Racer comments from Sunday's opening Australian Motocross round.
A selection of riders detail their day at Horsham’s first round of the 2016 Motul 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 (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) – 1st overall:
Today was a great result, especially considering it was my first outing with the new team, but I knew it was going to be a good thing. The new KX450F is amazing – it’s so light and so fast and made my job easier on a pretty technical track. Getting the win and heading into the second round with the red plate feels great. I’m not usually up there at the start of the championship, so I’m really happy to be in the box seat early on, and this is an amazing way to start the season.
Kade Mosig (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) – 4th overall:
It was definitely nice to start the season with the first Super Pole of the year. I feel like our hard work is paying off, the races didn’t go completely to plan today, but at the same time it is positive to leave here with a good amount points between qualifying and the races. We will keep heading in this direction and look forward to Appin.
Dan Reardon (CDR Yamaha) – 7th overall:
Up and down day for me. Moto one was good and a felt I was riding at a comfortable pace to get the season off on the right foot but moto two wasn’t good. On the first lap I spun up on some slippery dirt and crashed. Crashing that early in the race meant the whole field went by and I near last with a lot of work to do. It wasn’t my greatest day but I think that there were some positives to come from it and things will definitely improve from here.
Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) – 3rd overall:
Overall, things went pretty well. Winning the first moto was an awesome start to the series and a felt strong on the bike for the entire 30 minutes. Moto two was looking the same and I was patient behind the two riders in front in the early stages but made a mistake and went down by myself. That fall cost me points and because the field was strung out, it was hard to get back many positions. The team worked tirelessly and I just need to tidy up a few things and will be back better than ever at Appin.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 2nd overall:
I surprised myself to tell you the truth, I didn’t think I was actually going to be that competitive. I’m really happy. My starts weren’t too bad but I feel like I can get them better, and I wasn’t strong for the whole 30 minutes in that first moto. In the second I didn’t get through my first couple of laps the cleanest and got passed by a couple of people, but it’s all a work in progress. There’s probably five or six guys that are really on pace at the moment, so I feel like it’s going to be a great year. Maybe there were first round jitters for a couple of people, so it worked out better for some than it did for others. I’m just happy to come away tied for the lead.
Jesse Dobson (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 9th overall:
On paper my day doesn’t look that great but with the circumstances we had with the late call up and a couple of crashes I had from putting myself in bad situations, I was right in the mix. I just need to get a good start. We’re all so close out there at the moment that if I put myself in a good place, it will be sweet and I’ll be right up the front pushing for that podium. I wasn’t happy with the result today but I was happy with the fact that, in a short amount of time we were able to show the speed and fitness to be up front and be a top guy. I get on with the team really well – I have since Supercross. Everything falls into place like clockwork; they really know what they’re doing. It makes it a lot easier myself and I can’t thank the whole team enough for that.
Todd Waters (Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki) – 5th overall:
Horsham was a bit of a difficult track for me – it was super hard pack, and I’m not known for that – but you know we came from bad starts and got in to third both races so overall it wasn’t too bad. I’m a bit bummed about the first race, if I hadn’t have got the flat tyre I would have been on the box today, but worse things have happened and we’ve got something to build from. I’m usually known for my consistency, so it was good to get second in Superpole and all in all it was shaping up to be a nice day, but you can’t help something like a flat tyre and we’re still pretty happy. I had a lot of fun being back at the MX Nationals, and there’s at least five really fast guys out there that are going to battle for race wins throughout the year. I’m happy with the bike and the team, so it will be exciting to see how it all plays out at the next round.
Luke Wilson (Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki) – overall:
I didn’t really get the chance to get a feel for where I’m at today, I went down in the second or third lap in moto one. I had quite a big one, I ended up coming in to Racesafe and for the rest of the day I really wasn’t that clear headed. I went out for the second race because I really just wanted to finish one race for the day, but I had no speed and just did what I could. I’m pretty much going to treat Appin (Round 2) as the first round. Obviously this isn’t the result we wanted, so now I’m just going to focus on turning things around at round two.
Brett Metcalfe (SD3 Husqvarna) – 6th overall:
I learnt a lot about where we need to improve, and coming in to this event with 0 to 1 day of testing behind me, I think the outcome was pretty damn good. I am disappointed with the results, but that’s just because I expect a lot out of myself. We just need to work on a few things to get them up to speed, but other than that, the SD3 Husqvarna team had a great day. I was close to running up in the lead pack, but unfortunately I crashed in both motos and if it wasn’t for those mistakes, the results would have been a bit better. I think Luke on the 250 did a great job and led laps in both motos, and I think we can both go home and learn a lot from this round one and then move forward onto round two and make some progress so we can come out a little stronger. Horsham was technical; very slippery and a lot of the down ramps were getting big square edged bumps and ruts. So the track was getting tricky for a high-speed place. Everybody had to be on their A game and really watch it.
