The Australian Motocross Championships reached the halfway point in Western Australia at the weekend, presenting competitors with a tough day at the office at the sandy Wanneroo track.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM) securing another round victory and extending his championship points lead for the 10-round series, while earlier championship leader Dean Ferris (Yamaha) crashed out of the day’s third and final MX1 class race and slipped from second to third in the series standings.
The two Kiwis in action, Michael Menchi and Hamish Harwood, also scored good points.
Menchi finished the day 14th overall in the MX1 class and Harwood finished ninth overall in the MX2 class.
Menchi has improved from 11th to 10th in the series standings, while Harwood remains solid in 10th overall in his class.
After a 20-minute qualifying session in the morning, Superpole proved to be more important than ever – with series points leader Gibbs, Ferris, Todd Waters (Suzuki) and Kawasaki’s Matt Moss, and KTM’s Jesse Dobson all looking to collect additional championship points.
And when each rider had put down their fastest individual laps, it was Ferris who collected the Superpole cheque with a 1:42.344 lap time, equalising on championship points with Gibbs, and setting up the day as a fight for the red plate.
With the championship lead well and truly up for grabs at round five, thousands of eager spectators watched on as the MX1 class lined up for moto one, and when gates dropped it was Ferris who carried his momentum from Superpole, to snatch up the first holeshot for the day.
With one lap in the books, it was Ferris who led from Gibbs, Moss, and Waters, while Honda’s Dylan Long slotted in to an impressive fifth position ahead of Dobson in sixth.
With races at Wanneroo being a 20-minute dash, any mistake would prove to be crucial. With that known, Ferris took to the sand like a champion, looking smooth and consistent out in front after four laps, while Gibbs continued to chase his tail just ahead of Moss.
By the time the MX1 class reached the half way mark in moto one, the running order saw no changes, with Ferris continuing to lead from Gibbs and Moss, while Waters and Long completed the top five standings.
When the MX1 competitors received the last lap board, Ferris was well and truly in the box seat to collect the race one victory, while Gibbs continued to attack the deep sand and close the gap in second position ahead of Moss in third.
And when the chequered flag flew, despite a minor mishap with a lapper causing Ferris to go down, he remounted and did exactly was required to collect his first race win for the weekend, crossing the line in first position only a bike’s length ahead of Gibbs in second, while Moss wrapped up race one in third. Waters and Long concluded race one in fourth and fifth places respectively.
When race two kicked off, once again it was Ferris who launched off the start and in to the early race lead, followed by his closest opponent Gibbs and Moss in third.
After two laps, Ferris had pulled five seconds on Gibbs, checking out on the MX1 field and allowing the battles for remaining positions to happen behind him. Gibbs continued to circulate in second place, only narrowly holding back hard-charging Moss and Waters who held down third and fourth places respectively.
As the MX1 class reached the 10 minute mark, the running order saw Ferris dominating in the lead position, from Gibbs, Moss, Waters and Mosig. Honda mounted Long was just outside the top five in sixth, followed by Dobson, Law, Wilson and Wright who completed the top10 standings.
As moto two approached the closing stages, Waters began his charge to the front, managing to make passes on both Moss and Gibbs to move in to second position behind race leader Ferris.
But when the chequered flag flew, no one’s performance could match that of Ferris, taking his second consecutive win for the day by an impressive four seconds, while Waters crossed the finish line in second, followed by Gibbs who finished moto two in third.
When the final moto kicked off this afternoon, it was Gibbs who this time edged out Ferris to take the third holeshot for the day, however it was a disaster for Ferris who went down after just a couple of turns, marking an early end to his day, and leaving the track in the hands of the medics.
With two laps in the books for the MX1 class, Gibbs continued to maintain his lead, followed by team-mate Dobson in second, while Kawasaki’s Kade Mosig held down third.
From there, Gibbs completely checked out on the MX1 field, showcasing his ‘diesel engine’ form, and allowing the bar to bar racing to happen behind him.
By the half way mark, both KTM riders Gibbs and Dobson continued to dominate in positions one and two, while Mosig remained in third ahead of Jamie Law in fourth, and Wilson who rounded out the top five.
When the third moto for the MX1 class reached it’s closing stages, there was little change to the running order, with only Mosig managing to get by Dobson to slot in to second position ahead of the KTM rider.
And when the chequered flag flew for the final time today, it was Gibbs who took the last race victory, while Mosig wrapped up moto three in second position, followed by Dobson who secured his best result so far this year finishing in third.
With a DNF from Ferris in the final moto, the MX1 round overall saw Gibbs take the overall at Wanneroo, while Moss collected second, and Waters finished round five in third.
