Rhys Budd started his 2021 Pro MX season in good form with a fifth place finish at the opening round of the championship at Wonthaggi, over the weekend.With three riders under the awning, it was a busy day for the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team and despite some challenges, all three finished inside the top 10, all three are healthy and all three are determined to improve as the championship rolls on.
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For Budd, it was a day of firsts – his first national ride with the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team, his first national race in the MX2 class and his first moto podium when he raced his way to third in the opening moto of the day.
Budd finished the day in fifth overall with 3-6 results in the two 25 minute races contested in difficult conditions on Sunday. In each race, Budd fired his YZ250F to a great start and mixed it up with the big guns in the class all the way to the finish. Not known for his sand riding, the 19 year old adapted well to the Wonthaggi surface and was in the fight all day.
“My goal coming into round one was to run top five for the day and we were able to achieve that on the weekend, so that’s a great start for me and one that I can take confidence from,” Budd begins.
“I grew up riding a lot of hard packed tracks so riding sand doesn’t come naturally to me but its something I have worked at and to get a small reward today was good and something that I can take confidence from in the coming rounds.
“The next few tracks are more to my liking so its important I keep working hard and ensure I make the most of the coming rounds stay in championship contention,” he ends.
It was a tough day at the office for Jay Wilson who just couldn’t get his flow and momentum going on the Wonthaggi circuit. The track has never been at the top of his favourite list but he was frustrated with his riding and results after coming home in seventh place with 6-7 finishes.
“That wasn’t me and that’s not how I race,” said the former champ. “Those results aren’t acceptable, and they won’t happen again. I already have some things in place to be better at Canberra and looking at changing a few thing’s so I get back to where I belong.
“This result has only made me more determined to get things back on track.”
The weekend was also the professional debut for Levi Rogers. Rogers was down to race the MXD class in 2020 but with the championship cancelled due to Covid, he never fired a shot at a national level. This year, he made the step up to MX2 and posted a top 10 finish in the first round after finishing with 8-12 results to land in ninth overall for the day.
“The first moto was pretty good as I was able to race with a lot of the fast guys and get to learn the pace required to be at the front of the MX2 field. Moto two I fell twice and then had to fight my way back to 12th but I need to clean up those little mistakes as when the field is this deep, every mistake can be costly.
“Still, I enjoyed the day and can take a lot from it. I wanted to be top eight and just missed that so I will keep working and tick that goal off in Canberra at round two.”
It was also a successful day for Yamaha in the MX3 class with the GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing crew out to fly the flag in the development category. The day was won by 15 year Ryder Kingsford who charged home with 2-1 results to take the round win. It was a strong performance by the rising star and one that he hopes to continue during the remainder of the championship.
Teammate, Koby Drew, slotted into third place with 3-4 results in the two motos. Drew wasn’t getting out of the gate well, but worked his way through the pack where he picked off riders one by one as he moved his way forward.
All attention now switches to Canberra where round two of the Pro MX takes place on May 2.
Pro MX Results
1st Kyle Webster – 50
2nd Alex Larwood – 40 (Yamaha)
3rd Nathan Crawford – 38 (Yamaha)
4th Jesse Dobson – 38 (Yamaha)
5th Rhys Budd – 35 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing)
6th Jai Constantinou – 30
7th Jay Wilson – 29 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing)
8th Dylan Wills – 22
9th Levi Rogers – 22 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing)
10th Hugh McKay – 21 (Yamaha)
1st Ryder Kingsford – 47 (GYTR- Yamaha Junior Racing)
2nd Blake Fox – 47
3rd Koby Drew- 38 (GYTR- Yamaha Junior Racing)
4th Kayden Minear – 36
5th Ben Novak – 34
6th Brock Flynn – 30
7th Jack Mather – 26
8th Thynan Kean – 26
9th Liam Atkinson – 22
10th Connor Rossandich- 17