WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha rising star, Bailey Malkiewicz, stretched his lead in the under 19 (MXD) division of the MX Nationals after a clutch performance at round nine of the championship, held at Gladstone on the weekend.With a tight five rider battle for the championship and the pressure on the rising stars to perform at the business end of the season, it was Malkiewicz who held his nerve to produce one of his best rides of the year to win both 20 minute motos and now move 24 points clear of his team mate and nearest rival, Hugh McKay.
Race one saw him move into the lead and then produce a riding clinic to race away from the field and take an impressive 20 second win and keep momentum going in his favour. But race two was completely different as Malkiewicz didn’t get the best of starts and was sitting in sixth at the end of the first lap.
He worked his way forward and took control of the race just past the half way stage but wasn’t able to break clear of team mate, McKay. McKay shadowed him all the way to the finish line but couldn’t get close enough to make a pass, so it was Malkiewicz from McKay in a WBR Yamaha team 1-2.
“I needed a round like this to get some breathing space heading into Coolum,” said a relived Malkiewicz. “It’s only 24 points and there is still a lot of work to be done but I would rather be 24 in front than 24 behind.
“I came up here for a local race not so long ago, but the track was nothing like it turned out today. The ruts were deep, sharp and traction wasn’t always easy to find so I had to not get too aggressive and keep as calm as I could as it was easy to make a mistake out there and go down.
“My bike was in great shape today and thanks to the team for all the work they put in during the week. Hopefully now I can finish the job at Coolum,” he ends.
Sitting second in the championship is team mate Hugh McKay who had an up and down day at Gladstone where he finished with 12-1 results. McKay was in a fast freight train of riders in the opening moto but made a couple of mistakes mid race that saw him drop down the field. He did all he could, but he crossed the finish-line in 12th.
Moto two saw him rebound well to salvage as many points as he could. He moved through the field and slotted in behind his team mate and the pair moved away from the pack and raced all the way to the finish line. His 12-2 results left him in fifth for the day and second in the championship, just three points ahead of third.
“It was a disappointing result in the first moto. I was in pretty good position early in the race but just had a couple of terrible laps that let me down. But once the race is over, you can’t do much about it, so I had to refocus on race two, get things back on track and there is still a championship at stake here.
“I lost some points today but it’s not over and I’m going to give it my all at Coolum. Anything can happen, and I will keep fighting to the end and as long as I ride my best, then I will be happy,” McKay said.
With both riders vying for a championship at the final round and four riders in the MXD class with a mathematical chance of winning, the WBR Bulk Nutrients team will have a busy week ensure of the I’s are dotted and T’s are cross in preparation for a big weekend at Coolum.
1st Bailey Malkiewicz – 528 (Yamaha YZ250F)
2nd Hugh McKay – 504 (Yamaha YZ250F)
3rd Riley Dukes – 501
4th Max Purvis – 488 (Yamaha YZ250F)
5th Brodie Ellis – 459 (Yamaha YZ250F)
1st Bailey Malkiewicz – 70 (WBR Yamaha)
2nd Jayce Cosford – 58
3rd Riley Dukes – 57
4th Rhys Budd – 54
5th John Bova – 54
6th Hugh McKay – 51 (WBR Yamaha)
7th Max Purvis – 48
8th Brodie Ellis – 48
9th Liam Walsh – 42
10th Mason Rowe – 42