News 2 Sep 2019

Empire Kawasaki signs American Taft for AUS Supercross

AMA Supercross regular to contest SX2 category in upcoming series.

Image: Foremost Media.

Empire Kawasaki has signed AMA Supercross regular Bradley Taft to pursue the SX2 title in the upcoming 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, which is due to commence on 12 October at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

The American, who raced the series in 2018 with Penrite Honda Racing before a hand injury saw his campaign come to a premature end, will take the seat made vacant by Pirelli MX Nationals MXD contender Deakin Hellier – the youthful talent set to use the closing half of 2019 to hone his skills in the discipline.

“Bradley touched base with us last year about doing motocross and supercross, we pretty much stayed in touch the whole time through email and it panned out we needed a 250 rider,” team manager Tyson Cherry explained to MotoOnline.com.au. “He was super keen to come over, so we ended up signing a deal with him six weeks, and now he’s here.”

The Victorian-based squad will continue to operate a three-rider team with regulars Dylan Long and Lawson Bopping, the latter still committed to series with the full backing of Empire Kawasaki despite undiagnosed health issues resurfacing throughout the year.

“At this point, Lawson will definitely be going to round one,” Cherry added. “He’s working through his illness, and I think it’s important we as a team stick by him – we don’t want to just say ‘you don’t have a ride anymore’. I think it’s important we stick by him going through this tough period of his career.”

Taft’s signing comes after an array of American rider announcements for the full Australian supercross series, such as Penrite Honda Racing duo Justin Brayton and Chris Blose, plus Serco Yamaha’s Jacob Hayes. A list of internationals have also been confirmed for the S-X Open Auckland and AUS-X Open Melbourne.

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