Racer comments from Port Macquarie's eighth round of the season.
A selection of riders detail round eight of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals in New South Wales. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Seventh overall:
That’s just how it goes, we knew looking at the track yesterday it was pretty tight, pretty juniorish – it was going to be one of those tracks where you’d struggle if you didn’t get good starts. First start we got a little bit of wheel spin and I was trying to make places up but crashed trying to get around Kyle Peters and lost a lot of ground. I charged through to the back of Clouty and I couldn’t find anywhere to get around him. I was frustrated with that, but I got a good jump in the second. Then Mosig crashed just to the side of me, but as he crashed, his bike sort of flicked out and I had nowhere to go but into it. I played catch-up from there. I rode really well, so I’m not disappointed with the way I’m riding. We’re going to try a few different things between now and Toowoomba and hopefully that can help. I know I can go for those wins if I get the starts. I’m looking forward to the hills of Toowoomba, and I feel like I can do well there, once I iron out those starts. That’s where I got my first moto win in 2013
Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Eighth overall:
Obviously the start of the day was pretty good for us with second in SuperPole. I had a really good gate pick so I started next to the box where I thought the start was going to come, but I got pushed off the track and I was like 15th place coming around the third turn. I had an uphill battle. Obviously Port Macquarie is pretty one-linish, but it felt like I just exerted so much energy to get nowhere. In the second start I came around about second or third, but I didn’t really have the feel that I had in the first race and a few guys got past. I couldn’t get the good flow on, I was a bit tight or conservative maybe. We made a few changes in the last few weeks that are definitely benefitting me, I’ve just got to keep grinding and it will eventually happen.
Brett Metcalfe (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fourth overall:
My riding was good and the MEGA Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F was awesome. In the first moto I had a decent start, but in the third turn I came together with a few guys and went down. I was dead last and I put on a charge, but the track was really one-lined – there were multiple lines, it was just difficult to make passes. I could only get back to eighth, there was a freight train of guys ahead of me, but I couldn’t make much of a better result out of that one. The second moto I got through clean, but I had to do a lot of work on [Luke] Clout, it was just extremely hard to make a pass and I didn’t really have much of an advantage to come up and dive under the inside. Once I finally got by him, I was gone and closed the gap to Todd Waters, we were both pushing and man, I really gave it everything I had – on the last lap I went into a deep rut on the inside and I think the mud hit the shift lever and knocked neutral, so I just laid it down on the ground. It was a good day of riding, the results just weren’t what I wanted.
Nathan Crawford (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fifth overall:
I got another top five result, which was really good. I’m happy with my first moto and happy with my starts today too – I got two good starts. I was third in the first moto and second turn in the last moto I was going for a pass that would’ve put me into third, but I washed the front. I was playing catch up from the get go and could only get back to eighth, it gave me fifth overall. Again, we’re really knocking on the door of a podium and I was only a few points off it today, but yeah, moving onto Toowoomba in Queensland, hopefully we can get it done there.
Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) – First overall:
The weekend went really well for me and it’s not often that a rider gains maximum points in the MX1 class as the competition is so tough. It was great that I was able to build on my championship lead but racing dirt bikes is a tough game and it requires a lot of dedication, focus and determination to succeed and we still have two rounds, four races, to compete and they require my full attention. It’s not over and myself and the CDR Yamaha team take nothing for granted. The track at Port Mac was pretty good. It was the first time we have raced there and I thought the club did a great job and the track was challenging and fun to race. For me, nothing changes at the final two rounds, there is still points on the line and races to be won. I want to continue to develop as a rider and that means continuing to push myself and become a better rider each time I race. I have spent a fair bit of time in Toowoomba and I love riding Echo Valley. The hills and the ruts make it a challenge and it is a difficult track to master. Each year we go there, the track forms a bit differently and it keeps you on your toes.
Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha) – 10th overall:
You don’t realise how much being sidelined sets you back and I have had to work hard to get my fitness back.I’m still not back to where or was or where I need to be but I felt I turned a corner in moto two and it was a much better performance that gives me the belief that I’m heading in the right direction. We still have two rounds to go and my goal is to get back inside the top five by the end of the year.
Kyle Peters (Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki) – Ninth overall:
Round eight wasn’t the greatest. I really struggled all day with myself and I never really felt comfortable or clicked with the track. The track itself turned out to be really one-lined – everyone was doing the same things everywhere, so that made it difficult to make up time or pass other riders. We’re heading to Toowoomba for the next round which is where I kick started things last year. It’s where I achieved my first race win and also my first MX1 podium so I have experienced a lot of success there. Hopefully we can replicate that at the next round and finish the season on a high.
Mitch Evans (Serco Yamaha) – Third overall:
I felt I was riding really well today but I just let myself down in a couple of areas. In race one I went for the wrong rear tyre and then in race two, I chose a start gate that was probably a bit tight for the first turn. I will own both of those calls and learn from them. The positive was that my track speed was good and I was able to chase down both Egan and Wilson in the closing stages of race two. Just 14 points separate the top three riders in the MX2 division and with only two rounds remaining, there is no room for the faint- hearted. It will be an all-out, take no prisoners, race to the finish and no one looks like backing down. Toowoomba and Coolum are the final two track and all three of us have raced there a lot. In fact, the three of us have raced each other all through our junior careers and have had a good rivalry and respect for one another on the track but we are all going for this championship and none of us plan on backing down.
Kyle Webster (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Fourth overall:
Overall Port Macquarie was a good round for me. I was stoked with my effort in qualifying, to be fastest is really satisfying and puts you in a strong frame of mind for the races. The first moto was good, but truth be told I just didn’t feel quite right on the bike and it actually felt like I was fighting the bike a little, so to finish the race in third was a really good result. In the second moto I came together with another rider accidentally and went down, so that sucked. But I fought back to finish sixth and get fourth overall for the day, so all things considered, I’m happy with the round.
Jayden Rykers (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Sixth overall:
Overall the last three rounds have been a step forward from the first half of the season. In qualifying I got caught off-guard and lost the back end resulting in a bent up bike, but I still managed to record the eighth fastest time. The track was difficult to pass on, the starts were so important and we didn’t make the best of the situation with two mid pack starts. Apart from that, a 6-5 finish for the day was solid considering the circumstances. Once I sort my starts out everything else is already in place to win races, so it’s just a matter of keeping my focus on what matters and keep working hard.
Jay Wilson (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Ninth overall:
Round eight was a challenge to say the least. I went down a number of times and made it hard on myself, and unfortunately it was a track that if you didn’t get a good start then it was difficult to do much. In race one I got a really good jump off the start but unfortunately I got caught up with another rider and went down. I got back up and made my way through the pack to 10th, but it wasn’t the result we were hoping for. In the last moto I got sort of a mid-pack start and felt my speed was a lot better. Unfortunately, though I went down again while I was in about sixth, and by the time I got up and going again, I’d lost positions and ended up ninth.