Murray Bridge MX Nationals Recap with Todd Jarratt
Round four of the MX Nationals at Murray Bridge produced some close racing, huge surprises and even greater upsets! There was not a cloud in the sky all weekend, and the perfect weather only added to the sensational job the South Coast Motorcycle Club did in preparing both the track and facilities for the furthest west stop of the 2015 series!
In the Monster Energy MX1 class, Adam Monea qualified fastest, collecting the GoPro super pole cheque and the five championship points that come along with it, thanks to a blistering 1.40.092 second lap time. Over two seconds in arrears was Lawson Bopping who held the runner up qualifying spot ahead of series points leader Kirk Gibbs, Cody Cooper and Kade Mosig.
When the gates dropped for moto one it was Gibbs who grabbed the holeshot, ahead of CDR Yamaha duo Daniel Reardon and Kade Mosig. Reardon and Gibbs swapped the lead twice on the opening lap, but it was series leader who was able to maintain his composure and hold onto first position heading into lap two.
The Yamaha duo of Reardon and Mosig then trailed Gibbs for the better half of the 30-minute moto, where in the late stages Mosig made a pass on his teammate and set after Gibbs. The Victorian ran out of time to move around Gibbs though, finishing in the runner up spot, six seconds ahead of teammate Reardon who fell off the pace of the leaders in the closing laps.
Adam Monea spent the entire moto fighting his way through the field to finish in fourth, ahead of round three winner Luke Styke, privateer Dylan Long and Kiwi veteran Cody Cooper. Rounding out the top ten were Lawson Bopping, Jesse Dobson and single round entrant James Booth-Elliot.
What was impressive in this moto, was the fact that the top four finishers – Gibbs, Mosig, Reardon and Monea’s best lap times were all separated by only 0.13 of a second, leaving the door open for a very exciting moto two!
Late in the afternoon, on a rough and deteriorating Murray Bridge circuit, it was NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Monea who took control of the race, after hunting down and passing MXStore holeshot winner and early leader Gibbs. Again, Gibbs was stalked for the greater part of the moto, but on a weekend that may have seen the turning point in Monea’s season, there was no stopping the fastest qualifier of the day. Upon gaining the lead, Monea slowly extended his lead on Gibbs, who finished four seconds back ahead of a distant third placed Dan Reardon.
Fourth place was taken up by DPH Motorsports rider Lawson Bopping, ahead of Jesse Dobson and Kade Mosig. Mosig was initially running inside of the top five, and battling for fourth spot with Bopping before going down at the top end of the course and falling outside. Luke Styke finished in a lonely seventh ahead of Dylan Long, John Phillips and Aaron Tanti, who rounded out the top ten.
Similarly to moto one, Gibbs, Mosig, Reardon and Monea were steps ahead of the rest of the field in terms of lap speed, being the only riders to cut down into the 1 minute 47 second lap times, with the next fastest rider being Bopping who only just scraped into the 1 minute 48 second times.
Leaving Murray Bridge, Kirk Gibbs now holds a 39 point lead over his KTM teammate Luke Styke, who sits eight markers ahead of Kawasaki’s Adam Monea.
In the Motul MX2 class it was a day of chaos, confusion and championship craziness. Series points leader Luke Clout went straight out in qualifying and logged the fastest time in the class only two laps into the 15-minute timed session, but only one lap later had a high speed crash and was forced off the track with an injured thumb. His Serco Yamaha teammate also took a huge digger in the infamous Murray Bridge whoop section and the pair were left racing wounded all day in attempts to grasp even the smallest amount of championship points.
In the first moto of the day KTM Racing Team’s prodigy Caleb Ward grabbed the all important holeshot on his return to MX Nationals racing and managed to hold on to the lead for the full 30 minutes, collecting his first race win of the season. 2014 Murray Bridge round winner Luke Arbon, achieved his best race result of the year so far finishing a very close second to Ward. Takeshi Katsuya finished in third ahead of Jay Wilson, Geran Stapleton, Nathan Crawford, Kyle Webster and Wade Hunter.
