MX Vice’s very own Ade Threasher is enjoying the sun in Oz, catching up with old friends and sending us lots of info! Here is Ade’s report from Round 4..
After taking the victory at round 3 a fortnight ago, a confident Brad Anderson headed West to the Wanneroo MX Facility for round 4 of the 2012 Australian MX Nationals.
The Wanneroo Track, which is about 30km’s from Perth, looked on arrival to be a similar kind of deep sand to what we see at Hawkstone Park in the UK, but there was no big hill here and the circuit wrapped itself in and out of the trees on the Bushland.
Brad’s weekend started on the Friday as he headed over to Perth from the Carlton Dry Honda Team’s base in Melbourne. On arrival at Perth Airport the team headed straight up to the track for a track walk and it was here where Brad was joined by a familiar face as former British Champion Gordon Crockard had just arrived for a lastminute.com guest appearance on the Berry Sweet Yamaha Team, increasing British interest at the event. After having a look at the track Brad liked what he saw and headed back to the hotel to rest up ready for Practice and Qualification on Saturday.
As Saturday arrived, so did the warm weather as temperatures hit the high 30’s Celsius, warmer than it had been all week. With a whole host of other groups and classes on the weekends schedule, Brad free practice session went out just before lunch and after a steady session he came away 4th but was well on the pace. He now had a wait until Qualifying in the afternoon, so took the chance to have another look round the track and see if he could pick some new lines, and it must have worked because as soon as qualifying started Brad set a lap which topped the time sheets. He held 1st all the way through the session, right up until the last few minutes when Josh Coppins managed to go a fraction faster. It was too late for Brad to try and go out to top it so he had to settle for 2nd place pick on the start for Sunday’s races.
Sunday saw similar temperatures to contend with but there was a bit a cloud cover that helped to take the edge off a little and make it feel more like a British Summer’s day. The Australian championships run a different format to anything seen in the UK, and this see’s the Pro’s do 2 back to back 15 minute races, followed by a 30 minute race to finish the day off.
Brad’s day started well as he hit the front on the opening lap, passing current champion Jay Marmont for the lead and he soon started to gap things at the front with Coppins also past Marmont in 2nd, but around halfway through the race Brad made a small mistake which allowed Coppins to catch and pass Brad, a few corners later and Brad tried to take the lead back but went down, relegating him to 3rd behind Coppins and Lawson Bopping, and it stayed this way to the finish.
There was now 5 minutes until the start of race 2, so after was a quick change of helmet and goggle’s, as Brad’s mechanic Marty refuelled the bike, they were back on the start line. Race 2 didn’t start well at all and Brad was squeezed out into turn 1 which left him well down the order in 17th after a lap. Brad was pushing hard to come through but the harder he pushed the more little mistakes he seemed to make, and after a crash the best he could manage before the end was 13th, with title leader Coppins getting beaten into 2nd on the last lap by Marmont.
After the lunch break Brad came back to the startline refreshed and refocused for the gruelling 30 minute race. Brad got away better in this one and sat 3rd behind Marmont, who grabbed the holeshot and Coppins in 2nd. Coppins soon found his way into the lead and started to pull away but Brad was quickly past Marmont as well and in hot pursuit of the leader, but as the race went on Coppins managed to hold his lead steady and Brad had no answer to the former GP legend, having to settle for 2nd at the finish.
Brad’s bad 2nd race left him in 5th overall for the round with Coppins taking the overall victory, and he has now extended his points lead in the Championship to 42, with Brad just hanging onto second place. Lawson Bopping took 2nd overall, with Todd Waters in 3rd. Irish Icon Gordon Crockard put on a good showing, proving he’s still got decent speed even though he’s not contesting the domestic British Championships as he rounded out the top 10 overall.