Assorted racer comments following the second round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round two of the 2021 Penrite ProMX Championship, the new-look Australian Motocross Championship at Canberra.
Regan Duffy (KTM Racing Team) – Third overall:
Today was good, but I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t win, as that’s what I train for and that’s what we came here to do. However, you can’t go wrong with a podium and I’ve still got the red plate, so I’m stoked with that! I feel I made a lot of improvements in my riding on hard-pack surfaces, so that’s another positive to take away. A lot of rookies come out firing, get the red plate, then lose it straight away, so I made it a point to myself that I’m going to try and keep it. I had a consistent day and finished top five in all my motos, so I want to continue that through the year. Today I tried hard to get good starts and battle up front, so it’s been a solid day.
Todd Waters (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Fourth overall:
It was an interesting day out there. I qualified well and had a good first race, but the track baked out before the back-to-back races and I struggled with that hard-pack. It was an easy track to throw it away on and, with everyone being so close, I didn’t want that to happen. I rode within my capabilities and I’m happy to walk away with the points today – it’s certainly a lot better than crashing and getting 10ths. We might have lost a few points in the championship, but we’ll go back, regroup and look forward to Gillman.
Aaron Tanti (GasGas Racing Team) – Eighth overall:
Today definitely wasn’t easy for me, but it was positive in a lot of ways. I came in pretty beat up from a practice crash, but I started the day well with a fifth in qualifying. I had a few crashes throughout the day, but it was encouraging to run near the front of the field in the third race before I had a mishap. I’ve only had a week on the bike and this is my first outing on the GASGAS, so I’m happy with how it all went, all things considered. I know the things I need to work on, so the next four weeks will be really important for us leading into the third round at Gillman.
Jayden Rykers (Empire Kawasaki) – Seventh overall:
Today was definitely a step forward in comparison to the first round and we took a lot out of this one. We’ve made some changes with the bike to suit me more and they’ve worked, although I’d still like to be up toward the front further! All in all, we had a consistent day and it’s more to build from.
Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – First overall:
I came into this round knowing it would be one of my stronger tracks and I had to make the most of it and claw back some points after the DNF in Wonthaggi. I was 21 down after round one and now that’s back to 12, so that’s a good gain from the weekend. My riding felt good and the team had the bike in great shape on a track that was hard pack, rutty and tricky to ride. I still need to keep working as it will be difficult to make up that many points on a consistent basis, but it’s manageable and we still have six rounds to go and a lot of racing ahead of us.
Hayden Mellross (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Second overall:
Man, it’s been too long since I stood on a podium at a national event. With covid and injuries, it’s been a long time between podium visits so I’m glad to finally get back up here and reward myself and the team for the hard work we have all put in behind the scenes. Today was an improvement on Wonthaggi as my speed was better. My starts weren’t what they needed to be but I will work on that and hopefully put myself in better positions to win races at the next round. The more racing I’m able to do, the better I feel as I missed a large chunk of the pre-season with injury. I feel there is still more to come and think there is room for improvement as we head into Adelaide.
Maximus Purvis (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha) – 14th overall:
Definitely some highs and lows for me today and shows the importance of consistency when racing at this level. I had the speed today for a top five overall finish and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get it done but at the same time, I was in the race and right there with the good guys which is where I want and need to be. The crash was my fault and ruined what could have been a great day. I will learn from it as do my best to eliminate as many mistakes as I can and be consistent in each and every race. The fastest time in qualifying was a bit of a surprise as I haven’t raced here before so to get a lap in like that was pretty cool. The next step is to transfer that speed into every race and get closer to the front every time I’m on the track.
Brett Metcalfe (Mongrel Boots Honda Racing) – Sixth overall:
If this is my worst round its okay, but I cannot afford another repeat of this weekend. I crashed last week and I did not have the strength I needed to ride at my best. It was frustrating, but we will bounce back for Gilman.
