News 11 Nov 2017

Dramatic Saturday AUS-X Open win for Wilson on debut in Sydney

Championship tightens as Brayton battles to seventh in SX1 main event.

Image: AUS-X Open.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson made a glorious return to the top step of the podium in Saturday’s opening night of the 2017 Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney, round four of the Australian Supercross Championship.

The first time we saw the SX1 bikes on track tonight was in heat one, and Wilson worked his way by Dan Reardon (Mega Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) early to go onto a 3.6s victory.

Former champion Reardon kept Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha) at bay for second, as Nick Schmidt (Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki) and Todd Waters (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) were fourth and fifth respectively. Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) recovered from an early fall in the tunnel for P7.

American duo Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) put on a show in SX1 heat two, but it was the headline guest Anderson who was able to fend number one plate-holder Brayton off for a 0.3s victory.

Behind them Jesse Dobson (Penrite Honda Racing) went third, with Nathan Crawford (Mega Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki) and FMX ace Robbie Marshall (Honda) the top five. Luke Clout (Crankt Protein Honda Racing crossed the line fifth despite a crash, while Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) and RJ Hampshire (Geico Honda) both fell victim to falls on the first lap.

It was an entertaining fight for victory in the first SX1 semi-final, as Penrite CRF Honda Racing’s Joel Wightman rode a composed race to lead Long and Mosig across the line. Just 2.2s separated the top five, including Waters and Schmidt.

Out of the gates it was Clout who led the way, however he went down entering the tunnel and that saw Ferris take charge at the front. From there he stretched out a 1.4s lead, topping Crawford and Dobson. Hampshire also encountered troubles, dropping him well down the order and ultimately out of the race.

Out front in the SX1 LCQ main event was Waters and that’s where he stayed, trailed across the line by American rising talent Hampshire as those two made the main event later tonight. Behind them was Clout, who traded blows with Schmidt – the latter coming off second best but neither made it through in the end.

An intense SX1 class main event saw Wilson return to the top of the podium in a Rockstar Energy Husqvarna 1-2, but he had to work for it throughout the 20-lap final.

It was Australian rookie Crawford who took the hole-shot and led the opening five laps after capitalising on the Shannons Shortcut and stretching a lead, before teammate Reardon took charge on the sixth lap. He controlled the race for the next five laps, until Wilson made the pass directly after the whoops and that was where he remained.

From behind though, after going down in the first turn, Anderson charged to second after moving by Reardon in the closing laps. Behind the podium trio, Mosig put up a solid fight for fourth, while Ferris edged Crawford for fifth.

Next came Long in his first AUS-X Open appearance as the final rider to make the entire 20 laps. It was a difficult final for Brayton, who also went down in the first turn, eventually going a lap down and only crossing the line in P7. Still, in the standings, he leads by 10 points from Ferris, with Reardon a further six in arrears in third.

Night two of the 2017 Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney will mark the fifth and penultimate round of AUS Supercross, where Brayton will be eager to bounce back to solidify his place at the top of the 450 standings.