Jordan Stewart wins the Victorian Under 21 title
On a warm spring day Jordan Stewart emerged victorious with the Victorian Under 21 trophy firmly in his grasp at the State Motorcycle Centre at Broadford on Sunday 29th October after what was best described as a somewhat topsy turvey day. Stewart recovered from an engine failure in his third ride where he never left the start line to fight back to record four wins on the trot including two stunning starts from the outside gate to cut across the field and lead into turn one in both his semi final and final. It was a popular win for the Mildura based rider. Following Stewart home in second place overall was visiting NSW rider Josh Macdonald who had been the sixth qualifier but two excellent gates in his semi final and final saw him standing only one rung below top spot and far from disappointed with his days work. Consistent Jaimon Lidsey secured third spot after not doing a lot wrong all day long but finding the fast starting Stewart and Macdonald a bit too good in the final. He had also suffered a little after losing a battle of elbows in the run to turn one in his final heat which cost him the chance of a better points score and an earlier gate pick in the finals. Unlucky Cooper Riordan filled fourth place after being the second leading qualifier. In the final Cooper attempted a blast out wide round the outside of the leaders but unfortunately unceremoniously came to grief in turn three. The bike seemed to follow Riordan as he fell and landed on top of him for good measure. He was fine after a short delay while he caught his breath.
The man that had the crowd scratching their heads at the end of the day was Josh Pickering. It would be fair to say Josh didn't have the best of days getting off the line but after that was passing people for fun. The highlight of his day came in his second heat where in an outside move that started in turn two and ended in turn four he flew past first Joel Coyne and then for good measure Jordan Stewart as well. It was stunning speedway and caused jaws to drop and tongues to wag after the heat concluded. Pickering was top qualifier but his passing skills weren't sufficient in the semi final where Lidsey and Macdonald had gated well and were riding side by side having their own mini battle up ahead. Pickering was very handily placed close behind in third and ready to pounce if either a mistake was made or a gap appeared .... but neither happened so a dejected Pickering sat out the final when many thought he would have been the favourite.
Other hard luck stories could have been told by Matthew Gilmore and local rider James Davies. Both had been leading one of their early heats only to suffer mechanical problems and have to retire from the heat. Both made the semi finals but with the quality of riders on display losing those points cost vital places and the resulting in less favorable gate choices and their job was made that much more difficult. Both would have lamented days that could have been better with an ounce of luck.
Among other riders to catch the eye were Mitchell Cluff who gated like a demon in his second heat and kept Josh Pickering behind him for the best part of three laps, then topped that with a beautiful gate and win in his fourth ride. Another in that category was Joel Coyne, he saved his best till last where he headed home both Riordan and Lidsey after a stunning ride. Certainly two to watch out for in the future.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day that kept the crowd entertained and sent them home happy. A total of 35 races in a touch over three hours was good going considering the warm day with a decent wind drying out the track. Hopefully it was a perfect relaxing day for the crowd after all the excitement at Etihad the night before.
- 1st Jordan Stewart 3,2,R,3,3 = 11 + 3 + 3
- 2nd Josh Macdonald 3,2,2,0,2 = 9 + 2 + 2
- 3rd Jaimon Lidsey 2,3,2,3,1 = 11 + 3 + 1
- 4th Cooper Riordan 2,3,3,3,2 = 13 + 2 + Fx
- Josh Pickering 3,3,3,2,3 = 14 + 1
- Matthew Gilmore 3.R,3,1,3 = 10 + 0
- Dakota Ballantyne 2,2,2,1,1 = 8 + 1
- James Davies R,1,3,2,2 = 8 + 0
- Mitchell Cluff 1,2,1,3,2 = 7
- Joel Coyne 0,1,1,2,3 = 7
- Matt Day 1,3,0,2,1 = 7
- Brandan Coglan 1,1,2,0,0 = 4
- Jack Morrison 1,1,1,1,0 = 4
- Mitchell Grech 0,2,1,0,0 = 3
- Aden Clare 2,0,0,0,1 = 3
- Brayden McGuinness 0,0,0,1,0 = 1
- Isiah Hartley 0,0,0,0,0 = 0