Features 22 Aug 2017

Quotebook: 2017 MX Nationals Rd10 Coolum

Racer comments from Coolum's 10th round of the season.

A selection of riders detail round 10 of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals in Queensland. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.

MX1

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Third overall:
I was really happy to get my first Super Pole win of the year, but I spun up a little over the concrete in the first race though and had to fight my way through. It took me a little bit to get in my grove, but once I did I pushed to the front. I made the pass on Todd but he was all over me trying to pass me back and I made a mistake and had a little lay down, which was disappointing. I’d put a lot of effort into pushing through and was really cooked after that, so I struggled a little in that second moto and my back was a bit sore. We had a few ups and downs of various types this year, but we kept working as a team, trying to make ourselves better every week and towards the end we started putting ourselves into good positions, so hats off to the team. We were the only ones to steal a win off Dean this year, so it just goes to show we were still working really hard. I’m looking forward to a few days now to regroup and then I’ll get ready for the Des Nations. I’m looking forward to riding for Australia with Dean and Hunter. Dean’s riding at a world class level and Hunter’s riding amazingly well too, so hopefully I can pull my weight and get a good result.

Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Eighth overall:
Today the back was not up to it and I had no strength to fight. In the first one I was just rolling around, but we looked at the points situation between motos and I could have possibly lost my top-five position so Jay told me to just go out there and do what I could. I spent the second race riding around looking for smoother lines – the back just got super tight, went into protective mode and tightened up around the area and I couldn’t ride efficiently. It was tough. The last few rounds have been tough though – it’s been a tough year for sure. I had 14 months off, so I always knew this year was going to be tough, and from that perspective fifth in the championship is not too bad.

Brett Metcalfe (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Sixth overall:
I was looking forward to coming to Coolum, a sand track that I’d heard a lot about. I didn’t have the day I’d hoped for, but – no excuses – my body was a little tight from that crash last week at Toowoomba. To come into what is probably the roughest track on the circuit, it didn’t help. It was a consistent, steady day and I didn’t get good starts, so I made it hard for myself, but all in all I’m happy to get the series finished. It’s been a bit of a journey for me from start to finish, so just a huge thank you to the MEGA Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team for the huge effort they put forth and I look forward to what the future holds.

Nathan Crawford (MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 18th overall:
It was a tough day and tough weekend really. I was feeling good and in the top four, quite comfortable, but the sand caught me out and I had a really big crash. It’s been a while since I’ve had a crash that big and I was a bit rattled. I did my best to recover between motos so I could make the gate again. I got a good start again, but another silly little tip-over put me back, then we fought our way back to seventh and that was the weekend for me. It’s been a big year and I’ve learnt a lot, so thanks to everybody at MEGA Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team.

Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) – First overall:
“It has been a crazy week, I was able to wrap up the championship last week at Toowoomba, my partner Renae and I had a gorgeous baby girl during the week, I got selected to represent Australia at the Motocross of Nations and now win the final round of the championship in what has been an amazing year for me. There are so many people that have contributed to the success we have had this year and I don’t really even know where to begin. The CDR Yamaha team are the best in the business and continue to set the bar for racing in Australia, WEM for running a high-quality series and the other sponsors that make all this happen but what made it special was all the people from Kyogle that came out to support me the last couple of weekends. To ride around the track on the last couple of laps and see everyone waving me on was pretty cool and something that I won’t forget. I will spend the next day or two to enjoy this and get to know my daughter but then it’s back to work and prepare for the motocross of Nations and then Supercross. I think we have a great team for the Motocross of nations and I look forward to riding with Kirk and Hunter and trying to get the Australian team the best result possible.

Kyle Peters (Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki) – Seventh overall:
The final round at Coolum was not exactly the way I had hoped I would finish the season, but I’m pleased that we got through healthy and I’m looking forward to the future. I’m super grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to come and race here in Australia. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I just wish it could have lasted longer. At this stage I’m planning on returning home, reassessing and then seeing what the future holds. I can’t thank everyone in my corner enough for their continued support and for making what has been a difficult race reason that bit easier. I have loved being out here in Australia, and hope to come back and race again in the future.

Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – Fifth overall:
I put everything into this year. I felt like my preparation was great, and when I look back at the season, I’m happy with how I handled everything that was thrown at me, but I fell short of my personal goal. I’m so happy to give the team a podium in the championship, and to not only battle with, but beat factory teams is a great achievement, but I’m a racer, and I won’t be satisfied unless I’m on the top step! I can’t thank Dale, Pynee, our sponsors and the entire DPH team enough.

Callum Norton (KTM) – 22nd overall:
I copped a face full in that first race and it slipped down in my goggles and it was making my eyes worse, then I threw them and copped some more so I had to pull off and clean my eyes out. I ended up getting back to 16th and was still going quite fast at the end there. Moto two I beat my way through a bit and was happy in tenth behind Styke and Peters. Then I could see I was catching them. Clout went down and then I got Styke and Peters so I was seventh for a bit there, but then she started dying on me. I was shattered but you can’t get too angry, it happens. It would have been nice to finish seventh or eighth, but it’s still a good experience to ride up front with those guys.

