Maitland, in New South Wales, hosted round five of the ProMX Australian Motocross Championships at the weekend, with the fast and technical track ensuring close racing and intense battles throughout the day.
Veteran rider Brett Metcalfe (GO24 KTM) rocketed out of the gate to claim a huge holeshot in the opening MX1 race.
A furious first lap ensued, with all the major title contenders trading plastic and placings early in the opening turns. At the end of lap one, it was BBR 102 Motorsports rider Matt Moss who continued his momentum, since claiming the fastest qualifying time earlier in the day, as he took the lead from Metcalfe.
Moss’ lead was short-lived, as KTM Australia’s Kirk Gibbs was next to mount an attack and claim the lead on the following lap. Moss was then shuffled back by championship leader Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) and Metcalfe.
The freight train of Gibbs, Tanti, and Metcalfe proceeded to tick off laps in close proximity until the middle part of the race, when red plate holder Tanti pulled the trigger and passed Gibbs for the lead.
As Tanti began to sprint away and establish a strong track lead, Moss regrouped and passed Metcalfe for third and then Gibbs for second place. Gibbs fell late in the moto coming out of the split section, relegating him from the podium positions.
At the chequered flag, it was Tanti in first, Moss second, Metcalfe third, Todd Waters (Husqvarna Australia) in fourth, and Gibbs in fifth.
After struggling with set-up in the first moto, Dean Ferris (Honda Racing Australia) had a point to prove in moto two after a mechanical issue saw him fade back to seventh in the opener. After taking a massive holeshot at the gate drop Ferris succumbed to Metcalfe for the lead on the opening lap.
Tanti was next to mount an attack one lap later, passing both Ferris and Metcalfe to move into the lead with Moss hot on his heels.
From there, the trio of Tanti, Moss, and Ferris were never separated by more than a few bike lengths.
With the afternoon sun low in the sky and a hard-packed track, passing and time-making positions were limited and the trio played a game of cat and mouse that stretched all the way to the chequered flag, where it was Tanti making it 1-1 moto scores to take the overall win and stretch his championship points lead.
Moss retained second in the moto and overall in a season-best day for the former champion.
A frustrated Ferris had to settle for third in the final race, with Waters riding to yet another incredibly constant day with fourth position and third overall for the day.
In the opening Pirelli MX2 Moto, it was Dylan Wills who took the holeshot, with championship leader Wilson Todd (pictured above) and Haruki Yokoyama following close behind in second and third respectively.
Wills set the pace early in the race, keeping red plate-holder Todd a few bike lengths behind throughout the opening 10 minutes.
At the same time, Bailey Malkiewicz and Jesse Dobson were battling for fifth position, with Dobson catching fire and moving through the field, first passing Yokoyama for third and then capitalising on Dylan Wills misfortune after he fell when fending off the attacks from Wilson Todd for the lead.
Down the stretch, Todd was too strong and maintained solid track position and a modest lead over Dobson to take the win.
Yokoyama claimed third after Wills and Noah Ferguson came together before the final lap. Malkiewicz and Ferguson rounded out the top five.
Todd executed a perfect holeshot in moto two to lead the field through the opening turns. Behind Todd, a second turn pile-up held up many of the heavy hitters in the class such as Rhys Budd, Blake Fox, and Yokoyama.
This cleared room for Kaleb Barham and Jayce Cosford to battle for podium positions through the opening half of the moto. As Wills exited from podium contention with a mechanical issue, it was Dobson who mounted an incredible charge through to second place with Jai Constantinou riding to a season best third position. Todd took the chequered flag in dominating fashion.
Noah Ferguson held on to fifth position which helped him to the overall podium with third, Dobson was second overall and Todd first overall with a pair of wins.
THOR MX1 Overall Podium:
1st – Aaron Tanti
2nd – Matt Moss
3rd – Todd Waters
Pirelli MX2 Overall Podium:
1st – Wilson Todd
2nd – Jesse Dobson
3rd – Noah Ferguson
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2022 Penrite 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