Motorcycling Australia (MA) is pleased to announce the 2016 Motocross of Nations (MXoN) team selected to represent Australia at Maggiora in Italy on September 24-25.
Australia will send a three-man team, including two MXoN rookies, to compete against the best motocross riders in the world, and will be determined to record an improved result after finishing outside the overall top 10 standings in 2014 and 2015.
After years of experience racing in Europe in the MXGP series, CDR Yamaha rider Dean Ferris (pictured above in action in France last season) will once again fly the flag for Australia at the 2016 MXoN in the Open class.
Ferris, who currently sits in second position in the Australian Motul MX Nationals MX1 category, will be hoping to repeat his 2013 MXoN performance in which he finished second overall in the MX2 class.
KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs will make his debut appearance representing Australia at this year’s MXoN in Italy in the MX1 class.
Gibbs, who is Australia’s defending MX1 Champion, and currently leads the 2016 MX1 charge, will be a strong contender after his experience at the MXGP in America last year, when he lines up alongside the world’s best for the very first time in his racing career this September.
Rounding out the Australian team will be DPH Motorsport’s Yamaha rider Jed Beaton, who will also compete at the MXoN for the very first time in the MX2 class.
Beaton currently holds the MX2 red plate at the Australian MX Nationals, and will have the opportunity to find his feet in Europe prior to the racing the MXoN at Maggiora, when he races as a wildcard at the MXGP in the EMX 250 class in Switzerland this weekend.
With Team New Zealand also recently named, it sees some interesting battles in store between the Trans-Tasman neighbours.
The Kiwi trio is Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper, Takaka’s Hamish Harwood and Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke.
Cooper beat Ferris to the New Zealand MX1 crown earlier this year, while Harwood edged out Beaton to claim the New Zealand MX2 title.
Commenting on the announcement of the Aussie squad, Australian Team Manager Gary Benn said he was confident that the team selected could deliver an impressive return on the international stage.
“We’re very happy with the team selected to represent Australia at this year’s MX of Nations. Obviously Dean has had a lot of experience in Europe and representing his country, and both of the other boys are at the top of their game at the moment so they’re all very deserving of their selection,” Benn shared.
“Jed will race in Switzerland at the MXGP this weekend, and both Kirk and Dean have both raced MXGP’s before so we feel that we have a very strong team for this year’s MXoN.
“The MXoN is always a different race because it’s a team event and you are forced to drop one of your worst results, so you need consistency – there’s not a lot of room for error. The way all three of the boys are riding at the moment, we’re confident we can achieve a positive result.
“Michael Byrne will also be heading over to support the Australian team and he’s raced the MXoN himself numerous times so he’s great for the riders, especially the newer ones who don’t have as much international experience. Byrner actually rode at Maggiora when Chad (Reed) was over there for the MXGP, so his experience will be highly valuable to our team.”
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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