Australian 125cc rider Tye Simmonds has qualified fastest for tomorrow’s 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship ahead of Holland’s Glenn Coldenhoff and the USA’s Eli Tomac, while fellow Aussie Josh Cachia was in fourth.
With driving rain showering riders and spectators, Australian Team Coach Greg Moss instructed Simmonds and his teammates to attack the Taupo track hard from the outset of the session, confident that a faster lap time would be more achievable early on before conditions deteriorated.
Moss’ tactic proved decisive as Simmonds completed the Qualifying session with a time of 2:09.670, half a second ahead of Coldenhoff, while Tomac and Cachia were a further second adrift.
“I think we’re learning more as we go along, and we were pretty smart with that one so we’re not getting too carried away” Moss said.
“We took off early as we knew it would be muddy, and it was important to get those lap times in early in the day.”
Simmonds was equally as pleased to have qualified fastest, but remains focused on the task ahead of him.
“I was really happy with that session,” Simmonds said.
“I struggled in that first practice session but I really wanted to go out there, put the first four hard laps in and see how I went from there… I did that and it paid off.”
Ross Beaton and Luke Styke were two more Australians who impressed in Saturday’s Qualifying session, finishing in 7th and 10th respectively.
Styke recently captures the Australian Under 19 title at the MX Nationals and was stoked with his final position.
“I’m definitely rapt with tenth spot,” Styke said.
“I struggled out there, it was very soupy conditions,” Styke continued, “but winning the Under 19’s has put my confidence through the roof.
“I feel great on my bike at the moment… in practice I felt a bit tight but I loosened up during Qualifying and I feel like I’m going to go well tomorrow.”
Of the other Australians competing in the 125cc class in Taupo, Dylan Peterson – who was the fastest around the track in this morning’s Practice session – qualified in 12th position, while Jason Reed (14th), Harley Quinlan (17th) and Matt Phillips (24th) rounded out the Aussie results.
Australian 85cc rider Jay Wilson has qualified as the second fastest rider ahead of tomorrow’s 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship races, four seconds behind Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis.
Wilson blitzed his KTM around the Taupo motorcycle track to finish Saturday’s Qualifying Practice session with a fastest time of 2:16.813, four seconds adrift of Ferrandis, and the youngster was extremely happy with his efforts.
“I love the track, it flows well and the bike is handling great,” an excited Wilson said.
Fellow Aussies Dylan Long (4th), Luke Clout (5th) and Hayden Mellross (9th) all rode impressively to finish inside the top ten, and all were equally as excited about tomorrow’s finale.
“I felt really good, the track is great, my bike feels good,” Clout said.
“I just need to get a better sprocket on it and that should make me a bit faster, and hopefully I can finish in the top five.”
The remaining Australians are all not far off the pace either, with Scott Mann (15th), Jarred Jeffcoat (20th), Joel Dinsdale (21st) and Dale Fear (24th) rounding out a solid day for the Aussie 85cc brigade of youngsters competing at this World Championship event.
Australian Team Coach Greg Moss is certainly not getting ahead of himself after what was an extremely successful Practice and Qualifying performance by the Australian riders at the 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship on Saturday in Taupo, New Zealand.
In horribly wet conditions which resulted in the Taupo track deteriorating as the day drew longer, the Australians dominating the top ten placings in each of the 85cc and 125cc class during Saturday’s 40-minute Qualifying sessions, and Moss is quietly confident of success when the final races take place tomorrow.
“I think we’re learning a little bit more as we go along,” Moss said.
“You look at Eli Tomac [in the 125cc class] and he was still setting good lap times later on in the mud, and Glenn Coldenhoff was jumping into the corners extremely fast, so we won’t get over-excited, it’s going to be a real race [tomorrow].
Moss has always held a strong belief that the Aussie riders will succeed at these Championships, but sensed that some of his riders have been underestimated in the lead-up to the event.
“It’s going to come down to the starts and a good race, but we’re in there… we’re in there probably a lot more than some people expected,” Moss continued.
Moss was also extremely impressed with young French rider Dylan Ferrandis, who qualified fastest, over four seconds quicker than any of his rivals in the 85cc class.
“He’s a class act on the bike,” Moss said, “but I think their lifestyle means they are on their bikes more, and the young Aussies will definitely learn from him which will set them up well for the future.”
With Saturday’s Qualifying sessions now out of the way, the Australians can now concentrate their thoughts and efforts toward tomorrow’s races.
“We’ll just wind down now, but mainly we want to get the boys warm.
“It’s so cold here in New Zealand so it’ll be straight off with their wet gear, get something warm on, get back to the hotel, feed them up and then they’ll just hang out and talk about how they all went,” Moss concluded.
To listen to the full interview with Greg Moss – and for all other interviews, news, results, photos and videos from the 2009 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship, visit the Motorcycling Australia website at www.ma.org.au/2009worldjuniormx.