Features 26 Nov 2022

Racefeed: 2022 AUSX Rd3 Newcastle

Direct updates from round three of the championship at McDonald Jones Stadium.

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

Image: Foremost Media.

SX2 qualifying:
After going quickest in practice earlier, Honda Racing red plate-holder Max Anstie also topped the time-sheets in SX2 qualifying. A 43.432s placed Anstie ahead of the pack by around four-tenths, however, he was penalised three positions for jumping on the first lap, which in turn handed teammate Wilson Todd (Honda Racing) P1 in the combined rankings. Todd crashed heavily in practice and was attended to by Racesafe, but returned for qualifying and ultimately set the benchmark with a 43.884s lap-time. Todd led Cole Thompson (Serco Yamaha) and Rhys Budd (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), with Anstie fourth by virtue of his grid penalty. Fifth came Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki) from the non-seeded session, followed by Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team), Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team), Kaleb Barham (Husqvarna), Jaxon Hadlow (WBR Yamaha) and Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing).

SX1 qualifying:
Fresh from recently winning the ‘Prince of Paris’, BBR 102 Motorsports Yamaha rider Matt Moss set the pace in SX1 qualifying this afternoon with a flying 43.045s. The benchmark of Moss was just 0.071s ahead of practice leader Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy), who is sharing the red plate with defending champion Justin Brayton (Honda Racing) this weekend, and it was in fact Brayton right there in P3. Fourth was solid from Hayden Mellross (GasGas Racing Team), with Josh Hill (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) fifth as the final rider within the 43s bracket. Positions six through 10 were filled by Kyle Webster (Honda Racing), Jackson Richardson (Empire Kawasaki), Dylan Wills (Husqvarna Racing Team), Dylan Wood (KTM) and Travis Silk (KTM), who was fastest in the non-seeded group.

SX2 heat one:
It was Anstie who checked out for a relatively easy win in the first SX2 heat of the night program, stretching an advantage of 4.983s by the end of six laps. The title-leader won ahead of Jai Constantinou (Empire Kawasaki) and Crawford, while Cosford recovered from a first turn fall for fourth. Thompson also went down on the first lap and ended up fifth, ahead of Chandler Burns (Honda), Barham – another early faller – and Ryan Kohlenburg the final finishers. Isaac Ferguson crashed out and was unable to finish.

SX2 heat two:
The second SX2 heat of the night belonged to top-qualifier Todd, 4.445s ahead of Ferguson, who in turn was ahead of Hadlow in his first appearance with WBR, from Jack Kukas and early leader Luke Davis (Bolt Liqui-Moly KTM) the final finisher. Another leader was Haruki Yokoyama (Empire Kawasaki), who was unfortunately a non-finisher after going down heavily in the later laps, as was Budd being caught up in that same turn of events.

SX1 heat one:
Joint points-leader Tanti controlled heat one of the SX1 category tonight, making his move to the front on lap two to go on and win by 2.086s ahead of Mellross after he made a went by the fast-starting Wills in the mid-stages. That was the top three in the end, as Webster wound up P4 – a minor mishap costing him in the first turn – and Blake Cobbin (GasGas) completed the top five. Corey Watts (Honda), Joel Cigliano (Kawasaki), Brandon Steel (Husqvarna) and Tristan Duncan (Kawasaki) were in sixth through ninth. Silk went down in the early laps and he was being attended to by Racesafe as the race concluded.

SX1 heat two:
Fastest qualifier Moss continued his roll in holding off Brayton, the pair split by only 0.663s as the checkers flew following six laps. It was another American in Hill who claimed third place, followed by Richardson, Wood the returning Robbie Marshall (Husqvarna), Jesse Bishop (Yamaha), Zachary Watson (Honda) and Tom Leach (Kawasaki), as Bryson Cherrett (KTM) and Elijah Wiese (Yamaha) were credited 10th and 11th positions.

SX2 final one:
A thrilling first final of SX2 saw Todd lead from the holeshot, but it was a last lap attack from Anstie that saw him edge past and steal another race win to maintain his perfect season to date. Anstie pulled out a second on the final few turns to make it a Honda Racing 1-2, with Thompson comfortably third and Barham crossing the line in fourth. It was a P5 finish for Ferguson, while Davis took sixth, followed by Constantinou, Cosford, Budd after another crash and Hadlow was the top 10. Title prospect Crawford had a second turn crash and DNF’d.

SX1 final one:
The first premier class final went down to the wire between Moss and Brayton, going back and forth across the final laps until it was a counter-move from Moss that saw him hold on for a spectacular victory. Brayton was directly behind in P2, with Wills putting in a consistent ride for third, keeping Webster at bay for much of the duration. Fifth was Tanti after he went down twice in the early laps, getting by teammate Hill with two turns to go for position, as Wood, Marshall, Watts and Cigliano were the top 10. A major incident saw Mellross attended to by the Racesafe personnel, unable to finish after going down with privateer Wiese.

SX2 final two:
Final two of the 250 class was won by Anstie, striking on Budd with two to go and sprinting away from there in yet another commanding performance by over two seconds. It was Yokoyama who scored the holeshot until Anstie and Budd charged ahead, however, with Todd claiming to third by race’s end. Fourth came Thompson ahead of Yokoyama with a top five result, as Crawford, Davis, Barham, Burns and Ferguson filled the top 10. In 11th was Cosford after he went down, as did Constantinou twice on his way to 13th and Hadlow didn’t finish after he crashed out of contention.

SX1 final two:
There were major championship implications in the second 450 final after Tanti crashed out of the lead at halfway, enabling Brayton to power ahead at the front and go on to win by 3.910s. It was a tough break for the reigning national champion Tanti, assisted away by the medical crew and out of the race. Second was yet another convincing effort from the resurgent Moss, as Wills repeated his opening race result for P3, this time over Hill and with Webster fifth. Sixth was Marshall ahead of Wood, Cobbin, Cigliano and Watts in 10th position.

SX2 final three:
An emotion-charged first professional race win was earned by Budd in the final SX2 outing of the night, as a runner-up result saw Anstie clinch his third-consecutive overall for the season. Budd remained composed to win by 1.561s over Anstie, who made a late pass on initial leader Crawford and that’s how the top three would stay. Fourth was consistent again from Todd, from Thompson, while Ferguson, Barham, Cosford, Davis and Yokoyama were the top 10. Overall for the round it was Anstie from Todd and Budd on the podium, while in terms of the points, Anstie is in the box-seat to clinch in one week’s time at the Wagga Wagga finals.

SX1 final three:
After slicing his way to the front of the pack past Moss in the opening laps, it appeared Brayton was going to get away for the round win, but disaster struck when a bike problem denied him any hope of the overall. While the number one plate-holder cruised to seventh, Moss took advantage to reclaim the lead and was never headed, despite late pressure from Hill just 0.449s back across the finish-line. It was Moss and Hill who went 1-2, as Webster improved to third in a strong end to his night, while the ever-consistent Wills rode to P4. Places six to 10 included Wood, Watts, Brayton, Marshall, Cobbin and Cigliano. The overall podium saw former multiple-time series champion Moss back on the top step ahead of 450 class rookie Wills, with Brayton salvaging third tonight. In terms of the championship and with a single round remaining in Wagga Wagga next Saturday, 3 December, Brayton is eight points ahead of Moss, with Wills climbing to third position, five points clear of Tanti.