2011 Australian MX Nationals – Round Five – Toowoomba
– Cooper conquers Toowoomba MX Nationals in champagne day for Suzuki
– McCoy takes Lites victory, Wilson wins his first in Under 19s
A treacherous fifth round of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals was today wrapped up by New Zealand’s Cody Cooper, marking his first overall Pro Open victory of the 2011 season.
The Rockstar Motul Suzuki star finished with 1-2-1-3 results at Toowoomba’s Echo Valley Raceway in Queensland across the four motos contested on race day, one of the most difficult of the year as rain fell on the undulating circuit overnight.
Cooper was a clear title contender until suffering a rib and lung injury at round two last month, derailing his title chances as he was forced to watch round three from the sidelines.
Victory in Toowoomba saw Cooper return to form though, and he’s relieved to be regaining fitness as the season entered its halfway point this weekend.
“It’s really good to win, especially after the bad luck I’ve had,” Cooper said. “Today was tough since I hadn’t ridden a lot recently, but I had good balance and that was good. The track was hard and really got more difficult as the day went on, but I’m just happy to win.”
Finishing behind Cooper and missing out on the overall by just four points was Scottish rider Billy Mackenzie, taking 4-1-3-1 results for the round. He edged out Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Dean Ferris, who retained the championship leader’s red plate with 2-4-4-2 finishes.
“This is my fourth podium in a row, so I’m stoked,” Ferris explained. “We have the points lead and that’s the main thing, but I’m looking to get a win. I’ve been on the podium four times in a row, so a win is what I’m looking for now, that’s for sure.”
Completing the top five were Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s Cheyne Boyd and CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha’s former world number two Josh Coppins, while his teammate and defending triple champion Jay Marmont was sixth.
Ferris now leads the series by nine points from Mackenzie, with Coppins a further 20 points in arrears for third after five of nine rounds to be contested this year.
The Motul Pro Lites category was clinched by Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s Daniel McCoy, his first since returning to the class this season. McCoy used consistency to win with 2-3-2 results for the round, which saw one less moto than usual due to the wet track conditions.
McCoy, who turned 27 this week, now sits third in the series and just 52 points off series leader Matt Moss (JDR Motorex KTM), who was a disastrous 16th overall after crashing in moto two and sitting out the third with pain from a recent shoulder injury.
“It’s been a good day for the team and I to come away with the win,” McCoy beamed. “We want to keep moving forward from here, there’s still a lot of races to go. My starts are getting a lot better so we’ll keep chasing the championship – it’s definitely not over.”
Second overall for the round for the second MX Nationals event in succession was Jake Moss (Serco Yoshimura Yamaha) with a win in moto two, while moto one winner Josh Cachia rounded out the podium for JDR Motorex KTM.
Cachia edged out American Phil Nicoletti, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider who won moto three, however a DNF in the opening leg dashed his hopes for the overall.
Yamaha privateer Luke Styke was a solid fifth overall, his best performance of the year to date.
Former 85cc World Champion Jay Wilson captured his first ever victory in the Pirelli Under 19s category, a remarkable result for the talented 16-year-old rookie.
Wilson was at his consistent best despite the difficult conditions, finishing with 1-3-3 results in the reduced format contested for the round. That handed him the overall by three points from current series leader Errol Willis.
“It’s taken me a while to get into the groove of racing in the Under 19s, but I’m feeling more comfortable now and it feels good to win,” Wilson said. “I just need to thank everyone for supporting me and we can just keep working on it.”
Raceline Pirelli Suzuki’s Willis took 2-1-6 results, denied the overall win when in the final moto when he experienced misfortune with less than half a lap remaining.
Rounding out the podium was Mornington Kawasaki’s Kyle McKeddie, edging out final moto winner and Queensland local Shaun Redhead (GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha).
Round six of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals will take place at Coonabarabran in New South Wales on Sunday, 19 June. Practice and qualifying will commence at 8:30am with the official opening ceremonies taking place at approximately 10:30am.
