Highs and lows from the Nowra round on Sunday.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and takes a closer look at some of the giant-killers and disappointments from round eight of the 2015 MX Nationals at Nowra.
There were a lot of smiles under Craig Dack’s factory Yamaha tent as the sun set on an entertaining day at Nowra. Comeback king Dan Reardon completed his fairytale return to racing with a solid 1-2 performance to earn his first overall since hanging up his boots over two years ago. On top of that, Reardon’s teammate Kade Mosig continued his run of good form with his second consecutive podium appearance, strengthening his grip on third overall in the championship.
Australian whip king Dylan Long has often been knocking on the door of podiums and race wins, but now with some solid factory backing from NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki he’s realised his dream by claiming an outstanding victory in the second MX1 moto. In just his third outing with the Troy Carroll-led outfit, Long has proven to be a real talent and the rough diamond is starting to have his edges cut and refined. Backing his race win up with a seventh in the opening race, Long finished second overall for the day.
Serco Yamaha’s defending champ returned to his familiar spot on top of the box on Sunday. It’s been a surprisingly long time between drinks for Clouty, with his last overall win coming way back at round three of the championship at Broadford before Caleb Ward went on a tear. A busted thumb and a tough return to peak form saw his championship lead evaporate, but with his win at Nowra he’s closed the gap to former teammate Jay Wilson to just three points. The MX2 championship is going to go down to the wire!
I honestly don’t know what to write about this situation, but I do believe that if Ben Townley’s shoulder injury is anything serious we won’t ever see him line up again at an MX Nationals race. Every time the former world and American regional champion starts to make a glimmer of a comeback, injuries knock him down. Over the past couple of weeks BT has hinted that he might make a comeback to fulltime racing again, as he’s rediscovered his passion for professional bar-banging. There hasn’t been any word yet on the extent of the shoulder injury he sustained during qualifying at Nowra, but if history is repeating himself we’re not holding our hopes that it’ll be a straight-forward comeback.
It seems harsh to list the dominant force that is Kirk Gibbs in the Miss file of this article, but we’ve got so used to seeing the #5 KTM on the podium (he’s been on every box so far this year) that it was a shock to see him down in sixth overall with a 5-4 result. As expected, Nowra was a bugger of a track to pass on and a lack of ride-time due to a factured shoulder-blade and several crashes throughout the day made round eight a frustrating one for the Gold Coast-based Gibbs. Incredibly, he still managed to extend his championship lead by two points due to a scorching Super Pole lap.
In a similar vein to Gibbs, MX2 tearaway winner over the past four rounds, Caleb Ward had a bit of a mare at Nowra. Hampered by bad starts and what he later admitted as being a case of being “too nice” on the track, Ward struggled to barge his way through the pack and found himself getting caught in traffic and circulating down in 13th (moto one) and seventh (moto two) on his way to a very unfamiliar 11th overall. With two more sprawling tracks left in the championship we’d be very surprised if we see the Queenslander finish that far down the pecking order again this year.