—  MX Nationals Round 1 – Raymond Terrace
—  Report by Scotty McAdam

Round 1 of the Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship smashed into Raymond Terrace to begin the 2013 MX season in earnest.

A format change to include points awarded for the fastest qualifier (The Go Pro Super Pole – Riders gets championship points for this and a $500 cheque) saw KTM’s Todd Waters take those initial spoils before backing his practice form up with a double-win. Waters_Line_300x250p

Waters returned to the KTM team this year from Suzuki, and built up their form in the off-season by entering the New Zealand Motocross Championship.

“KTM have been working so hard, going to New Zealand really helped us and I have to thank the KTM team for that opportunity”.

Second place was taken by Suzuki ex-teammate Cody Cooper – “I had some suspension issues today, We didn’t get a chance to really practice on the suspension, so in the opening moto I was really feeling it, We ironed out a lot of the problems for moto 2 and it was a lot better. Todd was flying though”.

Coming in third was CDR Yamaha rider Billy Mackenzie. After finishing 10th in the first moto, His second place in moto 2 and points from qualifying second in practice, moved him up onto the podium. “I struggled in the first race, but felt better in the second and got the result I wanted”.

To put up another argument 4-time champion Jay Marmont had the same results as Mackenzie, but failed to get points in the qualifying laps.

After the first moto the track got really boggy in one section making the riding extremely tough for those that copped a full mud shower. A few riders coming through the spot unrecognisable once getting covered. With the heat then baking the mud more than a few riders had an uncomfortable time of it at Raymond Terrace.

In the Motul MX2 championship it was the Serco Yamaha rider Luke Styke dominating the day. Winning the Go Pro Super Pole then both moto’s saw him a clear front runner for this season. “ I cant thank the team enough, The work they do to get us here is enormous”. Coming in at second place was Carlton Dry Racing Team member Josh Cachia and although he had a fantastic start and ended up fifth in the first moto, The second moto saw him place second. Cachia was plagued with an injury and seemed really disappointed with his first race saying that he sucked and to go from first to fifth was an embarassment. Banging in third place was KTM’s Kale Makeham and the only 2 stroke rider on the podium today.

The Pirelli MXD Championship saw Jack Simpson (KTM) place first followed by Jesse Dobson (Kawasaki) then Hamish Harwood.

MX Nationals moves to Murray Bridge for round two on April 28.

2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals Results – Raymond Terrace, NSW

MX1 Overall Results:wATERS_pUMPED
1. Todd Waters 75
2. Cody Cooper 60
3. Billy Mackenzie 58
4. Jay Marmont 54
5. Matt Moss 53
6. Tye Simmonds 52
7. Lawson Bopping 50
8. Jake Moss 47
9. Adam Monea 46
10. Ford Dale 43
11. Cody Mackie, 41
12. Kirk Gibbs, 37
13. Daniel McCoy, 37
14. Robbie Marshall, 36
15. Jacob Wright, 35

MX2 Overall Results:
1. Luke Styke 70
2. Josh Cachia 58
3. Kale Makeham 58
4. Luke Clout 55
5. Kade Mosig 53
6. Brock Winston 52
7. Matt Ryan 47
8. Kayne Lamont 46
9. Takeshi Katsuya 44
10. Geran Stapleton 43

Pirelli MXD Overall Results:
1. Jack Simpson 67
2. Jesse Dobson 65
3. Hamish Harwood 56
4. Nick Scott 52
5. Corey James 52
6. Logan Blackburn 44
7. Jake Emmanuelli 44
8. Richard Evans 42
9. Joel Wightman 41
10. Jay Wilson 41

—  KTM Report

Motorex KTM Racing Team rider Todd Waters has executed the best possible start to this year’s MX Nationals series, which kicked off today at Raymond Terrace, NSW.

The North Queenslander qualified fastest, won the Go Pro Super Pole by more than a second with a scintillating lap of 1.59.623, then backed that up with victory in both motos to win the day from Cody Cooper and Billy Mackenzie.

