News 21 Mar 2023

Positives for Serco's Budd after MX2 moto two turnaround

YZ250F rider scores important P3 in second race at Appin.

Image: Foremost Media.

Serco Yamaha’s Rhys Budd is drawing positives from his moto two turnaround at Appin, the MX2 contender overcoming a challenging race one to score his first podium of the season.

Budd finished second in last year’s Australian MX2 championship with Yamalube Yamaha Racing and transferred to the Serco Yamaha program for 2023 alongside Jesse Dobson.

After a difficult P10 in the season-opening moto at Wonthaggi, Budd qualified eighth fastest at round two but was forced to pit during race one to change goggles. He worked his way back to 10th come race-end and was determined to deliver a stronger showing in the second encounter.

A great start saw Budd grab the holeshot and lead in the opening stages before being relegated to second by reigning champion Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Honda Racing) and later to third by eventual race-winner Nathan Crawford. The number 22 was able to hold on to P3, finishing 2.4s from Todd at the chequered flag in what was an important result to swing his momentum in a positive direction.

“Had a pretty average start in moto one, unfortunately, had to take my goggles off on the first lap, not even halfway around and had to pull in first lap to get some fresh goggles,” Budd recalled. “Dead last from there, and just clicked off my laps and did what I could, I made some pretty good passes and felt pretty good.

“I was proud of myself with my ride, but unfortunately the situation I was frustrated with, because I work too hard to be in that position. Not only myself, but my team, they deserve a lot more than that. Bit frustrating, but I love turning stuff around and making a comeback.

“Moto two, just had some positive vibes, on my sight lap I knew straight away and I was like ‘this is me’, once I did that sight lap I was like ‘this is my track, I’m going to go out here and do well’.

“I got off to a holeshot, first holeshot of the year and that felt bloody amazing, fresh air, nobody in front of me. I just did my thing, rode at 80 percent I reckon, that’s what I needed to do, the track was still tricky but it really turned around and I loved it.

“I got passed by Crawford and Todd, Nato got away a little but I kept digging deep, it was brutal and the heat was getting to me a little bit – not only me but I reckon everyone as well.

“I just kept going and I didn’t give up, I was coming back at Wilson on those last couple of laps. Like I said I love turning stuff around. Lots of positives to be taken away, so just got to keep chipping away, I’m fit and healthy and looking forward to round three.”

With a 10-3 scorecard, Budd finished fourth overall at Appin. In terms of championship position, he is currently in sixth, 27 points from MX2 red plate-holder Todd as the series moves to Wodonga, Victoria for round three on 16 April.