While it was a massive weekend of action at Phillip Island where Yamaha riders and teams crowded the podium in every class, it was also a successful weekend for Yamaha on dirt with plenty of motocross events conducted as riders prepare for national events to get underway in the coming weeks.Again, we saw events ran in three states as well as the third round of the NZ MX Nationals with Yamaha riders achieving excellent results.
NZ MX Nationals
Just three points separate Kirk Gibbs (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) and Cody Cooper after three rounds of the New Zealand MX Nationals. Gibbs finished second at round three of the championship at Harrisville on the weekend with 2-2-1 results and now sits just three points away from the championship lead.
Gibbs, the current number 1 plate holder in New Zealand, has returned to Australia for the next week to fine tune his Australian settings and some more testing with the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team before heading back to New Zealand for a final round, winner take all, shootout with Cooper to determine the number 1 plate holder for the 2019 season.
The Echo Valley circuit in Toowoomba hosted the popular Mountain Man event over the weekend where a full 40 rider field thundered their way around the rolling hills of Toowoomba. The feature event is made of three 10 minute back to back races, then a 30 minute moto later in the day to really test competitors. Add to that riders can be on anything from a 125 to a 500cc 2 stoke and you have a challenging and diverse race.
Leading the Yamaha charge was Richie Evans (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) who took second on the day with 2-2-1-4 results in the four motos. Evans used great starts and good track speed to battle with Todd Waters in every moto. The pair went bar to bar and it came down to the final moto to determine the winner and Evans made lunge down the inside of Waters only to miscue a rut and go down.
In third place was Aaron Tanti (Serco Yamaha) and the first of the 250cc machines. Tanti had a great battle with Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) all day with the duo finishing equal in points on the day but Tanti took the final podium spot thanks to the better finish in the final moto.
In the Junior divisions, Levi Rogers (GYTR YJR) claimed Junior Mountain Man on his YZ250F while Jake Cannon (GYTR YJR) finished third in the 9-15 years 85cc class.
East Coast MX
The opening round of the popular East Coast Motocross Series was ran on the weekend at the Lakes track, near Newcastle. Damp conditions greeted the riders on Saturday morning, but the weather cleared, and the track was fast for the remainder of the weekend.
Blake Hollis (Excite Motorsports) took the win in the 15 years 125cc class and back that up with a third in the Junior 250cc class in another good weekend for the young gun. Kayd Kingsford (GYTR YJR) also dual podiumed when he finished second in both the 9-11 years 65cc and 85cc. Brother, Ryder, took home third place in the 12 to 15 years 85cc day making it a good outing for the Kingsford family.