Matt Moss goes back-to-back for Monster Energy MX Nationals MX1 Title
A spirited effort from CDR Yamaha rider Billy Mackenzie handed the Scot the overall round win in the Monster MX1 class at the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals at Coolum, but the day belonged to Team Motul Suzuki Matt Moss who claimed the overall championship win.
Moss recorded sixth, fifth and eighth placings from his three races – enough points to go back-to-back and defend his MX1 Championship crown.
KTM Motocross Race Team’s Kirk Gibbs claimed second on the day to hand him second overall in the championship, while Mackenzie’s results secured him third overall for the series.
As the top five riders from qualifying set out onto the track in the Go Pro Superpole shootout, it was Mackenzie who clocked the fastest lap time with a 1:43.817.
Teammate Jacob Wright recorded the second fastest time with title contenders Matt Moss and Gibbs in third and fourth, while a crash on the lap meant that Jake Moss (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki) had to settle for fifth.
In the opening moto of the day it was DPH Yamaha’s Kade Mosig who flew to a first corner lead, taking the holeshot from Mackenzie and red-plate holder Matt Moss.
As the dust settled over an intense opening lap, Mosig looked to take control of the race, with Mackenzie, Adam Monea (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki), Gibbs and the Moss brothers in hot pursuit.
Rising star Wright settled into eighth position before the drama really began to unfold.
On the second lap of the race, it was none other than series leader Matt Moss who went down, and as a collective gasp could be heard from all onlookers, he rejoined the race in 14th position.
Shortly after leader Mosig, who had looked impressive, was forced out of the race as his bike suffered mechanical problems and put him out under the Thor tower.
That put Mackenzie into the lead, and more importantly meant that things were falling into place for the title challenger in Gibbs.
Matt Moss was not about to give his quest for back-to-back titles up that easily and he slowly started to make his way back through the field.
After a few laps he was back into 12th position, and a lap later had pushed inside the top-10.
Mackenzie was flying up front and was well ahead of Gibbs, who had put a fair gap himself on third placed Jake Moss.
Wright in the meantime had worked his way into fourth position thanks to some smart riding and he began a short but intense battle with Jake Moss for third.
It was then that Gibbs made his charge – moving up to Mackenzie and putting plenty of pressure on the leader. Coming into lap eight, he had not only passed the CDR Yamaha rider, but accumulated a big lead.
DPH Yamaha’s other rider Sam Martin was looking solid in fifth spot before he was unfortunately forced to retire in the closing laps.
Over the next few laps Wright made his move – first passing Moss before getting past Mackenzie and making a charge for the leader.
Matt Moss continued to weave through the field, moving into sixth which is where he finished – claiming important championship points.
When the chequered flag was raised Gibbs held off a fast-finishing Wright –
Wright narrowed the gap significantly but it was too little too late as the KTM pilot claimed an important opening moto win.
Mackenzie finished third, Ben Townley (Penrite Honda Racing) finished fourth while Jake Moss rounded out the top-five.
In the second race for the day, Mackenzie again showed his starting speed grabbing the holeshot ahead of Matt Moss and Townley, while Wright was crunched in a pack heading into the opening turn and came out mid-pack.
Close behind the leaders were Lawson Bopping (SIC Racing), Monea and Mosig, with Gibbs back in eighth position.
Despite an okay start, Jake Moss went down at the end of the first lap and re-entered the race in 35th position with plenty of work ahead of him.
On lap four a mistake by Matt Moss pushed him back into fourth position while Gibbs was moving fast in the other direction, ending the lap in sixth.
Mosig made an incredible pass on Moss on the final corner heading into lap six – going wide and then opening the throttle to shoot into fourth, while a lap later Gibbs also moved past the red-plate holder into fifth.
Mosig put the opening moto disappointment behind him as he made his way past Bopping one lap later to get into third.
Up the front Mackenzie battled to hold onto his lead, and on lap eight the experience of Townley showed as he moved into first position.
From there the Kiwi held onto the lead – turning back the clock to take the race-two win, with Mackenzie finishing second and Gibbs landing a spot on the podium.
