Motorex KTM’s Tye Simmonds put himself back in the Pro Lites title chase with MX Nationals victory in WA. MotoOnline.com.au finds out how.
Victory in two out of the three Pro Lites motos at Wanneroo’s sixth round of the MX Nationals Championship on Sunday has boosted Motorex KTM’s Tye Simmonds back into the title chase, the 17-year-old now just 20 points behind series leader Matt Moss.
Simmonds opened the season with a win at Albury before dropping back behind arch rivals Moss and Luke George, but his victory on Sunday took him ahead of George once again up to second place in just his first full season of racing in the Pro Lites.
MotoOnline.com.au spoke to Simmonds to get the rundown on his weekend and his thoughts on mounting a championship challenge to Moss with just two rounds left to run in 2009.
You won two out of three motos at Wanneroo’s MX Nationals round in Western Australia on the weekend. How’s it feel to take your second overall for the year after you also won round one?
Yeah, you know, it was great to win on the weekend. After winning the first round and then not doing so well in all of the other rounds was a bit of a pain in the butt, so I was pretty pumped to win in the sand after I was over there in WA all week training. I was over the moon to beat Mossy and all those guys over there, for sure.
Were you expecting the result heading into the weekend? You must like the sand…
I was expecting to do well and I did put pressure on myself because I won both of the Under 19s motos there last year, and I do like the sand. Although I don’t ride it much, I do like riding in the sand, and during the week I got some good practice in before the round.
Mossy was there riding, we get on pretty well together, and at times I was catching him and passing him while practicing so I knew that I was going to do well. I just tried to get good starts so I could ride my own race, which I did, and fortunately we came away with the win.
You’ve been right there all year but haven’t quite been able to take victory again since Albury. Is this a confidence boost for you with two rounds to go?
Definitely, for sure. I was struggling after Albury just to get that grove, and it showed in my results I guess. Heading into the next two rounds I’m pretty confident now and we have a five week break, so I’ll have a week off and I’m going to do the Hattah Desert Race. So I’ll do a bit of training and riding to get ready for that and then I’ll get ready for the Lakes round of the Nationals. I’m really looking forward to that, it should be fun.
What bike are you riding at Hattah?
I’ll ride either the 450 or the 505, I’m not sure yet.
The weekend’s results have also taken you past Luke George in the points to second. Is the championship a realistic goal at this point now that you’re 20 points down on Matt Moss?
I guess it is now. The goal was to get to second and beat Georgey, but now that we are in second and we’re there, and we’ve beaten that guy so the next goal is definitely to catch Mossy.
But I know that at Newcastle he is really fast, so it would be good to catch up a few points heading into Coolum, but I know it’s not going to easy. I just have to keep giving 100 percent and see how we go.
People seem to keep forgetting or not realising that you’re a rookie in the Pro Lites at the Nationals. How have you found it so far this year?
I’ve definitely found it tough, but I knew it was going to be hard compared to the Under 19s last year. But you know, I think a lot of people counted me out. At the start of the year I read Dirt Action’s top five and I wasn’t in there, so I was kind of bummed out at that stage that nobody knew that I could do well and possibly win, so it’s good to prove all those people wrong. So you know, if I won the series this year that would be just unreal. It would be the best that I could do and would be a good boost heading into Supercross, for sure.
Do you feel as though this extra experience is going to help you heading into Super X, which will be your second season as a senior in Supercross?
I think it will for sure, just have more bike fitness and understanding the races in themselves – how to plan what to do in the 15 laps. It’s been awesome in the Pro Lites this year with the guys, so now I know who’s fast and what they’re capable of. Going into Super X I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Congratulations on the result and we’ll be keeping a close eye on you heading into the final rounds.
No worries, thanks heaps.