US riders go 1-2 at Toowoomba Australian Supercross round

Words and images by Marc Jones

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

After a four-year hiatus, Supercross returned to Toowoomba to embark on the second round of the Australian Supercross Championship. With the opening round falling almost immediately after the conclusion of the motocross series, the teams and riders relished the month-long break to get up to speed and dial in the bikes.  From the outset, racing was tighter than the opening round, and a technical track saw riders of all calibers down, and even on occasion out.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

The Lites class picked up where it left off at Jimboomba with red plate holder Gavin Faith setting lightning fast lap times in practice to back up his opening round win, but he was just shy of Hayden Mellross who stamped his authority early, qualifying fastest, showing he wanted to better his second place finish from Jimboomba.  Noticeably defending champion Jimmy Decotis seemed to have sorted out any issues he had in the opening round, which had him finish mid pack.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

The heats lived up to their name seeing Faith and Mellross toe to toe for seven laps. Faith managed to withhold the pressure to take the win, just a second ahead of Mellross. Dylan Wills was impressive taking out the third spot, a vast improvement for the former under 19’s champion.

The second heat was a one horse race as Jackson Richardson looked at home on the USA style track he’s grown accustomed too, spending the last few years overseas honing his skills. Kyle Webster finished a distant second, with privateer Tom Ravenhorst holding off the returning Nathan Crawford to claim third.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

The LCQ had title contenders Geran Stapleton and Josh Cachia fighting for the second chance to make the main after both fell victims to the rough and technical track in the heats. Unfortunately, the track once again got the better of Cachia who once again failed to complete the race. However, Stapleton was able to bounce back and take the win, even though he was left limping off the track in his heat.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

The flames erupted for the main, and it was Gavin Faith that raced to an early lead. Unfortunately for Faith, he’d go down hard early and run a few laps down to leader Jackson Richardson. With Nathan Crawford and teammate Wade Hunter hot on his tail, it was left to Hayden Mellross to plan out his race and pick off riders after starting just outside of the Top 5. Battling mid-race with Jimmy Decotis, a race through the whoops had Decotis cartwheeling along the track to end his night, and what would seem his championship hopes.

Mid-race saw Richardson out front with Mellross closing in on second, and a determined and battle-scarred Stapleton closing in on the third spot. Mellross put on the late race charge to pressure Richardson but came up short to finish hot on his tail. After starting from the second widest gate, LCQ winner Stapleton pulled off what would seem a miracle third spot ahead of Hunter and Crawford.

The win elevated Richardson into second place in the series behind Mellross, with Wade Hunter’s fourth place kept his close behind in third.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones - Jackson Richardson
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones – Jackson Richardson

The Australia vs. USA battle re-ignited in the Open class, with the inclusion of another import, Chris Alldredge, who replaced an injured Dylan Long on the Crankt Honda race team. From the outset the Americans meant business, taking the double in the opening heat, as red plate holder Justin Brayton and Wil Hahn would set their pace out front finishing 40 seconds ahead of Lawson Bopping in a distant third.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones

Heat 2 was redemption for the Aussie’s, who through Waters and Ferris mounted a charge to race away from Kyle Peters. Their constancy was the key to their pace, with Peters struggling to find a rhythm on the slick and technical track. Unfortunately for Chris Alldredge, his night ended early, getting taken away by Medics with suspected shoulder issues, which may end his run in Australia.

Kyle Peters
Kyle Peters

The time had come to settle the score; the gates dropped on the main event. Lawson Bopping would take the holeshot, closely followed by his Australian counterparts Dan Reardon, Todd Waters and Dean Ferris forming a guard behind. Brayton and Hahn rounded the corner near dead last, leaving them a lot of work to get through the field. Unfortunately for Bopping, he was unable to hang onto the lead, as Kyle Peters would grind it out behind Todd Waters, who seemed to be riding on rails on the challenging track.