Mosig held onto fourth spot and Matt Moss clinched an important fifth place finish meaning he held a 22-point lead heading into the final race.
Monea, Wright and Bopping finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
As the final race got underway, all eyes were on Matt Moss knowing he really just had to finish to make it back-to-back titles.
At the first turn race-two winner Townley went down, and he effectively had to start the moto from the back of the field.
Heading round the track on the first lap it was Jake Moss out in front from Mackenzie and Matt Moss, with Wright in sixth and Gibbs back in seventh.
After lap two, Matt Moss had eased back to seventh – clearly content to ride cautiously and get the race finish he needed.
On lap three Wright went down and slipped back to eighth behind Matt Moss, as Gibbs moved into third ahead of Bopping in fourth.
Gibbs worked really hard throughout the moto to finish the race in second position and take second overall on the day behind a brave Mackenzie who took the overall round win.
Jake Moss finished the race in third and Monea in fourth, but it was Matt Moss’ day – finishing the race in eighth to claim back-to-back MX1 titles.
MX1 Round Results: Coolum
1) Billy Mackenzie 97 (30, 32, 35)
2) Kirk Gibbs 97 (35, 30, 32)
3) Jacob Wright 82 (32, 24, 26)
4) Ben Townley 82 (28, 35, 19)
5) Adam Monea 77 (24, 25, 28)
6) Matt Moss 74 (25, 26, 23)
7) Jake Moss 70 (26, 14, 30)
8) Jay Marmont 68 (21, 22, 25)
9) Lawson Bopping 64 (23, 23, 18)
10) Brock Winston 63 (22, 19, 22)
MX1 Overall Championship Standings:
1) Matt Moss 789
2) Kirk Gibbs 776
3) Billy Mackenzie 734
4) Adam Monea 692
5) Jacob Wright 611
6) Jake Moss 599
7) Kade Mosig 528
8) Hayden Mellross 528
9) Sam Martin 481
10) Brock Winston 478
Ward impressive at Coolum, but the title belongs to Clout
Wayne Leonard KTM rider Caleb Ward made it a clean sweep at the tenth round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals in Coolum, but it was Serco Yamaha pilot Luke Clout who finished the day taking the championship victory.
Ward won all three races on the day to finish first for the round ahead of Kawasaki rider Takeshi Katsuya (sixth, fourth and second) and Clout (third, third and ninth).
The result handed Clout the overall series win, while Hamish Harwood (CMR Redbull KTM) and Luke Arbon (SD3 Husqvarna) were left to rue missed opportunities – finishing the championship in second and third.
As the gates dropped for moto one, it was the 485 bike of Ward that grabbed the narrowest of holeshots from Full Force Racing’s Joel Evans.
Soon after the start, Penrite Honda Racing’s Josh Cachia moved up into second place, while a little further behind were title heavyweights Clout and Arbon in fourth and fifth positions.
By the end of the opening lap Clout had moved into second, with Cachia passing to reclaim that spot shortly after, while ahead of them Ward was putting some serious time on the field.
Arbon tried several times to pass Clout over the opening few laps, but the Serco rider kept his nerve to keep his main title rival at bay.
Clout soon passed Cachia which Arbon also did shortly after, while Evans tried to maintain his early race speed in fifth.
Podium contender Kale Makeham (Tunetech Racing KTM Australia) was forced to retire from the race after just four laps – effectively ending his 2014 podium assault.
Harwood – also battling for a podium finish, earned a ten-second penalty for cutting out the whoops section of the track, pushing him back a few places into 11th spot.
On lap nine Arbon passed Clout when a rider down at the far-end of the track got in the way of Clout, causing him to lose some ground and watch his rival make the pass.
As the race wound up, it was Ward who capped off the perfect moto taking the opening win for the day, while Arbon came in second ahead of Clout.
Despite his best efforts late to pinch third spot, Cachia had to settle for fourth, while Kiwi Hamish Dobbyn (CMR Redbull KTM) rounded out the top-five.
Evans capped off an impressive performance by finishing in seventh, while Harwood ended the race in eighth.
