Features 28 May 2024

Debrief: 2024 ProMX Rd4 Maitland

Overall winners Webster and Kingsford recall fourth round in New South Wales.

Boost Mobile Honda‚Äôs Kyle Webster made it back-to-back MX1 overall wins with victory at Maitland’s 2024 Penrite ProMX Championship round four. Webster bounced back from a crash in the opening race to secure maximum points in race two and three and maintain his lead in the championship standings. There was a first-time winner in MX2 though, as Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Ryder Kingsford shone in the Hunter Valley to win both his first-ever MX2 race and round overall. MotoOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief interview.

MX1

Image: Foremost Media.

Kyle, another good weekend for you here in Maitland, congratulations. Take us through it.

Yeah, obviously started out well yesterday, I had a good qualifying and a pretty good superpole. I had a good start to moto one too actually, I made some passes and got inot the lead, but dumb mistake, didn’t lift my leg up high enough in a rut and side saddled and scorpioned myself pretty good.

I’m actually suprised you weren’t injured in that.

Well, I did hyperextend my back pretty bad. When I stood up I had the tingles and what not in my legs. It took me a bit to get going after my bike hit the fence and the mud. But I managed to salvage a fifth that moto which was not too bad considering my bike was pretty bent up. Definitely not where we wanted to be, so I knew today was going to have to be a good day and that it was pretty important for the points. I thought the overall wasn’t going to be possible, but happy to come away with it, today was sick, it was some good racing. Felt like it was solid. Two good motos with Jed [Beaton] there, sometimes it just feels like a practice day, you know?

That second moto for you looked pretty effortless, then crossing the finish line in that third one you could see the excitement in you. How was that feeling?

It was just a really good weekend, I was stoked to come away with the win after yesterday, and I think people are sort of writing me off on the hard-packed a little bit, so that was a nice feeling. A lot of people at the start of the year just said, ‘yeah, but it’s Wonthaggi.’

I was one of those people that was expecting you to be good at Wonthaggi. It’s somewhere that you ride constantly, it’s the same when we god to tracks in Queensland and it’s where the Ford Dale guys ride. But you’ve been exceptional every time you’ve gotten on the track and it doesn’t matter whether it’s sand or hard-packed like this. You’ve been exceptional this year.

I’m trying to be, it’s been a lot of practice obviously. A lot of laps of the track and I think it’s been good for Jed and I, we’ve been riding a lot together, so we’re only pushing each other along. Especially having Brodie [Conolly] with us as well, and the other boys. Brodie is moving at the moment in the 250 class. It’s just good, it seems to be working well. It’s good, Jed and I racing hard against each other and it’s still feels like during the week. I’m enjoying it, it’s been good. But yeah, happy to keep it going and it’s nice to be doing it on the hard-packed.

Is this the best version of Kyle Webster that we’ve had?

I’d say so. Maybe on the 450, I think my 250 days were pretty solid as well. In 2021 I won races on btoh and I have won here on the 250 in the past. I think it’s probably the most all-rounded version of me on the 450 so far. I feel like my speed has been good nearly everywhere, I just need to clean up a couple of little mistakes and I think we’ll be solid.

That leads me into another question. Your 250 career was very polished… MXoN is coming up, from what we know Jett and Hunter [Lawrence] are going to go 450, that’s what they want, therefore we have to supply an Australian rider ona 250. Would dropping back to the 250 class to ride one at MXoN be something that interests you?

Yeah it’s something I’d do for sure. I think it obviously has to be right. I’d need good time to prepare on one and I also don’t want to take a good opportunity away from someone who’s younger and who is doing well on a 250 who could potentially get a ride somewhere else. But if the people who pick think that’s the best option, then I wouldn’t say no to it. I’d love to go on a 450, but obviously those boys are at the pinnacle of the sport at the moment. So you can’t take that away from them.

What were your thoughts on the two-day format here in Maitland?

I like it. I’m a big fan of more racing and riding. I think the two-day format was cool, cause you kind of get extra practice sessions and you get more time on the track, it’s a little more relaxed on the Saturday, then takes that go-go-go away from the Sunday morning. So it was cool and I hope we get to do more of them.

Was it a little bit more relaxing knowing you had two more motos to go after getting a fifth yesterday?

It’s definitely nice knowing that after yesterday we had two more motos today. I was definitely confident in my speed and my ability to ride around here, so I knew that with a good day I could bring back some points. I think it’s good having the extra moto, I wouldn’t say it’d be great everywhere, but it’s cool to mix it up.

With three more round of hard-packed or clay rounds coming to finish the series, does a result like this give you more confidence heading to those rounds?

I think so, I mean it’s hard. A national is a national, tracks are never really like they are. They’re alwasy pretty different at these races, but I’ve never been too stressed about it at all. I know that I can ride well when we get to these races, so it’s just a matter of good starts and good clean solid laps. That’s what I’ve been trying to work on this year, so it’ll be fine. I like those tracks at the end of the year, especially QMP and MX Farm, I think they’re sick tracks.

MX2

Image: Foremost Media.

Ryder, what a weekend here for you! Take us through round four for you.

Yeah it was good. I started off yesterday with practice and qualifying, it wasn’t the best and wasn’t the worst. I had seventh gate pick for the races. First race yesterday I pulled a really good start and got the holeshot and led from the start to the finish and got my first moto win in MX2, so that was really good. I just wanted to carry that momentum into today, but I got off to a bit of a crappy start in the second race today and made it hard for myself. I also went down and got back to seventh in that one. I really rebounded in this last moto, I was about eighth place off the start and worked my way through the pack. I really rode my laps and my race and came across for my second moto win and the overall victory. So yeah, really happy with the weekend.

Ticking off the moto win and overall in the same weekend, that’s got to be pretty special. How’s that transition been for you into MX2 and also with Yamalube Yamaha?

Yeah it’s really good. I started my MX2 career with WBR and I had a few injuries throughout the last couple of years that sidelined me for quite some time. Now I’ve made the step up to Yamalube Yamaha, they really put all their support and backing behind me. I can’t thank them enough, I really feel comfortable here and that’s now starting to show. Without them, none of this is possible, so I’m really happy with the team and how the bike’s working. I’m keen to keep moving on and get back to work for round five at Murray Bridge.

We had a two-day format here with three motos. Is that a abit more reassuring having three motos, especially for you having that struggle in moto two, just knowing that you can still get it done with a solid finish in moto three?

Yeah I think so. From a championship point of view, this weekend has changed it massively, so I think having that extra race has helped me out a lot. But, I don’t know, I don’t mind the two-day format, I think when we do just the normal schedule and you sit around here on Saturday and not really do much, at least now can do a warm up and a qualifying and get one race on the Saturday, plus two on the Sunday. So yeah, I think from my point of view, it’s a massive benefit for me this weekend. I think if the ProMX crew could mix it up between the two it’d be good.

When you have a result like this, is that a sense of belief that now you can do this and that you are that guy that deserves to be at the front?

The whole year I knew I could do it, I’ve just had a few hiccups on my behalf, like a few crashes and bad starts and some inconsistencies. But this weekend, I finally just knuckled down on that and realised that now I’m a top contender and not just this underdog, so yeah I’m really happy with how this weekend went and I’m looking forward to going and getting back on the box and on the top steps again.

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