Highs and lows from round 10 over the weekend.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and dissects some of the surprises, standouts, shockers and disappointments from the 10th and final round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals at Coolum.
A six-point deficit separated CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris from series leader Kirk Gibbs (KTM Factory Motocross Racing) heading into Coolum, however the kid from Kyogle was able to leave the venue with a six-point advantage over his rival to grasp his first professional Australian motocross championship. Ferris had a phenomenal day, claiming Superpole in the morning, capturing the opening moto win and settling for second in race two which saw him tied on points for overall win behind Todd Waters (Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki).
While numerous champions were crowned at Coolum, it would mean that Todd Waters second overall victory of the season would be heavily overshadowed. The Suzuki rider engaged in three-way battles with Ferris and Gibbs throughout both motos, concluding the weekend with an impressive 2-1 scorecard. It’s also worth noting that Waters recorded the fast lap time in races one and two.
Serco Yamaha’s Wilson Todd pieced together two strong motos that awarded him second overall, finally stepping onto the podium that has eluded him all season. Moto one saw the MX2 rookie suffer a crash while sitting in second, however he was able to recover from the incident to cross the line in fourth. Looking for redemption in race two, Todd once again positioned himself at the front of the field, making the move on Jed Beaton (DPH Yamaha) in the closing stages of the race to seal the moto victory.
Kyle Peters (NPE Monster Energy Kawasaki) stunned the MX1 field at the previous round in Toowoomba, with many tipping him as a favourite to win at Coolum. The US import came from behind to edge out Kirk Gibbs for third in race one, however a mechanical malfunction in moto two forced him to retire from the race, resulting in a DNF.
Kirk Gibbs headed into the final round with a six-point advantage in the MX1 championship after holding the red-plate since round five, although the former champion would fall short of the title following a tough day at the Sunshine Coast circuit. It was evident that Gibbs laid it all on the line, but it just wasn’t enough to put a halt to Ferris’ championship-winning day.
When it was announced that MX2 championship leader Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna) had withdrawn from Coolum due to injury, it left the title wide open for Caleb Ward (KTM Factory Motocross Racing) and Jed Beaton. Ward followed Beaton by eight points in the championship leading into the weekend, but he just couldn’t match the pace of Beaton on race day, diminishing his championship hopes.