Assorted racer comments following the third round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the third round of the 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship in Wodonga.
Todd Waters (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Second:
It’s always nice to have the red plate, but honestly, that’s not my focus this early in the championship. I just want to get the best results I can every weekend, with the aim of holding the red plate after Coolum! My bike was great this weekend, but I made it hard for myself with some average starts. Going down in the first turn of the second moto wasn’t ideal, but being able to salvage fifth was encouraging. I was stoked to get P2 for the round, but I was pretty hungry for a win – I know it’s achievable, but I wasn’t in the right position to make it happen today. I’m going to work on my sprint speed for the next back-to-back round, although for now my focus is on the Australian Four-Day Enduro this week.
Dean Ferris (Honda Racing) – First:
It’s nice to get the monkey off my back that’s for sure. Things are finally starting to click, this weekend marks four moto wins in a row for me, if you include Mackay, and as a team we are really coming together as one and the results are showing this.
Hayden Mellross (GasGas Racing Team) – Fifth:
There were plenty of positives to take from the day and it’s reassuring to know we’re heading in the right direction. I felt I rode really well in both the first and third races, but unfortunately, I twisted my ‘bars when I went down off the start of the back-to-back races, which made those two races challenging. Despite that, I felt I rode the best I’ve ridden all year in that last moto and was I matching lap-times with the leaders. We’ve got a slightly longer break between rounds now, so we’ll put our heads down and continue improving and bring some more confidence into Gillman.
Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Third:
Today was good, just that crash in moto one made it tough as I was up front and when I went down, it bent the front of my bike a bit and it’s hard to ride long, fast ruts when things are bent up so I could only salvage a fifth. Because its rutty and tight, it is easy to over-ride it on a 450 so once I settled down, it was a bit easier to generate the pace rather than trying to kill the track. We are well-placed in the championship, just one point from the lead but the next few rounds are important to really get some momentum and rack up some race wins if we are to win it this year. Thank you to the CDR Yamaha team and our sponsors, despite Luke not racing, they haven’t cut any corners and it was all hands on deck to help me this weekend and I appreciate their support.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team) – Ninth:
It was a frustrating day, really. There were a lot of positives to take out of Wodonga, but two small mistakes led to big consequences for me. We’ve made some big improvements on the bike and suspension since Mackay three weeks ago and it’s made me feel more confident to push the bike hard on the track. The circuit was rough and technical, but I was happy with my speed and ability to come through traffic – it’s just a shame that a couple of errors put a dampener on what would’ve otherwise been a very positive day for us. We’ve got to ride the lows and take the positives, but we’re only going to get better from here on out.
Jayden Rykers (Empire Kawasaki) – Eighth:
First time we visited Albury, Wodonga, so that was fresh. The first moto I tried to not to be so patient in the early laps with a good start, and I got caught off guard and washed the front. The first back-to-back moto was a little bit of my old self, that was the one positive I could pull from
Bailey Malkiewicz (Serco Yamaha) – First:
I needed to get that monkey off my back. It’s been way too long since I have won a round, so it was awesome to get it done here today and finally shake it off. The track was tough as it was full of long ruts and tight turns, so you almost needed to slow down to go fast. I saw a heap of other riders having problems, so I just kept my mind on the job and was able to put together two good races to take the overall. We have put in plenty of hard work since the last round and I can’t thank the Serco Yamaha team enough. The bike was perfect all day and its good to reward everyone with a win and take the confidence into the next round
Jesse Dobson (Serco Yamaha) – 18th:
I’m so disappointed about how things went today. I was feeling good and had put in a heap of work leading into this round and to come away with no results and an injury isn’t the round myself or the team were expecting. My speed was good and I felt I really could have challenged for the win today but those crashes put an end to that and my shoulder is pretty sore right now. I will get it assessed to see what damage has happened and what treatment is required and I will do whatever it takes to be on the start line in Adelaide at the next round. A huge thank you to Racesafe for looking after me today and getting me back on track as well as the team for doing a great job. I owe both a good result in the coming rounds for what happened today.
Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki) – 12th:
In the first moto, had a really good jump but I overshot the first turn. The track was really challenging but finished seventh after a crash which wasn’t too bad. I had a first turn crash in the second moto which bent the bike a little bit, managed to salvage 15th.
Jai Constantinou (Empire Kawasaki) – Seventh:
We made some improvements from the last round so taking steps in the right direction. Not the weekend we wanted but still plenty of positives to take away.
Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Honda Racing) – Second:
I am bummed with my crash, we qualified first and I was leading the first moto when I crashed on my own, so I was disappointed. The second moto was better, the track was hard and technical, I was constantly searching for grip on the drying track, and it was difficult to break away from the pack, but taking the win in moto two and extending my points lead felt really good.
Dylan Wills (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Ninth:
oday was a struggle, no two ways about it. I felt great early on in qualifying and got a great start in the opening race, but after I crashed it seemed nothing really went my way for the rest of the day. The track was really tough, especially in the second moto, and I struggled to gel with it as it got rougher. I’m stoked with the bike and how the team is working together, but I’ve got a few things I need to work on myself before the next round at Gillman. We’re still fifth in the championship and there’s plenty of racing left to continue chipping away at the guys in front of me.
Alex Larwood (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Eighth:
First turn crashes are part of what we do, and every rider will be involved in one at some point but that doesn’t make it any easier. We all went in pretty deep, and a few bikes come together and I ended up going down and giving my shoulder a good hit. I was able to finish but the bike was pretty bent, so we needed to get a few things straightened out before race two. The boys got to work and the bike was sorted and I had my shoulder looked at so we were good to go for race two. I just needed to get some decent points back and not have the day turn into a total disaster. I made it through turn one and then lap one, so I was able to just settle down and ride my laps. I was pretty happy to finish in second and do some damage control in the points. I made Nash and the Yamalube team work a little harder today, so I thank the for it and look forward to getting after it at the next round over in Adelaide.
Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Sixth:
I’m devastated. I had the podium position in my keeping and a got that rut wrong in that tight right-hander and went down. I got back up but had already lost a few positions but when I got to the first jump, my hands guards had moved back onto my front brake so as soon as the front wheel went in the air, it locked up. So close, yet so far but this one’s on me and I will ensure that I learn from it and make myself better because of it. I will go home, regroup and come back at the next round swinging determined to get back on the podium for a round. Thank you to the team for doing a great job again today and I promise that a podium is coming.
Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) – Third:
I’m stoked. The MX2 class has some awesome riders in it and it just feels good to race with most of these guys and now that I have gotten a podium, it’s even better. I got two good starts which is so important on a track like this and I tried not to make many mistakes as a lot of riders were. I was far from perfect and fell myself in the second race, but I was able to get back into the race and not lose too many positions. My goal was to get on the podium at some point this year, but for it to happen at round three is cool. The team were so happy for me and I’m glad we were able to get a good result because everyone has worked so hard.
Levi Rogers (WBR Yamaha) – 13th:
First up, it’s good to be back and racing again. I haven’t even done a local race so to step back in at a national level was a bit daunting but I’m glad to be back on track and for the WBR Yamaha team to have patience while I recovered. For the most part, I felt pretty good, and the shoulder held up well. It did take a lot of strength to ride this track so I did get tired but another month of riding before the next round will help that. The bike was good, and I came down to spend a week with the team prior to the race to help me get set up. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I’m back to 100 percent and the results will start to flow.
Blake Fox (GasGas Racing Team) – 17th:
Wodonga wasn’t the best round I’ve ever had, but we did make some progress with bike settings from the previous round at Mackay and we’re still learning every time we hit the track. Today I struggled a bit with the brutal conditions and I rode within myself too much, which showed in my results. I know I’ve got more in the tank and I know that I’ve got good speed, but it’s a little frustrating that I haven’t been able to prove it with my results yet. I just have to be patient, continue building, and the results I know I’m capable of will come.