Picture perfect conditions greeted spectators and riders alike at the 2012 Dubbo Roar. Anticipation levels were high as crowds lined the hills, eagerly awaiting several battles to unfold on the track. Of course, the big question of the day was who would take out the Roar Championship event, and secure the $1000 first prize. As the gates dropped, fans had their answers.
There was much discussion in the pits about the heavy hitters in the Opens class, regarding how much pace local favourite Tye Simmonds would be able to maintain after several weeks off the bike, and whether it would be enough to match the likes of Craig Anderson.
Simmonds decimated the competition in the Opens class, grabbing a perfect 1-1-1 scorecard. Anderson had an inconsistent run after a first turn crash and was left to salvage a third place overall with Errol Willis sneaking into second on a "practice" RMZ 450.
In the Lites class, a DNF in the final round cost the U19s champ, Errol Willis, any chance of taking the Overall. Willis' teammate Scott Columb was forced to step up to the plate, managing to hold on for the win. Luke Arbon was pushed into second overall after an unfortunate 5th place finish in the second moto. Jay Wilson rode consistently all day and grabbed the third spot on the podium.
The feature race, the Roar Championship, was decided over a series of 2 heats and 6 two lap sprints in the final, with the slowest six riders being culled after each sprint. After the dust settled, the final six shaped up to be Simmonds, Columb, Wilson, Arbon, Mitch Norris and Nathan Broctrop. As the gate dropped, Simmonds led into the first corner under serious pressure from Norris. After the first lap, Norris was still charging hard and was only separated from Simmonds by one bike length. Disaster struck across the back triples as Norris' bike seized on the up ramp and sent him cart wheeling down the track. A stunned silence followed as the crowd was in dismay at what they had witnessed. Unbelievably, Norris picked himself up and was cheered, as he managed to push his bike off the track. Simmonds now had an easy run home to grab the prize money with Columb coming in second and Arbon in third. It would be Simmonds' last MX event for 2012, as he will sit out the Moree and Coolum rounds of the MX Nationals to focus on getting ready for Supercross.
Megan Rutledge had an easy day at the office and claimed the win in the Women's division, leading home Letitia Alabaster in second and Ashleigh Blenkiron in third.
Local riders fared well in C grade with Sam Williams taking out the Opens class and Dustain Staines easily winning the Lites division.
In the Over 35s, Grant Broctrup just held on for the win going 1-1-2, leaving Michael Ticehurst 2-2-1 in second spot. Marty Ashworth had a good day on the track and held off Richard Hall and Troy Behsman for third.
In the Junior Lites, Joel Wightman again had an easy victory with three moto wins. The real action happened in the battle for second and third between Anaru West and Trent Wheatley. West led Wheatley home in the first moto but could not repeat his performance in the second and third, and had to settle for third place overall leaving a very pleased Wheatley to take the second spot on the podium. In the Juniors, Cooper Holroyd was the fastest on the 50cc Bikes. Riding the 65cc bikes, Sam Davis was first in the 7-8 years, John Bova was quickest of the 9-10 years while Jye Roberts finished out in front of the 11-12 year olds. Stepping up to the 85cc bikes saw Anaru West clean up the U15s, with Jake McGlashan quickest in the U13s and Caleb Clifton taking out the U11s.
The Dubbo club was pleased with how the event played out, and are now looking forward to the upcoming events at Dubbo including the opening round of the 2012 SX championship. You can grab the full results and find out more about upcoming events at Dubbo here.