Motul Pirelli Suzuki's Todd Waters raced to his first Pro Open victory of the 2012 Australian Motocross Championship in the fifth round at Murray Bridge in South Australia on Sunday.
The 21-year-old from Cairns became the first Australian to win a round this season as the series reached its half way point, placing himself right in title contention aboard the fuel-injected 2012 model Suzuki RM-Z450.
Waters won the opening two 15-minute motos of the weekend that were staged back-to-back, before a second place after leading much of moto two sealed the overall victory for the round.
Said Waters: "It was pretty much just a picture perfect day. I got three good starts and was in the top three for all of them. The first moto I got the holeshot and led from start to finish, then in the second moto I was up front again and made the pass halfway through.
"I had a ball riding with Brad Anderson in the final moto, dicing for the lead, and I enjoyed it. I didn't get the win in that one, but I had a lot of fun. I love this track and it's one of my favourites, so it was good to come back and win. My fitness is great; I've been working really hard, so I'm just looking forward to this six-week break to redo my base fitness."
Former New Zealand champion Cody Cooper claimed fifth for the second round in succession, continuing to struggle with his starts, but again displaying the speed to challenge for victory on any given weekend. Cooper took fourth in moto one and third in moto two, but a fall in the final moto saw him forced to settle for 10th to complete his weekend.
"Practicing my starts all week didn't really pay off, which was frustrating for me," Cooper commented. "I was happy with the opening two races, but in the final moto I hit Brad Anderson's back wheel, the whole field went past, and that was a tough way to finish. We'll keep working on everything I need to work on, so now we have a break and I hope I can come back firing for the season's second half."
Waters' win elevated him to second in the title chase, now only 21 points behind series leader Josh Coppins at the mid-way point of the Championship. Cooper is now sixth, just two points outside of the top five.
Motul Pirelli Suzuki's Pro Lites entrant Scott Columb was sixth overall in his first visit to South Australia following a consistent effort. He finished seventh in the opening moto, fifth in the second and sixth in the third, locking in sixth overall for the round. Columb's now 11th in the standings, tied with fellow Suzuki rider Errol Willis.
Said Columb: "I finished with 7-5-6 results, which was consistent for me, but I have to get a start. If I get a start that will make it easier. I've had some bad luck lately, but I'll go home and keep working on my starts, keep plugging away to get on that podium."
The MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, will continue at Hervey Bay in Queensland on July 1st.
Pro Open Overall Results:
1. Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 72 2. Brad Anderson 63 3. Tye Simmonds 56 4. Lawson Bopping 52 5. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 49 6. Josh Coppins 48 7. Daniel Reardon 40 8. Daniel McCoy (Hart & Huntington / InsureMyRide Suzuki) 39 9. Dean Porter (Suzuki) 33 10. Jay Marmont 30
Pro Lites Overall Results:
1. Josh Cachia 63 2. Cheyne Boyd 60 3. Ford Dale 53 4. Justin McDonald 49 5. Luke Styke 46 6. Scott Columb (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 45 7. Lewis Woods (Hart & Huntington / InsureMyRide Suzuki) 39 8. Kade Mosig 39 9. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 37 10. Nick Murray 33
Pro Open Championship Standings (after 5 of 10 rounds):
1. Josh Coppins 301 2. Todd Waters (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 280 3. Brad Anderson 274 4. Lawson Bopping 255 5. Tye Simmonds 234 6. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 232 7. Jay Marmont 207 8. Jake Moss 171 9. Daniel McCoy (Hart & Huntington / InsureMyRide Suzuki) 164 10. Daniel Reardon 147
Pro Lites Championship Standings (after 5 of 10 rounds):
1. Luke Styke 306 2. Ford Dale 274 3. Cheyne Boyd 258 4. Josh Cachia 258 5. Kade Mosig 233 6. Kirk Gibbs 229 7. Adam Monea (07 Motorsports Suzuki) 2158. Justin McDonald 192 9. Lewis Woods (Hart & Huntington / InsureMyRide Suzuki) 173 10. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 168 11. Scott Columb (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 168