Highs and lows from Sunday's sixth round of the year.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and dissects some of the surprises, standouts, shockers and disappointments from an enthralling sixth round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals at Nowra.
If you saw CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris smashing out laps around Nowra on Sunday, you would never have guessed that just five weeks ago he suffered a monumental get-off at the previous round at Wanneroo and DNF’d the race. Fortunately he escaped without injury, but lesser men would’ve had their confidence shattered. Not Dino. Ferris came out firing with the Super Pole win, then after finishing second to Matt Moss in the opening race, put himself into position to capitalise on a Moss error to claim the win and the overall.
Wow. Mr Ward, take a bow, son, because that was a class act. The KTM Motocross Racing Team’s MX2 gun continues to light the quarter-litre class on fire with disturbing regularity and his latest 1-1 result on the hard-pack Nowra circuit being a hell of a statement. Ward has been known as more of a sand specialist, but this year it seems when he’s got his game face on, it doesn’t matter what surface he’s on. Despite his horror round at Broadford at round three, Wardy is now just nine points of the championship lead.
Former national champion Craig Anderson tugged on the heartstrings of the older generation when he pulled on his helmet and lined up the familiar number 100 CRF450R alongside the best MX1 racers in the country. It was the first time in years the 38-year-old had come out to play and he showed he’s still got plenty of gas in the tank. Ando finished 10th in the first race then backed it up with a ninth in the second that included sticking a pass on still-injured 2015 MX2 champion and current factory Honda rider Jay Wilson.
Courtesy of some hairline fractures in his T3, 4 and 5 and surgery to fix a niggling arm injury during the mid-season break, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Moss might’ve been a bit light on bike-time leading into Nowra. Despite that, the 28-year-old dad-to-be felt confident and put his bike to the top of the qualifying charts early in the day. It was right about that time where his luck ran out. An early crash in the opening race saw him battle through the pack for eighth place, before suffering another stack on the opening lap of the second moto that forced him to pull out altogether. After such a consistent, promising start to the season, Jake has had a horrible run of luck the past few rounds.
Nowra’s quickly earned a reputation as a track that’s incredibly hard to pass on and you almost have to rely on the mistakes of others to make up ground. Unfortunately for Serco Yamaha’s Wade Hunter, he was one of those guys getting used to leapfrog up the field. Crashes early in both races meant the Queenslander spent all weekend playing catch-up and trying to force his way through the pack. 13-17 results for 14th overall certainly isn’t where he wants to be and he’ll be looking to turn his fortunes around at Conondale in two weeks time.
In stark contrast to his CDR Yamaha teammate Dean Ferris, Dan Reardon experienced a nightmare round at Nowra that finished with potentially a season-ending knee injury. After just missing out on featuring in the Super Pole, Reardon hooked his knee in a tight turn on the second lap of the opening MX1 moto and was diagnosed by RACESAFE to have suffered an ACL injury. While Reardon will undergo further tests this week, it looks likely that the 2015 Australian Supercross Champion won’t be returning for the remainder of the MX Nationals season.