News 17 Mar 2024

Connolly opens ProMX with Wonthaggi MX2 victory

Hantis and Cannon victorious in MX3 and MXW categories.

Image: Foremost Media.

Honda Racing’s Brodie Connolly has opened the 2024 Penrite ProMX Championship at Wonthaggi with a commanding overall victory in the MX2 category, splitting race wins with teammate Noah Ferguson.

It was a chaotic start to the opening MX2 moto as Honda Racing newcomer Alex Larwood entered turn one with incredible pace, although he was unable to pull up in time and almost went down in the process. Teammate Connolly capitalised to secure the hole-shot and early lead with Empire Kawasaki’s Reid Taylor in tow.

Connolly led the field throughout the opening half, however his Honda Racing teammate Ferguson, along with MX2 rookie Byron Dennis (GasGas Racing Team), were seemingly putting on a charge together, reaching the rear wheel of the New Zealander with 10 minutes to go.

Ferguson was evidently faster and ultimately made the move for the lead moments later on lap nine, while Dennis also attempted a pass on Connolly for second, momentarily getting by before almost going down at high speed.

The number 88 of Connolly wasn’t finished, tracking his fellow Honda rider before getting within striking distance on the final lap, making a last-ditch attempt in the back half of the circuit. It wasn’t to be as a mistake pushed him off-track, allowing Ferguson the breathing room with three corners to go to secure his maiden MX2 moto victory.

Connolly was forced to settle for second ahead of Dennis in third, while Ryder Kingsford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) and Larwood were fourth and fifth respectively. The top 10 was completed by Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Kaleb Barham (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Jack Mather (Raceline Husqvarna), Rhys Budd (Raceline Husqvarna), and Jai Constantinou (GasGas).

Moto two was all about Connolly from the get-go, pushing his weight around to snatch the hole-shot from Cosford before distancing himself from the field. It was the last they saw of him as he rode to a commanding moto victory.

There was heartbreak on the opening lap for race one P3 finisher Dennis, with an apparent mechanical failure forcing him to retire, while Larwood was a non-starter after being understood to be receiving medical treatment for a lower leg injury.

Race one winner Ferguson recovered from a poor start with an impressive charge through the field, but the damage was already done as the top two were out of reach once slotted into third. He would eventually finish there behind Kingsford.

Cosford and Budd were fourth and fifth respectively, followed by Kayden Minear (KTM Racing Team), Mather, Rian King (Honda), Brock Flynn (Husqvarna), and Barham. Overall it was from Connolly from Ferguson and Kingsford.

Mixed results across both MX3 motos served up an unpredictable and tight overall podium, but it was ultimately Koby Hantis (WBR Yamaha) who secured victory by a single point over Kobe Drew (WBR Yamaha), while Kayd Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) was a further four points behind in third.

In the MXW category, two-time defending champion Charli Cannon continued her dominance in what was her first ProMX appearance with Honda Racing, putting together a perfect 1-1 scorecard. She was joined on the podium by Taylor Thompson (Husqvarna) and Danielle McDonald (Yamaha JGR Ballards Off-Road Team).

The ProMX championship now heads to Horsham on 7 April, marking round two of the eight-stop series.

Detailed results