AUSTRALIAN SUPERCROSS RD 1 – OWEN SHINES ON DEBUT WITH COMPLETE PARTS KAWASAKI RACING
Jace Owen has starred in his first appearance with the Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing team at Jimboomba’s opening round of the 2018 Australian Supercross Championship in Queensland, while it was a more challenging encounter for teammate Aaron Tanti.
Despite limited time aboard the all-new 2019 KX450, American guest Owen demonstrated promising potential aboard the premier class model, gifting it two hole-shots from two starts in its first national race in the country.
Leading for much of his heat race, the number five settled into second as the chequered flag was thrown, while he put in a strong performance throughout the 20-lap main.
Leading in the opening stages, Owen solidified himself as a contender for race wins, however his lack of seat-time saw him muster up fifth in the highly-competitive field.
“I’m quite satisfied with fifth,” Owen stated. “I’ve only had a couple of weeks on the 2019 KX450 and it was my first race back in a while from injury, so there were a lot of nerves to get out of the way today.
“I pulled the hole-shot in my heat race and led all the way to the last lap – that was a good first race back for me. I got another hole-shot in the main and led for a few laps, but now we have three weeks to continue building and testing.”
SX2 entrant Tanti was anticipating a competitive weekend, showcasing his raw speed during qualifying that ultimately saw him lodge the second-fastest time. It was wouldn’t translate though, as the New South Welshman suffered a freak incident just one corner into his heat race, later hindering him throughout the afternoon.
He bounced back to put his KX250F on the top step of the last chance qualifier, granting him a ticket to the main, although a costly mistake would see him forced to accept 19th position at the opening race.
“The day started off really well and I felt really good,” Tanti explained. “I qualified in P2, so I was feeling really confident and my KX250F was handling really good. I was in heat one, grabbed the hole-shot and then got landed on in the first rhythm.
“It got me pretty good. I just made sure I finished so I could get through the night and I ended up making my way through into the top 10 in the main, but I made a mistake on the dragon’s back and it ended up being a big hit. Still, I’m taking the positives from my early speed.”
Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing team manager Jay Foreman is optimistic of the duo, highlighting the potential they displayed while acknowledging they have three weeks to discover improvements for the next stop of the series.
“Aaron experienced a difficult night, but he showed some really good speed,” Foreman commented. “He got through it and now has a few more weeks to regroup for the next one.
“Jace had his first race in about seventh months and he had really good speed as well - his starts were excellent. It’s a new bike and we have a few things to work on as a team, but we’re really happy to come out with fifth.”
Round two of the Australian Supercross Championship is scheduled for 6 October at Coolum in Queensland. Further information is available via www.australiansupercross.com.au.
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Photo Credit: Foremost Media