The WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha team battled hard for their results at a challenging round two of the MX Nationals, held at Appin Raceway, on the weekend.Contesting the MXD (under19) division, the WBR Yamaha pilots of Hugh McKay and Bailey Malkiewicz finished the day in third and sixth respectively and continue to be right in the thick of the action in the championship chase.
The team started the day brilliantly with Malkiewicz and McKay clocking the fastest times in qualifying and getting the first choice of the starting gates in moto one.
It was McKay who got the best jump from the gate and came around in second place at the completion of lap one. He then quickly made a move into the lead on lap two and got down to business. He fought of some spirited challenges by his rivals to take the race win by just over three seconds and get his day off to the perfect start.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get as good a start in race two but was still inside the top 10 on the opening lap. It took McKay a few laps to settle into his race pace and he let a couple of positions slip before regathering himself and moving forward again. He charged his way back to fifth place and his 1-5 results gave him equal second, third on a countback, for the day in a good effort from the hard-working Tasmanian.
“First race was good and just what we need to start the day but race two could be improved and I need to ensure I stay as consistent as possible in a championship this long,” McKay said. “My goal is to finish inside the top three every race and win the ones that present themselves so I need to stay focused on that and keep racking up the points in every moto.
“I’m got third for the day and now second in the championship so it’s a good start to the series and we are well placed as we now go to some tracks that I really like,” McKay ends.
Bailey Malkiewicz is showing great speed and has qualified well at both rounds so far but is just searching for some better starts to cash in on his obvious track speed. Poor starts hampered his performance again on the weekend and he was left to pick up the pieces and scramble through the pack as quickly as possible.
He claimed a sixth in the first moto and then a fourth in race two to finish sixth for the day in a credible performance. He now holds down fifth in the championship but vows to improve as the championship progresses.
“Starts let me down today! With a 270 degree first turn here at Appin, it is so important to get out of the first corner in good position and I just didn’t do that so I made it hard for myself.
“I will work hard on my starts in the coming weeks and get them dialled for Wonthaggi as a good weekend there will allow me to make up plenty of points and be real in the battle for the championship,” Bailey said.
It is a tight battle at the top of the MXD championship table with the top five riders separated by under 15 points.
1st Riley Dukes – 124
2nd Hugh McKay – 121 (Yamaha YZ250F)
3rd Morgan Fogarty – 119
4th Callum Norton – 115
5th Bailey Malkiewicz – 112 (Yamaha YZ250F)
6th Brodie Ellis – 102 (Yamaha YZ250F)
7th Rhys Budd – 96
8th Maximus Purvis – 82 (Yamaha YZ250F)
9th Mason Rowe – 77
10th Jai Constantinou - 73
1st Riley Dukes – 64
2nd Morgan Fogarty – 61
3rd Hugh McKay – 61 (WBR Yamaha)
4th Callum Norton – 55
5th Rhys Budd – 54
6th Bailey Malkiewicz – 53 (WBR Yamaha)
7th Brodie Ellis – 50
8th Maximus Purvis – 42
9th Mason Semmens – 42
10th Mason Rowe – 42