Racer comments from Sunday's fifth outdoor round.
Riders details their day at the Coolum 1 round of the 2015 MX Nationals. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] prior to the Wednesday after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.
Matt Moss (Team Motul Suzuki) – 15th overall:
It was a bit of a tough return that’s for sure. I crashed in the first race and took awhile to get going leaving me to finish well down the field. Between races I visited race safe for some pain relief to get through Moto two. Unfortunately it caused my hand to go numb and after a few close calls I had no choice but to pull out of the race. We have five weeks before the next round, I’ll be working hard with the team and also at home at the Moss Institute, ready to return to the front of the field at Raymond Terrace.
Kale Makeham (Team Motul Suzuki) – 24th overall:
It was a tough one, they were certainly not the results I was looking for heading into Coolum. I qualified ninth and was only half a second away from Superpole so I was happy with that. In moto one I was sitting inside the top ten and make a mistake on my own. By the time I got going again I was a lap down. I was inside the top ten again in the second race and came together with another rider and it put me on the deck again. Result wise I am not happy. We made a couple of changes to the bike between motos and they worked so at least we know what to expect when we return to Coolum for the final round later this year. I am pretty beat up at the moment, I have taken some hard hits the last couple of weeks. I will take a little bit of time off now. We know what we have to work on now so this break has sort of worked in my favour, I will put my head down and bum up and come out swinging at round six.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 2nd overall:
That first moto was a little bit tough – I had a great start and just went down. It was hard to know where people wanted to be on the track, so it was hard to pass, but I finally got up to fourth so I was reasonably happy, but at the same time disappointed. I knew with a good start I could do well in the second moto and I did that and led every lap. We’ve got a big points lead now. Coming off a strong year last year and a great off-season, I knew that I’d be right there, and obviously going 1-1 in the first round just further boosted my confidence. Now when I go to the line I believe I’m going to win every race. It’s a good feeling.
Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 5th overall:
I got tangled up with a few riders in the first one and had a bit of a moment where I was wheelying over bikes and carrying on. I was 15th after a lap, but I put a charge on and got third in that moto, which I was real happy with. Then in the second I started about fourth, but on the third or fourth lap I can together with another rider, and he kind of corked my shoulderblade and triggered a dead-arm so I kind of had pins and needles in that for the whole race. So I was just sitting down trying to compensate and feeling like my arm was falling off, and the track was really beating me up. I feel a lot better about everything though, I just had a bit of bad luck. I’ve got a few things to work on over the break, but I’ll just have some fun and we’ll come back strong.
Daniel Reardon (CDR Yamaha) – 8th overall:
It was a tough day all round. The track was in great shape and the bike was working well, but I hit the deck in each race and that cost me a better position for the day. We have a break now before the next round and I have some plans that should see me in much better shape come the second half of the series.
Kade Mosig (CDR Yamaha) – 4th overall:
I’m a little bit disappointed today. Not so much in the way that I raced, but not being able to achieve the result I wanted. I have done pretty well here in the past and I like the sand and the track so do not get on the podium is disappointing. But the points are tight and we are only halfway through the championship. It’s not over yet and I will fight all the way to the final moto to get the best result I can for me and the CDR Yamaha team.
Lawson Bopping (DPH Peter Stevens Yamaha) – 1st overall:
The track was really tough today so it is satisfying to get the win here. I felt good in practice but while it was good to have the speed, a good start here and no mistakes on the first lap might be even more important. It’s good to get the win and reward Dale and everyone on the team for their hard work. We have battled away for the first five rounds so getting the win here means we all head into the mid-season break with a positive attitude and some good momentum.
Adam Monea (NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 6th overall:
I managed to get into Super Pole, didn’t win it but I got third and landed some points. First moto I got caught up in a few bikes that went down in the first turn, so I had to come back through the pack. In the second moto I actually went down in the first turn. I dug deep and rode my guts out in the 30 minutes for a fourth. A really good ride, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not in 1st position. I’ve got good pace, were sitting third in the championship so we have room to move and I am catching second, ultimately I am going for first. We are in the break now and we will start fresh for the five remaining rounds.
John Phillips (NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 13th overall:
Round five at Coolum was one I wasn’t looking forward to, I prefer the hard pack tracks, but I was excited about the challenge nonetheless. Qualified 16th which was pretty bad for me, my arms pumped up and I couldn’t get any quick laps in really. I was up there with the top guys in the first couple of laps in race one, but dropped off the pace a little bit. Ended up in no-mans land and had to settle with 13th. I got a 12th in the last moto. I found a few cool lines and had an awesome time so that was the highlight for me. It’s been an awesome and fun season so far. I will be going back to NZ and will have some time off. Stoked to be a part of NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. We all had a good time and a good laugh with a couple of good results. I really enjoyed my time over here and hope to back here racing in Oz next year.
Jesse Dobson (Husqvarna) – 7th overall:
The day was not too bad, but on paper it doesn’t look as good as it was. Qualifying for Super Pole was good, but a small crash meant I didn’t set a competitive time. I felt the speed was there today. In the first moto I ran third for over 50 percent of it. I made a small mistake and was running fourth, then had a crash and that dropped me back to fifth. I had a decent start in the next one, but I ended up pulling all my tear-offs off over the tunnel jump and had no tear-offs for the whole race, so that was fun. I was behind Styke and Mosig are a bit while they were going at it, but I couldn’t get involved, every time I got close I would get roosted and lose ground because I’m trying to wipe my goggles. Because of my vision I misjudged a turn and ended up on the ground. If we eliminate those small mistakes, there is no reason why I can’t be a top guy. We’re getting there.
