Assorted racer comments following the third round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round three of the 2021 Penrite ProMX Championship, the new-look Australian Motocross Championship at Maitland.
Regan Duffy (KTM Racing Team) – Fourth overall:
The track wasn’t ripped as deep a what I was expecting and in qualifying struggled to gel with the conditions. I didn’t get a great start in the opening race, but still worked my way up to fourth place from 10th, so I was pretty happy with that. In the first back-to-back race I got a good start, but had a small tip-over trying to make a move for third place and ended up in fourth. My start in the final race was pretty bad, but I came through for sixth and fourth overall on the day. I’m not stressed at all about losing the points lead. We’re only three points off the lead and my coach [Ross Beaton] has said I only need to be in front at the end of the last round, which is right! We’ll keep the training up, work hard and come back stronger in four weeks time.
Todd Waters (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Third overall:
We’re stoked to be back up on the podium here in Maitland, the points were good and it was a hard day of racing with everyone up there at the front. Finishing third in that opening moto was my best result of the day and then we were battling for every position in those back-to-back sprints to end the day, so the end result there was fourth. Like I said, podiums are always good, we definitely want to win one here soon and we’re still right there in the championship.
Aaron Tanti (GasGas Racing Team) – Fifth overall:
It was a pretty good day and a massive step forward from where I was at Canberra eight weeks ago, where I was fresh on the bike and was only just returning from injury. I’ve been trying to get my race fitness back up and I still feel like I’m trying to catch up to the rest of the guys in that department, but all in all I’m happy with how the day went. I pumped up mid-way through the opening moto and it was tough to watch others go by me, but I rebounded for the back-to-back races. Those two podium results proved I can get good starts and run the pace of the championship front-runners, so I’m really looking forward to the next round next month.
Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – First overall:
When I saw Maitland on the calendar this year, I pencilled it in as a must win round for me knowing that I ride the track well, so it was pleasing to achieve that goal. To combine that with coming away with the championship lead makes it a great day for myself and the team. I was able to get great starts all day and put myself in good positions very early in the race. I grabbed the lead in race three, but Kirk was able to sneak by me, but I kept the pressure on and chased him all the way to the finish. The bike and team were again awesome today and a feel my riding is good at the moment. I have been able to work on things during the week and then see that work rewarded on weekends. It’s a month until the next round at Albury, but the plan is to continue doing what I have been doing and ride this momentum for as long as I can.
Hayden Mellross (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Sixth overall:
Starts and track position on the opening lap were my big issues today. My track speed and lap times were good, but starting outside the top five makes a good result difficult with the rider quality in MX1 this year. I was never right up the front and always in a battle on the track. I found some good flow at the back of the races, but it’s the first few minutes that I need to address and get myself back to where I belong. The team and I will continue to work hard and ensure we get a better result in Albury at the next round.
Maximus Purvis (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha) – Seventh overall:
It’s taken some time to find my feet on the 450, but I feel I have settled into the bike well now and my riding is coming along well. With each race I find a bit more and the last race today was good as I was able to get a decent start and then learn the pace of the guys at the front. I need that to be the benchmark of what I’m capable of at each round and aim for a top five position in every race. Thank you to the WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients team for all their effort and together we can continue to improve at every round.
Brett Metcalfe (Mongrel Boots Honda Racing) – Eighth overall:
This weekend didn’t go to plan, my raw speed was okay, but I didn’t capitalise on the positives and track positions that I was in early in the motos. I have a lot to work on before Albury and will be focused on finding the speed we had at the start of the season.
Kirk Gibbs (Terrafirma Equipment Sales Honda Racing) – Second overall:
We came into this round at 15 points out of championship contention and we’ve closed that gap to only eight points, winning another race and finishing second was great – our starts are strong and everything is coming together. This is my third race on a Honda and we keep learning as we go. I know I have more to show and I look forward to the next round.
Nathan Crawford (Serco Yamaha) – Seventh overall:
Was a real mixed day for me that even started in qualifying as I struggled with the track early in the session before finally finding my groove later and getting to qualify in fourth. Race one and I didn’t get a great start and as I was beginning to move forward, I heard some noises and the bike stopped not long after. I was pretty angry but used that emotion for race two where I was able to get to the lead and just do my laps. I put my head down, focussed on the track and was able to get the win which was a huge relief. I’m a long way down in the championship points now and figure I have nothing to lose, so its all out from here on in. All I can do as win as many races as I can and focus of race and round wins and hopefully that drags me up in the championship.
Jesse Dobson (Serco Yamaha) – Second overall:
It’s finally nice to get up on the podium for a round. I have been so close so many times over the years and had way too many fourth places to even think about so it’s awesome to break that ceiling and actually get the job done. I was close at Wonthaggi and Canberra, but now to be 100 percent fit and to get on the podium is a huge monkey off my back. I am also just as happy that I was able to put together two good motos where I was strong all the way to the end and didn’t many too many mistakes out there, especially in that second race as the track went hard and slippery in spots. My bike was in great shape all day, so thank you to the team for all the hard work and I’m now second in the championship, which is also the best I have ever been in a national professional championship. The result is also the result of a lot of work I have been putting in with Ford Dale, so I will continue to work with him as I think the best is yet to come and hopefully a round win isn’t too far away.
Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Fourth overall:
The day started out great as I qualified well and had a good first moto. I was fortunate that Jay fell, but I was able to keep pressure on him all the way and when he made a mistake, I made the most of it. Race two was a bit of a struggle. I just couldn’t get into a good flow as the track had dried out and I couldn’t ride it as precisely or aggressively, but I will learn from it and ensure that I spend some time working on it before the next round.
Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Third overall:
I wasn’t the best guy here today. I should have finished second for the round, but that final lap crash in race one cost me dearly. I was just a little pumped up and didn’t quite get the rut clean and went down – I was furious at myself for doing that. Race two and I just had to fight for it. The two guys up front were doing a good speed and third was all I had in me that moto. Overall, I’m disappointed. At Canberra I was happy about third, but now my attitude is different and I’m frustrated with third today, but clearly I’m getting better and things are improving so I want to keep that momentum going and take it to the next round.
Levi Rogers (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – 22nd overall:
Today just wasn’t my day and I made way too many mistakes on the track. I did all the hard work by getting near the front and passing some good riders, only to let myself down at the worst times and throw away a good result. I need to be better than that and keep focused on the track and eliminate the mistakes.
Kyle Webster (Honda Racing) – First overall:
The day was going well, I felt strong following a great qualifier and first race. In race two, I had a momentary lapse of concentration and dropped it. I came from 16th to fourth and only nine seconds off the lead. My Honda Genuine CRF250R was solid and I’m stoked to take another overall. We have a few things to work on before round four in Albury, but I am glad we extended our points lead to 34.