Racer comments from Sunday's third Australian motocross round.
Kale Makeham (Team Motul Suzuki) – 7th overall:
My goal coming into the round was to get a top five moto result and I was able to do that. Overall my fitness is good and my speed is good, I just need to continue to work on my race-craft and a few small things with the way I ride the bike and I think things will come to me easier. I am finding my feet in the class and know where I stand and exactly what I have to work on, it is just a matter of how quickly I can pick those things up and put them to use on race day. The Motul Suzuki team was great again on Sunday and it was good to have Matt Moss there to offer advice. After every session the whole team came together and talked about what was happening and offered advice on things I could work on, it was a big help.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 3rd overall:
Second in the Super Pole was good for points and in the first moto was going all right, but early on I came together with John Phillips and went down so I had to regroup and get going again. I was charging, got up to third and was catching those front two boys, but was just pushing too hard and had another big crash, so it was just sort of damage control from there – trying to ride the best I could with my bike all bent up. It was a decent crash that second one so I’m going to be sore for a couple of days – a stupid mistake that could have been pretty costly. In the second moto I got a great start and I got into the lead pretty quick. Then Reardon had a couple of better lines and was riding well, but I knew if I stayed with him I could pressure towards the end. I made a little mistake and he got away from me, but I just put my head down and charged and chipped away at his lead, got back on and just waited for my move. When I put it on him I just tried to sprint away at the end and I pulled out about a five or six second lead. I’m really happy to bounce back with a win, but I’m going to have to keep my bike off the deck in future, that’s not the way to win a championship, so I’ve got to be a little bit smarter with that.
Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 1st overall:
It was good to get the monkey off the back in the first moto. It was great. I struggled a bit in qualifying, and made a change at the front end. In moto one I started off a little bit tight, and then kind of at the 10 minute mark I fell into a bit of a groove, put my head down and bum up and rode my own race and just chipped away and got the win. In the second moto I was just concentrating on a good top three start. That’s all I wanted and we came out second. I made a silly mistake and got passed, but I didn’t let it worry me, I just did my own thing and put in my own laps. There were two guys behind me giving me some heat, but overall we went pretty good – I was pretty happy with my first win. I’m looking forward to the sand rounds next. I know my bike works really well in the sand, and I ride good in the sand so I’m looking forward to them.
Cody Cooper (Penrite Honda Racing) – 4th overall:
Moto one went pretty well. I finished fourth, which was a solid result, but I am still not happy with my riding. I got the holeshot in moto two, but I didn’t capitalise on this and went backwards throughout the race eventually finishing sixth. The team and I have sat down and I have a lot to work on between now and round four in South Australia.
Ford Dale (Penrite Honda Racing) – 12th overall:
I was fourth fastest in qualifying and I know I could have gone quicker but I made some mistakes that cost me time. My results are in no way a reflection on the team or bike . Everyone is working together to help me improve, but I can’t win races by crashing. I know I have the speed and together we will work on a plan before the next event.
Lawson Bopping (DPH Motorsport Peter Stevens Yamaha) – 10th overall:
I want to improve on everything really, with fitness and bike speed. My lap speed is good, it’s just I need to be able to do that sprint speed the whole way through the motos. I like Murray Bridge, as the dirt is good, so it should be better. I think we’ve got all my least favourite tracks out of the way early, so its all good as there is still plenty of racing to go.
Cheyne Boyd (DPH Motorsport Peter Stevens Yamaha) – 9th overall:
Overall I’m fairly happy, my main thing is I have a business at the end of the day and I want to be safe. I have a young son who’s six months old and a fiancé, so my main thing is to have fun, but still be safe. I know it’s hard to do that every weekend as we are racing motocross, but I enjoyed the weekend. The bike was great and the team is working well. Everyone is working really hard and everything from the semi to the catering today. It just seems like the team is gelling really well.
Jesse Dobson (Husqvarna) – 8th overall:
Definitely not what I was looking for; it just didn’t feel like it was all there today and I just couldn’t put it together. In moto one I made it inside the top 10 but then dropped it. I couldn’t get straight back on the track so a few people got by me, but I made a few passes again and we ended up sixth which was solid. Moto two though I felt like I struggled with. I couldn’t find a flow and ride my own race, and the consistency wasn’t there – I think I had about three crashes in that moto. Wasn’t real pumped on that one. We’ve got to work to do, I’ll go away do it and hopefully come out swinging in the sand.
