Motocross

Luke Clout Kicks Off 2022 ProMX Title Defense With A Strong Win

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Luke Clout came into 2022 with the championship leaders Red Plate and will now take it into round two after a solid win at the opening round. Photo: Fullnoise

Luke Clout has kicked off his 2022 ProMX Championship MX1 title defense in the best possible way at the opening round of the championship at Wonthaggi, over the weekend.

Reigning champ, Luke Clout, entered the weekend after a low key pre season but was confident he had what it takes to be a front runner in the MX1 (450cc) division and get his title defence off to a great start. He did more than that and left the circuit with the perfect 1-1 to score maximum points.

The win was made all the more satisfying as MX1 Rookie and 2021 MX2 Champion Kyle Webster was coming into the round as a hot favourite after showing blistering pre-season speed and the event being on his home track, where he has been pretty much unbeatable. While Webster proved to be the fastest, mistakes cost him and he failed to make the podium.

The day wasn’t without its challenges for Clout, but he used his years of experience and racing knowledge, stayed calm under pressure, and stick to the game plan for the weekend. In both races, Clout always put himself in good track position and was then able to make the most of mistakes made by others to take both race wins and hit the ground running in 2022.

“The plan coming into the weekend wasn’t to be the fastest, or the wildest, or the flashiest, but be the smartest and log good laps at a good pace and I’m pumped that we were able to do it today. This track is tough, and it was un-seasonally warm down here so maintaining focus was so important as the track can get you at any time,” Clout said.

“Kyle (Webster) was clearly quicker than me today as he was exceptionally fast and that’s ok. The old me would have over-ridden and done something stupid but we have 16 races to win this championship and every one of them is important, so I kept me head in the game from the moment the gate dropped and I was rewarded with the round win.

“Thanks again to the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team for again giving us the best and its great to have my brother back on the tools. Looking forward two in a couple of weeks and keen not get back to work this week,” Clout ends.

Aaron Tanti took a big step forward taking second place in the MX1 class and looking every bit a contender in 2022. Photo: Fullnoise

It was also a stunning debut for Aaron Tanti with the CDR Yamaha Team taking second place for the round with 3-2 results in the two, thirty-minute races. Tanti’s riding has stepped up considerably since joining the team and the Wonthaggi circuit was once considered a liability for Tanti, is now proving to be a strength and he improves his riding in soft, sandy conditions.

Tanti was up the front in both motos and logged consistent laps all the way until the finish. He looked comfortable and in control the entire time and his second place was only the second time he has stood on the podium since joining the MX1 division.

“I’m pretty happy with how the weekend played out and the way I rode,” Tanti enthused. “The start of any new championship is a little nerve-racking and the goal is always to get some good points, stay healthy and get back into the swing of national race intensity.

“The next few tracks and a bit more in my wheelhouse as far as the track surface, but I’m beginning to like this sand stuff and slowly working things out to produce good lap times.

“The bike was awesome all day and we barely touched it, so the team have done a great job in preparing things and a 1-2 finish is always a great reward for everyone’s work,” Tanti said.

Former Champion Todd Waters also made a strong start finishing on the podium in third place. Photo: Fullnoise

Todd Waters was the quiet achiever of the day going 4-3 to grab the final podium spot, just ahead of Webster.

“It’s always good to start with a podium result and that’s our minimum goal at each round,” Waters said. “From that side of things, we’re happy, but I did expect to win and I’m disappointed to not achieve that. The track was really challenging today, so we made some changes as the day progressed and we made some improvements. It feels like we haven’t raced each other for a long time, but now we know where we’re at and where we need to improve for Mackay. I’m excited about that round – I’ll be racing both the Australian Off-Road Championship and the ProMX over three days, but I’m fitter than I am fast at the moment and I can’t wait for the challenge.”

For Kyle Webster it was a missed opportunity after he led race 1 before crashing, he caught the race leader 3 times following his 3 consecutive crashes and managed to finish 2nd. In race 2 Webster led the race for more than 20 minutes before he crashed out of the lead and remounted to finish 5th.

“I was devastated,” a frustrated Webster said. “I threw away the overall by crashing four times throughout the day. The bike and team can win, and I let them down. It’s no constellation but we had the speed to win, the bike and team to win and we will learn from this and move forward”, he concluded.

Round two of the Pro MX moves to the Gum Valley circuit, eighty kilometres south of Mackay in Queensland. Nestled in the rolling sugar can fields, the track is one of the best in the country and the riders are looking forward to it.

No one will dispute that Kyle Webster (96) was the fastest but unfortunately fast doesn’t always win. Crashes cost him dearly in his home race and he missed the podium, finishing fourth for the round. Photo: Fullnoise

MX1 – Round One Results – Wonthaggi, Vic
1st Luke Clout – 50 Points
2nd Aaron Tanti – 42 Points
3rd Todd Waters – 38 Points
4th Kyle Webster – 38 Points
5th Kirk Gibbs – 32 Points
6th Brett Metcalfe – 31 Points
7th Hayden Mellross -25 Points
8th Jayden Rykers – 25 Points
9th Matt Moss – 24 Points
10th Joel Evans – 20 Points

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