Matt Moss returned to his winning ways on track today, taking the Motul MX Nationals Thor MX1 class win, and putting any doubts to rest once and for all.
When the big bikes came out to play for the first time in Horsham today, spectators dotted the fence-line, all eager to witness the stacked Thor MX1 class going head to head.
After a 15-minute practice session it was straight into qualifying for the Thor MX1 riders, and with five positions in GoPro Superpole up for grabs, the 450 machines fought hard to put down their quickest lap times.
And fight they did – 2015 defending MX1 champ Kirk Gibbs (KTM) shot to the top of the times with a 1:50.459 lap time, followed by National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kade Mosig in second with a 1:50.591. Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki star Todd Waters was third fastest on track this morning, followed by CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris, and Crankt Protein Honda’s Jay Wilson who recorded the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.
With the top five determined, it was straight into the first GoPro Superpole for 2016. CDR Yamaha’s Ferris shocked crowds when he was absent when bikes took off, and after four riders had put down their hot laps, it was Mosig who snatched up the fastest time with a 1:50.340. Waters was second fastest, followed by Gibbs and Wilson.
When the Thor MX1 riders entered the Rockwell launch area ahead of moto one, the anticipation grew as thousands of spectators watched on, wondering who out of the talented pack would take the race win. When gates dropped, it was CDR Yamaha ‘s Dan Reardon who snatched up the first holeshot for 2016, followed by Mosig and Ferris who slotted in to second and third behind him.
After only one lap in the books, Ferris moved past his team mate Reardon, and demanded control of the race – Mosig after one lap was a notable absentee from the front, dropping back to 12th position.
The battle that had fan’s eyes locked on the track though, was the fight for third position between Gibbs, Waters and Moss – the trio banging bars for a podium position, leaving no stone unturned.
After lap four, the running order changed dramatically, with Reardon sliding all the way back to fourth position, allowing KTM mounted Gibbs and Suzuki mounted Waters to fly past and snatch up second and third places behind Ferris.
When the Thor MX1 class reached the half way point in moto one, Ferris’s speed was unmatchable, leading from Gibbs and Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Waters in second and third. Following closely behind in fourth was Moss who had made his way around Reardon in fifth.
As racing progressed there was an exciting battle for the race lead, with KTM’s Gibbs showing that his offseason injury was clearly no longer an issue – putting the pressure on CDR Yamaha’s Ferris and proving that race one was not yet over.
However, no one was able to catch the lightening fast CDR machine of Ferris, who eventually took the race one win ahead of Gibbs (KTM) in second, and Moss who put on an outstanding performance to finish in third.
CDR Yamaha’s Reardon wrapped up his first race for 2016 in fourth, while Metcalfe managed to hold on to fifth position despite an in race penalty. In what was a shock finish outside the top five, Suzuki’s Waters suffered a flat tyre which meant he eventually crossed the line in ninth, behind Mosig in sixth, and the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team duo Dylan Long and Wilson who concluded race one in seventh and eighth places respectively.
When race two kicked off for the Thor MX1 class, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Mosig was out for redemption, and managed to snatch up the second hole shot of the day, ahead of Gibbs and Moss who slotted in to second and third.
After one lap, spectators were hanging over the fence cheering, with the top four of Mosig, Moss, Ferris, and Gibbs were all within a bike’s length of each other, treating the thousands of fans to an epic final Thor MX1 battle.
After only three laps there was a change to the lead, with Moss managing to get by his teammate Mosig – relegating Mosig to second position, ahead of Ferris and Waters. Closely following the lead pack was Gibbs, DPH Motorsport’s Lawson Bopping, and Husqvarna mounted Metcalfe.
Unfortunately for Ferris, a small mistake in the whoop section of the track, saw the CDR Yamaha rider go down, forcing him to drop back to seventh place and on a time limit to make up valuable positions.
By the time the race had reached the half way point, riders had settled in to their respective positions, with Moss continuing to lead the way from Mosig, Waters, Gibbs, and Metcalfe who had found his way into an impressive fifth position.
