2019 Australian Supercross Championship
Round One – Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Words & Images by AM
Americans Justin Brayton and Jacob Hayes made it an American double victory at the opening round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday the 12th of October.
Justin Brayton topped both SX1 finals to claim the full 25 championship points and the series lead for Penrite Honda. CDR Yamaha’s Daniel Reardon took second overall on 22-points thanks to 3-2 results across the two mains and CDR team-mate Luke Clout completed the podium on 20-points after posting 4-3 results.
American Josh Osby won the opening SX2 Final ahead of Serco Yamaha’s Aaron Tanti and Jacob Hayes. Hayes was victorious in the second bout to take the championship lead after Osby only managed a fifth place finish in the final race.
23-year-old Sydney-sider Aaron Tanti (2-3) was second for the round while Penrite Honda’s Chris Blose (4-2) rounded out the overall podium.
Penrite Honda Factory Racing’s Justin Brayton started his perfect night by setting the fastest time of 22.526-seconds in qualifying, with CDR Yamaha’s Luke Clout within half-a-second with a lap time of 22.994s, and CDR Yamaha team-mate Dan Reardon third fastest.
SX 1 Heat 1
(Top Four to Mains / 5th-9th to B-Main)
The opening SX1 heat was dominated by Clout, the Yamaha pilot grabbing the holeshot and leading from start to finish.
Husqvarna privateer Jesse Dobson momentarily held down second position until he ran into trouble, allowing current MX1 National Motocross Champion Todd Waters and his DPH Husqvarna to move into second place, with Empire Kawasaki’s Lawson Bopping in third.
Yamaha Yamalube’s Richie Evans and SB Suzuki ECSTAR racer Jayden Rykers were locked in a race-long battle for the fourth and final transfer spot, with Rykers sealing the deal with a forceful pass in the final lap of the race, leaving Evans on the ground and off to the B main.
SX 1 Heat 2
(Top Four to Mains / 5th-9th to B-Main)
Penrite Honda’s Brett Metcalfe led the second heat early on ahead of the Davey Motorsports KTM machine of Caleb Ward, but both riders soon had to deal with Brayton, the current three-time Australian SX champ quickly making his way around Ward and latching onto his team-mates’ back wheel.
With three laps remaining, Brayton made a decisive move by Metcalfe to take the race win. Empire Kawasaki’s Dylan Long looked as though he was happy to settle for fourth and final direct qualifying position, but with just two laps to go Reardon – who had crashed on the opening lap – closed in on his back wheel, forcing Long to make a move on Ward for third.
On the final lap, Reardon was also able to move around Ward, securing himself a spot in the night’s double-header main event, while Ward was forced to the B-Main that would also double as the last chance qualifying race.
SX 1 B-Main
(Top 2 to Finals – 3rd-10th awarded 11th to 18th for the round)
With all racing providing bar banging action across the night, the expectation for the B-main with only the top two riders progressing to the nights A-mains was for an all-out war for the final two spots in the night’s big event.
However, it was not the case as Richie Evans and British racer Gradie Featherstone aboard his KSF Yamaha rounded the opening turn in first and second positions and held those spots comfortably until the end of the race.
Caleb Ward once again held down third spot until the final lap where he was passed by Honda Red rider Joel Wightman, leaving them 11th and 12th overall for the round.
SX 1 Final 1
Justin Brayton once again led home his Australian competition, taking the lead from the start, with Lawson Bopping and Brett Metcalfe in tow.
On lap three Metcalfe moved into second position and was able to keep Brayton in sight, but Brayton was too good – winning by just over four-seconds, Metcalfe in second position and Dan Reardon third.
Luke Clout recovered from a bad start to climb his way through to fourth, with Bopping holding on to finish in fifth position.
SX1 Final 2
In a repeat of the opening final, Brayton jumped to the race lead early, with Metcalfe once again on his rear wheel along with Reardon.
The race out front quickly became a two-horse race after Metcalfe came off second best in a battle with Reardon that left the South Australian on the backside of a berm and scrambling to get back on track.
Back out front Brayton ran away to another four-second win to cap off a perfect night of racing for the American.
“That was awesome, to be honest, it was a big relief to get that one out of the way. You never quite know coming into round one, I have done a lot of preparation myself, but you can never underestimate these guys, with the guys next to me and riders like Metty, the list is long. I just love coming over here, thanks to everyone welcoming me, this is my fourth year and it is my families second home, thanks for Penrite Honda and Yarrive for having me every year, it has been fun.”
Reardon held on to second place for the race and an amazing second-place finish overall after being on the ground at the start of the first final.
“We will take second place, the indoor race can be a funny round, it can be a little bit excitable and as I said coming in, standing on the box regardless of the position would be good. Your night can turn upside down pretty quickly. The whole day went pretty good, I had some ups and downs and I did not ride that good in the first final and it sort of lingered into the second one, but we will take it.”
Rounding out the podium for the round was Luke Clout with a third-place finish in the second Final.
“We had a couple of crashes in practice, but it’s always good to get those out the way in practice while learning the track and pushing the track. I am a little bit angry with myself, I didn’t get off to the best starts, but my riding was pretty good, so I have to go back and keep working. It has been a stressful week this week, you can definitely lose a championship at the first round, even more so at an indoor round, so to come out of here with a third, and being on the box is as good as a win for me.”
Metcalfe recovered to finish fifth in the second final, ending the night fourth overall, one position ahead of Dylan Long who quietly went about finishing an impressive fifth overall for the round, thanks to a fine fourth place finish in the final race of the night.
SX1 Results and Standings