03 Apr 2017
Penrite CRF Honda Racing rider Kyle Webster showed a sign of what’s in store for 2017 with a third place podium performance in the second MX2 moto of the opening round of the MX Nationals at Wonthaggi, Victoria, on Sunday, April 2.
Meanwhile second Penrite CRF Honda Racing rider Joel Wightman took to the line in the MX1 category of the MX Nationals for the first time ever, and fired his thundering CRF450R to a 12th overall result after running on the edge of the top ten standings in the event’s two motos.
The Wonthaggi series kick-off was the first full hit-out for the Honda Australia backed race squad, which for season 2017 has welcomed leading Australian lubricant brand Penrite as naming rights sponsor of the team.
With a huge grid of the country’s top motocross exponents descending on the Wonthaggi event, the MX Nationals championship opener was always going to deliver intense competition, and that’s just what Webster was confronted with in the MX2 division.
“It was a tough and challenging race day, for sure,” said Webster, “but overall it was a good day for me.
“Things were tough in the first moto, as I got caught up in a first turn crash with a few other riders, but I managed to come from near last to ride through the field and finish eighth in the first moto.
“Thankfully I got a much better start and had a cleaner run on the first lap in the second moto, and pretty much got into third and ran there all the way to the flag, which was good to get a podium placing at the first round.
“The track was tough but my bike was awesome. My mechanic Mick and the Penrite CRF Honda Racing team have done an awesome job and I can’t wait to get to the next round.”
In the premier MX1 division, NSW Hunter Valley rider Wightman was keen for his class debut in the MX Nationals and posted 11/14 moto scores to notch up 12th overall for the day.
“Overall it was a positive first step into MX1,” said Wightman after the event.
“I didn’t get the best of starts in either race but found myself hovering around the top ten in both motos.
“I finished tenth in the first moto and was running tenth in the second moto when I made a silly mistake that led to a crash with only three laps to go. I remounted in 15th and finished the race in 14th. If not for that fall, I could have finished tenth, but that’s the way it goes...
“Overall it was a good kick-off to MX1 on a super-rough track and I was rapt with the Pro-Moto suspension and the way my bike ran all day.”
After the MX Nationals opener, Webster sits sixth in the MX2 standings while Wightman is 12th in MX1.
Round two of the gruelling ten-round MX Nationals championship chase is set to take place at Sydney’s Appin Raceway on Sunday, April 23.