Rounding out the top ten were the wounded Serco Yamaha teammates Jed Beaton and Luke Clout, who both had to not only deal with with their injuries, but also fight their way through the field during the opening moto of the day as a result of poor starts. A notable mention must go to Proformance Kawasaki’s Dylan Leary, who after being over half a lap down to second last off the start due to a first turn pile up was able to charge on and fight his way through the field to 25th and whilst doing so set the fourth fastest lap of the moto.
In race two, it was privateer and part time off road racer Riley Graham who grabbed the holeshot and lead for the opening three laps of the moto before Luke Arbon made his way around for the lead. It wasn’t long though before race one winner Caleb Ward negotiated his way through the top five and passed Arbon for the lead, to eventually collect his second chequered flag of the day, returning to MX Nationals racing in perfect style. Arbon finished just three seconds back in the runner up spot, ahead of JBC Motorsports’ hard charging Wade Hunter.
Kyle Webster crossed the line just behind Hunter in fourth, recording his career best MX2 result. Takeshi Katsuya finished fifth ahead of Dean Porter, Jay Wilson, Riley Graham, Luke Clout and Geran Stapleton. Jay Wilson and Jed Beaton who entered the round second and third in points respectively, were both caught up in a first turn crash, which saw Wilson battle his way back to seventh. Unfortunately for Beaton though, his previously mentioned injury was aggravated, forcing him to card a DNF and with that fall to fourth in the series points, 41 markers behind leader and teammate Luke Clout.
In the Pirelli MXD class, series points leader and GYTR Yamaha’s Wilson Todd qualified fastest, over a second ahead of any other rider in the field. What was interesting about Todd’s qualifying win though, was that when we finally thought ‘Wils’ was back to 100% health entering the round, it was confirmed that he had injured his wrist in a state title race just a week prior to the event and was again going to have to battle through serious pain to keep his championship hopes alive.
In moto one, Jesse Madden managed his third straight MXStore holeshot since his inclusion to the Raceline Pirelli Suzuki team. He was quickly run off the track entering the second turn though and forced outside of the top ten as KTM’s Wayde Carter inherited the lead from Craig Anderson Husqvarna’s Connor Tierney and number one qualifier Wilson Todd. As the clock clicked past the mid way point in the 20 minute moto, Todd made his way around both Tierney and Carter for the race lead. While Tierney stuck to the leader’s rear wheel like a box trailer, Carter dropped quickly, falling into the clutches of Jordan Hill and Jayden Rykers, who both eventually made their way around the Victorian. When the chequered flag fell Todd held on for the race win by only 0.16 seconds from Tierney who mounted a late race charge and gave the points leader all he could handle. Jordan Hill finished in third, with Jayden Rykers fourth, Wayde Carter fifth, Jesse Madden sixth, Zak Small seventh, Bailey Coxon eighth, Seigah Ward ninth and Lachlan Davis in tenth.
When it was time for moto two, Madden continued his holeshot streak, and led early on from Tierney, Carter, Todd and Rykers. Around half way through the moto Tierney made his way into the lead and soon after, Wilson Todd attempted to make a move inside the top three and went down in a big way, eventually remounting but finishing a lap down in 27th. Out front though Tierney continued unchallenged to take his first ever MX Nationals race win, and with that the round overall. Rykers finished in second, making it two Western Australian’s leading the field home. Jesse Madden held on for third ahead of Hill, Carter, Small, Coxon, Ryan Shadbolt, Jonte Reynders and Lachlan Holroyd.
In the Swann Insurance Vets 40+ years class, Cameron Taylor dominated the round’s proceedings qualifying fastest and winning both moto’s convincingly over Troy Dorron and Mike Reefman to put another national championship trophy on the mantle piece at home. Daniel Phillips finished in fourth overall ahead of Carl Woulfe, Chris Keegan, Brent Scammell, John Platt, David Day, Peter Axsentieff, Duncan Reid, Glynn Humphreys and Paul Muscat.
MX Nationals racing will continue in two weeks time at Coolum, QLD for round five of the series!
On a side note, please keep young guns Joel Evans, Dylan Gosling and Ryan Boyd in your thoughts as these three riders have all suffered from big crashes and some scary injuries over the last week and need all the support possible to get through these tough times.
Until next time,
Stay safe and ride hard!