Monday 17th December: Tracks Closed.

Carter Makes Headway Across The Tasman

Australian Champs 2014

maddix park mx

Mount Maunganui’s Rhys Carter is going from strength to strength on his beefy Suzuki RM-Z450 motorcycle and it could be just a matter of time before he cracks a podium finish on the big bike class across the Tasman.

The 24-year-old Team Motul Suzuki rider – who raced earlier this season in the MX2 (250cc) class for the Bay of Plenty-based Bel Ray Pro Rider Suzuki team in New Zealand – is midway through his first full season of racing in the MX1 class in Australia and he is showing good signs that this may be where his future lies after producing solid performances against top international-class opposition.

He looked particularly at home on the sweeping hills of Green Park at Conondale, barely an hour’s drive inland from Coloundra, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, at the weekend as he contested the seventh round of 10 in the 2014 Australian Motocross Championships.

Carter finished 8-9-7 in his three races at Conondale on Sunday, even managing to pass and pull away from former New Zealand MX1 champion and former world champion Ben Townley in the final race of the day.

Bay of Plenty’s Townley had officially retired from top level racing in March last year, before being coaxed to cross the Tasman for a fill-in role on the Penrite team, and this will explain why he faded late in the day, but there is still no taking away from Carter’s inspired riding at the weekend.

Carter is ranked ninth in the MX1 class and, with just three rounds remaining in the Monster Energy MX Nationals and just six points between Carter and the eighth-ranked rider, Hayden Mellross, he will be focussed now on continuing to make improvements.

“I rode quite tight and didn’t feel comfortable in the first race today,” said Carter. “But things improved as the day wore on. I was mentally tough today and knew that I would be fitter than Ben (Townley). He proved he’s still got it though ... he’s a great rider.”

Townley’s scorecard for the weekend was 5-6-11.

“I started the day on the back foot while we tried to sort out my front fork settings, but I finished the day on the front foot and that’s got to be a good thing,” said Carter.

“I just need to finish the season with consistency. I will take it race by race.”

Carter’s Motul Suzuki team boss Jay Foreman was also encouraged by Carter’s efforts at the weekend.

“These conditions today did not suit him but Rhys is getting better each time he rides the RM-Z450 and I believe the best is yet to come from him,” said Foreman.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s Kirk Gibbs was a picture of consistency at the weekend, finishing 2-2-1 in the MX1 class, enough to edge out Carter’s Motul Suzuki team-mate Matt Moss, the defending champion and series leader, who finished Sunday with a 1-3-2 score-line.

The title looks set to go down to the wire between the Moss and Gibbs as they race towards the final round in Coolum, Queensland, next month.

For further information contact Simon Meade, General Manager of Motorcycle / ATV Marketing, [email protected].

Words and photo courtesy of Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 
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