Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
Take 12 adrenaline fuelled dirt bike racers in an intense three final format, jam them into Qudos Bank Arena in front of 14,000 people, add an Australian championship on the line and some serious money at stake and you have the recipe for a wild and crazy night of supercross action.
And that’s exactly what played out at the fifth and final round of the Australian Supercross Championship that saw the full house sign go up on Saturday Night and some intense racing taking place as a star studded field took to the track in anger.
The night proved to a good night for Yamaha with Jay Wilson taking the championship win on his Yamalube Yamaha YZ250F, with Serco Yamaha’s Jacob Hayes and Wilson Todd, claiming third and fourth respectively. In the SX1 class Yamaha took three of the top 10 positions with Dan Reardon in third, Dylan Long fifth and Lawson Bopping in eighth.
To recap the night, view: https://youtu.be/lc9XibmHwyQ
In addition to the success on the track, plenty of Yamaha management, staff and dealers were on hand to witness the event as the AUS-X was also host for the 2018 Yamaha Dealer Reunion. There was the bLU cRU on the track, in the air and in the stands.
Craig Dack – CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team – SX1
“This series proved to be a tough one for CDR as injury struck us right from the opening race at round one with Dean Ferris out for the series. We felt Dean had a real shot at this years’ championship as he dedicated himself to it and was a goal he desperately wanted to achieve before going overseas. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, so we had to use Nathan Crawford and Lawson Bopping to keep our profile up on the track.
For Dylan it was a series where he just couldn’t get any momentum going. He would show some great speed in a race here or there but wasn’t able to maintain that level consistently enough to put him in the mix with the championship contenders. He was able to finish fifth what is a reasonable result given the level of opposition, but we had a goal of finishing on the podium for the championship and we came up a little short.
The AUS-X Open is a great event and the highlight of the year for our team and we look forward to taking a well-earned break and coming back in 2019 bigger and better than ever.”
Gavin Eales – Serco Yamaha – SX2
“The AUS-X Open is the race everyone on the team looks forward to and its always impressive to walk out for the first race of the night and see the arena full of people come to watch the racing. It makes for a great atmosphere and you can the riders lift for the occasion.
Our night wasn’t the best as although we went in as long shots, we still had a chance to get a championship or both guys on the podium for the series, but things didn’t work out that way. Wilson fell in the LCQ and that was the end of his night. Racing indoors is cut throat and one mistake can make you pay dearly and Wilson soon learned that as he wasn’t able to main the SX2 final and his championship was over.
Jacob was excited about this race as he had heard about it before and was very comfortable with this style of track. He rode well all weekend but any hope of moving up in the championship was over when he fell in the second final in a start straight pile up that saw three or four riders go down.
But, it was great having him here and he was a pleasure to work with. We know he enjoyed his time in Australia and would love to come back. He finished third for the championship in a good effort, but I think the experience has done him good and he would be a serious contender if he came back down again.”
Scott Bishop – Yamalube Yamaha Racing – SX2
“What a stressful night it was for us! Jay had an 11-point lead going into the final round but as with all these indoor events, anything can and usually does happen and there were plenty of twists and turns in our night before he got the championship safely in his grasp.
Jay was clearly nervous before the weekend but was riding reasonably well on Friday, but he fell during qualifying and hurt his wrist and hip leaving him sore and sorry on Saturday. He then didn’t make main event via his heat and no one likes to race the LCQ but he just scraped through to the final and we were back in the show.
The three final format is an intense affair as after each race we were desperately working out the points, trying to keep Jay focussed on the job and ensuring the bike was ok. In the end, he got it done and I’m proud of the effort the entire team put in and it’s a great achievement for Mike and Jay, who work so well together.
Our only bad news for the weekend was Richie wasn’t able to ride as he hurt his thumb in the days leading up to the event and simply didn’t have the strength to hold on.”
The 2018 is all but over and Yamaha Racing would sincerely like to thank the riders, teams and team partners who have made this year so successful for Yamaha. A quick reflection back on the racing season shows it to be a great year for Yamaha on the track with success in nearly every championship but also off the track with a range of new models introduced.
Yamaha will return to racing in 2019, with team and rider announcements due in the coming weeks.