Features 14 Nov 2017

Quotebook: 2017 AUS-X Open Sydney

Racer comments from the event at Qudos Bank Arena.

A selection of riders detail 2017 Monster Energy AUS-X Open in Sydney. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.

SX1

Image: AUS-X Open.

Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha) – Seventh and seventh overall:
It was just an average weekend and I have a lot to learn about racing these tight indoor events. I haven’t done the last two years here because of injury so it was new to me and I struggled with how tight the track actually is. That’s not an excuse and its something I must work on as high-profile events are important and doing well here on a double header can really set you up well for the championship. But I know I will be better next year here and I know what to prepare for. The CDR Yamaha team did a great job and it was awesome to race in front of such a huge crowd on both day.

Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) – Fifth and 11th overall:
I’m just really disappointed, especially after the Sunday final. The first crash is just something that happens from time to time, but the second was pure frustration and because I fell awkwardly, it took me a while to get going and I lost a heap of time. But, I can’t change things now, I can only learn from them and I will continue to work on some aspects of supercross that I think need to improve. I’m in third now, Justin is 20 points away while Dan Reardon is just two points ahead. The focus for the final round will be to just win the final and see what happens behind me. I was able to win a round last year and I feel like I have been riding supercross better this year so it would be nice to finish the season of strongly with a win at the last race of the year.

Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – Fourth and 10th overall:
I’m a racer and I want to win, Saturday night’s result was great being the second championship contender home, but I want to see one next to my name not four, it was a step forward of sorts from last rounds third place. Sunday’s final was one to forget really, after going down in the first turn, I was pushing hard to regain some flow and consistency, but forced some errors and kept me further down the running order. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the best event of the year.

Boyd Hocking (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – DNQ:
It was so good to race supercross again. After racing road bikes all year, it was awesome to go out and put in some laps against some of the best in the world. All in all, I’m pretty happy, I didn’t really have any expectations or pressure on me so I just had fun.

Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) – Eighth and third overall:
The first night was a difficult one to accept. We had great speed and I felt confident. After the first turn crash the bike was a little twisted and I rode as well as I could to salvage points. You can’t afford to make a mistake in these indoor events with such short lap times. The second night was a lot better and I raced with the championship in mind. I didn’t get the best start and I needed to change my strategy and race for the overall championship.

Joel Wightman (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – 12th and DNQ overall:
I just love racing the AUS-X Open event, it’s a race I look forward to all year long and it lived up to the hype once again. With the American imports the SX1 class was seriously stacked, but I had a great Semi on Saturday where I got the holeshot and stayed out front the whole race and took the win. This sent me through to Superpole and gave me sixth gate pick for the final. In the Final I had a decent start but got tangled up when Brayton, Waters and Anderson hit the deck in the first turn. After regathering I was at the back of the field but I felt like I rode a solid race and posted the seventh quickest time, but finished in 12th place. It was a frustrating result, because it was the second round in a row where I have been tangled up with another rider, but that’s racing, especially if you don’t put yourself in a good position off the start. I felt great on the bike on Sunday, but my starts let me down and that pretty much summed things up for me. I finished fourth in my semi, one spot off qualifying to the final. In the last chance qualifier I spun up on the mesh on the startline which had become filled with dirt, and that put me back and I had to come through to third, but on the last lap I crashed in the whoops when I was just going for it. Unfortunately that meant my night was over and I didn’t make the final. Still, AUS-X Open was a great event and now I’m looking forward to the final round of the Australian Supercross Championship this weekend at Jimboomba and wrapping up my rookie season on the 450 with a bang.

Luke Clout (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) – DNQ:
It was a bit unfortunate to be riding with a fractured finger and a fractured knuckle, it’s pretty hard, but I tried to do what I could. We had some good speed, but we kept making mistakes and that was because of the hand and it was a bit unlucky and unfortunate. I think it was a good year, obviously we had some crashes and stuff like that at the end, but that was because I was injured and we were struggling with some bike setup stuff. But other than that, we were pretty strong and we had a good year, we learnt and we built and that was what we had planned for this year.

