Riders and teams were presented with a contrasting race track that as fast as it was treacherous, providing race fans with intense racing action and mistakes from many of the elite ProMX riders across the day.
In the MX1 class, it was time for the challengers to assert dominance over the field.
This followed an unprecedented turn of events that saw both the round one winner, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout, and the red plate holder after round two, HRC Honda Racing Australia’s Kyle Webster, both exit the championship with injuries within the same week. These two accidents conspired to throw the championship wide open.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti answered the call first thing, setting the fastest time in the MX1 qualifying session. However it was Kirk Gibbs, riding for the KTM Australia Racing Team, who claimed the top spot and set the fastest time in the top 10 pole shootout.
In the opening MX1 moto, HRC Honda Racing Australia’s Dean Ferris asserted himself early on lap one, leaping to the front of the field. The first lap saw Gibbs crash out of contention and Tanti colliding with the downed KTM rider’s bike, leaving both riders on the floor and at the back of the pack.
Husqvarna Racing Australia’s Todd Waters latched onto the back of Ferris and the pair ran in their all too familiar 1st and 2nd positions that we have seen so many times before.
To make things even more interesting, GO24 KTM’s Brett Metcalfe joined the veteran freight train out front, the trio sprinting away from the rest of the field.
Waters passed Ferris temporarily eight minutes into the race, however Ferris would return the favour in exactly the same spot five minutes later.
Ferris led the trio of Australian motocross legends to the chequered flag in an epic last lap battle, with Waters in 2nd, Metcalfe in 3rd, GAS GAS Australia’s Hayden Mellross 4th and a hard-charging Tanti in 5th.
For the first time in the 2022 ProMX Championship, the back-to-back motos factored into race day proceedings for MX1 in the afternoon.
In back to back part 1, Ferris executed the holeshot with Metcalfe in 2nd, Tanti in 3rd and Gibbs in 4th.
The short moto format saw the riders stay in this formation until late in the moto when Metcalfe cross-rutted and crashed following the first turn area, leaving the door open for Tanti and Gibbs to move forward.
At the chequered flag it was Ferris taking the win from Tanti in 2nd and Gibbs in 3rd.
Waters put on an incredible charge from a first turn crash all the way back to 5th in the short back to back moto format.
In the 2nd back to back moto, it was again Ferris who executed a perfect holeshot. Tanti pushed his way to the lead spot for the majority of the moto, however down the stretch Ferris was too strong, passing Tanti back with a few minutes to go.
At the chequered flag it was Ferris claiming a perfect day with another 1st, with Tanti in 2nd, Waters in 3rd, Metcalfe 4th and Mellross 5th.
Ferris closed up a huge points margin to just 11 points out of the championship lead with the MX1 overall victory at Wodonga.
Waters finished 2nd overall to claim the championship leader’s red plate and Tanti was 3rd overall, sitting just 1 point behind.
In the MX2 class, it appeared to be business as usual after HRC Honda Racing Australia’s Wilson Todd jumped to the front of the field early in lap 1, passing the holeshot man, Husqvarna Australia’s Dylan Wills.
However, on lap 3, Todd uncharacteristically crashed out of the lead, passing the number 1 spot to Serco Yamaha’s Jesse Dobson. A procession of Yamaha riders battled for the podium placings throughout the moto with Yamalube Yamaha’s Rhys Budd, Serco Yamaha’s Bailey Malkiewicz and WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha’s Ryder Kingsford all in tow.
At the end of moto 1, it was Malkiewicz who emerged victorious, ahead of Kingsford and Budd. Todd charged from 14th back to 4th and Dobson crashed out, sustaining a dislocated shoulder, at the mid-point of the race.
Moto 2 was more of a familiar affair, with Todd taking the holeshot and, after a brief battle with GAS GAS Australia’s Noah Ferguson, Todd began his trademark inching away from the field of MX2 riders.
Malkiewicz and Larwood battled for 2nd position, with Larwood eventually pulling away. At the chequered flag, it was Todd taking 1st with Larwood in 2nd and Malkiewicz in 3rd. Liam Andrews, on the Ride Red Honda, placed a season best 4th, with Kingsford placing 6th.
With 1-3 moto scores, Malkiewicz claimed his first career MX2 overall win, with Todd in 2nd and Kingsford in 3rd.
In the championship points, Todd maintains a healthy points lead, ahead of Malkiewicz in 2nd and Larwood in 3rd.
MX1 Overall Top Ten:
- Dean FERRIS / 25 / 25 – 50pts
- Todd WATERS /22 / 20 – 42pts
- Aaron TANTI / 16 / 22 – 38pts
- Brett METCALFE / 20 / 18 – 38pts
- Hayden MELLROSS / 18 / 12 – 30pts
- Joel EVANS / 13 / 15 – 28pts
- Joel WIGHTMAN / 11 / 16 – 27pts
- Jayden RYKERS / 10 / 14 – 24pts
- Kirk GIBBS / 14 / 9 – 23pts
- Dylan WOOD / 9 / 13 – 22pts
MX1 Championship Top Ten Standings:
- Todd WATERS – 118 pts
- Aaron TANTI – 117 pts
- Dean FERRIS – 107 pts
- Brett METCALFE – 103 pts
- Kirk GIBBS – 90 pts
- Kyle WEBSTER – 85 pts
- Jayden RYKERS – 77 pts
- Hayden MELLROSS – 77 pts
- Joel EVANS – 69 pts
- Joben BALDWIN – 58 pts
MX2 Overall Top Ten:
- Bailey MALKIEWICZ / 25 /20 – 45 Pts
- Wilson TODD / 18 / 25 – 43 Pts
- Ryder KINGSFORD / 22 / 15 – 37 Pts
- Liam ANDREWS / 16 / 18 – 34 Pts
- Noah FERGUSON / 15 / 16 – 31 Pts
- Rhys BUDD / 20 / 11 – 31 Pts
- Jai CONSTANTINOU / 13 / 14 – 27 Pts
- Alex LARWOOD / 4 / 22 – 26 Pts
- Dylan WILLS / 11 / 13 – 24 Pts
- Jayce COSFORD / 12 / 9 – 21 Pts
MX2 Top Ten Championship Standings:
- Wilson TODD – 143 Pts
- Bailey MALKIEWICZ – 118 Pts
- Alex LARWOOD – 110 Pts
- Rhys BUDD – 89 Pts
- Ryder KINGSFORD – 83 Pts
- Dylan WILLS – 83 Pts
- Jesse DOBSON – 77 Pts
- Liam ANDREWS – 73 Pts
- Noah FERGUSON – 68 Pts
- Jai CONSTANTINOU – 68 Pts
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
2022 ProMX Championships calendar:
Round 1 – Wonthaggi VIC, 27th March
Round 2 – Mackay QLD, 10th April
Round 3 – Wodonga VIC, 1st May
Round 4 – Gillman SA, 29th May
Round 5 – Maitland NSW, 26th June
Round 6 – Coffs Harbour NSW, 24th July
Round 7 – QLD Moto Park, 14th August
Round 8 – Coolum QLD, 20-21st August