By lap eight, Mosig had dropped back to third position, after Wilson’s Coolair Motul Suzuki rider Waters made his way in to second. Mosig then came under fire from a hard charging Gibbs, who also managed to make his way around Mosig and move in to third.
As the race reached it’s closing stages, fans were once again treated to an exciting battle for second position, with Gibbs putting in a charge to find the rear wheel of Waters – the pair then banged bars for half a lap, before the defending MX1 champ made the move on Waters and moved in to second position.
By the time the last lap board was shown, Moss had a commanding lead on Gibbs, and was awarded the race win accordingly when the chequered flag flew. Second in moto two was taken by Gibbs, while Suzuki’s Waters rounded out the moto two podium in third.
With a third place in race one, and the win in race two, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Moss was awarded the Thor MX1 Round one win, ahead KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Gibbs in second, while CDR Yamaha’s Ferris wrapped up round one of the Motul MX Nationals in third.
Matt Moss – Kawasaki – 1st
“I didn’t expect to come here and do this, I really just wanted to run my own race, but it proves that I’ve been training and working hard, and also that what we’re doing as a team is working. There’s been a lot of people who have doubted me after last year, and a lot of people really wrote me off, this is proof that they’re all wrong – I want to win another championship, and that’s what I’m here to do. I really can’t thank the people who have stuck by me enough. A lot of people don’t understand this sport, or don’t realise what we have to do, but to the people who have stuck by me, I’m really happy I could do this for them. My team manager Troy Carroll understands how I work, and he’s worked me out as a person pretty quickly. I’m really happy that I got to battle with Gibbsy (Kirk Gibbs) and that after everyone talking, that we are the two guys standing here on the podium at round one.”
Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) – 2nd overall
“I surprised myself to tell you the truth, I didn’t think I was actually going to be that competitive. I’m really happy. My starts weren’t too bad but I feel like I can get them better, and I wasn’t strong for the whole 30 minutes in that first moto. In the second I didn’t get through my first couple of laps the cleanest and got passed by a couple of people, but it’s all a work in progress. There’s probably five or six guys that are really on pace at the moment, so I feel like it’s going to be a great year. Maybe there were first round jitters for a couple of people, so it worked out better for some than it did for others. I’m just happy to come away tied for the lead.”
Todd Waters – Suzuki RM-Z450 – 5th overall
“Horsham was a bit of a difficult track for me – it was super hard pack, and I’m not known for that – but you know we came from bad starts and got in to third both races so overall it wasn’t too bad. I’m a bit bummed about the first race, if I hadn’t have got the flat tyre I would have been on the box today, but worse things have happened and we’ve got something to build from. I’m usually known for my consistency, so it was good to get second in Superpole and all in all it was shaping up to be a nice day, but you can’t help something like a flat tyre and we’re still pretty happy. I had a lot of fun being back at the MX Nationals, and there’s at least five really fast guys out there that are going to battle for race wins throughout the year. I’m happy with the bike and the team, so it will be exciting to see how it all plays out at the next round.”
Brett Metcalfe – Husqvarna – 6th overall
“I learnt a lot about where we need to improve, and coming in to this event with 0 to 1 day of testing behind me, I think the outcome was pretty damn good. I am disappointed with the results, but that’s just because I expect a lot out of myself. We just need to work on a few things to get them up to speed, but other than that, the SD3 Husqvarna team had a great day. I was close to running up in the lead pack, but unfortunately I crashed in both motos and if it wasn’t for those mistakes, the results would have been a bit better. I think Luke on the 250 did a great job and led laps in both motos, and I think we can both go home and learn a lot from this round one and then move forward onto round two and make some progress so we can come out a little stronger. Horsham was technical; very slippery and a lot of the down ramps were getting big square edged bumps and ruts. So the track was getting tricky for a high-speed place. Everybody had to be on their A game and really watch it.”
Jesse Dobson (KTM 450 SX-F) – 7th overall
“On paper my day doesn’t look that great but with the circumstances we had with the late call up and a couple of crashes I had from putting myself in bad situations, I was right in the mix. I just need to get a good start. We’re all so close out there at the moment that if I put myself in a good place, it will be sweet and I’ll be right up the front pushing for that podium. I wasn’t happy with the result today but I was happy with the fact that, in a short amount of time we were able to show the speed and fitness to be up front and be a top guy. I get on with the team really well – I have since Supercross. Everything falls into place like clockwork; they really know what they’re doing. It makes it a lot easier myself and I can’t thank the whole team enough for that.”
