News 3 Jul 2016

Ferris, Ward and Kirkland conquer Nowra MX Nationals

Championship races tighten as the second half of the series opens.

Image: Jordan Deckert.

Image: Jordan Deckert.

CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris (MX1), KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Caleb Ward (MX2) and Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Wade Kirkland (MXD) have taken victory as the 2016 Motul MX Nationals resumed at Nowra, New South Wales, today.

National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Matt Moss stormed back into the MX1 winner’s circle in moto one, working his way past reigning champion Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) in the opening laps and then sprinting off to a convincing win.

Behind Moss was Super Pole winner Ferris, who in turn overcame Kade Mosig (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) for the final pair of positions on the podium.

Gibbs injured his knee in qualifying and crashed during the moto, but still finished fourth, after Todd Waters (Wilson’s Coolair Motul Suzuki) dropped down the order to fifth in the latter stages with a derailed chain.

The top 10 was rounded out by Jay Wilson (Crankt Protein Honda Racing), Jacob Wright (DPH Motorsport Yamaha), Dylan Long (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) after he clawed his way back from a crash, Corey James (Yamaha) and returning former champion Craig Anderson (Honda).

A thrilling final moto of the premier MX1 saw Ferris inch his way to victory at steal the overall as a result. The race started out as a tight battle between opening moto winner Moss and Ferris, with Moss soon taking control and stretching ahead.

A late mistake from Moss however allowed Ferris to take back over at the front. Moss stormed back onto his rear wheel, but it was too little, too late, with Ferris winning from Moss, Gibbs, Waters, Long, Mosig, Wright, James, Anderson and class debutant Kurt Gow (Husqvarna).

“It feels good to get the win here at Nowra,” Ferris said afterwards. “There’s been six rounds and I’ve only won two of them so it’s a solid result.

“It’s my goal to win every weekend, but even halfway through that final race I thought I might have to settle for second, but Mossy crashed and handed it to me so I’ll take the win. I’m stoked.

“The championship is always in the back of your mind but I just need to take it one race at a time, chip away at it, and make sure I’m strong and solid every moto from here on out.”

Overall Ferris took victory over Moss and Gibbs, who retains the championship leader’s red plates. He’s now 15 points ahead of Ferris, with Waters another six behind in position three.

Image: Jordan Deckert.

Image: Jordan Deckert.

The opening MX2 moto of the round was won by Ward, setting the pace out front and comfortably crossing the finish line ahead of Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna), Jed Beaton (DPH Motorsport Yamaha), Jayden Rykers (Davey Motorsports KTM) and Dylan Wills (Raceline Pirelli KTM).

Wills got the better of fellow local Joel Wightman (CRF Honda Racing) for position, with the top 10 completed by Keiron Hall (Yamaha), pole-setter Jake Moss (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki), Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) and Hamish Harwood (Davey Motorsports KTM).

Later in the afternoon Ward made it a clean-sweep in the second of the MX2 motos at Nowra to clinch the overall round win, moving back to within nine points of the title lead in the process as he sits second to Crawford.

Ward’s dominance today aboard the 250 SX-F saw him keep a determined Todd at bay in an entertaining second moto, with Beaton crossing the line third for the second time in as many motos for the round.

In fourth came Rykers after a heated battle with Crawford, trailed by Kale Makeham (Proformance Yamaha), Hall, Wightman, Wills and Aaron Tanti (BBR Yamaha).

“It was a really good day for me today,” Ward beamed. “I had a bit of a tough round at Nowra last year and the goal was to come and fix everything I did wrong last time and I think we’ve done that.

“I’m just trying to do everything I can to get that red plate back. I had a really good mid-season break and to go 1-1 today and make up some good points in the championship is awesome.

“I want to prove that I’m the best guy in the class – I want to go to Des Nations and I want to win this championship, so days like this really help. From here on out, I’ll be going out every race to do my best and I’ve just got to keep winning races.”

Overall for the round it was Ward who claimed victory, topping the podium over Beaton and championship leader Crawford. It is those three who are taking control of the title race in its second half.

Yamaha privateer Lochie Latimer was able to convert his pole position from earlier this morning to take victory in the first of two MXD races, fending off Mitch Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), while Wade Kirkland (Raceline Pirelli KTM) completed the podium.

Fourth was points leader Connor Tierney (MXR&D Husqvarna), while Cooper Pozniak (KTM), Zak Small (Husqvarna), Kaleb Barham (SD3 Husqvarna), Jordan Hill (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Sam Pelz (Yamaha) and Lavi McManus (Suzuki) filled the top 10 placings.

The second moto of MXD was captured by Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Kirkland after he edged out Evans to stand on the top step in the race and overall for the weekend.

In the moto it was Kirkland who crossed the line first ahead of Evans, title leader Tierney, Pozniak, Hill, Barham, Tyler Bullen (Yamaha), McManus, Hugh McKay (Proformance Yamaha) and Jackson Coulson (Yamaha).

That result secured Kirkland the overall for the round ahead of Evans by a point, with Tierney completing the rostrum. In terms of the championship it’s still Tierney leading the way, 18 points in front of Kirkland, while Evans is in third at this stage.

The 2016 Motul MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, will continue at Conondale in Queensland for round seven in a fortnight’s time on Sunday, 17 July.