Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
Jacob Hayes completed his Australian stint with the Serco Yamaha team by taking third in the SX2 division of the Australian Supercross Championship after the final round of racing was wrapped up on the weekend.
The US import was drafted into the Serco Yamaha team to fill in for the injured Nathan Crawford and made a good fist of things in the three month stay that saw him finish third in the final standings of the SX2 class, behind Jay Wilson and Hayden Mellross.
Hayes came into the final round showing improved form on the back of two podiums at the previous rounds and confident of a good result at the final round with the indoor track similar to what he has competed on in the US for the past few years. He was just 13 points from the championship lead, but a good night could have changes things drastically for the 2018 AMA Arenacross champ.
After comfortably qualifying through to the 12-rider main event, Hayes had three seven lap races in front of him to try and claw back as many points as possible on his championship rivals. Main event one started positively for Hayes who overcame an average start to finish fourth but more importantly ahead of both Wilson and Mellross.
Race two and his championship hopes were dashed just 25 metres from the start line when he was involved in a three rider pile up on the front straight that saw him down for some time and almost a lap down before he re-joined the race. He limped home in an 11th place finish battered and bruised.
Again, his start wasn’t great in the final race, but he charged on to the end to take a fifth-place finish and his 4-11-5 results gave him fifth for round and he secured third for the championship.
“I came to Australia to win this championship for Serco Yamaha and I gave it my best shot,” offered a slightly disappointed Hayes. “It took me a couple of rounds to get adjusted and settled in, but I thought I rode well at Geelong and Adelaide and was really starting to find me groove.
“Tonight was just a tough night where I had to lay it all on the table and see what happened, I wasn’t going to roll over and hope things would go my way. The crash on the start straight was just part of racing as a few guys locked bars and it all got pretty messy after that. Unfortunately, I was at the bottom so that was the end of any chance of making up those lost points.
“Still, I had a great time here in Australia and I can’t thank Gavin Eales and the Serco Yamaha team enough for their support of me while down under. I have met some amazing people and raced some great riders and I hope it kicks starts my season in the US as I now return home to race for the Rock River Yamaha Team in the US,” Hayes said.
Team mate Wilson Todd also had a night he would like to forget after failing to qualify for the 12 rider SX2 final. Todd was fifth in his heat and had to go to the Last Chance Qualifier where a fall while leading the race but him out for the night and out of any championship podium positions.
Todd finished fourth in the championship with 6-3-1-5-DNQ results.
“I just don’t know what to say. I can’t believe what happened and I’m devastated,” said a dejected Todd later that night.
The AUS-X Open was the final commitment the Serco Yamaha team has for 2018 and will now take a well-earned break after a season that saw them win the 2018 MX Nationals as well as the podium position in the Australian Supercross Championship.
Stand by for coming announcements for their 2019 plans.