Dylan Long – Honda CRF450R – 8th overall
“We’re very happy with the result that we got today. We are a new team, and we’re on a new bike, so for both Jay and myself to finish inside the top ten especially with so much talent in our class, it’s a pretty good starting point for the team. There are a lot of fast guys out there, but definitely if I can get my starts right, I think we can improve on today’s result when we go racing again in two weeks at Appin. We are all pretty much running the same times, so the starts really are key this year. As a team we’re going to work on a few things in the next two weeks, and then see what we can do at round two.”
Jay Wilson – Honda CRF450R – 10th overall
“After everything that happened at Horsham for myself personally in 2015, I was really glad to just get through the day and put round one behind me. I was quite happy to see that I had the speed to run inside the top five during qualifying this morning, so even though on paper it wasn’t the result that I wanted, we are taking a lot of positives out of round one. The best thing about today was that the CRF450 worked really well – I had a lot of trust in the bike and that definitely eased the nerves a lot. We’re going to make a few changes in the next two weeks, and try and improve on the final result at round two.”
The Motul MX Nationals will now begin preparations for round two of the championship, being held at Appin in New South Wales on April 17, 2016.
Thor MX1 round one results and championship standings
1) Matt Moss – 65 points
2) Kirk Gibbs – 64 points
3) Dean Ferris – 60 points
4) Kade Mosig – 56 points
5) Todd Waters – 54 points
6) Brett Metcalfe – 52 points
7) Daniel Reardon – 50 points
8) Dylan Long – 48 points
9) Jesse Dobson – 44 points
10) Jay Wilson – 43 points
KTM’s Ward takes the round one Motul MX2 win in Horsham
KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Caleb Ward showcased his undeniable talent in the Motul MX2 class today, taking the Motul MX Nationals round one win at Horsham, in front of thousands of spectators.
The Motul MX2 class were the first bikes to hit the track in Horsham this morning for their 25-minute practice and qualifying sessions, and when the green flag waived, signalling the commencement of qualifying, the front runners for the 2016 season were quickly determined.
At the conclusion of the 15-minute qualifying session DPH Motorsport’s Jed Beaton was awarded first gate pick in the Motul MX2 class, with a quick lap time of 1:56.773, ahead of Factory KTM’s newest recruit Ward, followed by National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jake Moss who was handed third pick of the grid this morning.
When race one for the Motul MX2 class kicked off, SD3 Husqvarna’s Luke Arbon took the first holeshot of 2016, and after one lap it was no surprise to see Davey Motorsport’s Jayden Rykers and KTM’s Ward following Arbon closely behind in second and third places.
With 30 minutes to get the job done, Arbon began to separate himself from the group, while Rykers and Ward kept the fans guessing, going head to head for second position.
However, it wasn’t long before the race lead changed, with Ward shortly snatching away the race lead from Arbon, followed by Rykers in third, and Moss who found his way in to fourth.
By the half way mark, the running order saw Factory KTM’s Ward maintaining a healthy lead, followed by Rykers, Arbon, Moss, and Husqvarna mounted Nathan Crawford who rounded out the top five. Kyle Webster (CRF Honda Racing) managed to hold down sixth position, ahead of DPH Motorsport’s Beaton in seventh, whilst Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Dylan Wills maintained eighth place.
It was on lap nine that Moss proved that he’s back in business for 2016, making the pass on Arbon and slotting in to third position, relegating Arbon to fourth.
As the first race for the Motul MX2 class reached it’s closing stages, the battle for fourth between Arbon and Crawford kept fans on the edge of their seats – the pair going head to head for more than five laps.
But when the chequered flag flew it was Ward who crossed the line with the first Motul MX Nationals victory for 2016, taking a comfortable win ahead of National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Moss who put on an outstanding comeback performance to finish in second, while Crawford managed to get around both Arbon and Rykers to take the final Motul MX2 podium position (third).
