Features 4 May 2023

Rated: ProMX form so far

Taking a closer look at the 2023 race winners in the season to date.

Despite the challenging conditions endured across the opening rounds of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship, there have been exciting moments with the racing and results somewhat unpredictable at times. In this edition of Rated, MotoOnline takes a closer look at the form of MX1 and MX2 riders who have won at least one moto so far this season. 

Rider: Dean Ferris
Rating: A
Rundown: For someone who’s retired from racing twice, Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha’s Ferris is sure looking inspired and reinvigorated this year. The three-time champion was outspoken about the ‘avoidable’ track conditions the racers faced at Wodonga, where a DNF late in the first moto cost him the chance of securing the round win. Ferris has won two of the four motos that have run so far and finished Appin tied on points with CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti. A crash while leading early in Appin’s second moto cost him the overall, but Ferris’ early season form has labelled him as a fierce contender this year.

Rider: Aaron Tanti
Rating: A-
Rundown: After starting his 2023 campaign by successfully retaining his red plate at Appin with the overall victory, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Tanti struggled more so with the conditions at Wodonga. The defending champion qualified a lowly 16th, then lost a chunk of points in the opening race with a late DNF. When conditions dried out he was able to salvage a P7 result in the second moto, but he’s dropped from the top of the points ladder to sixth, 28 points off the lead. Tanti enters Maitland in the unfamiliar position of being in damage control and the upcoming rounds will see him now focused on clawing back the ground he’s lost.

Rider: Jed Beaton
Rating: A
Rundown: After returning to Australia in an effort to regain success and reignite his MXGP career, Beaton has quickly lived up to his reputation as a serious threat this year by qualifying fastest at Wonthaggi. The Boost Mobile Honda Racing rider currently leads the MX1 championship fight after a clean, trouble-free performance at Wodonga, where many of the championship favourites struggled with the conditions and mechanical failures, and he was also solid in Appin on his way to third overall. This weekend’s fourth round is going to be a crucial one as he looks to defend his points lead and a fine forecast at Maitland will mean a level playing field and plenty of the contenders will be desperate to make up lost ground.

Image: Foremost Media.

Rider: Wilson Todd
Rating: B+
Rundown: It’s been a solid start for Todd in his MX2 title defence, no doubt, but it hasn’t been the dominance that we became accustomed to seeing from him in the category. That said, he does hold a red plate advantage of eight points after the three rounds, and displayed his championship-winning tenacity to remount after being brought down heavily in that collision with Crawford to win the season-opening moto. This rating is more a reflection of how is currently performing compared to the best we have seen from him as opposed to an assessment of his outright results this year. Also, it must be noted Todd entered the series after a bruising 250SX stint in the US and was not operating at 100 percent fitness across the first two rounds, with the form in torrential conditions at Wodonga hard to read into too much as for many it was a case of survival. The Terrafirma Honda rider was second overall at Appin and P3 in Albury, now looking to rebound and turn the tide of momentum in his direction at the fourth round in Maitland.

Rider: Brodie Connolly
Rating: A-
Rundown: Signing with Honda Racing for 2023, New Zealand’s Connolly has been a revelation this season onboard the CRF250R, showing the pace and potential to challenge at the front during each round so far. After battling for the lead in the early stages of moto one at Wonthaggi, he ultimately finished P6 after a fall dropped him back. He scored his first national MX2 podium of the year in moto one at Appin, finishing third behind KTM Racing Team’s Crawford and teammate Todd, concluding the day fifth in moto two after a challenging opening lap to land third overall. One month later at Wodonga, the number 88 bested the muddy and heavily rutted conditions to take what was a 54.535s victory ahead of Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), then securing the overall victory at round three with third-place in the final encounter. While Todd and Crawford have been positioned by many as the title rivals this year, Connolly has shown that he can’t be counted out and approaches the fourth round in a strong position, only eight points from red plate-holder Todd.

Rider: Nathan Crawford
Rating: A
Rundown: Crawford’s sheer pace has been strikingly clear in 2023, determined to the capture the MX2 title after being ruled out of contention last year with a broken femur before the season even got underway. His championship position of P4 is by no means a reflection of his speed, and while yes, everyone will have an opinion about his ‘racing conduct’ in moto one at Wonthaggi that ultimately saw him disqualified, he was able to deliver a spirited charge past some key contenders to ultimately reach and overtake Todd. He then remounted after that incident to cross the line second before his position and points were removed. In what was a statement performance, he dominated with a 1-1 scorecard at Appin, taking a wire-to-wire race win in moto one before a come-from-behind win in race two saw him make it a perfect round two. While running second in the early stages of the opening bout in Albury, he was ruled out of the race with a mechanical problem. While that was another costly setback in terms of his title aspirations, he rebounded to take a convincing and crucial moto two victory in Wodonga.