News 22 Aug 2023

Tanti proved 'last year wasn't just a fluke' in title defence

Attention turns to delivering an even stronger SX season in 2023.

Image: Foremost Media.

While two DNFs ultimately proved costly in the MX1 title defence of Aaron Tanti, the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy rider holds his head high after he was able to prove ‘last year wasn’t just a fluke’ in the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship.

Tanti surprised in 2022 when he captured the premier class title of national motocross in his first season with CDR, with anticipation surrounding whether he could repeat again in the 2023 season.

The YZ450F rider started his title reign on a positive note when he took the overall victory at Appin, before a mechanical DNF in the opening moto at Wodonga saw him relinquish the red plate.

Tanti battled in the rounds that followed to close the gap to both Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha) and Jed Beaton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing), standing on the overall podium at Maitland, Gillman and Toowoomba before an incident with a lapped rider at Queensland Moto Park effectively ruled him out of title-contention.

He concluded the season with a 4-7 scorecard at Coolum – a fall in the second moto hindering his progress, and finished both fourth overall for the round and P4 in the 2023 Australian MX1 standings.

“The field was back full this year, you had Ferris obviously performing really well back on the Yamaha again, and you’ve got the guys like Jed Beaton back from Europe, Webster, and Gibbsy [Kirk Gibbs] and all of that still tracking along there,” Tanti said to MotoOnline.

“For me, it was still a really good year, because I could show that I can still beat those guys, last year wasn’t just a fluke, like I’m a top guy in Australia now on the 450. I will definitely take the positives out of that and now I finish the year healthy and we are going to roll into some more world supercross and the Australian Supercross Championship, so looking to put my best foot forward there.”

Tanti’s attention now turns to supercross, where he will complete the remainder of the World Supercross Championship (WSX) in SX2 plus the Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) onboard a YZ450F with CDR.

The Queensland-based rider was right in the mix last year in AUSX, winning round two in Adelaide to enter Newcastle as the joint red plate-holder with Justin Brayton (Honda Racing). He would later fall during the Triple Crown at round three, hitting his head which ruled him out of contention for the remainder of the penultimate stop.

Tanti bounced back at Wagga Wagga to close the series by winning the second main event at the venue, finishing second for the round and third in the SX1 standings.

“It’s a completely different field, a lot of the guys that just finished around me in the [ProMX] championship, none of them race supercross,” Tanti added. “There are a lot of Americans and stuff coming over and guys like [Matt] Mossy and most of the Americans are going to be my competition, as well as my teammate [Luke Clout], he will be back.

“I feel like I’m going to be better than what I was last year, I got that first year out of the way and I made that one mistake, but for the most of it I was on the podium for the other rounds. Just eliminate that mistake, and I am sure that I would see myself towards the top.”