News 21 Aug 2023

Crawford battles effects of Saturday crash to earn MX2 runner-up

KTM Racing Team conteder fights to 2-3 scorecard at round eight.

Image: Foremost Media.

A qualifying incident on Saturday left Nathan Crawford’s back in a condition far from 100 percent, but the determined KTM Racing Team rider battled to secure second overall in the MX2 championship and P2 at round eight of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship at Coolum.

Crawford entered the series finals with momentum after going 1-1 at Queensland Moto Park, but needed disaster to strike for red plate-holder Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Honda Racing) if he were to have any chance of capturing the title, 27 points behind entering the last two motos.

Unfortunately for Crawford, he ran into trouble of his own during qualifying when he fell early on and then was hit by another rider, hurting his back in the process to the extent he initially thought that it was broken.

The number 199 persevered in Sunday’s motos, working his way forward to second in the opening race before notching a P3 finish in the final bout of the season.

“The day was a struggle, we will have to kind of take it back to Saturday, I had a crash on the first lap of qualifying and sort of had 38 other guys behind me,” Crawford explained to MotoOnline. “I got cleaned up man, I got tyre marks all up my back.

“To be honest with you, when I first stood up, I was a bit worried that I broke my back, my whole back was hot and I had an unusual sensation running up and down my back.

“I was pretty rattled after that, to be honest, obviously we have all had injuries before, but when it comes to back injuries that gets pretty scary.

“We did what we could last night to recover it, and we came out today and we got P2 overall. The track was gnarly, my body wasn’t where it needed to be from that crash, but we salvaged a second overall for the day and second overall for the championship. I kind of have to be happy with that, given what we were faced with from yesterday’s crash, I’m happy enough.

“To put it into perspective today, for both motos today, specifically the second moto, I had to get one of my good mates to help me just get my leg over the bike. I was struggling then, I was real bad. I couldn’t even get off the bike myself on my own, it was a tough day.”

Crawford has shown blistering speed throughout the 2023 campaign, winning the Appin, Toowoomba and QMP rounds in addition to moto two at Wodonga.

Disqualification from Wonthaggi and a DNF in the first outing at Wodonga saw him lose valuable points, in the end finishing second and 35 back from Todd who capped off the season in the best possible way with a 1-1 at Coolum.

As for the future, Crawford’s two-year deal with the KTM Racing Team will almost certainly see him step up to the premier-class full-time next season, and will he contest the Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) with the outfit later this year.