News 27 Jul 2009

Oz MX: Kawasaki take double podium at Lakes last Sunday


Kawasaki Racing Team riders Craig Anderson and Luke George both advanced places on the Australian Motocross Championship leader board after a successful round of racing at Lakes, NSW on 26 July that resulted in both riders finishing on the podium.

Defending Pro Lites Champion Luke George moved up to 2nd place overall in the Championship after a 1-2 finish meant Luke was the equal points winner for the round. The strong result keeps Luke’s aspirations of back to back Pro Lites Championships well and truly alive. Pro Open rider Craig Anderson advanced to 5th place in the Series after a round of racing that saw the 12 time Australian Champion back where he belongs – at the pointy end of the field. Ando treated spectators to some spectacular racing and finished on the podium taking 3rd place with a 4-3 finish.

Under 19s rider Luke Arbon showed support for his teammates as he cheered from the sidelines, wishing he was out on track as there was no Under 19s racing on the schedule for the round.

During the lengthy break between the Wanneroo and the Lakes rounds, Luke jetted off to the USA to compete in the ‘big league’, the AMA MX. With Pro Circuit Kawasaki supplying a KX250F to the Australian Champion to ride, Luke brought it to the Americans, turning many heads with a very fast and very credible 8th place qualifying time, easily making it through to the main event. With a top 20 finish in the main event (16th) and valuable racing experience under his belt, Luke returned to Australia invigorated and determined to gain as many points as he could at Lakes. Clearly showing his intentions regarding the Championship, Luke came out firing in the first moto and quickly found 3rd position on track. From there he fought past the two riders standing between him and the Championship (Moss & Simmonds) to take the race win and valuable Championship points.

A bad start in the second moto resulted in Luke finding himself boxed in in the early stages. Sitting in 12th place and with his work cut out, Luke rode extremely well, showing blistering pace and clawed his way back to 2nd place by the time the chequered flag came out. Luke’s equal points winning effort for the round is just what he needs heading into the Championship decider at Coolum.

Luke says, “I’m pretty happy with the weekend. I really wanted to go 1-1 but had a bad start in the second moto and had to work hard to come back from that. I can’t wait for Coolum this coming weekend. I’ll give it all I’ve got and if all goes right, I’ll come away with back to back Titles.”

Craig Anderson moves up to 5th place in the Championship after an awesome display of speed and fitness at Lakes saw the 12 time Australian Champ finish on the podium. The most noteworthy news from the weekend wasn’t so much Craig’s 3rd place finish for the round (4-3) but more so the fashion in which he did it. After a bad start and 3rd turn crash in the first Pro Open moto, Ando was relegated to 27th place. In front of his home crowd, Craig didn’t let the set back get to him and by the time he’d completed his first lap, Craig was already back in 21st and on the comeback. Treating the crowd to an awesome display of riding, Craig showed astounding speed and stamina and brilliantly clawed his way back to a gutsy 4th place finish.

A good start in the second moto slotted Ando into 6th place on the first lap. From there Craig rode his KX450F into 3rd place to take 3rd overall for the round.

Craig says, “It’s great to be on the podium. Fitness wise I felt really good. I just wish I was up there at the start of the year. I struggled early in the season but have ironed a lot of those kinks out now. I’m looking forward to finishing the series off on a high note at Coolum.”

KRT Manager Brett Whale says, “I’m very happy with the gutsy effort put in by both Craig and Luke. Ando showed lots of heart to come back like he did after such a bad start in the first moto. He was very fast out there this weekend. It’s a real shame Luke couldn’t go 1-1 after a bad start in the second race but he still gained many Championship points from the weekend and has put himself into a good position going into the final round. The whole team is pumped for Coolum!”

Craig Anderson, Luke George and Luke Arbon head to Coolum to do battle at the final round of the Australian Motocross Championships next Sunday 2 August. Luke George will be fighting for back to back Pro Lites Titles and Luke Arbon will be racing to finish his maiden factory year inside the top three in the Under 19s class.