Wilson Todd made a triumphant return to racing in Australia at the opening round of the 2022 ProMX Championships taking a clean sweep of the MX2 class at the opening round at Wonthaggi, Vic.
Todd qualified fastest and went on to win both races to make it a perfect weekend. Alex Larwood and Bailey Malkiewicz rounded out the podium.
Todd was happy with his result and believes it’s the perfect foundation to build on.
“It was a solid result; I know we can be better, and we will continue to work forward, there were some things that I was disappointed in, in myself, and we have a positive plan,” He said. “I just need to do some more riding on rough tracks. This was our first hit out at a national track, so I am pleased we got it done”, he concluded.
Alex Larwood made a welcome return to racing after an injury layoff last year and instantly hit the podium. Larwood likes the Wonthaggi circuit and was confident in getting a good result with lots of friends and family there in support.
The South Australian started his weekend strongly with P2 in qualifying, just a few tenths from pole. Race one fired from the gates and Larwood was comfortably inside the top five. He moved his way forward before settling into second and in pursuit of race leader Wilson Todd. For the next 20 minutes, Larwood shadowed Todd and was never further than two seconds apart, but at the same time, couldn’t draw close enough to make a passing attempt. He crossed the line just one second behind Todd to finish second for the race.
The second moto presented more challenges as Larwood mistimed his jump from the gate and was mired mid-pack as the 40-rider field charged through the first turn. He got to work and began picking off riders at will and again made his way to second place with ten minutes remaining. He closed the gap on Todd, who was again out front and began to apply the pressure. And again, Todd resisted and Larwood was unable to make a way past and had to settle for another second place, giving him second for the round.
“Today was a good day and I’m happy with how things went,” Larwood said. “I rode two strong and consistent races all the way to the end and felt I was in the battle and making Wilson earn it. I couldn’t get close enough to try and make a pass, so congrats to Wilson as he didn’t make a mistake that I could capitalise on in either moto.
“Thanks to Nash and Mike on the team for getting everything ready and the work they put in as well as my family that came over from South Australia to watch me. It’s great to get the first round out of the way and start on a positive note,” he concluded.
Bailey Malkiewicz started the day strongly posting fast lap times in qualifying and finish the session in P3 and well within striking distance of those ahead. But fast lap times mean little if you are buried in the pack and Bailey didn’t execute is start well in the first race and on the first lap was as low as ninth place.
The former Junior World Champion made some moves early and clawed his way back to fifth fourth place on lap five and that’s where he remained for the rest of the race. He was stuck with no real pressure coming from behind and the lead group of three had broken away.
The second moto saw him get a much better start and stay in touch with the leaders on the early laps. As the race settled, Malkiewicz slotted into third place and again it was a lonely ride to the finish. His 3-4 results were good enough to take third for the round and leave in a good frame of mind.
“The opening round went well,“ Malkiewicz said. “There were a few things I did well and a few things I think I need to improve on before the coming rounds so I will get to work on those and try and get a little better at Mackay.
“It was my first real hit-out with the full team and the truck and everything worked well. Happy with the bike, happy with the team, and looking forward to getting down to business and chasing this championship with Serco Yamaha.”
The day for teammate Jesse Dobson was a mirror image of Malkiewicz. Dobson went 3-4 for the day, against Malkiewicz’s 4-3 with Bailey getting the final position on the podium by virtue of the better finish in moto two.
Dobson was rock solid in moto one with a good start and well-constructed laps, his only blemish was some early moto pace that saw him drop a few spots before getting his momentum back and moving forward again.
“The goal of the first round of any championship is to put together a consistent weekend with good points and assess how you, the team and the bike are traveling and I think we achieved that. I would clearly like to be on the podium, but I still see it as a good start to the Pro MX Championship and feel there are a few things I can take from it that will hold me in a good place moving forward.
“Wonthaggi is never an easy place to ride and it gives you a clear indication of how things are with your bike and fitness. I think I just needed some more sprint pace in the early laps of race two and my day would have finished a little better, but we move on to Mackay now and try and be better than we I was here,” Dobson said.
Round two of the ProMX 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.
1st Wilson Todd – 50 Pointss
2nd Alex Larwood – 44 Points
3rd Bailey Malkiewicz – 38 Points
4th Jesse Dobson – 38 Points
5th Ryder Kingsford – 31 Points
6th Jai Constantinou – 28 Points
7th Haruki Yokohama – 28 Points
8th Dylan Wills – 25 Points
9th Rhys Budd – 24 Points
10th Brodie Connelly – 19 Points