Under clear blue skies and a perfect winters day, the Hunter Valley dirt bike faithful saw some amazing racing in the MX1 division with Tanti ticking off another career goal with two moto victories on the day, both a show case of his fight and determination.
To view the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy round recall: https://youtu.be/exA3HUCpcgk
Tanti came into the round with the championship leaders red plate and a small gap over his rivals, but with the confidence of knowing the Maitland circuit well and achieving some success in the past at the venue. His day started slowly with his lap times in practice nearly three seconds off the pace setters in the class, but Tanti is a racer and knew he would be able to pull it all together when the gate dropped in race one.
The opening stages of the first MX1 moto of the day was as intense as any race has been this year. A four-rider pack broke away from the field with Kirk Gibbs leading Matt Moss, Tanti and Brett Metcalfe all running wheel to wheel. Lap after lap would see a positional change as riders worked out the best way around the circuit and the strengths and weaknesses of each other.
Tanti used the tight right hander in the middle of the circuit as his avenue to the front as he sliced up the inside of Moss, Metcalfe and finally Gibbs to hit the front with 10 minutes to go. The pressure stayed on all the way to the end, but Tanti was able to fight off the challenges, stay focused and composed to take the race win.
Race two unfolded in a similar pattern with four combatants up the front. Tanti and Moss were joined by Dean Ferris and Todd Waters with all four bursting away from the rest of the MX1 field. Tanti made his move to the front on lap three and took control of the race, but the remaining trio were never far behind or out of the picture. Thirty minutes later, Tanto took the race win, less than a second ahead of Moss and four seconds covered the top for riders in an enthralling days racing.
“That one felt good, “Tanti said of his day at Maitland. “I was able to get my first round win at the last round at Gilman, now I have ticked another box and taken a round win with a 1-1 result, so it’s awesome to keep improving and achieving goals.
“I was pretty ordinary in practice and qualifying but because I have done the work during the week, I knew I would be fine once we started racing and that proved to be the case. It was a battle all day and for over an hours’ worth of racing, I had someone on me the entire time. Physically I feel really good, but mentally it took a lot of focus to stay in the moment, ride my best laps and get it done but I’m so happy that I was able to make that one happen today here with lots of friends and family to watch,” Tanti ends.
Equally impressed was team owner, Craig Dack, who has seen Tanti come of age this year and really mature in his riding and his preparation.
“I have to give all the credit to Aaron this weekend, he was amazing. With Luke going down with injury, Aaron has stepped up in so many ways and today was a real testament to the hard yards he has done and the results are just the reward he and the team deserves.
“When I was a racer, one of my goals in a championship was to get 26 points clear of your opposition as that way you are always a full race ahead of your rivals if anything ever happens. Aaron has now done that with a twenty-six points gap on second place and has built that with impressive performances over the last two rounds.
“Congratulations to him and a great result and know this will only inspire him to keep working,” Dack said.
Round six of the championship moves to Coffs Harbour on July 24 where Tanto and his CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team will be looking to replicate the same energy and focus.