Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
The Serco Yamaha duo of Aaron Tanti and Nathan Crawford can both look at round three of the MX Nationals as a positive outing and take plenty of encouragement from the day that had both riders battling for race wins.
On the undulating and rutted Broadford Circuit, the Serco Yamaha MX2 team finished the day in fourth and fifth place but showed plenty of speed and skill and will build on the results delivered over the weekend.
Aaron Tanti finished the day in fourth spot, just missing the podium on a count back from Jay Wilson. Tanti racked up an ultra-consistent 4-4 results in the two motos but left Broadford a little frustrated as he feels he let a podium finish slip through his fingers.
Tanti started the day in scintillating form and burst from the blocks in race one. He took it right up to championship leader, Wilson Tod in the opening stages, making several attempts to sneak by. He held second until lap 10, then was passed by Kyle Webster and then by team mate, Nathan Crawford late in the race to cross the finish line in fourth place but the top four were separated by less than seven seconds.
Race two and again Tanti was at the pointy end. He slotted into third behind Todd and Webster and looked a lock for a podium position until Jay Wilson put in a late race charge to snatch the position from Tanti and leave him to finish in fourth.
“A lot of good to come from today but also a few things I need to improve on to get some round wins,” Tanti said. “My starts were good, and I had excellent track position in both races but just didn’t keep pace later in the race, so that’s something we will need to look at.
“But the racing is tight in the MX2 class and I was never further than 10 seconds out of the lead all day but didn’t make the podium. No one can afford to take their foot off the peddle at the moment as there are five guys who ride at a similar pace and the intensity is there all the way to the end.
“I’m now third in the championship after three rounds which considering a couple of races I have had, isn’t too bad but there is always room for improvement.”
It was a welcome return to form for Nathan Crawford who showed things are on the up swing after some spirited racing on the weekend. Crawford returned to some good form finishing fifth for the day with 3-7 results but the pleasing thing for him and the team was the return of his sprint speed.
Crawford finished third in race one, his best result of the season so far, after a late race charge that saw him pass team mate Tanti, then close the gap on the lead pair in the final stages. Nathan acknowledged it had been a long road back but the result in that race gave him the confidence boost he needed.
Unfortunately, race two turned pare- shaped in the first turn when he went down with another rider and was left well down the field. But, he scrambled well and made his way back to seventh place on a track many though was difficult to pass, and his 3-7 results were the best of the season so far and has now moved him to fifth place in the championship.
“It feels good to finally be back in the battle again,” Crawford says with relief. “Its been a long eight months off the bike and I have worked so hard to get, not just my fitness and speed back, but also my health in general.
“My one was awesome and just after half way I felt things begin to come easier for me, like a little barrier was broken. I was able to ride my turns better, flow on the track better and ride with some speed. While I didn’t win it, it was a little victory to me as I come back.
“Race two and I did all I could to salvage the best result I could. First turn crashes are tough as the whole field goes past and it’s a long way back but I fought hard and feel like things are on the right track.
“The weekend gives me more motivation to keep working hard,” Crawford ends.
The Championship now moves to Murray Bridge in South Australia for rounds four and five of the championship in a season defining round. The Murray Bridge circuit is a favourite of the riders and one they all look forward to.