Hosting the first of two epic back-to-back weekends of ProMX action in Queensland, the road to the Championship truly begins at QMP, where riders will look to firmly stake their claim and solidify their chances of championship glory before heading to Coolum for the final round of the championships just one week later.
Queensland race fans have patiently waited all season long for their chance to witness the exhilarating track side action of ProMX.
The fast and natural terrain setting of QMP will not disappoint, with riders, teams and industry alike all excited to hit the track in the Queensland winter sun and soak up the atmosphere the Queensland Rounds have to offer. A record crowd is expected at QMP, located under two hours of both Brisbane and the Gold Coast hubs of Australian Motocross riders and fans.
In the MX1 class, heading into Round 7 we see CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti with the series leader’s red number plate and a 29-point lead over HRC Honda Racing Australia’s Dean Ferris.
Ferris and Tanti battled fiercely at Coffs Harbour with Ferris ultimately emerging victorious for round six with 1-1 race scores. Tanti sacrificed a few points to Ferris at Coffs and so the question we must answer: Is Dean Ferris too close for comfort for Tanti with two rounds to go?
Ferris is a previous three-time champion in MX1 and knows how to get the job done. A deficit of 29 points is not easily bridged and Tanti is extremely fast, confident and capable of delivering the results needed to maintain his red plate at QMP this weekend and next weekend at Coolum; two tracks where he is known for his trademark speed.
One thing is for sure, QMP will set the stage for the championship finale and for Ferris, winning out is his only option, where Tanti has the advantage of managing his advantage starting when the gate drops at QMP.
Amazingly, we see the veterans like Husqvarna Australia’s Todd Waters and GO24 KTM’s Brett Metcalfe sitting tied for 3rd position in the championship, just 5 points behind Ferris.
Starting with Waters, the Queensland-based rider will be extremely comfortable at QMP where he has spun many laps of testing over the years. Could the super consistent Waters step up to challenge for race wins at QMP? It’s certainly not out of the question to see the 2019 champion return to the top step of the podium.
Metcalfe has shown incredible first race track position and speed at many rounds this season, If “Metty” can have a consistent showing at QMP, he and Waters will go down to the wire for the podium placings in the championship.
KTM Australia’s Kirk Gibbs showed great determination and speed after surgery leading into Coffs Harbour and we expect the same for the QLD based Gibbs at QMP.
In the MX2 class, red plate holder Wilson Todd is within just three points away from claiming the championship No.1 plate coming into round 7.
With the incredible speed and dominant level of riding over his competition that Wilson has displayed this season, it is realistic that he will be crowned MX2 champion following the opening race of the day at QMP.
This scenario has led to an interesting development where we may in fact see Todd jump up to the Honda CRF450R and compete in MX1 potentially at both QMP and Coolum.
He has been testing with the HRC Honda Racing Australia team and although not confirmed at this date, the rumour mill and excitement is building within the pits and industry alike that this could happen before the end of the 2022 championship. Watch this space!
Behind Wilson Todd, there are the usual suspects of MX2 riders, all looking to take their shot at podium placings at QMP.
With just 21 points separating Yamalube Yamaha rider Rhys Budd in second place in the championship and Serco Yamaha riders Jesse Dobson and Rhys Budd sitting third and fourth respectively, it is still all to play for as the three youngsters battle it out for podium placings and momentum into the final round at Coolum.
Empire Kawasaki’s Haruki Yokoyama and Gas Gas Australia’s Noah Ferguson will continue to play into the podium battles, as standout rides from Jayce Cosford and Caleb Barham at Coffs Harbour will no doubt add to the momentum and confidence of these riders battling for the lead positions at QMP.
The emergence of KTM Australia’s Nathan Crawford at Coffs Harbour as a legitimate race winning contender at his very first gate drops of the 2022 season as he returned from injury further adds to the excitement of how the MX2 class action will unfold at QMP.
As with all things MX2, the action will be non-stop as battles, crashes and passes will reign supreme at the fast QMP track.
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2022 Australian 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