Waters’ sensational form saw him win the first moto by more than ten seconds from Jay Marmont (Kawasaki) and Cody Cooper (Suzuki), then back that up in the second with an even bigger margin of over 18 seconds from Billy Mackenzie (Yamaha) and Cooper.

For the first in-house KTM motocross outfit for three years, it was the perfect result with which to start the series, and sees Waters 10 points clear at the head of the MX1 table.

Waters’ team mate Kirk Gibbs had his MX Nats premier class debut hindered by the effects of a shoulder injury suffered a fortnight ago in New Zealand, the South Australian battling hard all day for 13th and 11th places which Team Manager Rob Twyerould assures is nowhere near Gibbs’ potential when injury free.

ROB TWYEROULD Team Manager– “A really great day for us today. Todd was just incredible. His fitness was great, as was his race craft – he found lines no-one else got onto. He was only fifth each time out of the gate but by the first or second lap he’d be leading. Our pre-season trip to New Zealand really made him sharp, but now he’s just gone to another level.

Unfortunately for Kirk the shoulder injury and not being able to ride for two weeks made it tough for him with the weakness and pain in his shoulder and he seemed to ride a bit tentatively. But his potential is much greater than we saw today and with the next round being at his home track in South Australia I think that will be a big thing for him.

All up I’m very happy. All the guys have done an incredible job.”

TODD WATERS #47– “It was a pretty good day for us, we did exactly what we came to do and I’m very happy for the team. For me, I’m here to get a good job done and build on the way I ride so I can be a better rider when I get to Europe and from that point of view it was a perfect start. I only got mediocre starts today but I was able to get through quickly and start to make a gap and ride my own race. It was a really tough track to race on; very slick and hard packed and one-line which made it really tough to pass on, so it was good that I was able to. I really loved my new bike too. It’s exactly what I wanted to ride – it’s an animal. I’m excited about going to Murray Bridge. I’m not known as a hard-pack rider so it was good to win here, but Murray Bridge is one of my favourite tracks so I’m looking forward to it.”

KIRK GIBBS #5 – “I’m a bit down about today but it’s gonna be alright. I didn’t gel too well with the track here and I needed to flow a lot more than I did, but there were some considerations. I carried an injury in to the event and then got caught in someone else’s crash in practice which didn’t help the way my shoulder felt. Then in the race I pumped up real bad when I was running sixth or seventh and drifted back to 13th. Race two was a little better and we got through uninjured and scored some points, so we’ll go home and work on it and do it better next round. Murray Bridge is a place I’ve done well at in the past and I know that track pretty well.”

The next round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals takes place at Murray Bridge, SA on April 28.

CHOICE MOTORSPORTS KTM13_mx_nats_rd1-1265-2
The rookies of the distributor-backed MX2 team Choice Motorsports KTM had an up and down day at the office, with 2012 MXD champ Kayne Lamont 6th and 10th across two motos for 8th on the day, while team mate Dylan Long battled to 14th in Race One before a freak DNF in Race Two when he drowned the bike in a puddle, for 22nd on the day.

ANTHONY GILES – Team Manager: “It was a tough day at the office for the boys on their MX2 debut. Kayne had a great, successful start and comeback from injury, but poor Dylan, it wasn’t his day and we look forward to the next round.”

— Carlton Dry Honda Report

Cachia takes Carlton Dry Honda Racing to second at season opener

Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s Josh Cachia has finished second overall in the MX2 class at today’s opening round of the 2013 MX Nationals at Raymond Terrace,

The Victorian rider, who was only signed to the team six weeks ago, battled severe numbing in his right arm throughout today’s two 30-minute races.

Cachia holeshot and led the opening Moto before the pain in his arm exacerbated and he was forced to back off, eventually finishing the race fifth.

He also holeshot the second moto before being passed by eventual race winner Luke Styke. Maintaining pace despite the pain, Cachia finished the race and round second.

