MOTOCROSS: AUS: Round six Appin preview

Jay Marmont planning a King hit KTM's Jay Marmont is planning a coup d'etat in this Sunday's sixth round of the Maxxis Australian Motocross Championship at Appin (NSW). The 21-year-old from Towradgi (NSW), who won the inaugural ...

Jay Marmont planning a King hit

KTM's Jay Marmont is planning a coup d'etat in this Sunday's sixth round of the Maxxis Australian Motocross Championship at Appin (NSW).

The 21-year-old from Towradgi (NSW), who won the inaugural Australian Supercross Nationals earlier this year in sublime fashion, has finished second in the past three Pro Open motocross outings on his Motorex KTM 450SXR -- all behind one of the King siblings, Yamaha-backed Darryll or Honda-mounted Shayne.

It's a situation that has Marmont -- who is American-bound in 2005 -- in a state of frustration, and one in which he hopes to remedy at the challenging Appin layout on July 18.

"I've been getting closer to the King brothers all the time, and I felt really good at Conondale (Qld) in round five," said Marmont, who also won the 2003 Australian supercross title for the all-conquering Motorex KTM equip. "In the first few rounds I struggled a bit, but once I got my bike set-up to my liking the results have started to come -- and now I'm ready to win. And what better place to do that than in front of my home crowd on Sunday.

"However, Appin can be a very unpredictable circuit, so I'm not sure what will be served up. If it stays hard-packed, I'm not so sure how well the Kings will fare -- but then again it could be quite soft because there's been a bit of rain around lately.

"I crashed a few times there last year, so I'm determined to put on a real show this time around and hit the winner's list," added Marmont, who finished fifth in last year's motocross title.

After five of eight rounds, Marmont is third in the Pro Open standings on 170pts, 26 behind 1996 world 500cc motocross champion Shayne King's No Fear Honda CRF450R. At the sharp end, defending champion Darryll King (CDR/Boost Mobile/Yamaha YZ450F) has accumulated 229pts out of a possible 250 on the strength of five wins and never finishing off the podium.

Hitherto, the Kings have won eight out of 10 races, with the America-based Craig Anderson (CRF450F) the sole Aussie beacon after a flying visit back home for the round four hostilities at Gilman (SA). New Zealander Corrie Sergeant (Full Throttle Sports CRF450R), the 2003 Oceania motocross champion, has been the only other winner -- a feat he achieved in round two. The win was Sergeant's zenith in an otherwise moderate campaign, where he currently lies in eighth on 114pts.

Meanwhile, at the manufacturer level, Honda and Yamaha are currently deadlocked on five wins apiece in the Pro Open battle, with the battle likely to go down to the wire.

Aside from Marmont, the main challenge to the Kings -- who finished 1-2 in the corresponding Appin round in 2003 - in the two 30-minute (plus a lap) motos will come from a phalanx of riders who have also finished on the podium in 2004: Lee Ellis (Sale Honda CRF450R, 150pts), Cheyne Boyd (Motorex KTM 450SXR, 147), 26-year-old Danny Ham (Shift Motul Suzuki RM250, 129) and Troy Carroll (CDR/Boost Mobile/Yamaha YZ250, 122).

Meanwhile, Shane Metcalfe (No Fear Honda CRF450R), the reigning number three, is still indisposed with a broken scaphoid and will miss the remainder of the championship, but it's been confirmed that former world 500 GP punter and six-time world Superbike race winner Anthony Gobert (CRF450R) will make a return to his dirt bike roots in round six. Gobert, a local of the Appin area, was a former supercross wunderkind before he switched to road racing in the early 1990s, which saw him clinch the Australian Superbike Championship for Honda in 1994 before moving onto the international scene.

"This will be my first visit to Appin since a mini masters event in 1990, so it's going to be a real eye-opener," said Gobert. "I've been training a bit recently, but my race pace is probably the biggest question mark.

"But first I'll get through practice and get a feel for it all - I can't wait."

In the Pro Lites class, Cody Cooper (No Fear Honda CRF250R) has maintained the New Zealand strong-arm tactics, with the 20-year-old Kiwi a 16pt (222 to 206) leader over Cameron Taylor (CDR/Boost Mobile/Yamaha YZ250F) as the championship heads into the final three rounds.

Cooper has won three of the five rounds overall, including maximum-point efforts in the opening two which allowed him to skip away from the likes of Taylor and dual Pro Lites (nee 125cc) champion Troy Dorron (No Fear Honda CRF250R). The latter is now on 172pts, well clear of another rider who can count on Appin as a local track -- Daniel McCoy (CDR/Boost Mobile/Yamaha YZ250F, 134).

McCoy only has a single podium finish to his credit in 2004, and will be keen to address that underwhelming output if he is to improve on his fourth place championship finish in 2003.

With a maximum of 150pts still up for grabs in the final three rounds, the likes of the heralded Daniel Reardon (Whales Kawasaki/Thor KX250F, 126pts), Adam Cini (Serco Yamaha YZ250F, 118) and Jye Harvey (No Fear Honda CRF250R, 109) will also be looking to make a real impact at Appin in the two motos, before the championship moves to Newcastle (NSW) on August 1.

In addition to the two Pro class classes, the rookies will also be on location at Appin, with Matt Moss (Yamaha) currently a 1pt leader from a two-way tie for second between fellow Yamaha punters Justin Carafa and Jake Moss.

All the action begins at 9.00am on Sunday. Entry is $20 for adults, $10 for children 5-15, and $50 for a family (two adults and two children). The circuit is located at Brian Road, Appin.

CURRENT STANDINGS

Pro Open (after five of eight rounds): 1 Darryll King 229 (5 wins); 2 Shayne King 196 (3 wins); 3 Jay Marmont 170; 4 Lee Ellis 150; 5 Cheyne Boyd 147; 6 Danny Ham 129; 7 Troy Carroll 122; 8 Corrie Sargeant 114 (1 win); 9 Mick Cook 108; 10 Nathan Brochtrup 98; 16 Craig Anderson (1 win)

Pro Lites (after five of eight rounds): 1 Cody Cooper 222 (6 wins); 2 Cameron Taylor 206 (2 wins); 3 Troy Dorron 172 (1 win); 4 Daniel McCoy 134; 5 Daniel Reardon 126; 6 Adam Cini 118; 7 Jye Harvey 109; 8 Warren Smart, Mitch Hoad 105; 10 Robbie Marshall 87; 13 Wade Thompson 64 (1 win).

-www.ozmotox.com

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