2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals
Round 5 Results:
Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open
1. Cody Cooper (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 92
2. Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 88
3. Dean Ferris (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 80
4. Cheyne Boyd (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 73
5. Josh Coppins (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 60
6. Jay Marmont (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 59
7. Michael Phillips (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 56
8. Matthew Phillips (Yamaha) 51
9. Louis Calvin (Herb Watson Racing KTM) 37
10. Beau Ralston (Chris Watson Motorcycles Yamaha) 37
Motul Pro Lites
1. Daniel McCoy (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 64
2. Jake Moss (Serco Yoshimura Yamaha) 59
3. Josh Cachia (JDR Motorex KTM) 51
4. Phil Nicoletti (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 47
5. Luke Styke (Yamaha) 49
6. Brenden Harrison (JDR Motorex KTM) 44
7. Kade Mosig (Berry Sweet Strawberries/Lucas Oil Honda) 42
8. Alex Morris (Morwell Kawasaki) 36
9. Keiron Hall (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 32
10. Justin McDonald (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 31
Pirelli Under 19s
1. Jay Wilson (Coastal KTM) 65
2. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 62
3. Kyle McKeddie (Mornington Kawasaki) 56
4. Shaun Redhead (GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 54
5. Kale Makeham (JDR Moss Institute Suzuki) 45
6. Brad Skoric (Team West Racing Kawasaki) 45
7. Luke Arbon (GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 40
8. Sam Martin (Byrners Suzuki) 39
9. Ben George (Yamaha) 35
10. Dan Banks (Eco-Pest Control KTM) 33
Championship Standings (after 5 of 9 rounds):
Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open
1. Dean Ferris 379
2. Billy Mackenzie 370
3. Josh Coppins 350
4. Cheyne Boyd 328
5. Jay Marmont 324
6. Michael Phillips 291
7. Lawson Bopping 251
8. Cody Cooper 213
9. Ryan Marmont 206
10. Louis Calvin 193
Motul Pro Lites
1. Matt Moss 347
2. Kirk Gibbs 320
3. Daniel McCoy 295
4. Brenden Harrison 283
5. Josh Cachia 266
6. Phil Nicoletti 244
7. Keiron Hall 244
8. Cody Mackie 238
9. Justin McDonald 235
10. Luke Styke 230
Pirelli Under 19s
1. Errol Willis 407
2. Luke Arbon 356
3. Shaun Redhead 307
4. Dylan Peterson 272
5. Jake Emanuelli 249
6. Kyle McKeddie 241
7. Jay Wilson 208
8. Kale Makeham 159
9. Dylan Long 159
10. Jacob Mcleod 153
– Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing take solid points from Toowoomba mudfest
Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing’s Cheyne Boyd and Michael Phillips have withstood abysmal conditions at the fifth round of the MX Nationals at Toowoomba’s Echo Valley Motocross Track today, to finish fourth and seventh respectively.
An overnight downpour rendered the track a quagmire and saw every lap a lottery for the CRF450 pilots who were unrecognisable as they wrestled their bikes around the extremely boggy and rutted track.
Cheyne Boyd celebrated his best run of results this year and inturn moved to fourth in the Pro Open championship standings.
The Victorian finished the four races eighth, third, second and fourth and said his strength and fitness training really came into play today.
“Considering the track conditions I was pretty happy with my races today,” Boyd said.
“The track was insane you couldn’t let your guard down at all, it had some of gnarliest ruts I have ever seen. It took all my strength to stay on the bike, you couldn’t hang it out.
“I stalled the bike off the start in Race 1 and was dead last. Then I crashed but thankfully I came back through and put it behind me for the next three races.
“We took some great points today. I have moved to fourth in the championship and I am now within striking distance of third,” Boyd stated
Teammate Michael Phillips rode four cautious but solid races finishing sixth, eighth, seventh and seventh to retain his sixth place in the championship standings.
“To be honest I was a little it disappointed with my results today,” Phillips said.
”I wanted to push harder but something in the back of my head said play it safe and finish each race.
“The track conditions today made it extremely tough and I couldn’t get comfortable. The main line dried out but if you got off the line it was treacherous,” Phillips explained.
With three weeks until Coonabarabran makes its MX Nationals debut Phillips will return to New Zealand to continue his preparations while Boyd and the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team will return to Victoria to continue their extensive testing program.
– KTM’s Wilson scores Toowoomba Under 19s MX Nationals win, Cachia takes Lites podium
Coastal KTM rising star Jay Wilson clinched his first ever victory in the Under 19s category of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at Toowoomba in Queensland on Sunday, 22 May.
The former 85cc World Champion put forward a stunning performance in the reduced three-moto format at Echo Valley Raceway, a treacherous round after rain lashed the complex overnight in the lead-up to the race.
Wilson, 16, won the opening moto of the round by over a minute ahead of his opponents, capping the round off with a pair of third places to seal his first overall aboard KTM’s 250 SX-F.
“The weekend went really good, I couldn’t believe I had such a big lead with over a minute advantage in moto one and it’s my first top result in the Under 19s series,” Wilson said.
