It was a positive, but challenging day for Raceline Pirelli KTM at the 2017 MX Nationals series-opener in Wonthaggi, Victoria, on Sunday as riders Jayden Rykers, Wade Kirkland and Morgan Fogarty recorded a mixed bag of results.
In MX2, Rykers and Kirkland completed the morning’s qualifying session in sixth and 14th respectively, but it was Rykers who shone throughout the opening moto. The Western Australian lodged a less than stellar start, although he was able to work his way through the field, narrowly edging his way to third position.
For class newcomer Kirkland, an existing foot injury he aggravated during the opening moto halted his progress and he settled for 24th. A decision was later taken to sit out the second moto and he will now look to regain full fitness prior to round two.
In race two, Rykers again fell short of a great start and found himself in the middle of the pack. With only 20 minutes plus one lap for race two, the number three 250 SX-F rider was unable to negotiate his way through traffic as he did in moto one, forcing him to settle for sixth and crediting him fifth overall in the process.
“I’m somewhat happy with 3-6 results to start the season for fifth overall,” Rykers recalled. “We weren’t far from second, which was good since my starts lacked a bit today and I had to fight through the pack. It’s good, solid points and something to build off – there are six or seven guys who can win this championship, so the points are important at each round. I feel like these results can put the two-stroke/four-stroke debate to a halt and I’m happy to move onto the next round.”
Kirkland commented: “It was a pretty full-on weekend for me, pretty hectic in MX2 with that added intensity and a fast pace. Unfortunately I dabbed my foot, which was already sore from a couple of weeks ago, in moto one and hurt it again, so I didn’t race the second moto because of that. We have three weeks until Appin, so I will try to let it recover and go from there.”
MXD rookie Fogarty enjoyed a consistent first appearance in the Under 19s division, carding a pair of fifth-placed finishes for sixth overall. He will now carry that vital experience into upcoming rounds and learned a significant amount on race day.
“It was a good learning experience for me and good to get the first race out of the way,” Fogarty shared. “I can’t complain because we had consistent results and the plan is to just keep working so we can get better. I know where I’m at now and what I’ve got to work on, so I think we should be fine for the next round.”
The 2017 MX Nationals will continue at Appin in New South Wales on Sunday, 23 April. Visit the official series website at www.mxnationals.com.au for further information.
To follow Raceline Pirelli KTM’s progress this year, like ‘Raceline’ on Facebook or follow @raceline_motosport on Instagram.