Brett Metcalfe takes first ever Motul MX Nationals win
CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris showed that consistency is the key to success, taking the Thor MX1 overall win at Round 2 of the Motul MX Nationals at Appin in New South Wales today.
There was excitement in the air from the minute the Thor MX1 engines roared back to life this morning, and with National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Matt Moss entering the round with the championship lead, the battles were on.
When qualifying got underway this morning, much like at round one, no one was able to separate the talent packed class, and after only two laps of qualifying were in the books, Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Todd Waters shot to the top of the times (1:41.461), while KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs held down second position with a time of 1:42.286. Thor MX1 red plate holder Moss also finished within the top three, with a 1:42.671 qualifying time.
At the conclusion of qualifying, the top five riders Waters, Gibbs, Moss, CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris and DPH Motorsport’s Lawson Bopping, did exactly what was required to progress through to GoPro Superpole. And when each rider had put down their fastest laps, it was Suzuki mounted Waters who took the GoPro Superpole victory with a lightening fast lap time of 1:40.295.
When gates dropped on moto one for the Thor MX1 class, thousands of spectators had flooded in to the venue, and it was CDR Yamaha’s Ferris who flew through the first turn, to snatch up the holeshot ahead of Waters, Kawasaki pair Moss and Mosig, Gibbs, as well as Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Jay Wilson.
By lap two, the top three riders were all within three quarters of a second of each other -Ferris, Waters and Moss treating spectators to an epic battle for the race lead. And by halfway through lap three, Waters took control of moto one and moved in to the race lead.
With Waters out in front and with a 3.2 second gap on the field, the focus then shifted to Gibbs, Ferris, Moss, and Mosig who were all going bar to bar for the remaining podium positions.
Despite Water’s having a healthy lead, KTM’s Gibbs began to close in on the Suzuki machine – Gibbs rising to the occasion, and proving that the defending champ won’t be going down without a fight.
By the half way mark in the moto, Waters managed to hold on to the race lead, ahead of Gibbs, Ferris, Moss and Mosig, while SD3 Husqvarna’s Brett Metcalfe fought to move in to sixth position, followed by CDR Yamaha’s Dan Reardon in seventh, and Wilson in eighth.
By lap nine, Gibbs and Ferris were within a bike’s length of each other, leaving spectators wondering who would be able to edge out the other, and despite Ferris making the pass and moving in to second for a short period of time, Gibbs fought back to reclaim second spot.
However, the race was well and truly far from over. With Gibbs on a charge, the 2015 champ lived up to his ‘diesel’ engine name, and snatched the lead away from Suzuki mounted Waters, leaving Ferris and Water’s to battle for second behind him.
And battle they did – by the time the last lap board was shown, Gibbs appeared to be ready for victory, while Ferris managed to get by Waters relegating him to third, followed by SD3’s Metcalfe who was having an incredible ride in fourth position.
But when the chequered flag flew, it was CDR Yamaha’s Ferris who put in one last fight to get the job done, making a last minute pass on Gibbs to cross the finish line victorious, while Gibbs held on to finish second, ahead of Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Waters who wrapped up moto one in third.
When gates dropped for the second time for the Thor MX1 class, Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Dylan Long looked like he was about to snag the holeshot, but it was red plate holder Moss who was through turn one first, shooting in to the early race lead.
With one lap in the books the top ten was flooded with talent, Moss continuing to lead from SD3 Husqvarna rider Metcalfe, while CDR Yamaha’s Ferris once again was at the front of the pack in third position.
By lap four, Moss looked super comfortable out in front, while Metcalfe continued to impress in second place, ahead of KTM Motocross Racing Teams Gibbs who had gotten by Ferris to move in to third. Ferris then continued to drop positions, with Water’s also managing to get by the CDR rider, and Gibbs to move in to an impressive third place behind Metcalfe.
It was in lap seven though, that spectators were treated to the sight they had been waiting for, with Metcalfe making the move on red plate holder Moss, and taking on the moto two race lead. And with that Metcalfe was gone – pulling more than a 3.7 second gap on Moss after only one lap.
By the halfway point in moto two, riders had settled into their respective positions, with Metcalfe leading from Moss, Waters, Gibbs, Ferris, and Reardon.
As moto two reached its final stages, there was little change to the running order, however it was a race to forget for Kawasaki’s Moss who crashed with only a few laps to go, handing second position to Waters, while Gibbs and Ferris also made up a position due to Moss’s misfortune.
Despite the top four riders bunching up and battling all the way to the finish line, it was a fairy tale ending for Husqvarna mounted Metcalfe, who took his first ever MX Nationals moto victory, ahead of Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Waters, while Ferris put in a late charge to finish in third place ahead of Gibbs.
When results from both motos were combined, Metcalfe was just two points shy of the round win, CDR Yamaha’s Ferris doing all that was required to take the red plate and the round two victory at Appin, ahead of Metcalfe who wrapped up round two in second position, while Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Waters rounded out the top three.
“I’m stoked to get the round win today, the plan was always just to get through the first round, but honestly I was pretty disappointed not to get the win in Horsham to be honest,” he said.
“It’s nice to get the overall win here at Appin, but I’ve got to give a lot of respect to my competitors, everyone is riding very well and it’s great to be back at the MX Nationals. I’m having so much fun riding with the CDR Yamaha team, so it’s nice to give those guys a good result.
“Everyone is fast at the moment, and when you’ve got the red plate you’ve always got a target on your back, but I’ll just keep doing my best to ride well – the first three rounds are critical so we want to be putting ourselves in the best position possible.”
Caleb Ward takes second consecutive Motul MX2 round win at Appin
KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Caleb Ward proved to his competitors that they’re going to have to chase him down if they want to stop him running away with the 2016 Motul MX2 championship, taking his second consecutive round win at Round 2 of the Motul MX Nationals in Appin, New South Wales.
