Dean Ferris dominates Conondale to extends MX Nationals Championship lead
Michell Evans takes MX2 clean sweep and red plate heading to Round 4 – Morgan Fogarty narrow MXD victor
Images by MX Nationals
One of the most pristine and picturesque motocross tracks in the country Green Park in Conondale was the backdrop for Round 3 of the Motul MX Nationals, and it was once again CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris who left the venue undefeated in the Thor MX1 class.
Ferris was impressive from the minute he hit the track on the Sunshine Coast today, the reigning champ putting on a performance for thousands of spectators, and maintaining the red plate as the series powers on.
Competitors and fans were greeted with dry track conditions for Thor MX1 qualifying this morning, but the one rider who capitalised on the conditions early was KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs. Gibbs was close to a second faster than any other rider on track with a 2:10.898 lap time at the conclusion of the session.
Second fastest was Russian MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Aleksandr Tonkov (2:11.568), followed by CDR Yamaha’s Ferris, Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Todd Waters and teammate Luke Clout.
With the top five through to GoPro Superpole, fans watched on in anticipation as riders threw down their fastest flying laps, but it was Ferris who made it count when it mattered, once again taking his third Superpole victory for the season and first pick of the grid when racing commence with a 2:10.620 lap time.
When bikes headed to the line for race one all eyes were on the heavy hitters, and uncharacteristically Ferris and Gibbs opted to take positions on the grid no where near each other. But when gates dropped it was the Russian rider Tonkov who took the Raceline holeshot, and only a bikes length behind him was Waters and Ferris who weren’t letting the international competitor out of their sights.
With one lap in the books Ferris made a quick pass on Waters and moved up into second position, where he then set his sights firmly on the rear wheel of race leader Tonkov, and before riders had even reached their second rotation, the CDR Yamaha rider had moved into the race lead.
With Ferris out in front, the focus the shifted to the battle for positions behind him. And battle they did. KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Gibbs began his charge to the front, passing both Waters and Tonkov to snatch up second position.
Despite Waters dropping off the pace for a short time and losing a spot to Tonkov, it wasn’t long before the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team rider found his wheels once again and moved back up into third place.
Unfortunately for Tonkov his time at the front was short lived in moto one, and by lap four the Factory Kawasaki rider had dropped back to fifth position, where he then continued to fade.
After ten minutes on track for the Thor MX1 class, Ferris continued to school his competitors, leading by a comfortable margin. Gibbs and Waters occupied second and third while DPH Motorsport’s Kade Mosig was back in fourth.
Rookie MX1 rider Clout was having yet another impressive ride in fifth position, while Penrite Honda’s Jesse Dobson and SD3 Husqvarna’s Brett Metcalfe continued to battle for sixth.
As race one reached its final stages, Ferris continued to be the fastest rider on track, slowly stretching out his lead to a commanding eight seconds. Behind him, Metcalfe was on his own charge, passing the likes of Dobson and then Clout to make his way into the MX1 top five.
But it was Ferris who had reason to celebrate at the conclusion of moto one, taking his fourth race victory for the year by a comfortable eight seconds. Second place was taken by Gibbs, while Waters rounded out the MX1 podium getters in the opening moto.
Mosig crossed the finish line in fourth followed by Metcalfe who held on to finish in fifth. Dobson, KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Luke Styke, Clout, Nathan Crawford and privateer Keiron Hall completed the top ten in race one.
When bikes returned to the line for race two, the crowd watched on intently with all wondering whether Ferris could go undefeated at Conondale, and unsurprisingly it was the CDR Yamaha rider who snatched up the Raceline holeshot, and within only a few turns had stretched out his lead to an impressive three seconds.
Behind Ferris was MX1 rookie Crawford aboard the MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki, followed by KTM’s Styke and Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Waters.
Uncharacteristically, Gibbs who finished second in the opening moto was back outside the top five in seventh position after one and a half laps, giving himself one serious job to do if he was to make his way onto the MX1 podium.
