When riders headed to the line for their first race of the day, crowds searched for the number 100 machine - the points leader Roberts. Unfortunately, as the Pirelli MXD machines took to the grid, the red plate holder was absent, with official word then circulating that after this morning‰Ûªs qualifying crash that the championship leader was out of Round 8.
With Roberts declared unfit to race, the opportunity for the MXD title well and truly opened up, both Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team‰Ûªs Cody Dyce, and Isaac Ferguson mathematically capable of securing the championship, making the racing at Port Macquarie more exciting than ever.
When gates dropped on moto one, SD3 Husqvarna‰Ûªs Kaleb Barham shot off the start and secured the Raceline holeshot, but by the second turn, riders were down and both Raceline Pirelli KTM‰Ûªs Morgan Fogarty and Finn Laverty were left to remount their machines at the rear of the pack.
With a championship on the line, Dyce wasted no time in navigating his way through the field, slotting in to second behind Barham after only two laps on track, while behind him teammate Cooper Pozniak and KTM‰Ûªs Norton found their way to third and fourth positions.
After ten minutes on track in race one, Barham continued to lead from Dyce, Pozniak and Norton. Bulk Nutrients WBR Yamaha‰Ûªs Hugh McKay completed the top five, followed by Alex Watt, Riley Dukes and Brodie Ellis.
With Dyce‰Ûªs closest points threat Ferguson back in 11th position by the six lap mark, the Yamaha rider simply needed to hold his position in order to clinch the Pirelli MXD championship in the opening moto, but with the mind of a racer, Dyce began to close in on Barham, setting up the last half of the race as a fight to the finish.
With only a few laps remaining, Dyce slipped back to third and allowed Pozniak to move up into second position, but regardless of the pass, the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team rider was in the box seat to collect his first ever Pirelli MXD class championship.
And when the chequered flag flew, it was Barham who led from the gate drop to the finish line, collecting his first race win of the day, second place went to Pozniak, while despite finishing third in race one, Dyce did more then enough to become the 2017 Pirelli MXD Champion after a single race at Port Macquarie.
Fourth place in moto one went to KTM‰Ûªs Norton, followed by McKay, Dukes, Ellis, Watt, Dylan Wood and Ferguson who all completed the top ten.