Moto Media
James Stewart

Mike Phillips ready for action at Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing

Mike Phillips return to the reigns of his factory Honda mount this weekend, stepping up to the CRF 450 in the absence of injured rider Todd Waters.

The 24-year-old, regularly a Lites rider in Australia, has turned heads on the bigger bike and is quietly confident his pre-season form can be converted to results.

At the halfway point in the New Zealand MX Champs Phillips sits in 3rd position in MX1 with 122 points.  Josh Coppins has 136 and Cody Cooper 130.

"I’ve been testing the bike and am really happy with the setup,” said Phillips. "It’s a great team and I’m hoping I can open up the year with a strong result this weekend.”

A fresh yet familiar face will head the team’s Pro Open charge this weekend, with experienced campaigner Cheyne Boyd itching to get underway.  The 28-year-old from Rosebud in Victoria feels he has had the best preparation possible in the leadup to a new season, his first on the Honda CRF 450.

"Everything is going unbelievably well,” said Boyd. "I haven't felt this good at the start of a season for a very long time.  I feel like I am starting the season with the complete package.  I am fit and strong, the bike is really good, and as a team we have left no stone unturned in our preparation for this weekend’s opening round at Broadford.

"My mechanic and I have worked around the clock getting ready for this weekend we have continually tweaked the bike to a point where I think it is perfect and we have done a lot of race simulations with this new back-to-back race format.”

"I like the Broadford track, my past record there has been pretty good we have had a few days testing up there in the last month.”

Few can match a focused Boyd on the track, and he is eager to re-establish himself in what will be a competitive Pro Open class.

The new MX Nationals race format will pit Boyd, Phillips and fellow Pro Open racers against each other in four, 15-minute back-to-back motos with a short break in between. Riders will have to recover back at the start line and are allowed to make limited changes to the bikes.

Edited copy and photo courtesy of Fluid PR for Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing.