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AUSTRALIA, VICTORIA, NEWRY. Nathan Crawford led the Serco Yamaha charge at the MX Nationals championship opener, finishing second overall in the highly competitive MX2 category on his YZ250F, highlighted with an impressive moto win.
On a windy, dry and difficult Newry circuit, Crawford started the year in perfect fashion with his new team, taking the first moto victory after charging past all his main rivals during the 30-minute race. Crawford was meticulous as he picked his way through the top five riders and then once in the lead, he sprinted out to a five-second gap which he maintained until the finish.
Moto two and Crawford again found himself near the lead group and desperate to move forward. This time the shorter 20-minute race left him with not enough time to mount a challenge for the race lead but finished the moto in fourth place and his 1-4 results were good enough for second overall and a positive start to his championship.
“Moto one was the perfect moto for me and a great way to start the year and the championship with Serco Yamaha,” Crawford explained. “My start was pretty good and I was patient on the opening laps as things can get pretty chaotic at the start of the first moto of the year.
“Once I got into my pace and the race settled down, I was able to make clean passes and keep moving forward which is important on a track like this and it was awesome to get the win first up.
“In the second race, I wasn’t able to get good track position early and the lead group was able to get away a bit. Being a 20-minute race, it’s a full-on sprint and you need to be right up the front early. But still, on the podium at round one is a good start and I’m confident myself and the Serco Yamaha team have things in place for it to be a good season.”
Teammate, Wilson Todd, started the day off in fast fashion, taking the fastest lap in qualifying and getting the first choice of the starting grid in moto one. Unfortunately, Todd couldn’t take advantage of his qualifying speed and was mid-pack as the 40 riders MX2 field rounded the first lap.
He struggled to move forward and it was rare off performance by the talented Queenslander who could only manage ninth place by moto’s end.
But in typical Todd fashion, he bounced back in moto two and managed to claim a third-place finish and his 9-3 scores were good enough to take sixth overall on the day.
“I just rode terrible in that first race,” Todd said. “I spun off the start, then I tried to override the track to make up the time in the opening laps and just burnt myself out. It was awful and I was angry with myself.
“The second race was better but still not where I belong. I showed I had the speed in qualifying, I just needed to settle down in the races, put myself in good positions and not get caught up in silly stuff that happens on the track.
“I’m 100% healthy and its only round one so I’m positive I will be better in the coming rounds and out to get some points back, starting at Appin at round two,” Todd warns.
With the riders in good shape and both off to a respectable start in the MX2 championship, the Serco Yamaha team now work towards round two of the MX Nationals to be contested at the Appin circuit, south of Sydney. It is a track where both riders have had success before and will be out to improve their position in the championship.
#2 – Wilson Todd
# 199 – Nathan Crawford