When the Motul MX2 class lined up again after lunch, thousands had streamed through the gates at the Horsham venue, setting the scene for what was an epic final race.
It was Arbon’s SD3 Husqvarna machine was once again the bike into turn one first, and after one lap, the South Australian led from fellow Husqvarna rider Crawford, followed by Aaron Tanti.
However, it took no time for Moss to make his way to the front of the pack – by lap three the Kawasaki rider had slotted in to third position, forcing Tanti to drop positions.
With the Husqvarna mounted pair of Arbon and Crawford out in front, the focus then shifted to the exciting battle emerging for third position – despite Moss making his presence known, he was forced to fight off the hard charging Wilson Todd (Serco Yamaha) whilst DPH’s Beaton was also added to the mix.
By the time race two for the Motul MX2 class reached the half way point, Arbon continued to maintain his lead from Crawford in second, while Serco’s Todd and DPH Motorsport’s Beaton had both managed to make the pass on Moss, relegating the National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki rider to fifth.
It was Serco’s Todd however, who caught the attention of the spectators, shooting up in to second position by lap seven, and beginning to apply the pressure on race leader Arbon. And it was only a matter of laps before the youngster took control of race two, snatching the race lead from Arbon with time to spare, and looking more and more comfortable out in front.
With three minutes remaining, Serco Yamaha’s Todd looked more in charge than ever – leaving the likes of Arbon, Crawford and Beaton to battle for the final podium positions behind him.
When the chequered flag flew Todd showed that despite being an MX2 rookie, that the pace was no problem, taking the moto two race win ahead of Beaton in second, and Crawford in third.
Both Moss and Ward wrapped up the final race of the day in fourth and fifth places respectively.
When points were tallied however, Ward’s fifth place in the final race was all that was required for the overall win, taking the Motul MX2 Round one win ahead of Crawford in second and Moss who rounded out the round one podium in third.
Caleb Ward – KTM Motocross Racing Team – Motul MX2 Round One Winner
“I’m actually a bit surprised to be standing on the podium after my result in the last one – I got a terrible start in the second race and that made my job hard, but I’m really stoked to be standing here on the podium at round one that’s for sure. All of the guys are riding very well, and you can already tell it’s going to be a competitive year. I might have the red plate but it’s going to be some tough racing this season that’s for sure. I can’t thank my team, my sponsors and my mechanic enough – it feels nice to reward them with the win after all the hard work they’ve put in.”
Nathan Crawford – Husqvarna – 2nd overall
“There’s only one point separating all three of us the championship, so that’s a pretty good way to start the season. I felt really good this morning even before practice, didn’t qualify too well but that doesn’t mean too much. First moto I think I made a few mistakes and went back to sixth, and then charged the whole way. So it was good that I could after only being back on the bike for a month and a half. In the second moto I just wanted to ride smart and I got third again, now I just can’t wait till the second round to build off what we’ve already done.”
Luke Arbon – Husqvarna – 6th overall
“We have a lot more positives than negatives today. I just need to work on my race intensity and I suppose that will come as the races unfold. My bike is working awesome, and I can’t complain about two holeshots. The track didn’t suit me at all. It was so slippery and sketchy and even though I led pretty much half of both races, in both cases I started to ride a little bit …carefully and dropped back. So it was definitely good to get the first one out of the way and take some good points towards the championship. We’ll take that and move on.”
Jayden Rykers (KTM 250 SX) 7th overall
“I’m pretty happy with seventh overall after my second moto result. In the second one I just didn’t get the start I got in the first one, and I was battling with Caleb Ward and Hamish Harwood and I passed Caleb and went around Harwood and I washed my front end and that was that. For sure I know I am at the level that the leaders are at, to win races and fight for championships. It’s just a matter of putting it all together, and being consistent. I know my speed is there. The intensity is higher in MX2 and there are more people at the same speed, so it’s hard to play catch up if you’re back a little bit.”