“I got a good holeshot and led the opening race then something happened to my right arm and I just simply couldn’t hold on any more,” Cachia explained. “I backed off and thought being fifth is better than being on the ground.

“In the second race I told myself I had to pull my finger out, get the job done if I crash I crash at least I am trying and I came away with second.

“I am stoked to get the first round done and to come away with a podium. There is definitely a problem there with my arm that I will need to get fixed before we head to Murray Bridge,” he continued.

It was a tough day at the office for Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s MX1 pilots Ford Dale and Daniel McCoy.

Dale set the second fastest time in qualifying to advance to the all-new Superpole, but a small off in the last quarter of his timed lap put him fifth.

The 2012 MX2 Champion struggled through the opening race to finish 16th. Dale was taken down on the opening lap and after fighting his way back up the order he crashed midrace, losing ground.

Dale got a much better start in the second race and held pace with the front-runners throughout the moto before finishing fourth.

“I had a really good start to the day, I qualified second and superpole was going well until the last quarter of the lap when I ended up dropping it,” Dale said.

“The first moto definitely didn’t go to plan. I got taken down first lap was making my way through the field then had a big one half way through the race.

“I got a much better start in the second race and stayed around top three for the whole moto. I tried to consolidate and salvage some points,” Dale added.

It was a baptism of fire for Daniel McCoy who had less than two weeks to prepare for today’s event.

A crash early in qualifying damaged the radiator on the #65 Honda, affording McCoy little track time ahead of the opening race.

McCoy took the chequered flag 14th and after some minor changes between races, finished the second moto 10th.

“I had limited time on the bike this week which made it difficult to get a great setup in race conditions,” McCoy said. “Practice went well but I only got one lap of qualifying then crashed and ripped the radiator off which was disappointing as I really needed the track time.

“I was still getting used to the bike in the first race and tried to push for the top ten. We made some changes to the bike between races that definitely made a difference.

“With a couple of weeks until Murray Bridge I will try some different suspension at a NSW race this weekend and see if I can a get bit more comfortable on the bike,” McCoy added.

The next event will see the Carlton Dry Honda Racing team head to South Australia’s Murray Bridge on April 28.Action_300x200p

— Full Force CarsRus Report

The Full Force CarsRus.com.au racing team reflect on an up and down weekend at Raymond Terrace.

MX1 rider Dean Porter did not have the start to the championship he wanted after falling and injury his ankle after a low speed crash.

“it was one of those days that started off bad and got worst. I got last gate pick due to a bike issue and first moto struggled with arm pump”

“Next moto I felt good and strong, I crashed off a single and knew I had done something to my ankle strait away, I tried to keep going but I couldn’t”

“I got home and went straight to the doctors and got an X-Ray, It’s not broken but I have torn ligaments, so that sucks”

“Sunday night after the race it was killing me, I got home on Monday and couldn’t walk on it at all, I woke up tuesday morning and it’s a lot better already, I can put weight on it.”

“I’ve got a little machine I have been using on my injuries since I was 15 which send electronic waves through you and I’ve been using that a lot” Porter said.

Porter came into this season with one of the best pre season’s he has ever had and was feeling great on the bike.

“I’ve got a state round this weekend but at the moment I’m not sure if I’ll be racing but hopefully I’ll be riding at round 2 of the MX Nationals in Adelaide where I’ll hopefully step it up”

“I’ll definitely be at Adelaide and I’ll be riding” he concluded.

MX2 rider Takeshi Katsuya enjoyed his first race in quite a few years with his smooth style bringing home a 9th overall aboard his CRF250 and a hard fought 6th in moto two.

“The day was not too bad I guess, I would of liked to get a decent start, I missed the start both races”13_mx_nats_rd1-1429-2

“I was happy with the ride in the 2nd moto, I had no rear brake in the 2nd moto for the last 10 minutes and I’m still quite happy with how I went”

“I’ll try to be in the top 5 at the next round, step by step, I’m not rushing, I have to learn, It was the first time I have raced in Australia since 2008 and first race anywhere in 2 years”

“I had a few nerves but you get that when you haven’t raced for a while” he said.

