Features 9 Nov 2017

Top 10: AUS-X Open talking points

What you need to watch for in Sydney this weekend.

The 2017 Monster Energy AUS-X Open is just days away, and as expected, it’s anticipated to be the best edition yet. Hosted inside Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, the tight circuit is set to provide world-class racing with a selection of international and locals talents, while there’s also plenty of entertainment on offer. In this instalment of Top 10, MotoOnline.com.au has listed what you need to watch out for this Saturday and Sunday.

Image: AUS-X Open.

1. International talent:
As always, there’s a stack of international talent being brought in for the AUS-X Open, including Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson, plus Geico Honda’s RJ Hampshire. They’ll join fellow American AUS Supercross regular Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing), while the Penrite Honda Racing outfit has also drafted in Chris Blose in the SX2 category.

2. AUS Supercross title fight:
While the internationals are stealing the spotlight for the one-off weekend, the Australian Supercross Championship title fight continues, as the AUS-X Open will host rounds four and five of the championship. With additional riders and a tight circuit, it’s sure to prove as a pivotal stop in the championship, and everyone will be going hard to make the most of the situation.

3. Ricky Carmichael vs Ronnie Mac:
Motocross and supercross legend Ricky Carmichael and internet sensation Ronnie Mac will go head to head in the special 2-Stroke Showdown, which we’re tipping to be a fan-favourite affair. The pair have been dishing out insults via social media in recent weeks, so there’s plenty of hype between them heading into this weekend.

4. Shannons Shortcut:
Back once again is the Shannons Shortcut, which will most definitely play a crucial role in how the night pans out. It also brings in a little more strategy, particularly as this year it will allow riders to miss the challenging whoop section, which only gets run down and more difficult as the night progresses.

5. FMX Best Trick and Best Whip:
Alongside the world-class supercross racing will be the popular FMX Best Trick and FMX Best Whip competitions. Both are certainly crowd pleasers, and with Robbie Maddison, Jackson Strong, Pat Bowden plus others set to compete, it’s going to be an absolute thriller!

Image: AUX-X Open.

6. Pit Party:
The Pit Party is open to all fans, where they’ll have an opportunity to witness the bikes, trucks and setups of supercross, along with meeting riders, visiting vendor displays and experiencing entertainment. It’s a great way to get even more hyped for the event and a chance to witness the behind the scenes of it all.

7. AUS-X Million:
In one of the largest offerings for event attendees in Australia, the AUS-X Open is offering $1-million to fans who guess the correct order of results in the SX1 main event. The share is split up into two – $500,000 each night – where ticket holders who have a two-day pass can enter for both Saturday and Sunday, while individual day tickets can enter for their respective night.

8. Chad Reed signings:
While the legend Chad Reed is unable to compete due to an ankle injury sustained last month, he’s still make the long-haul to Aus in order the mingle with fans and sign autographs. He’s set to have a number of autograph sessions throughout the weekend, which will be a great opportunity for the crowd on-hand to meet the multi-time supercross champion.

9. KTM Junior Supercross Challenge:
A new addition to the event is the KTM Junior Supercross Challenge (KJSC), which will see 10 youthful riders between seven and eight years have the opportunity to ride in front of a packed out stadium. It will be great to see the next generation of riders on the big stage, who will all be kitted out in KTM Powerwear and racing aboard KTM 50 SX machines.

10. Morris Fiance Superpole:
In 2017, Morris Finance has jumped on board to support the event, offering a cool $1000 cash reward on each night for the rider who tops the Superpole session. The shootout will determine the starting order for the first six riders in the SX1 main event, and will be seeded from the heat race results.