InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals 2015 – Round Two – Sydney – Image Gallery C

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InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals 2015 – Round Two – Sydney – Image Gallery C

Mike Brown extends Enduro-X lead with Sydney victory
Words By Russell Colvin – Images by Russell Colvin and Teams

The second stop on this year’s InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals headed to Sydney Dragway, the sister venue to Sydney Motorsport Park.

Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Mike Brown has done something that no one has done before in Australia since this unique form of motorcycle racing was introduced in 2011, a clean sweep three strong wins from three starts to claim the overall. Brown’s biggest winning margin came in race one with an 8.163sec win over Simmonds.

Brown, 42, said, “It’s great to get three wins! That’s what I’m out here for, I love winning, but I’m having fun which is the main thing.”

With Brown’s win, he is hoping that this confident will carry into next week’s American Enduro-X before returning back down under for the grand finale at Calder Park in Victoria.

Brown beat KTM’s Tye Simmonds who recorded a 2-3-4 in the finals after rebounding from a heavy heat race crash that saw him go over the bars big time, as he also did at the opening round. “I’m pretty stoked, that’s for sure,” said Simmonds. “I had an even bigger crash than the one in Brisbane, I couldn’t believe it! I was riding over a big heap of loader tyres on the first lap of the heat race and I just came in pretty quick and dropped the front end and yeah, game over, out the front I went.” Along with the little trip over the handle bars came a bit of a sore neck, but it wasn’t too serious.

Just two slender points behind the former motocross racer was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Josh Green who went 5-2-3. ‘Greeny’ told that his night was pretty “tough.” The young gun however did set the early pace after he won the first heat with a time of 5min40.723 to Browns 5min43.390.

In the first final heat Green came a cropper with Honda’s Peter Boyle after running mid pack. “We got tangled up together in the rocks,” explained Green. Green, who finished second overall to Brown at the opening round. Green finished fifth in the first Sydney final heat, then polished off his night with a second and third to claim 58-points. “I can’t complain with what’s happened, will just move onto the next round now.”

2015 marks the first time Green has raced the Australian Enduro-X series as he was out injured in 2014 before the start of the AORC round. “I just wanted to have some fun in Queensland and here and of course at Calder Park in a few weeks-times. My Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team have done an unreal job which is allowing me to ride the way I want to. I’m enjoying it, I’m having fun! I’ve been having fun in the last few years, but not like this year, this year I am having a ball!”

Finishing fourth with 52-points was Simmonds’s teammate, the reigning Outright AORC champion, Toby Price. ‘Pricey’ sure did clock on the old air miles over the weekend. On Friday he was racing around the street of Adelaide in the Super Truck that debuted at Clipsal 500 along the V8 Supercars. 

Price regarded his night as not one of the greatest he has had due to some poor starts he had. “With enduro cross you suffer big time if you don’t get that start so we’re just having a hard time in that area,” Price said in the official KTM press release. “Riding-wise it’s not too bad, I got a good start in the last final and ended up second, but by then it’s too late.”

Rounding out the top five was Stefan Granquist with a 4-5-5 result to finish just two points behind Price.

KTM Off-Road Racing Team’s new boy, Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders had a somewhat ‘strange’ night as he later admitted the track didn’t really his riding style. Sanders best finish in the finals was a third place in race one, when he finished 16.331sec behind race winner, Brown. “I tried to put that out of my mind and stay positive and get into its rhythm,” said the 2014 under 19’s AORC Champion. “That just didn’t work for me. You look at ‘Browny’, and you have got to be really consistent and putting it down every lap. But anyway, I’ll just look forward to Melbourne and hopefully stay in that top five at least.”

Two points behind Sanders in seventh was Sherco’s Mitch Harper, Sydney marked his second race back since hurting himself and claimed 7-4-11 results.

The sole CDR-Yamaha rider, Tom McCormack finished eighth with a 12-7-6. The E1 AORC champ labelled his night as a “train wreck!” and is looking for a better result come the final round later this month.

Boyle was the first Honda rider home in ninth, one point ahead of twenty-three year old Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team).

In the first main heat race, Stanford stormed his way through the field like a hot knife through butter to come from dead last to finish eighth, behind Harper. In the last race Stanford had a great start but there was a pile up in the second corner that saw him ending up having to fight his way back through again to end up in tenth place. “I really want to do well at this because I know it’s part of the future of the sport,” quoted Stanford. “It’s frustrating to feel like you’ve got the speed to run at the front, but you can’t get there to prove it.”

In the Women’s class it was all about Tayla Jones. While Jones didn’t kick start the evening off with a bang after riding ‘poorly’ in the practice, she soon upped the tempo in the heats and when it counted, the Yamaha rider bolted to a 4.857sec victory over Jemma Wilson.  Jones posted a 1min23.236 on her second lap, 3.039sec faster that Wilson’s 1min26.275.

To come from getting second up in Queensland, then to win here, I’m stoked,” beamed Jones. “I’ve been training a lot, so it really has paid off!”

Rounding out the podium was twenty-one year old Jess Gardiner (Ballards Motorex Off-Road Team), finishing 7.450sec behind the race winner. Gardiner told; “I had a shocking day really. I was on the ground more than I was on two wheels. I was a bit annoyed with myself, I can’t blame anyone apart from myself.”

Just before the final race, Gardiner went and sat down by herself to get some head space, it paid off.  “I’m really happy to stay upright in the final race. Tayla, Jemma and I were not that far away from each other which proved to be some awesome racing!”

Gardiner has not had a lot of time to practice the Enduro-X discipline as she has been focusing on her 2015 World Championship campaign, but has declared that she will knuckle down for the grand finale.

Emelie Karlsson, who was the runner up to Gardiner in last year’s AORC championship to Gardiner, finished fourth with Kirstie Mckinnon in fifth spot.

Other class winners included Ruben Chadwick in the Expert class, beating Jesse Daley and Sam Rummery.

Anthony Solar snared the win in the Clubman beating Kirby Crick by 20.888sec. Adrian Harry won the Veterans ahead of New South Welshman Damian Smith, who said he retired from racing last year… Lindsay Bond joined them on the podium.

In the juniors, our future stars of the sport saw Fraser Higlett winning from Luke Strauch and Jack Williams which made it an all Queensland podium!

The final round of the InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals will conclude at Calder Park Raceway on 14th March.

2015 InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals, Round 2 overall results:

1. Mike Brown 75, 2. Tye Simmonds 60, 3. Josh Green 58, 4. Toby Price 52, 5. Stefan Granquist 50, 6. Daniel Sanders 44, 7. Mitcham Harper 42, 8. Tom McCormack 38, 9. Peter Boyle 35, 10. Lachlan Stanford 34

Enduro-X Nationals Championship points after two of three rounds:

1. Mike Brown 147, 2. Josh Green 118, 3. Toby Price 109, 4. Tye Simmonds 98, 5. Daniel Sanders 97, 6. Mitcham Harper 87, 7. Tom McCormack 85, 8. Lachlan Stanford 76, 9. Peter Boyle 73, 10. Dylan Rees 72

2015 Dates and Venues:

  1. Archerfield Speedway, Saturday 7th February 2015
  2. Sydney Dragway, Saturday 28th February 2015
  3. Calder Park Raceway, Saturday 14th March 2015