Queenslander Todd Waters raced to a podium position in his debut aboard the Motul Pirelli Suzuki team's fuel injected 2012 RM-Z450 in Conondale's opening round of the Australian Motocross Championship on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Cairns rider scored 4-4-4 results in the trio of motos to finish third overall for the round and top Australian contender behind New Zealanders Ben Townley and Josh Coppins.
Said Waters: "It's definitely where we want to be; we want to try and land on that podium every single round and try to be consistent. I finished with three fourth places today, which is what we need. I got good starts all day and they made my job easy.
"When I came through juniors and the Under 19s I was always pretty consistent and that was my strength, but I kind of lost that when I jumped on the 450. I just wanted to win races, but I ended up on my head a lot, so now I just want to cross that finish line with good points every single time."
Team mate Cody Cooper finished eighth overall in a frustrating start to the season, vowing to improve when the series continues in two weeks time at Coonabarabran. Cooper concluded the weekend with a 6-12-7 scorecard.
"Qualifying was good and I felt good, but in the first two motos I got bad starts," Cooper explained. "In the third one I gated out wider and it was much better, so I came out off the start in second. I drifted back to seventh though, just over-heated really, but it was a tough race physically. I don't have much to say really - I need to step it up and go better next time out."
An 11th-hour call up for Kiwi number two Scott Columb saw him travel to Australia as Motul Pirelli Suzuki's MX2 class contender, replacing injured British rider Steven Clarke for the season. Columb took 15-10-DNF results for 15th overall after suffering a flat tyre in the final outing, displaying promising form on the RM-Z250 before his bad luck struck.
Said Columb: "I flew in on Saturday so it was a bit of a rush, being my first time on the bike here in Australia. In race one and two I had terrible starts, crashed on the first lap of moto one and finished 15th. I had a bit of arm-pump and finished 10th in the second moto. And then in the third moto I got a better start and was in third. Unfortunately I got a flat tyre, so it wasn't the perfect start to the series, but the last race showed that I can be up the front and I'll take the positives from that."
The series will continue at Coonabarabran, New South Wales, in a two-day event on April 14-15th.
2012 Australian National Motocross Championship Results:
1. Ben Townley 75 2. Josh Coppins 62 3. Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 54 4. Jake Moss 46 5. Brad Anderson 44 6. Lawson Bopping 41 7. Jay Marmont 41 8. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 38 9. Tye Simmonds 38 10. Billy Mackenzie 34
1. Kirk Gibbs 63 2. Ford Dale 62 3. Luke Styke 57 4. Josh Cachia 56 5. Adam Monea (Suzuki) 50 6. Justin McDonald 48 7. Kade Mosig 44 8. Cheyne Boyd 35 9. Lewis Woods (Suzuki) 35 10. Brock Winston 31