With Ferris stretching his lead out lap by lap, the focus shifted to the riders behind him. And unfortunately it was Styke who captured the spectator’s attention for all the wrong reasons, allowing Waters, Mosig, Gibbs and Metcalfe to charge past the KTM rider who had fallen back to seventh position.
Despite entering the season with an arm injury, by lap five Crawford continued to hold his own in an impressive second place, while behind him Waters began to come under fire from Gibbs who was a man on a mission in the final moto. And by lap seven Gibbs made the pass on Waters and began his attempt to chase down Crawford.
When riders reached the halfway mark in race two Ferris had stretched out the margin on second placed Crawford to seven seconds, while behind the Kawasaki rider Gibbs began to look ultra threatening after coming through the field and into the final podium position. Behind Gibbs was Waters and Styke who recovered from an earlier mistake, while DPH Motorsport’s Mosig looked dejected in sixth.
As race two reached its final stages, SD3 Husqvarna’s Metcalfe was headed back to the pits after experiencing bike trouble, while Gibbs closed in on Crawford and made the pass on the Kawasaki rider for an all important second position.
But Ferris was unstoppable at Conondale this afternoon, and once again in the final moto he took an unchallenged victory and celebrated deservingly across the finish line. Second place in moto two was taken by KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Gibbs, followed by Crawford who collected the first MX1 podium finish of his career.
Fourth place in race two was taken by Waters, followed by Styke in fifth. Honda mounted Dobson, Mosig, Clout, Tonkov and Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Peters completed the top ten in the MX1 class in race two.
With 1,1 race results it was Ferris who secured the top step of the Thor MX1 podium at Conondale, while second place was handed to KTM’s Gibbs, and third at round three was secured by Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Waters.
“It was a perfect day for me. I got Superpole and then went 1,1 so I just really enjoyed myself. I had a smile on my face under the helmet all day. I love coming here, Green Park Conondale is one of my favourite tracks. It’s a special place for me, I got my first ever National moto win here ten years ago, so I love coming back and I’m just stoked that we got it done and got the win again today. Thanks to my mechanic Aiden for all his hard work as well as everyone on the CDR Yamaha team as the continue to give me everything I need to ride well. We are only three rounds into a ten round championship and a lot of laps are still to be raced. I will continue to give 100% in my training and preparation because that’s what it takes to keep achieving these results. There are plenty of good riders in the MX1 class so there is no chance of my taking it easy.”
“Bittersweet for me here. I started the day qualifying fastest, but then in SuperPole I jumped the big extension and got a kick that shot me to the right and I landed so hard I blew out eight spokes in my front wheel and did something to my front brake caliper. I had no front brake and was just trying to nurse that front wheel home but still got third fastest time! I came from fifth to second in that first moto, but fought the bike a lot, then regrouped, made some changes and started up the inside for the second moto. Me and Dean came together at the start and I got the raw end of it, got pushed really wide and came out 10th or 12th. So a bit of damage control after that to get back to second. I feel like my pace is really good at the moment; I just need to get out front with Dean so I can battle for those wins.”
“We’re just making steps in the right direction and that’s our goal as a team, to better ourselves every time we hit the track. I felt great in qualifying, but caught some bunting in my rear wheel, then tipped over and bent my clutch lever. In the first race I was pushing a group of riders in front of me, but had another little crash. Between races I regrouped, then really put my head down for the second moto. I got a good start and rode most of the race in second before I got rounded up towards the end of the race. I wasn’t too phased by that – it was my best result so far this year and I’m only a rookie, so hopefully we can keep getting better from here.”
