Overall winners Tanti and Todd recall fifth round in New South Wales.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti confirmed he is a force to be reckoned with as the red plate holder, taking a double victory at the fifth round of the Penrite ProMX Championship to extend his points lead in Maitland, as Honda Racing’s Wilson Todd continued his dominance in MX2 and added two more moto wins to his impressive tally in 2022. MotoOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief interview.
How important was it for you to go 1-1, back up the strong result from Gillman and confirm you do mean business with the red plate?
It was obviously really, really awesome. A lot of people were asking the question regarding if the red plate comes with a bit of weight and stuff like that, and if I can handle the pressure. It was really awesome to put my foot down and show that I’ve been putting in the work and come away with the 1-1, my best result of the season yet. I’m just growing stronger and stronger coming into this second half, which is really awesome.
Like you said, sometimes there’s that ‘red plate comes with a burden’ stereotype. But for you, it was almost the opposite, once you got that you went even better again. Is there anything you can pinpoint that allowed you to have such a strong showing at Maitland?
We’ve been working hard towards this, and I have been doing everything that I aim to do this season, whether it is consistent moto scores… you know getting the points lead going into the second half of the season was exactly what we were looking for. We want to start to peak now, and be our strongest, and yeah the key factors, honestly it’s just my whole program back home. I’ve got a riding coach being 00 Elite Rider Training, and I’ve got a gym coach which is Fighting Fit Physio. Also, having the awesome CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team around me, there’s a lot of experience and that has helped me massively this year. Having that good environment around me and knowing that I am ready when I rock up to every race, with the best equipment, my body is in shape, just refining my skills and stuff with the training.
Can you talk us through your mindset in each of the motos? Race one, you clearly had the pace and worked your way to the front, and in race two having Matt Moss there at the end, you held on for the win.
I didn’t get the best of starts in both races, I’m still working towards my first holeshot of the year. I would love to get one of those and lead some clean laps from the start and see what we can do. I’m really good at getting around people to get to the front quickly, and honestly, my mindset was that I don’t really feel the pressure too bad from the back. I was just focused on my own race, and I try not to look back at all. I can obviously hear the bikes there, and once I am out front and get that little bit of a gap, I can control it and have enough in the tank to put in a charge if I need to.
With the final rounds of the championship approaching now that we are in the second half, and the buffer you have in standings, does anything change in your approach and how you attack the races? Does there come a point where you look towards the consolidating points instead of hanging it out for a race win?
I’m just going to try and keep doing what I am doing, and that’s the same goal as I had at the start of the year which is to try and post consistent moto scores every race, to be in the top three in every moto from here on out. I think that will be enough for me… to push, get some more moto wins and extend my points lead going into the last round, where I am hoping to have a comfortable points lead. Like I am already 26, I would like to hold it around there, if not extend it even more to try and secure the championship.
It was another exception round again for you with another 1-1. What were some of the key points you take away from that, or perhaps some of your favourite moments from Maitland?
There’s not too much that stood out to me, it was a weird track, just with being mentally tough I guess. You barely break a sweat, but you just had to be patient the whole way, even down the straights, just being real smooth on the throttle. But nothing too exciting or that really stood out.
Looking at that first moto with Dylan Wills getting the early lead, were you in a pretty comfortable position following him? Or were you trying to pressure him into a mistake?
Maybe the first two laps I wanted to get around, but you sort of learnt that there wasn’t much that you could do with the track. So I sort of I sat back and I tried to explore a few things, like I found some places that I might have been able to get around him if I was a little closer. He was able to see those, I came close enough to where he could see my fender and he would start blocking those lines, so I sort of screwed myself there a little bit. I just wanted to be patient, I thought I might be able to wear him down when the race started coming to a close, but I ended up finding a way past just before he went down.
Your moto scores this year have been almost perfect. From an internal point of view, is there anything you are wanting to improve with your riding, or one area that you would really like to elevate your performance?
At the start I was a little bit upset, but the last couple of rounds have been pretty good. I guess I could risk it a little bit more and bring a bit more speed, but I’m trying to play it safe at the moment. I do want to get as many race wins as I can. I’ve got a deal with Yarrive [Konsky], if I win them all he was going to give me a 110, that’s the goal, get that 110.
We’ve seen you do a superman and various tricks after winning different rounds. What have you got up your sleeve if you do win the championship?
Well, Coolum is pretty flat across the finish line, so I don’t think there will be too much. But I’m sure I can think of something, I have been lucky enough to have some jumps at the last ones, my superman wasn’t too good but I’ll keep it in mind and see what tricks I can come up with next.