Mx1 Practice
Dean Ferris // Toowoomba Pro MX

+ Ferris & Tanti Display Podium Power

Round six of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship proved to be a good one for Yamaha mounted riders in the premier MX1 class, with Dean Ferris taking the round win and Aaron Tanti in third, both cementing their place on the championship table.

Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles) took the round win on his YZ450F with a near wheel perfect performance in the two, thirty minute motos contested over the weekend. Ferris rebounded strongly after a bitterly disappointing performance at the previous round in Gilman and more than redeemed himself with two moto wins and now takes the clear lead in the MX1 championship, holding a seven-point lead in the series with two rounds remaining.

Leading home the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team charge on the weekend was Aaron Tanti who finished in third place with 5-2 results. Tanti put up a fight all weekend and was the only rider to threaten Ferris for race wins.

After a mistake in the opening laps of race one, Tanti worked his way back through the pack to lock down second position with just a handful of laps to run, Just as the result looked a foregone conclusion, Tanti missed a shift in the roller section and fell awkwardly form his bike. He scrambled to remounted as quickly as possible but Aaron Tanti on his way to third overall at Toowoomba. dropped three positions and finished a disappointing fifth place.

Race two and Tanti was in no mood for messing around. He leapt from the gates in second place and then stalked Ferris on the opening laps. He piled on the pressure and began to look for a way passed. He pulled alongside him a few times before making the pass stick on lap three.

He held the lead for the laps before Ferris was able to get back by. Tanti tried to hang with the triple 1 machine but couldn’t hold the pace and Ferris slowly inched away. After crashing late in the first race, Tanti backed it down as the laps wore on and he settled for second place. His 5-2 results landed him in third place for the round and holds down third for the championship, still just 20 points from the lead.

“It was a frustrating weekend and fell short of what I wanted from myself here at Toowoomba,” Tanti offered. “I made two mistakes in the first two laps of race one and it set me back in the field and then had to work hard to move forward. It took me the whole moto to get back to second and then with the last lap board out, I crashed on the rollers and damaged the bike pretty good. Fortunately, I had built a decent gap over the riders behind, so I only dropped three spots to finish fifth, but I was dirty on myself.

“Race two was better and I had good speed. I was able to get past Dean and lead it for a few laps. Dean kept the pressure on and got around me. I stayed with him for a while, but I fatigued just after the halfway point and then I decided that because of what I did in race one, I needed to finish in second place and with no more mistakes, which is what I was able to do.

“I’m still within 20 points of the lead so well and truly in the championship hunt. The next round is at QMP, and I have done a lot of riding and training there, so hopefully I can turn that into a round win and give myself every chance heading into Coolum,” Tanti said.

It was a tough day for teammate, Luke Clout. The 2021 champion finished with 8-6 results to finish sixth for the round but couldn’t really get a flow going on the day and wasn’t able to challenge the front pack at any stage.

Clout admits that the Echo Valley Circuit in Toowoomba isn’t on his track favourites lists but he also sustained a wrist injury after crashing in the mornings practice and qualifying session that left him in damage control for the round.

He still holds down fifth in the championship but will be looking to finish out the season strongly with two rounds remaining at QMP and Coolum.

“It simply wasn’t a good day for me at all,” said Clout. “I have never really raced well at this track in the past and struggled to read the dirt and get the feel I need to generate the pace. When there is moisture in the dirt, I can go ok, but once it dries and the surface becomes hard pack and a little shiny, I find myself second guessing traction and how much throttle to use or I override it and end up going slower.

“But the high-speed track with the big hills and G-outs put plenty of pressure on my wrist so I had to be aware of that and I couldn’t attack areas of the track like I wanted to. Thanks to the team for the hard work and I will be back at QMP determined to get back on the box and reward everyone for their hard work,” Clout said.

+ Budd Leads Yamaha MX2 Charge- MX2

Serco Yamaha’s Rhys Budd finished in fourth place at round six of the ProMX class after two consistent races on the weekend. Budd’s 4-5 results consolidated his fourth place in the MX2 championship with two rounds remaining.

Budd qualified in fourth place in a good start to the day and his recent form at Echo Valley suggested a podium result was on offer.

Over the course of the two, twenty-five-minute races, Budd couldn’t match the pace of the lead trio, but battled hard and fought all the way to the finish to snare his 5-4 results. The consistent day kept him in fourth place for the championship and within striking distance of the series podium with two rounds to go.

“I felt like I raced well, just the front three guys were better than me today. I didn’t get a great start in race one and had to make some passes early to get to fourth. Then I got a better start in race two and had a good battle with Brodie and Noah there for a while but couldn’t hold them both off.

“It’s back to work on Monday and keep trying to improve. Two rounds to go and plenty to race for with a championship podium within reach.

“Thanks to the Serco Yamaha team for their efforts this weekend and we will be ready to go at QMP,” Budd ends.

Kaleb Barham raced the clock to be ready for his home round in Toowoomba after having surgery on his thumbs just two weeks ago. While far from 100%, Barham was able to line up for the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team and finished ninth on the day with 10-7 results.

He finished tenth in race one after a spirited fight back through the field after stalling the bike on the start line. He was a clear last on the opening lap, but he picked riders off on his charge forward and while tenth might not have been the result he wanted, it was an impressive performance.

