Maitland in the Hunter Valley came alive on the weekend as the MX Nationals rolled into town for round seven in the championship and all three classes are at a pivotal point in the series.
It’s the business end of the season with riders and teams staking their claims for a championship bid and the on track action was as intense as ever.
Yamaha came away with a magnificent 1-2 finish in the premier MX1 class, a 2-3-4 finish in the MX2 division and a podium in the MXD. On top of that, the YZ65 Cup was back in full force as 40 of the little thrill seekers cut lose on the Maitland circuit.
Craig Dack – CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team – MX1
1st Luke Clout
2nd Kirk Gibbs
“I’m still buzzing from the weekend and how good the riders and team did on the weekend. We have constantly been talking about and working on minimising our mistakes as this championship is so tight and the first one to blink will lose it.
“So to see that plan become a reality on the weekend and for Luke and Kirk to have a 1-2 for the day and between the both of them win all three motos was a proud moment for myself and the team. The riders did a great job on the track while the boys prepared the bikes perfectly and we executed our plan.
“Luke now has the championship lead while Kirk has jumped to fourth after missing a round and both riders got the confidence boost they needed heading into the final three rounds,” Dack said.
Gavin Eales – Serco Yamaha – MX2
2nd Nathan Crawford
4th Aaron Tanti
“Both riders showed real fight on the day and the effort they put on out on the track was pleasing,” begins Eales. “We were never outside the top five all day and both riders were involved in plenty of battles on a track that produced close racing. We finished second and fourth for the day and I would say probably our best round for the year.
“Nathan’s return to form has been impressive. Since the break he really knuckled down, put in the work during the week and its starting to pay off on the weekends. His racing on the weekend was similar to what he produced at the start of 2018 before his injuries so to see him back at that level is awesome.
“Aaron was up for the fight as well and in the end a little unlucky to miss out on the podium. He finished with 5-3 results for fourth overall but rode well. The first five riders in the MX2 class are riding well and they seem to be a bit above the rest of the field so its great action up the front and we have two guys in there fighting for race wins.”
Scott Bishop – Yamalube Yamaha racing – MX1/MX2
3rd Jay Wilson – MX2
10th Richie Evans – MX1
“Another consistent weekend for us with Jay finishing third in MX2 and Richie again in the top 10 of MX1. Richie had some bad luck in the opening back to back races with some tip overs, but it was pleasing to see him fight back in the last moto and finish with a good result and on a positive note. If he can just get a clear run like he did a Murray Bridge, he is clearly a top 5-7 finisher and that’s where both the team and Richie believes he should be.
“Jay was just a fraction off the pace of the fastest guys in MX2 on the weekend but did what experienced and smart riders do, he found a way to still turn that into a podium result and keep his championship hopes alive. He gained five points on the championship leader and now the top three in the MX2 class are only 20 points about. Its game on at the final three rounds.”
Travis Whitten – WBR Yamaha – MXD
3rd – Max Purvis
7th – Jack Kukas
“Max showed some of his best speed for the season on the weekend and on a track that generally isn’t his favourite style of circuit. So that progress was good, he just made some mistakes at vital times that took away any chance of getting a race or round win. He finished in third for the day and still remains in second for the championship, but he will need to make his move next week at Moree to keep the pressure on Regan.
“Jack was consistent as he continues to regain form and confidence after a series of injuries over recent times. He is a hard worker and we can never question how hard he tries but he just needs one good race to restore his faith in himself and get back up the front. He and the team won’t stop trying to find it with him.”
Photo: Marc Jones