Thor MX1 Round 3 Results
Dean Ferris – 70 points
Kirk Gibbs – 64 points
Todd Waters – 58 points
Nathan Crawford – 52 points
Kade Mosig – 52 points
Luke Styke – 50 points
Jesse Dobson – 50 points
Luke Clout – 46 points
Kyle Peters – 41 points
Keiron Hall – 40 points
Thor MX1 Championship Standings
Dean Ferris – 216 points
Kirk Gibbs – 185 points
Kade Mosig – 170 points
Todd Waters – 166 points
Luke Styke – 157 points
Nathan Crawford – 149 points
Luke Clout – 141 points
Kyle Peters – 134 points
Aleksandr Tonkov – 126 points
Brett Metcalfe – 109 points
Evans takes both race wins and Motul MX2 red plate at Conondale
Serco Yamaha’s Mitchell Evans went undefeated in the Motul MX2 class once again at Conondale today, with the support of thousands of Queensland spectators for Round three of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals.
The Motul MX2 class showcased bar to bar racing across two motos at Green Park in Conondale, but once again it was Serco’s Evans who showed undeniable form, collecting his fourth consecutive race win.
With no rain overnight, competitors were treated to a dry circuit on the Sunshine Coast for their qualifying session this morning, and in what has been the trend so far this season it was a battle of the Yamaha machines for the fastest time on track during their timed session.
But it was Serco Yamaha’s Jackson Richardson who was quickest this morning with a 2:15.240 lap time, followed by Round 2 winner Evans (2:15.489) and DPH Motorsport’s Wilson Todd who was third fastest on track (2:16.687).
When gates dropped on race one Serco Yamaha’s Richardson secured the first Raceline holeshot for the day, Richie Evans and Todd slotting in behind him. After a single rotation on the two-minute lap time circuit, Richardson stretched his lead out to a comfortable two seconds, while DPH’s Todd began to apply the pressure on Evans for second.
A notable absentee from the top three was last round’s victor Mitchell Evans, who after two laps on track was back in eighth place.
With valuable championship points up for grabs, Todd began his charge to the front by the third lap – both himself and Aaron Tanti (WBR Yamaha) passing Richie Evans to move up into podium contention. And from there, Todd and Tanti closed in on race leader Richardson, providing spectators with a three-way battle for the race lead.
With 30 minutes plus one lap on the clock for the Motul MX2 competitors, by the halfway point riders had settled into their positions – Richardson continuing to lead from Todd and Tanti, while behind them Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster and Evans were occupying spots four and five. New Zealander Hamish Harwood looked comfortable in sixth position followed by Egan Mastin and Richie Evans.
By the sixth lap Todd had found Richardson’s rear wheel and it took no time at all for the red plate holder to make the pass and take on the race lead for the first time in the moto.
Unfortunately for Tanti, a crash towards the latter stages of the race allowed Webster to inherit third, the Yamaha rider then re-joining the race in fourth position. But fortunately for Tanti and mistake from Webster shortly after allowed Tanti to charge back past, while Serco Yamaha’s Evans who had made his way through the field also passed Webster and slotted in to fourth position.
As moto one reached the 25-minute mark Richardson had once again reclaimed the lead from Todd, while behind the Yamaha mounted pair, Tanti and Mitchell Evans were locked into their own battle for the final podium position.
But when the chequered flag flew it was an incredible charge from MX2 rookie and Serco Yamaha’s Evans that wowed the crowd – the Yamaha rider charging by both Todd and Richardson on the final two laps to take the race one win. Second place was taken by Richardson while Todd crossed the line in third. Tanti and Webster finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Rounding out the top ten in race one was Davey Motorsport’s duo Harwood and Mastin, followed by Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Jayden Rykers, Richie Evans, and Synep Racing’s Dylan Wills.
With a red plate well and truly up for grabs at Conondale, all eyes were on the first turn as riders lined up for their second and final moto of the day. When gates dropped, it was KTM two-stroke rider Mastin who took the Raceline holeshot, but once again Serco Yamaha’s Evans wasted no time in finding his way to the front of the field.
But as soon as Evans had moved into the top spot the Serco Yamaha rider came under fire from Tanti, and within only a few turns, the Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha rider had made the pass and moved into the lead position.
Unfortunately for Evans, Richardson also made the move on his team mate, relegating him to third, and Richardson’s charge did not stop there – only a single lap later the Serco Yamaha rider passed Tanti for the lead and began to check out.
