Features 30 Mar 2022

Quotebook: 2022 ProMX Rd1 Wonthaggi

Assorted racer comments following the first round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the first round of the 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship at Wonthaggi.

Image: Foremost Media.


Todd Waters (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Third:
It’s always good to start with a podium result and that’s our minimum goal at each round. From that side of things, we’re happy, but I did expect to win and I’m disappointed to not achieve that. The track was really challenging today, so we made some changes as the day progressed and we made some improvements. It feels like we haven’t raced each other for a long time, but now we know where we’re at and where we need to improve for Mackay. I’m excited about that round – I’ll be racing both the Australian Off-Road Championship and the ProMX over three days, but I’m fitter than I am fast at the moment and I can’t wait for the challenge.

Dean Ferris (Honda Racing) – 13th:
The team and I have already regrouped, and we have a plan. Breaking my collarbone and getting surgery didn’t help my preparation for this year but we will get back to where I know I can be.

Kyle Webster (Honda Racing) – Fourth:
I was devastated. I threw away the overall by crashing four times throughout the day. The bike and team can win, and I let them down. It’s no consolation but we had the speed to win, the bike and team to win and we will learn from this and move forward.

Hayden Mellross (GasGas Racing Team) – Seventh:
I had a goal of finishing within the top-five today, but I suffered from bike fitness and arm-pump from the lack of seat-time over the past month. I didn’t want to get my ambitions mixed up with my capabilities, but it’s still hard to watch people you know you can beat pull away from you. I didn’t meet my own expectations, although we did make a lot of progress with suspension and bike settings throughout the round. We’ve taken a lot of positives from the day in that respect, which will set us up well for Mackay.

Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Second:
I’m pretty happy with how the weekend played out and the way I rode. The start of any new championship is a little nerve-racking and the goal is always to get some good points, stay health and get back into the swing of national race intensity. The next few tracks and a bit more in my wheel-house as far as the track surface, but I’m beginning to like this sand stuff and slowly working things out to produce good lap times. The bike was awesome all day and we barely touched it, so the team have done a great job in preparing things and a 1-2 finish is always a great reward for everyone’s work.

Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – First:
The plan coming into the weekend wasn’t to be the fastest, or the wildest or the flashiest, but be the smartest and log good laps at a good pace and I’m pumped that we were able to do it today. This track is tough, and it was un-seasonally warm down here so maintaining focus was so important as the track can get you at any time. Kyle was clearly quicker than me today as he was exceptionally fast and that’s ok. The old me would have over-ridden and done something stupid but we have 16 races to win this championship and every one of them is important, so I kept me head in the game from the moment the gate dropped and I was rewarded with the round win. Thanks again to the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team for again giving us the best and its great to have my brother back on the tools. Looking forward two in a couple of weeks and keen not get back to work this week.

Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team) – Fifth:
It’s always good to take some good points from the first round, but to be honest, I felt a little rusty from a lack of bike and race time. I was a bit disappointed to fall over in the first race as that could’ve been an easy top-five turned into a hard-fought seventh. I was happier with my pace in the second moto, but obviously, I would have been more satisfied with a podium. It’s always good to start racing and know where I’m at. I know what I need to work on before Mackay and it always lights a bit of a fire when you get beaten.

Jayden Rykers (Empire Kawasaki) – Eighth:
Had a relatively good weekend, ninth in qualifying and then my start in moto one made life a little bit hard. I fought back to ninth and in the second moto I was a little better for eighth, so it’s something to work on and we will come back better at round two.


Image: Foremost Media.

Bailey Malkiewicz (Serco Yamaha) – Third:
The opening round went well. There were a few things I did well and a few things I think I need to improve on before the coming rounds so I will get to work on those and try and get a little better at Mackay. It was my first real hit-out with the full team and the truck and everything worked well. Happy with the bike, happy with the team and looking forward to getting down to business and chasing this championship with Serco Yamaha.

