RMZ-450 TAKES FIRST WIN IN AUSTRALIA

April 11, 2005

Team Shift Motul Suzuki's Daryl Hurley gave the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450 four stroke its maiden victory at the second round of the Australian Motocross Championship in Horsham, Victoria on Sunday.

Picking up where the team left off in the opening Wonthaggi round, the first moto in the Pro Open class began as yet another demonstration race between Hurley and series leader Craig Anderson.

Hurley and Anderson quickly pulled a gap on the field and commenced their own private duel. Hurley applied pressure for much of the race until the Suzuki pilot fell as he attempted to snatch the race lead.

"The first race was well within my grasp but I was pushing too hard for the lead and made an error. When I fell, I knew I'd lost my opportunity to take the win in race one so I rode for second place to conserve my energy for race two," said Hurley.

Following the hot dusty conditions of the first race, a sprinkling of rain for the second moto turned the track slick and slippery. But Hurley was in a class of his own in the treacherous conditions, lapping more than 1.5 seconds faster than any other rider on the circuit. He made the pass on Anderson to assume the race lead before a major crash brought out the red flag to stop the session.

On the restart, Hurley and Anderson again pulled away from the rest of the riders. In front and with clear track ahead, the 29-year-old put distance between himself and the pack to take the win unchallenged almost 10 seconds clear of second-placed Darryll King.

Hurley's total dominance saw the Suzuki rider set the fastest lap times in both Pro Open races and narrow the championship points margin to just two for the series lead.

Said Hurley: "This has been a fantastic weekend. The team has done a brilliant job.

"The Suzuki RM-Z450 is an awesome bike. It's great to be able to show its pace and prove that we can win races; that takes a lot of pressure off."

Hurley's Pro Open team mate Danny Ham added more solid top-ten results to his tally to claim seventh overall for the round, moving up the championship order into sixth place.

"I'm happy with the result this weekend, my bike had great speed and I felt really comfortable out there particularly in the first race where, after a difficult start, I managed to work my way through the field and get past about a dozen other guys," said Ham.

"We've moved up in the championship so we're definitely headed in the right direction with the new RM-Z450."

Team Shift Motul Suzuki's Pro Lites entry, Luke Burkhart, had a difficult weekend as he struggled to acclimatise to the intense Horsham heat and after a strong start to the first race, the young New Zealander was unable to maintain his pursuit for a podium position, dropping back from fourth to sixth place.

A first-turn incident left Burkhart sitting in the dirt on the opening lap of race two. Restarting his RM-Z250, the 21-year-old set about chasing from the rear of the field, almost a lap down and was making steady progress until a second - and heavier - crash brought his weekend to a sudden halt.

"This has been a really tough weekend. I'm very battered and bruised but fortunately we have two weeks before the next race so I've got time to recover and be ready to try to take back the Championship lead in Toowoomba," said Burkhart.

The 2005 Australian Motocross Championship now heads to Toowoomba, Queensland for round three on April 24th.


2005 MAXXIS AUSTRALIAN MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP:

PRO-OPEN ROUND TWO RESULTS:

1. Daryl Hurley
2. Craig Anderson
3. Darryll King
4. Shayne King
5. Peter Broxholme
6. Adam Cini
7. Danny Ham
8. Thomas Jones
9. Lee Ellis
10. Brent Landman

PRO OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS :

1. Craig Anderson (93)
2. Daryl Hurley (91)
3. Darryll King (82)
4. Shayne King (74)
5. Peter Broxholme (59)
6. Danny Ham (55)
7. Lee Ellis (54)
8. Thomas Jones (44)
9. Adam Cini (41)
10. Nathan Brochtrup (35)

PRO LITES ROUND TWO RESULTS:

1. Robbie Marshall
2. Ryan Marmont
3. Cameron Taylor
4. Danny Anderson
5. Warren Smart
6. Troy Dorron
7. Daniel McCoy
8. Simon Thompson
9. Daniel Reardon
10. Barry Morris

PRO LITES CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS:

1. Cameron Taylor (78)
2. Robbie Marshall (62)
3. Danny Anderson (61)
4. Luke Burkhart (59)
5. Ryan Marmont (58)
6. Daniel McCoy (58)
7. Troy Carroll (52)
8. Warren Smart (50)
9. Troy Dorron (50)
10. Daniel Reardon (44)

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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