However only moments later bad luck struck Tanti, unfortunately suffering a flat tyre which saw him drop to sixth. With Tanti out of podium contention, Serco Yamaha’s Evans slotted into second behind his teammate, while Mastin happily inherited third position.
By the halfway mark in the second moto for the MX2 class, behind the top three, Wills had made his way up to fourth, followed by Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Webster, DPH Motorsport’s Todd and Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Rykers, indicating that a change of red plate may be imminent.
With only 20 minutes of track time in the final moto, Evans frantically searched for lines in order to close in on his teammate, and by the time riders received the last lap board Evans made his move on the flat section of the track with an aggressive pass on Richardson for the lead that he made stick.
Despite a final attempt from Richardson to pass back his teammate, it was Evans who crossed the line to collect his fourth race win in a row. Richardson was forced to settle for second in race two, while Mastin finished in third. DPH Motorsport’s Todd wrapped up the final outing for the MX2 class in fourth, followed by Webster in fifth.
Rykers, Wills, Richie Evans, Harwood and Ricky Latimer completed the top ten in moto two.
But with a flawless scorecard for the second consecutive round, it was Serco Yamaha’s Evans who was rewarded with the overall victory and the MX2 red plate at Conondale. Second on the podium this afternoon was teammate Richardson, while DPH Motorsport’s Todd wrapped up round three in third.
“Wow, what an awesome day. I’m not sure how far back I was in that first race but I just kept focusing on passing the rider in front of me. The pit board was hard to see so I really didn’t know where I was until I got towards the top three. But it was the most amazing feeling to win that race from where I was and after winning both races from near the front at Appin, it was awesome that I was able to prove that I could come from behind and get a race win. The second moto was just good fun and like Jatz and I were riding back at home. I don’t like slamming my own cousin but we are all good and to have us both up on the podium in a 1-2 finish shows that the team and the riders are doing the work.”
“On paper my results at the opening two rounds were OK but I thought I could do better so I made a couple of changes to things at home while the team and I did some more testing with the bike during this week. The bike definitely felt better this week and my riding was also improved and therefore the result was better. Congrats to Mitch as he rode amazing and deserved his win today and thanks to Serco Yamaha for all their efforts the past couple of weeks. It was a great weekend for the entire team.”
“Race one, I put myself in a good position at the front of the pack, and worked my way into the lead. A lot of the riders around me had small moments, especially in the first half of the race and I wasn’t any different, dropping the bike, allowing several guys past and really losing the forward momentum I had. Race 2 and I didn’t get the start I wanted leaving me in the main pack getting bumped around rather than focussing on pushing forward, once I started making ground I dropped the bike again putting me back down the list, wrecking any chance I had of challenging for the win, I think I’ll spend the short break working on NOT dropping my bike!”
Motul MX2 Round 3 Results
Mitchell Evans – 70 points
Jackson Richardson – 64 points
Wilson Todd – 58 points
Egan Mastin – 54 points
Kyle Webster – 52 points
Jayden Rykers – 48 points
Aaron Tanti – 48 points
Hamish Harwood – 47 points
Dylan Wills – 45 points
Richie Evans – 45 points
Motul MX2 Championship Standings
Mitchell Evans – 196 points
Wilson Todd – 187 points
Jackson Richardson – 178 points
Egan Mastin – 171 points
Kyle Webster – 150 points
Hamish Harwood – 149 points
Jayden Rykers – 145 points
Dylan Wills – 137 points
Richie Evans – 136 points
Aaron Tanti – 136 points
Fogarty takes career first Pirelli MXD victory at Conondale
Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Morgan Fogarty delivered his team with their first podium of the season, and the first Pirelli MXD round win of his career at a sun drenched third instalment of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals at Conondale today.
The Pirelli MXD category dished out thrills and spills across both of the class’s races today, putting on one of the best shows of racing so far this season for a packed house on the Sunshine Coast.