Jay Wilson (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team) – 10th overall:
After everything that happened at Horsham for myself personally in 2015, I was really glad to just get through the day and put round one behind me. I was quite happy to see that I had the speed to run inside the top five during qualifying this morning, so even though on paper it wasn’t the result that I wanted, we are taking a lot of positives out of round one. The best thing about today was that the CRF450 worked really well – I had a lot of trust in the bike and that definitely eased the nerves a lot. We’re going to make a few changes in the next two weeks, and try and improve on the final result at round two.
Dylan Long (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team) – 8th overall:
We’re very happy with the result that we got today. We are a new team, and we’re on a new bike, so for both Jay and myself to finish inside the top ten especially with so much talent in our class, it’s a pretty good starting point for the team. There are a lot of fast guys out there, but definitely if I can get my starts right, I think we can improve on today’s result when we go racing again in two weeks at Appin. We are all pretty much running the same times, so the starts really are key this year. As a team we’re going to work on a few things in the next two weeks, and then see what we can do at round two.
Lawson Bopping (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – 11th overall:
Fairly average weekend racing for me. I’ve always struggled with the Horsham track. No excuses though, I just didn’t have much speed at round one.
Dylan Wills (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – 13th overall:
It was a disappointing weekend for me that’s for sure, after such a good pre season it was hard to cop that on the chin. I’m not one to make excuses but I honestly was still feeling the affects of my big crash at Canberra. The crash was big, and the fact that I only had five days to try and recover and try and get some training in just made it hard. I went into the round still really sore but trying to forget about it and ride through it. At the end of the day I made points and I’m safe, I’ll do everything necessary to get myself to 100 percent for Appin and I’ll come out swinging.
Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) – 4th overall:
Like most riders at the first round, you just want to get through with no real drama and get some good points on the board so I’m happy I was able to do that. The first race was tough because that crash bent my bike up pretty good and it took me a while to adjust but I thought I finished the race strong so I was confident for race two as long as I got a good start. Race two was just good fun and most of the guys up front were the same guys I raced in juniors so we all knew how each other rode. I was able to get passed them pretty quickly and it was an awesome feeling to get a race win for Serco Yamaha at the opening round. Thank you to Serco and all our team sponsors and hopefully there are a few more race wins to come.
Wade Hunter (Serco Yamaha) – 14th overall:
Not the start to the championship I was looking for,” Hunter comments. The first crash wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do to avoid it but it rattled me pretty good. I gave it everything in race two but I wasn’t feeling great and it was another tough race. We have two weeks before round two and Appin is a track I have done well at in the past so I will heal up and come out swinging there.
Jake Moss (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) – 3rd overall:
I had an unreal weekend and I felt great. I felt like I could’ve won the first race if I’d got up front earlier, and I kinda blew it in the second race, but that’s probably from a lack of racing experience over the past 18 months. At the end of the day, though, I stayed on two wheels all weekend and that was a big step for me. The plan is to finish every race with no crashes this year and we’ve started on the right note.
Caleb Ward (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – 1st overall:
I felt pretty good today, the lot of us out there, obviously the first Moto went to plan and I got out front and do my own thing, sort of cruised, and then, second moto I stuffed up in a little drop off straight after the gate, and I was 20th or 30th around the first corner. I made my way through the pack slowly, and came back to fifth in that one. Obviously that was good enough for the overall so I’m still pretty happy with that. The new team is pretty cool, pretty relaxed, and there are more guys to give you advice or feedback on lines and that sort of thing, so it works out well.
Jayden Rykers (Davey Motorsports KTM) – 7th overall:
I’m pretty happy with seventh overall after my second moto result. In the second one I just didn’t get the start I got in the first one, and I was battling with Caleb Ward and Hamish Harwood and I passed Caleb and went around Harwood and I washed my front end and that was that. For sure I know I am at the level that the leaders are at, to win races and fight for championships. It’s just a matter of putting it all together, and being consistent. I know my speed is there. The intensity is higher in MX2 and there are more people at the same speed, so it’s hard to play catch up if you’re back a little bit.
Luke Arbon (SD3 Husqvarna) – 6th overall:
We have a lot more positives than negatives today. I just need to work on my race intensity and I suppose that will come as the races unfold. My bike is working awesome, and I can’t complain about two holeshots. The track didn’t suit me at all. It was so slippery and sketchy and even though I led pretty much half of both races, in both cases I started to ride a little bit …carefully and dropped back. So it was definitely good to get the first one out of the way and take some good points towards the championship. We’ll take that and move on.
Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna) – 2nd overall:
There’s only one point separating all three of us the championship, so that’s a pretty good way to start the season. I felt really good this morning even before practice, didn’t qualify too well but that doesn’t mean too much. First moto I think I made a few mistakes and went back to sixth, and then charged the whole way. So it was good that I could after only being back on the bike for a month and a half. In the second moto I just wanted to ride smart and I got third again, now I just can’t wait till the second round to build off what we’ve already done.
Jed Beaton (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – 5th overall:
Awesome to start off the season with some decent results, I just struggled with bad starts. Top five points are close so I’m pretty excited for round two.