Yamaha on the podium at Wonthaggi MX

Yamaha Racing's Pro Open and Pro Lite contenders have enjoyed a successful Nokia MX Nationals Wonthaggi weekend, with a number of standout performances delivering them hard-earned podium spoils.


Yamaha Racing's Pro Open and Pro Lite contenders have enjoyed a successful Nokia MX Nationals Wonthaggi weekend, with a number of standout performances delivering them hard-earned podium spoils.

The Pro Open campaign was spearheaded by Cheyne Boyd, in his first return to racing since surgery on his ankle. In the Pro Lites class, points leader Jake Moss was once again on the ball, and looked set to run away with the win before misfortune struck. A quick and consistent Michael Phillips, who fields a privateer entry for Yamaha, broke through for his first ever round win after outclassing a host of other factory riders.

The Craig Dack Rookies kept the crowd entertained, with Yamaha young gun Luke Styke putting on a repeat performance from last weekend's round, taking second overall. Yamaha Racing Pro Open. CDR/Nokia/Yamaha's Cheyne Boyd was quick to shake clouds of doubt surrounding his ability to race with the frontrunners at this weekend's round of the Nokia MX Nationals at Wonthaggi, taking an amazing second place overall, the result of two hard-fought motos.

The team's leading title hope had his aspirations dashed in just the second round of the series, and has spent what has seemed like an eternity on the sidelines. Boyd's performance today was nothing short of amazing, matching the pace of the leaders in the opening moto to take second place. The battle resumed in the decider, this time he cruised to a comfortable third and stitched up an unexpected but welcome round podium.

"I am really happy to have scored a podium on my return to the championship. I wasn't race fit and I couldn't really fight late in the races. But that is to be expected considering the circumstances," said Boyd. "Overall though, I am pleased that the recovery program that my doctors put in place 3 months ago has worked 100% and Ill be back to fight with Daniel at Round 9," he finished.

Ford Dale had a positive weekend at Wonthaggi, taking two top 10 moto finishes as the result of some level-headed riding. The team's youngest member looked set to finish further up the leaderboard but was forced to recover from a few mistakes which hindered his progress in the second moto. Team Principal Craig Dack said Dale had put together a solid performance and said there was lots more to come.

"I though Ford did very well today. He made some silly mistakes in the second moto that affected his overall result but this will happen less and less as his riding matures," said Dack. "We need to remember that Ford is still very young and his career is still in its early days so mistakes must be expected."

Dack also said he was pleased to see Boyd bounce back so early after returning to racing. "After working with Cheyne for so many years, I could see he was still rusty from his lack of racing whilst recuperating but I'm rapt to see him make the podium on his comeback ride," he ended.

Team Seven Yamaha's Tom Jones had a competitive weekend at Wonthaggi, improving on his moto 1 result of 12th to charge into the top 10 and grab 8th in moto 2. The combined results gave him a round top 10, a great reward for some hard-fought riding. It was a round to forget for his teammate Shane Metcalfe, who, despite setting some quick laps in qualifying, was out of the running after just 2 laps in the day's first moto. He bounced back to take 16th in the final, a good recovery but his failure to finish the opener left him launguishing in the overall tally, in 20th.

Metcalfe still retains his 10th in the championship, with Ford Dale behind in 11th and Jones in 12th. Yamaha's best-placed Pro Open campaigner is Matt Moss, who has unfortunately been ruled out of contention after breaking his leg a fortnight ago. He is still in 7th but will be unable to fend off any challengers vying to pick off his placing in the final two rounds.

Yamaha Racing Pro Lite.

Yamaha privateer Pro Lite racer Michael Phillips has claimed an emphatic victory at today's 8th round of the Nokia MX Nationals at Wonthaggi. Phillips, who has displayed speed at a number of the rounds to date, was on the pace early and put his YZ250F in front when it counted, fending off challenges from the factory favourites. Consistent performances paid off for Phillips, who took second in moto 1 and fourth in moto 2.

He was joined on the podium by fellow Yamaha rider, Kirk Gibbs, of Team Seven Yamaha, who displayed his prowess in the premier field. Gibbs took second overall for the round, the result of a 7th in moto 1 and a fantastic 2nd place in moto 2.

"In my first race I got a bad start and then had to fight just to get 7th. In the second Moto, I got an average start again but once I got into 3rd place I settled into a rhythm and then Lewis Stewart went down which gave me 2nd," said Gibbs. "Now I go back into Under 19's for the next two rounds and feel much more confident."

Serco Yamaha had another good showing at the track today, with series leader Jake Moss unlucky not to win the round with a mystery mechanical fault stealing victory in moto 1. Quickest in qualifying, Moss looked set to easily take 2 from 2 but was forced to withdraw from the opening moto as the team scratched their heads over what could have caused his normally faultless machine to break down.

His spare YZ250F was just what the doctor ordered, and delivered him a great comeback moto win, with the young charger left to ponder what could have been. "The spare bike was fine in the second moto. I felt much better in the second race than the first, but I knew I had to win the second," said Moss. "I'm happy though because I've managed to come out of today without any effect on my points standing."

His teammate and Under 19's championship leader Brendan Harrison was another standout performer in today's Pro Lites field, finishing equal on points with two other riders in third place. He will head back to his regular seat in the final two rounds of the championship and set about continuing his good run at Lakes and Coolum.

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