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Matt Moss wins in Australia!

Matt Moss wins in Australia!
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National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Matt Moss returned to his winning ways on track today, taking the Motul MX Nationals Thor MX1 class win, and putting any doubts to rest once and for all.

When the big bikes came out to play for the first time in Horsham today, spectators dotted the fence-line, all eager to witness the stacked Thor MX1 class going head to head.

After a 15-minute practice session it was straight into qualifying for the Thor MX1 riders, and with five positions in GoPro Superpole up for grabs, the 450 machines fought hard to put down their quickest lap times.

And fight they did – 2015 defending MX1 champ Kirk Gibbs (KTM) shot to the top of the times with a 1:50.459 lap time, followed by National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kade Mosig in second with a 1:50.591. Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki star Todd Waters was third fastest on track this morning, followed by CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris, and Crankt Protein Honda’s Jay Wilson who recorded the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.

With the top five determined, it was straight into the first GoPro Superpole for 2016. CDR Yamaha’s Ferris shocked crowds when he was absent when bikes took off, and after four riders had put down their hot laps, it was Mosig who snatched up the fastest time with a 1:50.340. Waters was second fastest, followed by Gibbs and Wilson.

When the Thor MX1 riders entered the Rockwell launch area ahead of moto one, the anticipation grew as thousands of spectators watched on, wondering who out of the talented pack would take the race win. When gates dropped, it was CDR Yamaha ‘s Dan Reardon who snatched up the first holeshot for 2016, followed by Mosig and Ferris who slotted in to second and third behind him.

After only one lap in the books, Ferris moved past his team mate Reardon, and demanded control of the race – Mosig after one lap was a notable absentee from the front, dropping back to 12th position.

The battle that had fan’s eyes locked on the track though, was the fight for third position between Gibbs, Waters and Moss – the trio banging bars for a podium position, leaving no stone unturned.

After lap four, the running order changed dramatically, with Reardon sliding all the way back to fourth position, allowing KTM mounted Gibbs and Suzuki mounted Waters to fly past and snatch up second and third places behind Ferris.

When the Thor MX1 class reached the half way point in moto one, Ferris’s speed was unmatchable, leading from Gibbs and Wilson’s Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Waters in second and third. Following closely behind in fourth was Moss who had made his way around Reardon in fifth.

As racing progressed there was an exciting battle for the race lead, with KTM’s Gibbs showing that his offseason injury was clearly no longer an issue – putting the pressure on CDR Yamaha’s Ferris and proving that race one was not yet over.

However, no one was able to catch the lightening fast CDR machine of Ferris, who eventually took the race one win ahead of Gibbs (KTM) in second, and Moss who put on an outstanding performance to finish in third.

CDR Yamaha’s Reardon wrapped up his first race for 2016 in fourth, while Metcalfe managed to hold on to fifth position despite an in race penalty. In what was a shock finish outside the top five, Suzuki’s Waters suffered a flat tyre which meant he eventually crossed the line in ninth, behind Mosig in sixth, and the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team duo Dylan Long and Wilson who concluded race one in seventh and eighth places respectively.

When race two kicked off for the Thor MX1 class, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Mosig was out for redemption, and managed to snatch up the second hole shot of the day, ahead of Gibbs and Moss who slotted in to second and third.

After one lap, spectators were hanging over the fence cheering, with the top four of Mosig, Moss, Ferris, and Gibbs were all within a bike’s length of each other, treating the thousands of fans to an epic final Thor MX1 battle.

After only three laps there was a change to the lead, with Moss managing to get by his teammate Mosig – relegating Mosig to second position, ahead of Ferris and Waters. Closely following the lead pack was Gibbs, DPH Motorsport’s Lawson Bopping, and Husqvarna mounted Metcalfe.

Unfortunately for Ferris, a small mistake in the whoop section of the track, saw the CDR Yamaha rider go down, forcing him to drop back to seventh place and on a time limit to make up valuable positions.

By the time the race had reached the half way point, riders had settled in to their respective positions, with Moss continuing to lead the way from Mosig, Waters, Gibbs, and Metcalfe who had found his way into an impressive fifth position.

By lap eight, Mosig had dropped back to third position, after Wilson’s Coolair Motul Suzuki rider Waters made his way in to second. Mosig then came under fire from a hard charging Gibbs, who also managed to make his way around Mosig and move in to third.

As the race reached it’s closing stages, fans were once again treated to an exciting battle for second position, with Gibbs putting in a charge to find the rear wheel of Waters – the pair then banged bars for half a lap, before the defending MX1 champ made the move on Waters and moved in to second position.

By the time the last lap board was shown, Moss had a commanding lead on Gibbs, and was awarded the race win accordingly when the chequered flag flew. Second in moto two was taken by Gibbs, while Suzuki’s Waters rounded out the moto two podium in third.

With a third place in race one, and the win in race two, National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Moss was awarded the Thor MX1 Round one win, ahead KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Gibbs in second, while CDR Yamaha’s Ferris wrapped up round one of the Motul MX Nationals in third.

Matt Moss – National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team– Thor MX1 Round One Winner

“I didn’t expect to come here and do this, I really just wanted to run my own race, but it proves that I’ve been training and working hard, and also that what we’re doing as a team is working,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of people who have doubted me after last year, and a lot of people really wrote me off, this is proof that they’re all wrong – I want to win another championship, and that’s what I’m here to do.

“I really can’t thank the people who have stuck by me enough. A lot of people don’t understand this sport, or don’t realise what we have to do, but to the people who have stuck by me, I’m really happy I could do this for them.

“My team manager Troy Carroll understands how I work, and he’s worked me out as a person pretty quickly. I’m really happy that I got to battle with Gibbsy (Kirk Gibbs) and that after everyone talking, that we are the two guys standing here on the podium at round one.”

Thor MX1 round one results and championship standings:

1) Matt Moss – 65 points
2) Kirk Gibbs – 64 points
3) Dean Ferris – 60 points
4) Kade Mosig – 56 points
5) Todd Waters – 54 points
6) Brett Metcalfe – 52 points
7) Daniel Reardon – 50 points
8) Dylan Long – 48 points
9) Jesse Dobson – 44 points
10) Jay Wilson – 43 points

Irishman Michael Mahon finished 17th overall with 16th and 20th place finishes. Mahon commented on his successful first Aussie National on Facebook saying: “That’s the first National in the bag. Came home with a 16th and 20th for 17th Overall . Should have been a bit better in the second moto but stalled it in turn one. On the way home healthy so I’m happy enough for now.”

The Motul MX Nationals will now begin preparations for round two of the championship, being held at Appin in New South Wales on April 17, 2016.

For more information on the Motul MX Nationals head to www.mxnationals.com.au

Image – Jeff Crow / Explorer Media

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