Racer comments from the opening round of the MX Nationals.
A selection of riders detail the round one of the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals at Appin in 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.
Kirk Gibbs (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Third:
Today wasn’t about winning or losing for me but ensuring that I’m well placed and in contention after the first round, regardless of the conditions. Then when you combine the weather, with the nature of the track and just how easy it was to go down or have a bike related DNF, getting good points and staying healthy was the priority and we managed to do that today. I know it’s a conservative approach to have and if the race was there to win, we go for the win but race management was important in situations like this and we live to fight another day. It was my first race with the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team and it was awesome to work with such a professional group of people. They had to work hard with the mud and the rain to get the bikes turned around as well as pulling down of the truck at the end of the day, so a huge thanks to them for their efforts over the weekend.
Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Eighth:
Eighth on paper doesn’t look good and not what I wanted to achieve this weekend, but the conditions were extreme and looking back, it could have been a lot worse. The first half a lap was just wild and then I just went into the wrong rut, got sideways and went down. Getting the bike out of the mud was a mission in itself. Fortunately, I was able to get up and get moving and while I had mud everywhere, I didn’t need to come in and change gloves and goggles, so I kept moving and picked off the riders in front of me. I usually don’t mind the mud and I was riding fine today, just a fall cost me but I will get things back on track at Wonthaggi, which is a track I really like racing on.
Todd Waters (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – First:
I’m pumped to start the year with a win, although conditions like this don’t really show the hard work that the team and I have been putting in. I’ve ridden in some deep mud throughout Europe over the years, but this is by far the worst I’ve had to race in. I was able to move forward and get past riders after getting caught up at the first corner, but it was a bit of a balancing act all race to find traction, keep the bike moving forward and not getting bogged down in each turn.
Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) – Fourth:
I’m stoked to come away with fourth – the conditions were crazy and considering my injury, it is a victory in itself. It’s also a testament to the Honda for getting through all of that mud fault free. As a team, we did a fantastic job, it’s been an awesome way to start the season and we are all looking forward to round two.
Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – 15th:
The result today wasn’t what I was after, but the conditions threw up all sorts of challenges. It was hard work out there today. I went all out at the start and got the track position I needed but that crash just made things so hard to ride and grip the bike that I had to swap gloves and goggles to even continue. But despite the result, I know my preparation has been good and I have done the work over the off season so I’m not going to let this affect me. I will learn from todays round and improve myself in these conditions and I’m ready to get things back on track at round two regardless of what we are faced with.
Dylan Long (Empire Kawasaki) DNF:
It was obviously a very muddy round here at Appin. In qualifying I just wanted to get one lap in – it wasn’t the best lap – but I just wanted to get into the race. I had a really good start, but someone lost control and ran into me, so I think I’ve hyperextended my elbow. I’ll have to get some X-rays, but I feel like it’s only minor and I’m hoping to be back for round two. I tried to get back on the bike today and continue riding, but I just couldn’t hold on.
Jesse Dobson (Husqvarna) – Fifth:
I’ve never had to race in conditions like that before! The track was about as close to unrideable as I’ve ever seen, so the decision to reduce racing to just one moto was the right one for sure. We’ve all worked really hard in the off-season, and travelled from around the country to be here, so I’m glad we were able to race but it’s a tough round to see who’ll be the real contenders this season. I’m confident that although my program only came together in the last few weeks that I’m on-track to battle at the front. I really want to take the chance to thank all those brands and companies that have supported me throughout the years, even when contracts prevented me from being able to give back to them such as Kwala Racing, Tattoo Racing, MPE Husqvarna, SkullCandy and Dunlop, and of course all those have come together more recently like FIST, Unit, Jamsie Constructions, Bell and Unifilter. Also, a huge thank you to my mechanic Aiden [Porth] for all his hard work and effort behind the scenes and at the track.
Wilson Todd (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Third:
I obviously want to win, but third is a good start for the season for me. I’ve never raced a track in conditions like that before and it was tough to keep enough momentum to move forward without overdoing it in the corners. I focused on my own laps and riding through without battling or taking any extra risks, one mistake and you could be dead last in conditions like that. It’s great to be back in the DPH truck, and the FC250 is a great bike to race. I’m looking forward to getting to round two though and really start racing.
Bailey Malkiewicz (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – 27th:
Not the way I wanted to start my first season in the MX2 class, the track was difficult to just get around, before you can even think about racing on it. I’m loving the the FC250 and it’s great to be a part of the DPH crew but today just doesn’t show what I’m capable of. I’m confident that my program is right and will look to show that at round two.
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Second:
It was a strange set of circumstances that lead to us finishing second and as a team, everyone was a little disappointed in the outcome given we have such as good lead. But, we will move on from here, learn from what happened and ensure we aren’t in that situation again. We had a chat about it and its no-one’s fault, just the way it played out but from now on, we have decided we are just going to be ruthless if we are ever in the situation again. The team did a great job today on the bike and keeping it running smoothly. It’s tough because the track was so hard on the bikes. They get so hot, you have to keep off the clutch and stay away from the deep water, ruts and mud but the bike was awesome and for me, I’m happy with the start we have made for the championship and ready to go the full 10 rounds.
Kyle Webster (Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing) – 15th:
It was a bloody tough day to say the least; the track was so next-level wet to state the obvious. 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, 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.
Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha) – Sixth:
All things considered, the weekend went pretty well for me and I came through with no issues so I leave here pretty content. Its good to be back racing and while I still have a long way to go, I felt pretty good on the bike and didn’t make any major mistakes. I made sure I got a good start, stayed out of trouble and took my time selecting lines and where to be on the track so I could look after both my body and my bike. Serco Yamaha again did a great job in really tough conditions and its cool to be back with the team and hanging with at the races. Its all up from here.
Aaron Tanti (Serco Yamaha) – 10th:
That was such a frustrating race. I was in second and not even thinking about anything other than keeping out of the mud and keeping my momentum going but I made a mistake and went down which made riding so hard. I couldn’t really grab the grips and also my feet and ankles kept slipping from the bike and it led to a couple more falls, one of which I nearly got bogged. It was all on me and I threw away a good result that we have worked so hard for. All I can do now is move on and forget about this round and redeem myself when we get to Wonthaggi.