News 3 Jul 2017

Husqvarna's Roberts extends MXD lead

HQVA press release:

Husqvarna racer Jy Roberts has extended his lead in the MXD championship of the MX Nationals series, despite finishing off the podium in yesterday’s sixth round of the series at Nowra.

The Robertson’s Motorcycles rider and Under 19 championship leader established his speed on the track in practice, qualifying second-fastest behind Kaleb Barham and ahead of Riley Dukes in a Husqvarna FC 250 1-2-3.

As the track began to get choppy, however, the 16-year-old encountered arm pump.

Lacklustre starts exacerbated the situation, but Roberts still managed to battle his way to fourth in the opener and a highly impressive sixth in the second – after coming from the very back of the pack – to be fifth for the day.

Rookie Callum Norton won the MXD category on the day, ahead of Hugh McKay and Isaac Ferguson.

SD3 Husqvarna’s Kaleb Barham had a day he’d rather forget, despite it starting in the best possible way after a dominant qualifying performance.

Barham did not start the opening race when a fuel starvation problem surfaced on the start line of race 1, then rode to a strong podium finish in the second – only to be penalised for track deviation in after another competitor protested.

Barham had been punted off the track and claimed he had taken the earliest, safe return to the course. However, officials deemed otherwise and his third became eighth, leaving him 17th for the day, and determined for redemption at Shepparton in a fortnight’s time.

Riley Dukes posted another very respectable result with seventh on the day after 7-4 finishes, but was left somewhat disappointed after qualifying third fastest on the R&D Husqvarna FC 250.

Jy Roberts (FC250): “Nowra was alright I guess. I had some really solid laps in practice, but the track got really choppy and I got really bad arm pump, which made the racing hard. I’m really happy with how I rode though, with my bad starts – definitely made it hard on myself. Moto 1 I was about tenth off the start and then I came back to fourth, then moto 2, I was last off the gate and made my way back up to fourth and just had a couple of crashes and came in sixth or seventh. But I put in some consistent laps and tried to make passes and I ended up extending my lead, so I’m stoked with that. I went good at Shepparton last year in the Rookies Cup, so I can’t wait to go back up there. I loved the dirt and track. I love riding ruts.”

Kaleb Barham (FC250): “I got off to a great start with pole in the morning, and was lining up for the first moto and had a fuel line issue, so I didn’t get off the line. We had to let that one go through to the keeper, then in the second one, I got off to a better start and made my way up to third. I had a little incident where I got bumped off the track and re-joined at where I thought was the earliest safe opportunity, and ended up finishing the race in third. But then I got pinged five positions and ended up eighth overall. Anyway, we’re not in championship contention now, but it was good to get a podium finish in the last one. There will be some redemption on the cards at Shepparton that’s for sure. I like Shepparton – it’s got the same soil as Echo Valley.”

Riley Dukes (FC250): “Today was pretty ordinary for me. I expected a lot more. We came away with seventh and all the points were close, so we’ll take what we can from it and move on to Shepparton. I got a good start in the first one, but then in the second turn I went off the track and went back a few positions after that, and then just rode a bit tight for the rest of the race. I showed in qualifying that I’ve got the good speed, and my bike was awesome and hooked up well all day. I’ve just got to take that speed into the races, put no pressure on myself and just go out and do what I know I need to do.”

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