Features 26 Oct 2022

Quotebook: 2022 AUSX Rd1 Melbourne

Assorted racer comments following the first round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the first round of the 2022 Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) at Marvel Stadium.


Image: Foremost Media.

Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Second:
That’s all I had. I wanted to charge as hard as I could for as long as I could and I did that, but Justin was just that bit better than me tonight, so congratulations to him. I’m pretty happy with how the night went and it gives me some confidence knowing that I can put up a good fight against some of the most experienced and professional supercross riders in the world. I did run out of gas towards the end, but I think if I can just keep a little more composure in the early stages and manage my breathing a little better, I can stay in it for longer. Thanks to the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team for getting us up to speed and the crowd for having my back all weekend. I could hear them all round the track and its awesome to have so much support here In Melbourne.

Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – 14th:
I felt pretty good on the track all night and I got myself into a good position in the main and tried to settle in behind Aaron. But in the right hand turn after the triple, I lost the from and fell, then I got going again only to fall once more after hitting another rider.The Racesafe team feel there is a break in there and a quick X-Ray shows damage so I will see my surgeon on Monday for a full assessment and what treatment needs to be done. It’s not the way I wanted to start the championship and I was so keen to get back racing. I apologise to the team and our sponsors for letting them down, but I will be back more determined than ever once this is sorted.

Hayden Mellross (GasGas Racing Team) – Fourth:
Being the first round of supercross that we’ve raced in a few years, I had a lot of nerves early today, but I gradually got more comfortable and confident as the day progressed. I rode quite well in my heat race to finish third and I thought we were in for a good show in the main event. I didn’t get as good a start as I would’ve hoped and I tightened up early on. The track was deceptively slippery, but I was able to hang on and take advantage of the guys who made mistakes in front of me to finish fourth! It wasn’t a pretty fourth, but it was a good result and I’m happy to walk away healthy and get the first round under the belt.

Justin Brayton (Honda Genuine Polyflor Honda Racing) – First:
It was a game of chess out there. The track was really, really challenging. The priority was just finding smooth lines and putting my CRF450R where it needed to be. It is just amazing to be back here in Australia. I love racing here and spending time with the team.

Dylan Wills (Husqvarna Racing Team) – Sixth:
To finish sixth in the main and third in my heat race was more than I expected out of myself and I’m really happy with the result. I felt like I rode well at the start of the final, but I got tired due to the limited laps I’ve done on a 450, the first-round nerves and the pressure I’d put on myself. I’m really glad to get the first round of the championship out of the way and it’s a good feeling to know that I belong up there with those guys, plus that my early pace was really good. I’m going to take a lot of confidence from tonight as we head to Adelaide.

Jackson Richardson (Empire Kawasaki) – Eighth:
It felt so good to get back behind the gate and race supercross again. The results themselves weren’t anything to write home about and I tightened up towards the end of the race, but considering the short time I’ve been on the bike, it was a positive night. We learnt heaps and I’m excited to see what we can do at round two.


Image: Foremost Media.

Cole Thompson (Serco Yamaha) – Second:
There was a whole lot of learning for me going on tonight so I’m happy to end up on the podium and put myself in a good position in the championship after the first round. This was my first race on the YZ250F, first race with the Serco Yamaha team as well as finding my feet with the Australian riders and racing conditions. I’m not pumped on my riding and think there is room for improvement so with the experience from this weekend, hopefully, we can kick it up another gear next weekend and go a little better. The Serco Yamaha team have been awesome since I landed and the bike is really good. We have a quick turnaround to the next round, so I will just brush up on a few things and look to keep improving at Adelaide.

Bailey Malkiewicz (Serco Yamaha) – DNF:
I’m ok but just disappointed. I had put in so much work and was as ready as I have ever been for a championship only for this to happen, so it’s a bit hard to take at the moment. I honestly felt I had the speed to match it with anyone and at the very worst, finish on the podium tonight but it wasn’t to be. The team had put in a huge effort and were we confident coming into the weekend, but anything can happen and this sport can bring you down to earth pretty fast sometimes. Apart from the ankle, I’m ok and will try and get back on the track as fast as I can.

Jai Constantinou (Empire Kawasaki) – Fifth:
The track was tricky tonight and it caught a lot of riders out with how slippery it was. I got caught in a crash early in my heat and didn’t get a good jump out of the gate in the main, but I focused on staying upright and letting the race come to me. I’m stoked to finish the night with a top-five, and I know we can improve from here over the next three rounds.

Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki) – DNF:
It was a tough night, but there were lots of positives. My starts were really good and I was able to holeshot both my races. A third in the heat had me excited for the main and I was placed well early in that race, but I had a big crash at the end of the whoops and dislocated my shoulder. It was a disappointing end to what had been a good day, but I’m hopeful I will still line up for Adelaide next weekend.

Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) – Seventh:
A seventh-place result isn’t quite what I was aiming for, but I’m happy to walk away from my first-ever supercross with that result. It was exciting and a lot happening, but it was really well done and the crowd was amazing. I was pretty nervous throughout the day as I’ve never ridden anything this big, plus I’d never raced supercross before! P5 was my goal, but I’m happy with seventh, and will look to improve next weekend at Adelaide.

Max Anstie (Honda Genuine Honda Racing) – First:
I loved it today! I cannot thank the boys at Honda Racing Australia enough for getting me into this championship. Getting the win at round one was a great way to repay them and it was also important for me to blow the cobwebs off, after that long flight over to Melbourne!

Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) – Third:
I’ve spent six or seven weeks on the new 2023 model KTM preparing for supercross and I’m feeling very comfortable on it. I honestly didn’t know where I’d fit into the SX2 class, so it feels awesome to get my first-ever supercross podium and get that monkey off my back! I’m not super-satisfied with how I rode tonight… we can always be better, but I know the areas I need to work on and what I can improve before next weekend. The first round is always tough as everyone comes out guns blazing and there’s often a bit of carnage, but I tried to minimise my mistakes, stay out of trouble and pick up some good points on what was a deceptively slippery track. I’m definitely happy to start the season with this result!