CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team, Luke Clout, has been crowned the winner of the 2021 Pro MX Championship after Motorcycling Australia declared the series complete with the current COVID restrictions preventing further rounds.
Clout, on board his YZ450F in the premier MX1 division overcome some major hurdles at the opening round of the championship before barnstorming his way through the next two rounds, winning four motos in succession and finishing second in the other, to snatch the points lead at the end of the third round.
Unfortunately in the days after round three at Maitland, Covid gripped the eastern seaboard of Australia and riders based in New South Wales and Victoria were thrown into lock down, unable to move from their house for the next three months. The on-going Covid situation is the reason for the declaration of the Pro MX Championship after three rounds.
“It’s strange to think that I have won a championship while sitting on the couch, but I guess everything about 2020 and 2021 has been strange,” Clout begins. “It’s not the way I want or would like to win it as I am a racer and I just want to be out on the track challenging myself against the other riders, but I truly believe that I had put in the work, the CDR Yamaha team provided me with the best bike, and this championship was going to be mine.”
“This is my first MX1 championship of my career and regardless of the shortened championship, I’m proud of it. As a team we had to overcome challenges from round one. We had to rebound quickly to get back in the championship at Canberra, so everyone combined to get the job done by the end of round three we were back in front. Thank you to everyone on the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team and all of our great sponsors and partners. It’s easy to see why the team has such continued success and I can’t thank them enough for the work they put in.”
The dominance shown by Clout in the shortened series showed he rightly deserves the Pro MX crown. He also took out the prestigious Manjimup 15000 event in WA to go with his Pro MX victory. The improvement in his riding since returning to CDR Yamaha has impressed team owner, Craig Dack, who enjoys another national championship with his team.
“Luke raced with us in 2019 before heading to the US for the 2020 season, but I can see he has returned a more dedicated and determined athlete. He now has more focus and takes his role in racing seriously and as a result, this championship victory wasn’t a surprise to me. Coming off a moto DNF at round one to get back the championship lead two rounds later was an amazing achievement and a real test of his mental strength to fight when his back was against the wall.”
“He put the work in, surrounded himself with the right people and executed his role brilliantly. He deserved the 2021 Pro MX Championship because he earned it with hard work and dedication,” Dack said.
Teammate Hayden Mellross was in fifth place at the end of the third round after a consistent opening to the championship and well within striking distance of the lead group when the championship ended. Only 19 points separated the top five riders in the MX1 class. With Mellross looming large in the rear-view mirror of the four riders in front of him.
“Coming off a couple of major injuries the last 18 months, I was just beginning to find my feet with speed and fitness before the season was shut down. It’s a disappointing way to finish the year as I felt that I was on the upswing and had plenty more in the tank for the remaining rounds, but it was beyond anyone’s control and we just have to move on,” Mellross ends.