Motul MX2 round one results and championship standings
1) Caleb Ward – 61 points
2) Nathan Crawford – 60 points
3) Jake Moss – 60 points
4) Wilson Todd – 58 points
5) Jed Beaton – 57 points
6) Luke Arbon – 50 points
7) Jayden Rykers – 49 points
8) Kale Makeham – 44 points
9) Hamish Harwood – 43 points
10) Kyle Webster – 41 points
Tierney goes undefeated in MXD at round one of the Motul MX Nationals
Husqvarna mounted had a smile from ear to ear at the conclusion of racing today, going undefeated in the Pirelli MXD class at round one of the Motul MX Nationals in Horsham, Victoria.
The Pirelli MXD Class were treated to a well broken in Horsham circuit when they headed out for their practice and qualifying session this morning, as the host venue for began to fill with spectators.
Once qualifying had kicked off, it was anyone’s guess as to which up and coming youngster would top the times, but it was Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Evans who showcased his lightening fast speed – posting a 1:56.614 lap time, ahead of SD3 Husqvarna’s Kaleb Barham, followed by fellow Husqvarna rider Connor Tierney who wrapped up qualifying with third gate pick.
When riders left the Rockwell Launch area, and gates dropped for the first time in the Pirelli MXD class, it was Tierney and Barham who jumped off the grid and began to put distance between themselves and the other competitors.
But after two laps were in the books, it was Tierney who stomped his authority on the Pirelli MXD class, moving into the early race lead ahead of Barham in second, while Zak Small and Copper Pozniak (KTM) slotted into third and fourth places.
By the half way point in the 20-minute moto, the running order saw Tierney maintain his lead on the field, followed by Barham, Small, Pozniak and Billy Harth. Justin Hart held down sixth position, while Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Wade Kirkland slotted in to seventh.
As moto one reached it’s closing stages, the only real change to the race order was Pozniak and Hill who had both got past the likes of Small to slot in to third and fourth places behind Tierney and Barham – both were untouchable in first and second positions.
When the last lap board was shown, Tierney was well set up to take his first race win of 2016. And when he crossed the line, the Husqvarna rider had plenty of reason to celebrate, taking the moto one victory ahead of Barham, while Pozniak launched over the finish line in third, in what was his first outing as a senior rider.
In fourth position was Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Jordan Hill, followed by Small, who despite his fantastic start concluded race one in fifth.
When race two kicked off for the Pirelli MXD class, Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Wade Kirkland got to a flying started and settled in to the race lead ahead of race one winner Tierney in second, and Barham in third.
However, by lap two, Kirkland was relegated to second position when Husqvarna mounted Tierney showed that he wasn’t prepared to be beaten – moving in to the race lead and beginning to check out on the field.
With Tierney and Kirkland out in front, the battle for third began to heat up on track, with Pozniak, Barham and Small banging bars for the final podium position. But it was the youngster Pozniak who managed to hold off his competitors, slotting in to third position behind the two front runners Tierney and Kirkland.
By the time final Pirelli MXD moto reached the half way point, Tierney continued to lead from Kirkland, followed by Pozniak in third and Small in fourth.
Barham managed to hold down fifth position, followed by Luke Abela and Hart in sixth and seventh places respectively.
However, when the chequered flag flew, it was Husqvarna’s Tierney who went two from two, taking the final moto win from Kirkland who finished second, while Pozniak wrapped up the final moto for the day in third.
With two race wins to his name, Husqvarna’s Tierney went undefeated to take the round one Pirelli MXD win, followed by young gun Pozniak (KTM) who concluded round one in second, while Barham wrapped up the season opener in third.
Connor Tierney – Husqvarna – Pirelli MXD Round One Winner
“I’m pumped to be on the podium, you can’t do much better than winning both motos. The bike handled so well out there, and I really need to give a big shout out to Husqvarna and Ryan Marmont and his wife. They have all taken me under their wing and it’s really paying off.I’m pumped to be going to round two at Appin as the championship leader, and I really couldn’t be happier to get round one done and finish on the podium.”
Cooper Pozniak (KTM 250 SX-F)
“It’s awesome. I’m so pumped that I got second overall. I went there aiming for top 10 overall and came second. The bike’s working really good and I’ve finally got the suspension how I like it. It’s awesome! The level is so much different compared to what I’m used to. The tracks are just so much rougher and ruttier – it’s good! And there are a lot more faster boys in this class.”
