—  2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship – Round Five – Conondale (QLD)

—  Top Ten Monster Energy MX Nationals MX2 Round Results Round Five – Conondale, QLD
1. Luke Styke 6713_mx_nats_rd5-5787
2. Josh Cachia 67
3. Kale Makeham 56
4. Jay Wilson 50
5. Beau Ralston 49
6. Takeshi Katsuya 48
7. Luke Clout 46
8. Ryan Marmont 44
9. Brock Winston 44
10. Dylan Long 44

—  Monster Energy MX2 championship standings (after Rd 5 of 10)
1. Luke Styke 336
2. Luke Clout 285
3. Josh Cachia 279
4. Brock Winston 258
5. Kale Makeham 255
6. Takeshi Katsuya 212
7. Geran Stapleton 208
8. Ryan Marmont 196
9. Dylan Long 187
10. Kayne Lamont 183

—  Top Ten Monster Energy MX Nationals MX1 Round Results Round Five – Conondale, QLD
1. Cody Cooper 66
2. Matt Moss 65
3. Billy Mackenzie 63
4. Todd Waters 63
5. Jake Moss 53
6. Lawson Bopping 49
7. Kirk Gibbs 47
8. Adam Monea 47
9. Daniel McCoy 45
10. Tye Simmonds 43

—  Monster Energy MX1 championship standings (after Rd 5 of 10)
1. Todd Waters 332
2. Matt Moss 307
3. Billy Mackenzie 28913_mx_nats_rd5-5724
4. Cody Cooper 268
5. Lawson Bopping 266
6. Adam Monea 232
7. Tye Simmonds 232
8. Jake Moss 230
9. Kirk Gibbs 230
10. Daniel McCoy 209

—  Carlton Dry Honda Report

Points tie sees Cachia finish second at Conondale

For the second MX Nationals round in succession Carlton Dry Honda Racing’s Josh Cachia has tied on points with Luke Styke for the MX2 round win.

Cachia won the opening 30-minute moto at Queensland’s picturesque Conondale Motocross Track and finished second to Styke in Moto 2.

Finishing second overall for the round, based on the tied points rule, Cachia now sits third in the MX2 championship and is just 6 points adrift of second placed Luke Clout.

“I got a killer start in the first moto and got a holeshots that I think I will remember for a very long time,” Cachia said. “I also had a good battle with Luke (Styke) through that race and showed that I had more speed than him.

“In the second race I got a bad start and worked my way up to second, but I was too far back to catch Luke.

“I got some valuable points today and I have moved to third in the championship but I really want that win I am sick of coming equal first,” Cachia added.

Teammate Daniel McCoy ended the round ninth overall in the MX1 class after finishing the two 30-minute motos eighth and ninth.Clout

“I definitely felt better than where I qualified today,” McCoy explained.

“Throughout the first half of Moto 1 I was sitting sixth but towards the end of the race I lost a couple of positions.

“Every weekend over the five rounds I have continued to improve so I am looking forward to doing to a lot more testing with the bike over the six week break,” McCoy continued.

Team Principal Yarrive Konsky endured a tough day racing the Vets 30-39 class, the slick and rutted track made for a rough day at the office.

With a six week break until the next round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals, the Carlton Dry Honda Racing team will continue to test and improve their 2013 race package.

—  Serco Yamaha Report

Serco Yamaha’s Luke Styke hits the halfway point of the 2013 MX Nationals in control of the points’ race after winning another round of the championship at Conondale, Queensland.

Yamaha’s factory MX2 pilot overcame stiff competition, a rough, rutty and challenging track to take the round win with his 1-2 results. Styke led moto one until the final stages but let his rival slip by in the waning laps and crossed the finish line in a disgruntled second place.

But in moto two, Styke wasn’t in any mood to be messing around. From the moment the gate dropped, Styke charged to the front, gapped the field and rode his own race all the way to the finish line. It was a big statement from Styke and one that he needs to continue to make as the series wears on.

“I wasn’t happy after that first moto. I made some mistakes, missed some lines and didn’t flow my turns so moto two was all about fixing those things and getting the job done.

“I have won four out of the five rounds so far but things can change quickly in motocross. If I don’t keep bring my A game, then I will get beaten and I don’t want that to happen. The first half of the series has gone really well for myself and Serco Yamaha and we need to start round six exactly as we started round one,” Styke ends.

