Matt Moss returns from sickening Shepparton MX Nationals injury to underline #1 status
Rain failed to deter visitors to the opening round of the 2015 Supercheap Auto Australian Supercross Championship with nearly 5000 enthusiastic race fans packing Bathurst Showgrounds last night.
Boasting the biggest field in over five years, the opening round racing was world-class with International riders Gavin Faith (USA), Anthony Rodriguez (Venezuela) and Jimmy Decotis (USA) taking on Australia’s best.
Defending SX1 Champion Matt Moss (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) launched his campaign for a third consecutive Supercross title in emphatic style, topping both practice and qualifying as well as winning his heat race and the 15 Lap SX1 final.
Moss grabbed the holeshot and led every lap of the 15 Lap final, despite coming under pressure from American Gavin Faith (Penrite Honda) and CDR Yamaha’s Dan Reardon who battled it out for the final two spots on the podium.
The final race order saw Moss take the chequered flag ahead of Reardon and Faith.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to stack up against everyone,” Moss explained. “I had quite a bit of time off the bike but I have been training hard and it paid off.
“That final was actually a bit of a weird race,” Moss admitted despite leading every lap. “I pulled all my tear-offs on the opening lap which made things a bit daunting as there was not much light out there as it was.”
“I played it smart, I knew even if they got onto the back of me it was going to be tough to pass. I felt good out there and felt I was in control of the race, I knew If I needed to turn it up and go I could go.
“That was the perfect start to the season,” Moss continued. “I would love to win a third championship, especially as it is the last year that Jay (Foreman) will be running the team.
“There is a short turnaround to the next round in Jimboomba. I have had a look at the track, which was built by my stepbrother Tommy, it is impressive and I think it will definitely test a few people.”
After a challenging year to date, Motul Suzuki team manager Jay Foreman was more than pleased to see Moss back on the top step of the podium at Bathurst.
“It is great to be back up where we should be winning races,” Foreman enthused. “The motocross season was a tough one for us and it is good to be back. It is a credit to Matt, he has worked so hard and he is so determined to prove everyone wrong and all his hard work has paid off tonight.”
Daniel Reardon, who favours the big jumps and technical aspects of supercross raced to a second place finish at the opening round and looked great as he circulated the challenging Bathurst circuit. Afternoon rain made the track difficult for many riders but Reardon looked good and qualified easily for the 15 lap main event of the night.
Starting just outside the top three, Reardon quickly moved into third and then challenged US Import, Gavin Faith for second place on lap 11. He kept charging forward and when the race drew to a close, he was just 2.6 seconds behind race winner, Matt Moss, and happy with his main event performance.
“Second place is a good way to start any series and even more important in a short six round championship and on a track that was tough to ride at 100%,” Reardon explains. “I felt pretty good all day but also felt there were some things I need to improve on as it was my first supercross race in a few seasons. So, all up, a pretty positive night and hoping to make more steps forward again next week in Queensland where the race isn’t too far from my house.”
KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs made a solid start to just his second ever supercross championship, finishing fourth at Bathurst.
Gibbs, the Australian Motocross Championship number one plate holder got off to a strong start in the night’s SX1 final, firing his powerful KTM 450 SX-F into a top-three position on the opening lap.
He overcame some small niggles with arm pump and goggle lens fogging in the cold conditions with the loss of one place to take 28 points away from the evening.
Kirk Gibbs – “Bathurst was a reasonable start to the championship I guess. The track was pretty brutal today, and after the US trip I’ve had a little less than two weeks on the bike for Supercross. I got off to a great start, and was sitting in third on the first lap when Reardon got past me. I started getting a little bit of arm pump at about lap 10 and I had some trouble with my goggles fogging up because of the cold, but overall I’m reasonably happy. I felt like I rode decent, but I also feel like we can make some huge improvements over the next few weeks.”
Australian motocross number three Luke Styke completed his first ever Supercross on 450cc machinery, finishing seventh, less than 3/10 of a second ahead of Lawson Bopping.
On the back of a spectacular first year in MX1, the Jervis Bay rider was disappointed not to meet his own high expectations in the night-time version of the sport, but is confident he can come out with a few more tricks up his sleeve when the championship continues next weekend at Jimboomba, south of Brisbane.
Luke Styke – “it was a bit of a struggle for me all day, just me and the bike weren’t as one tonight. I didn’t have the feel that I needed and the track was pretty tricky – it was sandy and it rutted out everywhere. It was definitely good to get the first one out the way though and I kind of felt better the more laps I did around the track. It just took me a bit too long to get going, but we’ve got some things to work on now, and I can make that my worst result all year. We are going to Jimboomba next weekend and I’ve had a bit of seat time on that track, so hopefully things will be much better for me.”
Kade Mosig finished his supercross season opener in fifth place after a race long duel over fourth with Kirk Gibbs. The pair were separated by just two seconds at the finish of the race with Mosig suggesting he has more to give in the coming rounds.
