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Baldwin and Berwick battle it out at the opening round of the Victorian State Championships

29-04-08

On 26 & 27 April 2008, GMR Motorex KTM riders Joben Baldwin and Dylan Berwick contested round one of the Victorian Junior Motocross Championships at Newry in south-east Victoria.

The club invested incredible time and effort for the event and the track was impeccable on day one. Overnight rain on Saturday night changed track conditions considerably and the riders were faced with wet sloppy conditions on day two of racing.

The titles were a great hit out with top class racing on a circuit that will also play host to the Women’s Nationals and Rookies Series in late May as well as a round of the Rockstar MX Nationals in July.

In the A Grade 85 two stroke to 150 four-stroke 12-16 years class, Joben Baldwin picked up 4-13-1 results which secured him a 4th overall in the championship standings.

In race one, Baldwin had a poor start but rode the wheels of his KTM 85 and made his way to 4th place against a fast-paced group of competitors. In race two after a crash in the opening lap, Baldwin had made his way from the rear of the field, making bold moves to push his way into 6th. Another fall in the dying stages of the race denied Baldwin the result and finished a disappointing 13th.

Race three was run on day two in the most trying conditions seen by this class and it was Baldwin who came out on top when the going got tough. Not only did Baldwin rectify the troublesome starts he had been getting, he also clocked the fastest lap time of the race and brought home a convincing and rewarding win in the sloppy conditions.

“The race win on my KTM 85 was awesome and I was able to finish the event on a good note. It means I have picked up valuable points which have put me in reach of the podium going into the next round at Melton” commented Joben after the event.

Team Manager Glenn Macdonald added, “on day one when the track was fast and relatively smooth there was not much between the front pack of riders, the conditions really only allowed a rider to make the move when others faltered. But on day two it proved to me that Joben is a real force on his KTM 85 when his back is to the wall or faced with challenging track conditions. Joben really stepped up in the tough conditions and brought home a deserving race win.”

Championship standing for A Grade 85 two stroke to 150 four-stroke 12-16 years:

1. Tristian Cachia, Honda (Stroke Honda Smart Race Team) 66 pts
2. Dylan Long, Yamaha 56 pts
3. James Booth-Elliot, Honda 56 pts
4. Joben Baldwin (GMR Motorex KTM) 51 pts

In the A Grade 125cc 13-16 years class, Joben Baldwin and Dylan Berwick both took to the grid for the GMR Motorex KTM team. Both riders are at the younger end of the category (13 and 14 respectively) and two of only a few of the ‘red-plate’ racers in the field. Joben Baldwin picked up 11-8 results and Berwick 5-3.

Race two was a real highlight for the team with Berwick racing like a man possessed charging through the field after a poor start and was the first red-plate across the line in 3rd. Baldwin also suffered a poor start along with a bit of bar rubbing at various stages of the race and came across the line in a well deserved 8th - the second red-plate rider across the line amongst a field of 15 and 16 year olds.

Round three of racing was cancelled for the 125 class due to sun-glare and reflection from the wet track in the late afternoon. Overall results for the event based on two races placed Berwick 4th in the championship chase whilst Baldwin is in 8th, only 10 points from cracking into the top 5.

Macdonald also said “Berwick and Baldwin are well placed heading into round two of the championship. Although a podium was highly likely for Berwick, the cancellation of the final race of the day was disappointing for the team. Having said that, the conditions were extremely unsafe and the officials made a decision to protect rider safety. In the end, our riders are injury free and well placed to improve our championship standings at the next round.”

1. Christopher Gay, Yamaha 47 pts
2. Harrison Wooding, Yamaha 45 pts
3. Troy McNally, Yamaha (YJDT) 37 pts
4. Dylan Berwick (GMR Motorex KTM) 36 pts
5. Jacob Trewin, KTM 31 pts
6. Hayden Harris, Yamaha 28pts
7. Michael Crugnale, Yamaha (YJDT) 27 pts
8. Joben Baldwin (GMR Motorex KTM) 23 pts

In the A Grade 250 four-stroke 13-16 years class, Dylan Berwick faced 47 competitors and heat based racing. This format is very much luck of the draw and young Berwick certainly drew the toughest heats races. Berwick was on board his new KTM 250SXS-F machine and keen to hold his own against his older and much bigger competitors.

In round one of the heats, Berwick picked up a well earned 2nd place after a great race battle between Troy Seraceno, Troy McNally, Dylan Berwick and fellow Tasmanian Matthew Phillips. Berwick dug deep and displayed some really mature riding. In round two of the heats, Berwick faced an uphill battle after a shocking start in the sloppy conditions which had him in last position existing turn one. In one of the most heavily weighted heats, Berwick rode an impressive race and moved through the field in the 10 minute moto to an 8th place finish. Round three of racing was certainly one that would rather be forgotten. Despite a much better start, Berwick lost momentum in a tight turn and crashed. After regaining composure and removing caked mud from his goggles and gloves Berwick again knuckled down and did all he could to regain valuable positions. Berwick finished 13th in the final heat.

Berwick, who was well placed entering the final round in 6th overall, was relegated to 11th overall in the championship standings. On a positive note, Berwick is only 15 points from cracking into the top five and is also the first red-plate rider in the field.

Championship standings for A Grade 250 four-stroke 13-16 years:

1. Troy Seraceno, Honda 69 pts
2. Matthew Phillips, Honda 68 pts
3. Harrison Wooding, Yamaha 63 pts
11. Dylan Berwick (GMR Motorex KTM) 43 pts

Macdonald further added, “GMR Motorex KTM has two of the fastest young guns on board and they cannot be counted out as they develop through the year. This weekend has confirmed that these two boys will wave the flag for the team come the Australian Titles in the age group racing categories.”

Stay tuned to www.gmr-motorexktm.com.au for Joben and Dylan’s race results.