DEFENDING champion Wayde Carter put his best foot forward in the first of three 250cc 15-year-old class finals in the KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championships at Dooen Recreation Reserve on Thursday.
The Victorian won by 2.5 seconds over NSW's Dylan Heaton, with Queensland's Nathan Crawford in third spot.
Quantong's Cam Grayson received three points after finishing 18th.
Heaton has a five-point lead in the 125cc 15-year-old class with two finals left to race.
Crawford, 65 points, is in second spot after taking out the third final, while Carter is one point behind him.
Horsham's Daniel Purtle is in 28th place.
Queensland's Kaleb Barham has had a flawless four races in the 150cc 14 to under-16s, claiming the maximum 100 points.
Northern Territory's Tyler McCoy, 84 points, and NSW's Travis Silk, 80, are the only two who can catch Barham in the fifth and final race.
Warracknabeal's Cory Watts has shown plenty of promise and is in seventh spot.
Wonthaggi's Jed Beaton and Queenslander Wilson Todd are neck-and-neck in the 125cc 13 to under-15s after they swapped 1-2 finishes in the first two finals.
New Zealander Josiah Natzke rounds out the placing on 38 points, with the deciding race on early today.
Beaton and Todd are also in contention for the 250cc 13 to under-15s competition, but it's NSW's Egan Mastin who has the lead after race one of three.
Horsham's Jack Mentha is in 16th position and Watts is close behind in 20th.
The 150cc 12 to under-14s division is up in the air with one race remaining, with 10 points separating the top six riders.
Tasmanian Wade Kirkland has a seven-point lead after two races, while Netherby's Toby Marshall is back in 31st place.
Queensland's Mason Rowe is in the box seat for the 150cc nine to under-12s crown after winning the first two finals.
NSW's Rhys Budd is in second position after finishing runner-up in both races.
Budd, 72 points, is leading the 65cc 11 to under-13 class from Tasmanian Brodie Ellis, 69, with three out of five races completed.
Queensland's Deegan Mancinelli has four wins from four races and looks set to claim the 50cc seven to under-nine title, with fellow statesman Jackson Camilleri in second spot on 86 points.
Queenslander Jett Lawrence has an early advantage in the 65cc nine to under-11 division after a 4.5-second win over NSW's Caleb Clifton in race one of three.
Wimmera pair Solly Marshall and Bailey Thomas are 38th and 39th respectively.
Brad West is the rider to beat in the 65cc seven to under-nine division after the Queenslander won the first four races.
He leads NSW's Senna Agius by 22 points.
Emma Milesevic recovered from a slow start to claim races three and four in the junior lites 12 to under-16 girls division.
The Victorian leads by six points from NSW's Ashleigh McCormick, while South Australian Amy Bartsch rounds out the placings on 81 points with one race to go.
Queenslander Chelsea Carter is well on her way to becoming the 150cc 12 to under-16 girls champion after winning the first three races.
Victoria's Danielle Foot and McCormick are tied in second position on 58 points.
Racing resumes at 9am Friday with the fourth final of the 125cc 15-year-olds.
It will be the last of seven exciting days of motocross action at Dooen Recreation Reserve.