Kawasaki Motors Australia press release:
MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team duo Nathan Crawford and Aleksandr Tonkov will take on Appin’s second round of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals this Sunday, 23 April, with a steady increase of momentum on their side.
Despite entering round one just weeks after sustaining injuries to his arm, MX1 rookie Crawford impressed by gaining a pair of eighth-place finishes on debut with the factory-supported KX450F, resulting in eighth overall for the weekend. With added fitness since, he is carrying additional expectations entering round two in New South Wales.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to be racing the first round and I got a pretty solid result,” 19-year-old Crawford commented. “I haven’t gone over the top with it in these three weeks we’ve had. It’s still only been six weeks since I broke my arm, but I definitely do feel a bit better and I’ve had some time on the bike, so I think that will help me.
“My confidence is always still really high, no matter what the circumstances are, so I just have to see if the wrist and arm plays the game with me. I’ve taken all of the precautions I can to make sure it’s as good as it can be for the weekend, so hopefully it hangs in there and we can get some good results again.”
Russian talent Tonkov, 23, only arrived in Australia during the week prior to Wonthaggi’s first round and, even though he only had minimal time to settle in, finishing 10th overall was a satisfactory start to his season with points on the board. Since then he has had more time to adapt to the KX450F and should climb the ladder further by the conclusion of round two at Appin.
“I definitely feel better than the first round because it was a pretty tough one for me,” Tonkov said. “I’ve been able to try some stuff on the bike and make it a little bit better for me, we’re still far away with the testing, but we’re getting there slowly. My fitness is getting better and hopefully I can ride once more before I fly out to the race.
“I honestly haven’t checked any videos or pictures of the track, but I have heard some positive comments about it from some of the guys. I do hope the track suits my style and it will help me out because I’m still not exactly where I want to be, so hopefully it will be a good weekend.”
MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team manager Troy Carroll is anticipating an improvement on the top 10 results achieved at round one following a positive three weeks working closely with both Crawford and Tonkov. Progression is a primary target at this point.
“We’ve been doing some testing and riding, so things are on track,” said Carroll. “We’re not expecting to win this weekend, but we’re expecting to improve on our results from last round, that’s for sure. By round three at Conondale I think we should be there, we’ve had a really good few weeks and we’re going to keep working towards that goal.”
The 2017 Motul MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, travels to Appin in New South Wales on Sunday, 23 April. Further information on the 10-round series can be found on the official website at www.mxnationals.com.au.
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