Aaron Tanti (Craig Anderson Racing Husqvarna) – 18th overall:
Not a good day. Silly little mistakes caused by crashing and stuff showed in my results. I got stuck in a first corner pile-up on the first moto, then in the second one I was running 13th and had a crash with a few laps to go. I think I was just tired at the end of the moto – that was like the roughest and most energy-consuming track I’ve ever ridden! In the break I’ll work more on my bike fitness and mentally regroup, and hopefully do the next half of the season better.
Luke Clout (Serco Yamaha) – 10th overall:
The first moto went well and I was pretty happy with second place as I was able to beat all the other guys close to me in the championship points. Moto two wasn’t good and I gave my thumb a good hit in the early laps and every bump I hit after that was like a shock going up my arm. I just tried to keep circulating around and get as many points as I could. I’m booked in to have some surgery tomorrow and should be back on the bike within a month. That should give me another time for it to heal and then get some riding in before round six at Raymond Terrace.
Jed Beaton (Serco Yamaha) – 6th overall:
I’m pretty sore now. The pain isn’t in my collarbone, it’s in my back and shoulder where every time I had to wheelie a bump it felt like my shoulder was about to pop out. It wasn’t a fun way to race and it’s not where I belong, but I’m still in the championship and only 30 odd points behind. We also have a break now so it gives me time to get back to full fitness and come back in the second half swinging.
Caleb Ward (KTM) – 1st overall:
It was a pretty good day. The first moto was awesome, the second one I wasn’t really happy with, but I still got the overall so I’m pretty happy with that. Once I got into the lead in the first one I sort of just rode smart and did my own thing and won by about 15 seconds or so. In the second I got caught up with a big pack of riders but I kept pushing the whole way and managed to pass Jay Wilson on maybe the last lap and got up to second. It’s going to be good to have time to get my knees a lot stronger and get my fitness back up to 100 percent and come out swinging in the second half.
Jack Simpson (Davey Motorsports KTM) – 11th overall
I had a crash in the first race, passing for third, so I corked my leg, but other than that I’m feeling good. I enjoyed myself today, bloody oath. I haven’t really had that much success there at Coolum before, but today I turned it around. The two-stroke was pulling like a train down the straights and was set up well. I ran as high as third in the first moto and if I didn’t have that stack I would have stayed in fourth in the first race and got a podium today.
Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna) – 2nd overall:
First moto I got a pretty mediocre start, I crashed in a third corner and went from dead last back to sixth, and it was by far the toughest moto I’ve ever raced. The track was rough, they prepped up real well and it had heaps of moisture in it – it was a motocross track – and I just went for 30 minutes going as fast as I could, trying to get back to the front. I had to dig deep, and if I hadn’t done that I probably wouldn’t be on the podium. I won the last moto which was a good way to go into the break. That was my first win for the year, so that definitely helps with my confidence.
Luke Arbon (SD3 Husqvarna) – 5th overall:
I qualified pretty average, but I felt good out on the track. First moto I made it up to fourth or fifth when everyone was still pretty close, but halfway through the moto I just started making little mistakes for about a 10 minute period and on the track if you make a mistake in the turn you lose so much time in the straights. I slipped to eighth. Moto two I got another average start, but I dug deep and made a few passes late in the moto for fifth, so there were positives to take away and a few negatives to learn from as well. I’ve got five weeks now, so we’ll go home and do our homework, and come out strong for the second half of the season.
Takeshi Katsuya (Sony Action Cam Kawasaki) – 4th overall:
A podium would have been nice leading up to the break, but we struggled with our sand setting. Only five points behind Clout, so not far behind from becoming series leader. I am going to train hard in the break. I am going back to Japan for a week, so I am going to do a little training program there. We will be back stronger for the second half for sure!
Alex Morris (Proformance Kawasaki) – 24th overall:
Coming out of the gate in the first moto I am not even sure what happened. I was only about five metres in front of the gate and then I was on the ground, so not the best way to start the weekend, but I got up and charged for the 30 minutes, luckily it was a longer moto so I could catch a couple of the guys. I was pumped for the second moto because of my comeback in the first race. Unfortunately we had a bit of an issue with my bike and I couldn’t finish the race. I was disappointed, but we will be back for the next round and we are getting better too.
Geran Stapleton (Wilson MX Honda) – 9th overall:
It was a pretty tough weekend out there to be honest, the track definitely had the bike and the body working extra hard. I had a little crash in the first race and that made things pretty difficult with the track being so rough, but I managed to get through and get some more points on the board which is the main thing. I’m heading over to America now to spend the break training and riding, so I’m looking forward to getting a lot more time on the bike, riding some good tracks and coming back fresh for the second half of the season.
Luke Wilson (Wilson MX Honda) – 13th overall:
I was pretty happy with my result on the weekend. Going in, I wasn’t a big fan of Coolum but managed to get 13th overall which is my best result so far this season. I’ve been doing heaps of training off and on the bike, so it obviously helped a lot on the weekend, and hopefully it keeps helping with the series having a few more hard pack rounds coming up. The track was ripped pretty deep on the weekend and it was tough on everyone, but the Honda handled the conditions really well and we had no bike problems all weekend. This week I’ll just hang out and do some surfing and then next week it will be back to the normal program so we can get ready for the last five rounds.