News 4 Feb 2021

Mellross back on the bike following shoulder surgery

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy signing preparing for 2021 campaign.

Image: Supplied.

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Hayden Mellross took full advantage of last year’s Australian Motocross Championship cancellation to undergo elective surgery on his left shoulder that has troubled him for the past four years, now able to return to riding this week.

Mellross, 25, first injured his shoulder in 2017 while being based in the US and has had difficulties with it since, including at the Indianapolis round of Monster Energy Supercross in 2018, as well as the Australian Supercross round in Geelong that same year.

After landing a seat at Craig Dack Racing (CDR) in 2020 and experiencing another dislocation toward the beginning of last year, once it was confirmed that the nationals weren’t proceeding at the beginning of October, Mellross went in and had the surgery completed. Following near four months of recovery, Mellross is back on the bike around 10 weeks out from round one of the Penrite ProMX series at Wonthaggi.

“No-one ever really knew, but my shoulder has been something that’s been bothering me for about four years,” Mellross told MotoOnline. “Over that time I’ve probably dislocated it about four or five times and because COVID really messed us around and getting to the point where we weren’t racing at all last year, I thought I might as well go in and get it fixed.”

“It was one of those situations that hasn’t bothered me – I’d raced for four years with it – but it was the longevity and life after racing that I wouldn’t be as healthy as I could be if I didn’t get it fixed. It first happened about 12 months before it popped out at Indy in the whoops, plus Geelong in the whoops as well that same year, and then I was training toward the beginning of last year and it did it once. I kept riding and training, but decided after that I needed to go ahead and get the surgery done.

“I’ve never dislocated my shoulder due to a crash, it’s always just been riding, and I did it in June, so had a week off then started training and riding again. I was actually probably riding the best I’ve ever ridden before, but once the whole COVID shut us down for the second time in Melbourne and the nationals got cancelled, that’s when Dacka and I decided to get in and get it done.”

Mellross had already spent considerable time on the sidelines due to knee surgery following the 2019 MX Nationals, in which he finished third in his rookie MX1 campaign, and that had caused him to sit out the Australian Supercross Championship that same year. Now, with his health in order, the 2021 season is shaping up to be a strong one as part of the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Yamaha team alongside incoming teammate Luke Clout.

“We’ve done one race together at Wonthaggi, which was just back from my knee reconstruction, so there wasn’t really any pressure,” he reflected. “After that I moved from New South Wales down to Melbourne and I live very close to the team now, so that’s worked in my favour being able to do a whole lot of testing and riding together. Honestly, it’s been great – I absolutely love the YZ450F and am doing everything possible to make the most of this opportunity.”