Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team‰Ûªs Mitchell Evans raced to a dominating 1,1 result for the first time in his career in the Pirelli MXD class today, in what were challenging track conditions at Conondale in Queensland.
When the Pirelli MXD class headed out for qualifying this morning, riders were forced to learn quickly, with the track conditions varying from wet, to sticky and slick ‰ÛÒ And after 15 minutes it was Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team‰Ûªs Evans who showed his form from the get go, putting down the fastest time with a 2:06.713, while Cooper Pozniak (KTM) and Lochie Latimer (Yamaha) finished the session with second and third picks of the grid.
When riders lined up for their first race of the day, all competitors were forced to contend with another MX Nationals mud race. And when the gates dropped, there was plenty of excitement, with fans treated to a spectacular start, Zak Small taking the first MXStore holeshot, while a number of other riders were caught up in a start straight pile up.
With two gruelling laps in the books, Small continued to lead from Yamalube Yamaha Racing‰Ûªs Evans, while Pozniak had slotted in to third position ahead of Luke Abela. Raceline Pirelli KTM‰Ûªs Wade Kirkland found his way in to fifth, while Jordan Hill completed the top six standings.
From there, the deep rutty track evened out the field, allowing Evans to close in on race leader Small ‰ÛÒ setting the two up for a battle for the race one victory. But despite it looking like the pair would go head to head, a crash from Small allowed Evans to inherit the lead ‰ÛÒ where he would stay for the remainder of the moto.
With three quarters of the race run, the running order saw Evans out in front, followed by Small, Pozniak and Hill who had made a late charge through the field to an impressive fourth position.
When riders were shown the last lap board, Evans had put himself in the box seat to take the opening Pirelli MXD victory ‰ÛÒ and with only just over two minutes left to hold on, the Yamaha rider put his head down to get the job done.
And when Evans flew over the finish line for the final time, he had plenty of reason to celebrate collecting the opening race victory. Pozniak finished in second position after managing to get by Small, who wrapped up the opening race in third. Hill and Kirkland concluded moto one in fourth and fifth places respectively.
When the second moto kicked off for the Pirelli MXD class, once again the Motul MX Nationals youngsters provided plenty of incentive for the crowd to stick around.
This time it was KTM mounted Pozniak who launched off the grid and in to the early race lead, followed by Yamalube Yamaha Racing‰Ûªs Evans, but it took only three laps for Evans to make his move in to the top spot, relegating Pozniak to second place, while Latimer held down third.
By the 12-minute mark, the running order saw Evans remaining strong out in front, ahead of Pozniak ‰ÛÒ but the battle for third position was what kept spectator‰Ûªs eyes glued to the track. With Yamalube Yamaha‰Ûªs Hill on a charge to the front, Latimer came under pressure, and before long Hill had snatched up third position, leaving Latimer behind him.
The remainder of the moto, proved to be relatively uneventful, and when riders crossed the finish line the top positions had remained unchanged. But for the first time in his career, when the chequered flag flew, Evans took two from two race wins, ahead of Pozniak in second, while Evans‰Ûª team mate Hill finished in an impressive third.
With 1,1 results, Evans collected maximum points and was awarded with the round seven victory, while Victorian KTM rider Pozniak wrapped up today‰Ûªs racing in second overall. The final position on the podium was taken by Hill, handing Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team with a 1,3 result at Round 7.
Despite being a notable absentee from the front of the field throughout round seven, Husqvarna Racing‰Ûªs Connor Tierney retains the red plate, and continues to lead the Pirelli MXD Championship by 13 points.
‰ÛÏI had a bit of bad luck at the start of the series, and since then we‰Ûªve been playing catch up, but today everything came together and we finally got what we‰Ûªve been working for,‰Û