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Crawford Wins In Australia

Crawford Wins In Australia

May 25

  • Race Report

On-track plot twists dominated Penrite ProMX Championship, presented by AMX Superstores, action on Saturday, as the country’s best motocross racers took to the track for the opening day of Maitland’s two-day round.

As Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) got the better of his title rivals to earn a second Thor MX1 race win of the year, it was a memorable day for Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Ryder Kingsford as he charged to his first-career Pirelli MX2 moto victory.

Meanwhile, Jake Cannon (Mongrel Boots Honda Racing) continued his recent strong form with a race win in MAXXIS MX3, as Seth Thomas (GASGAS) and Blake Bohannon (Yamaha) captured wins in the Fox Racing MX85 Cup and KTM Group MX65 Futures classes.

The drama flowed from the moment the Thor MX1 class took to the track today, when reigning champion Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) crashed heavily before he could register a qualifying lap and was taken to the local hospital for further examination. Ferris has been ruled out for the weekend, and with a potential 75 points on offer, it could be devastating for the four-time national champion's title defence.

Although Boost Mobile Honda Racing’s points leader Kyle Webster dominated the first qualifying session by almost two seconds, his main challenger Jed Beaton (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) emphatically struck in the AMX Superstores Top 10 Super Pole Shootout, topping the charts with an unbeatable 1m39.271s lap-time.

Webster tried to respond but came up 0.808s short, his 1m40.079 lap was still good enough for P2, ahead of KTM Racing Team’s Crawford. Positions fourth and fifth were filled by two former MX1 champions in GASGAS Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs and Empire Kawasaki’s Luke Clout.

Bailey Malkiewicz (WBR Yamaha) finished an encouraging P6 in his debut MX1 outing, ahead of Todd Waters (Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team). P8 belonged to Zachary Watson (Husqvarna), while Blake Fox made his return to the ProMX circuit aboard a KTM to finish P9, with Liam Jackson (GASGAS) completing the top 10.

In the first Thor MX1 moto of the weekend, Crawford might have scored the holeshot and taken his second race victory of the season, but there was a whole lot of fireworks between those two moments. The race lead changed no less than five times, as Gibbs, Beaton, and Webster all took turns at the head of the pack in a frantic exchange over the first half of the moto.

Things came to a head when Webster crashed out of the lead and dropped back to sixth, allowing Crawford to regain the lead and take a hard-earned win by 5.179s over Beaton. Beaton’s P2 was more than enough to see him again take over the series red plate, with a five-point buffer over Webster. Clout put in a measured ride to finish a satisfying third, as Gibbs crossed the finish line in P4.

Webster recovered from his crash to take P5, while a fast-finishing Brett Metcalfe (Penrite GO24 Kawasaki) edged Waters on the last lap to claim seventh. Positions eight to 10 were filled by Watson, Joel Evans (Yamaha), and Fox. Motos two and three will commence tomorrow – you won’t want to miss it!

In the Pirelli MX2 class, runaway series leader Brodie Connolly continued his same rich vein of form by posting a scorching qualifying lap-time to start the weekend’s proceedings. The Polyflor Honda Racing rider’s quickest lap – a 1m40.683s – was almost 1.4s quicker than his closest rival, Byron Dennis (GASGAS Racing Team).

Empire Kawasaki recruit Reid Taylor finished the session in P3, ahead of Kayden Minear (KTM Racing Team) and Kaleb Barham (Yamalube Yamaha Racing). The remaining top 10 places were filled by Noah Ferguson (Boost Mobile Honda Racing), Ryder Kingsford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Haruki Yokoyama (Honda), Rhys Budd (Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team), and Jai Constantinou (Elliott Bros GASGAS).

There was a sudden turn of events in the opening MX2 moto, as Kingsford scored the holeshot and went on to win his first race at this level after a lonely ride at the front of the pack. All hell broke loose behind him, as Connolly crashed on the start straight and remounted in last, while Honda Racing team-mate Ferguson also found himself mid-pack off the start.

Malkiewicz, who’s performing double duty in two classes this weekend, capitalised on a great start to finish the race with a well-deserved runner-up result, holding off a hard-charging Alex Larwood (Froth Honda Racing), who steadily moved his way forward throughout the moto.

Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Jayce Cosford and Yokoyama also both put in impressive rides to complete the top-five after both getting the better of Minear late in the race. Ferguson finished a gritty P7 after his bad start, ahead of Barham, Cambell Williams (MotoGo Yamaha) and Budd, who ran as high as third early in the moto.

Back in the pack, Connolly scrambled his way forward to P12, but then crashed again and finished the race in a frustrating 19th, collecting just two points for all his efforts. His points lead has been cut from 38 to 25, giving his rivals added hope in the championship fight heading into tomorrow’s two motos.

Mongrel Boots Honda Racing rider Jake Cannon has continued his mid-season roll, comfortably winning the first of the MAXXIS MX3 motos on Saturday. Cannon topped the class’s qualifying session, then overtook holeshot winner Cooper Rowe within a handful of corners to go on and win the opening race by a comfortable 7.916s from series leader Kayd Kingsford (WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha).

Kingsford’s team-mate Koby Hantis completed the race podium, a distant 13 seconds back after having to work his way forward from a P7 start. GASGAS rider Ky Woods finished the moto in fourth, holding off Jack Deveson (Husqvarna), who tried to finish the race strongly and was rewarded with a P5 result. The second and third MAXXIS MX3 motos will be held tomorrow.

GAGAS rider Seth Thomas became the standalone leader of the talent-packed Fox Racing MX85 category with one round of the series remaining, after a mature performance in Saturday’s race today.

It was his nearest rival, Heath Davy (Yamaha), who scored the holeshot and tried to distance himself early on, but Thomas grabbed the lead on the fourth lap, then went on to win by 4.16s. Cooper Danaher (GASGAS) finished a distant third, as Connor Feather (Husqvarna) and Richie Lawler (KTM) completed the top five.

Top qualifier Levi Townley (Yamaha) took a hard-fought P6. After starting on the cusp of the top 10, he quickly worked his way up to P2 early on, before crashing soon afterward and tumbling down to P20. The New Zealander then clawed his way back to P6 before the clock ran out.

Our future stars of the sport took to the track for the first time in 2024 today, and it was young Yamaha rider Blake Bohannon who took opening MX65 Futures honours, with a memorable wire-to-wire victory.

Bohannon scored the holeshot and went on to win by 5.563s over KTM-mounted Lewis-Jay Carafa, with fellow KTM rider Kye Sproule rounding out the podium, another 8.9s further back. KTM duo Mason Ezergailis and Chase Worthington finished their day fourth and fifth. The young rippers will again hit the track tomorrow for their second race, before returning for the final two rounds in Queensland during August.

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