News 20 Nov 2019

Anderson credits Brayton for elevating Australian level

American acknowledges increased competitiveness at S-X Open Auckland.

Image: Foremost Media.

Jason Anderson has credited fellow American Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) for elevating the level of local talent in the Australian Supercross Championship, acknowledging he noticed the increased competitiveness at last weekend’s Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland.

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider and former AMA Supercross champion stormed to two victories from three races at the New Zealand event, losing out to SX1 points leader Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) in the second encounter of the night.

The S-X Open Auckland marked Anderson’s third year racing against the Australian field, which he’ll do one more time at the AUS-X Open Melbourne on 30 November.

“The last few years I’ve come over, I’ve battled Deano [Wilson] and I’ve battled [Justin] Brayton,” Anderson explained. “This year it was not like Brayton was any worse or anything like that, but you can definitely see that Brayton being over here has raised the level of these guys, and they’re riding good.

“Obviously, you come to America and it’s a different step and a different culture and everything, and you’re away from home, but obviously [Brett Metcalfe] Metty has been there and he knows what it’s about, but for Luke [Clout] going over, it would be a tough move, but at the same time, you see the progression he’s had over the past couple of years and his riding is a lot more mature.

“I think that’s a big thing of Brayton coming over here – he’s just helped the level be higher and it’s cool. He’s won three championships, and these guys aren’t making it easy for his next one. I’m excited to see how it goes down. I’m going to try and be out front and see the race go down in Melbourne.”

Three-time Australian champion Brayton strongly agreed with his compatriot, explaining the last two seasons down under have required greater preparation leading in.

“I 100 percent believe that,” Brayton told in response to Anderson’s comments. “There’s been some talk and some flak about me being here, and quite honestly, I’m sure the other teams are sick of me winning – I’m just being honest. I wouldn’t like it either if a guy kept coming over and dominating the series.

“This year Luke [Clout] has been riding really, really good. I’ve always liked Luke as a rider- he’s a really technically good rider. The first year was arguably the easiest – the first couple of years, honestly, I was more [so] here on a holiday and I could still win.

“I knew last year the preparation had to start early because the guys were coming for me, and this year the prep start even earlier than that.”