With one round up their sleeves, the Motul MX2 class were the first bikes to hit the track at Appin this morning, breaking in the well prepared circuit throughout a 15-minute qualifying session.
And when the session had wrapped up, it was no surprise to see Serco Yamaha’s Wilson Todd at the top of the time sheets with a 1:47.208 qualifying lap, ahead of red plate holder Ward (KTM Motocross Racing Team). Proformance Racing Team’s Kale Makeham managed to qualify in third position, while National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jake Moss wrapped up the session with fourth pick of the grid.
When bikes lined up for moto one, there were 40 riders ready to go racing in the Motul MX2 class, all vying for a moto one victory. When gates dropped, Serco Yamaha’s Todd secured the hole shot, however it wasn’t long before Moss found his way on to the number 2 machine’s rear wheel.
With two laps in the books, Todd began to check out on the Motul MX2 field, and the attention then shifted to the emerging battle for third, fourth and fifth positions, with Kyle Webster, KTM mounted Jayden Rykers, and SD3 Husqvarna’s Luke Arbon all going toe to toe.
After five laps, Todd looked completely at home out in front, while Moss began to feel the pressure from Webster for second position. Red plate holder Ward, who was all the way back in sixth place, continued to pick off the positions and fight through the pack after a poor start.
By lap eight, Moss demanded control of the Motul MX2 race, making up significant time and snatching away the lead, relegating Serco Yamaha’s Todd to second position.
By the halfway mark in moto one, the running order saw Moss out in front, followed by Todd, Rykers, Ward, and Arbon to round out the top five. Serco Yamaha’s Wade Hunter managed to hold down sixth position, followed by DPH Motorsport’s Jed Beaton and third fastest qualifier Makeham.
With ten minutes to go, there was a change in positions once again, with Ward shocking the crowd by picking off multiple places to make his way in to second, Rykers also putting in an impressive ride to hold down third – while Todd slipped back to fourth, ahead of Husqvarna mounted Arbon.
Despite Moss’s every effort to hold on to the lead, with 12 laps in the books Ward looked simply unstoppable, making the pass and taking the top spot, forcing Moss to drop back to second place.
And when the chequered flag flew on moto one for the Motul MX2 class, KTM’s Ward celebrated his victory with a fist pump, while National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Moss crossed the line in second, followed by youngster Rykers who held on for an impressive finish in third.
When the final race of the day for the Motul MX2 class got underway, thousands of spectators watched on, as riders prepared to go head to head for one final time at round two. And when gates had dropped, it was Moss who edged out his competitors to grab the holeshot, and moved in to the early race lead ahead of Ward, Makeham, Arbon and Crawford.
A notable absentee from the front of the pack was Serco Yamaha’s Todd, who got to a delayed start after crashing off the straight, and was forced to pull in to the mechanics are to straighten out his bike.
By the time the race had reached lap four, Ward had found his way in to the lead position and was two seconds a lap quicker than anyone else on the track. Kawasaki mounted Moss then dropped all the way back to 14th position after crashing in the ski jump section of the track.
With Moss absent from the front, the door was left open for Makeham to slot in to an impressive second place, followed by Husqvarna’s Nathan Crawford and Raceline Pirelli KTM rider Dylan Wills who has having his best ride so far this year in fourth position.
However, on lap seven, no one could have predicted what happened next, with Ward making a crucial mistake in a rut, causing him to go down, and forcing him to drop back to fourth place, allowing the likes of Makeham, Crawford and Arbon to move past in to the top three spots.
With four minutes left on the clock in the 20-minute moto, the newly positioned top five was made up by Makeham, Crawford, Arbon, Ward, and Wills. But the race was still far from over. When the last lap board was shown, Ward was able to get by the likes of Arbon to move in to third place with one lap to go.
But it was Makeham who broke through to take the moto two Motul MX2 victory at the conclusion of the race, from Crawford who wrapped up the final moto in second, while Ward fought back despite crashing earlier to secure third position.
When the points were tallied from both motos today, Ward was once again the round victor for the second time this year, while Proformance Racing Team’s Makeham collected second for the round, ahead of SD3 Husqvarna’s Arbon who finished third.
Caleb Ward – KTM Motocross Racing Team – Motul MX2 Round 2 Winner
“It was actually looking like it was going to be a perfect day for me – I won the first moto, and then I was leading in the second race and I went in to a rut that had caved in and I had already committed, and I ended up going down, but we fought back and I’m stoked to be standing on the top step,” he said.
“Everyone was riding very well today, and the track was pretty crazy out there towards the end so it was good to get through with the help of KTM, and keep the red plate.
“I can’t thank the team enough, this time last year I was in a completely different position, so it’s awesome to be able to leave Appin with the round win and the championship lead, I’m stoked.”
Motul MX2 round two results
1) Caleb Ward – 65 points
2) Kale Makeham – 60 points
3) Luke Arbon – 56 points
4) Nathan Crawford – 55 points
5) Jayden Rykers – 52 points
6) Wade Hunter – 47 points
7) Jake Moss – 47 points
8) Jed Beaton – 45 points
9) Wilson Todd – 44 points
10) Richie Evans – 39 points
Motul MX2 Championship Standings
1) Caleb Ward – 126 points
2) Nathan Crawford – 115 points
3) Jake Moss – 107 points
4) Luke Arbon – 106 points
5) Kale Makeham – 104 points
6) Jed Beaton – 102 points
7) Wilson Todd – 102 points
8) Jayden Rykers – 101 points
9) Wade Hunter – 84 points
10) Hamish Harwood – 81 points
The Motul MX Nationals will now begin preparations for round three of the championship, being held at Broadford in Victoria on May 1, 2016.
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