KTM’s Kirk Gibbs had recorded the fastest time in regular MX1 qualifying and had the third gate selection following Super Pole, setting up a competitive day ahead for the 2015 championship winner.
Ferris though opened his championship account balance with a perfect 70 points over his long-time rival, Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team). Closing out the podium for the opening round was young premier class rookie, Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Mitch Evans.
In the opening race Ferris and Gibbs traded blows early on before Ferris gained the ascendency and crossed the line with a three-second buffer over Gibbs, followed by Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna), Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) and Evans.
The second race saw Ferris make one pass on the opening lap before stretching out a seven-second lead over Gibbs and Evans, with Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) and Caleb Ward (Davey Motorsports Husqvarna) rounding out the top five.
Dean Ferris – P1
“It was a good start to the year and just what myself and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team were looking for,” Ferris begins. “The track was quite tough to ride and Kirk kept the pressure on me all the way but I enjoy racing like that and was satisfied with how things turned out. The team again did a great job and my bike worked well on a track that was tough to get the right set up. If I had to pick something I need to improve, it would be my qualifying positions. I didn’t get a great lap in qualifying and then I didn’t generate enough speed in the superpole lap but its hard to get too angry after winning both motos.”
Kirk Gibbs – P2
“Qualifying was good, going P1 in that session and then going third in Super Pole. I was confident going in and in moto one I got a good start, was able to swap positions for the lead a number of times and I was right there until I suffered from a little bit of arm-pump and crossed the line second in the end. That was a bit disappointing, but anyway, we went into the second moto and they’d put a lot of water down, so I was a little hesitant in the first couple of laps. I was really happy with the way I was riding following that though, we were doing the same lap-times at the front and that makes it hard to bridge the gap. I’m happy in a lot of ways, just have to work on a couple of things and it will all come together. I’ve been bridesmaid a few times now and I really want to get back on the top step, so I’m going to work really hard over the next couple of weeks and get set for Appin.”
“I was so pumped to get a podium on the weekend, I actually had trouble going to sleep last night because I was still so amped up – I felt good all day and when I got there I feel like I amped the team up because I was just so excited to go racing. Being on the 450 has changed my mindset a lot, I can eat what I want and I’m not constantly trying to keep my weight down which was what I had to do on the 250. Plus, growing up racing KTMs I feel like I’m back to doing what I know, I gelled with the KTM straight away. I knew I had the pace to run with the front guys, I just didn’t know how my fitness was going to go with being on the 450 and holding that speed for a full 30 minutes. I wasn’t surprised that I was up there, but I was surprised by how my fitness held up. The track was ok – it was gnarly as and it fell apart but it was good in the sense that it separated a lot of us. The Raceline Pirelli KTM guys worked hard all weekend – we did a few pre-season races and got good results so it was nice to finally go racing and get a good result together. It’s a big motivation, the team’s stoked, I’m stoked and all is going well.”
Kade Mosig – P4
“I want to thank the whole DPH team for the big effort to get us to round 1 and be ready to roll” said Mosig. “I’m really happy with my FC450, the WP suspension and Dunlop tyres were all working well on the rough circuit. Starting the day with P8 in timed qualifying, Race 1 was a great start, moving into the lead on lap 1 and battling for the entire 30 minute moto for a 3rd place. Race 2 and I was mid pack off the start and had to work really hard to get through into 4th but after a mistake I went down, regrouped, and rode it out to finish 8th. I’m happy to come out of round 1 with good, solid points in 4th place and now I’ve 2 weeks to work hard and come out stronger at Appin on April 30”.
Luke Clout – P6
“It wasn’t too bad of a day for me to start the season. I was happy to make it into Super Pole and, even though I was fifth in that, it was good to be in there. Unfortunately I went down in the first turn of moto one and had to push back to ninth in that, before in moto two I managed to finish fourth. It was a bit up and down for me, but I know what I’ve got to work on and I know that my speed will be there. I didn’t feel like I rode to my ability today, in some ways the track got the better of me, but I’m happy with the points we scored and will now set my sights on Appin’s round two.”
Dylan Long – P8
“I just couldn’t find my flow in race one and I wasn’t happy at all with the way I rode. But, the team were able to make a couple of changes, and I went to the line in moto two determined to get a better result, which we were able to do, so that is positive heading into the next round. Still, eighth isn’t where I should be and I will work harder to ensure my results improve in the coming rounds.”
Jay Marmont – Team Manager, KTM Motocross Racing Team
“The track and conditions were challenging, but it was a positive start to the season for the team in a lot of ways – especially Kirk. He had an awesome battle for the lead in MX1 moto one until his arms unfortunately pumped up a bit and he had to settle for P2, so that was a great race anyway, and then in the second one Kirk was once again solid in second position for an overall podium. Luke unfortunately crashed in the first turn of the opening moto and had to work back to ninth, so it was really good to see him take a really respectable finish of fourth in moto two and we know he will only gain strength from here. In MX2, Egan made a small mistake when battling for the lead in moto one, but recovered for fifth, however in the second moto he didn’t get a good start and rode a pretty average race for 11th. I’m sure he can get better results than that, so there is work to do heading into Appin. We have a base to build from now and it’s a matter of remaining focused for the coming rounds, because points are really important at this stage of the season.”