Luke Clout endured a tough opening moto that saw him ditch his goggles on the mud and roost peppered track. With no goggles, Clout struggled for clear vision and made several mistakes on his way to 13th in the first race.

Like Styke, he was out for redemption in race two and set about righting the wrongs. By the midway point, Clout moved into third place and held it all the way to the finish where his 13-3 scores netted him seventh for the round.

Despite the tough day, Clout still maintains second place in theMX2 championship behind his teammate but he can’t afford any more bad motos if he is to keep it.

“I had some issues in that first race and as soon as I took my goggles off, it was just that much more difficult. You have to ride with your head down to avoid roost from the bikes in front and your eyes are constantly watering.Styke

“The track dried out for moto two and it was pretty hard to ride. There were some long ruts, a variety of dirt and traction and it got nice and rough. The first two guys got away from me a bit, but I was pretty safe in third and just consolidated the position,” Clout explains.

The MX Nationals now takes a five week break to allow teams and riders to catch their breath. The Serco Yamaha team hits the halfway point in good shape with their riders running 1-2 and their Yamaha YZ250F’s performing well

—  KTM Report

Motorex KTM’s Todd Waters will take a healthy, 25-point lead into the winter break of this year’s Monster Energy MX Nationals, after another impressive display at today’s fifth round of the series at Conondale.

Still not quite at full fitness after the head knock he suffered three weeks ago, Waters won the first moto before a mistake in the second saw him fall, recovering to be fourth in the moto and on the day behind Cody Cooper, Matt Moss and Billy Mackenzie.

The result means the North Queenslander concedes just 2 points from his championship lead on the way into a five-week break from which he hopes to emerge back at his scintillating best.

Team mate Kirk Gibbs did very well to salvage seventh on the day after falling foul of a vision problem in the first moto and finishing outside the top ten. He then followed a blistering Moto 2 start with a super strong ride to finish the day with a 5th.

Rob Twyerould – “It was an incredible track today, real wet and muddy and many of the riders set their best qualifying times on their first lap – the track just never got faster. Todd was sixth fastest and missed out on Super Pole but Kirk got through and did very well to finish second. In the first race Todd rode around the outside and was leading by the end of the lap. He pulled a gap but Mossy caught and passed him so Todd followed for a couple of laps and Mossy fell with about 10 to go. Mossy was closing fast at the end, but Todd’s last lap was an absolute screamer and he won by two seconds.

“Kirk had a shocker. There’s a no tear-off policy at Conondale and his roll-off got damaged in a fall. He wasn’t sure if he could throw his goggles so he rode with his vision compromised and he fell two more times. In the second race Kirk got the killer jump into the lead. Coops rounded him up quickly but he looked great. As the race progressed Moss and McKenzie got him. Todd got a terrible start but worked his way up quickly, passing Jake Moss, Bopping and Monea up to Gibbsy, but then he fell and found himself behind them all over again. He got Kirk again with two laps to go.

“Todd is still not at 100% so the break will be fantastic for him. Kirk showed fantastic speed today and all the teams worked their asses off today, cleaning bikes and prepping with foam to combat the mud.”

Todd Waters: 1st, 4th – 4th. “It was a tough day and I’m very thankful I’ve got a break ahead now to recover. I still found myself a little sleepy in that second moto from the concentration. It’s good I haven’t lost too many points, but I’m a racer, so it’s tough to think that we were really charging in the championship and now we’re not, but when you have a head knock it takes a little time to get over it. Today I made a little mistake right when I could see the leaders and there was an overall win on the cards, but I went out there and gave it everything – it didn’t pay off this time but next time it will. I’d like to express a big thanks to my team. We’ve hit a hard spot lately and they’ve stuck by me and supported me more than ever so I owe them more than anything.”Cachia

Kirk Gibbs: 14th, 5th – 7th. “A bit of an up and down day for us I guess. Second in Super Pole helped out a lot, but then in race one I struggled – didn’t get the best start and got filled in pretty bad with some stuff in behind my lens. I struggled with vision and went down a couple of times, so wasn’t very impressed. Race two I got a good start, me and Coops went around Turn One pretty much together and I chased him for quite a while. Mackenzie got around and Mossy got by me; but just for me to race with them was awesome and I don’t think I’m that far off being there. Those boys can turn on that intensity whereas I ride the same pace the whole time, which isn’t a bad thing and it will come to me with more racing.”