Mid-race though the track bit back at Waters, leaving him down twice in two laps through the whoops. By this time Brayton and Hahn had worked their way through the pack to move out front and once again command the race. Ferris did everything he could to keep the leaders in check, passing Peters with five laps to go.  Although he was making ground on Hahn, their simply wasn’t enough time left to make a move, leaving Brayton to light the candles once again for back to back victories.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones - Justin Brayton
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones – Justin Brayton

A better ride for Hahn, with a drastic improvement on the opening round, showing how much the month-long break did for the riders. Ferris could keep his head held high with an impressive third place finish keeping him in the chase for the title. Hahn would bump himself into third in the championship, as Ferris remained in second behind Brayton.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones
Justin Brayton – SX1 – P1

“Following Round One I flew straight home to get some more testing done.  only had three days on a Honda before we raced in Jimboomba, so I was obviously lacked preparation. Sinse then I have been testing with the factory and I feel a lot more comfortable.  I have also been working on my fitness to fine tune my body for Supercross. The track this weekend looks good and I can’t wait to race.”

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones - Justin Brayton
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones – Justin Brayton
Dean Ferris – SX1 – P3

“I’m pretty happy with how things went tonight,” Ferris stated after the event. “The track was tough and the strong winds just added to that so doing perfect laps wasn’t possible. You just had to be strong. I tried to get onto the back of Wil but he rode the last half of the race really well while I made a few mistakes when I was in a position to make things happen. All up it’s still great to be on the podium and make it two rounds in a row. Thank you to the CDR Yamaha team for the effort and support and together we are working to get a win at one of these things before the year is out,” Ferris ends.

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Kyle Peters – SX1 – P4

“I struggled all night on the track and wasn’t quite in my groove, but I came out of there safe and with a fourth-place finish – I’ll take it. I’m not happy with it, I definitely want to get on the podium, and get a win before the season is over. Just not a lot of time on the bike, but the whole team was awesome and the bike was fantastic, I was just personally struggling with a few things and it hurt me in the long run. The whoops and the Dragon Back were the two places I was struggling with, they were really slippery and I just wasn’t committing enough coming in. It wasn’t really working out for me but I know I’ve got to work on and going to have a really big two weeks and come out swinging for round three.”

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Adam Enticknap – SX1 – P7

“Round One was a new experience for me. It was my first real race overseas and I was feeling tired all night.  The boys down under are fast and I wasn’t settled.  I have had time to prepare with the team and the testing has left me feeling a lot more comfortable. I also flew to Sweden to race, so I feel a lot more prepared and ready to show what I can bring to the track!”

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Jay Wilson – SX1 – P8

“Last night was not too bad for me. Heading in to the round, I was actually carrying an ankle injury that I sustained while training, but I was able to push through it on a very technical track and the team all worked super hard throughout the night to make sure I was as comfortable as possible,” Wilson shared. Being a track with a number of on, off sections, and a really spread out whoops section, the main goal of the night was to hit everything perfectly and minimise mistakes, which we did, and my Honda felt the best it’s ever felt.  Towards the end of the main event I was in quite a bit of pain which forced me to drop a couple of positions, but I’m confident that with two more weeks of training up our sleeves that we’ll be well and truly inside that top five by Adelaide.”

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones
Luke Wilson – SX1 – P9

“This round was tough. I don’t feel that I rode that well, but I wanted to ride smart and just put clean laps down which we did,” Wilson shared. I had a crash in my heat race and I corked my leg really bad which was giving me a bit of trouble, but we managed to get through. In the main, I pretty much just went lap for lap by myself, stayed consistent and it paid off. To finish inside the top ten and get some solid points for the team is good, and now I’m just looking forward to getting to round three.”

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson
Dan Reardon – SX1 – P11

“I’m not really sure what happened there, but I hear Todd Waters did the same thing just a few laps earlier,” Reardon explains. “We carry a fair bit of speed through the whoops and into that corner so when it goes wrong, it’s a pretty hard hit. I’m pretty sore at the moment but will get onto any aches and pains early in the week to ensure I’m good to go for the Adelaide round in two weeks.”

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Jesse Dobson – SX1 – P17

“We showed glimpses that we can be right up there but it was a bit of a domino effect with a few things. I qualified not too bad, but then in the heat I was trying to settle in second or third, when in the first rhythm I got landed on which put me down in the turn and bent my bike up. I was coughing up blood, so I went and got checked out in case I’d bruised my lungs, but they said it was just my tongue bleeding and I was fine to ride, so that was okay. I got the last gate pick and had a first turn crash. I felt like I was riding really well, I passed some good guys and got back into 10th. But through the long rhythm lane I spun up off one of the ‘offs’ and cased, which threw me down really hard. From there it was that bent up that I had to stand everywhere and roll around everywhere. It was tough to swallow.”

