Coolum MX Nationals Wrap up with TJ

We have now hit the half way mark in the 2015 MX Nationals, and the fifth round of the series that took place over the weekend at Coolum, QLD was the most action packed stop we have had all year!

Heading into the mid-season break there are a handful of competitors who have just caught the leading edge of a wave of momentum and others who are thankful to see a race free stretch. Either way, the racing was exceptional and huge surprises arose from each class.

In the Monster Energy MX1 class, DPH Motorsport Yamaha’s Lawson Bopping started off the day taking the Go Pro super pole win ahead of Kirk Gibbs, Adam Monea, Jesse Dobson and the returning Ben Townley. Both Dobson and Townley had issues in their sprint lap, with Dobson falling only one turn from the finish and Townley somehow experiencing a transponder malfunction, which saw him unable to log a lap time.

Heading into the day’s racing expectations were high on series points leader Kirk Gibbs, defending champion Matt Moss, and former world champion Ben Townley.

As the gates dropped for moto one CDR Yamaha teammates Kade Mosig and Daniel Reardon, as well as Gibbs entered the first turn out front, only to tangle together and end up watching the rest of the field disappear out the rear of the circuit.

Bopping was the rider who took advantage of the first turn carnage, inheriting the lead early on and remaining there until the late stages of the moto when Townley made his way past.

Ben Townley - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
Ben Townley – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

Finishing in a lonely third was Luke Styke, who was under pressure from Tattoo Racing’s Dylan Long for the majority of the race’s duration. It was only in the last quarter-of-a-lap where Long tried to assert a move for the final podium spot and his bike unexpectedly stopped that Styke was able to ride shadow free. The next rider to collect the chequered flag was in Gibbs, after fighting his way back from the first turn pile-up to minimise the points damage. Finishing behind the points leader was 18 year old Mooloolaba local Jesse Dobson who rounded out the top five ahead of Adam Monea, and the CDR duo of Kade Mosig and Daniel Reardon, who, like Gibbs, had to fight their way through the field for the entire 30-minutes plus one-lap. Completing the top ten were Ford Dale and Dylan Long, who eventually got his Yamaha started and nursed it to the finish line before making a bike swap ahead of the afternoon’s race.

In moto two we saw only one rider go down in the first turn, NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Monea. He was able to quickly remount, albeit still at the rear of the field and begin his charge toward the front. Again, it was Bopping and Townley out front, though this time with Gibbs hot in pursuit. As the laps clicked over a few changes in the order occurred as Townley stalled his engine, Gibbs moved into the lead and Jesse Dobson inherited third behind Bopping. A few laps later Dobson went down, giving up the final podium spot as Townley made his way back around both Dobson and Bopping. In the closing stages while Gibbs was out front and Townley seemed to be in a comfortable second, he stalled the engine on his Honda for the third time over the day and fell back to fifth where he would finish. Points leader Gibbs grabbed another race win, with Bopping holding on for a comfortable second ahead of Mosig and a hard charging Monea. Townley crossed the line just ahead of Dobson, with Styke in a sub-par seventh from Reardon, Cooper and Long who rounded out the top ten.

Two riders who were not seen for the majority of the day were Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss and Kale Makeham. Moss’ return to the series after injury looked promising early in moto one with a good track position within the top five. A costly stall and a trip to the mechanics area in moto one and what looked to be arm pump in moto two hindered his results for the day. Moss’ rookie teammate Makeham went down in the opening laps of both moto’s and struggled to make his way through the field. Speaking to Makeham post racing, he is pretty beat up at the moment after some big hits in the last two weeks, so he will be resting up early in the break before getting back to work in an effort to cement himself inside the top five in the second half of the season.

MX1 Podium - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
MX1 Podium – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

In the Motul MX2 class, local youngster Nathan Crawford started off the day in fine form, racking up pole position in qualifying and showing that he is finally free from the injury cloud that has been hanging over him since round three.

In moto one we saw five different race leaders and for more than 25 minutes the top ten were separated by less than seven seconds. When the chequered flag fell Caleb Ward took his third straight race win from defending champion Luke Clout and Kawasaki’s Takeshi Katsuya. After leading early on Wade Hunter went down and finished in fourth ahead of injured Jed Beaton and Nathan Crawford, who went down in the first lap and had to fight from dead last to make his way up to sixth. Jay Wilson finished in seventh, and was trailed home by Luke Arbon, Geran Stapleton and Jack Simpson. Notably, two of the five riders who led early on, Dylan Wills and Kyle Webster both suffered from mechanical issues during the moto and were forced to card DNF’s.

