Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing press release:
Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing rider RHYS BUDD has kicked off his 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals Australian motocross championship campaign in mighty style, delivering an inspiring performance in abysmal conditions in the Motul MXD category that saw him finish second in the opening round’s abbreviated single moto format.
Overnight rains continued into race day, rapidly turning the popular MacArthur Motorcycle Club’s Appin Raceway track just south of Sydney into an absolute quagmire.
The horror conditions left event officials with no option but to shorten the day’s morning motos in the premier MX2, MXD and MX1 classes, before then cancelling all remaining races on the day as the track continued to deteriorate and ultimately become unrideable.
Despite the miserable conditions, Budd took the bit between his teeth and showed true grit, using his FMF and Vortex equipped Honda CRF250R to top MXD Qualifying by a healthy three seconds ahead of Reagan Duffy (KTM).
Starting the MXD moto from the far inside gate, Budd nailed a boomer holeshot and lead the opening stages of the race, before tumbling in the sloppy conditions and having to regain his fallen machine to hold onto second place.
In the difficult conditions, Kiwi charger Maximus Purvis moved in front to take the MXD win, with Budd eventually claiming a strong runner-up position, ahead of Michael Murphy, who completed the podium.
“What a day!” Budd exclaimed after cleaning up following the Appin slop-fest.
“I got out in front in Qualifying and put down one heater lap to get the fastest time, which gave me first gate pick for the race, which just helped make things a little easier.
“I got a great start in the race and got the holeshot and pretty much tried my best to keep it up on two wheels. I had the lead with one lap to go and unfortunately I put it down, but I managed to get up in second place and hold it to the end.
“It was a really challenging race,” Budd continued, “and I have never raced in mud that bad before. But I just tried to make the most of it and tried to have fun, which is all you can really do in situations like that.”
In the Pirelli MX2 category, Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing rider KYLE WEBSTER came into the Appin event on a high after recent strong performances in two rounds of the New Zealand MX Championships, but quickly had his hopes dashed by the dismal weather and demanding track conditions.
“It was a bloody tough day to say the least; the track was so next-level wet to state the obvious,” offered Webster after the Appin mud bath.
“I actually made a good start in the MX2 race and was running fourth or fifth after a couple of laps when I got completely and utterly bogged. I was stuck for almost a lap! Luckily another rider stopped to help me, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten the bike out.
“That incident dropped me back to about 28th place,” Webster continued, “and from there I just clawed my way up to 15th by the finish of the race. It certainly wasn’t an ideal day, but I’m just super-lucky and thankful I managed to keep going and it wasn’t a DNF result.”
With a massive clean-up ahead of them, the Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing squad will regroup in coming days and set their sights on round two of the Pirelli MX Nationals, which will be staged at Wonthaggi, Victoria, on Sunday, March 31 – where hopefully Mother Nature will smile a little more brightly upon Australia’s leading motocross competitors!
To keep up to date on the Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing team’s activities, be sure to follow their social media accounts:
+ Facebook: CRF Honda Racing
+ Instagram: crf_honda_racing