American Mike Brown fired the first warning shot as he took home a convincing win at the opening round of the 2015 InsureMyRide Australian Enduro-X Nationals held at Archerfield Speedway in Queensland.
The American who has only just returned to Enduro-X style riding in the weeks leading up to the Australian series dominated the evenings procedings claiming pole position in the top ten shoot-out before going on to win the opening two main event races on his way to overall victory.
Earlier in the day it was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Josh Green who kicked off the proceedings in the Pro class thrilling the large and enthusiastic local crowd with a win in the opening heat, with Penrite Oil Honda Racings Peter Boyle doing like wise in heat two. Brown then kicked his winning run off in heat three with a big win over new Factory KTM racer Daniel Sanders.
With the heat racing over, the top ten qualifiers lined up to each tackle the track one at a time for the top ten shoot out to determine gate picks for the three moto final format.
It was CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis who laid down the fastest lap from the Aussie contenders, but all eyes were on Brown has he crossed the line to start his Heater. Riding with a combination of smooth flowing lines and the ability to thrill the crowd by hucking his Husqvarna 350 over any obstacle at will, Brown crossed the line with a lap time just over two seconds faster than Hollis.
With the field set, the gates were dropped for the opening back to back to back final’s of the night, with Sanders aboard his KTM 300 two stroke blowing the doors off his opposition to pull the inaugural Foxhead.com.au holeshot by more than a bike length.
Brown however quickly made his way to the front of the field and by the time the opening lap was done and dusted, the American has a huge gap over the field which he continued to extend right until the end of the five lap race. Boyle moved himself into second place early and never relinquished the position, while Green powered his way through the field to round out the top three.
Victorian Dylan Lees raced to a superb 4th place finish ahead of fifth placed Toby Price, with CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack finishing 6th. Things did not go so well for McCormack’s team mate however, with Hollis being forced out of the opening final of the night and did not line up for the remaining two races.
With a ten minute break between races, riders had little time to compose themselves before lining up for race two. Once again it was Sanders who fired out to the lead early with Brown close in tow. Sanders was able to hold off the #3 Husqvarna of Brown for the entire opening lap before the Ameican made his move to the front and checked out.
Brown raced to his second straight win, with Sanders holding on for a very impressive second place just in front fo Green with McCormack and Price rounding out the top five.
The third and final final saw a change up front with Price making his way to the lead early, while Brown was left buried deep in the field. Brown made his way through the pack and with just two laps left remaining closed right in on the back wheel of price. No matter how hard he tried, Price fresh off the back of his 3rd place result at Dakar was able to resist every move to hold on for the race win ahead of brown, while Green carded his third straight third place finish ahead of Sanders in 4th and Mitcham Harper in 5th.
The night overall belonged to Brown, who will now carry a handy points lead heading into round two in Sydney in just three weeks time.
“The whole day was good, I felt good in practice and carried that over to the heat races, the Hot Lap win and finals, things were going good,” Brown told fullnoise.com.au at the end of the nights racing.
“The last race Price got a good start and I struggled on my start like I had all night.
“I was just happy to get the win in the first race here, you never know what is going on with how you are preparing leading into a series and now I am just looking forward to getting into the next one.
With round one over Brown will now head back to the U.S to focus on getting his U.S race bike set up for their championship and is confident he will be back even faster for round two.
“I fly back home tonight and get into some testing for Endurocross and try and get the bike better for the series at home. Hopefully with all the riding Ill be doing in the next two weeks I will be better. The plan is to get the bike dialed in and get some more time on track, I only started back riding just on a week and a half ago. I am looking forward to riding more of this stuff and getting into it.”
Finishing second overall for the night was Josh Green powering his WR250F to the podium with a consistent showing in the three finals despite being in a lot of pain due to a big get off during a heat race earlier in the night.
“I am pretty stoked with the result even though I am pretty sore,” Green stated. “That crash in the heat race knocked me around, I had a headache and was seeing stars, but I’ll be right.
“I will head to the beech on Monday and relax and heal up a bit then just get back to what I am doing, then start focusing on the AORC and the final two Enduro-X races.
