Notes from trackside in South Australia at round two of the season.
– The biggest talking point ahead of the weekend and throughout it was the sheer size of the Port Adelaide circuit. Troy Bayliss Events (TBE) brought in over 8000 tonnes of dirt to shape the track – that’s 2000 more than what will be used for the AUS-X Open Melbourne inside Marvel Stadium. The layout didn’t disappoint, offering mega rhythm sections and 45-plus-second lap-times.
– The large nature of the track – especially the rhythm lanes – caught out a lot of riders, and we did witness several heavy crashes and subsequent injuries. It was a bummer to see so many riders go down, and while some were able to walk away and continue throughout the night, there were a selection who were transported to hospital. We’re wishing them all the best!
– SX2 contenders Jacob Hayes (Serco Yamaha) and Wilson Todd (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna) were two riders who unfortunately needed the assistance of Race Safe. The pair actually crashed on the same rhythm section on the same lap, albeit at different ends. Hayes suffered a concussion with no major injuries, while Todd – who got to his feet before being stretchered off – has sustained a suspected pelvic injury.
– The third rhythm section – the same one mentioned above – claimed many riders, including CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Dan Reardon. The supercross specialist suffered a heavy fall during the opening laps of practice, and he later admitted on the podium that it left him rattled all night. Still, he managed to earn third in the main event.
– There was an unusual scenario that unfolded prior to SX2 main event as riders selected their gates – the start line being in the middle of the circuit meant riders had to select their gate almost immediately, rather than having time to inspect all the options available. Penrite Honda Racing’s Chris Blose was caught out by this, and was left with no option but to start from the very outside. The American and his team owner Yarrive Konsky were evidently unhappy about the situation.
– Just as we think the Australian competition is closing in on three-time Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing), he goes out and completely dominates! The American was clearly very comfortable on the larger-sized circuit, right from the first practice session. He topped the results sheet every time he hit the track – aside from Superpole – and lapped sixth place on his way to a commanding 9.757s victory.
– It seems like Jackson Richardson (Honda) can’t catch a break in his return to racing! The Rockstar Energy-supported rider broke all five toes last weekend at Brisbane, although he reaggravated that injury with a heat race crash. The popular Queenslander actually rode strongly in the main, and was running sixth for quite some time. We spoke to him post-race, and he mentioned he was pretty fatigued in the closing stages of the main to claim ninth.
– Following his heroics last year, there were a lot of people hoping for hometown hero Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing) to replicate the main event winning feat. Although, the South Australian endured a pretty difficult night, crashing a number of times in the night show. He persevered and put on an incredible charge in the main, but ultimately fell short of the podium in fourth.
– While the weather forecast predicted a very low chance of showers, rain actually started to fall just ahead of the SX2 main event. It wasn’t really enough to significantly impact track conditions, however it would’ve certainly affected riders’ vision, especially given the lighting conditions. Thankfully, it let off and both mains were, for the most part, were rain-free.