Wonthaggi MX Nationals runner-up now championship leader.
Considered a supercross specialist by many, Hayden Mellross has shaken the title by earning the premier class championship lead after landing on the podium today at Wonthaggi’s second round of the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals.
The Raceline KTM Thor talent promoted himself to the premier class in his return season to the MX Nationals this year, his first full outdoor campaign since 2014 following a number of years contesting the AMA Supercross series.
Finishing second at Appin’s mud-filled season-opener two weeks ago, Mellross was eager to prove his podium result wasn’t by chance, blitzing Wonthaggi’s challenging conditions with a supremely consistent 3-3 scorecard for runner-up honours, and most importantly, being granted the red-plate.
“I always feel like I’m out there to win, but the way my career has panned out, I’ve been predominately a supercross rider -that’s just the way my career has gone,” Mellross explained to MotoOnline.com.au. “Having the opportunity to race here in the MX Nationals with a great team is awesome.
“Leading into Appin I thought I was going to be a strong contender, but I guess from articles and podcasts, I was flying under the radar – a lot of people didn’t know what to expect out of me. With Appin being a mudder, I think they were pointing fingers a little – ‘it was a mudder, it was a fluke’.
“I felt a little gutted, and if anything, it motivated me in the last couple of weeks. We came here with one goal, and we succeeded – that was to have the red-plate and the championship lead. There are still eight rounds, it’s a long season and half of these tracks are quite new to me compared to some other guys.”
The New South Welshman came within moments of securing a career-first overall victory in the division today, however a mistake in the dying stages of moto two while hunting down leader Todd Waters (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) ultimately denied him of the opportunity.
“I saw we were at the halfway point from my mechanic, so I threw the hammer down, tried to switch it up, make the pass on Clout and was then all over Waters,” he added. “I guess I was trying to put a lot of things to rest from over the last couple of weeks, and I guess get a little redemption.
“I was trying hard and pushing, but I made mistake, crashed, got back up and finished third for second overall. Now I have the red-plate – I’ve never had the red-plate before in the MX1 class, so it’s unbelievable. My team has never had never had the red-plate in the MX1 class, so to reward them is unbelievable.”
Former points leader Waters suffered a mechanical DNF in the opening moto, relinquishing the red-plate, and bounced back in the moto two to claim the win.