Team Motul Pirelli Suzuki riders Todd Waters and Cody Cooper raced to impressive moto victories at the Wonthaggi round of the 2012 MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, at the weekend.
Waters claimed his second overall podium of the season and best result yet with second overall at the Victorian venue, scoring a win in moto two and securing a solid 3-1-4 result for the round. The result now sees Waters climb to third in the Championship standings following three of 10 rounds on the fuel-injected 2012 model RM-Z450, trailing experienced international campaigner and series leader Josh Coppins by 29 points.
"My first two motos went to plan and I was able to take third in the opening moto and then win the next one, coming from behind," the 21-year-old from Cairns commented. "In the last moto I dropped it and I was anxious to get to the front, but I settled in and got back up to fourth and that got me second overall. I just really want to aim for the top step now."
Team mate Cooper (pictured) was in phenomenal form throughout the Wonthaggi weekend, setting the pace in qualifying and Sunday morning's warm-up sessions, but poor starts and a number of incidents denied him of the opportunity to win the round. Cooper battled to frustrating 10th and seventh place finishes in the opening motos before an improved start in the final 30-minute outing allowed him to race off to a dominant victory of almost 10 seconds. That result sealed the New Zealander fifth for the weekend and he's now ranked seventh in the series.
Said Cooper: "I knew I was able to maintain my speed in the final moto, and I've been working on a lot of stuff between rounds. I crashed in the first moto and then in moto two I got tangled up in the first turn, so I made it a hard day for myself. But I'll take some confidence from that third moto win."
Bad luck struck Cooper's countryman and team mate Scott Columb in the Pro Lites ranks on the RM-Z250, who was 16th overall for the round. A fall in the first race shuffled him back to 17th and then he rebounded to fifth in moto two, but a non-finish in the final outing impacted his overall result.
"I was running ninth in the first moto and stalled the engine twice, but I don't know what was going on," Columb said. "In the second moto I was fifth, which was a better result, but I'm getting stronger and am enjoying my time in Australia."
Raceline Pirelli Suzuki rising stars Errol Willis and Jay Wilson both claimed eighth position overall in their respective classes: Motul Pro Lites rookie Willis was eighth overall in Victoria after yet another promising performance, salvaging 14th in moto one, a fighting third in moto two; and a consistent ninth in the 30-minute final moto to conclude the round.
Now also eighth in the Championship standings, the 18-year-old is determined to keep progressing in these early stages of the season and he's happy with his form so far.
Said Willis: "It was a good round for me overall. I had a bad start in the first one and worked my way through after stalling my bike on the first lap. I got back to 14th and I was pretty happy with that because I had to work hard in that one.
"In the second one I got a better start, worked on Josh Cachia and was able to get him in the closing lap of the moto after a good, consistent race. I got a horrible start in the final moto and had to come through to salvage ninth. My longer motos are getting better and I'm moving in the right direction."
Wilson was also eighth overall in the Pirelli Under 19s division with 13-4-8 results for the round. Yet to find consistency this season since joining Raceline Pirelli Suzuki, the former Junior World Champion is confident he'll gain strength in upcoming rounds.
"The day went okay, but I had a bit of bad luck like I've had in all three rounds this year," said Wilson. "I've got the speed, I just need to put it together and work on improving. I'm just going to go home and train hard and do what I can do to make sure I come back at the next round and do better."
The series will now travel across to Wanneroo in Western Australia for round four of 10 on May 12-13th.
Pro Open Overall Results:
1. Brad Anderson 67 2. Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 63 3. Lawson Bopping 57 4. Josh Coppins 56 5. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 50 6. Jake Moss 47 7. Jay Marmont 44 8. Tye Simmonds 39 9. Dylan Peterson 35 10. Dean Porter (Suzuki) 32
Pro Lites Overall Results:
1. Ford Dale 69 2. Luke Styke 60 3. Josh Cachia 57 4. Adam Monea (Suzuki) 55 5. Cheyne Boyd 49 6. Kirk Gibbs 43 7. Kade Mosig 43 8. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 39 9. Geran Stapleton 36 10. Lewis Woods 29
Under 19s Overall Results:
1. Kayne Lamont 61 2. Sam Martin 57 3. Kale Makeham 56 4. Dylan Leary 53 5. Dylan Long 44 6. Ben George 43 7. Joel Milesevic 39 8. Jay Wilson (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 39 9. John Phillips 36 10. Mitch Budd (Suzuki) 36
Pro Open Championship Standings (after 3 of 10 rounds):
1. Josh Coppins 181 2. Brad Anderson 161 3. Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 152 4. Jake Moss 148 5. Lawson Bopping 146 6. Jay Marmont 139 7. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 137 8. Tye Simmonds 133 9. Daniel Reardon 96 10. Daniel McCoy (Suzuki) 83
Pro Lites Championship Standings (after 3 of 10 rounds):
1. Luke Styke 192 2. Ford Dale 179 3. Kirk Gibbs 162 4. Josh Cachia 149 5. Kade Mosig 140 6. Cheyne Boyd 136 7. Adam Monea (Suzuki) 135 8. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 115 9. Justin McDonald 110 10. Ryan Marmont 91
Under 19s Championship Standings (after 3 of 10 rounds):
1. Dylan Long 168 2. Sam Martin 157 3. Dylan Leary 157 4. Kayne Lamont 155 5. Kale Makeham 152 6. Joel Milesevic 131 7. Jay Wilson (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 128 8. Mitch Norris 123 9. Mitch Budd (Suzuki) 90 10. Dylan Wills (Suzuki) 87