to recreate what goes on in the USA. However, most fail when trying to do so – look at the British Supercross series, for example. But, over in Australia, the tracks are reasonably sized, they can draw in good crowds, and most importantly, they have top riders from around the world travel to contest their series. The Aussie championship is also ahead of series similar to it in regard to the technology, as it streams for free online, which is actually something that most (not all) promoters have failed to achieve thus far.
It seems as though the Terex Australian Supercross series is the ideal place for some top American riders to get some racing under their belt in the long winter months. Some riders would rather be sat behind a starting gate each weekend, to keep sharp, rather than pounding out consistent laps at the test track. Josh Hill, Weston Peick and Gavin Faith (to name a few) have taken advantage of the opportunity to head to Australia, as they are contesting the full series this year. Of course, the established Australian stars also take to the track each week, which obviously makes for an intriguing on-track battle.
Although most would presume that one of the Americans would be dominant, the Australian riders are very strong at home, as Matt Moss has proven to be superior thus far. Matt has a bit of experience in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross (he landed on the podium at San Diego in 2012), so it should not be too surprising to see him perform like this. The Motul Suzuki pilot won rounds one and two convincingly, before finishing fifth this past weekend at round three. However, he was leading – a crash relegated him to this position. So, Matt could have quite easily won Mt Gambier as well! Despite his fifth place finish, he currently has a four point lead over Jake Moss, his brother.
Jake has past experience in the American Supercross series too; remember when he rode for Troy Lee Designs Honda? Jake is seemingly a formidable competitor. Interestingly, he is the only rider that has managed to finish on the podium at every round thus far – consistency could be his strength.
Prior to round one, Weston Peick (Carlton Dry Honda) and Josh Hill (Hart and Huntington Suzuki) seemed to be the favourites for the title. However, they currently sit in third and fourth in the series (at the halfway point). Hill was the rider that benefitted from Matt’s fall this past weekend, as he took the victory, which he was seemingly elated with. I thought that Weston Peick would have made more of an impact by now, but he is progressing each week; you have to remember that he didn’t have much time to prepare on the Honda. At the past two rounds, he has finished up in second, so it is only a matter of time before he ends up on the top step. Weston is just eight points out of the series lead at the moment, so it would not be surprising to see him move to the front eventually.
The Pro Lites class is just as exciting as the Pro Open. In fact, it is intriguing to see Luke Styke and Gavin Faith battle each week, as both riders are very fast, but come from very different backgrounds. The gap between the two has opened up a bit now, as Styke won the latest round, and Faith could only manage a fourth. It is clear that these two are the best riders in the class, so expect them to swap wins in the final three rounds.
At a time when hardcore motocross fans are desperate for some action to follow, the Terex Australian Supercross series is a great way to fill the long winter months. Although the title fight is already at the halfway point now, there are still three rounds remaining. The fourth and fifth round will take place this weekend, alongside the Philip Island MotoGP event. Interestingly, Brett Metcalfe is jumping into the series, which will certainly spice things up a bit.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Australian Supercross