MXD charge Zak Brown had his first major senior race, putting together solid motos.

The 16 year old had only 3 hours aboard the Honda after switching over from KTM but showed some great speed.

“The first moto was good, I struggled with fitness in the 2nd moto, it was pretty hot and I got fatigued and ended up having a couple of crashes while running 11th”

“It’s a lot different to doing the Shell series and events like that back in Queensland, at the Nationals I’m versing the top 40 guys of Australia and from a few different age levels.”

“The experience was good, I’ll have more confidence coming into the next round and work on a few things like my starts and I should be right”

“Once I get a bit more time on the bike I should do a lot better”

“I would just like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to race and all of the sponsors, we couldn’t do it without you and my personal sponsor, Clothing Unlimited, thanks for the support”

— CDR Yamaha Report

Billy Mac Bounces Onto Podium In Debut Race For CDR Yamaha

New CDR Yamaha recruit, Billy Mackenzie, overcame a challenging opening moto to land on the podium in his first Australian race at the opening round of the 2013 MX Nationals Championships held at Raymond Terrace over the weekend.

Mackenzie slotted his YZ450F into the top five during qualifying and then improved that position in the Superpole event where the top five riders face off for the top five picks of the gate and a handful of valuable points.

He put in a top class flying lap to jump from fifth to second place and felt confident heading into the opening moto.

After a promising start, Mackenzie struggled to find the same flow he had during qualifying and started to drop positions. He battled on to finish a disappointing ninth place but determined to bounce back in race two.

And he delivered. He managed to claw his way to third place early in the race and then he took advantage of a mistake from the rider in front and moved into second which he maintained to the finish. His combined 9-2 finishes and with the four points earned in superpole, he rounded the day out in third place.

“It was a real struggle in the opening race as I couldn’t get into my flow and made a lot of small mistakes. But after talking a few things over with the team and channelling some frustration from the first race, I was able to get a much better result in moto two.

“I must thank the team today for their support and encouragement and it’s a nice feeling being up on the podium again… it’s been a while,” Mackenzie recalls.

Lawson Bopping looked good throughout the day and produced two rock solid motos to get his title chase off on a good foundation. Despite a fall early in moto one, Bopping was able to climb his way back through the field to finish seventh in a gutsy ride.13_mx_nats_rd1-1452-2

Moto two saw Bopping lock onto a top five position and maintain through to the finish where he crossed the finish line in fifth place. His combined 7-5 results netted him seventh overall for the round in a very tight points table.

“Like most riders, I tried to get through the opening round without too many dramas, review my racing and bike and then improve as the series goes on. Today was good without being great and the up and down results of a few of the other guys has kept the points pretty tight.

“All up, it wasn’t too bad and I will be looking for improved results at the next round in Murray Bridge,” Bopping said.

“It’s a cliché but it still rings true, about you can’t win the championship in the first round, but you can lose it,” says team owner Craig Dack. “Both guys have some work to do, but we are off to a good start and both riders are in good spirits. The next few rounds come in pretty quick succession with Murray Bridge, Wonthaggi and Broadford all in the next five weeks so we have to get into stride pretty fast from here on and keep the pressure on,” Dack explains.

— Serco Yamaha Report

Luke Styke kicked off his 2013 MX Nationals campaign in perfect fashion with an impressive 1-1 finish at the opening round of the championship held at Raymond Terrace, NSW, over the weekend.

Representing the Factory Serco Yamaha squad in the MX2 (250cc)class Luke Styke made his intentions clear moments after setting a wheel on the Barleigh Ranch circuit setting the fastest laps in qualifying and determined to take his obvious speed into the first moto.

