First MXD round belongs to Purvis as rain shortens race-day to single motos.
DPH Motorsport Husqvarna’s Todd Waters has emerged victorious in the rain-shortened opening round of the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals at Appin, New South Wales.
Treacherous conditions forced an early cancellation of the opener, however not before the first motos of the MX1, MX2 and MXD season were completed in the muddiest of conditions.
It was actually Hayden Mellross (Raceline KTM Thor) who crossed the line first after leading the duration, however an infringement for going off-track resulted in a 10-second penalty that handed the moto and overall to Waters – both on return to racing in Australia this year.
Waters delivered a phenomenal performance on the factory-supported FC 450, recovering from an incident on the opening straight that saw him slice his way through the pack and put himself in the frame for victory. Only 1.449s separated them after Mellross’ penalty was applied.
Behind them came former champion Kirk Gibbs (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy), scoring a strong haul of points to round out the podium, directly ahead of fellow South Australian Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing). Further back in fifth was Husqvarna-mounted Jesse Dobson.
American Justin Rodbell (KSF Suzuki) led the opening portion before eventually scoring sixth, leading premier class debutant Tomas Ravenhorst (KTM), Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy), Joben Baldwin (Yamaha) and Cody Dyce (SB Motorsports Ecstar Suzuki), who filled the top 10.
In the MX2 moto it was Raceline KTM Thor’s Jy Roberts stole victory from long-time leader Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) on the final lap to seal the round.
Wilson controlled much of the moto after leading from the opening lap, however it was the fast-finishing Roberts who caught the 2015 champion off-guard in the closing stages. Third was defending champion Wilson Todd (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna).
Isaac Ferguson (KTM) and Riley Dukes (Husqvarna) put forward impressive performances for fourth and P5. Sixth came Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha), as Cooper Pozniak (KTM), Dylan Wills (Davey Motorsports KTM), Wyatt Chase (Honda) and Aaron Tanti (Serco Yamaha) who was up-front early on.
The first MXD moto of the year belonged to New Zealand’s Maximus Purvis (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha), overcoming Rhys Budd (CRF Honda Racing) and Michael Murphy (KTM) to complete the podium. In fourth was Hugh Roache (KTM), with Caleb Clifton (Honda) fifth.
Early leader Regan Duffy’s debut with Raceline KTM Thor saw him lead in the mid-stages, but eventually dropped down the order to cross the line in position seven, behind Liam Walsh (KTM) in P6. Eighth through 10th were Lochie Smith (Yamaha), Jayce Cosford (Yamaha) and Dale Lyons (KTM).
The next stop for the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals will be at Wonthaggi, Victoria, in two weeks’ time on 17 March.