With Gibbs’ consistent 2, 3, 1 results today, the KTM-mounted rider will now enter the mid-season break with the MX1 red plate, and a 17-point lead on Waters.
“It’s awesome to take the win here, and walk away with the points lead going in to the break,” said Gibbs.
“I felt like towards the end of the second moto I found a few lines and I had a bit of confidence coming in to the final moto of the day.
“It was a shame to see Dean go down – you never want to see another rider get hurt, but I’m happy that I just stayed consistent and managed to ride to the track conditions.
“I knew that with the two guys coming back from Europe that they would be fast in the sand so it’s especially nice to walk away with a win here at Wanneroo.”
In the MX2 class, it was yet another action packed round of racing, with Husqvarna-mounted Nathan Crawford taking a pivotal round win, and snatching up the MX2 championship lead.
When the MX2 competitors headed out for qualifying in the morning, it was local Jayden Rykers who emerged as the early man to catch with the fastest qualifying time of a 1:44.008, while Crawford and Honda mounted Kyle Webster collected the second and third quickest laps.
When gates dropped on race one, spectators were five rows deep on the fence-line, and riders were treated to a full house for their first moto of the day. It was Webster who secured the first MX2 holeshot, ahead of Rykers and KTM’s Caleb Ward.
From there, moto one was set up to go down to the wire. With Webster and Rykers holding valuable local knowledge of the tack, and Ward who is known as a sand specialist, all putting on a performance for the MX2 top spot.
After three laps, race leader Webster began to come under fire from KTM mounted Rykers, the pair chopping and changing line choices in order to make up time – Ward also began to feel the pressure of lightening fast Crawford who was attempting to make his dash for third position.
From there, the front four, Webster, Rykers, Ward, and Crawford all began to check out on the field, while Yamaha’s Wilson Todd also joined the party, tagging on to Crawford’s rear wheel in fifth position.
By the time MX2 competitors had reached the 10-minute mark in moto one, there had been little change to the running order, with Webster continuing to lead from Rykers and Ward, while Todd made his way in to fourth position followed by Crawford and DPH Motorsport’s Jed Beaton.
With five minutes on the clock remaining, no one looked as if they could get near Western Australian Webster, and despite fellow local Rykers’ every attempt to make a pass, the KTM mounted youngster could not make a challenge for the lead stick.
So when the Motul MX2 class received the last lap board, Webster looked in control out in front, while Rykers and Ward continued to race for the final podium positions – Despite an earlier mistake, Crawford made his way back in to fourth, while Yamaha’s Todd held down fifth.
And when the chequered flag flew, it was CRF Honda Racing Team’s Webster who capitalised on a home track advantage, crossing the line with his first moto victory for the day, ahead of Rykers in second, while KTM’s Ward wrapped up race one in third.
When moto two got underway, it was Crawford who edged out Ward to take the second holeshot of the day, but it didn’t take long for Ward to make his presence known, and after three laps Ward’s charge to the front was unstoppable – the KTM rider finding the perfect line, passing Crawford to move in to the race lead, relegating the Husqvarna rider to second position.
By the time the MX2 class reached the halfway mark in moto two, Ward continued to dominate out in front, while Crawford, Rykers and local Webster went head to head for the remaining podium positions. KTM’s Dylan Wills held down an impressive fifth, while Yamaha’s Wade Hunter, Dean Porter and New Zealand’s Hamish Harwood occupied sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
With five minutes left of the clock, there was little change to the running order, the only passes to note being from Hunter and Porter who both managed to get by Wills to slot in to fifth and sixth positions.
And when the chequered flag flew for the second time, it was Ward’s turn to celebrate – taking an emphatic moto two victory from Crawford who finished in second, while Rykers managed to snatch away third from a hard charging Webster who wrapped up moto two in fourth.
When the final moto for the Motul MX2 class kicked off this afternoon, spectators watched on to see whether a third rider would take a race victory at Wanneroo – And once again it was Husqvarna’s Crawford who shot off to the early race lead, ahead of the consistent Rykers and Ward in second and third positions.
After only two laps, Beaton who started moto three in fourth made his presence known, passing both Ward and Rykers on the same lap to move in to second position, and begin his chase for race leader Crawford.
It was going in to lap five that Beaton executed a successful pass on Husqvarna’s Crawford, taking the race three lead, and allowing Crawford and Rykers to fight for second position behind him.
From there DPH Motorsport’s Beaton looked ultra comfortable in the rough and deep Wanneroo conditions, managing to keep Crawford at bay and attempting to set himself up for the final race victory.
However, when riders came past the finish line to receive the last lap board for the final time, it was Crawford who had made a pass back on Beaton to secure the lead once again with one lap to go, followed by Rykers, Ward and Porter.
