News 14 Nov 2016

Richardson stunned with SX2 title win after AUS-X Open

Cards fall Serco Yamaha rider's way in thrilling end to the season.

Image: AUS-X Open.

Image: AUS-X Open.

North Queenslander Jackson Richardson was a shock winner of the 2016 Australian Supercross Championship in the SX2 ranks, still coming to terms with his success after a mechanical robbed title rival Hayden Mellross of the crown.

An 11th-hour deal with Serco Yamaha saw American-based Richardson return home for the supercross season and he fought hard all season, which was enough to capitalise on the misfortunes of DPH Yamaha rider Mellross at AUS-X Open.

Richardson clawed back points with the runner-up on Saturday evening and then matched that result again on Sunday, despite being back as far as eighth at the conclusion of the opening lap. It was a championship ride aboard his factory-backed YZ250F.

“I couldn’t believe it when they said I had won it,” Richardson said. “I saw that Hayden was on the side of the track on that last lap, but I thought he maybe just crashed and that he would get going and would get the championship, but obviously something major happened and he was unable to get his bike going.

“I’m devastated for him and it can be a cruel sport sometimes. He is a great guy and an awesome rival and I know he will win championships in the future. We came into the last two rounds nine points behind, I made a couple up on Saturday night and all I wanted to do is just keep fighting and not give up on it. We had some luck in the end, but it’s awesome to win this championship.

“I can’t thank the Serco Yamaha team and everyone at Yamaha enough for giving me this opportunity. It was a last minute deal but the team has been great and riding the YZ250F is amazing. My family’s at home for all the years of support and we have worked hard for this so it feels unreal – I still can’t believe I won.”

Standing trackside while all the drama unfolded was team manager, Gavin Eales, who was rattling every points scenario through his head trying to work out the results as the riders sat blank faced in front of him.

“I’m so proud of my team and the work we have done over the past couple of months,” beamed Eales. “We had a terrible motocross season, but we were determined to turn it around and it’s awesome to rebound with this championship.

“I feel terrible for Hayden, he rode like a champion all weekend and he was desperately unlucky to not get it done tonight, but at the same time, congratulations to my guys for never giving up. We had three riders in this year’s championship and even though Wade [Hunter] and Wilson [Todd] missed rounds, we still finished with 1-5-6 in the championship because everyone did their job.”

Richardson was a picture of consistency in the SX2 title-chase this season, finishing fourth at Jimboomba, winning Toowoomba, fifth in Adelaide, second at Avalon and both rounds in Sydney to capture the championship.