News 4 Aug 2009

Oz MX: Kawasaki riders all place in MX Nationals series top five


After a turbulent and emotional eighth and final round of the 2009 Australian Motocross Championships, Kawasaki Racing Team riders Craig Anderson, Luke George and Luke Arbon all finished the series inside the top 5 in each of their classes. Pro Open rider Craig Anderson enjoyed successful rounds later in the series on his KX450F to take 5th overall. Pro Lites rider Luke George was sadly absent from the podium ceremony to accept his 3rd place trophy after being rushed to hospital in a serious state resulting from a heavy 3rd moto fall. Even with two DNFs in the final round, the 19 year old defending Champion had still amassed enough points throughout the series to finish the Championship on the podium and Under 19s rider, Luke Arbon, finished his maiden factory motocross campaign in solid fashion taking 5th overall on his KX250F.

On the back of a podium finishing performance on his KX450F at Lakes on 26 July, KRT’s Craig Anderson headed to the final round at Coolum eager to finish the series on a high note. He came out swinging to take 5th place in both the round (8-5-6) and the series amidst an extremely talented and competitive field of 450 riders.

Craig says, “My year should have been a lot better. I put a lot more effort in this year than any other year but unfortunately it didn’t show in my results, I didn’t reach my expectations. We’re still working on both myself and the bike so we can come back faster and stronger for SuperX.”

“I struggled early in the series with the set up of the KX450F and when the set-up isn’t 100%, you just don’t feel 100% on the track. But we made vast improvements to the suspension and then went straight to the podium at Lakes. I really like the Kawasaki, I really like to ride it and now that we’ve got it the way I like it, I’m really optimistic about posting really good results at SuperX.”

Defending MX Pro Lites Champion Luke George had a round that will unfortunately be remembered for the wrong reasons. Heading into the final round in 2nd place, Luke sat within striking distance of the Championship title and was ready to give it his all in a bid to retain his Championship crown. After finishing the first moto in 6th place after a bad start, his day was to go from bad to worse with a DNF in the second moto and then a horrific crash in the final moto. This not only resulted in a DNF but sent the 19 year old Champion straight to the emergency room and induced into a coma to try and relieve the swelling in his head sustained in the fall. The Coolum crowd were stunned and silenced as they looked on and awaited news while the doctors and first aid crew worked on Luke on the track. The incident was particularly devastating to not only Luke’s close knit family and race team but the entire racing community who know and respect Luke.

Testament to Luke’s immense talent and speed, the young Kawasaki Champion had still gathered enough points throughout the series (even with two DNFs at the final round) to earn himself a place on the podium for the series, taking 3rd place.

Completing his first series with full factory support courtesy of the Kawasaki Racing Team, Under 19s rider Luke Arbon is celebrating a top 5 finish in the “Big League” with a 5th place finish. Luke rode consistently well throughout the series with repeated podium finishes to end the series inside the top 5.

Luke Arbon was hoping for a possible podium finish to the Championship however a first lap crash in the first moto at Coolum put him back to last place on track and dampened his chances. Luke fought back to take 15th for the moto then came out firing in the following two races to take 4th and 2nd. Luke’s 15-4-2 finish gave him 5th for both the round and the Championship.

Luke says, “It’s been a great experience to race this motocross season with KRT and I’ve really learnt a lot. The opportunity to not only ride the KRT KX250F but also train with someone as fast as Luke George has been unreal and helped my riding so much. I’m a little disappointed with my results because I really felt I was capable of a top three finish but to be top 5 is still great. I’m really looking forward to learning even more and getting even fitter and faster and come out firing at SuperX.”

KRT Manager Brett Whale says, “I’ve used the line ‘a tough day at the office’ before about rounds in the past but this final round at Coolum made all those days look like walks in the park. After Luke Arbon’s first moto crash and Luke George’s second moto DNF, I was ready to go home…and then Luke had that massive crash. It was one of those days that you hope not to experience in your career.”

“I normally try and stay optimistic about even the bad rounds but I’ve got to call this one what it is, a bad round. However looking at the series on a whole, we have all three of our riders inside the top five at series end and that is a great effort for any race team and should not be overlooked.”

“I’d like to say that we’re now focusing our attention on the upcoming SuperX but right now, all our thoughts and energy are being focused on one thing and one thing only and that is getting Luke healthy.”

The next event on the KRT calendar is the 2009 Australasian SuperX, a seven round series that kicks off in Launceston, Tasmania on 17 October and travels as far as Perth and New Zealand before wrapping up in Brisbane on 5 December.