Features 15 Nov 2023

Quotebook: 2023 AUSX Rd2 Newcastle

Assorted racer comments following the second round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the second round of the 2023 Fox Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) at McDonald Jones Stadium.


Image: Foremost Media.

Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Third
I think that was the slipperiest track I have ever raced. The dirt was so hard and then with a bit of water, it was really easy to lose traction and override it. You had to stay as calm as possible and be gentle on the throttle which is the opposite to how I usually ride. Starts were important tonight and mine weren’t great. The last one I locked handlebars with [Justin] Brayton going into the first turn and he went down which was unfortunate, but every rider knew they needed a good start here. It’s nice to be back up on the podium as it’s been a while for me and good for my confidence heading into the final round in Melbourne in two weeks. The team did a great job with the bike and let’s go for the top of the box at the final round.

Josh Hill (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) – Second
Things were pretty wild out there and there was a lot going on in those first few laps. My starts were terrible, and I was always stuck in the chaos on the first lap so I just had to pick my way through and make passes where I could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the final race where I came out of the first lap that I was able to see the leaders and make a charge at the front. But, overall, I’m happy with how the night went and it was good to see a big crowd turn up to watch the racing and I hope everyone enjoyed the night.

Kyle Webster (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – 13th:
I got not too bad of a jump, but I saw Luke and JB, they squeezed me out a little bit and I saw them hit quite hard down the straight so I kind of backed off a little bit. I saw JB, unfortunately, go down at a high pace and I endowed and my bike just landed flat out my back. Winded me pretty good, I haven’t been winded for a while and definitely sore now. The track was really cool, cool layout, big, it’s not a very small stadium, so it was nice to have a big track but it was definitely, definitely hard pack. It was crazy how hard it went actually. As for bike setup, I couldn’t change too much because after that first race, I had to jump on my spare bike. It was real bent up after that crash with Luke on the finish line. I didn’t change too many things, I actually felt like it handled really well, it was just a matter of dealing with how slippery it was.

Dean Wilson (Froth Honda Racing) – First: 
I had to be patient tonight, the track became super slippery, it was really unpredictable. My first goal is to win the championship, I won’t jeopardize that, but it would be nice to finish the championship with another win in the team’s home town of Melbourne.

Justin Brayton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – Fifth: 
I am really disappointed, this wasn’t how I wanted the night to go. My goal is to finish second in the championship and support the team.

Dylan Wills (Boom Racing Fox Husqvarna) – Fourth:
I injured my collarbone prior to the season, and even though it’s still not 100 percent, it was good enough to go racing at Newcastle. I got a fifth in the first final and that was a decent start, so my goal was to keep getting good results for the rest of the night. A third place in the third final is better than I expected after a lot of time off the bike. A top five or six is about where I thought I could be, but to finish on the box in that last race, and to be the first Australian in that one, was massive for me. I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to come back racing and it’s a dream scenario.


Image: Foremost Media.

Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team)  – 12th:
I was looking forward to Newcastle, it’s always a good vibe there with the crowd and it’s just a good stadium to race in. Initially, I was struggling a little with the track, just trying to get a feel for the dirt, which was really slippery. In the races I got some decent starts and was consistent enough, but I was making some silly little mistakes. I was floating around that top five overall heading into the final race, but unfortunately, a few guys were bunched up at the end of one of the rhythm sections on the opening lap and I was already committed, so I ran straight into them. When I hit the ground, my knee went one way and my leg went the other – it looks like my knee popped out. We’re still not 100 percent sure about the actual outcome of the injury, I’m still working on trying to get MRIs and scans, so I can work out what I need to do to get on the mend.

Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) – Second:
Man, I am so stoked with this result, riding right there with Max [Anstie] in the last one. To be able to learn from a guy like that is huge, and I’m just so pumped with my night overall. Adelaide wasn’t acceptable and I was out for redemption here, which I feel like I achieved, although today was all about just being smart, especially with the slick track conditions. My bike felt awesome all day long, so a big thanks to the team, we’ll line up and go again in Melbourne!

Cole Thompson (Serco Yamaha) – Fourth: 
It wasn’t the night I was looking for as I felt good leading into the event. I just couldn’t get much track position in the early laps and that cost me. My starts simply need to be better in this format and it’s something that I will need to address by Melbourne. The team worked hard all day and I’m determined to finish the championship on a positive note at Melbourne.

Rhys Budd (Serco Yamaha) – Ninth:
It’s a disappointing night for me and not the result I wanted. My speed on the track was good but when it came down to the three finals, things just didn’t go my way. I was caught in crashes, made some mistakes myself and just couldn’t get any clear track at all. The first two rounds haven’t been good for me so it’s important I get my act together for the final round in Melbourne and get a result that the team and I have worked so hard for.

Robbie Wageman (WBR Yamaha) – Sixth:
Like everyone, these triple challenge races can be good or bad for you depending on how things go on the night. For me, this time I only had one good result out of the three and that’s not good enough to get you on the podium, so I need to do better. I just didn’t get the starts I need, or I made mistake at the wrong time and in a night where every race counts, it’s never good to be in that situation. But still third in the championship with a round to go, so let’s go to Melbourne and aim for the podium.

Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) – Seventh: 
I feel in my qualifier and finished way back, so I had a terrible gate pick for the three-race final. I managed to do what I could but I was always trying to find a way forward as my starting position was so bad. But, I did learn and understand with events like this, to get a good result, your night really starts with the first lap of practice because as we progress, being in a good position on the gate makes life much easier.

Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – 10th:
I’m disappointed on how I finished tonight as my riding at the last round and during the week as been good. Tonight, I was able to get myself into the top five in every race only to make a mistake and go down. Just silly mistakes that I shouldn’t be making but did tonight. But my riding is improving, and I feel I can match it with these guys now and maybe that’s why I’m so frustrated with myself. I can race and beat these guys and feel I should be up the front every time we race. I’m learning as we go and will continue to do so as I want to get better and I know the team supports me so we will keep at it and try and make the podium in Melbourne.

Kaleb Barham (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) – Third:
I’m just so stoked. The first round didn’t go well for me, and I left Adelaide really disappointed as we had all put in a lot of work heading into this championship. But the team kept working hard and we spent plenty of time at the practice track, so it was awesome to turn things around here and get on the podium. This is my first SX2 round podium, so I’m pretty excited about it. I had a few in MXD but this one has been far too long coming and I have been close so many times. I can’t thank the team enough for all the work they have done and hope we can do it all again at Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time.

Max Anstie (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) – First:
I can’t complain too much, the track was a little challenging and I needed to ride smart, but it was fun, the fans were great and I enjoyed the night. I will now focus on the final round where I want to wrap it up with another win, the bike, the team, everything is working well.