Pirelli MX Nationals Rd1 Newry – MX1 Results
Dean Ferris (Yamaha) 70
Kirk Gibbs (KTM) 64
Mitch Evans (KTM) 56
Kade Mosig (Husqvarna) 53
Caleb Ward (Husqvarna) 51
Luke Clout (KTM) 50
Rhys Carter (Kawasaki) 48
Dylan Long (Yamaha) 46
Connor Tierney (Yamaha) 42
Joel Wightman (Honda) 40
Tanti steps up for Kawasaki with Pirelli MX2 win
The new-look Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing team has recorded a round win on its maiden outing, with NSW’s Aaron Tanti taking a hard-fought overall victory in the Pirelli MX2 class. Serco Yamaha’s new signing Nathan Crawford, and Davey Motorsports KTM’s Hamish Harwood rounded out the podium.
In the opening moto Harwood took over the early lead, but was reeled in by Crawford midway through. Tanti, who claimed the hole-shot but fell soon afterwards, rode strong to third, ahead of a hard-charging Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) and defending champion Egan Mastin (KTM Motocross Racing Team).
In the second race Tanti grabbed another strong start and was never headed, while Kyle Webster (Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing) and Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) rounded out the top three. Crawford and Harwood finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Pirelli MX Nationals Rd1 Newry – MX2 Results
Aaron Tanti (Kawasaki) 65
2. Nathan Crawford (Yamaha) 63
3. Hamish Harwood (KTM) 58
4. Kyle Webster (Honda) 53
5. Richie Evans (Yamaha) 53
6. Wilson Todd (Yamaha) 52
7. Jackson Richardson (Honda) 48
8. Jay Wilson (Yamaha) 46
9. Egan Mastin (KTM) 46
10. Dylan Wills (Husqvarna) 39
Aaron Tanti – P1
“It’s a really good feeling to take the win at the opening round. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and to have this great team behind me showed today. I can’t say I was expecting to win, but my goal was to be top five. Even though our team has only been established for couple of months, I was feeling confident and the bike is just amazing. Getting those two holeshots helped a lot against such a quality field.”
Egan Mastin – P9
“I started off the day by qualifying P4 and I was pretty satisfied with that going into the two races. My start in the first moto was half-decent, around fifth, and I worked my way up to second, but went down while going to pass for the lead. That was disappointing, even though I still placed fifth in the moto once I recovered. I got off to a terrible start in moto two, spun out of the concrete-based start-gates and came together with another rider before working my way back to 11th. I wasn’t to happy with that result, but I have to look forward and move onto the next round at Appin. My pace is definitely there to win, I just need to work on a couple of things and put all of the pieces together.”
Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team manager Jay Foreman
“Our bikes worked and well and there were a lot of positives to take from the day,” stated Foreman. “Aaron’s result was awesome and he’s shown he has the pace early on. Rhys was consistent, but I believe he rode even better than his results showed. His lap-times were right up there, even when he didn’t have any front brake in the second race and we’re excited for the coming rounds now.”
The Motul MXD class saw an incredible result at Newry’s opening round of the Pirelli MX Nationals, with Hugh McKay (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha), Riley Dukes (Husqvarna) and Callum Norton (Penrite Honda Racing) all finishing the day on 60 points. On count-back, Mackay was awarded the round overall from Dukes and Norton.
Davey Motorsports KTM pilot Morgan Fogarty got 2018 off to a dream start by winning the opening race by four seconds from Norton, Dukes, McKay and Brodie Ellis (Yamaha).
In the second moto, Bailey Malkiewicz (Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha) held off a fast-finishing McKay for the race win, with Dukes, Norton and Ellis again rounding out the top five placings.
Sherco-mounted Justin Carafa took charge of the Yamaha 125cc Gold Cup support class with a brace of moto wins from fellow Victorian Yamaha racer Cam Taylor, although Taylor pushed him right to the wire in the second race.
The two races saw carbon-copy results, with Carafa, Taylor and Tyler Darby (KTM) locking out the podium, ahead of Steve Powell (KTM) and off-road specialist Geoff Braico (Husqvarna).
“The second moto I didn’t get a great start and was sixth after the first turn,” Carafa continued. “I was up to second behind Taylor by end of first lap and made a pass for the lead at around the half way point of the moto. Taylor came back at me and we had some close calls late in race where the elbows came out but I gauged the pressure and got the win. It was nice to get the win on one of the toughest and worst prepared tracks I have ever seen.”
Yamaha 125 Gold Cup Results Round One
Justin Carafa 70
2. Cameron Taylor 64
3. Tyler Darby 60
4. Steve Powell 56
5. Geoff Braico 52
6. Ryan Butler 49
7. Nick Gannon 47
8. Cory Watts 44
9. Jono Krusic 44
10. Jonathan Davidson 41
The 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals visits Appin (NSW) for round two on Sunday, 29 April.
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