Features 13 Nov 2018

Quotebook: 2018 AUS-X Open Sydney

Racer comments from the final round of AUS Supercross.

A selection of riders detail the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney, hosted at Qudos Bank Arena. Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon after events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.


Image: Supplied.

Jace Owen (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing) – Ninth overall:
Overall it’s been a good year here in Australia, coming off of a knee injury back home. I was looking forward to tonight in the arena, but – no excuses – I have been fighting sickness for the last month here and it’s been tough. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I just didn’t have it at all and wasn’t really up there, to be honest. This is a big race, there are a lot of guys from overseas and I’m satisfied to take fourth in the championship after tonight. Of course, third would have been nice, but we’ll take this result!

Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) – Fourth overall:
I am so happy to win three in a row. It’s what I came here to do and I am glad we got the job done. It wasn’t without its difficulties though – first my family got sick, then I got sick and I never fully recovered. I have battled pneumonia for most of the time I’ve been over here so it was tough for sure but it made the overall victory so much more gratifying.I feel lucky -I get to see the world and ride dirt bikes. I have met some amazing people through racing and it’s a bonus to win. I can’t thank Honda, Penrite and all of our sponsors enough but we aren’t done just yet. We still have a few races to finish this year as we head to New Zealand in a few weeks. My plan is to come back next year and defend my title. I want to keep doing this for as long as I can – if I am competitive and I am enjoying it, then I want to race.

Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) – Sixth overall:
Everyone wants to win but this is the next best thing and I am really pleased to be the first placing Australian too. The season has been strong – winning round four was certainly a highlight and gave me a solid confidence boost. It was important for us to get 1-2 in the title so we had our plans in place to ensure it was locked up. I’m so pleased for Justin to take the triple and for Honda to have this 1-2 finish, it’s amazing. Now we are focused on New Zealand to wrap up the year on top.

Dan Reardon (Yamaha Racing) – Third overall:
I love racing here in Sydney and these indoor style of events. Having international riders like Jason and Dean here inspires me to race at my best and I really enjoyed being in the battle with them tonight. Dean ran it up on me a few times during the night and he could have punted me a few times but I thank him for going easy on me and its always amazing racing when Chad is on the track. The atmosphere at this event is amazing and its cool to have so much fan interaction during the pit party. Thank you to AME and the other promoters for such as successful 2018 championship and I have really enjoyed this years’ series. I decided to do things a little differently this year and I have had a really good time at the races with a group of people who love going racing. Michael Marty has put in plenty of time and ensured my bike was in great shape every race and I thank everyone from Yamaha, DR Homes, Boost Mobile, Fasthouse, Dunlop and Oil Piping Systems who have backed my dream this year. It’s been fun. When I started putting this together, I really wanted to be on Yamaha as it’s the bike I feel most comfortable on and also the one I knew needed the least to make it competitive. Yamaha with the GYTR and Yamalube products were all I needed to make a bike good enough to race at this level and everyone who chipped in were passionate about assisting me and going racing. I learnt a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in a race team and how time consuming it can be. I appreciate the role people play in a race team more now than I did before this began and I appreciate the support given to me this year. I’m not getting any younger but racing events like the weekend and having positive people in my corner has been great for me and if Chad can keep racing at age 36, then maybe I can too.

Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Eighth overall:
Tonight I wanted a little better and was aiming for a top five finish with the international riders we had competing at the event. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get great starts in the first two races and there isn’t much chance of passing on a tight track like this as well as with the high quality of riders in the field. But in the final race, I was able to gate well, get into a pretty good position and finish in fourth which is a good result. It has been a frustrating series for me as I feel I have been riding well during the week, especially at the start of the championship, but I haven’t been able to turn that into podium results on the weekend. I have one more weekend in New Zealand to get on the podium so that’s my plan for the final race of the year.

Lawson Bopping (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – 10th overall:
It felt so good to be back with a major team and around the CDR Yamaha guys again. They take care of everything and all I need to do is just rock up and ride my bike. They are such a professional team and to be on a bike that is so well-prepared feels amazing. The speed of the finals got the better of me, but I loved racing tonight and loved the YZ450F. I will do New Zealand with the team and hopefully can go better and reward the CDR Yamaha team with a good result for their efforts and assistance of me for the last couple of races.

Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – Seventh overall:
It’s been a good season, although I do have some mixed emotions at the moment. I’m happy with my speed and the podiums toward the start of the series, but I have to minimise the mistakes. I always seem to make those mistakes when I’m going to the next level and I always seem to figure it out. Anyway, everybody seemed to have at least one bad race tonight, it was a decent way to finish the season. To be within a couple of tenths of the international guys was positive for me and this track is always gnarly. I’m happy to be out of here safe and now I look forward to New Zealand.


Image: Supplied.

Aaron Tanti (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing) – Eighth overall:
I’m happy to finish the year healthy and inside the top 10 in supercross. We’ve had some strong rounds for sure, but also some small mistakes along the way. Tonight was a hectic one with the Triple Crown races in a row, but we managed to finish all of them and now I look forward to 2019.

Jay Wilson (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Sixth overall:
I’m not going to lie, that was just terrible riding and the worst I have raced for in so long, but we got through the night, got the championship done and I just couldn’t be happier. I was nervous all weekend and then that crash yesterday really took it out of me but I was determined to be strong and win my first supercross championship. Last year at the same venue was where I got my career back on track so it’s awesome that I was able to win a championship here and I have so many people to thank that have helped me get back to this point. Everyone at Yamaha who supported in me and believed in me when I was down and out, our team that does an amazing job each week, especially Mike Ward and Josh Coppins, who always have my back and have always played a part in my success. Finally, I want to thank my wife and daughter for allowing me to do this and my family who were here tonight. It feels amazing to finally win this championship and it’s something I will remember for a long time. It was a stressful weekend and things got heated at times. but it was great racing with Hayden, Jacob and Wilson Todd and I want to also congratulate them on some great racing over the five rounds. I have really enjoyed racing them and we have kept it clean at each round and it’s been a lot of fun. Thank you everyone.

Josh Osby (Raceline Pirelli KTM) – Seventh overall:
Sydney didn’t pan out exactly how we would have liked, I have a lot of experience racing in stadiums so I went in really prepared, but the track on the weekend was actually quite different to what we have at home and it took a little while to adjust. We qualified really well and I knew the speed was there to win races, but it was more about the start than anything on the weekend. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to pass and our races were short. In saying that I have really enjoyed my time in Australia. The Raceline guys have gone above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and I have loved working with them. We had some really great moments together as a team including podiums, and finishing off the season at an event like the AUS-X Open is really special, I’ve always wanted to race that event. I can’t thank everyone enough who has welcomed me to Australia and although i didn’t exactly achieve what I set out to do, I’ve made some great friends and had an awesome experience so I hope to be back one day soon.

Jacob Hayes (Serco Yamaha) – Fifth overall:
I came to Australia to win this championship for Serco Yamaha and I gave it my best shot. 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.

Hayden Mellross (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Third overall:
I wanted that championship so much, but it just wasn’t to be. In the end, just six points separated myself and Jay (Wilson) and he rode well from the start, so congratulations to him and his team. As for me, I think I had a strong second half to the season, but the broken toes really took a toll on my points tally. I want to thank the entire DPH Motorsport family for having me back again this supercross season. It really is like a family, and they helped me, along with Marty, to adapt to the FC250 so quickly.

Dylan Wills (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) – Fourth overall:
What a way to finish the year. A huge stadium, packed to the rafters, and my best finish of the year. With a good start, I was able to battle for the lead and really showed some of what I’m capable of. While I still have more to work on and develop, I’m happy with how the weekend went for me. I can’t thank the team – Dale, Tash, Boyd and Pynee –enough for their support this year, along with my girlfriend, Craig Anderson and my family. I had the best equipment and support network around me this year.

Dakota Alix (KTM Motocross Racing Team) – DNQ:
This definitely wasn’t the way I was looking to finish the season, but unfortunately that crash in the heat race ended my night altogether. It has been a good experience racing in Australia though, there have been some high points for me during the series and I’m thankful for the opportunity from Jay and the KTM Motocross Racing Team.