Caleb Ward in the pack - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
Caleb Ward in the pack – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

When the gates dropped for moto two, there was one rider who had the confidence and aggression to steal a race win from the currently dominant Caleb Ward – Nathan Crawford. After starting just outside of the top five, Crawford fought his way through to the race lead, while Ward struggled to make passes and sat back just outside of the top five. In a mid moto crash while out front leading, Crawford dropped back outside of the top five, just bike lengths ahead of Ward. Meanwhile, Jay Wilson inherited the lead and battled with Dean Porter out front as Crawford and Ward began their charge to the front. Upon reaching the final two laps of the moto Crawford had made his way back into the lead, with Ward in a close second, Wilson in third, Porter in fourth and Luke Arbon rounding out the top five. This is the order in which the lead group would finish, with Simpson, Katsuya, Stapleton, Beaton and Webster rounding out the top ten.

MX2 - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
MX2 – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

In the Pirelli MXD class Connor Tierney took home his second overall round win in as many rounds ahead of Jayden Rykers and Wilson Todd. In moto one Tierney managed a great start and made his way to the front early on as Todd was caught mid pack and Rykers found himself remounting in dead last after falling in the first turn. As the laps clicked by Tierney remained steady controlling the lead, while Rykers sliced his way though the field, running on average two to five seconds a lap faster than any of his MXD competitors. As he finally made his way into second, reeled Tierney in and made the pass for the lead with around two laps left in the moto, it looked inevitable that Rykers would streak away for the race win considering his previous lap times. It wasn’t the case though, as Rykers tightened up and Tierney remounted a charge, trading paint corner by corner for the last lap and a half. In the end the pair made considerable contact fighting for the lead in the final three corners, but it was Tierney who held on by 0.03 of a second from fellow Western Australian Rykers. Todd finished in a distant third ahead of Jesse Madden and Zak Small, who fought from the rear of the field like Rykers after going down in the opening lap. Bailey Coxon crossed the line in sixth ahead of Hamish McGrath, Jordan Hill, Wayde Carter and Trent Wheatley who rounded out the top ten.

MXD - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
MXD – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

In moto two Rykers got out front early and looked to be in control before going down and surrendering the lead to Wilson Todd. Todd would hold on out front to collect another series race win and remain in possession of the coveted red plate. Tierney finished in second ahead of Rykers, Coxon, Madden, Ryan Eden and Toby Stevens. Hamish McGrath collected the chequered flag in eighth, with Kaleb Barham and Jaiden Corrigan rounding out the top ten.

In the Swann Insurance 30-39 years Veterans class, Cheyne put on a clinic out front taking two dominant race wins from two starts. Robbie Marshall finished second in both moto’s ahead of Mal Cash who carded two third place finishes. Finishing fourth overall for the day was Travis Regeling, ahead of Craig Anderson, Aaron Hunt, Cassidy Holland, Dean Freer, Paul Wolfe and Luke Wolfe.

Vets - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
Vets – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

Now heading into the five week mid year break, the majority of riders will rest up for a short period before getting back into training and trying to put themselves in a position to have a mathematical chance of getting their hands on a number one plate come August 31st.

Until next time, ride hard and stay safe!

Todd Jarratt

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Rider Quotes from Teams.

Monster Energy MX1 round five overall winner – Lawson Bopping– DPH Motorsports Yamaha Racing Team (2nd, 2nd – 64 Points) – “The track was really tough today so it is satisfying to get the win here. I felt good in practice but while it was good to have the speed, a good start here and no mistakes on the first lap might be even more important. It’s good to get the win and reward Dale and everyone on the team for their hard work. We have battled away for the first five rounds so getting the win here means we all head into the mid-season break with a positive attitude and some good momentum,” Bopping ends.

