Hondas Report from Broadford MX
No Fear Honda's Craig Anderson, was in fine form for round one of this year's title defence at Broadford yesterday until a heavy crash in moto two left the defending champion with injuries that will keep him sidelined for this weekend's Tasmanian bout.
After qualifying within a second of Daniel Reardon, 'Ando' took the holeshot in moto one, and led the field until a brief spill relegated him to third behind Cheyne Boyd. He battled extremely hard to reclaim second position before the flag fell, illustrating the full effect of his fitness training leading up to the opening round.
In the second moto, the 29-year-old got a mediocre start, but charged ahead to fourth position before losing his grip and cartwheeling in spectacular fashion into a jump causing the race to be red-flagged. After a trip to the local hospital, Honda confirmed that Ando will need to sit out at least the next round while he seeks further medical advice.
"I felt great in the first race, and it was just because the track was a bit slippery that I lost it for a minute," he said. "I was still able to catch and pass Boyd. Reardon was just too far ahead at that point for me to have a chance of winning but I was happy to get the second place points."
"I was pushing very hard before that second crash. I think I came up from about 18th place to fourth. At this point, I still need to get some further confirmation on what my exact injuries are, but I did manage to tweak my thumb and take a pretty hard knock. It's frustrating of course."
Whilst Ando rests on the sidelines, team mate Cody Cooper will go to round two hoping to gain much needed points after finishing tenth overall. The Kiwi rider qualified fourth fastest and looked to be highly competitive. Cooper also fell victim, however, to the freshly watered track, slipping off in moto one. He still managed to work his way up from the back of the pack to sixth exhibiting super fast lap times in the process.
In moto two, Cody was also caught up in a nasty tangle with another rider causing a fair bit of carnage to the bike and to himself. He was still able to finish the day but obviously not the way he wanted. "I've got a pretty sore shoulder and ribs so hopefully a few days rest this week will help."
"This isn't exactly how I wanted to start the season but the track was pretty tough and a lot of guys were coming off."
The Team's glory was left to rookie Kade Mosig who made an impressive debut in the Open Motocross class. The 17-year-old Victorian finished sixth overall behind this country's best riders, after a tenth and fifth place moto result. "I'm happy with my riding today and considering how many guys crashed out, am glad to have avoided any major incidents."
Team Manager Pip Harrison conveyed his frustration after the first round, and in particular, with his star rider copping injuries that will hamper his title chase. However, he was still able to find the positives. "The guys were all able to clock fast lap times so we know the CRF450's are set up well, and they each have the ability to take them to victory. It's disappointing to start the series with Ando copping an injury for sure," he said. "We will do what we can this week to hopefully get Cody fit to race in Tasmania, and look forward to Kade putting in another awesome effort as well."
"Also a special congratulations to Danny Anderson who won the first round in the Pro Lites class on board our satellite Honda team." "Digsy showed great maturity and skill and I believe he will continue to be extremely competitive this year"