News 28 Sep 2015

Qualifying heats commence AJMX competition in Bunbury

Australian Junior Motocross Championship underway at Shrubland Park.

Image: Tenaya Smith (TS Photographics).

Image: Tenaya Smith (TS Photographics).

Qualifying races at the 2015 KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship have been run and won in ideal conditions in Bunbury today, with KTM’s Regan Duffy and Caleb Grothues collecting the first race wins of this year’s AJMX.

With the 100cc to 125cc two-stroke 13–U15 years class providing two qualifying heats today, it was an eventful morning at the Shrubland Park circuit, where top riders collected valuable championship points.

In heat one of the 100cc to 125cc two-stroke 13-U15 years class, it was hard-charging KTM-mounted Regan Duffy who took the opening race holeshot, before coming under fire from Husqvarna’s Riley Dukes.

However Dukes’ battle with Duffy was somewhat short lived. Despite appearing determined to move in to the race lead, Dukes’ went down, seeing him relegated to mid-pack and allowing Duffy to take a commanding race lead.

With Duffy out in front with a comfortable gap on the field and with Mitchell Outram holding second position, the attention shifted to the battle for third. And battle they did. KTM’s Rhys Budd, Bunbury local Kurt Oinn, and Dukes treated onlookers as they went head to head, with Dukes’ eventually making a remarkable comeback to slot into third.

When the chequered flag flew, it was a fist-pumping Duffy who crossed the line victorious, while KTM-mounted Outram concluded the opening qualifying race in second and Dukes in third.

In heat two, the excitement could be felt as another moto looked to go down to the wire. When gates dropped, the heat two holeshot went to the 121 machine of Liam Walsh from the Northern Territory, before riders began to settle in to their ten-minute moto positions.

After only one lap, Western Australian local Caleb Grothues began to find his flow and kick-started his charge to the front of the pack. By lap two Grothues was able to execute a pass on Thomas Bell and move into second position.

However Grothues would not settle there, the KTM youngster then went on to move in to the race lead, one that he would not relinquish. When the 10-lap race concluded Grothues crossed the line as the 100cc to 12cc 2-stroke 13-U15 years class heat two winner, ahead of Callum Norton who took second and Mat Fabry who collected third.

Alex Larwood and Jett Lawrence claimed the 85cc two-stroke/150cc four-stroke standard wheel 9-U12 years class qualifying race honours this afternoon in Western Australia.

When heat one hit the deep, sandy Bunbury circuit, all eyes were on the line, as the talented grid of riders headed out for their first qualifying race of the day. When gates dropped, it was KTM rider Cody Chittick who collected the holeshot and moved in to the early race lead, with the likes of Billy Payne and Larwood slotting in to second and third behind him.

However the battle for the lead had only just begun; the top three managing to check out on the 85cc two-stroke/150cc four-stroke standard wheel 9-U12 years field, and put on an outstanding performance for AJMX spectators.

By the four-lap mark, riders spread themselves out, with Chittick only just holding down the lead from Larwood who had moved in to second, while Mandurah City KTM’s Liam Atkinson sat comfortably in third. However the battle for the lead was not yet over.

With Larwood on an absolute charge, spectators were treated to a new race leader with only two laps to go, when Larwood charged past Chittick, proving that he means business at the AJMX this week. When the qualifying race concluded Larwood managed to hold down his lead to the race win ahead of Chittick, followed by Seth Manuel who crossed the line in third.

In the final qualifying heat of the morning, the star-studded line up of 85cc two-stroke/150cc four-stroke standard wheel 9-U12 riders closed off official proceedings for the day.

When gates dropped, it was the number 20 machine of Ben Novak who took the holeshot and the early race lead, however with the likes of KTM’s Lawrence hot on his tail, it only took a few turns for Lawrence to take control of the race and pull away from the pack.

After the 10-minute moto, Lawrence proved to be unstoppable, taking the heat two race win by an outstanding 26 seconds ahead of Deegan Mancinelli and Blake Hollis who concluded the moto in second and third places respectively.

Click here for detailed results