Racer comments from Victoria's opening round of the season.
A selection of riders detail round one of the 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals in Newry, Victoria. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Wednesday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.
Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – First overall:
It was a good start to the year and just what myself and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team were looking for. The track was quite tough to ride and Kirk kept the pressure on me all the way but I enjoy racing like that and was satisfied with how things turned out. The team again did a great job and my bike worked well on a track that was tough to get the right set up. If I had to pick something I need to improve, it would be my qualifying positions. I didn’t get a great lap in qualifying and then I didn’t generate enough speed in the superpole lap but its hard to get too angry after winning both motos.
Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Eighth overall:
I just couldn’t find my flow in race one and I wasn’t happy at all with the way I rode. But, the team were able to make a couple of changes, and I went to the line in moto two determined to get a better result, which we were able to do, so that is positive heading into the next round. Still, eighth isn’t where I should be and I will work harder to ensure my results improve in the coming rounds.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Second overall:
Qualifying was good, going P1 in that session and then going third in Super Pole. I was confident going in and in moto one I got a good start, was able to swap positions for the lead a number of times and I was right there until I suffered from a little bit of arm-pump and crossed the line second in the end. That was a bit disappointing, but anyway, we went into the second moto and they’d put a lot of water down, so I was a little hesitant in the first couple of laps. I was really happy with the way I was riding following that though, we were doing the same lap-times at the front and that makes it hard to bridge the gap. I’m happy in a lot of ways, just have to work on a couple of things and it will all come together. I’ve been bridesmaid a few times now and I really want to get back on the top step, so I’m going to work really hard over the next couple of weeks and get set for Appin.
Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Sixth overall:
It wasn’t too bad of a day for me to start the season. I was happy to make it into Super Pole and, even though I was fifth in that, it was good to be in there. Unfortunately I went down in the first turn of moto one and had to push back to ninth in that, before in moto two I managed to finish fourth. It was a bit up and down for me, but I know what I’ve got to work on and I know that my speed will be there. I didn’t feel like I rode to my ability today, in some ways the track got the better of me, but I’m happy with the points we scored and will now set my sights on Appin’s round two.
Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Fourth overall:
I want to thank the whole DPH team for the big effort to get us to round 1 and be ready to roll. I’m really happy with my FC450, the WP suspension and Dunlop tyres were all working well on the rough circuit. Starting the day with P8 in timed qualifying, Race 1 was a great start, moving into the lead on lap one and battling for the entire 30-minute moto for a third place. Race two and I was mid pack off the start and had to work really hard to get through into fourth but after a mistake I went down, regrouped, and rode it out to finish eighth. I’m happy to come out of round 1 with good, solid points in 4th place and now I’ve two weeks to work hard and come out stronger at Appin on 30 April.
Mitch Evans (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Third overall:
I was so pumped to get a podium on the weekend, I actually had trouble going to sleep last night because I was still so amped up – I felt good all day and when I got there I feel like I amped the team up because I was just so excited to go racing. Being on the 450 has changed my mindset a lot, I can eat what I want and I’m not constantly trying to keep my weight down which was what I had to do on the 250. Plus, growing up racing KTMs I feel like I’m back to doing what I know, I gelled with the KTM straight away. I knew I had the pace to run with the front guys, I just didn’t know how my fitness was going to go with being on the 450 and holding that speed for a full 30 minutes. I wasn’t surprised that I was up there, but I was surprised by how my fitness held up. The track was ok – it was gnarly as and it fell apart but it was good in the sense that it separated a lot of us. The Raceline Pirelli KTM guys worked hard all weekend – we did a few pre-season races and got good results so it was nice to finally go racing and get a good result together. It’s a big motivation, the team’s stoked, I’m stoked and all is going well.
Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) – 17th overall:
The team and I sat down post qualifying and made some changes to the bike in preparation for race one. I felt confident we had a competitive pace. I caught the guys in front several times but couldn’t find a way around them. I then felt we had gone the wrong way with some of the bike changes so post-race we decided to revert back to our original plan before moto two. You don’t ever know where you will sit in the scheme of things going into round one of any championship. This is a new program, a new bike for me and having not raced for 10 months, I take the positives from what we came away with. We qualified second, we were competitive in both races and we have a fantastic base to build off moving forward.
