24 Apr 2017
Australia’s elite dirt bike riders thundered into Appin Raceway on the southern outskirts of Sydney, NSW, for Sunday’s (April 23) second round of the prestigious MX Nationals championship.
Hosted by the MacArthur District Motorcycle Club and staged by the team at Williams Event Management, the Appin event continued to showcase Australian motocross racing after the championship kick-off in Wonthaggi, Victoria, earlier in the
month. This time out the Penrite CRF Honda Racing squad was headlined by MX2 competitor Kyle Webster for the weekend, while team-mate Joel Wightman was sidelined from MX1 duties with a collarbone injury.
Lining up aboard his potent Penrite lubricated Honda CRF250R thumper,
Webster was keen to carry on the form from round one which saw him notch up a podium finish in one moto.
In a stacked field of MX2 racers, Webster qualified seventh fastest at Appin, then went on to complete the event with sixth and 11th place finishes in the day’s two MX2 motos, good enough for ninth overall.
“Overall though it was a rough day,”
Webster revealed after the Appin event.
“Some small mistakes and bad starts really cost me, and then when I went down in the first turn of the second moto, it got really tough. I was dead last but managed to fight my way back to 11th by the finish.
“I definitely have the speed to run with the front guys,” Webster continued, “but I just need it to all come together to get the results I know I am really capable of.” After two rounds of the 2017 MX Nationals MX2 championship chase, Webster now sits sixth overall in the standings as the national title fight gets set to move to Conondale, Queensland for round three in just under a fortnight’s time.
Meanwhile the Penrite CRF Honda Racing team’s MX1 competitor Joel Wightman was forced to spectate at the Appin event, after being sidelined recently with a collarbone injury.
“On Easter Sunday I was practising at the Ranch track near Raymond terrace, NSW, and was working on speed early in the day while the track was fresh,” Wightman explained.
“I made a little mistake which resulted in a fairly decent tumble, where I cracked my collarbone.
“At this stage I am hopeful of a return to racing at the next MX Nats round at Conondale, but more realistically I will be ready for round four in Horsham, Victoria.
“Having to watch the racing today at Appin was hard,” Wightman continued, “but in saying that, I always love being around the race track, especially at a national event and getting to watch the country’s best riders. I took it as a chance to try and learn things while watching on from the sidelines.”
In the MXD division, young Penrite CRF Honda Racing development rider Nick Luksich continued his first steps into the national competition scene, following his first-ever MXD hit-out at Wonthaggi earlier in the month. At Appin Luksich posted 28/23 moto placings in class and now has 13 championship points to his credit as he continues to soak in all the atmosphereand experience of being part of the country’s premier motocross competition.
The next outing for the Penrite CRF Honda Racing team will be round three of the MX Nationals at Conondale, Queensland, on Sunday, May 7.