Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Jayden Rykers put the KTM 250 SX-F team on the MX2 podium yesterday, racing to two outstanding moto finishes at Round 6 of the Motul MX Nationals at Nowra in New South Wales.
Following a lengthy five week break, team riders Rykers, Morgan Fogarty and Jay Wilson headed into the weekend’s event looking to put on a positive performance, but it was Rykers who shone in both motos yesterday, eventually concluding the round in an impressive third overall.
Despite starting the morning by qualifying in ninth position, when gates dropped on race one at Nowra yesterday, Rykers collected the first Raceline holeshot then wrapped up the moto in second place. In moto two Rykers charged to sixth place despite a crash and thanks to two consistent finishes he was awarded third overall for the round.
“The round was good, we made some positive changes and they worked. Qualifying was a bit rough as I missed that first lap with traffic, and that was when the fast laps were,” Rykers explained.
“Ninth in qualifying still gave me the gate that I wanted, and the day kicked off with a holeshot in moto one before dropping back to second where I settled in and didn’t feel out of place at all. By the mid point I started to make some ground up before we got to some traffic where I kept first in my sight, but was happy with a strong second.
“In moto two I got another good jump off the gate but it bottled up into turn one and I had another rider land on the back of my bike which took me down over the first jump but I fought back to fifth place. Towards the end of the moto though I came off, but we got away with it pretty good and only dropped back to sixth where we stayed for my first podium of the season.”
For Raceline Pirelli KTM’s newest recruit Jay Wilson, Nowra provided the opportunity for the 22-year-old to find his feet in the MX2 class. Wilson qualified in an impressive third place yesterday morning before racing to 10,5 race finishes putting him in ninth overall for the round.
“We were able to take a few positives out of yesterday, the results on paper don’t look too good but we actually aren’t too far off the pace,” Wilson explained
“In race one I pumped up worse than I ever have. In Europe and the U.K the tracks are a lot more wide open and fast, and at Nowra a lot of the track you really need to be patient and I guess the transition to an Australian spec circuit wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.
“We qualified in third and I was in third for the majority of moto two so we know the speed is there, it’s more just about finding my flow earlier in the race and keeping that intensity for the entire 30 or 20 minutes.”
For the team’s Pirelli MXD pilot Fogarty, Round 6 delivered some challenges. The Victorian 17-year-old got his morning started on a positive note, qualifying just outside the top three (4th), however starts let the youngster down when racing got under way, recording 8,5 race finishes which awarded him eighth overall for the round.
“Round six I felt like I rode really well, I had great speed but my starts let me down,” Fogarty explained.
“In moto one I didn’t get off to a good start which made it hard for me to come through the pack and I ended up in eighth.
“In moto two my start was terrible and again made it super hard for me, but I pushed through from 17th to fifth. I felt my speed was there but the results just didn’t show. I’ll be working on my weaknesses and will be better for round seven.”
The 2017 MX Nationals will continue at Shepparton in Victoria on Sunday, July 16. 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.