Features 20 Aug 2023

Racefeed: 2023 ProMX Rd8 Coolum

Direct updates from round eight of the season in Queensland.

Follow the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship with direct MX1 and MX2 updates from the final round of the season at Coolum through Racefeed.

Image: Foremost Media.

MX2 qualifying:
Defending champion Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Honda Racing) set the benchmark in MX2 qualifying with a 1m46.306s despite being a lowly P7 in practice earlier on, leading Honda Racing teammate Brodie Connolly. Slotting into P3 was practice pace-setter Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team), also lapping within a second of Todd. Fourth-fastest came Nathan Crawford, directly ahead of KTM Racing Team teammate Kayden Minear. Sixth through 10th included Ryder Kingsford (WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha), Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Liam Andrews (Spectro Elliott Bros Racing Honda), Rhys Budd (Serco Yamaha) and Caleb Ward (Husqvarna).

MX1 qualifying:
It was a dominant day from the red corner, with Honda Racing’s Jed Beaton’s 1m44.378s edging teammate Kyle Webster – who was quickest in practice – by 0.648s. Third was Caloundra Motorcycle Centre-backed Yamaha privateer Levi Rogers, the premier class rookie ahead of Hamish Harwood (Davey Motorsports KTM) and Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team), who filled the top five on Saturday. Sixth was championship leader Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha), who will carry a 15-point lead into the finals over Beaton, while outgoing champion Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) was next in line, followed by Brett Metcalfe (Penrite GO24 KTM), Joel Evans (Honda) and Luke Zielinski (Yamaha).

MX2 moto one:
Honda Racing’s Wilson Todd put in an aggressive come-from-behind charge to take the opening moto win, and claim the 2023 MX2 Championship in the process. WBR Yamaha’s Ryder Kingsford took the holeshot before GasGas Racing Team rider Noah Ferguson took over the lead, but all eyes were further back in the pack, as a nervous Todd completed the first lap in seventh and Nathan Crawford in 12th. A tip-over saw Kingsford temporarily inherit the lead, before Connolly then surged to the front at the halfway mark. Further back, Crawford closed onto the back of Todd, but Todd responded, dropping consistently fastest lap-times to slice through the pack and make a pass for the lead on the 12th lap. Some desperate racing ensued on the final laps between Connolly and Crawford, with the KTM rider eventually getting the better of the Honda rider and crossing the finishline 8.2 seconds behind the victorious Todd. Kayden Minear (KTM Racing Team) finished fourth, with Ferguson recovering from a second fall to finish fifth. Western Australian Brock Flynn (GasGas) placed sixth, ahead of Ryan Alexanderson (KTM), Rhys Budd (Serco Yamaha), Liam Andrews (Spectro Elliott Bros Racing Honda) and Caleb Ward (Husqvarna).

MX2 Top 10 pole shootout:
Boost Mobile Honda’s Jed Beaton has made his intentions clear early on the final day of the ProMX Championship, claiming Top 10 Pole Shootout honours at Coolum. Beaton was the only racer to drop beneath the 1m42s mark, with a 1m41.830s lap time late in the session, leaping past Queensland privateer Levi Rogers (Yamaha) to take pole. Rogers’ time of 1m42.174s set the surprise standard for most of the session, and couldn’t be beaten by Kyle Webster (Boost Mobile Honda Racing), who finished third. Red plate holder Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha) stopped the clock with a fourth-fastest time, ahead of Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team). Outgoing champion Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) put an early crash behind him to finish sixth, as Brett Metcalfe (GO24 KTM), Hamish Harwood (Davey Motorsports KTM), Luke Zielinski (Yamaha) and Joel Evans (Honda), filled the remaining positions.

MX1 moto one:
Boost Mobile Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster proved his sand-riding mastery with a good win in the opening MX1 moto. It was KTM Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs who claimed the holeshot, but within half a lap Webster had secured the lead and threw down a frantic pace to build a gap early. Three-time champion and red plate holder Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha) started the moto in fifth, as his nearest championship rival, Jed Beaton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) made his way into P2 early on. Ferris put on a gritty charge to dispatch of Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) and Beaton to take control of second place, but Webster was too far gone and completed the moto six seconds ahead of Ferris, with Beaton a distant third. Tanti and Gibbs finished fourth and fifth respectively. Davey Motorsports KTM’s Hamish Harwood recovered from a 15th-place start to place sixth, ahead of a similarly fast-finishing Levi Rogers (Yamaha). Privateers Jai Walker (KTM), Joel Evans (Honda) and Luke Zielinski (Yamaha) completed the top 10.

MX2 moto two:
Despite having already won the series, Todd capped off a successful day and 2023 campaign by winning the last MX2 race. KTM privateer Ryley Fitzpatrick edged Todd for the holeshot, but by the second straight the Honda Racing rider had already taken the lead. The timing sheets will say he won by 28.3 seconds, but he was pushed to the last lap by a hard-charging Noah Ferguson. Ferguson was 11th on the opening lap, but sliced his way through the pack and onto the rear wheel of Todd, before a mistake on the final lap saw him remount and finish P2. Crawford, who was battling a sore back, ground out a P3 result, ahead of a fast-finishing Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), and two-stroke privateer Caleb Ward. Connolly, Budd, Minear, Alexanderson and Madoc Dixon (KTM) filled the remaining top 10 positions.

MX1 moto two:
Capping off a dream day for the Honda Racing camp, Webster again put on a clinic in the second MX1 moto, storming to a 13-second win. Behind him, Ferris kept things under control around a brutally rough Coolum Pines circuit to win an emotionally-charged fourth MX1 championship, courtesy of a consistent 2-2 result. A further 24 seconds back, Gibbs finished his season on a high note with a hard-fought P3 result. Harwood again worked his way forward through the pack to finish fourth, with Metcalfe completing the top five. A sixth-placed Beaton saw his title hopes dashed early on when he rode through a trackside banner and was forced to stop and remove it from his bike. Tanti also hit the dirt midway through the moto and recovered to finish seventh, ahead of Zielinski, and Honda riders Dylan Wood and Jayden Rykers.