Eight points to keep an eye this weekend at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena.
The Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney returns for the 2018 edition this weekend at Qudos Bank Arena, and with a sell-out crowd on Saturday, we’re in for an incredible show. In this instalment of Countdown, we highlight eight focal points to keep an eye on as the event unfolds.
8. Celebrity Challenge:
Recently added to the schedule is the Yamaha Celebrity Challenge, which will see a selection of celebrities take to the track aboard Yamaha TT-R110s. The guest list is headed up by AFL star Brett Deledio, along with Supercars contenders Mark Winterbottom and Dale Wood, plus more athletes from around the country.
7. 2-Stroke Cup:
With a bunch of legends and former champions confirmed, the 2-Stroke Cup is set to be a crowd favourite! Everyone loves the sweet sounds of a two-stroke, and with guys such as Craig Anderson, Ryan Marmont and Danny Ham in the mix, it’s going to bring a sense of nostalgia to Qudos Bank Arena.
6. Ronnie Mac antics:
Always a fan-favourite, you just never what social media sensation Ronnie Mac will come up with. Last year he offered some humorous entertainment that lit up the crowd, and this year he’s entered in the 2-Stroke Cup – so something’s bound to go down! That’s not to mention the antics he got up to in the pre-event pit party…
5. Best Whip and FMX Best Trick:
A host of the world’s best FMX athletes will be on-hand for Best Whip and FMX Best Trick, and if previous years are anything to go by, they’ll be laying down some gnarly tricks for the sold-out arena. The full list of riders is still to be revealed, but as always, expect the biggest names in the sport to be in attendance.
4. International stars:
Somehow the AUS-X Open just keeps on getting better and better when it comes to bringing in world-class athletes for the one-off show. Australia’s very-own Chad Reed (Autotrader Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing) will be joined by current world number one Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing), Dean Wilson (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) and retired four-time supercross world champion Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Yamaha).
3. SX1 and SX2 title showdown:
Saturday night also marks the final round of the Australian Supercross Championship, and both the SX1 and SX2 classes are set to come down to the wire. Penrite Honda Racing duo Justin Brayton and Brett Metcalfe are separated by just six points in the premier class, while the top four SX2 contenders are within 13 points of the crown with Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) at the helm.
2. Triple Crown thriller:
For the first time, the Triple Crown format will be introduced at the AUS-X Open. The last two rounds of the Australian Supercross Championship have utilised the three-race format, and it’s delivered the best racing we’ve ever seen. Pair that up with the tight confines of the Sydney Olympic Parks venue and the fact it’s the largest supercross race in the southern hemisphere – you’ve got yourself a recipe for a thrilling night of racing.
1. Reed’s final race?:
Australian supercross legend Chad Reed is yet to sign a deal for 2019 in America, and he’s publicly stated that the AUS-X Open could very well be his final race before hanging up the boots. Reed’s attendance is always special and ignites the crowd like no other, and if it does indeed happen to be his final professional encounter, then it will be an incredible way to go out in front of a passionate home crowd.