[Yamaha]

TANTI BUILDS ON PROMX LEAD

2 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Yamaha Motor Australia

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team rider, Aaron Tanti, kicked it up a gear at Round 5 of the ProMX Championship, taking an impressive round win on the back of his 1-1 results on the day to increase his margin in the championship chase.

Under clear blue skies and a perfect winters day, the Hunter Valley dirt bike faithful saw some amazing racing in the MX1 division with Tanti ticking off another career goal with two moto victories on the day, a showcase of both his fight and determination.

Tanti came into the round with the championship leader’s red plate and a small gap over his rivals, but with the confidence of knowing the Maitland circuit well and achieving some success in the past at the venue. His day started slowly with his lap times in practice nearly three seconds off the pace setters in the class, but Tanti is a racer and knew he would be able to pull it all together when the gate dropped in race one.

The opening stages of the first MX1 moto of the day was as intense as any race has been this year. A four-rider pack broke away from the field with Kirk Gibbs leading Matt Moss, Tanti and Brett Metcalfe all running wheel to wheel. Lap after lap would see a positional change as riders worked out the best way around the circuit and the strengths and weaknesses of each other.

Tanti used the tight right hander in the middle of the circuit as his avenue to the front as he sliced up the inside of Moss, Metcalfe and finally Gibbs to hit the front with 10 minutes to go. The pressure stayed on all the way to the end, but Tanti was able to fight off the challenges, stay focused and composed to take the race win.

Race two unfolded in a similar pattern with four combatants up the front. Tanti and Moss were joined by Dean Ferris and Todd Waters with all four bursting away from the rest of the MX1 field. Tanti made his move to the front on lap three and took control of the race, but the remaining trio were never far behind or out of the picture. Thirty minutes later, Tanti took the race win, less than a second ahead of Moss and four seconds covered the top for riders in an enthralling days racing.

“That one felt good,” Tanti said of his day at Maitland. “I was able to get my first round-win at the last round at Gilman, and now I have ticked another box and taken a round-win with a 1-1 result. So it’s awesome to keep improving and achieving goals.

“I was pretty ordinary in practice and qualifying, but because I have done the work during the week, I knew I would be fine once we started racing and that proved to be the case. It was a battle all day and for over an hour’s racing, I had someone on me the entire time. Physically, I feel really good. But mentally, it took a lot of focus to stay in the moment, ride my best laps and get it done. I’m so happy that I was able to make that one happen today here with lots of friends and family to watch,” Tanti went on to say.

Equally impressed was team owner, Craig Dack, who has seen Tanti come of age this year and really mature in his riding and his preparation.“I have to give all the credit to Aaron this weekend; he was amazing. With Luke [Clout] going down with injury, Aaron has stepped up in so many ways and today was a real testament to the hard yards he has put in, and the results are just the reward he and the team deserves.

“When I was a racer, one of my goals in a championship was to get 26 points clear of the opposition as, that way, you are always a full race ahead of your rivals if anything ever happens. Aaron has now done that with a 26-point gap on second place and has built that with impressive performances over the last two rounds. Congratulations to him and a great result, and I know this will only inspire him to keep working,” Dack said.

MX1 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (AFTER RD 5)

1st Aaron Tanti (YAM) – 214pts

2nd Todd Waters (HQV) – 188pts

3rd Brett Metcalfe (KTM) – 186pts

4th Dean Ferris (HON) – 175pts

5th Kirk Gibbs (KTM) – 145pts

6th Hayden Mellross (GAS) – 138pts

7th Jayden Rykers (KAW) – 118pts

8th Joel Evans (HON) – 114pts

9th Joel Wightman (YAM) – 101pts

10th Joben Baldwin (HON) – 97pts

Round 6 (a retro-themed round) of the 2022 ProMX Championship moves to Coffs Harbour on July 24.

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