For the first time in 3 years, South Australia and the Gillman MRA Club welcomed professional Motocross racing back to the incredible venue, hosting Round 4 of the 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship presented by AMX Superstores.
In what can only be described as a rider’s dream race track, the rain leading into the event combined with the sandy surface to create incredible conditions, allowing close battles and amazing on-track action.
Once again the THOR MX1 field came into Round 4 with everything to play for with just 1 point separating the Red Plate holder of Todd Waters and Aaron Tanti. Tanti sent a message to the field in the morning claiming the fastest time in the AMX Superstores Top Ten Pole Shootout.
In the opening moto, it was South Australian Motocross legend Brett Metcalfe on the GO24 KTM who took the holeshot to the delight of the hometown fans. Dean Ferris quickly mounted an attack passing into the lead in turn 3 of the opening lap.
As the field settled into track position, Metcalfe made his intentions to the hometown crowd clear, passing Ferris back for the lead. Metcalfe then proceeded to shift another gear and check out from the field. Ferris began to shuffle back through the field, with Tanti moving to second, Kirk Gibbs moving to third, and set his sights on Tanti.
The cluster of riders stayed in this procession with Ferris in 4th and Waters in 5th for the majority of the opening moto. Towards the end, Waters passed Ferris for 4th as Metcalfe took the win at the chequered flag, with Tanti 2nd and Gibbs in 3rd.
Dean Ferris rocketed out of the gate to the holeshot in Moto 2 before Aaron Tanti passed for the lead in the opening lap. As Tanti established a strong track position out front, Ferris and Metcalfe ran in formation for 15 minutes with Metcalfe mounting attack after attack on Ferris without success.
With 6 minutes to go, Metcalfe finally made the pass stick on Ferris and moved into 2nd and set his sights on Tanti. A lap later Kirk Gibbs made the pass on Ferris for 3rd and also joined the battle for the lead. A game of cat and mouse ensued in the final 2 laps as Metcalfe attacked Tanti as Gibbs tried to counter Metcalfe.
Down the stretch, it was Tanti who rode flawlessly and did not crack under relentless pressure to take the win with Metcalfe in 2nd and Gibbs in 3rd. Dean Ferris and Todd Waters round out the top 5 positions.
Aaron Tanti took the overall win for the Round with 2-1 Moto scores and also the coveted Red Plate. Brett Metcalfe matched points with Tanti but claimed 2nd overall on the count back with Kirk Gibbs in 3rd overall.
Wilson Todd had a point to prove at Gillman after conceding his first loss of the season at the previous Round in Wodonga and this was evident from the very first time MX2 class hit the track. Taking out the fastest qualifying time, Todd capitalised on great track position in Moto 1 to dominate every lap en route to the chequered flag and the Moto win.
Behind Todd, Haruki Yokoyama battled up front early as Bailey Malkiewicz crashed out of the moto at the end of lap 1 in spectacular fashion. Alex Larwood and Rhys Budd moved consistently towards the front, with SA local Larwood in 2nd and Budd in 3rd at the finish. Liam Andrews rode to another impressive performance in 4th position with the Ryder Kingsford charging from a bad start back to 5th position.
Moto 2 saw Yokoyama Holeshot and lead on lap 1 before a freight train of Rhys Budd and Noah Ferguson battled past Yokoyama, as the pair fought hard for the lead position in the opening laps. Wilson Todd mounted a clinical attack on the field, clawing through from a bad start to pass into the lead position at the halfway point. As the race progressed, Todd decimated the field by extending a huge lead by the chequered flag. Rhys Budd and Noah Ferguson continued their epic battle all the way to the finish, with Budd just pinching 2nd position at the flag. Ferguson finished 3rd, with Ryder Kingsford in 4th and Jesse Dobson 5th.
In the overall standings, Wilson Todd took maximum points for the overall win with Rhys Budd in 2nd and Ryder Kingsford in 3rd, Budd capitalising on a chain issue for Alex Larwood in the closing laps to lock in the final podium overall spot.
In Maxxis MX3 class, the next generation of Australian Motocross talent again put on a display of speed and youthful intensity on the sandy Gillman track. In Moto 1 it was Connor Towill who snared the holeshot and lead the first half of the race, however, at the halfway mark a small error in passing a lapped rider would allow Kayden Minear to take lead. At the same time, Red Plate holder Cambell Williams crashed battling with Jack Mather and fell from outside the top 3. At the chequered flag it was Minear in 1st, with Towill rebounding for 2nd and Jack Mather in 3rd.
Moto 2 again saw Minear lead early and establish a strong track position ahead of the rest of the field. Jack Mather and Brock Flynn battled early in the top 3 spots as Ty Kean mounted a tremendous charge through to 2nd position by the end of the moto, with Minear taking out a perfect 1-1 day and Jack Mather rounding out 3rd position in the moto.
In the overall standings, Minear took the overall win and made up a huge 20 points margin in the Championship to close within just one point of Championship Red Plate holder Cambell Williams.
The EziLift MXW class returned for their 2nd Round of the season to the delight of the South Australian fans. It was Charli Cannon who picked up right where she left off at Wonthaggi’s’ opening round, absolutely dominating the field from the very first laps on the track, setting the fastest time in qualifying with the next best rider 4 seconds adrift.
In Moto 1, Cannon grabbed the holeshot and begin to pull ground on the field. Emma Milesevic tried her best to maintain vision of Cannon whilst riding strong in 2nd. Taylor Thompson rode in 3rd until the very last lap of Moto 1, falling from the position and handing Maddy Brown the podium spot.
Moto 2 would see a repeat with Cannon and Milesevic running 1st and 2nd to the chequered flag, with Maddy Brown a strong 3rd.
THOR MX1 Overall
1st – Aaron Tanti
2nd – Brett Metcalfe
3rd – Kirk Gibbs
Pirelli MX2 Overall
1st – Wilson Todd
2nd – Rhys Budd
3rd – Ryder Kingsford
Maxxis MX3 Overall
1st – Kayden Minear
2nd – Jack Mather
3rd – Jet Alsop
EziLift MXW Overall
1st – Charli Cannon
2nd – Emma Milesevic
3rd – Maddy Brown