Davey Motorsport KTM rider Egan Mastin finished just a single point away from back-to-back wins as the battle continued in the MX2 category of the MX Nationals at Shepparton.
Mastin – who won a fortnight ago at Nowra – qualified fastest, but felt he performed short of his best on his way to fourth in the opening moto, despite taking the fastest lap of the race.
He bounced back hard, however, to win the second moto on his KTM 250 SX, and take second on the podium behind Wilson Todd and ahead of Mitchell Evans.
Mastin now lies just 19 points off the MX2 championship lead, with three rounds remaining.
Raceline KTM’s Jayden Rykers could not repeat his Nowra podium, but added another solid top-five to his season, courtesy of 5-4 finishes.
Other notable performances included the 8-8 for eighth on the day by Davey Motorsport’s Hamish Harwood, and the 9th overall (11-9) by Raceline Motorsports’ Jay Wilson.
In the MXD category, 16-year-old Callum Norton stood atop the podium for the third time in as many weekends – last weekend he won the 450cc 4T class at the Hattah Desert Race – when he won today’s U19 round from Cody Dyce and Jy Roberts.
Norton sneaked home to a miraculous second in the opening encounter after sustaining a puncture five laps from home, but then took the Moto Tech KTM 250 SX-F to the win in the second race, after Roberts was given a time penalty.
Fellow orange warrior Isaac Ferguson rode to 7-8 finishes on the day for 6thoverall, rising from fourth to third in the championship, while Norton has now leap-frogged two places to eighth in the table.
Action in the 125cc Gold Cup saw Kerrod Morrissy take second overall behind Cody Mackie on a KTM 125 SX, with similarly-mounted Geoff Braico finishing fifth.
Egan Mastin – KTM 250 SX: “The track got pretty skatey and rutty in the last one which made it difficult, but I didn’t mind the place. I wasn’t happy with my first moto. I had the lead but once someone got around me I rode a bit tight. I know I’ve definitely got the speed, I just need to work on a few little things.
I think we’re about 19 points behind in third after this weekend, so with three more rounds up for grabs there’s still a fair few more points to go. I just need to keep putting it up front and getting it done. I’ll just keep ticking over with the training and aiming for race wins, and hopefully it all pans out.”
Jayden Rykers – KTM 250 SX-F: “I’m happy to back up with another reasonably good weekend. I quite enjoyed the track; it was technical and it got deep ruts. In the first one after I got a little bit of a bad start, but got some clear track and was able to ride the lines that suited me best, and with that second one I was up there a little bit more, but from second to fifth places were all going at it pretty hard.
I want to make it back into that top five. That’s my championship goal, and I think that’s realistic for me with three rounds to go, seeing I had such a rough start to the year. We were sitting outside the top ten in the championship before, so if I can get a few more podiums, then I’m sure I’m capable. I know my speed’s good enough to get more podiums before the end of the year.”
Callum Norton – KTM250 SX-F: “Two round wins in a row! I’m finally starting to put it together a little bit! I haven’t ridden Shepparton a lot, but it’s kind of a local round because it’s in Victoria. It was tough; they didn’t rip it as deep as last year so you sort of had to be patient and not push too hard, but at the same time you still want to go fast.
I pulled two top-three starts today, which helped a hell of a lot. In the first one I got second to Cody Dyce, and not far behind me was Jy Roberts. I had about ten seconds on him but I flatted with five laps to go and only just sneaked in.
In the second I was actually in the lead but I went over a berm and dropped back to second behind Jy, then he got a penalty so I ended up winning the race, and 2-1 got me the overall.”