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Cody Cooper Conquers Conondale

Australian Nationals

maddix park mx

www.fullnoise.com.au Motocross News  By: Aaryn Minerds

Motul Pirelli Suzuki rider Cody Cooper, narrowly claimed his maiden Monster Energy MX National win for 2013 at the conclusion of an action packed day of racing in Conondale, Queensland. 

The current New Zealand Motocross champion, finally found the form that has eluded him for the most part at the opening rounds of this years championship taking the round win ahead of his team-mate Matt Moss, due to scoring five bonus championship points by virtue of winning the morning GoPro Superpole session. 

Matt Moss, was actually the fastest rider at the end of regular qualifying, some three seconds faster than Cooper, who was over a second faster than third placed CDR rider Billy Mackenzie, while Motorex KTM's Kirk Gibbs and Campbell Mining's Jake Moss were just a fraction of a second behind Mackenzie in 4th and 5th positions. 

Unfortunately for M.Moss he was not able to replicate his fastest lap during Superpole and slid down the qualifying standings to fifth place, while Cooper topped the time sheets ahead of Gibbs, Mackenzie and J.Moss who had the fourth fastest time. 

After facing a wet and sloppy track for practice and qualifying, the riders were greeted to a deep rutted and moist track when the gate dropped on moto one.

MX1 action gets underway at Conondale - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Heading out of the first corner in the opening MX1 moto for the day, it was Motorex KTM's Todd Waters who had his front wheel slightly ahead, but he was soon relegated to third as the Moss Twins held it on a little longer out of the second corner. 

Waters quickly moved back in to second place behind M.Moss as the two set about breaking away from the rest of the field. M.Moss then had a small tip over letting Waters by, but was able to recover quickly and latch straight back on to Waters rear wheel. 

Behind the leading duo a tight race between J.Moss, Mackenzie, CDR Yamaha's Lawson Bopping, Berry Sweet/Lucas Oils Yamaha's Tye Simmonds, Carlton Dry Honda's Daniel McCoy and Cooper started to unfold. 

Mackenzie was able to make a move past J.Moss for third while McCoy was the other rider to move forward early making his way past both Cooper then Simmonds for Sixth place while Bopping held strong in 5th. 

Out front, Waters and M.Moss continued to stretch their lead over the field and became engaged in a head to head battle for first place. At about the mid way point of the race, M.Moss was momentary able to capture the race lead, but crashed moments later handing the lead once again to Waters. 

M.Moss was once again able to remount in second place due to the gap that he and Waters had put on the third placed Mackenzie, though he was now a good distance himself back from Waters. 

Behind Mackenzie who was in third position, J.Moss continued to hold strong in fourth while Cooper started to improve his pace, moving back past McCoy for sixth. 

With only a few minutes plus one lap left in the race, M.Moss once again put in a hard charge and with two laps to go was able to close right back on to Waters rear wheel. 

Waters held strong though and going on to win his sixth moto for the year, narrowly ahead of M.Moss while Mackenzie rode out a lonely race for third position.

Todd Waters won the opening moto of the day but it was not an easy win with constant pressure from Matt Moss - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

J.Moss held on for fourth, while Cooper was able to close down and make a move around Bopping for fifth place in the closing stages of the opening moto. 

While things were tight out front in moto one, it was a different story in moto two as Cooper jumped out of the gate and quickly took control of the race, with Gibbs sliding in to second position. 

Cooper slowly edged out his lead on Gibbs, while Mackenzie closed then past the South Australian and set out after Cooper. M.Moss also closed on to the back of Gibbs and despite having his roll-off flapping off the side of his goggles, was also able to make the move past Gibbs and elevate himself in to third position. 

Meanwhile, Waters who started behind M.Moss and actually made his way past the Suzuki rider earlier in the race, was recovering from a small crash and was working hard to move his way forward once again.

Cody Cooper was inch perfect in qualifying and the second moto to claiming his first overall win for 2013 - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Out front Cooper held strong and was able to hold on to claim the race win, which was enough to also claim his first round win of the season. 

"We ended up changing some fork settings, I know I can ride fast when I am comfortable, it just took a little while to get there," Cooper explained. "We got a little lost there for awhile while going back wards and forwards, but I am happy with what we have now. 

"Ill head back to New Zealand for the five week brake, we wont have to test as much now and I can just pump out the motos." he added. 

Behind Cooper, M.Moss was able to close in on Mackenzie and put himself in a position to challenge for second place for both the moto and the overall round result heading in to the final lap of the day.

