Twenty-three-year-old Jess Gardiner took a solid 8th overall position amongst 29 competitor’s at last weekend’s Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance MX Nationals at Coolum in Queensland.
After qualifying in twelfth in place, with a time of 2min01.396, Gardiner managed to guide her Yamaha WR250F to a 9-8-8-8 result to claim eighth place overall with 91-points to her name.
In Moto 1 Gardiner didn’t get the best starts as she was fifteenth on the first lap, but managed to make her way back to ninth place and in the process recording her best lap time in race conditions of the weekend, which was a 2min01.841 set on lap four out of eight.
After being a little bit more prepared for the second Moto on what to expect, Gardiner got a lot better start off the gate into the first corner.
“I wanted to focus on getting a bit better start as I wasn’t used to the system that they used,” explained Gardiner after the second Moto.
“I had a good jump, however the other girl’s bikes are a bit more worked than mine which allowed them to pull away a little bit off the start.
However Gardiner managed to get a good start and was sixth around the first corner. Over the first tabletop, which was a short one, all of Gardiner’s fellow competitors jumped short, which meant she had to jump shorter, resulting in another rider pretty much landing on top of Gardiner.
“A fellow competitor couldn’t see in the roost and she jumped and pretty much landed on me with her front wheel sliding down my arm. I managed to stay on but I did lose a few spots because of it.”
Gardiner’s best race start for the weekend came in the third Moto, where she got a lighting start off the gate and was up to fifth for the opening lap. She did unfortunately drop back throughout the race duration back to eighth place.
“I simply didn’t have the stamina and overall speed to stay with the front running group,” Gardiner said after race three.
The fourth and final Moto saw Gardiner making things hard for herself after getting a really bad start. She dropped back to as low as fifteenth, but crawled her way back through the field to claim another eighth place respectfully.
“Overall I’m pretty happy with how I have done this weekend,” expressed Gardiner after the round.
“It’s my first MX Nationals since 2012, so to finish inside the top ten in all Moto’s and overall is pretty good. All the women in front of me are well known motocross riders and race motocross flat out, so I knew it was not going to be an easy task. In saying that it’s a good eye opener to see the level of intensity that goes into motocross compared to the Australian Off-Road Championship.”
“I have to say a special thanks to Geoff Timpson encouraging me to come along to this great event. If nothing clashes with next year’s MX Nationals I would love to come back and have another go at it, that’s for sure!”