“Top five is a reasonable start and it was good to get a race under the belt and get the real race feel and intensity that you just can’t replicate in practice. It wasn’t perfect from me but on the whole it was a solid start and something I can build off in the coming rounds.”
A downer on the night for the CDR Yamaha team was when Jacob Wright suffered a shoulder injury on his return to racing and had to spend the night on the sidelines. Doctors are assessing the injury and it will be an on-going process to determine when Jacob will be back behind the start gates again.
“Things went pretty smoothly from a race point of view and its pleasing to hear that both Dan and Kade think there are capable of stepping it up in the coming rounds,” states team owner, Craig Dack. “Its round one and both riders have put themselves in a good position and are confident in improving those results.
“The injury to Jacob is heartbreaking as he has just returned from a knee injury and we were looking forward to seeing him back on the track. We won’t know more about the injury until later in the week,” Dack said.
American Jimmy Decotis (Penrite Honda) took the opening round win in the SX2 class ahead of Luke Clout (Serco Yamaha) and Luke Arbon (Husqvarna).
The American was a force to be reckoned with, winning his heat race over 13 seconds ahead of Geran Stapleton before a comfortable win in the 12 lap SX2 final.
“What an awesome way to start my first supercross season in Australia,” Decotis said.
“I had a blast last night, everything ran smoothly and I am really blessed to be working with such a fantastic team.
“The track was pretty cool and I really enjoyed racing against the guys in the SX2 class it was a lot of fun,” he added.
Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout kicked off his 2015 Australian Supercross Championship in fine form with a second place finish.
On a difficult, rutted and sometimes wet racing surface, Clout overcame a crash in his heat race to qualify for the 250cc main event and was confident of a better performance during the final.
He leapt from the gates and charged into the lead with the full 20 rider field in pursuit. Riding smoothly out front, Clout took control of the race and led for nine laps before US import, Jimmy DeCostis, made his move and took over the top spot.
With just three laps remaining, Clout stayed on the US rider and pressured him all the way to the end of the 12 lap race, but couldn’t manage to make a pass and finished in second place.
“It was good to get the first round out of the way and be up on the podium,” Clout explained. “My preparation has been a bit all over the place because of my call up to race at the Motocross Of Nations but I still felt I raced the main event well and can take not only some good points, but also some confidence from it. Jimmy was riding well and I saw a few things that he was doing that was faster, so I will practice that during the week and hopefully I can reverse the result at round two this weekend,” Clout said.
Husqvarna Factory Support racer Luke Arbon drove back to Sydney in the wee hours of Sunday morning with a smile on his face, having stood on the Bathurst Supercross SX2 podium just a few hours earlier.
The 2014 MX2 number three proved that with his recent fatigue illness treated and seemingly gone, he’s again one of the big boys in the class, where he finished behind Jimmy Decotis and Luke Clout.
Hailing from Gawler in South Australia, Arbon was expected to fight for top honours in this year’s motocross championship, but a series of illnesses and injuries prevented the 22-year-old from gaining any momentum at all.
The most serious threat to his career was contracting a chronic fatigue condition known as “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, in which toxins enter the bloodstream through the stomach lining.
The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and it plagued Arbon for a number of months until identified by a physician, and treated by a combination of medication and diet.
With a new lease of life the Husqvarna FC 250 rider is back able to ride with his usual vigour, and the difference was plain for all to see.
Luke Arbon – Husqvarna FC 250 – “It feels so good to be finishing back up on the box and leaving the track happy, not wondering what’s wrong with me. It’s great to ride a bike like I know I can and the way I know my body can perform. I went out in qualifying and qualified second when it was pissing down rain, so that gave me a bit of a vibe. Then I got the whole shot and lead every lap in my heat, and just felt comfortable. In the main I just rode a little bit tight but still ended up on the podium, so it’s good to get that one out the way. I got a decent start and came out second behind Clout, he was manning up and hitting the whoops pretty hard so he was pulling away, but then I would sort of catch him a bit in a section. I ended up making a mistake crossing over to the start straight again and Decotis got me there, but I ironed it all out and rode around smooth on a track which was super gnarly, so I came out alright. I’ve only been back onto five weeks so I told myself that I would be happy with top five in Bathurst, so to get third was awesome. Now my other goal is to finish on the podium every round, and I don’t see any reason to not do that.”
Despite a similar start to the night, his fellow Husqvarna FC 250 rider Nathan Crawford didn’t get the result he’d hoped for in Bathurst, after a nasty qualifying crash saw him get up dazed.
Crawford gamely battled on and salvaged 11th place points in the final, but can’t wait to face the starter next weekend in Brisbane, for a chance to redeem himself.
Nathan Crawford – FC 250: “I felt really good in our first ride on the track but once timed qualifying came around the track was really wet, and when they repaired the track they kind of just pushed mud over the ruts and made them difficult to see. I had big crash in my heat race just from catching the mud in my foot pegs and that. I banged up my ribs a little bit and hit my head, so I toughed out the main events to grab a few points because my head was really sore, but I’m just going to be working this week get back to where I was before that crash. And I’m going to redeem myself at the starch out of him.”