Kirk Gibbs MX1 2nd overall – “That first moto was a little bit tough – I had a great start and just went down. It was hard to know where people wanted to be on the track, so it was hard to pass, but I finally got up to fourth so I was reasonably happy, but at the same time disappointed. I knew with a good start I could do well in the second moto, and I did that, and led every lap. We’ve got a big points lead now. Coming off a strong year last year and a great off-season, I knew that I’d be right there, and obviously going 1-1 in the first round just further boosted my confidence. Aow when I go to the line I believe I’m going to win every race. It’s a good feeling.”

Luke Styke – MX1 5th overall – “I got tangled up with a few riders in the first one and had a bit of a moment where I was wheelying over bikes and carrying on. I was 15th after a lap but I put a charge on and got third in that moto which I was real happy with. Then in the second I started about fourth, but on the third or fourth lap I can together with another rider, and he kind of corked my shoulder blade and triggered a dead-arm so I kind of had pins and needles in that for the whole race. So I was just sitting down trying to compensate and feeling like my arm was falling off, and the track was really beating me up. I feel a lot better about everything though, I just had a bit of bad luck. I’ve got a few things to work on over the break, but I’ll just have some fun and we’ll come back strong.”

Jesse Dobson – Husqvarna FC 450 – MX1 7th overall – “The day was not too bad but on paper it doesn’t look as good as it was. Qualifying for SuperPole was good but a small crash meant I didn’t set a competitive time. I felt the speed was there today – in the first moto I ran third for over 50% of it. I made a small mistake and was running fourth, then had a crash and that dropped me back to fifth. I had a decent start in the next one, but I ended up pulling all my tear-offs off over the tunnel jump and had no tear-offs for the whole race, so that was fun. I was behind Styke and Mosig are a bit while they were going at it, but I couldn’t get involved, every time I got close I would get roosted and lose ground because I’m trying to wipe my goggles. Because of my vision I misjudged a turn and ended up on the ground. If we eliminate those small mistakes, there is no reason why I can’t be a top guy. We’re getting there.”

Motul MX2 Round five overall winner – Caleb Ward– KTM Racing Team (1st, 2nd – 67 Points) – “It was a pretty good day. The first moto was awesome, the second one I wasn’t really happy with, but I still got the overall so I’m pretty happy with that. Once I got into the lead in the first one I sort of just rode smart and did my own thing and won by about 15 seconds or so. In the second I got caught up with a big pack of riders but I kept pushing the whole way and managed to pass Jay Wilson on maybe the last lap and got up to second. It’s going to be good to have time to get my knees a lot stronger and get my fitness back up to 100%, and come out swinging in the second half.”

Nathan Crawford – Husqvarna FC 250 – MX2 2nd overall – “First moto I got a pretty mediocre start, I crashed in a third corner and went from dead last back to sixth, and it was by far the toughest moto I’ve ever raced. The track was rough, they prepped up real well and it had heaps of moisture in it – it was a motocross track – and I just went for 30 minutes going as fast as I could, trying to get back to the front. I had to dig deep, and if I hadn’t done that I probably wouldn’t be on the podium. I won the last moto which was a good way to go into the break. That was my first win for the year, so that definitely helps with my confidence.”

Luke Arbon – Husqvarna FC 250 – MX2 5th overall – “I qualified pretty average but I felt good out on the track. First moto I made it up to fourth or fifth when everyone was still pretty close, but halfway through the moto I just started making little mistakes for about a 10 minute period, and on the track if you make a mistake in the turn you lose so much time in the straights. I slipped to eighth. Moto two I got another average start, but I dug deep and made a few passes late in the moto for fifth, so there were positives to take away and a few negatives to learn from as well. I’ve got five weeks now, so we’ll go home and do our homework, and come out strong for the second half of the season.”

Jack Simpson – MX2 8th overall – “I had a crash in the first race, passing for third, so I corked my leg, but other than that I’m feeling good. I enjoyed myself today, bloody oath. I haven’t really had that much success there at Coolum before, but today I turned it around. The two-stroke was pulling like a train down the straights and was set up well. I ran as high as third in the first Moto, and if I didn’t have that stack I would have stayed in fourth in the first race and got a podium today.”

Pirelli MXD Coolum overall winner – Connor Tierney – Craig Anderson Husqvarna Racing (1st, 2nd – 67 Points)  TC 250 “It’s awesome. I’m super pumped, again. In the first moto, Jayden passed me with like two laps to go, we switched the lead a few times, and then I passed him back in the last turn and just got over the line. In the second one I had a pretty bad start and had to make my way through the pack, so by the time I was in third Jayden and Wilson were pretty far gone. I thought it was a survival race to get points and then Jayden ended up going down, so I took the spot there and then I knew I had it in the bag so I just kept it on two wheels.”