Race two proved to be better with a much better start. He rounded the opening lap in sixth spot and then began to grind away for the next 25 minutes. His recent lack of riding hurt him, and his fitness was not where it would normally be, but he battled all the way to the end to take a seventh-place finish and round out the day in ninth.

Despite missing two full rounds with injury, Barham sits in 10th place in the championship.

“I knew coming into this weekend I was underdone but it’s a local race for me and I was desperate to do it. We now have a six week break between now and round seven so I will be able to get plenty of time on the bike and get back to full speed and fitness,” Barham said.

Charli Cannon made an appearance in the MX2 class on the weekend to keep her skills sharp and continue to work on her speed and fitness. Racing in the MX2 class for Cannon isn’t about a result, as she bases her performance on her lap speed from the class leader and how long it takes to be lapped but the front runners.

Every time on the track, her lap times were within 10 seconds of the fastest on track and the leader only lapped her in both races within two laps to go. She isn’t afraid to mix it with the boys and her starts showed she is prepared to throw elbows when required as she charged into the first turn in race one side by side with the likes of Wilson Todd and wasn’t prepared to give an inch.

She finished the day with 19-22 results to finished 21st for the day.

“I would’ve liked to have got a top 15 result but the level in MX2 is pretty deep at the moment and I haven’t been well this week and just didn’t have the energy I needed after the first 10-15 minutes. I like racing with the guys and its great practice for me and I have a few more local races coming up before the next round of the WMX at QMP,” Cannon said.

+ Cannon Claims Race Win in MX3

Jake Cannon finished fourth at round six of the ProMX in the MX3 division, highlighted with a race win in moto two.

Cannon has proven to be the fastest rider in the MX3 class but also one of the younger ones and still prone to some inconsistency during the rounds.

The Toowoomba event was case in point and after smashing qualifying with a lap time over a second faster than his rivals, Cannon has issues in race one that saw him finish in 11th place. He stalled the bike on the start, then fell in the early stages, causing issues with his rear brake.

Then when they lined up for race two, Cannon was in a league of his own. He moved into the lead and then set down some fast laps to clear out from the pack. He took the win by 10 seconds and continues to maintain third in the MX3 championship, despite missing a round due to injury.

All Yamaha Junior Racing riders finished the round in the top 10, with Cannon in fourth, Kobe Drew in sixth, Koby Hantis in eighth, Kayd Kingsford in ninth and Seth Burchell in tenth.

+ ProMX Round Results

1st Dean Ferris – 50
2nd Jed Beaton – 42
3rd Aaron Tanti – 38 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)
4th Kirk Gibbs – 36
5th Kyle Webster – 31
6th Luke Clout – 28 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) 
7th Hamish Harwood – 27
8th Zac Watson – 25
9th Brett Metcalfe – 24
10th Joel Evans – 20

1st Nathan Crawford – 47
2nd Wilson Todd – 45
3rd Noah Ferguson – 42
4th Rhys Budd – 34 (Serco Yamaha) 
5th Brodie Connelly – 33
6th Ryan Alexanderson – 29
7th Liam Andrew – 28
8th Haruki Yokohama – 26
9th Kaleb Barham – 25 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) 
10th Kayden Minear – 23

1st Byron Dennis – 44
2nd Jack Mather – 41
3rd Liam Owens – 38
4th Jake Cannon – 35 ( GYTR/Yamaha Junior Racing) 
5th Campbell Williams – 31
6th Kobe Drew – 30
7th Travis Olander – 28
8th Koby Hantis – 28 (GYTR/ Yamaha Junior Racing)
9th Kayd Kingsford – 24 (GYTR / Yamaha Junior Racing) 
10th Seth Burchell – 22 (GYTR / Yamaha Junior Racing)

+ Championship Standings

1st Dean Ferris – 221 (Yamaha YZ450F) 
2nd Jed Beaton – 214
3rd Aaron Tanti – 201 (Yamaha YZ450F) 
4th Kirk Gibbs – 190
5th Luke Clout – 172 (Yamaha YZ450F) 
6th Hamish Harwood – 161
7th Kyle Webster – 156
8th Todd Waters – 146
9th Brett Metcalfe – 143
10th Zac Watson – 102

1st Wilson Todd – 242
2nd Nathan Crawford – 207
3rd Brodie Connelly – 188
4th Rhys Budd – 176 (Yamaha YZ250F)
5th Noah Ferguson – 153
6th Kayden Minear – 150
7th Liam Andrews – 140
8th Jesse Dobson – 128 (Yamaha YZ250F) 
9th Ryan Alexanderson – 117
10th Kaleb Barham – 105 (Yamaha YZ250F)

1st Byron Dennis – 230
2nd Jack Mather – 205
3rd Jake Cannon – 176 (Yamaha YZ250F) 
4th Campbell Williams – 169
5th Kobe Drew – 149 (Yamaha YZ250F) 
6th Seth Burchell – 136 (Yamaha YZ250F) 
7th Travis Olander – 126
8th Liam Owens – 122
9th Connor Towill – 116
10th Ky Woods – 108

(Photos: Foremost Media)

Mx2 Practice
Rhys Budd // Toowoomba Pro MX
Mx1 Race 1
Aaron Tanti // Toowoomba Pro MX
Mx2 Race 2
Charli Cannon // Toowoomba Pro MX
Mx3 Race 1
Jake Cannon // Toowoomba Pro MX