Honda Australia press release:
It was a night of persistence and strength from Penrite Honda Racing at the Victorian round of the Australian Supercross Championship.
Justin Brayton and Brett Metcalfe raced like warriors to take 1st and 2nd respectively for the third round in a row. Bradley Taft, the teams sole 250cc rider took 4th overall after a crash in the final race robbed him of the win.
The crowd witnessed an intense night of racing and an extraordinary display of skill from Brayton, who unknown to all watching, was suffering from pneumonia and a stomach bug.
In race one Brayton took the hole-shot and raced to a commanding win over the field. Brayton then suffered a poor start in race two and had to work his way from last place, putting on a dominating display of riding to take 2nd place.
In the third and final race of the evening Brayton again grabbed the hole-shot and took the race win, resulting in 1 st overall for the round, making it 3 from 3.
“Wow, this round really tested me. I did not ride all week. I got sick, really sick and I genuinely didn’t know how tonight was going to play out. Whilst the second final wasn’t ideal, I will admit that I enjoyed the challenge of racing through the field. Metty is riding well and I am glad that we have placed Honda first in every final,” said Brayton.
“There is still a lot of racing left and many points up for grabs. You cannot give anything up in this Championship and that’s something really exciting for the fans and nerve wrecking for the riders. With 6 races across the two final rounds, I seriously need to maintain my focus and commitment. We will keep doing what we are doing, the team is working great and the new 19 year model CRF450R Honda is unreal.” Brayton finished.
Brett Metcalfe did not let a crash in his heat race deter his desire to win. In race one he pushed from the back of the field to take 2nd and in race two he took his first win of the Championship. In the final, Metcalfe finished 2 nd and the points gained from this round have him sitting 2 nd in the Championship.
“I am happy to take another 2nd but I really want to win. I am happy that my teammate is winning; it’s fantastic for all of our sponsors but I want to win and that’s what’s motivating me each week. I know we have the bike, Justin’s proving that. I just need to keep working at it,” said Metcalfe.
In the SX2, Taft qualified 1st and won his heat race. In race one, Taft was tested after a poor start and had to fight his way to the front of the pack, where he managed to finish 3rd. In race two, he had to push through the pack again, setting the fastest lap time on his way to a 2nd place finish.
Going into race three, Taft had a two-point advantage over the entire field. With the overall win in his sights and only a lap to go, he unfortunately crashed. The crash not only cost him the overall win but also a podium position. Taft finished 4th for the night and currently sits 5th in the championship, 3 points shy of 3rd.
This result is tough for me to accept. I made a small mistake, which cost us all greatly. I wasn’t trying to do anything reckless; we were racing for the overall. I know the team, the bike and I are capable of winning and I will turn my attention to the final two rounds,” said Taft.