Highs and lows from Bathurst's round one of supercross.
MotoOnline.com.au pulls out the microscope and takes a closer look at some of the standouts and disappointments from an eventful opening round to the Australian Supercross Championship at Bathurst, NSW.
Matt Moss: Despite missing the vast majority of 2015 with bad luck and injuries, two-time defending champion Matt Moss has returned with a bang. The Team Motul Suzuki gun has picked up right where he left off last year’s flawless supercross championship extending his streak of stadium/indoor victories to seven (those with good memories will remember he won the 2013 finale at Toowoomba). His comeback straight into searing form (he won his heat by over 11 seconds) will cause some sleepless nights for the rest of the SX1 field.
Dan Reardon: The element of surprise has officially been lost now. CDR Yamaha’s Dan Reardon has come out of hiding and already established himself as a viable threat for the championship. With a simmering feud between Moss and Reardon now out in the open on the track, we expect there to be some fireworks between the pair over the remaining rounds. There was a taste of it in the heat race at Bathurst where they made contact, but with Reardon now proving he has what it takes to throw all manners of cats among pigeons, the stage is set for more battles up front.
Jimmy Decotis: A last-minute ring-in for the Penrite Honda Racing team as their SX2 rider, American Jimmy Decotis has wasted no time coming to grips with Australian racing. He seemed to revel in the conditions and the brutal Bathurst track as he overcame a mid-pack start to hunt down and pass Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout for the SX2 win. His best lap was a searing 1m05.793s, more than a second quicker than Clouty’s and was only beaten by three SX1 riders. Shots have been fired across the bow – if Decotis gets a good start, he’s likely to show the rest of the pack a clean pair of heels.
The Dylans: Expectations on the shoulders of Dylan Long (SX1) and Dylan Wills (SX2) were heavy heading into Bathurst. They’re both proven supercross riders (Wills won the SXD championship last year) and have much to play for. Things went awry for both of them though. Long was taken down in the second turn of the main event and bent his front braking disc so bad he couldn’t continue and Wills battled with fogging goggles for the entirety of his main as he toughed it out for top 10 result. Both will be eager to start afresh at round two at Jimboomba.
The schedule: As was the case last year, the program schedule for the opening round of the championship went way out the window. The final motos didn’t start until after 10:30pm, meaning mum and dad had to leave with the kids before the climax of the evening. Seating and spectator viewing spots were also at a premium, with some people expressing disappointment at having to stand six deep on a flat field and not being able to see much of the action.
Taylor Potter: After winning the final round of the 2014 championship at Brisbane, many eyes were on Melbourne’s AMA Supercross regular Taylor Potter to see if he could follow through with the goods. He couldn’t. The wet weather preceding the event saw the track get chopped up hard, which didn’t suit him at all and he admitted that he “really struggled”. A ninth in his heat saw him scrape through to the main, but once there he failed to fire a shot, eventually finishing 13th.