Penrite Honda Racing rider recalls victory at Brisbane's AUS Supercross.
Three-time reigning champion Justin Brayton kickstarted his title defence with a dominant victory at Brisbane’s opening round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship on Saturday, earning wins across both main events in the tight confines of the entertainment centre.
A perfect start to the season and your title defence…
Yeah, it’s always good to start off with a win like that at round one. I’m just stoked – you never quite know coming into round one, just with not racing for a while. It’s awesome and big relief to keep the red plate and start off with a win like that. The way I did it – the way I rode, the patience I had and the start I got in both finals – I’m just proud of myself. There’s a lot of pressure on that red-plate every year, it doesn’t get any easier. I know Dan [Reardon], Luke [Clout] and Brett [Metcalfe] are as prepared as they’ve ever been, and those guys have been riding really good. I’m not going to take it for granted, that’s for sure. I’m just stoked to get that win.
The execution is pretty important in the tight confines of this arena, isn’t it? Just getting all those little things right.
For sure, you have to execute from top to bottom. Even in qualifying this morning, I knew the first time when the wheels hit the track at an event like this you’d have to throw down and be on your game. I knew how important Superpole was, so I had to get that – there were a couple of gates that I wanted, and I was able to do that and get hole-shots in both mains. It was huge and made my life so much easier. I knew if I could get out front, I could win – you just never know what’s going to happen if you start third or fourth. I’m glad I controlled my own destiny, and that was the goal today. Now it’s time to reset and go into Adelaide.
We spoke earlier, and next year you’re on the factory Honda team in the US, and the bike here is pretty special as well. Did you learn much tonight in terms of that? You looked pretty comfortable on it.
I did feel good, and once again, you never know being on different suspension to previous years. I’m still on Showa, but we’ve made some changes in the past month or so with my setting, and going in a little different direction to help me out. You just never know – it’s not like I haven’t had success with what I’ve been on previously, so that’s always tough to change. To have this type of success and do it the way I did on this type of track, I’m stoked. I think we’re on the right track – there are still improvements to be made – I think I can be a little better in certain areas, so I’ll keep striving for that. Like you said, in America, it’s super important for me to win these races and come out swinging on the weekend to gear up for that.
It’s a different dynamic this season because we’re starting the season in a tight arena, but by the time we get to the AUS-X Open, it’s supposedly a full-blown US track. It’s a little bit different…
Honestly, it’s great for me. I think it’s awesome – going into a first round like this, there are some sleepless nights thinking about what could be. I’m just proud to execute like that. And to your question about Melbourne, it goes straight into my hands as far as preparation for America. Having those guys come over and test where I’m at, I’m looking forward to it. I’m enjoying my time here with my family, I’m stoked.