Moto Media

from ... Mike Phillips

Barratt Road - New Plymouth

Qualifying: It had stopped raining but only a few hours before we got to the track Sunday morning. The track was still water logged and it was hard enough to get around the track let alone get a quick time in. I qualified 3rd

Moto 1: I got off the slippery concrete gates okay and came around the first turn in about 5th. I was trying to make a pass on Yamaha’s Hayden Clark when my front wheel slid out. I went down and had to work my way back though the pack. I managed to get into 4th but the top 3 were gone.

Moto 2: Again I didn’t get the best start and again trying to get around a rider on the first lap I went down. It was hard to see with all the mud and you had to slow down to pull tear offs and navigate your way through the massive ruts. I was getting a little angry at this time but it wasn’t a track you could attack so I rode out the race and made it back up to 5th.

Moto 3: I got a much better start and came around the first turn in 2nd. The track was getting a little better as it hadn’t rained all day but it was still dodgy in some places.

I got past by team mate Justin McDonald on the first lap. He pulled a little gap but I was able to pull it back a little. We stayed about 3-4 seconds apart for the first half of the Moto. I made a little mistake and McDonald pulled a little more. I backed it off after the mistake as I had a big gap on 4th and rode out the race in 3rd.

Overall Championship:  1st Cody Cooper - 2nd Josh Coppins - 3rd Michael Phillips

I was happy to finish my first year on the 450 in the top 3 but a little inconsistency        Photo & thumbnail credit: Rice Photography                 cost me any better places in the end.

I want to thank Alex my mechanic for the help and support over the season. Also a big thanks to Honda Hamilton that came on board with their support.

From here I am focusing on the Australian Motocross Championship riding for Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing.

I’ll keep you updated on how it all goes.

Mikey P

Appin Motocross Track - NSW

Qualifying: I had a good rhythm at the start of practice but as soon as I saw the green flag to start qualifying I pumped up and started making mistakes on my fast laps. I could only manage 13th.

Moto 1: I had an average jump off the gates and got boxed in a little. I snuck on the inside and managed to come out in an okay place. I got in the groove and passed a few riders but didn’t feel like I was riding that fast. The track was very rutty and riders were going down everywhere. At the end of the 10 lap race I wasn’t sure where I ended up. I was pretty happy when I found out it was 3rd.

Moto 2: We had a 5min break between motos and then it was back to the start line. Again I didn’t get a good jump but I pushed my way though and came out in the top 10. Again I rode my own race and passed a few riders to get into 4th.

Some of the ruts were massive and when you were in them there was only one way out. Unfortunately that’s what happened to me and a few other riders. Kawasaki’s Dean Ferris got caught behind a lapper in a long rut and by the time I noticed he was stuck I was already in the rut. 2 other riders behind me had the same problem. I got out of the rut but lost 4 places. I had used up so much energy getting out I had to use the next few laps to get my breath back. I could only manage 8th in the end.

Moto 3: I got a much better start and ran in 3rd for the whole moto.

Moto 4: Again we only had 5 minutes between races. I got the start I wanted and was in 3rd again on the first lap. Kawasaki’s Billy McKenzie had a big crash in front of me and that moved me into 2nd. I battled with KTM rider Ryan Marmont until I made a mistake and went down in a rut. I got back on quickly and made my way back into 5th by the end of the Moto.

I felt good on the track and everything was working great. We changed a few things between Moto 2 and 3 and it seemed to work a lot better off the start. The race format was tough and now the NZ series is finished up I can concentrate fully on the Australian series and work on a few weak points.

Our next round is this weekend in Newcastle.

Mikey P