Round 4 MX Nationals Preview with Todd Jarratt
On the eve of round four of the 2015 MX Nationals, an aura of uncertainty surrounds the three championship class chases. If our 2014 Murray Bridge results are anything to go by though, entering the round as a South Australian rider brings huge confidence and an equaled amount of success!
Last year in the Monster Energy MX1 class we saw Kirk Gibbs break through for his first overall victory of the year, and stepping down one division to the Motul MX2 class, fellow SA rider Luke Arbon was also able to stake his claim on the MX2 field for the first time in the series. So heading into this weekend’s racing all eyes will be on Gibbs and Arbon as they try to repeat last year’s performances.
In the MX1 class, with only three rounds of racing in the books we have seen three different GoPro super pole winners, four separate race victors and a new overall winner at each round! The GoPro cheques have had the names Ford Dale, Kirk Gibbs and Daniel Reardon signed to them, with moto wins being collected by Gibbs, Kade Mosig, Reardon and Luke Styke. In addition to those race wins, Gibbs, Mosig and Styke have also racked up an overall win each ahead of the likes of Reardon and Adam Monea, who will both be out to even the score in the red loam this weekend.
For Monea, a state title round win at Murray Bridge just two weeks ago ahead of Gibbs, Styke and Kale Makeham will have him full of confidence leading into the round, which is exactly what the Kawasaki rider needs to jump start his season after a mediocre introduction to the 2015 season. On the other side of the draw card is Reardon, who after suffering from his second DNF of the season at Broadford is now 80 points behind Gibbs in the series points, and with that must start winning races and super poles if he is to have any chance of challenging for the open class title this year.
The final MX1 riders on the ‘to watch’ list are Cody Cooper, Jesse Dobson, John Phillips and Victorian privateer Sam Martin, who is making his return to the MX Nationals series after a long list of hindering injuries.
In the Motul MX2 division, every race and round win this year has been taken by a Yamaha mounted rider, showing their dominance in the small bore field. It was Serco Yamaha’s Jed Beaton who took the overall victory at round one of the series at Horsham, but since then his teammate Luke Clout has been the rider to beat, collecting three out of four race wins and two overall victories. The only other rider to notch up a race win so far this season is Jay Wilson, who has led many laps and was less than a second off taking the round two overall at Appin after finishing a close runner up spot behind Clout. After a disastrous third round dropping 22 points to championship leader Clout as a result of in race time penalties, Wilson, with Josh Coppins back in his corner will be looking to make amends this weekend and reduce that points deficit.
The few other stand out riders in the MX2 class, placing themselves near or on the podium already this year include Japanese import Takeshi Katsuya, 17-year-old Nathan Crawford, Yamaha supported rider Wade Hunter, Newcastle KTM’s Dylan Wills, and South Australia’s own SD3 Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon. Each of these guys has shown flashes of brilliance in the early stages of the series, and with a fast paced circuit being presented this weekend, a swing in championship momentum is very well possible.
In the Pirelli MXD field, all eyes will be on red plate holder Wilson Todd, as he returns to full health and builds momentum in a championship that many touted him to win with a round to spare entering this season. Though, after a highly successful debut ride for Raceline Pirelli Suzuki at Broadford just three weeks ago, Jesse Madden may have declared himself as a serious title rival. With sufficient testing time now under his belt, as well as the expertise and resources of Chris Woods and Jesse Wallace in his corner, Madden has every opportunity to make this championship chase a reality. The other question is, who else will be able to step up to the plate and challenge for the MXD title? That can be answered with the names Wayde Carter, Kaleb Barham, Jayden Rykers, Connor Tierney, Toby Stevens, and the Western Victorian‘s Lachlan Davis, Ryan Shadbolt and Cory Watts who have all run up front prior to this weekend and are chasing race wins!
With a perfectly prepared, fast paced and loamy Murray Bridge circuit being provided for this weekend’s MX Nationals, the South Australian crowd and those at home watching NRGTV will most definitely be treated to some exciting and high intensity racing.
I hope to see you all at the track today, and as always make sure you stop by and say hi!