A closer look at some of the battles emerging in the 2022 championship.
With the 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship now officially over the halfway mark, there are a number of interesting head-to-head battles beginning to form within the wider context of the three championship classes. In this Countdown, we put the spotlight on the ones to keep a close eye on over the coming rounds…
5. Kayden Minear vs Cambell Williams:
The MX3 championship battle has been an interesting one so far, with KTM’s Kayden Minear and Honda-backed Cambell Williams proving to be the front-runners of the field. However, the two talented youngsters have yet to really find each other on track – it seems that whenever one’s having a great moto, the other’s having a shocker, and vice-versa. Williams has experienced a couple of horrible rounds at Gillman and Maitland (where he DNF’d one race with a mechanical) as of late, so as a result he suddenly finds himself 25 points adrift of the championship lead. However, there’s only one thing predictable about the MX3 class and that’s its unpredictability – there’ll be more twists to come over the coming rounds and it wouldn’t be surprising if these two championship favourites are somehow involved.
4. Noah Ferguson vs Haruki Yokoyama:
With just three rounds remaining in the ProMX Championship, an interesting head-to-head is beginning to emerge between GasGas-supported rider Noah Ferguson and Empire Kawasaki’s Haruki Yokoyama. Ferguson had a nightmare start to the season with a DNF in the opening moto at Wonthaggi, but has since had plenty of track-time at the front of the pack, culminating with a hard-fought third overall at Maitland. Yokoyama also enjoyed his first taste of success at the last round, with an impressive third in the opening moto, and finishing fifth for the day, just one point behind Ferguson. Now there are just five points between them in the MX2 standings as we head to Coffs Harbour in a few weeks time, with a top-five championship result ultimately up for grabs at Coolum.
3. Dean Ferris vs Kirk Gibbs:
Over their careers, Honda Racing’s Dean Ferris and KTM Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs have found each other on the track more than they’d care to admit, and 2022 is proving to be no different. The pair is currently fourth and fifth in the MX1 championship fight and, although there’s a sizeable 30-point margin between them, that’s only because Gibbs DNF’d the second race at Maitland with a thumb injury sustained earlier in the day. On track, there’s very little between Gibbs and Ferris, although Ferris has led the charge to the chequered flag four times this year, while Gibbs has yet to chalk up a race win. If Gibbs lines up at Coffs, expect him to try his hardest to regain the upper hand and claim back some of the territory he lost at Maitland.
2. Jesse Dobson vs Bailey Malkiewicz:
There are fewer things more entertaining than watching a points-chase tighten up between two teammates. This year’s prime example is happening under the Serco Yamaha awning as Jesse Dobson and Bailey Malkiewicz jockey for position. The duo tied on points at the opening round at Wonthaggi and just three markers separated them at Mackay. The returning Malkiewicz broke through for a memorable round win at Wodonga, where he became the only racer to stop Wilson Todd’s streak this year, but a massive crash at Gillman saw him injure his knee and finish with zero points. Dobson had a tough one himself at Wodonga, not finishing the opening race with shoulder issues and finishing outside of the top 10 in the second moto. He bounced back to a strong finish at Maitland though, finishing second to Todd in both motos, and narrowing the points gap on his teammate to just one. The scene is now set for an interesting two motos at Coffs.
1. Todd Waters vs Brett Metcalfe vs Aaron Tanti:
Whose chances would you fancy between the racer who won the last full MX1 championship (but hasn’t won a race this year), a veteran legend who’s never won an Australian MX1 championship (but has won a race in 2022) or a new challenger to the throne with no national titles to his name, but with the red plate and two round under his belt? Essentially, that’s what the 2022 MX1 championship is now boiling down to, as CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti tries to fend off the abundant experience of Todd Waters (Husqvarna Racing Team) and Brett Metcalfe (GO24 Racing KTM). Despite their best attacks, Tanti has remained impressively composed and featured on the podium at every round so far and now holds a 26-point buffer over Waters and 28 over Metcalfe. There are still plenty of laps still left to run, though… Waters is desperate to start winning races and Metcalfe would love nothing more than to have his name engraved on a ProMX trophy.