Aaron Tanti (Craig Anderson Racing Husqvarna) – 16th overall:
Today was a tough day. In the first moto I was running around eighth a while, but couldn’t maintain that pace and dropped back to 12th, then had a crash in the last few laps which put me back to 14th. Then in moto two I had a decent crash at the start and rode out the rest of it with a flat front tyre.
Luke Clout (Serco Yamaha) – 1st overall:
Today was just the day I was after. I didn’t get the best of starts in either moto but I was able to get to the front early in the race and set the pace which is exactly what I wanted to do. The win today was good but the benefit is that I was able to extend my lead in the championship. The Broadford track today was in great shape and thanks to all the people that came out and supported the MX Nationals.
Jed Beaton (Serco Yamaha) – 2nd overall:
I had to work hard for it today. My start in moto one was terrible and I was a long way back just trying to get some clear track. I then caught up to Jay Wilson and tried to pass him on the outside of the second last turn and the front just dropped into this soft spot and was going over the ‘bars. Moto two was better but I just didn’t match Luke’s intensity in the opening laps. That’s something I need to work out. Still, it’s good to be up on the podium again and we still have a long way to go in the championship.
Hamish Harwood (CMR Red Bull KTM) – 9th overall:
I’d call it a less than average weekend; the way I was feeling on the bike coming into it, I could have and should have done better. I came away with fourth in qualifying which was okay, but then I got a pretty average start in race one, and sort of went forward a few, back a few, but didn’t feel too bad. About halfway through I got real tight for a wee bit and I ended up seventh, which I wasn’t really that happy with. In the second I started third or fourth, but on the second or third lap I put my head down to dodge some roost and hit a few big bumps and had quite a big crash. It really annoyed me because I was feeling pretty good, and I hurt my shoulder and bent my bars, but I came back to 10th, but it’s all good we’ll train hard these next three weeks and jump back at Murray Bridge.
Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna) – DNF:
I hole-shotted of the first race and I was leading, but on the first lap I crashed and kind of hit my head and was a bit dazed. I got up, fell over a few times, and ended up getting back on my bike and probably did another five laps and was getting up towards the top 10 when I washed the front and landed on my shoulder in a fairly high speed section. I DNF’d that moto, and then didn’t get cleared to ride the next one, so that was pretty much my day. I don’t really know the extent of the damage, but it’s pretty tender and sore at the moment, so I’m just going to get back to Brissy and get an X-ray on it just to see where I’m at, and make a decision from there.
Luke Arbon (SD3 Husqvarna) – 16th overall:
It was a pretty terrible day really – we struggled with some bike set-up on the hills. I felt pretty decent at the start of the first moto but just had a little crash and hit my head a bit and was a little bit dazed at first, then I thought something was wrong with the front end, so I pulled in, but there wasn’t much wrong – it was just that my bike setup was a little bit off, so I just struggled to the end. Last moto we made a heap of changes and the bike was a lot better. I felt really good and I got a decent start, but about halfway through I had about three laps when I got caught up behind someone, and my mind seemed to fade out. Then towards the end I began riding decent again and caught up to the guys who were holding me up at the start.
Murray Bridge was my turning point in last year’s championship, it’s going to have to be the same again this year.
Geran Stapleton (Wilson MX Honda) – 4th overall:
The weekend was definitely a step in the right direction for me, and I managed to stay upright too. Leading into the round I was pretty vocal about how much I disliked the track, but honestly Broadford was the best I had ever seen it on the weekend. The track got really rough and rutty, and the bikes handled the conditions perfectly. I knew that if I could stay on the bike at round three that I could get a top five finish, so I’m pretty happy with how the whole weekend panned out.
Luke Wilson (Wilson MX Honda) – 17th overall:
The weekend was much better for me. The day didn’t start off too well, but I managed to make up for it in the second moto by getting a really solid result. I had to come from about 26th through to 11th in race two, so it really opened my eyes to what I can do. The 11th in the last race really showed that I’m capable of being inside that top ten, so I’m just going to work hard over the next three weeks on some qualifying laps, so I can get a better gate pick and get some starts. My result on the weekend has definitely motivated me even more; I’m just looking forward to working hard and getting to the next round.
Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] prior to the Wednesday after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.