Men from the north of the state occupy three of the top four spots in the Queensland MX Championships' premier class, after the opening shots were fired at Six-Mile Raceway, Rockhampton, over the weekend.
Husqvarna's Caleb Ward was a last-minute entry into the series, but staked an early claim for the Queensland #1 plate with two closely-contested victories over Mitch Evans in the weekend's two motos.
Ward fended off the advances of the man currently lying second in the MX Nationals, winning by less than two seconds in race one, and less than a second in race two.
Only Toowoomba's reigning Queensland #1 plate holder Kaleb Barham could prevent a complete whitewash from the northerners, claiming the final podium position.
Barham couldn't match the outright speed of the two MX Nationals premier class top-fivers, but triumphed on a countback over last-year's Vice Champion - TNQ Champion Luke Weaver.
The strong and enthusiastic crowd also witnessed Veteran Robbie Marshall finish a single point behind Barham and Weaver, after finishing third in the opening moto.
The round was well-run by the Rockhampton and District Motocross Club, and showcased the depth in the sport as several of last year's top tens were forced to battle ferociously inside the top twenty.
The physically demanding conditions also showcased the sublime cardio fitness of the likes of Barham, Weaver, Mason Rowe and Zak Small, all of whom finished in the top ten of both championship classes at the end of five, 20-minute motos.
In the QMX2 championship, Kaleb Barham looked well on track in the defence of his crown after winning the first two motos, but got caught up in a tangle on the start straight in the final race, and was one of three riders to go down.
He salvaged ninth to finish the day a single point behind round winner Bailey Malkiewicz, while Zak Small was third, ahead of Richie and Joel Evans.
Full results are right here
MQ thanks photographers Bruce Cairns (who supplied Ward and Malkiewicz pics here) and Scott Waye, as well as videographer Zane Dunlop.
QMX1 Championship points after round 1 of 2:
1 Caleb WARD 70
2 Mitch EVANS 64
3 Kaleb BARHAM 56
4 Luke WEAVER 56
5 Robbie MARSHALL 55
6 Mason ROWE 50
7 Zak SMALL 49
8 Joel RIZZO 45
9 Beau DARGEL 43
10 David MOLONEY 41
QMX2 Championship points:
1 Bailey MALKIEWICZ 93
2 Kaleb BARHAM 92
3 Zak SMALL 90
4 Richard EVANS 85
5 Joel EVANS 84
6 Isaac FERGUSON 74
7 Jake WILLIAMS 70
8 Luke WEAVER 70
9 Jayce COSFORD 67
10 Mason ROWE 60