Highs and lows from Sunday's fourth round of the year.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and dissects some of the surprises, standouts, shockers and disappointments from an action-packed fourth round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals at Murray Bridge.
Todd Waters: The racing in the premier MX1 class is seriously living up to the pre-season hype this year, with Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki’s fresh MXGP import Todd Waters becoming the fourth MX2 overall winner in four rounds. As such, it was also Waters’ first visit to the top of the overall podium after coming close at the previous hit-out at Broadford. The Queenslander took control of a nail-biting opening race after passing Dean Ferris, Kirk Gibbs and early leader Kade Mosig for the win. For the second race he was content to sit in third place behind Gibbsy and Brett Metcalfe and take his maiden round win. Trust us, it won’t be his last.
Caleb Ward: Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde performance over the past two rounds. At Broadford KTM Motocross Racing team’s Caleb Ward had the mare of all mares, but on Sunday at Murray Bridge, he was back to his devastating best with a perfect 1-1 MX2 race record. Ward’s opening moto in particular saw him prove a huge point to the rest of the field that he loves the softer tracks with a 17-second win over Jed Beaton. His outstanding performance saw him claw his way from seventh in the standings to fourth. Beaton still leads, but by the smallest of margins (one point) over Nathan Crawford.
Kade Mosig: After a horror crash at Broadford left him with a torn abductor muscle, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kade Mosig spent the vast majority of the three-week break on the couch nursing a bag of ice. You wouldn’t have known about it when the gate dropped in the opening MX1 moto – Mosig barged through for the holeshot and led half the race before succumbing to Waters. Instead of fading though, Mosig put his head down and managed to close the gap again as they crossed the line for a heroic second place finish. Feeling tender and with the adrenalin worn off, Mosig pushed through the pain for a sixth in the second race. He was unlucky to miss the podium, but if anyone doubted Mosig’s drive and determination this year, those doubts were well and truly waylaid with that performance.
Mitch Evans: Yamalube Yamaha’s young North Queensland charger Mitch Evans will be ruing a costly error in the first MXD moto that forced him off the podium. While slashing the gap to eventual moto winner Connor Tierney to within a few bike-lengths (with lap-times one second quicker than Tierney), Evans tagged a trackside tyre and had a huge cartwheeling crash. Incredibly he remounted and finished 11th. Evans was out to prove a point in the second race and won by a massive 22 seconds, but that split second of judgment in the opening race cost him dearly.
Dan Reardon: CDR Yamaha’s 2015 Australian Supercross Champion Daniel Reardon came into Murray Bridge carrying a virus that had sapped his energy to drastic levels. He dug deep and pushed his body to the brink on his way to sixth in the opening MX1 moto, but went straight to see the RACESAFE medical crew as soon as he’d parked up. With his blood pressure dropping and heart-rate going through the roof, the medics declared him ineligible to race the second race. With the brutal Wanneroo sand track awaiting him in a few days’ time, Reardon’s in a race against time to get back to full health by Sunday.
Jay Wilson: Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s MX1 rookie Jay Wilson had a weekend to forget in the orange loam of Murray Bridge. In the opening race the 2015 MX2 champion came in contact with a track marker on the first lap, causing the brakes of his CRF450 to lock up. The resulting DNF was just the start of his problems as he experienced an average start in the second moto and circulated to 12th place, getting lapped in the process. Jay will be hoping for a quick turnaround in his fortunes this weekend in West Oz.