With the 2020 Australian Junior Motocross Championships that were to be held in Rockhampton cancelled due to COVID, the club stepped up and hosted the inaugural King of Capricorn event and posted a prize pool of $20,000 that attracted some of Australia’s best professional riders, like Kirk Gibbs, Jay Wilson, Aaron Tanti and Jesse Dobson, as well as the states’ top junior talent.
With a format that saw the riders compete in their usual classes and then a feature race for the crown of King and Prince of Capricorn, it was a busy yet entertaining weekend of racing for the 300 competitors entered.
Mackay’s Jackson Camilleri led the Yamaha charge in the junior divisions and showed he is back to full health after a recent injury and ready to race. Contesting the Junior 125cc and junior 250cc, Camilleri won 11 out of the 12 races contested and won both divisions comfortably in an excellent weekend of racing for him.
But the day wasn’t over as the top 40 junior riders lined up for the Prince Of Capricorn feature race that had competitors run through three heats of three laps with 10 the last 10 riders eliminated after each leg. Camilleri easily progressed to the 20 rider final and then charged to the front in the final leg to cap off a brilliant weekend.
“The weekend was awesome and it was good to bounce back after a disappointing result at the state titles a few weeks ago,” Jackson begins. “I went into that race under done due to injury, but I was able to get back into my usual routine over the past few weeks and it showed in the results today, although I’m buggered now.
“Thank you to everyone who helped put on this event and also to the Yamaha Junior Racing team and the Yamalube Yamaha Team for being here to support us all weekend.”
Jake Cannon also flew the YJR flag with pride, taking second place in the 12–15 years 85cc class with his 4-1-1-2-1 results. A fall in the opening moto proved costly as it was only one point that separated Cannon from the class win.
He also raced a YZ125 for the very first time and impressed on a rough and rugged Rockhampton track. He might be small in stature, but he showed plenty of promise on the bigger bike finishing in sixth place with 6-6-5-5-6 results across the weekend. He also backed that up with a 10 place finish in the Price of Capricorn.
The action was frantic in the senior divisions as riders were contested both MX1 and MX2 classes as well as the King of Capricorn feature event. Yamaha was well represented with both the Serco Yamaha and Yamalube Yamaha Racing teams in attendance and out for a large slice of the $20,000 on offer.
In the MX1 class, it was Aaron Tanti taking second place, just one point ahead of Kirk Gibbs in third. Tanti. On board his YZ250F, Tanti proved ultra-consistent across the four motos contested, finishing with 3-3-3-4 results compared to Gibbs’ 2-8-2-3.
For Gibbs it was first major race in months after COVID and injury and he showed his speed and skill are still there as he shook the rust of his body through the weekend.
Jesse Dobson took fifth on a countback with Jay Wilson sixth, again both riders mounted on 250cc machines.
The MX2 class saw Dobson finish in second place as the highest finishing Yamaha riders, four points clear of team mate, Tanti in third. Dobson finished with 2-1-4-3-5 results that saw the MX 2 riders contest one 15 minute moto and then 2 x five motos back to back in the morning and afternoon.
Jay Wilson finished sixth after a DNF in race four cost him any chance of a podium result while Japanese team mate , Kota Toriyabe slotted in behind him in seventh in one of his best performances of the year.
Levi Rogers proved he isn’t scared to race the big names and mixed it with the pros on every occasion. His ninth place overall finish in MX2 doesn’t show the speed he generated and, like Wilson, a DNF in race two proved costly. He finished with 7-DNF-2-4-9 results in a day he should take a lot of confidence from.
But the day wasn’t over, and the 40 fastest riders line up for the King of Capricorn feature event. It was contested over a series of five, three lap motos that saw the last seven riders from each race eliminated until the top 15 riders laid it all on the line in a three lap, all out sprint to the end.
Yamaha riders took up three of the top five spots with Kirk Gibbs second, Aaron Tanti third and Jay Wilson in fifth.
For a full list of results : https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1813733