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Chris Alldredge – SX1 – DNF

“I’m obviously disappointed. In my heat race I was feeling really comfortable in third, and especially with only a couple of days on the bike, and never having raced a 450 before, I was feeling confident that we were going to have a great main event,” Alldredge shared. Unfortunately the whoops section caught out a lot of people on Saturday night and I was one of them. At this stage, we aren’t entirely sure of what is happening with my shoulder, so I’ll go and get it all checked out on Monday, and if I’m able to, I’ll definitely be on the line in South Australia in two weeks.”

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones
Todd Waters – SX1 – DNF

“We’ve been working hard during the week – our speed was good, and we managed to get the win in the heat race which was a good start to the night,” Waters explained. When we got in to the main, I got a good start and I pulled about an eight second lead on the field and next minute I knew I was on my head. I’m not really sure what happened, I was in control and riding a good race but it wasn’t our night. I had felt fast through that section all night, but it bit me and sometimes that’s just what happens.”

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Jimmy Decotis – SX1 – DNF

“I wasn’t myself at Round One- I was fatigued and made some costly mistakes. I am not making excuses, but in retrospect I should have flown in much earlier.  We have made the most of the break, which has led to improvements in both the motorcycle and my riding. We have a new engine and some other parts and the team has also flown in my mechanic.  I can’t complain and need to go out now and get the job done.”

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Jackson Richardson SX2 – P1

“I’m pumped to get the win tonight,” Richardson said from the podium. “I wasn’t even planning on racing supercross this year and then this opportunity came up with Serco Yamaha very late but I’m glad we were able to make it happen.  I haven’t been on the Yamaha long but the team have made me feel very comfortable right away and the bike is awesome. It was good to repay everyone with a win and can’t wait to race again in Adelaide in a couple of weeks’ time,” Richardson ends.

Australian Supercross 2016 - Toowoomba - Image by Marc Jones - Jackson Richardson
Australian Supercross 2016 – Toowoomba – Image by Marc Jones – Jackson Richardson
Wilson Todd – SX2 – P8

“Eighth isn’t great but it’s a start and I got through without any more injuries. My hand still hurts on some of the harder landings but we have another two weeks before the next round and it will continue to improve. It was also good just be on a race track. You can ride a practice track as often as you like but racing is where it’s at and I feel you gain more from being in a race environment so it was good to experience that again,” Todd explains.

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Wade Hunter – SX2 – P4

“Even though it caught me out a few times, I really liked the track tonight as it was tough to ride and kept you on your toes. The opening few laps were awesome with myself and Jackson out front but I got pretty loose on lap five and went down.  I only lost a couple of spots and was able to get back to fourth and not far behind third at the end.  So all up, not a bad night but I want to be back on the podium at Adelaide,” Hunter said.

Dylan Wills – SX2 – P7

“I’m feeling pretty good about this round – I’m not entirely happy with the full 15 lap main, but I’m pleased to get through this weekend injury free. The track itself was pretty crazy and we managed to get 7th overall,” Wills shared. The result isn’t exactly where I want to be, and I know I can be better but it’s just a matter of time – we’re building every time we go racing. The bike was awesome, and I’m feeling good in myself at the moment. I saw a lot of people go down this weekend, especially guys who are in the hunt for the championship, so to leave Toowoomba with a pretty good result and to finish healthy, we’re happy.”

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Jesse Madden – SX2 – P11

“I’m feeling good after this round. I got off to a pretty bad start but I was quite surprised with where I was sitting for most of the main event,” Madden shared. I managed to make a few passes, and the goal was just to get through each lap nice and clean for the full 15 laps. I started doing most of the sections in qualifying, and given that it’s my first race out on the four stroke, and I haven’t had a whole heap of time on the bike, I’m stoked to finish off the round just outside the top ten for the Raceline team.”

