Highs and lows from Sunday's fifth round of the year.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and dissects some of the surprises, standouts, shockers and disappointments from a thrilling fifth round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals at Wanneroo.
Local MX2 heroes: More than any other round on the calendar, local sand specialists always seem to shine at the rugged Wanneroo circuit. This year was certainly no exception in the MX2 class as Davey Motorsports KTM’s Jayden Rykers, Kyle Webster (CRF Honda Racing) and KTM’s Dean Porter all put their heads down and placed in the top six. Webster led the opening moto wire-to-wire, while Rykers was one of the most consistent riders of the day (2-3-3) on his way to his breakthrough podium performance. Porter was at his bulldogging best with a hard-earned sixth overall with a 7-5-5 scoresheet.
Nathan Crawford: After knocking on the door over the past few rounds, Husqvarna privateer Nathan Crawford broke through for his first MX2 overall for 2016 on Sunday and pinched the red plates in the process. Nato seemed to get stronger the more beat-up the track became – after a fourth in the first moto, the Queenslander charged to a second place behind early championship leader Caleb Ward, before setting the pace and winning the final outing. After his stand-out debut MX2 performance at Wanneroo in 2014, it’s clear the WA circuit is a happy hunting ground for him.
Matt Moss: It’s been an uncharacteristically long time between champagne drinks for two-time champion Matt Moss. After leading the early charge at Horsham his results have been a bit of a roller-coaster, so it was great to see the Mossy of old return at Wanneroo for second overall. He certainly didn’t have it all his own way though after he crashed hard in the final race then charged back to second position, only to find he was penalised 20 seconds for accelerating too early under the yellow flag while passing a stricken Dean Ferris, nudging him back to fourth.
Dean Ferris: Deano came that close to making the ‘Hit’ section of this feature, right until the moment he hit the ground at the start of the final MX1 moto. The CDR Yamaha pilot put his MXGP sand-riding experience to good use by setting the pace in Super Pole, then claiming victories in the opening two races. In the first race he actually had a handy lead until a last-lap crash saw Gibbs right on his rear wheel as they crossed the finish line. At the opening lap of the final race, Ferris tagged the back of Gibbs’s bike in the air and he tomahawked into the ground. He DNF’d the race, dropping from first to eighth in the round points. Most importantly though, it looks like Ferris got off relatively lightly from the incident, although there will be some further tests on his wrist this week.
DPH Motorsport Yamaha: Wanneroo was a miserable outing for practically every Yamaha rider in both the MX1 and MX2 fields, but DPH Motorsport Yamaha certainly had the worst rub of the green. On paper Jed Beaton’s 6-7-2 results weren’t too horrible, especially as he gave Nathan Crawford a good push in the final race, but the outcome saw him lose the red plates and concede a 13-point advantage to Crawford by the end of the day. Meanwhile, DPH’s new recruit Jacob Wright had a horrible outing in the MX1 class, with his 10-10-DNF scorecard seeing him finish a forgettable day in 17th overall, along with another painful shoulder separation.
Jake Moss: National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s MX2 pilot Jake Moss came into Wanneroo with a spring in his step at the chance to race one of his favourite circuits in Australia, but left on his way to hospital. Moss struggled to get his groove on all day with an eighth then a 15th in the first two motos before a monster crash in the final race saw him finish the day with three fractured ribs. Fortunately, if there was ever a good time to sustain an injury, it’s heading into the mid-season break. There’s a good chance he’ll line up at Nowra in five weeks time.