Assorted racer comments following the eighth round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the eighth round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship at Coolum.
Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) – Sixth:
Today was a disappointing finish to the year and not the kind of season myself or the team expected. Last year, I was able to get on a roll and reel of some race and round wins but this year I could never string enough races together to really make an impact. Dean was winning a lot of races while Jed was so consistent while I was having up and down weekends. There were still a lot of positives I can take away from the year and I proved that I can run the pace. Appin was good for me, I was solid at Gilman but the rest of them were a bit hit and miss and that’s not what’s needed to win a championship at this level. I fell at Maitland and Toowoomba, two rounds that I’m good at and I feel I could have notched some round wins, then the crash last week at QMP took me out of the hunt. But I will keep working hard as we have supercross to come and its my chance to redeem myself and get back up front again. Thank you to everyone that supports me as well as my mechanic, Allister, and the entire CDR Yamaha Team for working tirelessly throughout the season.
Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha) – Second:
2023 has been a massive year of change for me and I’m so happy that I came back to racing and found my love of it again. It was only a small crew of people, but everyone was dedicated and determined to do well and gave me what I needed to get the job done. This time last year I was burnt out and done but now I think I’m more invigorated than ever and the thrill of winning never gets old. It’s been five years since I won a championship and there were times when it seemed so far away, but I hung in there, kept fighting and made the changes I needed to and I’m so proud to have win it in 2023 against a high-quality field of riders and over such a challenging year as far as tracks and conditions go. A big thank you to Yamaha for stepping up and making this happen. I came to them late with this idea of what I wanted to do, and they were able to put a platform in place that worked for me and the YZ450F just feels so natural to me.
Jed Beaton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – Fourth:
No excuses – we were beaten by the seasoned veteran. This was my first season with Honda, first full season on a 450 and we learnt a lot. I know what I need to work on and I know what I need from my bike. There is a lot of time between now and next year. I will not be racing supercross. I can focus on my health, conditioning and training for next year’s motocross championship.
Kyle Webster (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – First:
It has definitely been a season of ups and down. I feel that I should have had more race and round wins, but things out of my control cost my dearly. Maitland was a real hit to my championship position. I coped a rock to the shoulder, and it penetrated the skin. The medics deemed me unfit to race and we lost too many valuable points.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM Racing Team) – Third:
Last round here in Coolum, it went really well for me – I had a solid day and ended up third overall for the round and third overall in the MX1 championship. I’m happy with how the season ended and really can’t thank everyone from the team enough for all their effort throughout the year!
Regan Duffy (GasGas Racing Team) – DNF
I’m devastated with my weekend here, honestly. Felt I had some of my old pace coming through as I stuck with a couple of the front-runners in qualifying, then had a crash and burned myself, which marked the end of my weekend. Really upset as I love this place, but had to get my burns treated, which turned out to be pretty bad as I had to go to hospital, and I didn’t get cleared to race. My sights are set on supercross now!
Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) – Second:
We gave it everything we had here in Coolum. I had a big crash on the opening lap of qualifying yesterday where I got cleaned up by another rider, having gone down leading the field. We lined up today, which was really tough as the body wasn’t where it needed to be, but we ended up salvaging P2 on the day and for the championship. I scored a good number of wins and podiums throughout the season, so I’ve got to be happy with that. We showed a lot of fight and dug ourselves out of a pretty deep hole from the beginning of the season, so I can’t say a big enough thank you to the team. We fought hard and I’m proud of what we accomplished together in this year’s motocross championship.
Kayden Minear (KTM Racing Team) – Fifth:
Coolum was a blast! I was super-happy with my speed, though I just tightened up a little bit in both motos as the rack was so rough here today. Overall, I ended the season with a fifth overall here at the final round, which I’m happy with, and now my sights shift to the supercross season!
Wilson Todd (Terrafirma Equipment Sales Honda Racing) – First:
Honda’s CRF250R is awesome – look at Jett and Hunter [Lawrence] as well. This was a hard championship for me, as I battled many health demons. It has taken six months to get on top of it all. I am happy with the season and how we managed it.
Brodie Connolly (Polyflor Honda Racing) – Fourth:
I would have liked to win more races, but I have learnt so much. This is my first full year in Australia. It would not have happened if Honda had not called! My path to here has not been easiest – I had not spent much time abroad, but this year has been amazing. I will be with Honda and Yarrive next year, but we have not decided if I will race here or overseas. I am off to America to start preparing for supercross so that I can give it a good go.
Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) – Third:
I started the day off so well here with a great start in moto one, which I was stoked with, but then just started to rush things a bit too much and put it down. It was actually a pretty big crash, although I got up and finished fifth. Second moto, bad start, and really just rode my heart out. I caught Wilson [Todd] pretty quickly, and all I was thinking about was winning a race. I ate a bunch of his roost which impaired my vision, and I went down right there at the end. I’m happy with my charge, I’ll never go down without a fight, and I really have a lot of confidence heading into next year’s championship.
Blake Fox (Raceline Husqvarna Berry Sweet Racing) – 22-DNF:
I’m pretty banged-up. I had a tip-over in the second moto, when my toes clipped the sand barriers and I injured my ankle. We’ll go home and get it checked out this week and see what we’re dealing with. The plan was to take a few days off, then start preparing for supercross, but now I’ll need to make sure I’m all good to get started. When we know for sure, I’ll be in full swing. It wasn’t an easy year, but we showed up and gave it everything we had, and hopefully we can turn it around.