Jesse Dobson (Serco Yamaha) – Fourth:
The goal of the first round of any championship is to put together a consistent weekend with good points and assess how you, the team and the bike are travelling and I think we achieved that. I would clearly like to be on the podium, but I still see it as a good start to the ProMX Championship and feel there are a few things I can take from it that will hold me in a good place moving forward. Wonthaggi is never an easy place to ride and it gives you a clear indication of how things are with your bike and fitness. I think I just needed some more sprint pace in the early laps of race two and my day would have finished a little better, but we move on to Mackay now and try and be better than I was here.

Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki) – Seventh:
My first race in Australia was really good. Qualifying 14th wasn’t the best, but I had a good start and ended up getting fifth in moto one, so I was really happy. In the second one, I was comfortable in seventh, but a couple of guys passed me and I ended up ninth. My goal was top 10 and I’m really happy to get seventh.

Jai Constantinou (Empire Kawasaki) – Sixth:
I’m happy with my weekend, excited to be back racing and get round one out of the way. I had a crash in moto one and then my start in moto two was near-last, but I came through the pack well and it’s a good starting point, so looking forward to what’s next in the championship

Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Honda Racing) – First:
It was a solid result. I know we can be better, and we will continue to work forward, there were some things that I was disappointed in, in myself, and we have a positive plan. I just need to do some more riding on rough tracks. This was our first hit out at a national track, so I am pleased we got it done.

Dylan Wills (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Eighth:
Today I struggled to find a flow with the track and I chased my tail trying to find a bike set-up that suited the varying conditions of the track this weekend. There was probably a bit of rust from a lack of race time, just like everyone else, but I also know I rode too tentatively and didn’t feel like I could push as hard as I would’ve liked without making a mistake. At the same time, there’s a really good vibe at the team where we’re all motivated and eager to do better next time. I want to turn it around at Mackay and show just what I’m capable of.

Blake Fox (GasGas Racing Team) – 14th:
It was a really tough day out there, but I felt like I learnt a lot, seeing as it was my first MX2 race at a national level. I struggled to get a good feeling with the track and not having a lot of race experience recently meant I wasn’t as sharp as I’d like off the gate. I’m pretty disappointed to finish below the goals that I set for myself, so now that we have an idea of where my pace is compared to the rest of the field, I’ll work hard on a few areas between now and Mackay, with the aim of coming out stronger for the second round.

Alex Larwood (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Second:
Today was a good day and I’m happy with how things went. I rode two strong and consistent races all the way to the end and felt I was in the battle and making Wilson earn it. I couldn’t get close enough to try and make a pass, so congrats to Wilson as he didn’t make a mistake that I could capitalise on in either moto. Thanks to Nash and Mike on the team for getting everything ready and the work they put in as well as my family that came over from South Australia to watch me. It’s great to get the first round out of the way and start on a positive note.

Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Ninth:
Today wasn’t great and I know I can and will do better. The first race I got a terrible start and was dodging crashes and pile-ups everywhere on the first lap. I made my way through and was doing ok before I made a mistake and went down over the back. Race two was a step in the right direction as my start was better and I was able to hustle a bit in the early stages. Still some work to do, but I will take some positives from that, put my head down and come back at Mackay with a much better performance.

Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) – Fifth:
I’m stoked with my results and so happy with how I raced. There’re a lot of great riders in the MX2 class and it was a bit weird battling with some riders that I had looked up to for years. I had put in a lot of hard work with the team and was confident I would go ok – but my goal was just a solid top 10 in both races – so to come away with top five in a race and also fifth for the day has surprised me. I have done plenty of laps around Wonthaggi and I felt pretty good all day. My fitness was good as I was able to fight all the way to the end and the bike was sweet both races.

Brodie Connelly (WBR Yamaha) – 10th:
We haven’t had any national racing in New Zealand this year, so to step straight into the championship in Australia where the riders are fit and ready to go was tough. The speed and depth of the MX2 field here is strong and all it takes is one mistake and you have half a dozen riders all over you. I’m in for the next one in Mackay and I hear the track is a bit more like what we would race in New Zealand so I’m looking forward to that and hoping getting a better result for myself and the team. Thank you to Travis and everyone at the WBR Yamaha Team for having me over and looking after me. They have been great to deal with and I’m really enjoying my time here.