AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND. The Yamaha Rising Star Rookies wrapped up the third and final round of their championship at Toowoomba, with talented Husqvarna rider Bailey Malkiewicz taking out the support class title.
With the junior competitors taking to the track alongside the premier MX1 and MX2 classes, riders were treated to a full house of spectators for both of their action packed motos.
In qualifying the talented junior riders took to the Echo Valley circuit like true professionals, utilising every minute on the track in order to record the fastest lap times – and when the timed qualifying session had wrapped up, it was Yamaha mounted Jack Kukas who clocked the quickest lap time (1:54.197), ahead of Husqvarna’s Malkiewicz (1:54.309) and Mason Semmens (KTM), the trio setting the pace for when racing kicked off later in the day.
In the first moto for the Yamaha Rising Star Rookies, it was the fastest qualifier Kukas who made good use of the first gate pick, charging off the start straight and into the race lead. Less than a bikes-length behind was Malkiewicz followed by Semmens, and KTM mounted John Bova.
With 15 minutes on the clock in race one for the support category, the junior riders began to settle into their positions, and showcase their skill on the national spec Echo Valley circuit.
Unfortunately for Bova, a mistake proved costly only two laps in – the KTM rider dropping back to seventh and allowing Connor McNamara to inherit the fourth position.
By the halfway mark in the opening moto for the Yamaha Rookies, Kukas continued to lead, while Semmens had made his way past Malkiewicz into second, relegating the Husqvarna rider to third. Regan Duffy (KTM) had moved up to fourth, followed by McNamara, and Bova.
In what was a shock to onlookers at the 14-minute mark Kukas went down and was forced to ride back to the pits and register a DNF, handing the race one lead to Semmens.
And when the chequered flag flew, the top spot is exactly where Semmens remained, taking the first race win from Malkiewicz and Duffy who took second and third respectively. Fourth went to McNamara, followed by Ryan Gaylor, Rhys Budd and Mason Rowe.
In the second moto for the Yamaha Rising Star Rookies, it was once again Semmens who after one lap held the race lead from Malkiewicz and Rowe, and with the Toowoomba surface beginning to dry out, the junior riders were faced with one of the most challenging tracks of the day.
By lap two, positions at the front had changed – Malkiewicz dropping back to fourth allowing both Rowe and Duffy to inherit a position each.
After six minutes on the track, fastest qualifier Kukas began to make his way through the talented field of riders, the Yamaha mounted athlete determined to redeem himself after his DNF in moto one.
As the final race for the 250cc mounted competitors reached its closing stages, both Duffy and Kukas capitalised on a mistake from Rowe, the pair each moving up a spot into the final two podium positions behind Semmens.
But when the chequered flag flew, it was KTM’s Semmens who led from the gate drop all the way to the finish line, second place went to Duffy, while Kukas wrapped up the final moto in third. McNamara and Bova concluded race two in fourth and fifth places respectively, while Malkiewicz, Budd, Gaylor, Walker and Tyler Darby completed the top ten.
When the points were tallied from both races at Toowoomba, it was Semmens’ flawless performance which saw the KTM rider finish on the top step of the Round 9 podium. Second place at Toowoomba went to Duffy, while 2,6 race finishes handed third overall to Malkiewicz.
But thankfully for Malkiewicz the celebration didn’t stop there, the talented Husqvarna rider was also crowned the 2017 Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Champion this afternoon. Second in the championship went to Duffy, while Semmens wrapped up the three round title in third place.
Bailey Malkiewicz – Husqvarna Australia – Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Champion
“It feels good to wrap up this championship – it’s been a good series for me, I’ve just stayed consistent and we’ve finished on top,” Malkiewicz shared.
“Next year I’m stepping up into the MXD class, so the rookies category is a good way to get to know the tracks and see what I’ll be doing next year.
“In juniors, we only have 10-minute races so it’s a lot different at the MX Nationals, and I’m happy with what I’ve learnt this year.”
Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Junior Cup Results – Toowoomba
1) Mason Semmens – 70 points – KTM
2) Regan Duffy – 62 points – KTM
3) Bailey Malkiewicz – 57 points – Husqvarna
4) Connor McNamara – 56 points – Husqvarna
5) Rhys Budd – 49 points – Honda
6) Ryan Gaylor – 49 points – Husqvarna
7) John Bova – 48 points – KTM
8) Jai Walker – 43 points – Yamaha
9) Tyler Darby – 41 points – Honda
10) Ezrah Demellweek-Dodds – 38 points – Husqvarna
Yamaha Rising Star Rookies Junior Cup Championship
1) Bailey Malkiewicz – 184 points – Husqvarna
2) Regan Duffy – 182 points – KTM
3) Mason Semmens – 172 points – KTM
4) Rhys Budd – 163 points – Honda
5) Connor McNamara – 146 points – Husqvarna
6) John Bova – 136 points – KTM
7) Jack Kukas – 128 points – Yamaha
8) Tyler Darby – 122 points – Honda
9) Hayden Matterson – 93 points – KTM
10) Deakin Hellier – 89 points – Yamaha
For more information on the 2017 Motul MX Nationals, head to www.mxnationals.com.au