Rounding out the podium was Toby Price who has quickly adapted from the high speed Dakar racing to the more technical demands of the Enduro-X.
“I am feeling flat for sure,” Price admitted when asked how he felt at the end of the night. “There are no excuses, Dakar has definitely killed me, but we are putting in the best effort we can and it is good to be here.
“The support from everyone and to see everyone again and having everyone congratulation me on Dakar has been amazing and to be able to come out here tonight and do this has been good.
“The aim is to be there until the end, I don’t want to come out with an injury and stuff ourselves up for the whole year. We have a lot of racing ahead of us. We have to try and be consistent, we know we can’t win them all.
“I am looking forward to getting to round two in Sydney and seeing what we can bring.”
Daniel Sanders wasted no time in taking advantage of being called up to the Factory KTM effort for 2015 with a fine fourth place overall result just ahead of Tom Cormack in 5th.
Harper finished round one in 6th, Rees 7th, while Tye Simmonds in his first official outing with the KTM Off-Road Racing team held down 8th position. Boyle after a great opening final struggled with crashes in the next two to finish the night in 9th, with Stefan Granquist rounding out the top ten.
In the Women’s class it was Flair Action Sport KTM Freeride 250 rider Kirstie McKinnon who domintated the heat races before going on to take the final win by over ten seconds from Yamaha FX 250 mounted Tayla Jones who was able to make here way past Sherco mounted Jessica Gardiner for second with Gardiner holding on for third.
In other racing, Ruben Chadwick won the Expert class from Chris Thomas. Adrian Harry claimed the win in the Veterans class ahead of Kirk Hutton, while James Boyle took the win in the Clubman class.
In the Junior class it was Fraser Higlett taking the win ahead of Jack Matthews with Luke Strauch in third.
Round two of the 2015 InsureMyRide Enduro-X Nationals will head to Eastern Creek Dragway in New South Wales on the 28th of February.
OVERALL ROUND RESULTS
1. Mike Brown – 72 Pts
2. Josh Green – 60 Pts
3. Toby Price – 57 Pts
4. Daniel Sanders – 53 Pts
5. Tom Mccormack – 47 Pts
6. Mitcham Harper – 45 Pts
7. Dylan Rees – 41 Pts
8. Tye Simmonds – 38 Pts
9. Peter Boyle – 38 Pts
10. Stefan Granquist – 37 Pts
11. Lachlan Stanford – 32 Pts
12. Tom Mason – 30 Pts
13. Nic Tomlinson – 29 Pts
14. Chris Hollis – 0
TOP TEN SHOOT OUT
1. Mike Brown – 01:01.774
2. Chris Hollis +02.094
3. Toby Price +02.900
4. Daniel Sanders +03.245
5. Tye Simmonds +03.907
6. Peter Boyle +04.601
7. Josh Green +06.281
8. Dylan Rees +07.036
9. Mitcham Harper +07.304
10. Tom Mccormack +07.660
1. Kirstie Mckinnon – 05:54.9280
2. Tayla Jones +10.801
3. Jessica Gardiner +29.926
4. Emelie Karlsson +33.221
5. Jemma Wilson +01:10.241
1. Ruben Chadwick – 06:42.767
2. Chris Thomas +08.612
3. Jai Wedlock +14.739
4. Jayden Grimshaw +16.868
5. Sam Rummery +21.277
1. Adrian Harry – 05:43.134
2. Kirk Hutton +05.361
3. Damian Smith +11.429
4. Owen Lock +23.210
5. Lee Pearsall +01:17.248
1. James Boyle – 06:05.520
2. Jeremy Sims +01.342
3. Anthony Solar +14.389
4. Kirby Crick +23.678
5. Jack Orgill +31.762
1. Fraser Higlett – 05:47.778
2. Jack Matthews +38.045
3. Luke Strauch +47.154
4. Ben Kearns +58.185
5. Jack Williams +01:06.542
For Full Results from round 1 CLICK HERE
Credit: Aaryn Minerds