New Zealand MX1 champion Hamish Harwood (KTM) enjoyed being back in action after recovering from injury to finish sixth in moto one and then 4-8 in the back-to-back sprint races on Sunday, but he also injured himself again – fracturing his C7 in his neck in race one – so it was certainly a mixed outcome for him.
“Who knows how and why I continued racing the day,” he said.
“So gutted as all I’ve been doing is sand riding lately and I love Coolum, but awesome to know I’ve got the speed to run up front with the best guys in Australia.”
Fellow Kiwi Hayden Smith (Gas Gas) scored 12th and 26th in his two MX2 class outings.
Meanwhile, Taranaki bothers Curtis and Ryan King also competed on Sunday. Curtis King managed 25-28 in his two MX2 class outings, while younger brother Rian scored 8-10 finishes in the MX3 class.
The only other Kiwi rider to feature at QMP was Kerikeri’s Logan Denize (Gas Gas), who managed 9-14 finishes in the MX3 class.
In the opening MX1 race, it was yet again another trademark holeshot from Ferris on his Honda.
Behind Ferris, the tone for the day was set, with leader’s red plate holder Aaron Tanti (Yamaha) in second place on the opening laps.
As the battle developed giving the fans everything they wanted to see, the two championship heavyweights maintaining close track position for the majority of the race, with Tanti unable to make a move onto Ferris’ rear wheel and challenge for a pass.
With a race track proving one-lined at times in the opening races due to heavy rain on Saturday, the majority of the top placings remained relatively unchanged throughout the first half of the race, before riders began to find their flow.
A hard-charging Brett Metcalfe (KTM) fired up at the halfway mark, passing from the back side of the top 10 on the opening laps all the way to third position with a few laps to go.
At the same time, Ferris began to edge away from Tanti and take the chequered flag with a comfortable margin, ahead of Tanti in second, Metcalfe in third, Husqvarna’s Todd Waters in fourth and an impressive fifth position for the MX1 debut of the newly-crowned MX2 class champion, Honda’s Wilson Todd, fresh off both the championship and pole position in the Top Ten Shootout in MX1.
Welcoming the return of the back-to-back racing format for the second race of MX1, starts and track position were crucial with riders being presented with an extremely rough and challenging race track for the afternoon at QMP.
Ferris wasted no time executing another perfect holeshot in part two of the back-to-back races, leading wire-to-wire in the shorter race format to claim an all important win, setting himself up in a great position for the lowest combined points score of the two back-to-back races and an overall win on the day.
Behind Ferris, KTM Australia’s Kirk Gibbs found form, following Ferris closely to second position with Tanti a consistent third.
In part two of the back-to-back races, Todd emerged as winner of the holeshot, as Ferris tangled bars with a number of riders.
Gibbs sprinted to the front of the field early, passing Todd for the lead and did not look back as he logged clean laps to take the chequered flag.
Behind Gibbs, Ferris and Tanti mounted charges on each other and towards Gibbs, but would ultimately settle for second and third respectively in the race.
With 2-1 race scores in the back-to-back races, Gibbs scored lowest points and took the overall win for the combined race, but the overall win on the day belonged to Ferris, who clawed back valuable championship points on Tanti in second overall and Gibbs in third.
Kaleb Barham (Husqvarna) brought the momentum and speed he gained at Coffs Harbour right into QMP with a holeshot and a flawless opening half to race one, leading the field until the half way point.
Yamaha’s Rhys Budd ran in second place with the championship on the line, as red plate holder, Honda’s Wilson Todd started in fifth position.
Todd did not look rushed as he slowly worked his way forward, eventually passing into fourth position past Yamaha privateer Jayce Cosford, who was enjoying another strong showing after his speed at the previous round.
With fourth position being more than enough to clinch the title in the opening race, Todd was crowned the MX2 class champion at the chequered flag, to the delight of the entire HRC Team.
As the race played out in front of Todd, it was KTM Australia’s Nathan Crawford who would work his way forward to pass Budd and then Barham for the race win, with Budd finishing in second and Barham holding onto third ahead of Todd.
In race two, Todd elected to focus on his MX1 racing commitments for the afternoon, leaving the class wide open.
Crawford took the holeshot, with Yamaha’s Levi Rogers in second and KTM privateer Reid Taylor in third in the opening laps.
These three riders rode in close proximity for the first half of race two before the Yamaha freight train of Bailey Malkiewicz and Jesse Dobson put on a charge to the front.
Moving towards the top three, Dobson eventually passed his team-mate and have his sights firmly set on the front, passing Rogers for second in the closing laps.
At the chequered flag it was Crawford with a perfect 1-1 race scores and the overall win, with Dobson in second and Rogers in third.
The ProMX Championship now heads to Coolum, in Queensland, for the eighth and final round on August 20 and 21.
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RESULTS & STANDINGS:
MX1 overall podium:
- Dean Ferris
- Aaron Tanti
- Kirk Gibbs
MX2 overall podium:
- Nathan Crawford
- Rhys Budd
- Jesse Dobson
Leading championship points:
- Aaron Tanti (Yamaha) 296 points;
- Dean Ferris (Honda) 272;
- Brett Metcalfe (KTM) 258;
- Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 252;
- Kirk Gibbs (KTM) 226.
- Wilson Todd (Honda) 311 points;
- Rhys Budd (Yamaha) 233;
- Jesse Dobson (Yamaha) 217;
- Bailey Malkiewicz (Yamaha) 207;
- Haruki Yokoyama (Kawasaki) 187.
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