Racer comments from Raymond Terrace's seventh and eighth rounds of the season.
A selection of riders detail rounds seven and eight of the 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals at Ranch MX, New South Wales. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.
Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) – First/first overall:
I was really excited to come to Raymond Terrace as it has been a while since I have raced here. The track didn’t separate the riders a lot and the top five or six of us generated a good speed and the racing was fast and one mistake would prove costly. While I didn’t enjoy being roosted, I enjoyed being in a good race and credit to the other riders as they were on the gas all weekend. Sometimes you have weekends where you go 1-1 and it’s pretty easy, other weekends, like here at Raymond Terrace, you just have to find a way to win and I’m glad I was able to do that. It’s nice to know you can win when things are going perfectly but also rewarding to know that when it comes time to out race, out-smart or just be consistent, I was able to do it. Thanks to the entire CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team as the double header weekends take a massive effort from everyone and the guys always come through and to have Dylan on the podium with me is great for everyone here at CDR.
Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) – Second/third overall:
Was a great weekend for me and one that I have been working hard towards for a long time. My starts were good all weekend and putting myself in such good positions in every race allowed me to ride the way I know I can ride. My bike was unreal and being able to race with Dean this weekend gives me a lot of confidence as I know just how fast he is and how hard he works. It’s nice to leave a race meeting with my head high and proud of my results and I want to have this feeling every weekend I race my dirt bike.
Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Fourth/third overall:
I was pretty consistent across the weekend, going 4-3 and 4-1, so it was good points for the double-header. I got good starts, but I did lack a bit of aggression, so Jay kicked me into gear for that last one. I rode really aggressive from the start and got myself into the lead and ended up with the win. I’m really, really pumped I’ve finally got the monkey off my back and it’s put me second in the championship. To stand on the podium in second overall is my best overall finish and to finish off with a race win is even better.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – DNF/DNS:
The weekend started off well even though I was coming in with a back injury from Conondale, so I was a little hesitant. I put it together in Super Pole and I felt strong and quite comfortable doing it. I really wanted to get a good start, I ripped the first one and when I did, I went pretty close to edge of the track and hit a rut. Because it was built up on the edge of the track, my wheel blew through, my front-end knifed and that was all it wrote. For how big the crash was, I didn’t come out of it too bad – I have a couple of fractures in my finger, shoulder and ribs, but I feel not too bad considering.
Mitch Evans (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Fifth/fourth overall:
Saturday didn’t start off great, I had a crash in practice and bent everything up and by the time we got everything back together the green flag had come out for qualifying – but I managed to do enough and get into Superpole where I finished second. In my first race I didn’t get the best start but I made up for it in the first few turns and I was in second behind Dean Ferris for a lot of the race, then I just made a couple of mistakes and Brett Metcalfe got by me but I really felt like I could pressure those guys to make passes, not just ride at the same speed as them. On Sunday I didn’t have the best starts, and on the weekend they were really important. The track was quite flat and fast so everyone could sort of flow at similar speeds. In the last race though I just went for it, and came from outside the top five back to third. I was a fan of the format, I really liked the challenge of it, I just would have liked to have seen another back to back race in there to make up round eight – I know I’m fit enough to do that and more time on track would show who has done the work.
Rhys Carter (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing) – Sixth/sixth overall:
It was a decent weekend here at round seven and eight of the MX Nationals. I went 5-5 for sixth overall in round seven and then 7-4 for sixth overall again to finish the weekend. I messed up a start in the first back-to-back race, which cost me a lot, but I’ll just go home, work on my starts and hopefully get inside the top five again at the last two rounds.
Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) – Third/fifth overall:
Coming away with a third overall at round seven felt good, it’s where we need to be all of the time and it’s given the team and I something to work towards, we know consistency is the key. For round eight, things felt off for me, the format was different and caught me off guard and I think not practicing or qualifying was particularly hard for me. I didn’t come away with the result I needed or wanted for round eight, it’s unfortunate. I do take the positive though that we have moved from ninth in the championship to fifth and I’m happy with the pace we showed.
