Davey Motorsport‰Ûªs KTM rider Egan Mastin has found his form when it truly counts, closing in on the Motul MX2 championship, and going undefeated once again at Round 9 of the Motul MX Nationals at Toowoomba today.
Once qualifying had concluded it was Davey Motorsport‰Ûªs KTM rider Mastin who topped the time sheets with a 1:51.471 lap time, from Serco Yamaha‰Ûªs Mitchell Evans (1:52.174) and KSF Husqvarna Racing‰Ûªs Dylan Wills who recorded the third fastest time late in the qualifying session (1:52.648).
Once riders lined up for their first moto of the weekend, spectators had flooded in to the venue, providing the Motul MX2 class with a huge audience for race one.
With championship leader Wilson Todd entering the round with only a 13-point advantage on Mastin, all eyes were on the pair as the gates dropped and bikes left the grid, but it was the two-stroke machine of Mastin who drag raced his way down the start straight to collect the first Raceline Holeshot of the day.
After the opening lap, Mastin shook off DPH Motorsport‰Ûªs draft-in Hayden Mellross who was back in second, while behind the pair, local MXD wildcard rider Kaleb Barham and Raceline Pirelli KTM‰Ûªs Jay Wilson were locked into their own battle for third.
Surprisingly after two laps, red plate holder Todd was back in seventh position, followed by Evans in eighth, allowing Mastin to further capitalise on his lead and his bid to secure vital championship points.
After six minutes, Wilson made the move on Barham and slotted up into third position behind Mellross, however it was Mastin who looked in a league of his own leading by five seconds with just over 20 minutes remaining.
With the front three checked out, the attention soon shifted to Evans and Todd who were desperately trying to navigate their way through the talented field. By lap five, Todd had charged through to fifth, while Evans followed suit passing Barham and moving up to sixth.
By the halfway point in moto one, Mastin continued to lead from Mellross, however both Wilson and third fastest qualifier Wills had begun to close in on the lead pair. DPH Motorsport‰Ûªs Todd continued to maintain fifth from Evans, Barham, and CRF Honda Racing Team‰Ûªs Kyle Webster.
After seven laps on track, Wills found the passing opportunity that he had been waiting for, making the move on KTM mounted Wilson and moving up into the final podium position.
As riders reached the 19-minute mark of race one, fitness and mental strength began to come into play, and with a championship on his mind, Todd began to close in on Wills and Wilson, and it only took a few laps for Todd to make the move on both riders and snatch up third position.
From there, once again Serco Yamaha‰Ûªs Evans followed suit, charging onto the rear wheel of Wilson, and within only a lap he too had made a pass on the 2015 champ. Unfortunately, Wills dropped his Husqvarna at a crucial moment and dropped back to sixth, the KSF Racing Team rider then forced to chase down the top five riders for the remainder of the moto.
With only two laps remaining, Mastin stayed well out of the carnage, leading by a comfortable margin from Mellross in second, and it was then that championship leader Todd, and Evans provided the of entertainment with a battle for the final podium position. The Yamaha pair went head to head for a full rotation before Evans made a vital pass on Todd, moving up to third.
But when the chequered flag flew, it was Mastin who celebrated across the finish line, taking yet another race victory and closing in on the MX2 championship. Second place went to Mellross, followed by Evans, Todd and Wilson who recorded his best finish of the season in fifth. Wills, Hamish Harwood and Webster all finished in sixth, seventh and eighth, while Barham and Raceline Pirelli KTM‰Ûªs Jayden Rykers completed the top ten.