And when bikes crossed the line for the final time, the determination of Husqvarna mounted Crawford saw him awarded with his first and final race win of the day, while Beaton was forced to settle for second, and Rykers remained consistent finishing in third.
With three different race winners across three motos in the Motul MX2 class, consistency was the key when the overall results were tallied, and it was Crawford whose 4-2-1 results saw him awarded with his first round victory for 2016 as well as the MX2 red plate, while Ward wrapped up round five in second, followed by local Western Australian Rykers who concluded the round in third.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
RESULTS AND STANDINGS
THOR MX1 Round Results
1. Kirk Gibbs 97 Pts
2. Matt Moss 86 Pts
3. Todd Waters 86 Pts
4. Kade Mosig 80 Pts
5. Jesse Dobson 80 Pts
6. Dylan Long 73 Pts
7. Jamie Law 72 Pts
8. Dean Ferris 70 Pts
9. Jay Wilson 69 Pts
10. Mitch Taylor 61 Pts
11. Michael Mahon 60 Pts
12. Charlie Creech 53 Pts
13. Craig Bolton 52 Pts
14. Michael Menchi (NZ) 48 Pts
15. Izak Maule 44 Pts
16. Daniel Banks 44 Pts
17. Jacob Wright 42 Pts
18. Brett Norton 38 Pts
19. Jake Watling 35 Pts
20. Luke Wilson 33 Pts
21. Anthony Rubotham 29 Pts
22. Jack Foley 28 Pts
23. Joey Merrylees 24 Pts
24. Julian Cutajar 17 Pts
25. Paul Humberston 11 Pts
26. Damon Gibbons 9 Pts
THOR MX1 Championship Standings After Round 5
1. Kirk Gibbs 351 Pts
2. Todd Waters 334 Pts
3. Dean Ferris 324 Pts
4. Matt Moss 314 Pts
5. Kade Mosig 267 Pts
6. Dylan Long 258 Pts
7. Brett Metcalfe 225 Pts
8. Jay Wilson 221 Pts
9. Jacob Wright 193 Pts
10. Michael Menchi (NZ) 188 Pts
11. Daniel Banks 178 Pts
12. Michael Mahon 171 Pts
13. Daniel Reardon 171 Pts
14. Jesse Dobson 158 Pts
15. Izak Maule 144 Pts
16. Jamie Law 110 Pts
17. Luke Wilson 109 Pts
18. Matthew Toth 108 Pts
19. Kurt Wightman 98 Pts
20. Lawson Bopping 85 Pts
MOTUL MX2 Round Results
1. Nathan Crawford 95 Pts
2. Caleb Ward 93 Pts
3. Jayden Rykers 92 Pts
4. Kyle Webster 87 Pts
5. Jed Beaton 81 Pts
6. Dean Porter 76 Pts
7. Wilson Todd 72 Pts
8. Dylan Wills 66 Pts
9. Hamish Harwood (NZ) 65 Pts
10. Wade Hunter 58 Pts
11. Joel Wightman 56 Pts
12. Jake Fewster 56 Pts
13. Ricky Latimer 53 Pts
14. Lochie Latimer 51 Pts
15. Joel Evans 48 Pts
16. Nick Sutherland 40 Pts
17. Jake Moss 39 Pts
18. Mathew McEntee 37 Pts
19. Bailey Coxon 37 Pts
20. Russell Scoble 33 Pts
21. Darren Schenk 33 Pts
22. Dylan Heard 24 Pts
23. Jessica Moore 19 Pts
24. Tom Lilly 18 Pts
25. Jake Woods 17 Pts
26. grant buchan 16 Pts
27. Adam Smith 15 Pts
28. john darroch 13 Pts
29. Josh Adams 13 Pts
MOTUL MX2 Championship Standings After Round 5
1. Nathan Crawford 326 Pts
2. Jed Beaton 313 Pts
3. Caleb Ward 305 Pts
4. Jayden Rykers 280 Pts
5. Wilson Todd 270 Pts
6. Kyle Webster 261 Pts
7. Jake Moss 255 Pts
8. Dylan Wills 239 Pts
9. Dean Porter 228 Pts
10. Hamish Harwood (NZ) 226 Pts
11. Joel Wightman 210 Pts
12. Wade Hunter 209 Pts
13. Richie Evans 162 Pts
14. Ricky Latimer 161 Pts
15. Luke Arbon 161 Pts
16. Kale Makeham 134 Pts
17. Nick Sutherland 120 Pts
18. Kurt Gow 106 Pts
19. Aaron Tanti 84 Pts
20. Josh Adams 80 Pts