“In the next two races I just had to stay consistent, finished with two thirds and that gave us the overall. I’m happy with that and now I’ve got the monkey off my shoulders we can go on from here.”
Eco-Pest Control KTM’s Dan Banks finished 10th overall in the Under 19s.
Victorian Josh Cachia, who is last year’s Under 19s champion, took his second Pro Lites podium of the season aboard his JDR Motorex KTM 250 SX-F, finishing a solid third overall with 1-7-9 results.
Cachia was at his brilliant best in moto one for the round, using consistent top 10 results to secure the podium.
“I’m stoked to be back on the podium this weekend and also to win that first moto,” the 19-year-old said. “The conditions were tough out there today, and that win in race one really helped me get on the podium for the round.”
Queensland youngster Brenden Harrison finished sixth overall with 5-13-3 finishes, a first turn crash in moto two ruining his chances of a podium finish for the weekend.
Harrison sits fourth in the title chase, while Cachia boosted himself up to fifth after five of nine rounds.
JDR Motorex KTM’s Matt Moss braved the pain of a broken shoulder blade sustained just one week prior to score fourth in race one, however was unable to complete the final motos of the day and finished 16th overall. Moss remains the series leader by a comfortable 27 points at the halfway point of the series.
“I came to this race hoping it was a dry one because I broke my shoulder blade at Coonabarabran last weekend,” Moss explained. “I just wanted to salvage some points, and moto one was good with a fourth. I was really, really sore after that and didn’t finish moto two after a couple of crashed when I couldn’t hold on.
“I didn’t even bother going our for the third one, but all in all I did what I came here to do and we’re still leading the championship. We’ve got four weeks off now so hopefully I can recover 100 percent and go win at the next round!”
Toowoomba marked a tough round for KTM in the Pro Open class, with local Queenslander Dan Reardon forced out through injury, resulting in a non-point scoring weekend for the 2007 champion. Reardon’s JDR Motorex KTM teammate Ryan Marmont sat out the round with a broken ankle.
Top performing KTM rider in the Open class was Herb Watson Racing’s Louis Calvin, taking ninth overall for the round. Marmont is now ninth in the series, while Calvin sits a credible 10th to date.
– Serco Yamaha
Jake Moss makes it two podiums in a row with a second place at Toowoomba
Competitors experienced some of the toughest conditions faced in years at round five of the 2011 Rockstar MX Nationals at a wet, boggy and downright nasty Echo Valley in Toowoomba. But through all the mud and red clay, the Serco Yoshimura Yamaha team came away in a positive frame of mind as Jake Moss podiumed and Kirk Gibbs narrowed the points’ gap to the championship leader.
Jake Moss made it two podiums in a row after he finished in second place in the Pro Lites class over the weekend. In the shorten race format that saw the round dropped from four motos back to three, Moss posted 3-1-7 results to earn 59points and second spot on the podium behind Daniel McCoy.
The result is another step forward for Moss as he continues to build momentum in his return from injury.
“It was just a hard day racing today,” Moss said at days’ end. “The track was tough to ride as you couldn’t afford to make a mistake or crash. We were right on track to win the round but I didn’t get the result I needed in the final race and slipped back to second, but overall, I’m pretty happy with how the day went,” Moss finishes.
The event also proved a big challenge for Kirk Gibbs as the conditions caused havoc among the riders. And despite finishing in 12th with a DNF – 9 – 5, Gibbs still clawed back 10points on series leader Matt Moss and the gap between the two now sits at 27points and with four rounds still to come. The Pro Lites championship is now officially up for grabs again.
“I might have got some points back in the championship, but I’m not happy with the way I raced today. The first moto I crashed and I just couldn’t get the bike started as mud had clogged everything up. Moto two wasn’t much better and at least I pulled a top five to finish the day.”
“Today, I got lucky but I didn’t capitalize on the mistakes of my competition,” Gibbs finishes.
Team Manager, Michael Marty took an optimistic approach when asked about his teams’ day.
“Two rounds ago we were 80 points out of the championship, now we are back to 27, so that is something we are happy about. Had Kirk done a little better today, the gap could be even less, but these conditions throw up all kinds of challenges. Jake is looking better on the bike at every round and with two podiums in a row, he now has some real momentum behind him.”
The western New South Wales town of Coonabarabran hosts round six of the 2011 Rockstar MX Nationals in four weeks time and the Serco Yoshimura Yamaha team will continue working hard as they close in on the championship lead.
