Rhys Budd, mounted on his Yamalube Yamaha Racing YZ250F, continues to hold down second place in the ProMX MX2 championship after a rollercoaster style weekend at round six of the championship, at Coffs Harbour.Held under clear blue skies for the majority of the day, the weather turned nicely for race day as the days prior, the region received a significant amount of rain leaving the track surrounds a muddy mess.
For the Yamalube Yamaha Racing round recall: https://youtu.be/Z_w9wOH1194
Budd entered the day holding down second on the MX2 championship, with a 12-point gap over Bailey Malkiewicz in third. After round six, he leaves Coffs Harbour with a 13-point lead, this time over Jesse Dobson. With Wilson Todd well clear and likely to lock up the championship at the next round, the fight is on for the remaining podium positions.
After qualifying in sixth place, Budd rocketed to the front in moto one and took control of the race from the very first corner. He maintained the lead for several laps, before championship leader, Wilson Todd, was able to get by. But Budd hung tough and didn’t let Wilson ride off into the distance and kept him within a few seconds for the majority of the race. Budd crossed the finish line in second place and was one of his best rides for the season.
Unfortunately, a good start deserted him in race two and he was buried mid-pack on the opening lap. He made some moves and was able to claw his way into eighth place but with some vision issues, he was unable to progress further and finished eighth. His 2-8 results netted him 35-points, and equal third for the day, but he was moved to fourth as the tie-break is always who has the rider with the better result in moto two.
“One great moto and one not so great moto,” Budd lamented after racing. “The first moto was good as I was able to lead some laps and but in a strong ride all the way to the end. I got some arm pump out there, but I think every other rider also had it as well as the ruts made it a very tough track to race.
“In moto two, I didn’t get the start and then got hammered with roost which damaged my goggles. I just didn’t go forward after that. I need to be better in the second motos and something I will continue to work on. We still have four races to go in the championship and I will give it all I have to finish the championship on a strong both for myself and the team,” Budd ends.
Charli Cannon stated after her debut MX2 ride at the previous round in Maitland, that now that she had some experience in the class and learnt about racing at the highest level, she would step it up at her next appearance and she certainly did that.
In arguably the most impressive performance of the year, Cannon finished the day in 14th position in MX2, battling with the biggest names in the class. The opening moto saw her charge into the first turn deep inside the top 10 and banging bars with anyone in her path. She was locked into battle with a handful of riders for a top 10 position, giving as much as she was getting.
As the race reached the halfway point things had settled and Cannon was in a very comfortable 13th place and no real pressure from the pack behind and she finished in the position in what many believe to be the highest position any female rider has finished in a professional motocross race in Australia.
Race two didn’t see Cannon get a great start and she was buried in the pack on the opening lap. As the race progressed, she was able to make some passes, get some clear track and continue to move forward. While not as exciting as race one, she was able to finish moto two in 15th place and her combined 13-15 scores gave her a sensational 14th over for the round.
“I’m really happy with that,” she beamed at the end of the day. “I have never ridden at this track before and with the wet conditions, I didn’t get a lot of laps in qualifying but once I got that start in race one, I had to go with the boys. It was so much fun battling with them, and they all race me hard which is good.
“I was hoping for a top 20 or somewhere around there but to finish 14th for the day is so good and both races were so much fun. Those first few laps of race one was so intense, like nothing I had experienced before. The pace was fast, and it pulled me along.
“Thank you to everyone on the Yamalube Yamaha Team for doing an amazing job and to all the MX2 riders who were so encouraging and happy for me. I won’t do the QMP round but will do the final Women’s round at Coolum where I hope all the girls turn up and support the round and make for a great series,” Cannon ends.