Features 22 Mar 2023

Quotebook: 2023 ProMX Rd2 Appin

Assorted racer comments following the latest round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the second round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship at Appin.


Image: Foremost Media.

Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – First:
Getting the championship off to a positive start was the goal for me today and taking the win means we achieved that. We had a lot going on today as the track changed considerably from being wet and muddy in the morning to becoming dry and hard pack in the afternoon due to the heat, but the team did a great job, and we were able to get the win. The track was tough and even though we have raced here many times in the past, the new direction was a good change and the way the track shaped up was different. But overall, the day went well, the new YZ450F is awesome and I’m ready to get stuck into defending this championship.

Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Fifth:
On paper I would have liked a better result than fifth but that was the best I could do given the circumstances and I think that I made good progress throughout the day. It’s been nearly a year since I last raced a national motocross round and while you can practice and train all you like, it’s different when you are on the track and in a race environment. The heat was a killer but I stayed pretty strong all day and given my position in every race, I had to keep charging. In moto one, I just had to get as many points as I could so every position mattered, then in the short races, I was in a battle all the way. But it was awesome to be back racing again and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team worked hard all day. I think the results will continue to improve from here as I race my way back to 100 percent.

Jed Beaton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – Third:
It was a tough day, it started well and I felt strong but a string of minor mistakes held us back. I am positive we will move forward as the series heads to Albury in a few weeks.

Kyle Webster (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – Seventh:
I had a good start in moto 1 until I came together with another rider, before I knew it there were a few of us tangled up. I did the best I could given the challenging conditions. In moto two I felt solid and in moto three I suffered from another bad start. It’s time to regroup and look forward. I know these results don’t reflect the work we have done, but I feel good and the bike is great.

Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team) – Fourth:
Today was up-and-down because it started quite well in the Shootout with third, then I got into second quite quickly in moto one and pretty much rode my own race. I rode solid to come away with second, which I was happy with, but in the final moto I made an error in where I started, so that cost me two bad starts. On a track like that, with so many fast guys, it makes things tough. I felt like I rode well, I’m right there in the hunt and am super-keen for the next round. I want to come out and nail these starts, give them something to chase around.

Todd Waters (Raceline Berry Sweet Husqvarna) – Sixth:
Today was just about getting a race under the belt, as we had no pre-season racing and haven’t had much time to set the bikes up. I was off the pace and didn’t have anything for the front guys, as I’m still trying to get my confidence back after dislocating my shoulder last year and coming back from the nerve damage I experienced in my fingers. I only got back on the bike about six weeks ago, but I’m happy with my fitness, and with how the team went. It’s a good starting point and we’ll only get stronger from here.

Regan Duffy (GasGas Racing Team) – 20th:
It was a bit of a steady day at Appin, but I came away unscathed and that was important today. I came in with a couple of niggling injuries, and I had a small crash on my cycle bike in the week leading up, which tore my hands up. Still, we ended up getting through the weekend, I got some points, and that was good. I was really excited to be back at the track because it’s been a very long time, so to get through the weekend is good enough for me and the team was happy with that. I’m very lucky to have supportive people around me in the GasGas Racing Team, not a lot of pressure as I return to racing and I appreciate that. All in all, it was a good weekend, good to continue my career after a long hiatus and I’m stoked about that. I’m going to try to keep progressing as much as I can leading into Wodonga, so cheers to everyone who has made this happen! I’ve had a really good time.


Image: Foremost Media.

Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) – First:
The track formed up really well today, it was super-technical and I gelled with the ruts quite well. I’ve got quite a good track record going here at Appin, so I like it here a lot and the results have been strong here. I feel like I let my riding do the talking today, put my head down, worked hard and now we’re here. We’re third in points now, which is really good at the moment, and now we look ahead to the next one!

Kayden Minear (KTM Racing Team) – Sixth:
Round two at Appin today, it was definitely a good day. The track was very tricky in the morning, which I really enjoyed. The team had the bikes dialled in and my mechanic did an absolutely amazing job keeping my bike light and not holding lots of mud, so going 5-8 for equal fifth overall. I’m very happy!

Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Equipment Sales Honda) – Second:
I did the best I could given the circumstances. I felt weak and tired. I have done very little riding since returning from America and I fractured some ribs in the crash I had in round one only two weeks ago. I will rest up for a week or two before I go hard at it again.

Brodie Connolly (Polyflor Honda Racing) – Third:
I am happy I got on the podium. I crashed three times in race one and had a bad start in race two and had to ride to the conditions. I need to clean up my mistakes but I am still learning. This is my fourth ever national and I am pumped to be sitting in second in the championship.

Rhys Budd (Serco Yamaha) – Fourth:
We had to work hard for it today. The track was pretty wet and sloppy, and I didn’t get a great lap in qualifying in and not the best choice of gate. Then I was just smashed with mud in the first few turns and had to get some goggles as it was too dangerous to race without them. I did what I could but the leaders were long gone. For race two, we just put a lot of focus on the start, and I was able to get the holeshot and lead for a couple of laps. Nathan [Crawford] and Wilson [Todd] got past me and I had Alex Larwood right behind me so the pressure was on the whole race but I managed to stay in third and finish the day strongly. Thanks to the Serco Yamaha team and our sponsors for the support and things are starting to come around. I’m looking forward to the next round and keep fighting my way back into this championship.

Jesse Dobson (Serco Yamaha) – Seventh:
Not a real lot to say unfortunately. I just had an off day and couldn’t get comfortable on the track. I had speed at times but it wasn’t fast enough for long enough to get the result myself and the team deserve. I want to watch the video of the race to see what the other riders were doing and why I was struggling so much. You can still learn a lot from a tough day like this and I want to ensure I bounce back at the next round and give the Serco Yamaha team a result they can be proud of.

Alex Larwood (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – 11th:
The result wasn’t there but there are a lot of positives I can take from the weekend. My speed was good in qualifying and in the first race until I went down and I was happy that I was about to bounce back in moto two. I feel momentum is starting to come in my riding and that the work during the week is starting to pay off. The bike is working well and the team are doing everything they can and I think by the time we get to Albury, we will be back to where I was pre-injury and looking to get better.

Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Eighth:
It was a frustrating way to end the day for me with two simple crashes taking away what was going to be a top-five result for the round. I just needed to stay focused and not let the little mistakes creep into my riding because it’s hurting my results. But I felt good on the bike all day and kept moving forward in each race. My fitness is good and qualifying sixth on a wet and muddy track that I haven’t ridden much was also good. We have a month to the next round, so there is plenty of time to tune things up and get things back on track.

Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team):
We’re not 100 percent sure of the extent of the shoulder injury at this stage, but it definitely made for a hard day at Appin. I completed race one, but I wasn’t strong enough to finish inside the points, so from that stage, we decided to sit out the second moto. That was the safest option because I was pretty much just riding with one arm on the bars. It’s unfortunate, but I have to take it as it comes and see if we can get everything sorted beforehand for Wodonga.

Blake Fox (Raceline Berry Sweet Husqvarna) – 22nd:
It was a tough day at the office for me. The track was really muddy for our qualifying session, but I still managed to get two really good starts to my two races. It was disappointing to DNF the second moto and a P22 result isn’t what I want, but I know what I need to work on before Wodonga in four weeks time.

Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki) – 12th:
The track was pretty cool, but I struggled a lot in qualifying and couldn’t put a fast lap together. My two motos weren’t the best, but I’m struggling with a shoulder injury that’s not healing up properly yet. That made both races challenging, but I feel like there’s been some improvement since the opening round, so we will be ready for Wodonga in four weeks’ time.

Cody Cooper (Empire Kawasaki) – 18th:
I liked the track and loved the ruts and the lines it had to offer, but the heat really got to me today. I seem to be worse at it than other riders and it’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life. Being sick last weekend didn’t help either. I felt like I let the team down a bit, as the bike is awesome and it has plenty of power… I’m happy I kept it upright today, but it was tough out there.