The second race for the day had a familiar look about it at the first turn, as Ward took his turn to post the holeshot from Evans.
Current red-plate holder Clout moved into third, while Arbon shot from fifth through to second by the end of the opening lap.
Two laps in Ward again showed his dominance in the sandy track conditions, moving into a comfortable lead from Arbon, who had raced well clear of Clout in third, and Katsuya in fourth.
Katsuya spent most of the race within a bike’s length of Clout, but you got the feeling that the Serco rider was just making sure he got through the moto in one piece.
Serco Yamaha rider Jay Wilson moved into fifth – important given his quest for a top-five championship finish and as the race progressed the drama fizzled out of it a little.
Ward comfortably took the race win from Arbon, Clout held onto third spot to take a 28-point series lead heading into the final race, and Katsuya posted a hard-earned fourth.
Dobbyn finished the race in fifth spot with Harwood coming home in sixth and Wilson ending the race back in seventh.
As Ward and KTM rider Riley Graham went head to head into the first turn in the final moto, the incredible happened.
Arbon got himself involved in a tussle at the start which saw him come down at the first corner and rejoin in last position.
The heartbreak was complete for Arbon half a lap in when another crash saw him in the arms of the Racesafe Medical crew and registering a DNF – effectively handing Clout the championship.
Clout moved into third by the end of the second lap with Katsuya in second, and the pair looked to reel Ward in.
Harwood moved into fifth over the first two laps, and with Arbon out he needed to gain 23 points or more (eighth or higher) to finish in second overall for the championship.
That looked certain throughout the race as he moved between fourth and sixth over the course of the 12-lap moto – eventually finishing the race in fifth.
Ward rode on to claim a comprehensive race win and make it a sweep of the three races for the round, Katsuya finished in second and Wilson moved into third by race end.
Clout eased off the pace when he realised the title was all but secure, finishing in ninth for the race, third overall for the day, and bringing home the championship crown.
MX2 Round Results: Coolum
1) Caleb Ward 105 (35, 35, 35)
2) Takeshi Katsuya 85 (25, 28, 32)
3) Luke Clout 82 (30, 30, 22)
4) Jay Wilson 76 (22, 24, 30)
5) Hamish Harwood 74 (23, 25, 26)
6) Joel Evans 70 (24, 22, 24)
7) Dylan Long 69 (21, 23, 25)
8) Riley Graham 67 (20, 19, 28)
9) Luke Arbon 64 (32, 32, DNF)
10) Nick Sutherland 54 (15, 18, 21)
MX2 Championship Standings:
1) Luke Clout 688
2) Hamish Harwood 641
3) Luke Arbon 638
4) Jay Wilson 613
5) Caleb Ward 597
6) Kale Makeham 543
7) Brenden Harrison 464
8) Errol Willis 414
9) Kayne Lamont 395
10) Joel Evans 355
Crawford sweeps Coolum but Mastin’s the MXD champ – Title decided after moto two at Coolum
Berry Sweet Husqvarna rider Egan Mastin has claimed the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals Pirelli MXD Championship after he finished second overall at the final round in Coolum.
Mastin claimed two seconds and a fifth from his three races to sew up the title in Queensland, while Husqvarna privateer Nathan Crawford finished second overall in the championship after he won all three races on the day.
KTM privateer Jack Simpson finished the championship in third, while Kyle Webster (Cully’s Yamaha) finished the round in third.
In the opening moto of the day, Crawford was pipped to the first corner by Jesse Madden (Tattoo Racing), but unfortunately for Madden he laid his bike down in the corner leaving the Husqvarna pilot to shoot out in front.
Crawford was ruthless from the outset, and quickly set about putting a gap between himself and his nearest rivals.
Behind him, privateer Aaron Tanti moved into second position while another title contender Jack Simpson (Bolton KTM Motorcycles) pushed himself into third.
Series leader Mastin came off the start in the middle of the pack and by the end of the opening lap he was sitting back in ninth.
On the second lap, Simpson moved into second, and after a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday looked as though he was out for redemption.
