Aaron Tanti produced a weekend to remember on board his CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team YZ450F, breaking through for his first Pro MX MX1 moto win and at the same time locked down his first round win in the premier motocross racing division.The remarkable day at round four of the Pro MX Championship, held in perfect conditions at Gilman in South Australia, now sees Tanti rocket to the top of the MX1 leader board as the series hits the half way point.
To view the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team round recall: https://youtu.be/plpmCRGChVM
Flying solo under the team awning with Luke Clout side-lined with injury, Tanti stepped up to the plate on the weekend and smashed a home run, registering plenty of firsts in his blossoming career and on a day he won’t soon forget.
The day started off strongly when he posted the fastest lap in the morning qualifying session, half a second quicker than his nearest rivals. He then increased the intensity in the Top 10 Shootout, recording the fastest lap again, this time with a gap of .8 ahead of the second placed rider.
But it’s the two, thirty-minute races that matter and Tanti was in desperate need of a good start to cash in on his track speed advantage. He rounded the first lap in fourth place and needing to make quick passes as local hero and former AMA winner, Brett Metcalfe had hit the lead and was charging away. Tanti got himself into second on lap three and bought with him a Kirk Gibbs and Todd Waters and the trio locked into battle.
Metcalfe cleared out to a comfortable lead at the front while Tanti continually dealt with the pressure from behind. He fought off challenges from Gibbs time and again to maintain his second-place finish and bank solid points from his first hit out of the day.
Race two and it was all about the start. Tanti and his YZ450F powered from the drop of the gate and directly into the race lead. But again, this wasn’t going to be a 30-minute trail ride. Metcalfe zoned in on him and the race was on, in a winner take all shootout to determine the round victor.
Tanti dug deep as an inspired Metcalfe tried everything in the book to find a way passed. As the laps ran down, Tanti had Metcalfe wearing him like a cheap suit, but the Yamaha rider kept his composure, maintained his speed and intensity and survived a last lap challenge from the SA hero to take the race win, and in turn the round win and now he inherits the championship leaders red plate in a day of firsts for him.
“I’m so pumped to get this win,” said a relieved yet elated Tanti. “It’s been a long time coming and to get my first race win, my first-round win and my first red plate in the MX1 class makes it so special for me and the team.
“And it was a fight all day. I don’t think I did a lap in racing today that wasn’t under pressure, and it was every lap of every moto. Both Brett and Kirk were on me, and I knew I just had to stay focused, keep fighting and not let up for a second or they would have gone straight passed me.
“It’s an awesome day and I’m so happy to get this goal ticked off. Thank you to everyone at the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team, we have all put in a lot of work since round three and it showed up today. The entire team came up to Queensland a couple of weeks ago and then supported me at a local race in Maitland, so to be able to achieve this today is a reward for everyone’s effort,” Tanti ends.
Tanti now leads the MX1 championship by twelve points over Todd Waters but team boss, Craig Dack, knows there is plenty of work still to be done.
“Today was a great day for Aaron and the team and one that we targeted as an important round in the championship,” Dack begins. “The Gilman track is always tough and as a team we ensured we had all the boxes ticked leading into the event with everything from starts to intensity areas we felt we could improve.
“Credit goes to Aaron on two solid and determined rides. The competition made him earn it and it was really pleasing to see him step up as a rider and meet the challenges he faced.
“So, while we will enjoy this one tonight, its back to work tomorrow as we are only halfway through the championship and there is a lot of racing to come.”
The team now look towards round five of the championship in Maitland, on June 26, to keep the momentum rolling.