Marc Jones reports in from Sydney as Aus-X Open prepares to go down
This weekend the best supercross riders in the country hit Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney to take on the all American assault, headed by Jason Anderson and Justin Brayton.
The Aus-X Open is a unique event which attracts international attention, bringing together the worlds best athletes providing a must-see spectacle for fans of the sport. The likes of Ryan Villopoto, Cooper Webb, Ricky Carmichael, and Australia’s own Chad Reed have been previous draw cards to the event.
This year sees Carmichael return for an exhibition race with everyone’s favourite redneck Ronnie Mac, while Chad Reed is appearing but unable to ride due to an ankle injury sustained while preparing for the Red Bull Straight Rhythm.
This year, Jason Anderson enters the arena for the first time, after a successful year racing in the AMA Supercross. A former race winner, he’s arguably one of the best Supercross races in the world and is favourite to take the win this weekend. He’s not saying he’s got it in the bag though and is well aware of the competition.
“The competition is full of good guys. I raced with Dean Ferris in our Summer when he came over, and Justin Brayton is always up there. You’ve got Todd Waters who’s podiumed at MXGP’s before, so they’re fast that’s for sure.”
Another rider making their Australian debut is Scottish born rider Dean Wilson. After entering this year without a ride, Wilson and his dad traveled America racing off their own back before Factory Husqvarva gave him a ride on their team. He went on to have a great season, earning him a ride with the team again in 2018. After riding the track for press day, he feels comfortable and is excited to be at the event.
“Being in Australia is awesome. I’ve seen the Aus-X Open over the years and was really happy to get the call to come down. I just rode press day and got a feel for the bike, and the track was good. I’m looking forward to getting out there.”’
Throw in the mix current points leader Justin Brayton, who after three rounds hasn’t dropped a point. Last year he gave Chad Reed a run for his money and could upset Anderson if all goes his way.
Leading the charge for Australia is CDR Yamaha duo Dean Ferris and Dylan Long. Ferris has ridden exceptionally well, keeping Brayton in his sights but went down with a group of riders at the last round, but battled back to finish just off the podium. Long has been the biggest improver throughout the series, leading the first race at Jimboomba before crashing, then working his way to a second place finish last time out in South Australia.
The SX2 class is now a wide-open affair after both front-runners, Hayden Mellross and Gavin Faith suffered injuries, forcing them out of the title hunt. Faith returned home to America last week to have surgery on his injured wrist, but for Mellross it will be a welcome return after missing the last round due to injury.
This leaves the title hunt open, but the chase is spearheaded by Wilson Todd, who after taking his maiden podium at round two, took the win last time out, boosting him into the points lead if you discard Faith who is now out of the series.
One rider chasing him down though is defending champion Jackson Richardson, who made his way onto the podium for the first time this year at South Australia. Both riders are hungry for the title, but with a large contingent of riders following them closely, it could be anyone’s game come main event time.
SX1 Championship Points
1. Justin Brayton 75 Points
2. Dean Ferris 62 Points
3. Dylan Long 54 Points
4. Daniel Reardon 52 Points
5. Todd Waters 50 Points
6. Kade Mosig 43 Points
7. Nathan Crawford 43 Points
8. Luke Clout 40 Points
9. Nick Schmidt 33 Points
10. Daniel Herrlein 32 Points
SX2 Championship Points
1. Gavin Faith 63 Points
2. Wilson Todd 61 Points
3. Jackson Richardson 59 Points
4. Dylan Wills 52 Points
5. Jay Wilson 47 Points
6. Mitchell Evans 38 Points
7. Connor Tierney 35 Points
8. Geran Stapleton 33 Points
9. Taylor Potter 30 Points
10. Aaron Tanti 29 Points