Matt Moss was probably the fastest rider on track all day, however small issues in each session cost him the overall win - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

After an intense battle that seen the two riders side by side and rubbing plastics, M.Moss was able to come out on top, making the move in to second place and in doing so claiming second overall for the day and also gaining a couple more points over Waters in the championship race. 

"All in all it was a great weekend," Moss stated. "Superpole did not go my way, I crashed in Superpole then twice in the first race. 

"I went back and regrouped thanks to Dan Reardon, he has been training me really hard and my fitness is not an issue any-more. 

"I just want to thank Motul Pirelli Suzuki, those guys are 100% behind me. My mechanic Jess, the who family there is great, it is great to be on that team for sure." Moss concluded. 

A disappoint Mackenzie crossed the line in third position for the second moto in a row, which along with his third place in Superpole was enough to see him claim the final spot on the podium for the round and also it meant the Scotsman has landed on the podium at four of the opening five rounds of the season. 

"I am a bit lost for words at the moment, I am going to be pretty quiet on the way home." Mackenzie commented at the end of the day. "I tried my hardest, I lost my goggles then put it in to deep in to a corner and messed up. 

"As I came out I tried to cut across Matt and we collided in the air, it was quite a scary moment. He had the inside, blocked me and it was kind of one-lined until the finish so there was nothing I could do." Mackenzie added.

Billy Makenzie rode strong all day, with third spot in every qualifying and moto giving him third overall - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Finishing fourth for the day was current Championship leader Waters after he worked his way back to fourth place by the end of the second moto. Waters looked much improved this round compared to the previous round at Broadford where he rode while still feeling the effects of a big crash in the lead up to round four. 

"It was disappointing to make that mistake in the second moto," said Waters."I made a charge through the pack then just washed the front end out, but that is racing. 

"I have got to give it to the boys, they rode unreal today. We now have five weeks off so we will go back and train hard, " Waters added. 

J.Moss round out the top five, though his day could have gone a lot better if it was not for small crashes in both motos. Gibbs who struggled in the opening moto of the day bounced back for fifth place in moto two and finished the day sixth overall for the day due to his second place Superpole effort. 

Bopping finished in seventh, while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Adam Monea who suffered from bad starts and crashes salvaged an eighth place overall finish thanks to some strong riding through the field in both motos. 

Honda's sole factory rider McCoy finished in ninth position while Simmonds rounded out the top ten. 


Josh Cachia charged hard to winning the opening MX2 moto of the day - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

The Serco Yamaha pairing of Luke Styke and Luke Clout set about keeping their teams perfect run of round wins in tact during qualifying with Styke qualifying first fastest ahead of Clout with Carlton Dry Honda Racings, Josh Cachia in third. 

Impressing with the fourth fastest lap time in qualifying was MXD regular Honda Privateer Nick Scott and also New Zealands Kieran Scheele who posted the fifth fastest lap. 

When the gates dropped on Moto one, It was Josh Cachia who jumped out of the blocks the fastest, leading Styke narrowly up the first hill with the rest of the pack in hot pursuit. 

Chaos unfolded moments later as the MX2 riders hit the swamp that had formed at the bottome of the first downhill section, with at least seven riders either crashing or getting caught up with other fallen riders in the sloppy mud. 

While most of the field cautiously picked their way around what was still at that point in time, a quite damp and tricky race circuit, Styke who had re taken the lead from Cachia set about putting a gap on the rest of the field. Styke and Cachia turned on their usual blistering pace, with privateer KTM rider Dylan Long doing his best to keep both riders in sight in third place. 

Behind Long sat fellow KTM privateer Kale Makeham who was closely followed by MXD regular Jay Wilson and a rider returning from injury in Bea Ralston.

Dylan Long was impressive early in the first moto, before being caught out in the mud - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Joining the trio in a seven rider freight train was Rhys Carter, Choice Suspensions Kayne Lamont and Raceline Pirelli'sGeran Stapleton, however each of these three riders, much like Luke Clout who crashed early on the first lap, would eventually run in to trouble and be forced out of the race or lose quite a few positions.

Back out front a small mistake by Cachia after closing back in on Styke, gave the Serco Yamaha riders some breathing room, at about the same time things come undone slightly for Long as he became one of the many victims of the mud hole at the bottom of the first down hill, falling in the mud and dropping from third to seventh. 

Carter then ran in to some issues and was forced to retire from the race, while New Zealand counter part, Lamont crashed in to one of the plastic safety barriers on the side of the track, damaging his knee and forcing him out of the race and the remainder of the day. 

