Racer comments from New South Wales' second round of the season.
A selection of riders detail round two of the 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals in Appin, New South Wales. 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:
Another good day for myself and the team. Appin has always been good to me and since my return to Australia in 2016, I have won here so I always enjoy racing this track. Missing the Superpole event was a bit odd and it’s the first time I can remember not being in it. I felt I was riding pretty good in practice and qualifying but when the team told me I was sixth, I was a bit stunned. Thankfully, it didn’t matter once the races started and I was able to win both races and keep my good start to the championship on track. My YZ450F was working well today and the team do an amazing job of making my life easy. Aiden, who works on my bike, puts in the hours and we make a great team so thank you to him and everyone at CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team.
Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Fourth overall:
Today was a little more like me and the way I ride. The opening round was just awful and there was no way to hid from it. I went home with my tail between my legs and made sure I did the work for this weekend and went to the start line confident that I was prepared. My goal is to get on the podium so I was a bit short of that but I feel much better within myself about the way I raced and my ability. The plan now is to build from this and try an improve a little at each round.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Second overall:
I’m disappointed in some ways because I just feel a lot more confident and happy with the way I’m riding, so that’s why I think it hurts even more to finish second now. Everything’s clicking and I’m in the right position to win, but it’s just not happening for me. I started off the day well, in the first moto I was sitting around fourth, got into third and put on a hard charge for second. That second moto I was just sitting there, I didn’t really feel anyone flicked the switch and took off, so I slowly started to chip away at them and made a little mistake, went down and that’s all she wrote. It’s frustrating that a little mistake rewrites the whole day. Second overall is still good, but the points deficit is getting bigger and you don’t really want to give too much of a buffer at this point of the year.
Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Third overall:
It’s good to get the monkey off my back and get the first podium with the KTM Motocross Racing Team. These boys work super-hard and to repay them is a good feeling. I was kind of disappointed I let the race win slip, but Dean [Ferris] really picked it up in the end. I’ve got a bit of work to do, but I think I showed some good speed today, rode smoothly and didn’t let him fluster me, so I think that’s positive. I’m pretty happy and – like I said – I would’ve liked to have won the last one, but second is good as well, so I’m happy with it.
Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Eighth overall:
It was a rough day for me at Appin, I felt comfortable on the Husqvarna 450, I just didn’t get the starts I needed to be up the front, after getting in some heavy battles and working really hard both motos just did my best to get points on the board. We will be working extra hard in preparation for the double header at Wonthaggi in three weeks. Huge thanks to all the DPH Motorsport team and supporters Husqvarna, VP Racing Fuels, WP Suspension, Stompgrip, Dunlop, Motorex and everyone that is behind
Mitch Evans (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – 10th overall:
It wasn’t exactly the weekend that we wanted. I had bad starts and I was probably too aggressive in the first couple of laps which resulted in crashes. I still felt good on the bike, and my fitness was really good so there were some positives to take away. I just needed to be a bit smarter about how I was riding during the beginning of both races. The track on the weekend had a lot of lines going in to turns but really only one line going out, I was just a bit too aggressive trying to make moves when I’d gotten bad starts. I knew I needed to get to the front. We have three weeks now until the next two rounds and we learnt a lot from yesterday. I’m looking forward to working on some starts and also some other bits and pieces so we can arrive at Wonthaggi in a much better position.
Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) – Fifth overall:
We made some minor changes during practice and qualifying and we improved the bike considerably. I was really happy we took 1st in qualifying but it didn’t translate to race pace following further changes post qualifying. I was bummed to lose second to Gibbs on the last lap in the last corner. I struggled during the race to maintain the speed of Ferris. I was pushing hard to stay with him and I was using a lot of energy. We went the wrong way in moto two, we made a call and it was wrong and the team and I realised that we need to continue testing. I am confident we have podium finishes but we need to find race pace and perfect our setups.
Rhys Carter (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team) – Seventh overall:
It was good and I was looking forward to coming back here – it’s such a technical track. I qualified better than round one, so that was a positive, but I just spun off the gate. I’ve been working on my sprint speed and it’s getting better in the races, but my mindset faded off towards the end of each race, which was disappointing. All in all, I want to be consistent all year and I’ve finished seventh in every race so far, so I’m doing that, which is good. The Kawasaki KX450F was awesome and the team was solid – we’re going in the right direction and having three weeks now is good because we can figure out what we need to do next. I’m pretty excited to go to Wonthaggi.
Kieron Hall (KSF Ecstar Suzuki) – DNF:
I went out for qualifying and felt ok, the thumb was undoubtedly sore, and it was my first ride since suffering the injury, but I felt like I could line up for the opening race. I got off to a great start and pushed hard in the opening lap. It was, and I pushed as hard as I could, but it proved to be too much for my thumb at this point. I’ll take the next week or two to let it heal further, with the aim of getting back on the bike and getting some riding done in the week leading up to Wonthaggi.