Callum Norton (Penrite Honda Racing) – Eighth/12th overall:
This weekend was a lot about learning and understanding my new competitors. My starts were not that great and something I will work on but I was happy to finish 8th overall at round seven. The intensity of the front runners is next level and it’s a gap I will work hard on closing. I am happy to take top 10 finishes in three out of four races. I know what I need to work on before round nine and I will be 100 percent focused on motocross now that the desert races are over.
Aaron Tanti (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing) – First/third overall:
It was a different format this weekend, but I was pretty happy with how I went. I had good starts in every single race and I was pretty consistent, going 3-2 for the overall win in round seven and in the back-to-back races I went 4-3 for third overall. I’m just happy with my consistency and starts. We knew the chase would be on in the second half of the season and I’ve stayed consistent where some other guys haven’t, so now we are looking forward to the final two rounds in Queensland next month.
Egan Mastin (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – DNF/DNS:
It was definitely disappointing, because I was sitting in third on the last lap and I was pretty gutted to go down. I went down pretty hard and had a heavy head-knock. My face is pretty banged up and unfortunately I couldn’t line-up today. I’m feeling pretty sore and, like I said, it’s disappointing because I was feeling comfortable on the 2019 KTM 250 SX-F that we just got and I was hoping for a good weekend.
Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) – Third/second overall:
It was a lively weekend with the format changes, the track and also being a double header but I managed to get through it pretty well and was able to get a few extra points in the championship, so I can’t complain too much. The MX2 field is pretty competitive this year and with the track on the weekend starts were very important as the track speed of the top five or six guys was so close. There was some awesome racing and plenty of bar banging which was fun but the roost killed so it was hard to follow anyone. The next track we go to is Gladstone and I had my first MX Nationals win there when I was doing MXD back in 2014, so I can’t wait to get back there and hopefully achieve the same success. Thanks to everyone on the Serco Yamaha team for their efforts on the weekend and hopefully we can stay strong all the way to the final round in Coolum.
Dylan Wills (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Fourth/first overall:
Kade’s been such a huge influence on my riding this year, so it was tough sitting in the truck without him there this weekend, but to the team’s credit, they knuckled down, focused on the job in front of us and really had my back all weekend. I’m so happy to have finally gotten my first overall win, and glad I could give the guys some good news. I felt really good on the bike coming into the weekend and my speed was there in round seven, so when I finally got stronger starts in the last two races, I was battling for the lead rather than passing to get to the front. With two rounds to go, this is where I want to be, so I’ll be working even harder to stay here.
Jayden Rykers (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Sixth/ninth overall:
Saturday started off not too bad, it was a shame about being penalised, but I was seventh off the start in my first race, I found my groove and made it into fourth. It was a track that was very difficult to pass on so we were really happy with fourth. Then on Sunday in my first moto I was in about fourth but I just struggled to find a set up that I was comfortable with on the track. I pumped up a bit in my races but all in all it was definitely a step in the right direction – it’s nice to walk away from a race healthy and not worrying about any new or old injuries. I actually really enjoyed the format on the weekend, but not so much the track that it was on – it was quite one lined and difficult to pass on which meant that it wasn’t as good of a race track. I’m happy with the weekend, we had a lot happen in the first half of the season so to come away from a round with some results to build off is really encouraging.
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Sixth/fourth overall:
The first moto of the weekend was terrible and I don’t even want to think about it but it was good to be able to come back out in the other three races and redeem myself get things back on track. They may not have been race wins but they were good rides and I was in the battle for the win and podiums and that’s where I should be every race. The double header weeks are hard on everyone and again the team did a great job. Thank you to them and our sponsors and hopefully we will be back on the box soon.
Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Eighth/seventh overall:
I struggled with starts all weekend and then when I did get a good one, I was able to finish fifth, so it is good to know that I can run top five speed at a national event. My eyes were really sore and I’m not sure what caused it but I went to the hospital as soon as I got back to Cairns and they found an ulcer in my eye and I have been given some things to treat it. I will have to lie low for a few days but should be 100 percent for Gladstone where I want to continue to improve and get inside the top five at the final two rounds.