CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris has continued his dominance of the MX Nationals with another two wins at the Nowra Motorsport complex, July 1-2.
Kawasaki newcomer Brett Metcalfe and KTM’s Kirk Gibbs finished the round in second and third place.
Image: MXN/Marc Jones Photography.
Ferris is fresh back from a successful racing stint in the US, which gave him plenty of confidence to lay down his authority, taking his sixth MX Nats round win in a row with two flawless motos in the premier MX1 (450cc) division.
“My attitude coming in was that everyone uses the break to reset and refresh and hit the round with renewed energy.
“I see their goal as to stop my momentum and break my confidence, so I focused making sure that didn’t happen,” Ferris said.
When the gate dropped for moto one, Ferris took control in the very early stages and began to grind out a small gap on his rivals.
The tight Nowra track produces close racing and it takes relentless lap speed to gain an advantage.
At the end of the 30 minute race, Ferris took a 15 second win, starting the second half of the championship in perfect fashion.
Race two again saw the CDR Yamaha rider rocket out of the gate on his YZ450F and be placed inside the top three in the early stages.
He stalked the race leaders for the first three laps before pouncing on lap four and moving to the front.
Nowra also marked the return of Dylan Long for his first race back after a long time off the bike as he recovered from a hand and wrist injury.
With next to no racing under his belt this season and only limited time back on the bike in the lead up to Nowra, Long was always going to find the two 30 minute races at national speed difficult but he aims to race himself back into shape as the series progresses.
He showed he hasn’t lost any of his pace and was running as high as second place in the opening moto before fatigue set in and he dropped back through the field.
Moto two was just about getting more race laps under his belt and he produced two top 15 finishes in his return to racing.
MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s newcomer Brett Metcalfe spent no time stepping onto the podium.
Metcalfe was quickest in regular qualifying, lodged the second-fastest time in Super Pole and went onto record a pair of second place finishes for the runner-up overall.
The weekend culminated with Metcalfe’s fifth day on the bike, he said “to learn the bike as quick as possible, change a few things and come to the track and be competitive was really the goal.”
The South Australian didn’t make it easy on himself either, forced to recover from early mistakes in both 30-minute plus one lap motos.
In race one, Metcalfe came from as far back as 15th, while moto two was less severe and enabled him to settle into position.
“I think it’s something huge that we can really build on and gain momentum,” Metcalfe said after his spirited performance.
“That’s something I’ve been missing for pretty much the whole season.”
Kawasaki’s premier class rookie Nathan Crawford wound up inside the top-five.
The five-week layoff proved to be beneficial for the youthful talent as he piloted his number 199 machine to a 5-6 scorecard.
One of the more exciting moments for Crawford came in the early stages of race two, where he led the field for a handful laps before a mistake saw him drop to sixth to finish the day.
“It wasn’t too bad, fifth overall for the day and I can’t really complain,” said a modest Crawford.
“I was a little disappointed about the second moto, but then I remember that throughout the six-week break – I didn’t race Murray Bridge – the only thing I was doing was in the gym and was not able to ride for much of it.
Crawford was forced to miss the fifth round at Murray Bridge due to a wrist injury.
After a last-start race win in his birth-state of South Australia, Kirk Gibbs was hopeful of repeating the dose, however, perfect starts eluded him and he was forced to contend with traffic and roost in both motos, making his way to 3-4 finishes.
Gibbs and his KTM 450 SX-F are in fine form, and the 2015 Champion is confident that a round win will be coming his way sooner rather than later.
“I had a bit of a struggle today,” Gibbs said.
“I feel like I am riding really well, but I’m frustrated with how it’s going.
“I’ve been working on a lot of things and getting better and better, but the results were worse.
“3-4 is not a bad result on paper, but I believe in myself and the team, and I believe that we should definitely be chasing wins every race.”
The KTM factory team’s second KTM 450 SX-F and its pilot Luke Styke were temporarily at the pointy-end of the opening moto of the day, however his blinding start was quickly undone when he was felled by another rider at the first turn.
DPH Motorsport Yamaha
DPH Motorsport’s Kade Mosig rode better than his results showed, with an 11-3 result for sixth overall.
Mosig was “pretty happy” with his weekend, he said “the work I’ve put in & with the help of Craig Anderson, I really feel like I’m riding better than the first half of the season already.
“Getting caught up in the first corner pile up and then having another crash through the race really put me down the pack in race 1, but we bounced back and finished the day with a strong ride that helps solidify my 3rd place in the championship.”
Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Kyle Peters fought hard to come back and salvage crucial championship points.
Peters, who headed back home to the United States during the mid-season break to reset and recharge showed moments of positivity yesterday, and despite the results not showing on paper, the Factory Suzuki rider dug deep on the tight and technical circuit.
Despite having not raced a track like Nowra since he was a junior, Peters qualified just off the pace in seventh yesterday morning, and when the American lined up for race one, he was optimistic that he could turn things around.
Unfortunately, the first turn pile-up in moto one saw Peters go down, but the Suzuki RM-Z 450 rider re-joined the pack and charged from 22nd back to seventh.
Peters nursed a sore shoulder in the second moto, however he looked to snatch up as many points as possible.
After getting a mid-pack start Peters salvaged ninth in the last race of the day, and with 7-9 moto results, concluded the tough outing at Nowra in eighth overall.
“It was a difficult weekend for me, but there were some positives.
“Even though I went down in the first turn in moto one I fought back to seventh so that was somewhat of an achievement given the circumstances,” Peters explained.
“We’re working hard anytime that we aren’t racing and although that the results aren’t showing on paper we have the speed so it’s just about putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together.
“I had my family over from the U.S at Nowra which was a big help, it’s nice to have that extra support at the track.
“Now we’ll just re-focus and shift our attention to Shepparton, there are still four rounds of the championship left and I’m determined to finish the year strong.”
Crankt Protein Honda Racing
Queenslander Todd Waters started on a positive note, claiming his third Super Pole in as many races to be credited three championship points in the process, while Clout joined his teammate in the session, lodging the fifth-fastest time.
It was Clout who shone in front of a home crowd in race one, negotiating the tricky Nowra circuit aboard his 2017 CRF450R with class to cross the line in fourth, setting him up nicely for a solid finish prior to race two.
Waters encountered troubles in the opening laps of the race while running in second position, which ultimately forced him the retire from the moto.
In race two, Clout was again able to record a strong consistent finish of fifth, awarding him a well-deserved top five placing in fourth overall for the weekend.
The premier class newcomer now sits sixth in the championship standings with four rounds remaining.
Waters came out looking to make amends in his second outing, racing to seventh in what capped off a challenging day for the experienced title hopeful.
He maintains a top five position in the point standings with a firm hold on fifth ahead of Clout.
2017 MX Nationals Rd6 Nowra MX1 results:
1. Dean Ferris 70
2. Brett Metcalfe 64
3. Kirk Gibbs 58
4. Luke Clout 54
5. Nathan Crawford 51
6. Kade Mosig 50
7. Luke Styke 48
8. Kyle Peters 46
9. Kieron Hall 43
10. Brodie Sims 42
2017 MX Nationals MX1 championship standings:
1. Dean Ferris 427
2. Kirk Gibbs 366
3. Kade Mosig 329
4. Luke Styke 310
5. Todd Waters 304
6. Luke Clout 277
7. Kyle Peters 276
8. Brett Metcalfe 239
9. Aleksandr Tonkov 218
10. Kieron Hall 216