Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team racer, Luke Clout, charged through for his first career SX1 victory at round three of the Australian Supercross Championship, held in Wollongong, on Saturday night.
The victory capped of an extremely successful night for the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team with Dan Reardon taking second place and US guest, Josh Hill, slotting into fourth.
But the night was all about Clout and he was on song from the moment he hit the track on Saturday afternoon. He was the fastest in practice, fastest in qualifying, second in his heat race and then posted the fastest lap in Superpole, to kick start his night in perfect fashion.
But all that could mean nothing when faced with the triple challenge that saw the SX1 (450cc) riders face three, eight lap main events to determine the round winner. Clout continued on in the same form as the afternoon sessions and posted 2-1-1 results to take the round victory and move to within three points of the championship lead with two rounds remaining.
Clout’s starts were strong all night and he drove his Yamaha YZ450F aggressively into the first turn in each moto. He led every lap of races two and three and proved to be the best rider on the night in dominant fashion.
“The day went perfectly for me and it was an awesome night for the team with all three guys doing well,” Clout begins. “I felt pretty good right from the first lap of practice but I knew looking at this track it was going to be a fight as the top guys were evening matched in speed.
“But great starts and keeping focused in the race was the key for me tonight and I’m so exiting to be able to get my first win in SX1, especially here in Wollongong where I had so many friends and family on hand to watch.
“It’s back to three points between Justin and myself and Dan is also right there just a few points behind me, so things are tight in the championship and with the next two races having more US imports, it will really shake things up.
“Thank you to Aaron for his hard work on the bike and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team. Its been a while coming to get this first SX1 victory but hopefully it’s the start of plenty more.”
Team mate Dan Reardon was also right in the mix come main event time and finished the night in second place with 3-2-2 results in the finals. Unlike Clout, Reardon started off the afternoon slowly by his standards but worked his way through to a confident position come the three finals.
The Wollongong round makes it three podiums in a row for Reardon and now sees him third in the championship, just six points behind championship leader, Justin Brayton.
“I think I’m well placed in the championship now and right in the middle of a good battle for the SX1 crown,” Reardon explains. “The last few years I have been able to come home at the final rounds strongly so to be within six points of the lead and heading for the two biggest races of our season is a good spot to be in.
“It took me a bit to get dialled into the track as it was quite hard pack and slippery in spots but once I got that sorted, I was fine and just focused on getting good track position early as passing was difficult.
“We are off to NZ this week and look forward to going up against not just the best Australia riders but also the in coming US guys who always raise the bar for us.”
For the final three rounds of the championship, US Import Josh Hill, is a special guest of the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team and immediately made an impact with both the team and the fans. Hill looked super aggressive on the track but very laid back of it but made his presence known with an impressive heat race win to kick off his night.
In fact, a podium result was well within reach but ultimately a fall in race two cost him dearly. Hill finished with 5-5-3 results, but he was a solid second place in race two until he fell on the second last lap.
“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t make the podium as it would have been awesome to have a full CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team podium but that small crash in race two proved the difference.
“But for my first race in some time, it was good and the CDR Yamaha team have been amazing to deal with and so professional in getting everything sorted for me.
“I have worked hard in the lead up to these events and my goal is to do well here so hopefully things can improve from here and I can be up winning races and on the box at the final two rounds,” Hill ends.
There is now a quick turn around to round four with riders and teams heading to New Zealand to race this weekend at Mt Smart stadium in Auckland.