Meanwhile Stapleton like many riders over the course of the day, was forced to throw his goggles away, costing him time and positions. 

With plenty going on in most positions around the track, the big story was once again at the pointy end of the field as, Cachia closed in on Styke, this time making a move around the Yamaha rider and quickly establishing a lead that he would hold to the finish to claim the opening moto win. 

Styke held on for an easy second place, with Makeham doing likewise for third. Ralston narrowly edged out Wilson after a race long battle for fourth place, with Long coming home in sixth place, followed by the goggle-less Stapleton. 

First year senior rider and MXD winner at Broadford, Joel Dinsdale rode through the field for a fantastic eighth place finish on his Yamaha YZ250F as a wild-card in the MX2 class for the day, finishing one position ahead of Nick Scott who made it three MXD riders to finish inside the top ten. 

New Choice Motorsports KTM recruit, Brock Winston climbed his way in to the top ten after being one of many riders to go down early in the race, while Clout who was in near last spot early, worked his way back to 13th.

Luke Styke kept Serco Yamaha's winning streak running with his fourth overall win for the season - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

With Styke needing to win the second moto to keep his Serco Yamaha's teams domination of round wins in tact for 2013, both himself and his team mate Clout got off to the perfect start in Moto two, running 1-2 out of the first turn. 

The duo were closely followed by Japan's Takeshi KatsuyaTristen Cachia, Nick Scott, Dinsdale and J.Cachia in sixth position. Ryan Marmont who had troubles in the first moto was directly behind J.Cachia, while Wilson and Ralston once again found each other on track, this time just inside the top ten. 

Makeham who finished moto one in third was back outside the top ten early in moto two, along with Winston and Long who was not able to repeat his great start from the opening moto. 

With Cachia buried behind a few riders and unable to quickly make the passes he needed, Styke with a clear track in front of him laid down fast lap after fast lap early in the moto and quickly established himself a big lead over Clout and the remainder of the field. 

Cachia slowly started picking off riders one by one and by mid race, moved around Katsuya who was riding very impressivly in third position at that point in time. J.Cachia then made his move around Clout before doing everything he could to try and close down the big gap to Styke up front. 

Dinsdale who was looking like he was also going to start moving forward, crashed out of contention on the back side of the circuit while in fifth position, with the crash forcing him to retire from the race. 

The two stroke brigade of Makeham, Winston and Ralston were all keeping the old school race fans happy, with all three riders working their way forward through the pack in the second half of the moto. 

While there was plenty of action unfolding throughout the field, the main focus was on Styke out front, with the Serco Yamaha rider riding a perfect race to cross the finish line in first place ahead of Cachia, giving both riders a 1-2 result for the day, with Styke getting the overall win due to his better finish in moto two. 

"The track was pretty tough out there today and it was super slippery out there and I am sure everyone was fighting for traction out there, but I came out of the day with a 2-1 result and the overall," Styke commented from the top step of the podium. 

"I have to keep pushing and keep this consistency." I have to give a big shout out to the Serco Yamaha team, I cant thank the team enough," he added. 

Cachia who once again proved he was the rider most likely to challenge Styke for this years title, was happy with his efforts for the day and will now head in to the mid season break sitting in third place in the championship. 

“I got a killer start in the first moto and got a holeshot that I think I will remember for a very long time,” Cachia said. “I also had a good battle with Luke (Styke) through that race and showed that I had more speed than him. 

“In the second race I got a bad start and worked my way up to second, but I was too far back to catch Luke. 

“I got some valuable points today and I have moved to third in the championship but I really want that win I am sick of coming equal first,” Cachia added. 

Clout held on to take 3rd position for the moto, regaining some valuable points after his 13th place finish in moto one, while Katsuya held on for his best moto finish for the year in 4th place.

Kale Makeham made his third trip to the podium for the season - 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Kale Makeham finished moto two in fifth place and in doing so, claimed third place for the round, giving him his third trip to the podium in five events in his first year in the MX2 class. 

"To bounce back from the Broadford round is a pretty big feat for me, my confidence coming in here was pretty low after by two shocking motos at Broadford," Makeham explained. 

"All I wanted to do today was turn it around, to be back up on the podium for three out of five rounds, that means the world to me," the MX2 rookie added. 

Raceline Pirelli's Ryan Marmont finished a fine sixth after experiencing troubles in moto one, while Wilson once again impressed with a seventh place finish, giving him fourth place overall for the round. 

Winston held down eighth place for moto, finishing just ahead of Scheele in ninth and Ralston who rounded out the top ten for moto two and also the top five overall for the day in what was a great return to racing after some early season injuries. 