It was Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team’s Cooper Pozniak, the former championship points leader who set the pace during the MXD timed qualifying session this morning, recording the fastest lap time with a 2:17.469. Sunshine Coast local Isaac Ferguson was second fastest on track (2:18.397) while Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha’s Hugh McKay took third gate pick thanks to a 2:18.564 lap time.
When racing commenced for the Pirelli MXD class, the development category once again showcased why they’re the future of the sport.
When gates dropped there was plenty of drama thanks to a first turn pile up, but despite Jai Constantinou taking the Raceline holeshot, it was Yamalube Yamaha’s Dyce got through unscathed and moved in to the race lead. Behind him, Constantinou slotted into second position, and after two laps Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Fogarty found himself in third.
One rider who was in complete damage control in race one was the number 17 red plate holder Pozniak. After being caught up in a crash during the opening stages of the moto, Pozniak simply circulated for points on a bent and damaged bike, determined to keep his championship hopes alive.
After four laps on track, Dyce continued to maintain the race lead, while Fogarty had made his way up into second position followed by Constantinou. SD3 Husqvarna’s Kaleb Barham looked comfortable in fourth followed by New Zealander Wyatt Chase.
With 20 minutes plus a lap on the clock in race one, Dyce focussed on stretching out his gap on the field early. While behind the leader Barham began to make his way through the field by lap seven, passing Constantinou who had gotten by Chase to slot into third.
With only a handful of laps remaining, Dyce looked smooth and in control in the lead position, while his closest competitors Fogarty and Barham continued to occupy second and third. Local rider Ferguson passed Constantinou for fourth relegating the Honda rider to fifth.
But it was Dyce’s flawless performance that saw him lead all the way to the chequered flag, securing the moto one victory. Second place was taken by Fogarty, while Barham held on to cross the line in third. Ferguson and Constantinou finished in fourth and fifth places respectively while Chase, Mckay, Sam Pelz, Jake Williams and Dylan Wood completed the top ten.
Championship points leader Pozniak managed to claw his way back to 28th position at the conclusion of the 20-minute moto, however it wasn’t enough to maintain the red plate.
With crucial championship points up for grabs, when the final Pirelli MXD class headed to the line all eyes were on Pozniak who was in desperate need for a race win after a difficult moto one.
But it was Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Fogarty who snatched up the second holeshot for the day, however Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team’s Dyce was more determined than ever and within only a few turns had taken on the lead position.
Not long after Dyce had made his move into the top spot, Fogarty passed him back, and only a lap later Dyce got by one again – the pair playing cat and mouse for the final MXD race win.
Behind Dyce and Fogarty was KTM’s Callum Norton in third, while Ferguson and Jake Williams completed the top five by the halfway point in the moto.
Much to the spectators delight the battle for the race lead was far from over, and by the time riders headed into their sixth lap, Fogarty was the race leader once again, leaving Dyce to chase his tail.
Unfortunately for Pozniak despite charging through the field up to sixth, a crash in the later stages of the moto put his championship hopes in jeopardy, and allowed his closest competitors the opportunity to gain valuable championship points.
But the man of the moment was Raceline Pirelli KTM rider Fogarty, who showed impressive maturity in the final moto, holding on to take a maiden Pirelli MXD race victory at Conondale. Second place in moto two was taken by Dyce, while Norton collected the chequered flag in third position.
Ferguson and Williams wrapped up their final outing this afternoon in fourth and fifth, while Jy RobertS, Constantinou, Brodie Ellis, Benjamin Broad and Pozniak completed the top ten.
With 2,1 race results it was Fogarty who collected the round three win thanks to a countback this afternoon, Dyce finished with second spot on the MXD podium, followed by Ferguson who concluded today’s outing in third.
Dyce will now carry the red plate into the fourth round at Horsham.