KTM Factory Support rider Caleb Ward’s first ever Supercross race was an eventful affair for the KTM 250SX-F rider who began well in fourth, but was forced to roll a double on the first lap relinquishing numerous positions. The North Queenslander recovered to ninth overall, one spot ahead of KTM Newcastle’s Dylan Wills.
Caleb Ward– “That was my first ever supercross race. I was pretty nervous at the start, it was a pretty technical track with a bit of rain and stuff and soft dirt, it was pretty slippery in a few spots but I got through it all. I think I could have been top five – on the first lap I was in fourth, and rider pushed me off and I couldn’t hit the finish jump on the first lap, and had to roll around the outside of it because I was going to get landed on, so I lost heaps of positions, and then someone made a mistake on the triple and I ended up going off the track there as well. So I lost a heap of spots and ended up back in 13th on the first lap. It’s pretty wild out there so you just try and get through it clean! I actually had a lot of fun towards the end of the main event. I found my flow and got into good rhythm. The hardest part is hitting big jumps and corners right behind other people and you’ve kind of got to trust in their ability and take a bit of a risk and hope for the best. The racing is a bit closer for sure, there was a few block passes, and you’ve kind of got to look out for loose cannons going off all over the place, but I think in another few rounds or so I will be a lot more confident and trying to go for race wins.”
The Australian Supercross Championship will now head to Jimboomba, Queensland for the second round of the series, which will be held on Saturday 17 October.
2015 Australian Supercross SX1 results – Rd 1 Bathurst Showgrounds
Matt MOSS (Suzuki) 35
Daniel REARDON (Yamaha)32
Gavin FAITH (Honda) 30
Kirk GIBBS (KTM)28
Kade MOSIG (Yamaha)26
Sam MARTIN (Suzuki)25
Luke STYKE (KTM)24
Lawson BOPPING (Yamaha)23
Daniel McCOY (Yamaha)22
Adam MONEA (Kawasaki)21
2015 Australian Supercross SX2 results – Rd 1 Bathurst Showgrounds
Jimmy DECOTIS (Honda) 35
Luke CLOUT (Yamaha) 32
Luke ARBON (Husqvarna) 30
Jackson RICHARDSON (Honda) 28
Geran STAPLETON (Honda) 26
Lewis WOODS (KTM) 25
Wade HUNTER (Yamaha) 24
Kyle WEBSTER (Yamaha) 23
Caleb WARD (KTM) 22
Dylan WILLS (KTM) 21
YTR Yamaha’s Mitch Evans has won his first ever supercross after a dominant display at round one of the 2015 Australian Supercross Championship, held at Bathurst Showgrounds on Saturday Night.
Evans lead home team mate Jordan Hill making it a 1-2 finish for the GYTR Yamaha team at the opening round and a great start to the 2015 SXD championship for both riders.
Evans barely put a wheel wrong all night and looked on song from the moment the bikes hit the track on Saturday afternoon. He posted good times in his qualifying sessions and then when the gates dropped in first of two motos for the night in the SXD category, Evans pinched the lead in the opening stages and never looked back to take a five second win.
Race two played out much the same with Evans assuming control on the opening lap and riding with good speed to build a gap over the rest of the field. He stayed calm in the later stages as the rutted and soft surface of the Bathurst track deteriorated and took a well-earned win.
Not only was this the first supercross for the Cairns based racer, it was also his first time riding under lights so it was a night of many firsts for Evans.
“Well, I think I like this supercross thing,” Evans laughed at the end of the night. “After the MX Nationals finished we got to work right away on getting set up for supercross and the hard work is paying off.
“A huge thanks to the team for the effort they put in and also to my family and the Richardson family back in Cairns for helping me with me riding and getting a good training track up and running.
“I liked the night time atmosphere and the track tonight was pretty tough as it was rutty in a lot of the jumps and it fell apart as the race went on so you had to watch your lines and stay focused. It was good to get the win tonight and it’s a great start for the championship with both Jordan and myself on the podium,” Evans ends.
Jordan Hill slotted his GYTR Yamaha into the number two spot on the night with two good rides, shadowing Evans for the majority of the event. Hill has been called into the GYTR Yamaha team late in the piece after 2015 MX Nationals champ, Wilson Todd, had knee surgery so it was a good start for Hill as he got accustomed to his new bike and team.
“Second is a good start to the championship and with only four rounds for SXD, it’s important to get a good result every round. I struggled a little in the first race when the track was wet from the rain and I didn’t flow and my corner speed was a bit off, but race two was better, I just needed to get a couple of sections a bit cleaner so I could really pressure Mitch.
“But, second is good and hopefully the start of better things to come as I get to know the bike and the team better,” Hill said.
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