Features 21 Oct 2022

Racefeed: 2022 AUSX Rd1 Melbourne

Direct updates from round one of the championship at Marvel Stadium.

Follow the 2022 Fox Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) with direct SX1 and SX2 updates from round one of the season at Marvel Stadium through Racefeed.

Image: Foremost Media.

SX2 qualifying:
Terrafirma Honda Racing’s Wilson Todd stopped the clock at 48.783s to qualify fastest in SX2. Honda Racing team teammate Max Anstie was second-quickest, notably trying to quad throughout the session which ended in a heart-in-the-mouth moment when he came up slightly short. Nonetheless, a 49.086s saw the number 99 runner-up as the Canadian import Cole Thompson (Serco Yamaha) completed the top three courtesy of a 49.310s, ahead of teammate Bailey Malkiewicz (Serco Yamaha) in P4 and Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) in fifth. Positions six to 10 were occupied by Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team), Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Jai Constantinou (Empire Kawasaki), Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) and Geran Stapleton (GasGas). Notably Connor Tierney (Serco Yamaha) crashed heavily on the dragon’s back and brought out the red flag early in the first group’s session.

SX1 qualifying:
Dean Wilson (Honda Racing) stormed to the top of the timesheets with a 48.141s in the first session to qualify fastest ahead of Friday’s nightshow. Wilson bested teammate and reigning champion Justin Brayton by just 0.072s, as Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) was third. Stepping back onto a 450 for Australian Supercross, Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) and Matt Moss (BBR 102 Motorsports) qualified P4 and P5 respectively. Sixth quickest was Hayden Mellross (GasGas Racing Team), ahead of Brett Metcalfe (KTM Racing Team), the returning Jackson Richardson (Empire Kawasaki), SX1 rookie Dylan Wills (Husqvarna Racing Team) and Kyle Webster (Honda Racing).

SX2 heat one:
Anstie convincingly took the opening heat race victory, securing the lead from Stapleton on lap one and not looking back on his way to a 6.258s victory. Stapleton held on for second and was closely followed by Kaleb Barham (Husqvarna), Tomas Ravenhorst (KTM) and Crawford who made a late move on Malkiewicz for P5 to recover from being pushed off track earlier in the bout. Seventh was Isaac Ferguson, ahead of Gage Linville (Honda) and Constantinou who crashed on the opening lap. Sam Larsen (GasGas) completed the top 10. 

SX2 heat two:
Thompson was victorious in heat two, charging through the whoops on the opening lap to take the lead from the fast-starting Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki). Todd recovered from a bad start to P2, passing Yokoyama on the last lap as the Japanese rider rounded out the top three. Budd was fourth after muscling his way through on fifth-placed Jy Roberts (WBR Yamaha), as Jaxon Hadlow (Honda), Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Jack Kitchen (KTM), Chandler Burns (Honda) and Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) completed the top 10.

SX1 heat one:
Brayton earned a hard-fought heat one victory, ultimately making a move stick on Tanti on the penultimate lap to take a thrilling win. Tanti grabbed the holeshot and started doing the quad with four laps to go as he fended off the defending champion, the number nine showing he wasn’t afraid to get his elbows out in a bid to keep the lead. Tanti took the chequered flag P2, 2.8s ahead of Mellross who delivered a solid ride to finish third. Dylan Wood (KTM) finished fourth, ahead of Richardson who fell in the ealry stages. After getting stuck in the gate, Webster completed the heat sixth, in front of Elijah Wiese (Yamaha), Jesse Bishop (Yamaha) and Brandon Steel (Husqvarna).

SX1 heat two:
Clout showed he meant business in heat two, moving past early race leader Moss to claim a 1.6s win ahead of the BBR 102 Motorsports rider. Wills ultimately finished a third, after elevating to the podium sport after Metcalfe fell after the triple. The number 24 rider was in a visible amount of pain and was seen nursing his shoulder. Joel Wightman (Yamaha) completed the bout P4, ahead of fastest qualifier Wilson who suffered a bad start. Joel Cigliano (Kawasaki), Mitchell Norris (GasGas), Tristan Duncan (Kawasaki) completed the finishers.

SX2 final:
Anstie produced a clinical performance to take the first main event victory of the season, swiftly making his way into the lead and charging to a 10.2s victory in what was a race of attrition. Thompson rode to a credible second, however by the time he moved into second he was unable to get within striking distance of the number 99. A measured performance from Crawford saw the KTM rider finish a comfortable third, 18s ahead of Barham in P4 as Constantinou rebounded from his heat race crash to take the chequered flag fifth. After running off the track past the whoops, Budd finished sixth, ahead Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) and Roberts in P8 after receiving a penalty for cutting a turn. Stapleton and Ravenhorst rounded out the top 10. Notably, Todd crashed during the first lap on the dragon’s back after a bad start which forced him out of the race. Yokoyama fell heavily in the whoops, and Malkiewicz was unable to finish the race after falling in a rhythm section, laying trackside in a visible amount of pain. Cosford also ran into troubles with an opening lap crash at the dragon’s back, then getting a tuff block wrap stuck in his rear wheel. He ultimately finished P14.

SX1 final:
Brayton showed strength when it counted to make his intentions for a fifth Australian SX1 title clear with victory at Marvel Stadium. In the early stages, Tanti passed Moss at the start of lap three for the lead and edged out an ever-so-slight advantage. Six laps later Brayton made a move on Moss in the split lane and then moments later Tanti had a massive moment through the whoops, allowing Brayton to close the gap and come through. Tanti fought back immediately to retake the lead as Brayton relentlessly applied the pressure from behind. Brayton again used the split lane to his advantage on lap 14 to make what was a decisive pass for victory, ultimately finishing 7.4s ahead of the number nine. Fastest qualifier Wilson overcome Moss for third and applied immense pressure on Tanti in the closing laps. Mellross made a late move on Wills and found his way past Moss to secure P4, with the number 102 completing the top five, while sixth was a solid result for Wills in his premier class debut. Webster crossed the line seventh, ahead of Richardson, Cigliano and Wiese. Notably, Clout crashed out of podium contention on lap three and then ran into further troubles a lap later before ultimately retiring from the race. Metcalfe did not contest the final after his heat race fall.