SX1 Round Results
  1. Justin BRAYTON
  2. Wil HAHN  +2.073
  3. Dean FERRIS +6.547
  4. Kyle PETERS +21.744
  5. Jay MARMONT +57.251
  6. Kade MOSIG +1 lap
  7. Adam ENTICKNAP + 1 lap
  8. Jay WILSON + 1 lap
  9. Luke WILSON + 1 lap
  10. Lawson BOPPING + 2 lap
  11. Daniel REARDON + 2 lap
  12. Boyd HOCKING + 2 lap
  13. Nicholas BRENNAN + 3 lap
  14. Damien HARRISON + 3 lap
  15. Nathan CRAWFORD + 3 lap
  16. Barry SURAWSKI + 4 lap
  17. Jesse DOBSON + 4 lap

DNF Todd WATERS – DNF Joel NEWTON – DNF Todd WATERS – DNF Joel NEWTON

SX1 Points
  1. Justin BRAYTON 50 Points
  2. Dean FERRIS 42 Points
  3. Wil HAHN 38 Points
  4. Daniel REARDON 30 Points
  5. Kade MOSIG 30 Points
  6. Jay MARMONT 29 Points
  7. Luke WILSON 26 Points
  8. Adam ENTICKNAP 25 Points
  9. Jay WILSON 25 Points
  10. Kyle PETERS 18 Points
  11. Todd WATERS 18 Points
  12. Boyd HOCKING 17 Points
  13. Barry SURAWSKI 14 Points
  14. Lawson BOPPING 11 Points
  15. Joel NEWTON 10 Points
  16. Nicholas BRESSAN 8 Points
  17. Damien HARRISON 6 Points
  18. Nathan CRAWFORD 7 Points
  19. Jesse DOBSON 4 Points
SX2 Round Results
  1. Jackson RICHARDSON
  2. Hayden MELLROSS +4.234
  3. Geran STAPLETON  +20.010
  4. Wade HUNTER +24.539
  5. Joel WIGHTMAN +35.501
  6. Nathan CRAWFORD +37.189
  7. Dylan WILLS +41.145
  8. Wilson TODD +48.42
  9. Jordan HILL +57.064
  10. Lewis WOODS +1.05.868
  11. Jesse MADDEN + 1 lap
  12. Kyle WEBSTER + 1 lap
  13. Tomas RAVENHORST + 1 lap
  14. Aaron TANTI + 1 lap
  15. Cooper POZNIAK + 1 lap
  16. Jamie HARVEY + 1 lap
  17. Connor TIERNEY + 1 lap
  18. James BROWN + 2 lap
  19. Brody CASSIDY + 3 lap
  20. Gavin FAITH + 5 lap
SX2 Points
  1.  Hayden MELLROSS 44 Points
  2. Jackson RICHARDSON 43 Points
  3. Wade HUNTER 38 Points
  4. Geran STAPLETON 36 Points
  5. Joel WIGHTMAN 27 Points
  6. Gavin FAITH 25 Points
  7. Jordan HILL 24 Points
  8. Lewis WOODS 24 Points
  9. Dylan WILLS 20 Points
  10. Aaron TANTI 17 Points
  11. Nathan CRAWFORD 15 Points
  12. Joshua CACHIA 15 Points
  13. Tomas RAVENHORST 15 Points
  14. Jimmy DECOTIS 14 Points
  15. Wilson TODD 13 Points
  16. Connor TIERNEY 12 Points
  17. Jesse MADDEN 10 Points
  18. Kyle WEBSTER 9 Points
  19. Wade KIRKLAND 9 Points
  20. Cooper POZNIAK 6 Points
Junior Lites Round
  1. Jye DICKSON
  2. Mason ROWE
  3. Blake COBBIN
  4. Joel CIGLIANO
  5. Riley DUKES
  6. Thomas GEALE
  7. Drew CIGLIANO
  8. Joshua BELL
  9. Ryda DEVESON
  10. Tyler DARBY
Junior Lites Points
  1. Jye DICKSON 125 Points
  2. Riley DUKES 119 Points
  3. Joel CIGLIANO 100 Points
  4. Thomas GEALE 98 Points
  5. Drew CIGLIANO 90 Points
  6. Joshua BELL 78 47 Points
  7. Tyler DARBY 77 48 Points
  8. Ryda DEVESON 70 Points
  9. Caleb GOULLET 60 Points
  10. Mason ROWE 58 Points
85cc Round
  1. Tyler DARBY
  2. Joshua ZORBAS
  3. Samuel NOONAN
  4. Jai WALKER 54
  5. Brock DEVESON
  6. Reece CRUTCH
85cc Points
  1. Tyler DARBY 140 Points
  2. Joshua ZORBAS 132 Points
  3. Samuel NOONAN 128 Points
  4. Reece CRUTCH 93 Points
  5. Brock DEVESON 92 Points
  6. Kipp ADAMS 56 84 Points
  7. Jai WALKER 54 86 Points
  8. Max BARRASS 43 Points