Wilson Todd  Coolum MXD 2nd place – “The first moto was terrible,” Todd explains. “It’s not that it was a third but I didn’t ride well, my arms pumped up and it was uncompetitive and that’s not how I want to race. The second race was better and with a good start it made things a lot easier. It wasn’t great and still not at the level I think I should ride at, but it was a step in the right direction and now with a month break before round six, I can get to work and get my season back on track.”

Jayden Rykers Coolum MXD 3rd overall – “Qualifying didn’t go too good, but in the first moto I actually went down and was dead last, and fought all the way back up and caught up to first place, nearly got the win on him. The second moto didn’t go too good, the back brakes faded out so I ended up going down while I was chasing first so I finished third. I’ve moved up to fourth in the championship but I’m not too happy there, I just want to keep moving forward. I want to win, and that’s what I need to do.”

 

Monster Energy MX1 MX Nats round five overall points

1) Lawson Bopping 64

2) Kirk Gibbs 63

3) Ben Townley 61

4) Kade Mosig 54

5) Luke Styke 54

6) Adam Monea 53

7) Jesse Dobson 51

8) Daniel Reardon 46

9) Cody Cooper 42

10) Dylan Long

Monster Energy MX1 MX Nats championship points

1) Kirk Gibbs 274

2) Luke Styke 235

3) Adam Monea 227

4) Kade Mosig 227

5) Lawson Bopping 213

6) Dylan Long 192

7) Jesse Dobson 188

8) Daniel Reardon 184

9) Cody Cooper 177

10) Kale Makeham 152

Motul MX2 MX Nats round five overall points

1) Caleb Ward 67

2) Nathan Crawford 69

3) Jay Wilson 54

4) Takeshi Katsuya 54

5) Luke Arbon 49

6) Jed Beaton 48

7) Wade Hunter 48

8) Jack Simpson 46

9) Geran Stapleton 45

10) Luke Clout 43

Motul MX2 MX Nats championship standings

1) Luke Clout 286

2) Takeshi Katsuya 281

3) Jay Wilson 281

4) Jed Beaton 250

5) Wade Hunter 246

6) Luke Arbon 228

7) Nathan Crawford 213

8) Geran Stapleton 202

9) Hamish Harwood 194

10) Riley Graham 190

Pirelli MXD round five overall results

1) Connor Tierney 67

2) Wilson Todd 65

3) Jayden Rykers 62

4) Jesse Madden 54

5) Bailey Coxon 53

6) Hamish McGrath 47

7) Ryan Eden 42

8) Kaleb Barham 41

9) Jaiden Corrigan 39

10) Wayde Carter 39

Pirelli MXD championship points

1) Wilson Todd 262

2) Connor Tierney 256

3) Jesse Madden 241

4) Jayden Rykers 233

5) Bailey Coxon 218

6) Wayde Carter 213

7) Jonte Reynders 187

8) Lachlan Davis 170

9) Kaleb Barham 169

10) Zak Small 162

Swann Insurance 30 Plus Veterans Championship points

1) Cheyne Boyd 70

2) Robbie Marshall 64

3) Malcolm Cash 60

4) Travis Regeling 54

5) Craig Anderson 54

6) Aaron Hunt 50

7) Cassidy Holland 48

8) Dean Freer 46

9) Paul Wolfe 44

10) Luke Wolfe 40

11) Aidan Porth 40

12) Lucas Burton 39

13) Steve Moreels 19

14) Sam Lyttle 18

15) Dan Peters 17

16) Jon Cooke 0

MX Nationals 2015 Calendar

Rd1 Horsham, VIC 29 March

Rd2 Appin, NSW 12 April

Rd3 Broadford, VIC 26 April

Rd4 Murray Bridge, SA 17 May

Rd5 Coolum, QLD 31 May

Rd6 Raymond Terrace, NSW 5 July

Rd7 Shepparton, VIC 19 July

Rd8 Nowra, NSW 2 August

Rd9 Toowoomba, QLD 23 August

Rd10 Coolum, QLD 30 August

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