Features 6 Dec 2022

Debrief: 2022 AUSX Rd4 Wagga Wagga

Champions Brayton and Anstie recall fourth round at Wagga Speedway Arena.

Words: Nic Still

Honda Racing’s Justin Brayton secured a record fifth-consecutive Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) at the final round of the 2022 series, as teammate Max Anstie got the job done to be crowned SX2 champion at Wagga Wagga. MotoOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief feature. 


Image: Foremost Media.

Justin Brayton, a five-time SX1 supercross champion here in Australia! Firstly, congratulations, take me through the day. That was a rollercoaster at best, what was that like?

Honestly, the last two weekends have been crazy. Last week, had it in the bag with a lap and a half to go and just had a bike malfunction. That’s motorsports man, you just never know. Then today, had a solid second, was all over Mossy [Matt Moss] for the lead in the first one then got a flat tyre, so had to limp her around the last two laps. I was trying to double stuff and getting sideways, and then the last one I just knew what I had to do. Honestly, with all of the curveballs thrown at me, I’m like I’m just going to ride at 70 percent and ride around in fourth and clinch this thing. So, that’s what I did, happy about it, it was an awesome year and stoked to come out with five. I mean one of these things is hard, let alone five.

Absolutely. The afternoon in general, this place was dusty, and there was the sun. Take us through the conditions, from a racers point of view for people at home, can you explain how hard that actually is?  

It’s super hard. I’m obviously older and I have realised how hard it is to get these tracks right and stuff, but man we literally raced at the worst time of the day, which is a complete dust bowl, and the sun, we couldn’t see the rhythm lanes. So it was really hard, honestly, but thankful we got off safe and happy to clinch this thing and go celebrate tonight.

Five times, are you coming back for six? 

I don’t know, this time of year is always tough. Obviously, I miss my family, we will see. I don’t know.


Image: Foremost Media.

Max Anstie, SX2 Australian champion! Congratulations on the night, and congratulations on the season. Take us through the day, some challenging conditions here.    

The track was awesome, they did a great job at building the track and I managed to really hammer it down in practice and qualifying. I set the fastest times and was really comfortable. I came out of the gate in the heat race and was in second and was feeling pretty good. I went to do a jump I was doing all day in warm-up and stuff, and Nathan Crawford in front of me didn’t jump it. I kind of checked up a little bit, cased it, then hit a slick spot and went down. I thought, I just need to refocus and hit my marks, do my job and managed to come out of that one still in second which was cool. In the first main event, I knew I could wrap it up, I just had to execute and do my plan. I wanted to get the holeshot and got the holeshot, did what I needed to do. Second main, it was so dusty and the sun was really low, it was hard to see. After I got around the first lap and things were a little hairy in the mid-pack, I just thought okay, I’m getting myself on that plane tomorrow back to the US, and we will continue our prep for Anaheim 1 coming up in a few weeks. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, it’s been great to be a part of the Honda Australia crew and team, and I’m looking forward to next year.

Just quickly, take me through the pre-season here with Yarrive [Konsky] in Australia. It’s a little bit different from something that you have done before. How do you feel that is going to benefit you in the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship?

Laps, laps, laps and gate drops have been great for me, and you can never underestimate guys on their home soil. I’ve raced the British Championship before, and I’ve had harder race wins there than what I did in the GPs at the time. It’s similar to this, the guys are fast, and you can’t underestimate them. They know how these tracks work, it’s all great learning for me, getting to know the bike, getting to know the settings and trying to fine-tune everything, also getting race ready for this 250 class coming into next season. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I really think that it has been beneficial for me.