Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
Serco Yamaha’s Aaron Tanti is still up to his neck in the 2019 SX2 championship fight despite missing the podium for the first time this season in supercross after claiming a fourth place finish at round three in Wollongong.
Tanti headed into the weekend’s third round of the championship with the points leaders’ red plate in the SX2 class, but it’s a highly competitive class with a host of international riders mixing it up with the best from Australia and the high intensity racing makes it the most unpredictable class in racing.
He tested his pre-season goal of limiting the mistakes, with falls both in race two and race three in three in the triple header format, but still charged on to finish fourth on the night and sit third in the championship, just two points from the series lead.
Tanti claimed 3-5-9 results across the three motos but showed he had the speed on the hard pack and slippery Wollongong circuit. He was always near the front of the pack but a fall in the whoops during race two when challenging for a top two spot and another in the early stages of race three put an end to his podium streak.
Despite the mid race mishaps, the points race in MX2 is tight and with two rounds of the triple header format yet to come, Tanti believes anything can and probably will happen in the highly volatile category.
“The night wasn’t without some challenges but considering everything that happened, to finish fourth and remain close to the championship lead means we are in good shape,” Tanti said.
“There are a heap of riders that can win a race and the first few laps are so chaotic that it’s important to stay calm and think your way through it.
“Race two and I got out of shape in the whoops and then race three there was a bit of a second corner pile up that I got stuck in. I will put this behind me and keep working hard as the next two races in Auckland and Melbourne are where it’s all going to be decided. Five riders can still win it and its easy to ride well in this class and finish fifth.
“But, looking forward to NZ and hoping for a big crowd to turn up and see some great action,” Tanti ends.
Unfortunately, the tough luck continued for team mate, Jacob Hayes. After winning round one, Hayes had a rugged night at round two in Adelaide when he fell during the main event and was unable to finish the race. With a couple of weeks break he was able to recover well and looked good in the early stages of practice and qualifying but a first turn yard sale in his heat race again saw him come to a grinding halt.
Hayes was helped from the track and carrying his shoulder. He was unable to compete for the rest of the night. Early scans reveal some damage in his shoulder and as a precaution, he will sit out the remainder of the championship and focus on his recovery for the start of the AMA Supercross series.
“It’s such a disappointing way to finish the championship, especially as it started so well for myself and the team,” Hayes explains. “There appears to be no major damage, so I just need to rest it and take my time to ensure it’s done right.
“Because I had already had an issue in the Adelaide round and now at Wollongong, I’m out of the championship as far as points go, so it’s best for me to get it sorted now so I’m 100% for the start of the AMA championship in January.”
“Thank you again to Serco Yamaha and Yamaha Australia for the support and warmth they have shown me again in 2019 and I love coming down under to race with such a great group of people.”
With Hayes now out for the remaining two rounds, the Serco Yamaha team will draft in Connor Tierney for Auckland and Melbourne.
Tierney had a break-through performance on the weekend, taking a race win in the final moto at Wollongong on his Yamaha YZ250F but is pumped to be presented with the opportunity to race for the Serco Yamaha outfit.
“With Jacob out hurt, Serco Yamaha approached me about doing the last two rounds with them and I can’t wait to be flying the Serco Yamaha flag at the two biggest races of the year. Having the support and direction of a team like Serco is a huge bonus and hopefully I can continue to post good results and show them what I’m capable of,” Tierney signs off.