Features 24 Aug 2017

Rated: MX Nationals round winners

Rating the 2017 Australian motocross pro class overall victors.

The 2017 Motul MX Nationals series was filled with fierce battles and impressive individual performances throughout the year in both of the MX1 and MX2 categories. We saw domination, multiple points lead changes, controversy and a whole lot more – all aspects that made this year’s series a very exciting viewing spectacle. In this latest edition of Rated, MotoOnline.com.au takes a closer look at these performances and more specifically the riders who managed to make their way to the top step of the podium and mark an overall round win beside their name.

Image: MXN.

Rider: Dean Ferris
Rating: A+
Rundown: It was a stellar year for CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris in the premier MX1 category. Entering the 2017 season as the defending series champion, the target was on his back and he didn’t let that phase him throughout the 10-round series. Ferris managed to make it an entire season making only one significant error at Shepparton’s round seven, where he took his only overall loss of the year. Winning nine out of 10 rounds and wrapping up the series one round early at Toowoomba, it’s clear that Ferris was the most dominant and impressive rider of the 2017 championship across the board.

Rider: Kirk Gibbs
Rating: A-
Rundown: It was a challenging season for KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs as he struggled to match Ferris’ form for much of the 2017 schedule. Gibbs saw himself chasing the CDR Yamaha rider throughout the year and couldn’t quite find consistently strong form at all times. Although Gibbs did beat Ferris in three motos throughout the year and became the only rider to steal an overall win away from him, it remains a sub-par season – by his standards – in certain ways for the former 2015 series champion who finished as the runner-up, 89 points back from the champion. There’s no doubt he’d expected to challenge for the crown more closely this year going in.

Rider: Egan Mastin
Rating: A
Rundown: Davey Motorsports KTM’s Egan Mastin put together a strong season that earned him the title of 2017 MX Nationals MX2 champion aboard his KTM 250 SX two-stroke entry. Mastin battled through adversity throughout the season and even raced one moto aboard a borrowed bike he acquired right before moto two at the muddy Horsham round. Coming on strong during the second-half of the season and capturing four out of the five final overall round wins, Mastin captured the title in a clutch victory over Wilson Todd during the final moto of the year at Coolum. With the most overall MX2 wins to his name this year and improved form throughout, the Newcastle-based rider was definitely impressive this season.

Image: MXN.

Rider: Wilson Todd
Rating: A-
Rundown: In his second MX2 season it was clear that Wilson Todd meant business right away as he claimed the opening round win aboard his DPH Motorsport Yamaha YZ250F. Todd carried the series leading red plate for much of the 2017 series and more than any other rider in the field, but he would fail to hold it at the most important time of the year. Todd was unable to fend off Mastin’s second-half surge and saw his points lead being chopped down each weekend before the KTM-backed racer stole it away during moto one at Coolum. Todd battled right to the end though, suffering a concussion in a controversial practice incident on Saturday, the Victoria-based rider returned to race on Sunday and came very close to capturing the title in the final moto of the year.

Rider: Mitch Evans
Rating: B+
Rundown: As a rookie in the MX2 category, Serco Yamaha’s Mitch Evans put together a bunch of mature riders throughout the 2017 season and showed strong form winning two overalls in the process at Appin and Conondale. Briefly holding the series lead and remaining in the title hunt all the way through to Coolum’s season finale, it was a great first season in the pro category for the young Queenslander. Evans finished out the championship on the overall podium behind Mastin and Todd in third position solidifying his place as a serious MX2 contender to look out for in 2018.

Rider: Hamish Harwood
Rating: B-
Rundown: Hamish Harwood, the ‘ironman’ of the Australian outdoor series, spun more laps this year than anyone on the MX Nationals schedule. Contesting both the MX1 and MX2 categories aboard two-stroke KTM machines, the Kiwi rider was very impressive in 2017 and managed to steal away an overall victory in the MX2 class at Murray Bridge in South Australia. Considered a title contender at one stage, Harwood continued to race both classes and found himself slipping down the points ladder slightly. Although out of the title chase, Harwood remained strong and finished out the year fourth overall in MX2 and 14th overall in the premier MX1 category. That’s impressive.