Serco Yamaha’s Mitchell Evans went undefeated in the Motul MX2 class once again at Conondale today, with the support of thousands of Queensland spectators for Round three of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals.
The Motul MX2 class showcased bar to bar racing across two motos at Green Park in Conondale, but once again it was Serco’s Evans who showed undeniable form, collecting his fourth consecutive race win.
With no rain overnight, competitors were treated to a dry circuit on the Sunshine Coast for their qualifying session this morning, and in what has been the trend so far this season it was a battle of the Yamaha machines for the fastest time on track during their timed session. But it was Serco Yamaha’s Jackson Richardson who was quickest this morning with a 2:15.240 lap time, followed by Round 2 winner Evans (2:15.489) and DPH Motorsport’s Wilson Todd who was third fastest on track (2:16.687).
When gates dropped on race one Serco Yamaha’s Richardson secured the first Raceline holeshot for the day, Richie Evans and Todd slotting in behind him. After a single rotation on the two-minute lap time circuit, Richardson stretched his lead out to a comfortable two seconds, while DPH’s Todd began to apply the pressure on Evans for second.
A notable absentee from the top three was last round’s victor Mitchell Evans, who after two laps on track was back in eighth place.
With valuable championship points up for grabs, Todd began his charge to the front by the third lap – both himself and Aaron Tanti (WBR Yamaha) passing Richie Evans to move up into podium contention. And from there, Todd and Tanti closed in on race leader Richardson, providing spectators with a three-way battle for the race lead.
With 30 minutes plus one lap on the clock for the Motul MX2 competitors, by the halfway point riders had settled into their positions – Richardson continuing to lead from Todd and Tanti, while behind them Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster and Evans were occupying spots four and five. New Zealander Hamish Harwood looked comfortable in sixth position followed by Egan Mastin and Richie Evans.
By the sixth lap Todd had found Richardson’s rear wheel and it took no time at all for the red plate holder to make the pass and take on the race lead for the first time in the moto.
Unfortunately for Tanti, a crash towards the latter stages of the race allowed Webster to inherit third, the Yamaha rider then re-joining the race in fourth position. But fortunately for Tanti and mistake from Webster shortly after allowed Tanti to charge back past, while Serco Yamaha’s Evans who had made his way through the field also passed Webster and slotted in to fourth position.
As moto one reached the 25-minute mark Richardson had once again reclaimed the lead from Todd, while behind the Yamaha mounted pair, Tanti and Mitchell Evans were locked into their own battle for the final podium position.
But when the chequered flag flew it was an incredible charge from MX2 rookie and Serco Yamaha’s Evans that wowed the crowd – the Yamaha rider charging by both Todd and Richardson on the final two laps to take the race one win. Second place was taken by Richardson while Todd crossed the line in third. Tanti and Webster finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Rounding out the top ten in race one was Davey Motorsport’s duo Harwood and Mastin, followed by Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Jayden Rykers, Richie Evans, and Synep Racing’s Dylan Wills.
With a red plate well and truly up for grabs at Conondale, all eyes were on the first turn as riders lined up for their second and final moto of the day. When gates dropped, it was KTM two-stroke rider Mastin who took the Raceline holeshot, but once again Serco Yamaha’s Evans wasted no time in finding his way to the front of the field.
But as soon as Evans had moved into the top spot the Serco Yamaha rider came under fire from Tanti, and within only a few turns, the Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha rider had made the pass and moved into the lead position.
Unfortunately for Evans, Richardson also made the move on his team mate, relegating him to third, and Richardson’s charge did not stop there – only a single lap later the Serco Yamaha rider passed Tanti for the lead and began to check out.
However only moments later bad luck struck Tanti, unfortunately suffering a flat tyre which saw him drop to sixth. With Tanti out of podium contention, Serco Yamaha’s Evans slotted into second behind his teammate, while Mastin happily inherited third position.
By the halfway mark in the second moto for the MX2 class, behind the top three, Wills had made his way up to fourth, followed by Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Webster, DPH Motorsport’s Todd and Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Rykers, indicating that a change of red plate may be imminent.
With only 20 minutes of track time in the final moto, Evans frantically searched for lines in order to close in on his teammate, and by the time riders received the last lap board Evans made his move on the flat section of the track with an aggressive pass on Richardson for the lead that he made stick.
Despite a final attempt from Richardson to pass back his teammate, it was Evans who crossed the line to collect his fourth race win in a row. Richardson was forced to settle for second in race two, while Mastin finished in third. DPH Motorsport’s Todd wrapped up the final outing for the MX2 class in fourth, followed by Webster in fifth.
Rykers, Wills, Richie Evans, Harwood and Ricky Latimer completed the top ten in moto two.
But with a flawless scorecard for the second consecutive round, it was Serco Yamaha’s Evans who was rewarded with the overall victory and the MX2 red plate at Conondale. Second on the podium this afternoon was teammate Richardson, while DPH Motorsport’s Todd wrapped up round three in third.
Mitchell Evans – Serco Yamaha – Round 3 Winner
“It’s been a good day for me. I know my first two laps are never the greatest so I was just patient today and made sure I made the right passes at the right times and we’ve walked away with a win,” Evans said.
“Jackson and I train together back at home in Cairns so it’s cool to both be on the podium together. That last race he made a couple of mistakes and even though I wouldn’t usually do it, I knew it was the last lap, so that pass in the last moto was a bit aggressive.
“We made it happen here today, and the track was tough, so we’re all just looking forward to getting to Horsham now.”
Motul MX2 Round 3 Results
1) Mitchell Evans – 70 points
2) Jackson Richardson – 64 points
3) Wilson Todd – 58 points
4) Egan Mastin – 54 points
5) Kyle Webster – 52 points
6) Jayden Rykers – 48 points
7) Aaron Tanti – 48 points
8) Hamish Harwood – 47 points
9) Dylan Wills – 45 points
10) Richie Evans – 45 points
Motul MX2 Championship Standings
1) Mitchell Evans – 196 points
2) Wilson Todd – 187 points
3) Jackson Richardson – 178 points
4) Egan Mastin – 171 points
5) Kyle Webster – 150 points
6) Hamish Harwood – 149 points
7) Jayden Rykers – 145 points
8) Dylan Wills – 137 points
9) Richie Evans – 136 points
10) Aaron Tanti – 136 points
The fourth round of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals will be held at Horsham in Victoria on Sunday May 21, 2017.
For more information on the 2017 Motul MX Nationals, head to www.mxnationals.com.au