MX2 – In the MX2 category, KTM rider Kale Makeham made it another podium in finishing third behind Luke Styke and Josh Cachia, while Brock Winston and Dylan Long were 9th and 10th respectively.

— Dylan Long Report

Dylan Long has had an encouraging showing at Rd 5 Conondale Monster MX Nationals under the Family Privateer Quickshade, for the first time in 2013, after being let go from the Choice Suspension Factory KTM Team, 2 weeks ago.

The Challenge was set and clear that with a hectic 2 weeks to prepare and get bikes, motors and the everything in place, this only giving Long about an 1 hr’s practice ride time, wasn’t the ideal preparation for competing in the highest MX 2 Level in the Country, but this wasn’t going to deter him for this weekend.

Long was as high as 3rd in first MX2 Race and a small fall after getting cross rutted on lap 4, trying to find and alternative line, after a fallen rider from previous lap had created a traffic jam across the entire track. He put his head down, and got going and finished a solid 6th.

Race 2, lap 1,after the start he was in a group that got pushed out off the track in the first corner, nearly collecting a tree, and then rejoined the race and struck trouble again 6 more corners on, when 3 riders together, including Long all went down, sending him all the way back to around 25th position. Naturally time is the measure of what you can achieve, so again fired up pushed through all the way to 11th, but couldn’t push his way past and stuck behind a group off about 4 riders for the run home in the last lap, to bring it home in 12th for a creditable 10th on count back

Long now is looking forward to the half way 5 week brake, and focus on training, lots of testing, before the next Rd at Appin NSW July 14.

Long again saying he couldn’t have done it without Mum Tania and Dad Mark, and Paul Keepence motor work, and Collective Graphics, Monza Imports, Grays Transport and support from all his family and friends.

—  Motul Pirelli Suzuki Report

Motul Pirelli Suzuki’s Cody Cooper won his first MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, round of the 2013 season on Sunday, 2 June, at Conondale in Queensland as teammate Matt Moss finished runner-up in a 1-2 result for the team.

Cooper was outstanding in slick, rutted, conditions at Conondale, the sweeping hills playing into the dual New Zealand Motocross Champion’s hands throughout the round.

After taking five points for winning the Super Pole qualifying session, Cooper battled to sixth in moto one before taking control of moto two from the outset and winning his first overall of the season. It was his bonus points for qualifying first that sealed Cooper the round win.13_mx_nats_rd5-5773

The result boosts him to fourth in the standings at the halfway point, providing a solid platform to build from aboard the RM-Z450 in the championship’s second half.

“The day ended up good and to win my first Super Pole was a good feeling – it helped me win the day,” Cooper beamed. “In the first moto I threw my goggles off early, but I was happy with how I rode through the pack and we scored decent points.

“I got the holeshot in the last one, got a good lead even though I started tightening up toward the end. I have been doing a lot of testing, so it’s important I go back to New Zealand and start doing motos again during my training. I am really happy though and I have to say thanks to the team for helping me win this one.”

Moss was also delighted with his second place result for the weekend, finishing just one point shy of Cooper overall as he continues to home in on championship leader Todd Waters.

After dominating regular qualifying with a time near three seconds ahead of the pack, Moss was forced to settle for the fifth gate selection after an incident during his Super Pole lap. A pair of second places in the motos now sees him just 25 points from the top spot in the championship.

Moss also claimed the $100 Suzuki Holeshot Award for taking the first holeshot of the round in the MX1 category aboard his Motul Pirelli Suzuki RM-Z450.

“I felt really good in practice and qualifying, then in Super Pole I crashed and that was a big factor in losing the overall,” Moss commented. “In the first race I rode really good apart from two more crashes that cost me, but I felt good overall.

“In moto two I struggled at the start, had trouble getting going, but everything started clicking and I came home strong, so I was happy with that. I took points off Todd, so I was happy with that because the championship leader red plate is what we’re aiming for.”

Motul Pirelli Suzuki team manager Jay Foreman was pleased with the dominant performance of the team at Conondale, happy to see Cooper return to his best and also satisfied with Moss’ ever-consistent effort challenging for the victory.

“We knew coming in that this track would suit Cody, so to see him turn his season around with the team’s second straight win was a rewarding result,” Foreman explained. “Matt was also incredibly strong today and he’s performing exactly as we’d hoped at the beginning of the season. We will continue to work hard and look forward to the second half of the year.”

The MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, will now take its annual mid-season break before resuming on Sunday, 14 July, at Appin in New South Wales.

— Josh CoppinsCachia_Yarrive

It was never going to be a comeback – Josh Coppins had made that quite clear before the event – but the Yamaha ace certainly proved he had not forgotten how to win races since he retired from fulltime motocross racing at the end of last season.

Current Australian MX1 champion Coppins took one of the JCR Yamaha Racing Team YZ450F bikes and demolished the MX1 class at the big 30th anniversary Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross at Waipara, north of Christchurch, at the weekend.

He said it was just to keep the seat warm while the team’s regular MX1 class riders, Scotsman Billy MacKenzie, was otherwise occupied with racing in Australia, but Coppins enjoyed the brief ‘comeback’ ride nonetheless.

Coppins won four out of five MX1 races, opting to ease up a little for the fifth race and settling for a fourth for that outing as he strived to conserve energy ahead of the weekend’s feature race. That gesture proved to be in vain, however, as Coppins was the victim of a shunt from behind at the start of the feature race, the accident damaging his bike and forcing him to withdraw.

“The weekend was not too bad for me considering I hadn’t done much preparation,” said the 36-year-old former world No.2. “Speed was not an issue for me, just fitness. I felt I could pass the other riders with ease. It’s a pity I was taken down in the feature race but that’s racing sometimes.

“I really enjoyed myself, although it wasn’t really about me. I only stepped in to make sure we had a presence with both Scotty (Columb) and Billy (MacKenzie) unavailable. My main job is to focus on managing the team, not racing any more these days.”

It was also an outstanding weekend from fellow Yamaha rider Ethan Martens, the Waitakere man racing a YZ450F to fifth overall in the MX1 class and also riding a Yamaha YZ250 to win MX2 class outright.

The 21-year-old Martens also finished third in the feature final race, behind MX1 regulars Justin McDonald and Michael Phillips.

“The feature race was the first time I really put the hammer down on the 450cc bike,” said Martens. “I was riding two classes all weekend, so I was using a lot of energy but I decided to cut loose a bit for the last race and I seemed to go pretty good.”

— CDR Yamaha

CDR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie took his fourth podium of the year with another impressive performance at round five of the MX Nationals on the rolling green fields of Conondale, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

After a set back at round three in Wonthaggi, Mackenzie has been gaining momentum at each round since and is right in the thick of the premier MX1 championship battle as the series hit the halfway point over the weekend.

On a wet and slippery track, Mackenzie made the important top five, Superpole Shootout and claimed the third fastest lap and the extra three points that come with it.

In the racing proper, Mackenzie fired his factory CDR Yamaha YZ450F into the lead pack and he went to work. He battled hard for the next 30 minutes to claim third place and a solid points haul in the opening moto.

Moto two and the 211 machine was in second and coming on strong during the early going. As the race wore on, the battle for the lead tightened up with Cody Cooper out front, Mackenzie and Matt Moss and within a few seconds.

Unfortunately for Mackenzie, with only a few turns to go, Matt Moss slipped by and relegated him from a potential second place finish for the round, to third overall. Still, a good effort and Mackenzie is really starting to gel with the CDR team and machine.

“I felt that last moto was one that got away. I had some good momentum going in stages of the race but I didn’t capitalise on it and get the win. Then to lose a position in the last few turns was stupid. In the championship, all points matter and I have to fight for all of them.

“But the bike has been working great the last couple of rounds. I found a setting that I really like and suits a lot of tracks we race so that gives me confidence for the last half of the championship.

“We have a break now before round six so I will rest up a bit, then get stuck into it for the last half of the season give it all I have,” Mackenzie said.

It was a steady as she goes day for Lawson Bopping who compiled 6-7 finishes for seventh overall. Bopping instantly became the crowd favourite when he launched the big jump over ‘Drunks 1.’ Bopping was the only rider to continually point his bike skyward off the massive leap and the huge crowd cheered every time the number 70 let loose.

“While that jump was fun, I did have a few scary moments on it and that’s not what I’m paid to do. I’m on this team to compete and contend for championships and the last two rounds haven’t been so good for me.

“The break now gives me some time to freshen up, look at my riding and training program and hit the last five rounds in top form,” Bopping explains.

The CDR Yamaha team will now focus their attention to round six of the MX Nationals at Appin, west of Sydney on July 14.13_mx_nats_rd5-5474