Back in 2014, Dylan Long was arguably one of the biggest highlights of the MX National’s visit to Conondale, throwing huge whips for the crowds over the famous 140ft tunnel fly over, now two years later the Motul MX Nationals is gearing up to head to the venue again for round seven, and crowd favourite Long is set to impress.
Long, who’s become one of Australia’s fan favourites with more than 42,000 followers on Instagram, is not only talented when it comes to whips, scrubs and jumps – Long has already recorded a handful of impressive results with the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team so far this season, even taking top five results in one of the most talented packed Thor MX1 classes in the Championship’s history.
Prior to heading to Conondale for Round 7 of the Motul MX Nationals this weekend, we sat down with the Honda mounted to star, to get an idea of what fans can expect when they head to the track this Sunday – will it be all business? Or will Long show the fans just what he can do on a 450cc machine over the 140ft gap?
Back in 2014, you were one of the crowd favourites on that huge centre jump at Conondale, how excited are you to head back for Round 7?
I’m pretty keen to get back to Conondale! That big jump at the track is definitely a highlight of the racing I’ve done in Australia. It’s good to have a venue that has a fly over that’s 140ft long like the one at Conondale, and the crowd loves it every time we visit. A lot of the tracks we ride on these day’s are pretty good, and there’s been a lot of good tracks on the calendar this year, but I do love heading to Conondale, and this year it should be a bit easier to get that gap done on the Honda 450!
That’s right in 2014, you were on a 250cc!
Yeah last time we went there I was on a 250, and you just have to hit it flat out to make it all the way over – now that I’m on the Honda CRF450 I’ll judge it a bit more, but still have plenty of fun with it!
You’re currently sitting in a really impressive sixth place in the Thor MX1 championship standings, will it be all business this weekend or are you planning to have a bit of fun given that it is one of your favourite tracks?
It will be pretty well all business – I hurt my thumb at the last round at Nowra and I’m not going to be able to ride too much before round seven, so it will be a bit of survival for me – but in saying that I’m going there to go as fast as I possibly can, and I always have a lot of fun whenever I’m on my bike, so you never know (laughs).
So during at least one lap this weekend, the crowd can expect to see some big whips over that hill?
That thumb injury you picked up at Nowra, how’s that all recovering?
I’ve got a small fracture in my thumb, and it’s still a bit swollen and pretty bruised, but it’s been about a week and a half, and we’re just working on it every day and making sure I’m ready for this weekend. I’m staying off the bike to make sure I can get in as much healing as possible before round seven. The Racesafe guys are always very good at what they do and they will strap me up on Sunday and make sure I’m out there banging bars.
We are nearly seven rounds in to the championship, are you happy with your performance so far this year?
I’m reasonably happy – I would have liked to be a bit further in front in a couple of races and have limited a few mistakes that I’ve made, but that’s racing! This year has been a little bit tough in that we have a whole new team and a new bike. We are learning every round though, and we are definitely starting to make some big improvements. You should start seeing some solid performances from myself and my teammate Jay (Wilson) during the next couple of rounds of the MX Nationals.
Expectations for round seven?
I don’t feel a lot of pressure, I just have fun every time I get on my bike and go out there and race, but I think with the way the team’s been heading and with how much progress we’ve been making, that it’s going to help a lot over the next few rounds. The points are spaced out, but anything can happen and we have a lot of racing left to go, so we’ll be snatching up as many points as possible at round seven this Sunday.
Thanks for the chat Dylan, good luck for the weekend.
Round 7 of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals will take place at Conondale in Queensland this Sunday July 17.