REINVIGORATING a championship, in hope of returning it to its former glory holds more than its fair share of challenges, but gaining acceptance from the majority of the riding population is by-far the most testing.
Now in its third-year under the control of its State Controlling Body, MNSW, the 2010 The Helmet Warehouse NSW Motocross Championships has slowly been strengthened toward becoming NSW's premier two-wheeled racing series, gaining increasing interest from the sometimes seemingly distant Pro-rider field - as well as the general public.
Now the above statement has its obviously exceptions, with the likes of Matt Moss and Tye Simmonds doing their bit to make the series what it was in 2009, but when the 2010 instalment made its long-awaited trip to Wollongong for round one in April, it was the inclusion of names like reigning MX Nationals Pro
Open Champ, Jay Marmont, his younger brother Ryan, factory Suzuki pilot Lawson Bopping, KRT's Codie Mackie, Axis Motorsports's Michael Addison, Under 19s National Champ Luke Styke and many more that opened a new-era in NSW motocross - bridging the gap between the elite and the grass-roots.
While all of the above may sound like simple evolution of the sport, what must be taken into account were the un-friendly conditions that greeted the riders at round one. Following a week of solid rain, the Mt Kembla circuit had become a testing ground of the brave and a breaking ground of those not-so-prepared. This is where the story takes a heroic turn - in stark contrast to what most would expect of Australia's top professionals.
Despite being smack-bang in the middle of their National MX campaign and probably with the thought of potential injury ticking over like a poker machine in their heads, these elite riders - at the top of the sport - put everything aside to brave the conditions and turn on one of the best weekends of motocross NSW has hosted, entertaining the big crowd on hand and setting a precedent for the remainder of the series.
"I'm glad it's over, it was a nightmare, but I owed it to my club and to Motorcycling NSW to be here, and I'll go up to Port Macquarie for the second round as well," said Pro Open runner-up, [Jay] Marmont after the round.
Whilst braving a round of a State Championship may be belittled by certain people or the industry - in light of the fact that they were in the midst of a battle for a National Championship - the respect and hero-status guys like the Marmonts. Bopping, Mackie, Addison and Styke received from the record number of both junior and senior riders is something that
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