Empire Kawasaki’s Lawson Bopping and Deakin Hellier pressed on through a challenging third round of the 2019 MX Nationals at Broadford, extracting their share of positives from the weekend in Victoria.
Qualifying in 11th, Bopping - filling in for Dylan Long - shot out to two brilliant starts aboard his KX450 in the back-to-back Sprint races. The New South Welshman went on to deliver a 26-11 scorecard despite encountering troubles, crediting him 18th for the morning’s outing.
Bopping rebounded in the final moto with yet another spectacular start, moving his way into second position during the early stages. Admittedly struggling with arm-pump, Bopping put in a spirited effort to finish in 13th place for 15th overall.
“It wasn’t the greatest day,” Bopping admitted. “I qualified 11th and in the first race I had a good jump before getting pushed off the track - I got roosted and my roll-offs snapped. I fell off again, so the first race was a bit of a wash. In the second moto I had a better start and ran up front for a little bit, but my arms pumped up.
“I wasn’t tired, but my arms were blown out. The final race I had a decent start again, positioned myself in third and then second - I felt like I could run that pace, but I faded back. I’m happy with the KX450 and my time with the team has been great. The positives are that I got good starts and could run that pace.”
Contesting the MXD category, Hellier pushed through a tough start to the day, recording a 19-16 scorecard for 17th overall. The youthful Victorian displayed strong form, with mistakes ultimately denying him of a stronger results sheet in the highly competitive class.
“I started the day well in practice and qualifying,” Hellier explained. “The first race I crashed and just couldn’t seem to pull things together, but in moto two it all started to work for me. I came from well behind, rode really well and my times were up there. It was a pretty good weekend towards the end and I know where I need to be.”
The Empire Kawasaki squad will now head to Murray Bridge in South Australia for rounds four and five of the MX Nationals, scheduled on 4-5 May. Visit www.kawasaki.com.au for further information on Kawasaki Motors Australia.