News 14 Feb 2017

Local win adds confidence for MX1 newcomer Crawford

Impressive Kawasaki rookie tops Waters during Coolum club day.

Image: Dunlop Media.

MX1 rookie Nathan Crawford will carry added confidence into the 2017 Motul MX Nationals season after topping highly-rated MX1 contender, Todd Waters, in a promising pre-season performance at the Coolum Pines MX Track on Sunday.

Making the move to the 450 category for 2017 as part of the Troy Carroll-managed factory Kawasaki effort, the 19-year-old gained valuable confidence after sweeping both motos at the low-key club event.

“When I got there I noticed Toddy was there and I thought it would be good to see where I’m at,” Crawford told “I wouldn’t have been upset with finishing second to him, but obviously I didn’t want to completely get my arse kicked.

“He pulled the holeshot in the first moto and I was in second, he pulled a little bit on me in the first lap and then I just clicked off my laps the best I could and I ended up catching him and passing him to win that race. In second moto too, we battled all the way to the last lap and with two corners to go I ended up getting the pass done for the win.

“Todd’s one of the favourites this year, so to win both the races, I was pretty happy with it and I surprised myself a little bit. I didn’t quite know where I stood with him or anyone really as it was the first time I had raced with any of the guys.”

Taking comfort in knowing his pre-season preparations are on target, the Queenslander acknowledges the fact that the deep MX1 field will be an all-new challenge come round one on 2 April at Wonthaggi.

“I know it was only one fast guy and when we go to the nationals there’s going to be 10, but it definitely gave me a lot of confidence to know where I’m at and see what my speed is like,” he explained. “Just knowing that my bike set-up isn’t far off, I mean, I’ve been doing a lot of testing, but this is the first time I’ve ever had to set a 450 up.

“To be able to sit behind Todd and see what his bike is doing and learn a lot of things, I know that my bike is handling really well. It was definitely all positives to take away from that weekend, for sure.”