Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Kaleb Barham made his first podium appearance at a national supercross race with a third-place finish in the SX2 class at the Newcastle round of the championship, over the weekend.Barham and teammate Jayce Cosford starred in an entertaining night of racing in the SX2 class (250cc) with plenty of thrills and spills provided over the three sprint races conducted on the night.
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But the feel good story of the night goes to the likable Barham. He has long tried to land on the podium at a national event for several years now and he finally made it happen in front of 16,000 people at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.
Barham routinely put his YZ250F in a good position on the opening lap and ran at a good, consistent pace to stay away from the drama unfolding before him. He started the night in great form taking a 4-3 finish in the first two races and was right in the hunt for the podium before the final race started.
But, it didn’t come easy as in the final moto and looking good in a top five result, Barham stalled his bike in the tight first turn and lost several positions. Suddenly what looked like a sure-fire podium was no under threat and Barham had to hustle. On the last lap he made two crucial passes the moved him to ninth place in the moto and finally onto that elusive round podium.
“I’m just so stoked,” Barham beamed. “The first round didn’t go well for me, and I left Adelaide really disappointed as we had all put in a lot of work heading into this championship. But the team kept working hard and we spent plenty of time at the practice track, so it was awesome to turn things around here and get on the podium.
“This is my first MX2/ SX2 round podium, so I’m pretty excited about it. I had a few in MXD but this one has been far too long coming and I have been close so many times.
“I can’t thank the team enough for all the work they have done and hope we can do it all again at Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time,” he signs off.
It was a wild night for Jayce Cosford and the results don’t reward or show the speed and effort Cosford puts into his racing. He is slowly but surely establishing himself as a contender in the SX2 field and again ran the pace of the leaders, but mistakes proved costly in his final result.
Cosford finished 10th on the night on the back of 15-5-8 results but each race saw him hit the dirt in some fashion. He was inside the top five in the opening leg and looking to move forward when he got out of sorts and went down heavily. Race two he charged from the back to snare fifth and was well within striking distance of the top three riders while in the final moto, he was involved in several incidents that lead to his eighth place.
“I’m disappointed on how I finished tonight as my riding at the last round and during the week as been good. Tonight, I was able to get myself into the top five in every race only to make a mistake and go down. Just silly mistakes that I shouldn’t be making but did tonight.
“But my riding is improving, and I feel I can match it with these guys now and maybe that’s why I’m so frustrated with myself. I can race and beat these guys and feel I should be up the front every time we race.
“I’m learning as we go and will continue to do so as I want to get better and I know the team supports me so we will keep at it and try and make the podium in Melbourne,” Cosford said.