Todd Waters (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) – 10th and DNQ overall:
For me it was a very disappointing weekend, but that’s unfortunately the way it goes – that one’s on me. I’ll now do my recovery stuff, have a few rides during the week and make sure I feel good and prepare myself well heading into Jimboomba. My main focus is on this last round and I just have to give it my best shot and that’s all I’m focused on. I want to make sure I’m in a good frame of mind, my body is good and I’m ready to go hard at the final round.

SX2

Image: AUS-X Open.

Chris Blose (Penrite Honda Racing) – Second and first overall:
The first night was hard! I was battling for the win and got held up by a lapped rider. It happens, but it was tough as I thought we could contend for the win. On the second night I came together with another rider and crashed. I got up as quickly as I could and went to work again. I was able to get into the lead and claim the victory. Overall it’s been surreal; I landed seven days ago to ride a bike I had never ridden or raced and worked with a team I didn’t know. What they did was nothing short of amazing. The Honda 250 is awesome and I am glad I could put it on the podium both nights.

Nick Sutherland (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) – 12th and 10th overall:
On Saturday I kicked things off with a good start in my Heat race, but I was riding super-tight and washed the front end in the tunnel on the third lap, which sent me to the Semi. In the semi I got a shocker of a start but just kind of hung in there and worked my way through to finish second, which put me into the final. In the final I started fourth and was feeing better on the bike, but was shuffled back to sixth and started to get into it, but then I dropped the front in the whoops and had a big one, which ended my night a little prematurely. I lead the first lap, but then I came together with another rider in a corner and snapped my brake lever. That meant I just had to ride around for the rest of the race and try to get an okay gate pick for the semi. In the semi I started in second place after just getting pipped for the holeshot and I rode safely to finish third and qualify for the final. I was running fifth in the Final, but coming into the tunnel a few of us came together and unfortunately I was down on the ground for quite a while.I came back to finish tenth, which was a little disappointing, but I’m happy to be heading to Queensland for the final round next weekend in one piece and determined to put in a big performance for the team and all my crew.

Jay Wilson (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Fourth and third overall:
What an awesome weekend – we have worked so hard to get back to where we are, and to reward those who have supported me with a podium at the biggest event in the country is so special. I have had such a rollercoaster couple of years and I’m not going to lie there has been moments where I wasn’t sure if I deserved to be doing this, but we dug deep and I’m so proud that we stuck at it and got a result like this. A fourth and a third is solid, and it’s put me in a podium position for this championship. We still have one round to go, and anything can happen so we will keep working this weekend and try and finish this season on a high note.

Morgan Fogarty (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – DNQ and 12th overall:
I’m stoked with how my first AUS-X Open went – I have always wanted to race this event and I’m really proud of what we achieved especially being my first indoor supercross. It was a shame that on Saturday night I wasn’t able to make it through to the main, but because I’m a rookie I ended up getting a lot of time on the track in the heats, semis’ and LCQ races so I just soaked it up and used the opportunity to learn as much as possible. On Sunday I got through to the main which was our goal for the weekend so I’m pumped. We have one round left and I really want to finish the season on a high.

Wilson Todd (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) – First and 11th overall:
It was a tight, short track which meant even the smallest mistakes had an impact on your entire race, but I felt really good all weekend, getting every holeshot and riding consistent to get that race win on Saturday night. Sunday I was feeling strong again winning my heat and getting the holeshot in the final, but when Blose hit me and we both went down, it bent the bike, making it really hard for me to attack the track and I dropped it a few more times trying to push forward.

Jackson Richardson (Serco Yamaha) – Third and second overall:
What a wild weekend! Anything can happen when we race indoors and especially at this venue where I ended up winning the championship last year. In dramatic circumstances. Wilson was too good on Saturday Night and deserved his win so I just tried to collect as many points as I could and was happy with third place. But Sunday was insane. There seemed to be bikes and riders going every where and tuff blocks were all over the track. I knew I had to get up front as fast as possible as I could see Wilson and Chris up front. Then when I came over the finish, I saw they had hit and Wil was on the ground and Chris was struggling to get going. I made some quick passes and then had a great battle to Jay Wilson to finally secure second. Its awesome to get the points lead after the weekend but with only five points, there is no time for rest. We have plenty of work to do during the week so I will take a day off and then get stuck into a big week to be 100 percent ready for the final round.

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