With a top five start, Styke worked his way forward and just before the race hit the 15minute mark, Styke had taken control of the lead and was heading for the checkered flag. He maintained a comfortable gap over his rivals and finished the race with the win.

Moto two was much the same as Styke grabbed the lead and never let it go. The 1-1 start was a huge statement form Styke and just the start to the season he was looking for.

“I wanted to get off to a good start at the opening round and that’s exactly what I did. I feel I rode well but I feel pretty flat now as I didn’t sleep well last night and am dehydrated now.

“I worked really hard leading up to this race and maybe over done it a bit, so I will take a day or two off and ensure I’m back to 100% for round two at Murray Bridge in two weeks’ time,” Styke explains.

The start of the year for Serco Yamaha was all the more impressive when the second rider past the finish line in race one was team mate, Luke Clout. Clout charged through the field after a reasonable start and then kept Styke in check to take a well- earned second place.

A repeat performance was the goal for moto two but a bad start for Clout had him on the back foot and looking for a way forward. He worked tirelessly through the field and found himself in fifth with one lap remaining only to fall and lose valuable positions. He crossed the line in eighth place and rounded out the day in fourth overall.

“It was a reasonable start to the series, I guess,” shrugs Clout. “That fall in moto two proved costly and it shows that I must stay focused all the way to the finish line.

“Top five is a good place to start, I just need to keep building on this start and get my Serco Yamaha up front when the opportunity comes.”

Team owner Gavin Eales was pleased with his teams’ performance and explains that it was a good reward for the hard work over the off season.

“Both guys have worked hard since the end of last season and the team also put in plenty of hours on the race bikes so it was a real team effort today. Styke raced exceptionally well and is determined to make amends for last years’ misfortune, while Clout showed he has the speed and fitness to run at the front.”

— Suzuki Report

Motul Pirelli Suzuki rider Cody Cooper claimed the team’s first overall podium of the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, season at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales on Sunday, 14 April.

The recently crowned two-time New Zealand Motocross Champion put forward a consistent campaign on the RM-Z450 to open his account for the 10-round season in second overall, finishing third in the pair of 30-minute motos at the MX Central complex.

Cooper’s result will serve as a stable platform to build from in the coming rounds of the 10-round series, continuing the form that saw him finish strong last season and throughout the NZ series earlier this year. He’s now second in the series, 15 points in arrears of round one overall winner Todd Waters.

“My day started off a bit average in qualifying ninth, but we knew what we needed to do and prepared for the motos,” Cooper commented. “We improved each moto and I think we will keep improving from here in the coming rounds. I’m happy though and feel very comfortable already at this stage.”

Matt Moss made a successful return to Motul Pirelli Suzuki in what was the multi-time national MX2 champion’s MX1 debut aboard the RM-Z450, finishing fifth overall for the round with a strong haul of points to his credit. Moss powered to the inaugural Suzuki Holeshot Award in moto one before racing to fourth, before he finished sixth in the second.

It was also a consistent performance for Moss, achieving his pre-season goal of a top five result at the opening round, and he’s excited for the season ahead after a confidence-inspiring performance. Moss now sits 22 points out of the series lead.

“Today was really good actually, my expectation was the top five, just because my preparation hasn’t been the greatest and I haven’t had much time on the bike,” Moss explained. “Still, my starts were great and the bike was good, so we’ll be able to build momentum from here and I’m looking forward to the upcoming rounds.”

Motul Pirelli Suzuki team manager Jay Foreman was also in a positive mood following the pair of top five finishes overall, happy with the form of both Cooper and Moss to commence the season. He’s anticipating the pair gaining strength as the rounds progress.

“We were able to get a very good amount of points today, which is always important at round one to get the series underway,” Foreman said. “Qualifying didn’t go to plan, however it was satisfying to see Cody on the podium and Matt was impressive as well in finishing inside the top five for the weekend.”

The 2013 MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, will resume at Murray Bridge in South Australia on Sunday, 28 April.