Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki stars Matt and Jake Moss overcame the mud and slush of a rain-soaked Dunedin track at the weekend to stay in contention for the Australasian Super X Championship.
Defending champion Matt was the stand-out rider in the Pro Lites class on his Suzuki RM-Z250, while twin brother Jake took the challenge to the American imports claiming second overall on his Suzuki RM-Z450 in the premier Pro Open class.
Wet weather turned Dunedin’s infamous “House of Pain” rugby stadium into the “House of Rain” with the 570 metre track littered with huge water puddles. The rain turned the whoops section into a survival course and backmarkers were moving obstacles, with lead riders unsure of which way the deep ruts would turn their machines.
In the Pro Lites class, Matt was cautiously aggressive in the first of two eight-lap races and watched fellow Suzuki rider Steven Clarke take the lead with the holeshot. Clarke showed his experience with wet tracks from his UK upbringing, while Moss was prepared to bide his time in what was quickly becoming a mud-soaked marathon. Moss showed great racing maturing, taking the lead in the whoops section on lap five. However, on the final lap, Moss got caught up behind a backmarker allowing Clarke to catch his more highly-fancied opponent on the final turn of the last lap.
Both riders made strong starts in the second and final race and were the only two consistently jumping the triple.
Moss, keen to go one better in the second final, was easily the smoothest rider on the track and assumed the lead by the second lap. From that point he was never headed and easily took the win. Clarke made a late mistake relegating him to fourth, while Lawson Bopping, who struggled with the heavy conditions, finished ninth.
Moss secured the round win and, more importantly, 47 points from a possible 50. It brought him within four points of series leader PJ Larsen with two rounds remaining in the Championship.
“I had some great starts today: the fuel injected RM-Z250 was great,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the next round at Parramatta. It was where I wrapped up the Championship last year and good things happen there.”
In the premier Pro Open class Jake Moss showed blistering pace in the early running of the heats, clearly demonstrating why he is still a leading Championship contender.
Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s Cody Cooper was also right at home in front of his adoring Kiwi fans and he duly claimed the eliminator event.
In the first of the two 10 lap finals, Moss was caught in first lap traffic, eventually settling into sixth. From there, he set consistent lap times and worked his way back through the field before making a dramatic last lap move to grab third spot.
The second final was almost a carbon copy of the first, with series leader Josh Hansen checking out early. Moss again made a solid start, coming from sixth position to work his way to second and the penultimate spot on the podium behind Hansen.
Jake’s 42 point haul consolidated third spot in the Championship standings and he is within striking distance of second-placed Jay Marmont with two rounds to go.
“That was tough,” an exhausted but satisfied Moss said after the race. “I just pushed hard and tried not to make any mistakes.”
Said Jay Foreman, Rockstar Motul Suzuki Team Manager: “I’m really happy with the way the guys applied themselves in very difficult conditions; it would have been easy to throw a Championship away this weekend. Both guys knew that they had to be consistent and mistake free and we came away with two great results. Parramatta was Lawson’s best result last year so he is looking forward to running up front again.”