Aaron Tanti (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team) – Eighth overall:
Today started off pretty good. I finished the first moto with a fourth, which is what I wanted and I was satisfied with that. Moto two, I got off to a pretty good start and moved into third, I had a little bobble and went back to fifth. With two laps to go I just had a freak accident on a table-top and had to eject from my bike. It took a while to get it started, I then cruised around for the last lap and got 14th, so I still got some points. It was an up and down round, but I’ve just got to keep chipping away and keep on it.
Egan Mastin (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Sixth overall:
It wasn’t the best day for me. The first moto, I got off to a good start, but I just didn’t gel with the track today. I’m going to go back and work on a couple of things with myself and the team. There’s only one or two percent that I’m missing, then I’ll be there – hopefully the next round will be a lot better. I just didn’t feel it today in the motos, got a bit of arm-pump in both of them and this has never really been a strong track of mine throughout my career. It was a little bit frustrating for me, I tightened up a little bit during the first half and towards the end I was a little loose, but by that time, it was too late.
Dylan Wills (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Fifth overall:
I’m really happy with the way I rode on Sunday. I still have some work to do, but it feels like the pieces are starting to come together. I felt good through race one and I actually felt even stronger in the second race, but after getting caught up at the start, I was in the back half of the field, pushing hard and managed to crash towards the end of the first lap. I had to put my head down and concentrate to claw my way back through the field to eighth, passing a lot of riders turning some solid, consistent laps. I really want to thank the entire DPH crew as well as my family, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those guys
Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha) – First overall:
The weekend was awesome for me and the Serco team. I felt strong on the bike all day and once I got into my flow in race one, I was able to make passes and get towards the front. I was able to keep doing the big step down out the back and that became a great passing opportunity for me where I could get alongside them or just jump pass them and I was able to use that to my advantage. That’s three race wins from the first four races and a great start to the championship. But the MX2 field is pretty deep this year and it’s not hard to ride well and be outside of the top five so it’s important to keep on doing what we are doing and finishing each moto in a good a position as possible.
Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) – Third overall:
The weekend went a little better for me and certainly a lot better than round one. It’s still not where I want or expect to be but I felt a lot better on the bike over the weekend and Appin is a track I have struggled with in the past so it was good to get a podium result and I can move forward to the next round. Round three and four are at Wonthaggi in Victoria and on a surface I prefer to ride on. We have a two week break before then so I will keep working hard and continue my improvement from round one.
Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing – 20th overall:
I’m just really disappointed. I came around the right hander before we go up the hill for the table top and the rear just hit a shiny spot on the track and just spun sideways and I high-sided off the bike. I felt my hand hit the ground hard and I knew immediately that something was wrong. I will get it fixed on Wednesday and do whatever rehab is required so when I come back I’m 100% and ready to race. Thank you to the team for their support and the RACESAFE Crew at the track for looking after me.
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Second overall:
It was good to just get out and lead some races again and be in the battle. The result didn’t really matter as I focussed on the way I ride and what I can do and we made some real progress today. The track was tough as always and starts were crucial so I put lots of energy into the opening part of the race as track position here means so much. It’s great to be on the podium and I feel like we are on the right track. The bike and team are awesome and there is still a long way to go in this championship.
Kyle Webster (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Seventh overall:
I just took too long to get into the groove for some reason in moto one and you can’t give that away at this level.
Jackson Richardson (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – Fourth overall:
I’m fairly pleased with my racing on Sunday. The bike was great, I just needed to make it easier by getting in the mix from the first corner rather than fighting so hard for too many laps to get up to the pointy end. Good result regardless and on to Wonthaggi we go.
Jesse Madden (KSF Ecstar Suzuki) – 12th overall:
It was a pretty up, and down day today. I started off qualifying in 16th. In moto one I went down at the start putting me at the back of the field then worked my way back through to 15th. The second race I got off to another average start getting banged up with another rider and had to ride through the field to a 12th place finish. Overall I felt like I rode well today and there a lot of positives to take away. I’ll keep my head up and focus on getting ready for round three at Wonthaggi.
Jordan Hill (KSF Ecstar Suzuki) – 23rd position:
It was a bit of a mixed day today. I qualified down in 23rd position which was a little way down the field. I felt good for the first 20 minutes of the opening race; I was just outside the top ten. The lack of ride time hurt a bit over the final ten minutes, but I was able to hold on and finish in 16th. I got off to a good start in the second race and was sitting inside the top ten and feeling good. Then another rider decided to jump across me in the air and take me out. It left me pretty bruised and banged up, but luckily nothing is broken. I’ll head home and rest up and get myself ready for the next round.