The CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team start the Pro MX season with an up hill battle on their hands after Hayden Mellross and Luke Clout endured a challenging start to their championship aspirations in a wet and cold Wonthaggi over the weekend.With a simple goal of having each rider inside the top five on the weekend, the CDR Yamaha team were determined for a positive start to the 2021 season and despite the Wonthaggi circuit being at its toughest, the team were confident of a good showing.
Things were on track after the first moto with both Luke and Hayden finishing in second and sixth respectively. Despite the tough conditions, both riders looked good with Clout in the lead for the majority of the race while Mellross was promising after a long break from racing.
But fortunes were changed in moto two as Clout was running a solid second place until an issue with the shock forced him to return from the race and return to the pits. His 2-DNF now has him 23 points down on the series leader but with a full seven rounds to come, there is plenty of time to claw his way back into the fight, but little wiggle room for mistakes in the coming rounds.
“I felt really good today and although Wonthaggi isn't my my favourite track, as a team we had done our homework and I was in good shape coming into the weekend,” Clout says.
“The first moto was good although a little disappointing to not pull down the race win, but in the early stages of moto two, the rear end of the bike started to feel weird and become a little unpredictable. I tried to go on a best I could and got to lap seven, but it was dangerous and I wasn’t able to ride with any speed at all, so I pulled into the mechanics area and the boys said not to go back out.
“It’s a bitter pill to take, but the CDR Yamaha team are first class and they will be all over it and I’m sure the problem with be well and truly sorted before round two. I’m down some points, but I’m confident that I can get my way back into championship contention over the coming rounds.
For Mellross, it was a solid, but not spectacular day as he returns from injury and gets up to race speed and fitness. He finished with 6-4 results to take fifth on the day but recognises he needs to continue to improve in the coming rounds to be right at the front of the MX1 field.
“Today was ok as far as results go, but I have some work to do to get back on top of my game. Its been a long layoff for me so I was just focused on getting up to and through round one with no set- backs and we were able to do that.
“The next few tracks are ones to my liking and also the break between races also gives me time to work on some things moving forward. I can and will be better and will continue to work with the team to ensure we all get the best results possible,” Mellross said.
For an experienced team like CDR Yamaha, there is no need to hit the panic button and they will go over the weekend and assess what needs to be done and be ready to roll at round two in Canberra.
“It’s not the first time we started the season behind the eight ball and together we will fight our way back,” Team owner, Craig Dack explains. “In 2011 were finished round one in seventh and ninth and came back to go one -two in the championship.
“The shock issue with Luke’s bike we are still investigating and will leave nothing unturned to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The boys are already back in the workshop going over everything as we only have a few weeks until Canberra.
“Its not all doom and gloom, both riders are fit and desperate to be at the front so at Canberra both are determined to bounce back,” Dack said.
Pro MX Results
1st Regan Duffy - 45
2nd Brett Metcalfe - 41
3rd Todd Waters – 40
4th Kirk Gibbs – 36
5th Hayden Mellross – 35 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)
6th Max Purvis – 27 (WBR Yamaha)
7th Connor Tierney – 26
8th Jayden Rykers – 25
9th Jai Walker – 22
10th Luke Clout - 22 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)