Lites rider Phil Nicoletti easily took the round win thanks to his dominating display. Open rider Dean Ferris extended his Championship lead with 2nd overall for the round while Billy Mackenzie narrowly missed the podium by just one point. He retains his 2nd place standing in the series.
Phil Nicoletti dominated proceedings from the get-go. The Monster Energy Kawasaki Lites rider never looked back after qualifying his KX250F in pole position on the long Coonabarabran race track. Nicoletti was in a league of his own as he raced to three moto wins, bagging three of the four hole-shots up for grabs in the process. Nicoletti’s 1-1-1-3 results easily gave him the overall for the round and propels him to 5th in the Championship.
Phil Nicoletti says, “I’m super happy. The wide, open US style track suited my style and my bike worked really good. I’m glad to finally get a round win. It’s long overdue and been a long time coming but better late than never. There’s still 400 points up for grabs in this Championship so I’ll just keep clicking away moto mins and get as many points as possible. I haven’t counted myself out of this Championship.”
KX450F rider Dean Ferris made sure Kawasaki’s dominated the qualifying sessions at the Goanna Tracks by taking pole position in the Opens class (with team-mate Billy Mackenzie just behind in 2nd.) Ferris’s consistency paid pidends throughout the day with his 2-3-4-2 results giving him 2nd for the round, just one point shy of that elusive round win. Ferris’s points haul at Coonabarabran extends his series lead to 13 points.
Dean Ferris says, “I gained some good points in the Championship today. I started the day off well by qualifying in pole position. I rode well in the first race but bad starts in the second and third motos hurt me, I had to ride through the pack. Then a hole-shot and 2nd place in the final race ended the day on a good note. I’m still looking for that round win but I’m confident it will come. I’ve beaten everybody out there, just not all on the same day. The track changed today and I should’ve changed my bike for the final two motos to suit. That affected my lap times after lunch but overall I’m happy. It was a good day.”
Billy Mackenzie’s round result doesn’t reflect his speed at Coonabarabran. Even two moto wins wasn’t enough to make up for a bad result in the second moto when a crashed rider brought the Scotsman down on the first turn. Mackenzie clawed back many places to finish within the top 10 for the race. Mackenzie’s 1-9-5-1 results left him in 4th place for the round, just one point off the podium. Mackenzie sits in 2nd place in the series.
Billy Mackenzie says, “I’m frustrated with the result but definitely happy with the way I’m riding. The track was awesome and I loved the longer lap times. I was satisfied with 2nd in qualifying and real happy with the first race. I got the lead early and pulled away to take the win. I had an average jump in the second moto and ended up hitting Coppins after he went down. That put me to the back. I’m disappointed with that race but it wasn’t really my fault. Then I stalled in the third moto, couldn’t bump start because I was in a high gear and had to stop to restart. That put me back to dead last but I rode well to get back to 5th. Another good start in the last race and I checked out to take the win. I enjoyed every corner and every lap of that race. We made changes to the bike during the day and that made huge differences. The bike was perfect. I just had a bunch of bad luck today and stuff was out of my control. I’ll keep working at it and try and get some more race wins.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager, Troy Carroll says, “I’m happy with the weekend. Phil had an awesome day. The fast Coonabarabran track suited his style of racing and put him back in contention for the Championship. This result will boost his confidence going into the last four rounds. It was great to see Dean put in the races that he did. He had to come from behind in two motos and fight for his results. That’s the sign of a true champion and that’s what it takes to win Championships. Billy rode an awesome first moto. He had bad luck in the second and third but showed his dominance again in the final race. We will work with both Open riders over the next two weeks and try and get them both back on the podium at Albury.”
“I’m really proud of what Monster Energy Kawasaki is doing at the moment and really thankful to all of our sponsors and associates. We’re looking forward to maintaining our success throughout the remainder of the season.”
The Monster Energy Kawasaki Race Team gets two weeks R&R before heading to Albury, NSW for the 7th round of the series on 3 July.
Images by Rice Photography