The Pirelli MXD class made their final dash for championship points ahead of their mid-season break today, with red plate holder Connor Tierney maintaining the championship lead and snatching up another overall victory at round four of the Motul MX Nationals at Murray Bridge in South Australia.
From the minute the Pirelli MXD Class hit the track for practice and qualifying this morning, riders relished in the opportunity to take on the soft red surface, and it was Husqvarna mounted Kaleb Barham who recorded the fastest lap time with a 1:47.407 granting him first pick of the Pirelli MXD grid.
When bikes lined up for moto one, the sun beamed down on the Murray Bridge track, providing ideal conditions for the battles to take place. And when the gates dropped, it was KTM mounted youngster Cooper Pozniak who snatched up the the first MXStore hole shot of the day, however it took only a few turns for Husqvarna’s Tierney to move in to the opening race lead.
From there and with only two laps in the books, Tierney began to pull away from the lead group, while Pozniak maintained an impressive second position, followed by Barham, Yamalube Yamaha’s Mitchell Evans, and Zak Small.
By the time the MXD class had reached the eight-minute mark in moto one, Barham had applied enough pressure on Pozniak to snatch away second place from the youngster, while Evans also made his way past Pozniak to move in to third.
From there, Evans’ charge to the front became even stronger, and before long, Barham also became a victim of the Yamalube Yamaha rider’s speed – Evans breezing past to move in to second place and begin his hunt for race leader Tierney.
With just over five minutes remaining, both Tierney and Evans went to battle for the top Pirelli MXD position, while Pozniak held down third from Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Wade Kirkland in fourth, followed by Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Jordan Hill who completed the top five.
As moto one for the Pirelli MXD class reached its final stages, Evans’ came to the realization that he needed to put the foot down if he wanted to snatch away the lead from Tierney – however the pressure to get the job done proved to be too much for Evans – crashing in the back section of the track, allowing Tierney to accelerate away.
However, with Evans out of contention for a podium position, teammate Hill stepped up to the plate – picking off rider after rider in only a few short laps, to move in to an outstanding second position ahead of Pozniak in third.
And when the chequered flag flew on race one, it was Husqvarna’s Tierney who fought off tough competition to take the first Pirelli MXD victory for the day, while Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team’s Hill crossed the line in second, ahead of Pozniak in third, while Kirkland and Barham finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Zak Small, Lochie Latimer, Levi McManus, Tyler McCoy and Sam Pelz rounded out the top ten finishing positions in moto one.
When the second race for the Pirelli MXD class got underway, it was once again Pozniak who showcased his starting capabilities, however it wasn’t long before Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team’s Evans once again moved in to the race lead, followed by Pozniak who slotted in to second, and Husqvarna mounted Barham who followed closely behind in third.
After three laps in moto two for the MXD competitors, Evans had stretched out his lead to an impressive eight seconds, while Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Kirkland had found his way in to second position, relegating Pozniak to third, while red plate holder Tierney held down fourth. Barham who despite showing impressive form in the first few laps, dropped back to fifth position.
With Evans out in front, the excitement on track came from the battle for positions behind him, Kirkland, Tierney and Pozniak all locked in to a three-way fight for second and third places.
With five minutes remaining in moto two for the Pirelli MXD class, the running order saw Evans out in front, followed by Tierney, Kirkland, Pozniak and Barham. Justin Hart, Small, McManus, Pelz and McCoy all rounded out the top ten standings.
When the Pirelli MXD class received the last lap board for the final time, Evans was well and truly in the box seat to take the race two victory, while Tierney also looked comfortable in second place ahead of Kirkland who continued to maintain third.
And when bikes crossed the finish line for the final time today, it was Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team’s Evans who redeemed himself after a tough first moto, to take the race two win, followed by Tierney in second, while Raceline’s Kirkland wrapped up the final race of the day in third.
When the points were tallied from two hard fought races, Tierney’s consistent 1,2 finishes awarded him the round four Pirelli MXD victory, while KTM mounted Kirkland took a second consecutive podium concluding the round in second, followed by KTM’s Pozniak who finished racing in Murray Bridge in third overall.
The Pirelli MXD class will now commence the mid-season break, with their Motul MX Nationals program resuming at Round 6 at Nowra in New South Wales, on July 3.
Connor Tierney– Husqvarna Australia – Round 4 Overall Winner
“I’m super happy with how today has gone. I came out here to extend the points lead and that’s what I’ve done – I’ve got the overall for the day and the red plate so I really couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“I actually tore my ACL, and I’ve done some cartilage damage last week so I’m going to be on the hospital table tomorrow, so this is the perfect way to head into our mid-season break with the championship points lead.
“I’ve always done well at Murray Bridge, I actually got my first ever round win here in 2015, so even though I’m nursing a bit of an injury it’s nice to keep the tradition going and finish with another overall here in 2016.”
Pirelli MXD round four results
1) Connor Tierney – 67 points
2) Wade Kirkland – 58 points
3) Cooper Pozniak – 58 points
4) Mitchell Evans – 55 points
5) Kaleb Barham – 52 points
6) Jordan Hill – 51 points
7) Zak Small – 49 points
8) Levi McManus – 46 points
9) Tyler McCoy – 44 points
10) Lochie Latimer – 44 points
Pirelli MXD Championship Standings
1) Connor Tierney – 252 points
2) Wade Kirkland – 227 points
3) Cooper Pozniak – 220 points
4) Jordan Hill – 215 points
5) Mitchell Evans – 212 points
6) Kaleb Barham – 210 points
7) Zak Small – 198 points
8) Lochie Latimer – 184 points
9) Hugh McKay – 140 points
10) Levi McManus – 137 points
For more information on the Motul MX Nationals, and for a full list of results from round four, head to www.mxnationals.com.au
Image – MXN Images
PRESS RELEASE COURTESY OF MX NATIONALS