Katsuya finished the day one point behind Ralston to claim sixth place, with Clout another point further back in seventh. Ryan Marmont, Brock Winston and Dylan Long all finished the day on 44 points and were rewarded with eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively for round. 

Luke Styke continues to lead the MX2 point standings by 50 points over his team mate Clout, with Cachia a further ten points back in third position. 

The MX Nationals season will take a short five week mid season break with racing schedualed to return on July the 14th at Appin in New South Wales. 

MX1 Round Results:
1. Cody Cooper 66 pts
2. Matt Moss 65 pts
3. Billy Mackenze 63 pts
4. Todd Waters 63 pts
5. Jake Moss 53 pts
6. Kirk Gibbs 49 pts
7. Lawson Bopping 49 pts
8. Adam Monea 47 pts
9. Daniel McCoy 45 pts
10. Tye Simmonds 43 pts
11. Jacob Wright 42 pts
12. Jay Marmont 40 pts
13. Sam Martin 35 pts
14. Robbie Marshall 35 pts
15. Sam Duncanson 31 pts
16. Kieran Tisdale 28 pts
17. James Booth-Elliot 25 pts
18. Joshua Kilvington 24 pts
19. Rhys Hobson 23 pts
20. Jesse O'Farrell 21 pts
21. Cody Mackie 18 pts
22. Matt Haworth 13 pts
23. Jack Judge 10 pts

MX1 Championship Top 20 after round 5 of 10:
1. Todd Waters 332 pts
2. Matt Moss 307 pts
3. Billy Mackenzie 289 pts
4. Cody Cooper 268 pts
5. Lawson Bopping 266 pts
6. Adam Monea 232 pts
7. Tye Simmonds 232 pts
8. Jake Moss 230 pts
9. Kirk Gibbs 230 pts
10. Daniel McCoy 209 pts
11. Jay Marmont 191 pts
12. Jacob Wright 176 pts
13. Sam Martin 166 pts
14. James Booth Elliot 150 pts
15. Robbie Marshall 143 pts
16. Cody Mackie 137 pts
17. Ford Dale 133 pts
18. Kieran Tisdale 107 pts
19. Mitch Norris 70 pts
20. Cheyne Boyd 65 pts

MX2 Round Results:
1. Luke Styke 67 pts
2. Josh Cachia 67 pts
3. Kale Makeham 56 pts
4. Jay Wilson 50 pts
5. Beau Ralston 49 pts
6. Takeshi Katsuya 48 pts
7. Luke Clout 47 pts
8. Ryan Marmont 44 pts
9. Brock Winston 44 pts
10 Dylan Long 44 pts
11. Nick Scott 42 pts
12. Kieran Scheele 38 pts
13. Geran Stapleton 37 pts
14. Dylan Peterson 36 pts
15. Tristen Cachia 29 pts
16. Daniel McEntee 29 pts
17. Logan Blackburn 27 pts
18. Luke Weaver 26 pts
19. Joel Dinsdale 23 pts
20. Wade Hunter 21 pts
21. John Prutti 18 pts
22. Cory Abood 17 pts
23. Geordie McGrath 14 pts
24. Luke Wilson 11 pts
25. Joel Evans 11 pts
26. David Mellish 10 pts
27. Steve Duncanson 9 pts
28. Jesse Madden 9 pts
29. Jordan Flaherty 7 pts
30. Jedidiah Cornthwaite 6 pts
31. Zak Newson 5 pts
32. Nyk Geck 5 pts
33. Mathew McEntee 5 pts
34. Timothy Kelly 1 pts

MX2 Championship Top 20 after round 5 of 10:
1. Luke Styke 336 pts
2. Luke Clout 286 pts
3. Josh Cachia 279 pts
4. Brock Winston 258 pts
5. Kale Makeham 255 pts
6. Takeshi Katsuya 212 pts
7. Geran Stapleton 208 pts
8. Ryan Marmont 196 pts
9. Dylan Long 187 pts
10. Kayne Lamont 183 pts
11. Matt Ryan 160 pts
12. Rhys Carter 159 pts
13. Tristen Cachia 154 pts
14. Wade Hunter 144 pts
15. Kieran Scheele 118 pts
16. John Prutti 103 pts
17. Luke Wilson 89 pts
18. Daniel McEntee 86 pts
19. Dylan Peterson 81 pts
20. Jedidiah Cornthwaite 80 pts

Top Image: Cody Cooper claimed the overall round win at Conondale. 
Credit: Aaryn Minerds.

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