“My first time going there and it was a fun track. I rode pretty good. We made a good change to the suspension after the first moto and I loved it straight away. I had two really good starts today and holeshot the second race. Cody Dyce passed me but I got him back, and we battled on until the middle of the race and I eventually got a bit of a gap. It was a great fun race – we respect each other, so it was good clean racing. I’m pumped, I’ve been working hard to get here so I’m just going to keep rolling now and hopefully we can get some more wins like this. Stepping up from junior racing is always going to be a challenge but it’s good because I’m learning every time we go out on the track. I can’t thank the team enough for the hard work they’ve put in to get this today, I’m excited to get to round four.”
“Moto one went well and I got see everyone behind me and just worked on keeping that gap. Morgan closed in a little and then I was able to pull it back out so it was good and nice to get another race win. The second race was fun and Morgan and I had a good battle going. We both had some different lines and we were going backwards and forwards a fair bit there. I made a few mistakes on the second last lap and lost a bit of time so I decided to settle and take second and not throw the thing away. I still have a lot to work on but it’s good to have the championship lead. Thank you to everyone on the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team for all their efforts again on the weekend as everyone puts in 100 per cent.”
Pirelli MXD Round 3 Results
Morgan Fogarty – 67 points
Cody Dyce – 67 points
Isaac Ferguson – 56 points
Jai Constantinou – 50 points
Callum Norton – 48 points
Jake Williams – 48 points
Kaleb Barham – 46 points
Jy Roberts – 45 points
Hugh McKay – 44 points
Sam Pelz – 42 points
Pirelli MXD Championship Standings
Cody Dyce – 186 points
Jy Roberts – 165 points
Morgan Fogarty – 164 points
Isaac Ferguson – 150 points
Cooper Pozniak – 146 points
Kaleb Barham – 146 points
Benjamin Broad – 135 points
Jai Constantinou – 125 points
Hugh McKay – 123 points
Brodie Ellis – 112 points
Mackie makes Conondale a 125cc Gold Cup Class double
The 125cc Gold Cup Class provided plenty of entertainment at Conondale in Queensland yesterday, with the young and old all hitting the track as the support class alongside Round 3 of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals.
With two 15-minute races making up the class’s program yesterday, riders were tested on the Green Park circuit with Husqvarna mounted Cody Mackie eventually walking away with the first round win for 2017.
Former National champion Cameron Taylor set the pace during qualifying aboard his Yamaha 125 two-stroke machine yesterday morning, with a competitive 2:22.571 lap time, while Joel Hall (Yamaha) and Clay Kilvington (KTM) second and third fastest on track during the session.
When race one got underway for the support class, fans were treated to the sights, smells and the sounds that the two-stroke machines are renowned for. With 15 minutes on the clock in race one, Mad Max stuntman Mackie wasted no time at all in moving in to the race lead, and it was there that he stayed for the duration of the moto.
With Mackie crossing the line with the moto one victory, fastest qualifier Taylor finished 23 seconds later in second position followed by Kilvington in third. Kerrod Morrissy and Hall wrapped up moto one in fourth and fifth places respectively, while Steven Powell, Darcy Cavanagh, Jades Oates, Jacob Dank and Connor Rice completed the top ten.
In moto two Mackie once again put on a performance for the thousands of spectators at Green Park. Despite the track having become more technical and challenging throughout the day, Mackie took the win once again in race two from Taylor, while Morrissy improved in the second moto to finish in third.
Kilvington and Oates crossed the line in fourth and fifth places, while Powell, Dank, Cavanagh, Hall and Sam Garry finished inside the top ten.
With 1-1 race results, Mackie finished his first appearance in the 125cc Gold Cup class on the top step of the podium. Second at Conondale was taken by Taylor, while Morrissy finished the day’s event in third.
“I’m stoked with how today went. I managed to get pretty good starts and just rode my own race, the track was pretty tough today at Conondale, but it was a lot of fun with the boys on the 125s. I’m wrapped to come away with the win, and hopefully we can see a few more guys out there at the next round. I’m very excited with the result. I had fun, the second race was very technical and Cam and I got to bang bars, though in his defence he hadn’t done as much riding as I had beforehand. I’d done a good 12 hours, so hopefully next round we can step it up again, as I’m sure Cam will. He’s a great rider.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.