Photo Credit: Foremost Media
Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing’s Jace Owen lodged a fifth-place result in the Triple Crown third round of the 2018 Australian Supercross Championship in Geelong, Victoria, as Aaron Tanti displayed promise despite what was a mixed campaign.
Qualifying in fourth, American guest Owen maintained strong and consistent pace throughout the evening, winding up an impressive second position in the opening SX1 heat race aboard the brand new 2019 model Kawasaki KX450.
The first 12-lap main event saw the number five charge to sixth as he negotiated the challenging conditions, rebounding for fourth in the second encounter of the night. A final dash in race three granted Owen fifth, positioning him fourth overall while also enabling him to hang onto fourth in the standings.
“It wasn’t a bad night,” recalled Owen. “I qualified fourth and the times were really close, so I felt good. I’ve been battling an illness all week and knew it was going to be tough with the Triple Crown format.
"I was feeling run down towards the end of the night. I was fourth overall, but I’m looking forward to next week - hopefully we have a larger track and I can get up on the box.”
SX2 contender Tanti showcased race-winning speed riding his KX250F, also collecting second in his heat after leading a number of laps.
In final one he controlled the field right until the dying stages when a critical error forced him down the order to 13th, although he recovered for eighth in the second outing. To conclude proceedings, the number 18 wound up in 12th after coming down at the start, resulting in ninth overall for the round.
“Today was pretty tough,” Tanti admitted. “I qualified well and my heat race went well, finishing in second. I was leading the first main until two laps to go, but I had an off in the whoops and that cost me so I finished in 13th.
"Race two, I was in the top five, but I just got parked and had another fall with a few other riders. In the last final I was taken out in the second corner and fought my way back from last - I did it what I could, but I’ll bounce back for next week. I’m fast enough to win races and that’s what I’m planning to do.”
Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team manager Jay Foreman sympathised with the duo following their challenging evening under lights in Geelong, although he’s extracted the positives from the exceptional speed and grit they each showcased.
“It was a mixed night for the boys,” Foreman commented. “Aaron was looking really good tonight, but he got hit and beat up a bit, which was disappointing because he was riding awesome.
"Jace showed really good speed, but it was similar thing for him in getting beat up and hit in those first few laps. The Triple Crown is an aggressive format and is unrelenting, but they’re both safe and ready for next weekend!”
The 2018 Australian Supercross Championship now heads to Port Adelaide for round three in South Australia set for Saturday, 20 October. Owen is currently fourth in the SX1 standings, with Tanti now sitting eighth in SX2. Further information is available via www.australiansupercross.com.au.
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Photo Credit: Foremost Media