After a rollercoaster opening round at Broadford, Yamaha’s factory motocross teams have just a few days to prepare and pack before the Nokia MX Nationals head south to Tasmania this weekend.The teams have a short window in which to make improvements to their race machines, before their full pit setup and all equipment is loaded and sent via the Bass Strait to the Apple Isle.
The Blackwood Park facility in Penguin is back after a one-year hiatus from the calendar, and is sure to bring a change of scenery to the championship. The primarily clay track is considered to be one of the best in the nation, and is equipped with an in-ground irrigation system to reduce dust and create the perfect surface for riders. Strong performances in both the Pro Open and Pro Lite classes in round 1 see Yamaha Racing head into the Penguin event with a good chance at challenging for the outright lead.
Lining up once again in the Yamaha Under 19's MX Development class will be round 1 winner Brenden Harrison (Serco Yamaha), Kirk Gibbs (Team Seven Yamaha) and Dean Ferris (GYTR/QYDT).
Yamaha Racing Pro Open Motocross
Brimming with confidence after the opening event, CDR/Nokia/Yamaha’s Cheyne Boyd will look to gap his rival Daniel Reardon at this weekend’s second round of the Nokia MX Nationals, which will be contested at Penguin in North-west Tasmania. A small mishap with his riding goggles meant Boyd wasn’t able to concentrate every effort on catching Reardon last weekend, but he still felt extremely comfortable aboard the bike and is confident of going one better on Sunday.
Eight points behind the leader, he believes he will have the upper hand and be able to apply maximum pressure across both motos.“I was reasonably happy with my performance last weekend and I’m pretty confident I can carry this on to the Penguin round and be challenging Daniel for the lead again,” said Boyd. “The team did an awesome job preparing my bike and, along with everyone, have a pretty hectic few days turning around and heading to Tasmania. It’s great to be visiting a different track this year, its certainly much different from most of those we ride on and will be more of a technical challenge to overcome.”
Ford Dale will look to bounce back to form after he suffered a series of setbacks that saw him eventually withdraw from last weekend’s final race.The week’s break will allow him to recuperate and refocus his attention on recording the consistent results he has shown to be well capable of.
“Broadford was a lot tougher than I expected it to be, and I will definitely need to come back and score some good points at Penguin,” said Dale. “I was comfortable in qualifying and the bike was working well, so I know I can carry this over to the coming races and will aim to be consistent while still finishing strongly.”
Matt Moss remains sidelined for round two of the series, still recovering from injury. CDR/Nokia/Yamaha will concentrate on the weekend campaigns of both Boyd and Dale and have elected not to run a replacement rider.
Eighth-place championship contender Shane Metcalfe is positive about his chances this weekend, and knows he can move up the field aboard his Team Seven Yamaha YZ450F.Metcalfe is an experienced campaigner in the premier class, and said he would be focusing on getting off to a clean start in order to avoid the usual mid-pack scrap for position as the gates dropped.
Joining Metcalfe from the Team Seven stable is Tom Jones, who is looking to restart his season on a positive note after a bout of the flu kept him from making an impact in the Pro Open class last weekend. He is seeking to race a pair of fast and consistent moto's and attempt to bridge the points gap between himself and the frontrunners.
Both Metcalfe and Jones commented that their Team Seven YZ450Fs seemed well up to the task at Broadford and had every confidence in the bikes being just as good in different conditions at Penguin.
Yamaha Racing Pro Lite Motocross
True to his promise, Jake Moss got the ball rolling early for Serco Yamaha at Broadford, grabbing a much-deserved podium and declaring himself a strong threat for Pro Lites title honours.
Although its early days, he believes that the momentum and confidence will help buoy him to better results in the condensed season format which is unforgiving if a rider is suffering form slump.
“There’s still a long way to go in this season but I am very happy to have started on such a high note, it was great to achieve the goals I had set for myself at Broadford and I’m hoping to do the same thing at Penguin this weekend,” said Moss. “I feel as though I’ve got the bike setup really well and we are making forward progress each time out, which is great.”
Teammate Daniel McCoy still managed to score 5th overall for the round despite admitting he was nowhere near his best, and is looking to improve at Penguin.“My starts probably let me down the most last weekend so that’s an area I’ll need to improve on if I’m going to be challenging for this title,” said McCoy.
“On the other hand I was pretty pleased to be able to make up so much time and so many positions after falling right back, it shows I’m riding well, the bike is on the pace and I’m carrying the form from earlier in the year that had us running very competitively each round of Supercross.”
Shaun Williamson’s season opening round at Broadford was full of positives, with the young rider finding his feet and competing well within the top half of the field. The sole Team Seven Yamaha operator in Pro Lites will back up this weekend at Penguin, eager to venture further towards the top 10. Each and every session produces more feedback from his YZ250F, and he is confident that the bike will come to him and provide some good race pace by Sunday afternoon.
Yamaha Racing Under 19 Development Class
The opening round of the Yamaha Under 19 MX Development class was a resounding success for the manufacturer, with new Serco signing Brenden Harrison blitzing the competition to take 2 from 2 moto wins and the outright series lead.
He is aiming to to continue his good run at the front as the series heads to Penguin, but will face strong opposition from Yamaha counterpart Kirk Gibbs, who flew the Team Seven Motorsports flag in fine style in round 1, finishing in third.
GYTR/QYDT talent Dean Ferris will look to string together a round of solid results after a major fall brought his good run of form in the opening round to a harsh end. Ferris has proven to be extremely capable of running at the front of the field, and finished just 6 seconds shy of Harrison in the opening moto last weekend.
Designed to help develop and foster younger riders as they approach the Pro Lites and Pro Open ranks, the MX Development class certainly has taken its share of the spotlight on race day, and the Yamaha-mounted trio of Harrison, Gibbs and Ferris are a major part of the show.They will race at every round of the national Nokia MX series in 2007.
2007 Nokia MX NationalsChampionship Standings after Round 1 of 10
Pro Open MX Championship
1. Daniel Reardon, 50
2. Cheyne Boyd, 42
3. Darryll King, 35
4. Jay Marmont, 24
5. Daryl Hurley, 22
6. Kade Mosig, 27
7. Justin Carafa, 27
8. Shane Metcalfe, 23
9. Craig Anderson, 22
10. Cody Cooper, 19
Pro Lite MX Championship
1. Danny Anderson, 45
2. Jake Moss, 43
3. Adam Monea, 39
4. Mitch Hoad, 35
5. Daniel McCoy, 31
6. Michael Phillips, 28
7. Luke Burkhart, 25
8. Cody Mackie, 24
9. Louis Calvin, 24
10. Lewis Stewart, 19
Yamaha Australia Under 19’s Championship
1. Brenden Harrison, 50
2. Joel Passlow, 40
3. Kirk Gibbs, 33
4. Todd Waters, 32
5. Kody Wheeler, 29
6. Andrew Reardon, 26
7. Matt Ryan, 24
8. Lawson Bopping, 24
9. Ryan Perry, 22
10. Dean Ferris, 22