CDR Yamaha rider looking for normality and Maitland rebound.
A disappointed Luke Clout finished 12th overall following a troubled outing at the third round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship, rueing a ‘weird day’ in the mud of Wodonga as he looks to rebound at Maitland.
With the top 10 qualifying shootout cancelled due to the soaked track conditions, the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy rider’s time from the initial morning session left him with 10th gate-pick ahead of the Albury motos.
At virtually the rear of the field after a difficult opening lap in moto one, Clout later struggled with his bike overheating and battled just to finish 15th. Moto two was looking better for the former national champion before a late fall dropped him out of top six contention and down to P9.
“It was really tough, just a weird day, we got a lot of rain, so practice and qualifying were cut short, struggled a little bit in that,” Clout said to MotoOnline.com.au. “We lost superpole, first moto really wasn’t too good. I got a good start and went down actually trying to take my goggles off, so that was crappy.
“Then I kind of picked my way back up, had a little bit of a bike problem, kept stalling the bike and the bike just got really hot so I lost like five minutes in one lap basically. Just tried to claw my way back and ride a bit better towards the end, but it was a pretty crappy result.
“Moto two, average start, went down again. Then I actually came way back through the pack, made my way up and I was in sixth, actually riding pretty good and catching some of the front guys and then put it down on the last lap, which is super frustrating.
“I think the result… that’s where probably I should have been, fifth or sixth for today, but you know to crash on the last lap and drop a few spots is really disappointing. It is what it is.”
Clout was ruled out of a majority of the ProMX Championship last year after sustaining a broken leg in the opening moto of the second round, trying to develop a foundation to build in his return to national motocross.
With round one’s cancellation seeing no MX1 motos contested at Wonthaggi, Clout finished fifth overall at Appin on what was a heavily watered track to begin, notably finishing second in the first part of moto two. Admittedly, it was almost a case of back to square one for the number four in the extreme Albury conditions, now looking to rebound at upcoming races and return to the top step.
“It’s just been hard, we haven’t really been able to build some momentum,” Clout continued. “Especially what happened with Wonthaggi, which is unfortunate, and then Appin, we kind of built a little bit there and then you come here and it’s back to where you started. Hopefully we can tick off some races now and keep building and build some momentum.
“That was my and the team’s target to turn it around, and if we can go there [Maitland] and get on the podium, a race win, things like that. I think it is definitely doable, we just need a normal weekend.”