MX2

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Egan Mastin (Davey Motorsports KTM) – First overall:
There is no better feeling than this, there’s been a lot of hard work and more than a few obstacles thrown our way, so it’s great. The last five rounds we’ve just kept our eyes on the little picture and looked at winning races, and we ended up coming away with it. Yesterday the penalty was unlucky – I definitely didn’t intentionally have a part in anyone’s crash so that was hard to swallow. I was tenth off the start in the first one and third in the second – we just had to go out there and get it done, and I’m stoked to get it over the line. It’s good to win both the day and the championship, there’s no better feeling. The bike was great – people will come up with excuses when they’re getting beaten but a lot of tracks were harder on the two-stroke, there was a lot of hard-packed track this year. It’s funny no one was complaining all year until I started winning races. But I just spent the time and gelled with the bike.

Kyle Webster (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Eighth overall:
Overall Coolum was a really great finish to the championship for me, getting P1 in Qualifying was a great start to the day, and then in the first moto I got a good start and was running around fifth, but then managed to work my way up to second and even started to catch up to Egan (Mastin), but ran out of tear-offs near the end. So I knew I had good speed at Coolum and was feeling strong for the final race of the year, but then in race two I got a shocking start and had to do so much work to come through. So to get up to third by the chequered flag and get another podium placing, as well as third overall for the round, was a good result. I felt pretty awesome all day and flowed really well. It’s been a huge season in the MX Nationals this year, with so many fast riders in MX2, so I’m stoked to finish the championship with a good result at the final round at Coolum. I’d like to say thanks to my mechanic, Mick, everyone involved with the Penrite CRF Honda Racing team, and all the sponsors and supporters that make it possible for us to go racing at a national level, we just couldn’t do it without them. Now I’m looking forward to getting into supercross mode with the 2017 Australian Supercross Championship kicking off next month.

Jayden Rykers (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – 10th overall:
A small mistake cost me in the first turn in moto one, a crash unloaded me off the bike, after that it was on-going but I found a little flow, for what speed I had at the end of the race. Moto two was much better. Although I came around the first corner outside the top 20, I made some fast passes and got back to sixth. My speed was much better. The track was difficult on the weekend. With such a hard base too it was easy to catch you off-guard and wasn’t like a typical Coolum that everyone knows. Overall the motocross season was a great experience for me with the team. Of course I’m unhappy with some of my performances but the work has been done, so I’m looking forward to another year on the four-stroke and putting in all into motion after Supercross.

Jay Wilson (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Fifth overall:
I was stoked to finish the season with a top five overall. I feel as if at the last two rounds we have started to feel more comfortable and I’m picking up a bit more of that speed that the front guys are running. It’s always hard entering a championship at the half way point, you’re racing against guys who have a lot of racing under their belts, but I’m starting to feel like my old self again, and I know that with a solid pre-season and a bit more bike time that we will able to be competitive. I can’t thank the team at Raceline Pirelli KTM enough for the opportunity to go racing again. When I returned to Australia I was at a crossroads and they gave me the chance to do this. I’m glad I could finish on a high note for those guys, and now we’re looking forward to putting together a solid supercross season.

Wilson Todd (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – Second overall:
That was a tough weekend, I was confident coming into the meeting that I could win, but the crash on Saturday really threw a spanner in the works, and I’m disappointed that things went the way they did. After getting the clearance to race, I wasn’t 100 percent, but I wanted that championship. So in the first race I just hung in there for third, moving into second by two points in the championship. [In] the final race, my only option was to win and after leading for the first half, I was confident I could do it, but I hit a hole and crashed, putting me in second and that’s where I stayed.”

Hayden Mellross (DPH Motosport Yamaha) – 16th overall:
Congratulations to the team on the results this year, 1-2-3 in the respective classes is pretty impressive for a privateer race team, I hope come the final round of supercross I can add to the list of achievements! As for my races this weekend, things just didn’t go my way. I had good speed, and great starts but I was just off the pace needed to win. It was definitely the right decision to race these last rounds as I’ve got some direction to keep working and really fire into the first supercross round.

Kaleb Barham (SD3 Husqvarna) – 15th overall:
It was a gnarly weekend; the track was nuts on the Sunday! I just wanted to keep getting starts and getting experience in MX2 and whatever came out of it, did. In the first I got a bad start and a little tip over which kind of cost me, then in the second I got a better start, but I wasn’t on the pace. The other guys were just a tiny bit more intense everywhere, and all those bits add up. It’s definitely something I can work on and I’m looking forward to working on it on the off-season. Now I’m just looking forward to moving on and getting ready for supercross and Jimboomba.

Dylan Wills (KSF Racing Husqvarna) – Sixth overall:
You’ve got to be happy with sixth in the championship. It’s not exactly where I want to be – everyone wants to win races and stuff, but I feel like every weekend we were getting closer to the front. I feel like I had a great bike underneath me and the team was good. Sixth in the country in such a deep pool of talent is something to be proud of. I just want to say a massive thank you to all the sponsors that get us to the races, and I looking forward to doing it again next year, that’s for sure.

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