Kaleb Barham 3rd overall
“I had to ride really smart today, it was probably one of the hardest rides I’ve ever done. With my injury, as soon as I push it feels like I’m going to go over the bars. So to get the third overall was good fun. In the first race I pulled a nice holeshot until Tierney went around me on the first lap. I hung it out the first few laps, but then I knew what I had to do, I had to ride smart, let him ride his race and I’d ride mine. I was second in that one, then the second moto was pretty brutal out there. I pulled another holeshot, did what I had to do and rode back to fifth and ended up third overall. Happy days.”
Wade Kirkland (KTM 250 SX-F) – 4th overall
It was pretty solid for my first MXD race, I just missed out on a podium by a point. The first moto I got closed in and had a bad start, then crashed in the first turn so I ended up second last or something and a bit of arm pump kicked in, so I cruised around and kept on riding laps. The second one was good, I got the holeshot, led the pack for a couple of laps, fell back to second and then finished it strong. It’s a pretty quick class, there’s like about 10 fast riders, so I’ll have to keep being consistent. But I enjoyed it.”
Zak Small – Husqvarna – 5th overall
“Fifth and a fourth today is a good start to the season, and we can build on that. I’m pretty happy with that, it’s a good base and something to work on. I got two really good starts and no crashes so I just rode my own races. I pumped up a little bit in the first race but that was to be expected I guess. Other than that I felt good, the bike was good and I’m looking forward to round two.”
Pirelli MXD round one results and championship standings
1) Connor Tierney – 70 points
2) Cooper Pozniak – 60 points
3) Kaleb Barham – 58 points
4) Wade Kirkland – 57 points
5) Zak Small – 54 points
6) Justin Hart – 46 points
7) Tyler McCoy – 39 points
8) Lochie Latimer – 39 points
9) Jordan Hill – 38 points
10) Hugh McKay – 37 points
Yamaha 85cc Cup
Juniors were treated to the opportunity to race alongside Australia’s best on the weekend, when the first round of the Motul MX Nationals hosted upcoming stars in the Yamaha 85cc Cup yesterday.
From the minute the 85cc machines hit the track, the motocross youngsters had the chance to put down their fastest lap times during qualifying, and at the conclusion of their morning session it was John Bova (KTM) who was three seconds faster than any other rider on track with a 2:10.038, followed by Husqvarna’s Bailey Malkiewicz, and Zack Wright (KTM) who posted the second and third quickest times respectively.
When racing kicked off for the Yamaha 85cc Cup class, riders were treated to a venue packed with motocross fans, and the youngsters took full advantage – putting on a show in their first race of the day.
It was Malkiewicz who impressed in race one, leading from the minute the gate dropped to when the chequered flag flew. Fastest qualifier Bova took second on his KTM machine, ahead of Reid Taylor, and Tyler Darby who wrapped up race one in third and fourth places respectively.
Wright, Ryan Morgan, Blake Hollis, Riley Findlay, Oliver Marchand and Domonic White completed the top ten standings in the Yamaha 85cc Cup at the conclusion of race one.
In race two the Yamaha 85cc Cup class were forced to contend with rough and tough track conditions, however the youngsters took to the challenge like true professionals, and put on one final performance at the Horsham venue.
Despite Bova leading for a total of four laps, Malkiewicz (Husqvarna) was unstoppable once again – moving in to the race lead on lap five, a lead which he did not relinquish.
Unfortunately, a small mistake by Bova in the closing stages of the moto, meant that KTM mounted Darby was able to move in to second, relegating Bova to third position with only a few laps remaining.
By the time the chequered flag flew, Malkiewicz took a comfortable race two 85cc Cup win ahead of Darby, and Bova who finished in second and third places respectively.
With two race wins to his name, Malkiewicz was more than deserving of the overall Motul MX Nationals round one victory, taking the top step of the podium, followed by Bova and Darby who both filled the final positions on the Yamaha 85cc Cup box, in second and third places.
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