Kirk Gibbs (Terrafirma Equipment Sales Honda Racing) – Fifth overall:
I am not there yet, I need to improve in some areas and we have a plan. We proved today that we can win, which is an important positive.
Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha) – Ninth overall:
Today was a bit frustrating, but sometimes things like that are out of your control and the team did everything they could to fix the issue. We still aren’t sure what caused it, but I know the guys will be all over it in the workshop during the week and work out exactly what happened to ensure it doesn’t happen again. But it was important I scored good points in race two and I was able to do that. It took me a while to get going as I hadn’t been on the track for so long and I had to search for the lines I liked, but once I settled down, my speed was pretty good and I was able to get to second. We can leave Canberra on a positive note and look forward to round three in Adelaide.
Jesse Dobson (Serco Yamaha) – Fifth overall:
The last couple of weeks have been a little hectic. It started off well, racing the local event in Coolum and winning the first race, to crashing in race two and not knowing what the outcome was, to being hopeful I could race today and then actually being able to race and be competitive. It’s been a bit draining, but I’m glad I was able to get through and get some much needed points. I had a plate put in 10 days ago so it was a bit sensitive and sore, but the doctors told me it was structurally okay. There were some moments where you wince in pain and any roost hitting me in that area wasn’t fun so to think I may not be able to ride and then end up fifth is a good result, one that I’m both proud of and a little relieved. Our next round is at the end of May so I have a chance to give it a bit of a rest and then get back into riding and training as we head for Adelaide. Thanks to the team for standing by me and their support in getting me on the track this weekend.
Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Fourth overall:
I’m not going to lie, I desperately wanted – and my goal was – to win today, so I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to do that. I had the speed to win, but I just wasn’t able to put myself in a position to make the most of it. Still, I made up some positions in the championship and felt I can take a lot from the weekend and apply it in my riding. The bike was awesome in both motos and the team did a great job. I just want to keep improving every round and stay in the championship fight right until the end.
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Third overall:
Today was a step in the right direction for me, but there is still a lot of work to be done. At least this weekend I was in the battle and competitive, unlike Wonthaggi where I just stunk. There is still more speed to come and some fitness at the end of the motos, but things are heading in the right direction and with a four weeks until round three in Adelaide, hopefully I can make another step forward. Thanks to the team for a big effort in the lead up to the round and I’m looking forward to get more work under my belt before Adelaide and getting back to where I belong.
Levi Rogers (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – 10th overall:
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I rode today and race at a speed that would put me inside the top five. On the hand other, I need to put two motos together at each round and get as many points as I can in every race. The sixth place was good and I felt had I been able to get passed the rider in front of me quicker, I may have been able to move further forward. Race two was ugly as I was ran over a few times and ended up with a bike on me in that first turn crash. But I raced all the way to the end and was able to salvage as many points as I can.
Alex Larwood (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha) – 19th overall:
As soon as I landed I felt my shoulder come out. I have had issues with it before, so I know that feeling. They got it back in but now it’s a matter of finding out what damage is done and how fast I can get back on track. The Adelaide round is next and I will do everything I can to be at the start line. It’s a track I have had plenty of success on in the past and I really want to race in front of my friends and family back home in SA.
Kyle Webster (Castrol Honda Racing) – First overall:
Being from Western Australia, I am considered more of a sand specialist, so in the off-season I focused on improving my hard-pack skills. The team has really been putting in, we have been to Gilman twice in the past few months and I like the track. Whilst I have a decent points-lead, I can’t afford to let up. Gilman will be really important for the team and I am focused on getting maximum points there.
Noah Ferguson (GasGas) – Second overall:
I’m pretty pumped with my first P2 in MX2, which was only my second race in that category. The podium hasn’t surprised me – it was always the goal and the intention to be on the podium, but after round one, it was more of a doubt. I knew that’s where I needed to be, and it was a bit of a breakthrough ride to be on the podium so early. I’m always driving to be better – I’ll just take it week by week, and try to get better and be more consistent – that’s been the biggest downfall in my years of racing. I’d say it’s flipped a few goals around.