– Kawasaki Report
Monster Energy Kawasaki Go 1,2 in MX Championship with Double Podium at Toowoomba
Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Dean Ferris retains his 2011 MX Championship lead thanks to his fourth consecutive podium finish for the season at Toowoomba on Sunday 22 May. Billy Mackenzie moves himself into 2nd in the series after a 2nd place finish in QLD and Lites rider Phil Nicoletti overcame a first race DNF to grab 2-1 in the remaining 250 motos.
Monster Energy Kawasaki could not have asked for a better start to the day with team riders dominating the qualifying sessions. Ferris and Mackenzie qualified in 1st and 2nd respectively and Nicoletti took the top spot in the Lites class by a massive 4.4 second margin.
The riders had their work cut out for them thanks to a horrendously muddy Toowoomba track. Riding smart, Mackenzie and Ferris managed to stay upright throughout the four motos and post solid results in each race. The fourth moto was the standout race for the team with Mackenzie and Ferris going into the first turn in 1,2, then leading the entire race to take 1st and 2nd respectively.
Dean Ferris came out firing at Toowoomba clocking the fastest qualifying time on his Red-plate adorned KX450F. He got off to a great start in the first race taking 2nd place. A wayward rock gave Ferris grief in the second race after hitting him in the right eye. He managed to hold on for a 4th place finish before getting himself to RaceSafe for some medical attention.
Ferris battled through the remaining two races with limited vision in the eye to take 4th and 2nd, his 2-4-4-2 results good enough for 3rd for the day and 1st in the Championship.
Happy to retain the series lead, Dean Ferris say’s, “I’m pumped to have the Red-plate still. This is my fourth podium in a row so it’s a great accomplishment. It was a tough day though, the ruts were super deep, it was pretty much survival. One little mistake and you’d run off the track. All in all it was a good day. Billy and I were on the podium and together we extended the lead in the series which is great.”
Billy Mackenzie showed his trademark speed at Toowoomba as he continues his points claw-back after an injury hampered 2nd and 3rd rounds. Mackenzie manoeuvred his KX450F around the treacherous track in brilliant fashion. While the other riders were cautiously rolling through a deep and dangerous rutted jump on the track, Mackenzie would blip the throttle and allow his Michelin Starcross tyres to go to work, launching him effortlessly over the knee deep ruts. Showing their talent and the quality of their products, Mackenzie and Ferris were the only two riders doing the double jump at the top of the track. Mackenzie managed two race wins from four starts, his 4-1-3-1 results giving him 2nd overall for the day. Mackenzie continues to move up the leader-board, now in 2nd spot, 9 points behind team mate Ferris.
A positive Billy Mackenzie says, “I’m definitely happy with how I rode in all the motos. I felt like I was charging and pushing that little bit extra. I gained good points on Dean for the Championship overall. I’m a bit unhappy with the 3rd and 4th places but I’ll work on some things and come out strong at the next round. I’m happy with the day’s racing. After the injury affected rounds, the results are coming.”
After a sickness affected round 4, a fully fit Phil Nicoletti was excited to get out on track at Toowoomba. He did not disappoint, qualifying fastest by over four seconds. Bad luck reared its ugly head in the first moto however. After Nicoletti went down on the first turn his bike was hit resulting in a cracked water pump forcing him to retire from the race. Staying focused and optimistic, Nicoletti turned his fortunes around in the next race to cross the line first (later relegated to 2nd after an appeal). However it was in the final moto where he really shined. Nicoletti took the hole-shot then continued to build a disheartening lead over the competition winning by a massive 18 second margin. Nicoletti’s DNF-2-1 resulted in 5th for the round and positions him 6th in the series.
Phil Nicoletti says, “I’m stoked to get back on track. It’s been a rough past couple of months. I’m glad to get the moto wins. I thank my old man for making me ride in these horrendous conditions when I was younger. A lot of the guys couldn’t handle the ruts but I’m used to them. It’s just unfortunate I went down at the start of the first. I’m looking forward to the next round and hopefully have a win.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager, Troy Carroll says, “It was a good day. We extended our points lead in the Pro Open class and Phil had a good round with his wins. All in all it was a successful day. It’s good going to Coonabarabran with a points buffer in the Championship.”
The Monster Energy Kawasaki mechanics are looking forward to a big clean up of the bikes and truck before preparing for the 6th round of the series at Coonabarabran, NSW on 19 June where the Monster Energy Kawasaki riders will look to increase their points lead in the Championship.