Ahead of him was dust – Crawford rode himself out of view and into a huge lead, showing his local fans why he is so highly rated.
Jayden Rykers (TRS Racing) had moved from sixth off the start into third position by the end of the second lap, while Mastin managed to navigate his way up into fourth.
KTM pilot Rykers cam right up to the back of Simpson and was pushing hard for second when a slight mistake slipped him back into fourth as he was passed by a calculated Mastin at the end of lap three.
Kyle Webster and Tanti were having a good battle in fifth and sixth positions, while round nine winner and fastest qualifier Wilson Todd shook off a nightmare start to move his way up to seventh.
As promising as he looked, the rest of the race was disappointing for Simpson with Mastin passing him into second on lap five, Rykers passing him into third on lap six and Webster passing him into fourth on lap nine.
From there positions remained unchanged – Crawford racing away to an emphatic first-up win ahead of Maston, Rykers and Webster.
Simpson finished in fifth, Todd in sixth and Tanti in seventh.
In the second race it was Madden once again out the front, taking the holeshot from KTM privateer Luke Abela.
Tanti was right in the mix, while Mastin settled into sixth place and Simpson found himself outside the top-10.
As they settled around the opening lap, by the time they entered lap-two it was Crawford who had moved into the lead from Tanti, Abela, Webster and Mastin.
On the second lap Rykers came down finding himself unable to avoid the bike in front of him around a turn, and he settled back in 10th, while a mistake soon after pushed Tanti right back down the field.
It was all Crawford from that point in – he put a huge lead on the rest of the field and looked an absolute treat around the Coolum circuit.
Behind him was where the championship was being settled as Mastin moved into second place, and bearing a disaster would be enough to take an unassailable lead in the title race.
As Webster worked his way into third position, Simpson moved into fourth place.
The young rider would have been cursing his starts at Coolum, as he needed to finish ahead of Mastin but was a fair way behind third, let alone second.
The rest of the race was drama free – Crawford finished strongly to make it two wins on the trot, Mastin wrapped up the championship finishing the race in second while Webster held on for third.
Simpson recorded a fourth place finish while Rykers finished the race in fifth.
With the number one plate settled, all eyes turned to see what would happen in the battle for championship podium positions when the gates dropped for the third moto.
And the word ‘drama’ would adequately describe what took place off the start line
While Crawford and Madden headed the field round the first corner, Simpson came to blows in a huge three-bike crash with Lochie Latimer and Jett Anderson.
The trio all went down, and while Anderson was not to take any further part in the race, Simpson resumed the race at the very rear of the field
As he saw his chance to take second on the podium up in flames, it was Crawford at the other end of the field taking advantage of the mishap – roaring clear and eyeing that second spot.
As he streaked ahead of the field, Crawford was followed by Webster, new champion Mastin, Todd and Rykers.
When they crossed the line heading into lap eight, Todd made the pass on Mastin to get into third position and a lap later Rykers did the same to move into fourth.
Crawford finished strongly to claim a clean-sweep of the round, with Todd ending the race in second and Webster finishing the race in third claiming third overall for the round.
Mastin’s fifth position in the final moto gave him second place overall for the round.
MXD Round Results: Coolum
1) Nathan Crawford 105 (35, 35, 35)
2) Egan Mastin 90 (32, 32, 26)
3) Kyle Webster 88 (28, 30, 30)
4) Jayden Rykers 84 (30, 26, 28)
5) Wilson Todd 82 (25, 25, 32)
6) Jack Simpson 71 (26, 28, 17)
7) Zac Small 70 (21, 24, 25)
8) Brock McLeary 65 (23, 19, 23)
9) Dylan Wills 61 (22, 15, 24)
10) Jesse Madden 61 (20, 20, 21)
Overall MXD Championship Standings: Coolum
1) Egan Mastin 603
2) Nathan Crawford 573
3) Jack Simpson 554
4) Wilson Todd 526
5) Jayden Rykers 479
6) Jed Beaton 459
7) Aaron Tanti 437
8) Kyle Webster 431
9) Brock McLeary 419
10) Zak Small 323