Egan Mastin 2-2 at Port Macquarie – Wilson Todd retains MX2 lead
Egan Mastin (Davey Motorsports KTM) made Port Macquarie a clean sweep in the Motul MX2 class, going undefeated and closing in on Wilson Todd, the current championship leader.
With a strong crowd turning out to support the Motul MX National’s first ever visit to Port Macquarie, the MX2 category were impressive in both races, the front runners battling hard as competitors reach the pointy end of their championship.
The Motul MX2 class were treated to prime time track conditions during their qualifying session this morning, and being the first time that the series has visited the venue, the field of riders maximised on the opportunity to get to know the all new circuit.
By the time qualifying had wrapped up, Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster pipped KTM’s Mastin for the top spot with a 1:46.859 lap time on his last rotation on the circuit, second quickest was Mastin, (1:47.627) while Serco Yamaha’s Mitchell Evans secured the third gate pick with a 1:48.226 lap time.
With only eight points separating the championship leader Wilson Todd from his competition heading into the round, when the MX2 class lined up for their opening moto at Port Macquarie all eyes were on the DPH Motorsport’s Yamaha machine.
And it was Todd who secured the first Raceline holeshot of the weekend, followed Mastin and fastest qualifier Webster.
With 30 minutes on the clock in the first race for the Motul MX2 category, after two laps riders settled in to their positions. DPH Motorsport’s Todd began to stretch out his lead on Mastin, while Webster back in third had his hands full trying to hold off a hard charging Davey Motorsport’s rider Hamish Harwood.
By the five lap mark, Serco Yamaha’s Evans made his way back through the field, passing Harwood and moving into fourth behind fastest qualifier Webster.
With Todd having a comfortable lead, the attention then shifted to the battle for positions behind him, and it was Yamaha mounted Richie Evans and and ‘RUOK themed’ KSF Racing’s Dylan Wills’ who’s battle for sixth captured the crowd’s attention.
But just as both Wills and Evans had kick started their battle, Mastin closed in on race leader Todd, and set up one hell of a fight for control of the opening moto.
Mastin made the move on Todd just after the first turn, but Todd retaliated, the pair switching back and forth a handful of times before KTM’s Mastin found the edge and began to pull a gap on his Yamaha competitor.
By the halfway point in race one, the running order saw Mastin leading from Todd and Webster – Evans, Harwood and Richie Evans, occupied positions four through to six, while Wills, Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Jayden Rykers and Tomas Ravenhorst followed closely behind.
With only a handful of laps left to run in the first moto, Rykers began to find his way through the talented field, passing both Wills and Evans (Richie) and making up two positions in just one rotation.
But by the time rider’s received the last lap board, Davey Motorsport’s Mastin continued to lead by a healthy eight seconds while behind him, points leader Todd was doing everything in his power to find the lines that would narrow the gap.
But when the chequered flag flew it was Mastin’s smooth and calculated riding that saw him take the first race victory at Port Macquarie, second place went to red plate holder Todd, followed by the MX2 fastest qualifier Webster who put in a smart and consistent ride to finish in third.
Evans and Harwood completed the top five, followed by Rykers, Wills, Evans, Ravenhorst and Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Jay Wilson who all finished inside the top ten.
With Mastin gaining three points on Todd after the opening moto, when bikes lined up for race two this afternoon, the crowd watched on eager to see how the last race of the day would play out.
In race two it was Mastin who pulled the Raceline holeshot, but Todd was just behind him, setting up the final MX2 race as a 20-minute dash to the finish line.
Behind the lead pair, KSF Racing’s Wills led the battle for third between himself, Webster and Serco Yamaha’s Evans. But by lap three it all came undone for Wills and Webster after coming together and going down down, both losing a number of positions and handing third place to Serco Yamaha’s Evans.
By the five lap mark, Mastin had pulled a comfortable four second lead on second placed Todd, while behind the top two, Evans began to close in on the pair, determined not to give away any more points in the MX2 Championship.
By the halfway mark, Mastin, Todd and Evans had put significant distance between themselves and the rest of the field. Just shy of the podium in fourth was New Zealander Harwood, followed by Richie Evans, Webster, Rykers and Wilson.
In the later stages of the moto it was the battle for fifth that captured the crowd’s attention – Webster, Rykers and Richie Evans all rubbing paint for two laps, before Webster and Rykers relegated Evans back to seventh. But just as the battle had settled down, down went Webster, allowing Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Rykers to slot up into fifth.
By the time the last lap board was displayed, Mastin once again was in the box seat to collect his second race win for the day, however behind him Todd and Evans had found each other on the track and Evans also closed in on the KTM race leader’s real wheel, making the final lap one of the most exciting of the weekend.
But when the chequered flag flew for the final time today, it was Mastin who collected the Motul MX2 race two victory. Second place went to DPH Motorsport’s Todd, followed by Evans who was forced to settle for third. Harwood and Rykers wrapped up moto two in fourth and fifth places respectively, followed by Webster, Evans (Richie), Wills, Wilson and Connor Tierney.
When the points from both motos were calculated, two race wins saw Mastin awarded with the Round 8 victory and the top step of the Motul MX2 podium. Second overall went to Todd, while Serco Yamaha’s Evans concluded the Port Macquarie outing in third.
Todd now carries a 13 point lead in the Motul MX2 Championship with two rounds remaining.
“For me this year I didn’t want to peak too early, I train to peak at the right time during the season and I think at the moment that’s what we are doing. To come away with the win in both motos today we’re stoked. Port Macquarie is only three hours away from home for me, so I have all my friends and family here and it’s nice to get a win in front of an audience like that. This is a round I definitely wanted to win. At this stage the championship is still within reach. I want to go out every weekend and win every race, so we’ll be aiming to do that over the next two rounds.”
Jayden Rykers – 6th overall
“Overall the last three rounds have been a step forward from the first half of the season. In qualifying I got caught off-guard and lost the back end resulting in a bent up bike, but I still managed to record the eighth fastest time. The track was difficult to pass on, the starts were so important and we didn’t make the best of the situation with two mid pack starts. Apart from that, a 6-5 finish for the day was solid considering the circumstances. Once I sort my starts out everything else is already in place to win races, so it’s just a matter of keeping my focus on what matters and keep working hard.”
Jay Wilson – 9th overall
“Round 8 was a challenge to say the least. I went down a number of times and made it hard on myself, and unfortunately it was a track that if you didn’t get a good start then it was difficult to do much. In race one I got a really good jump off the start but unfortunately I got caught up with another rider and went down. I got back up and made my way through the pack to 10th, but it wasn’t the result we were hoping for. In the last moto I got sort of a mid-pack start and felt my speed was a lot better. Unfortunately, though I went down again while I was in about sixth, and by the time I got up and going again, I’d lost positions and ended up ninth. The changes we made to the bike were much better on the weekend so now it’s just up to me to minimise mistakes and keep pushing towards the front.”
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