Fighting some of the worst weather conditions seen at the Pirelli MX Nationals, Max Purvis has claimed the opening round spoils at Appin, NSW. The clay based Appin circuit, west of Sydney, took a deluge of rain overnight and throughout the day and lead to a change of format that saw only one round of racing completed in each championship class as the water logged track took its toll on riders, teams and machinery.
It was New Zealand based Max Purvis on his WBR Yamaha team machine taking the MXD (Under19 ) round win and starting his year in perfect style. It didn’t come easy for the laid back Kiwi who qualified in 11th place as he came to grips with the difficult conditions. But once the gates fell, Max made the most of his opportunities.
He instantly positioned himself inside the top five and made some passes on the opening lap to sit in third place as the field came through on lap 1. With the races shorted to five laps but the lap times around the three minute mark, he needed to keep moving forward and not make any mistakes if a race win was on offer. He moved into second a lap later then on the final lap, the race leader went down, and Purvis was able to capitalise on his mistake and take the race and round victory.
“What a crazy race,” Purvis said moments after the finish. “I don’t think I have raced in conditions like that before and I’m not even sure if I was racing, I was just trying not to crash.
“The track was so deep and there wasn’t a single spot where you could relax. My goal was to keep it on two wheels as I know that if I crashed, then I would get mud on my gloves and grips as well as loose vision, so it was important to keep circulating.
“But if it was tough for us on the track, it was even harder for the guys on the team and the WBR Yamaha team did a great job of getting the bikes prepared and keeping them going so it was a good round for all of us,” Purvis ends.
For team mate Jack Kukas, it was steady as she goes as he returned to racing after a knee injury sidelined him during the pre-season. Conditions like the weekend aren’t good for riders carrying any injury so for Kukas the focus was to finish the race in reasonable position, stay out of the ankle and knee grabbing ruts and leave healthy. He was able to do that and now focuses on round two.
“Coming 11th at round one isn’t ideal but I’m healthy, my knee is good, and it will only get better from here. That was probably the toughest track I have had to race and the muddiest conditions I have rode so to come through unscathed and healthy is a positive.
“I’m staying down with the team in Echuca and Max is now here with us as well so we will have a good two weeks riding and training before the next round and be ready to be back up front and battling for podiums for the rest of the championship,” Kukas said.
Round two of the MX Nationals now heads to Wonthaggi in Gippsland Victoria where riders and teams will be hoping for slightly drier conditions then experienced at Appin. For more information on the MX Nationals: https://www.mxnationals.com.au/