Joel Wightman (Honda Genuine Ride Red) – 10th overall:
This was a solid round for me to build from. Everything worked well and I am pleased with where we are at.
Rhys Carter (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team) – Seventh overall:
I’m happy with how things went today. I wanted to start the season well and we’re only three points off third place. I felt really comfortable running near the front in the second moto and I’m happy with my speed. All the pieces of the puzzle are there – we just need to put them together.
Aaron Tanti (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team) – First overall:
It’s a really good feeling to take the win at the opening round. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and to have this great team behind me showed today. I can’t say I was expecting to win, but my goal was to be top five. Even though our team has only been established for couple of months, I was feeling confident and the bike is just amazing. Getting those two holeshots helped a lot against such a quality field.
Egan Mastin (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Ninth overall:
I started off the day by qualifying P4 and I was pretty satisfied with that going into the two races. My start in the first moto was half-decent, around fifth, and I worked my way up to second, but went down while going to pass for the lead. That was disappointing, even though I still placed fifth in the moto once I recovered. I got off to a terrible start in moto two, spun out of the concrete-based start-gates and came together with another rider before working my way back to 11th. I wasn’t to happy with that result, but I have to look forward and move onto the next round at Appin. My pace is definitely there to win, I just need to work on a couple of things and put all of the pieces together.
Dylan Wills (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – 10th overall:
I’m pretty disappointed to be honest. My preparation coming into round 1 was strong, and the support I’m receiving from the team and each of the sponsors is awesome. I’m happy on the bike and with everything around me, and I think it showed in qualifying, but I just couldn’t find my rhythm in the races. Because I was pushing hard after mid pack starts, I was making mistakes, dropping the bike and sending me back to where I started each time. 10th overall isn’t where I want to be, so I’ll be working hard between now and round two to find the positives and put myself in the positions I should be battling for.
Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha) – Second overall:
Moto one was the perfect moto for me and a great way to start the year and the championship with Serco Yamaha. My start was pretty good and I was patient on the opening laps as things can get pretty chaotic at the start of the first moto of the year. Once I got into my pace and the race settled down, I was able to make clean passes and keep moving forward which is important on a track like this and it was awesome to get the win first up. In the second race, I wasn’t able to get good track position early and the lead group was able to get away a bit. Being a 20-minute race, it’s a full-on sprint and you need to be right up the front early. But still, on the podium at round one is a good start and I’m confident myself and the Serco Yamaha team have things in place for it to be a good season.
Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) – Sixth overall:
I just rode terrible in that first race. I spun off the start, then I tried to override the track to make up the time in the opening laps and just burnt myself out. It was awful and I was angry with myself. The second race was better but still not where I belong. I showed I had the speed in qualifying, I just needed to settle down in the races, put myself in good positions and not get caught up in silly stuff that happens on the track. I’m 100 percent healthy and its only round one so I’m positive I will be better in the coming rounds and out to get some points back, starting at Appin at round two.
Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing – Fifth overall:
Today my goal was to put together two good motos and finish around the top five for the day so it feels good to achieve that. Today’s result was a good reward for everyone on the team who has put in a lot of work to get me here. The plan is to just continue working hard and trying to improve every time I’m on the track. My bike is great my fitness is getting better all the time so each round I just want to get a little better and head towards the podium
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Eighth overall:
On paper eighth isn’t great but I feel like I’m riding well and my lap times were pretty good in both motos. In race one, I got a terrible start as I missed a shift off the gate and the field just swamped me. I think I was something like 20th on the first lap and I had a lot of time to make up so getting to sixth was a good result. Race two and I was in the top five when I crashed out the back there. Then I over balanced when I got up and lost a little more time so all things considered, the result wasn’t too bad. I have confidence in that I can clean up both of those issues and be better at round two in a couple of weeks’ time.
Kyle Webster (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Fourth overall:
I’m just so happy to know that I have the speed to go racing at this level again after the huge time off from my broken back last year.
Jackson Richardson (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Seventh overall:
I can’t say that I’m really pleased about my results today. I have not raced outdoor motocross since last year at Shepparton where I did my shoulder and no matter how much pre-season training you run it’s hard to simulate a full 30 minute moto against one of the hottest fields in the country. I’ll go back and hit things harder and get to round two at Appin to give it a better shot.