After months of prep, Team WBR Bulk Nutrients were pumped to line up for Rd1. While team MX2 young gun, Connor Tierney was still resting an injured ACL, the team had Tasmanian Hugh McKay back for a second year in the MXD class, with the hard charging Aaron Tanti in MX2.
For Rd1, Connor’s replacement was local Vic rider, Lachy Steen who had the opportunity of a lifetime riding against the best in Australia.
When the gate dropped for the first time in 2017, Aaron Tanti come around the first lap in 4th place, behind Jackson Richardson, Wilson Todd and Dylan Wills. Aaron wasted no time in getting used to the track as he kept up a cracking pace for the first 6laps without an issue.
Unfortunately, as the track wore in, he made a small mistake over the bars, on a difficult sand section which saw him give up a few places. Aaron regrouped and ended up laying down some great laps, but a few small errors prevented him from a top 5 finish which he was capable of, eventually coming in 10th.
In the second moto, Aaron started off outside the top 10 but rode very maturely, this time waiting for his competition to make the mistakes. A cleaner run saw him come in a respectable 8th, landing him an overall of 10th for the day.
Hugh McKay got a solid start in his first moto, and rode very sensibly
picking riders off when the opportunities came up. The younger MXD riders were finding the track tough, yet smart riding from Hugh saw him battling with 3 other riders for a potential top 5 spot. While passing was tricky, Hugh managed to go from 8th to 7th on the last lap with an aggressive overtake.
Hugh’s second moto started off in a similar fashion, but at the mid-way point he had manoeuvred himself into 6th position, one of his best in MXD, where he looked quite settled holding a long gap to the riders behind him. As luck
would have it, a small error stalling the bike ended up causing quite a delay, with Hugh then losing a few spots late in the race.
With little opportunity to claw back time, Hugh came in just outside the top 10, but his first race result combined to give him 9th for the day.
Walking away from the round, the team had mixed feelings. While the results weren’t what they could have been, it’s clear both Hugh and Aaron are riding at a top 5 pace and are very much in the mix for those types of results.
Connor Tierney meanwhile was chomping at the bit to get out there himself, and was certainly inspired to see his old MXD sparring partner, Mitch Evans reach the podium in his
first race in MX2. Connor and Mitch battled throughout 2016 in MXD at the very front, so Connor is quietly confident he has the pace to be at the front once he’s fully healed and back into it.