Raceline Pirelli KTM press release:
Raceline Pirelli KTM’s rookie 450 rider Mitch Evans has moved up to an outstanding second place in the overall MX1 championship standings after a safe and consistent outing at round six of the Pirelli MX Nationals at Conondale over the weekend.
With Conondale marking the first round back post the mid-season break, smart and calculated results paid off for Evans on Sunday, with the KTM 450 SX-F rider sitting in a championship podium position with only four rounds of racing remaining.
Evans hit the ground running in MX1 qualifying at Conondale, gaining entry into Raceline Performance Superpole and finishing with second gate pick, thanks to a lightening fast 2:10.532 hot lap.
In moto one, Evans battled hard with veteran Brett Metcalfe for the better part of the first 30-minute moto eventually crossing the line in fourth. Then, in moto two Evans finished in a consistent sixth place despite a small crash early in the race, awarding him with fifth overall for the day.
Despite not finishing on the MX1 podium at Round 6, Evans’ impressive points haul at Conondale shot him up into second position in the MX1 championship with four rounds remaining.
“I was really happy with how the weekend went. My starts were really good which was a positive, it was mainly about minimising any damage, collecting some solid points, and getting out healthy and in one piece,” Evans explained.
“For me, the plan has always been to finish within the top five every weekend. I obviously want to be on the podium but to finish off the weekends consistent and make sure we’re getting solid points has put me in a good position in the championship.
“The track on the weekend was much better than last year with all the rain. I really enjoyed it. It was a lot softer which created more lines, making it more technical which was good.
“Coming up we have the double header which I’m really excited about. I had a successful double header in Wonthaggi earlier in the season and I love ‘The Ranch’ where the next one is so it should be good. I’ve heard that they’ve made some changes to the track so I’m looking forward to getting down there.”
Raceline’s MX2 rider Rykers unfortunately endured a somewhat difficult weekend at the MX Nationals’ series sixth round.
After qualifying in seventh position on Sunday morning, Rykers lined up confident ahead of moto one. However, by the midway point in the 30-minute moto an issue with a rock and his wheel ended his charge prematurely, Rykers unfortunately forced to withdraw from the race, registering a DNF.
However, in moto two, Rykers was determined to finish the weekend on a high note, sprinting throughout the 20-minute final race to round out the day with tenth. With DNF-10 results on the weekend, Rykers concluded Round 6 in 20th overall.
“Moto one on the weekend was tough. We got a rock lodged in the sprocket which derailed the chain and caused some damage to the front sprocket, snapping the teeth off in the process – it was one of those freak racing things,” Rykers shared.
“Moto two was better but we still weren’t exactly where we needed to be.
“The next two weeks I’m just going to continue working on myself and the opening laps of our races before we head to our teams’ home round.
“We’ve done a lot of testing at The Ranch so I’m looking forward to having the double header there – it’s a format I really enjoy.”
The team will now begin preparation for the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals which will take place on July 14-15 at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales.
For more information on the Raceline Pirelli KTM, head to the teams’ official website, www.raceline.com.au
To follow Raceline Pirelli KTM’s progress this year, like ‘Raceline’ on Facebook or follow @raceline_motosport on Instagram.
For more information on the Pirelli MX Nationals head to www.mxnationals.com.au