After the mud-fest that teams and riders endured at the opening round of the MX Nationals at Appin, everyone had high hopes of a dry and warm day for round two at the sandy Wonthaggi circuit in Vic.
Unfortunately, the weather gods weren’t listening and light rain fell during the event making the track wet, thick and heavy making it a punishing day for man and machine.
Still, despite the trying conditions, the bLU cRU teams again performed well with Luke Clout taking his maiden MX1 round win, Aaron Tanti and Jay Wilson at the pointy end in MX2, while Max Purvis and Jack Kukas flew the flag in the MXD division.
Craig Dack – CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team – MX1
“It was a proud moment for the team to assist Luke Clout to his first round win in the MX1 division. Luke has been in the MX1 class for a few years now but for him to achieve his first round win on a YZ450F speaks volumes for the team, the bike and the effort Luke has been putting in. It didn’t come easy for him and he had to earn it, so it was a rewarding day for all of us.
“Kirk just struggled with starts and on a track like Wonthaggi and how it developed with the rain, he was behind the eight ball from the start. As a result, he then got caught up in crashes or other riders’ problems. He still finished fourth for the day and his speed on the track was quite good, so the damage wasn’t so bad. He was frustrated and I’m sure that will drive him to rebound strongly at Broadford.”
1st – Luke Clout (MX1)
4th Kirk Gibbs (MX1)
Gavin Eales- Serco Yamaha – MX2
“Round two was a mixed bag for us with Aaron landing on the podium in second place and rode well all day, while Nathan finished ninth and is a bit down on himself after a tough weekend.
“Aaron proved he is more than just a hard-pack rider with some good riding on the weekend. He finished with 2-9-4 results and showed he has the speed and technique to race well on softer surfaces. He led the opening race before a mistake dropped him back a place and I think that gave him the confidence boost he needed for a good day.
“With Nathan, we fully understand that he will take some time to get back to full speed and fitness. He had eight months off the bike and as a team, we aren’t placing any pressure on him to win races. He is growing inpatient as he is desperate to be back up the front and we are confident he will, it will just take continued hard work and time for him to be back where he was prior to the injury. We will continue to assist and support him as he regains his mojo.”
2nd – Aaron Tanti (MX2)
9th – Nathan Crawford (MX2)
Scott Bishop – Yamalube Yamaha Racing – MX1/ MX2
“It was close but not close enough for our team at Wonthaggi but the pleasing thing is both riders are riding well and determined to keep working and improving.
“Jay finished fourth in the MX2 class with 4-12-3 results and just two points away from second. Obviously the second moto was one that did the damage to his overall result when he crashed on the opening lap. Admittedly, most riders did have one tough moto but that needed to be a fifth or sixth finish not a twelfth. He rebounded well in the final race to finish third and he leaves round two in third place in the championship and looking forward to Broadford.
“Richie is still finding his feet in the MX1 class, but I feel a good result for him isn’t far away. He was inside the top five during the majority of qualifying and only just missed the Superpole by .2 of a second.
“Race one he recovered from a poor start to get all the way back to sixth at race end. At certain points of the race, he was among the fastest riders on the track and he was able to charge all the way to the finish.
“The second moto was looking much the same as he was coming through the field after an early fall and made it from 31st to 11th in 10 minutes when his chain derailed in the sandy conditions causing him to withdraw from the race. So, while the final result wasn’t there, his riding is good and the results will come.”
4th – Jay Wilson (MX2)
19th – Richie Evans (MX1)
Travis Whitten – WBR Yamaha – MXD
“Wonthaggi wasn’t the weekend the riders or our team wanted but everyone is still healthy and we will move on pretty quickly. It wasn’t for lack of trying as both guys really wanted to do well but ultimately, crashes really effected Max and Jack in the final results.
“I’m not sure how many crashes Max had in the first one. Maybe two or three! Every time he started to go forward and get so momentum, he hit the deck and dropped plenty of positions. He yo-yoed the entire moto and ended up 18th.
“But he rebounded pretty well in moto two and finished up second after making a few passes during the race. He was able to salvage seventh overall and now sits third in the championship.
“Jack was looking good in moto two and after a mishap at the start, he clawed his way back through the field and was knocking on the door of the top five before he fell and dropped back to ninth.
“Moto two and again he was moving forward and sitting about seventh and looking to pass when he went down again. He finished ninth in race two and that gave him ninth overall.
“I think both guys are pretty keen to redeem themselves after the weekend and I expect them both to come out swinging at round three.”
8th – Max Purvis (MXD)
9th – Jack Kukas (MXD)