Serco Yamaha's Nathan Crawford has leapt into the MX2 Championship lead after an ultra-successful weekend of racing at round two of the MX Nationals on board his Yamaha YZ250F.
Crawford put together two near perfect races to take the round overall victory with his 1-1 results in the two motos contested and now holds an impressive 23 point lead in series after round two and is brimming with confidence after his amazing performance at Appin over the weekend.
Moto one saw Crawford pick off his main rivals one by one in a relentless attack on the Appin circuit. At the 25-minute mark of the 30minute moto, he clawed his way to the back of race leader, Jay Wilson, and then was able to sneak by with just a few laps to go and take an impressive race victory.
Moto two unfolded much the same with Jay Wilson again leading the way but this time Crawford improved his start and within laps he was again stalking Wilson. He made his move at the half way point and was able to move just a few seconds clear to give him some breathing room on the rutty and challenging layout.
He was able to maintain that margin and take the race win and the 1-1 result for the day was a massive injection into his championship points.
"The weekend was awesome for me and the Serco team," Crawford outlines. "I felt strong on the bike all day and once I got into my flow in race one, I was able to make passes and get towards the front.
"I was able to keep doing the big step down out the back and that became a great passing opportunity for me where I could get alongside them or just jump pass them and I was able to use that to my advantage.
"That's three race wins from the first four races and a great start to the championship. But the MX2 field is pretty deep this year and it's not hard to ride well and be outside of the top five so it's important to keep on doing what we are doing and finishing each moto in a good a position as possible," Crawford ends.
Joining Crawford on the MX2 podium was team mate, Wilson Todd, who showed improved form at round two. After a disappointing start to the championship at round one, Todd came to Appin determined to get his season back on track and he was able to exactly that.
Todd claimed sixth in the first moto after recovering from a poor start. His late moto charge saw him move his way past several riders in the closing stages to secure a sixth place and limit the points loss.
Moto two was better again as Todd picked up where he left off from race one and instantly slotted into the top five. He made some quick passes and secured third, then with less than a few laps to go, made a pass stick on Jay Wilson to move into second place, a position he would stay until moto end. The Crawford – Todd combination gave Serco Yamaha and 1-2 finish for the moto.
His 6-2 results secured him third place for the round and bumped up to third in the championship standings, just one point shy of second place.
"The weekend went a little better for me and certainly a lot better than round one," Todd explains. "It's still not where I want or expect to be but I felt a lot better on the bike over the weekend and Appin is a track I have struggled with in the past so it was good to get a podium result and I can move forward to the next round.
"Round three and four are at Wonthaggi in Victoria and on a surface I prefer to ride on. We have a two week break before then so I will keep working hard and continue my improvement from round one," Todd said.
Rounds three and four will be part of a huge double-header weekend and be crucial to riders in their championship aspirations. A good or bad weekend at Wonthaggi can make or break any rider. Action takes place on May 20/21 and the heat is on in the MX2 championship chase.
MX Nationals ResultsMX2 - Round 21st Nathan Crawford – 70 (Serco Yamaha)2nd Jay Wilson – 623rd Wilson Todd – 57 (Serco Yamaha)4th Jackson Richardson – 545th Dylan Wills – 536th Egan Mastin – 497th Kyle Webster – 488th Aaron Tanti – 459th Kale Makeham – 4210th Hamish Harwood – 42
Championship Standings After Round two1st Nathan Crawford – 133 (Yamaha YZ250F)2nd Aaron Tanti – 1103rd Wilson Todd – 109 (Yamaha YZ250F)4th Jay Wilson – 108 (Yamaha YZ250F)5th Jackson Richardson – 1026th Kyle Webster – 1017th Hamish Harwood – 1008th Egan Mastin – 959th Dylan Wills – 9210th Kale Makeham – 81 (Yamaha YZ250F)