Motonline - 2012 Awards of the Year
News Thursday 26th December 2012 By Geoff Meyer
National Rider of the Year – Josh Coppins
In what was his final season of professional racing, Kiwi GP veteran Josh Coppins scraped through to the Australian MX1 Motocross Championship by just 11 points after a hard-fought season with Aussie rising star Todd Waters. It was a fitting way to go out for the CDR Yamaha rider, snapping Jay Marmont’s national title string at four in a row. The Lizard will be missed both on and off the track in 2013.
International Rider of the Year – Antonio Cairoli
Italian Antonio Cairoli wrapped up his sixth world championship in 2012 aboard the Red Bull KTM 350 SX-F, dedicating the series win to his late mother. On top of his world title success, Cairoli was the individual winner of the Motocross of Nations at Lommel with a clean 1-1 sweep of his motos.
Rookie of the Year – Kane Lamont
New Zealander Kayne Lamont rode his privateer KTM 250 SX two-stroke to victory in the Under 19s title, cementing himself as the next big thing out of NZ. Lamont also represented the Kiwis in the MXoN alongside Josh Coppins and Cody Cooper in what was a massive learning experience for him.
Personality of the Year – Josh Cachia
A highlight of the season has been Josh Cachia’s podium speeches during the MX Nationals, the JDR/KTM rider certainly not afraid to speak his mind whenever he gets the opportunity to do so. We’re big fans of his real outlook on the sport and can’t wait to see him shock the Americans come 2013!
Race Series of the Year – Monster Energy MX Nationals
It seems to get bigger each and every season, but there was something special about this year’s Australian Motocross Championship. Three new champions were crowned and each of them went down to the wire at Coolum’s season finale. Plus, the 2-Stroke Cup at round 10 was also a massive success. Can Williams Event Management outdo themselves once again next year?
Most Anticipated Motocross Model – 2013 Honda CRF450R
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Honda’s latest version of the CRF450R, which broke cover back in May when launched to the US press. We had David Pingree ride the bike at that point and since then, 450 riders have eagerly been waiting to get a taste of it for themselves. It’s been pretty solid on track so far as well, with Chad Reed winning three rounds of Aussie SX and Justin Barcia winning the Monster Energy Cup aboard the 2013 model.
Most Anticipated Enduro Model – 2013 Husaberg range
Husaberg has a vastly expanded range of off-road weapons for 2013, based on the bikes released by its parent company KTM. They’re slightly more expensive than their Austrian counterparts in an up-spec role of sorts, however attention has been high for the Swedish brand and so far we could say their revisions have been received well throughout the enduro world.
Top Team – Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing
The Melbourne-based Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team not only won their first Australian championship in motocross with Ford Dale taking home the MX2 title, but they backed it up with American Gavin Faith claiming the supercross crown on the CRF250R. They were deserving titles for Honda and considering they have Ben Townley re-signed for 2013, a premier class MX1 title could be on the cards outdoors in the new year.
Best Event – Phillip Island Australian Supercross round
After being awarded the Australian Supercross Championships in April, International Entertainment Group pieced together a quick four-round series including an event alongside Phillip Island’s Australian round of the MotoGP World Championship. Although the track was the tightest of the season, the atmosphere was electric as an all-star crowd including Valentino Rossi witnessed Chad Reed and Gavin Faith take victory.
Hottest Topic – Two-strokes vs four-strokes
Two-strokes proved back in a big way during 2012 in Australian motocross and supercross, the ‘smokers’ going head-to-head with the 250Fs in the MXD/Under 19s and MX2/Lites classes all year long. In fact, both U19s champions Kayne Lamont and Kale Makeham were on privateer KTM two-strokes, but success wasn’t so high in the pro ranks. Regardless, any time we post stories on this very topic the message boards heat up!
Biggest Crash – Kirk Gibbs at Coolum
No doubt the scariest moment of the 2012 season was Kirk Gibbs’ life-threatening fall at Coolum’s MX Nationals finale. Luckily enough, the South Australian charger was recently back on the bike and will join Todd Waters at KTM next season in his rookie MX1 campaign.
Greatest Disappointment – Chad’s Crash
Chad Reed’s dreams of a fairytale American Supercross championship win for TwoTwo Motorsports came to a crushing end at the Dallas round of the series in February. That incident put Reed out of the running for the entire 2012 season, but he’s back at it again and will no doubt be a title threat when the gates drop at A1 on 5 January 2013.
Most Surprising Moment – Stewart to Suzuki
There was a lot of talk about James Stewart’s multi-year deal with JGR Yamaha at this time last year, the team specifically building a heavily customised YZ450F around him in the lead-up to Anaheim. It was surprising then that by the time the outdoors came, Stewart lined up on a Suzuki alongside Brett Metcalfe in the factory team! What wasn’t so surprising was that he again failed to finish the full season…
Social Standout – Serco Yamaha
While Instagram and Twitter have been all the rage during the 2012 season for riders, Serco Yamaha has been consistently updating its Facebook Page with an all-access look behind the scenes at its team throughout the year. It’s a time consuming thing these social networks, however fans sure do appreciate it when it’s done right and Serco manages to post pictures, hold contests and deliver inside info in a very user-friendly format. Check them out at www.facebook.com/sercoyamaha. They also actively use Instagram and Twitter.
Special Mention – Marmont’s Gamble
When Jay Marmont signed for Monster Energy Kawasaki at the end of last year despite winning four outdoor titles and a supercross series at CDR Yamaha, there was pressure on all parties to perform. A pre-season injury affected his outdoor assault severely and he didn’t finish on the podium once, however he and the team managed to bounce back and capture the SX-Open championship.