Features 24 Nov 2023

Racefeed: 2023 AUSX Rd3 Melbourne

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

Follow the 2023 Fox Australian Supercross Championship with direct SX1 and SX2 updates from the third round of the season at the Marvel Stadium through Racefeed.

Image: Foremost Media.

SX2 practice:
Boost Mobile Honda Racing’s Max Anstie fired out in the opening session with a 50.238s, just under 1.5s clear of second-placed Cole Thompson (Serco Yamaha). Third fastest to commence proceedings was Robbie Wageman (WBR Yamaha), ahead of Australian Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing) in P4, with current championship number two Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team) also in the top five. Terrafirma Honda Racing’s Wilson Todd notched the sixth quickest time, while Rhys Budd (Serco Yamaha), Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team), KTM-mounted Liam Atkinson and Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) featured in positions seven-10.

SX1 practice:
Setting the early pace in Melbourne was CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout, thanks to a 49.200s effort. Clout led current red plate-holder Dean Wilson (Froth Honda Racing), the front two the only riders in the 49s bracket during the practice session. CDR Yamaha’s Josh Hill was second fastest, ahead of Honda Racing duo Kyle Webster and Justin Brayton inside the top five. Boom Racing Fox Husqvarna racer Dylan Wills posted the sixth quickest time, as Jackson Richardson (Kawasaki), Joel Wightman (Yamaha), Joel Cigliano (Kawasaki) and Luke Zielinski rounded out the top 10.

SX2 qualifying:

Continuing his dominant SX2 form, Anstie secured first gate pick ahead of the night show with a blistering 48.296s, leading teammate Todd in a Honda Racing 1-2. The leading duo were the only riders in the 48s bracket, as Canadian Thompson notched a 49.435s to qualify third fastest, ahead of 250 SX-F-equipped Crawford and Wageman inside the top five. Reid Taylor (Husqvarna) delivered a solid session to land P6, leading Cosford, Newcastle podium-finisher Barham, Budd and Kingsford in positions seven through to 10.

SX1 qualifying:

Red plate-holder Wilson topped SX1 qualifying at Marvel Stadium, narrowly edging practice pace-setter Clout, while Hill – the only rider mathematically able to stop Wilson from clinching the title, was third. Five-time SX1 champion Brayton qualified fourth, and riding with a cracked shoulder he sustained in Newcastle was the final rider within the 48s bracket, as Kyle Webster (Boost Mobile Honda Racing) concluded the session P5. Wills posted the sixth quickest time, leading Wightman, Robbie Marshall (Husqvarna), Empire Kawasaki fill-in Lawson Bopping and Richardson.

SX2 heat one:
Honda Racing’s Wilson Todd won the opening SX2 heat, after claiming the holeshot and checking out to a comfortable lead over the five-lap race. Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Kaleb Barham held off a fast-finishing Nathan Crawford (KTM Racing Team), who worked his way from fifth to third over the short heat. Husqvarna’s Reid Taylor and Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha) finished fourth and fifth, ahead of Kobi Wolff (Husqvarna), Connor Rossandich (KTM), Ben Novak (Honda), Thynan Keen (Honda) and Brock Flynn (GasGas).

SX2 heat two:
Serco Yamaha’s Cole Thompson took a close-fought win in  SX2 heat two. Thompson scored the holeshot and quickly set about building a lead over WBR Yamaha’s Robbie Wageman and Serco Yamaha team-mate Rhys Budd. Defending champion Max Anstie started outside the top five but tore his way up to second, finishing less than a second behind Thompson, while Wageman took home third. Budd and Noah Ferguson (GasGas Racing Team) completed the top five, ahead of Liam Atkinson (KTM) Jayce Cosford (Yamalube Yamaha Racing), Mackenzie O’Bree (GasGas), Caleb Goullet (Empire Kawasaki) and Mitchell Norris (GasGas).

SX1 heat one:
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout took first blood in SX1 by comfortably winning his heat. Clout hit the lead early and wasn’t headed on a way to a 8.5-second lead over Boom Racing-backed Husqvarna rider Dylan Wills. Kawasaki privateer Jackson Richardson rode solidly to finish third, ahead of early leader Brad West (Yamaha) and veteran Robbie Marshall (Husqvarna)., Sam Larsen (Yamaha), Ricky Latimer (Yamaha), Jesse Bishop (KTM), and Joel Evans (Yamaha). Defending champion Justin Brayton finished 10th after sucking a tuff-block into his chain early in the race.

SX1 heat two:
Series leader Dean Wilson won the second SX1 heat, after passing Boost Mobile Honda Racing team-mate Kyle Webster midway through the race. Webster scored the holeshot, but couldn’t match the pace of Wilson and settled for P2, 3.3 seconds behind the Scotsman.  Joel Wightman (Yamaha) completed the podium, ahead of CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Josh Hill, who crashed early and had to work his way back from 10th. Empire Kawasaki’s fill-in rider Lawson Bopping came home fifth, with Luke Zielinski (Yamaha), Dylan Wood (Honda), Cory Watts (Honda), Joel Cigliano (Kawasaki) and Liam Jackson (KTM) filling the remaining top 10 places.

SX2 final:
Max Anstie proved to be the class of the SX2 field, with a convincing win and claiming back-to-back Australian Supercross Championships. Anstie grabbed the holeshot with a tight inside line through the first turn and from there was never challenged as he strode to a nine-second lead over his Honda Racing team-mate, Wilson Todd. Todd held P2 throughout the race after successfully seeing off an early challenge from Serco Yamaha’s Cole Thompson, who crossed the line in third. Nathan Crawford finished the final fourth, ahead of Robbie Wageman, who worked his way through the pack from the cusp of the top 10 early on. Kaleb Barham, Rhys Budd, Noah Ferguson, Ryder Kingsford – who went down in the first turn – and Reid Taylor completed the top 10 positions.

SX1 final:
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout put in an emotional comeback ride to win the SX1 final and stop Honda Racing’s complete domination of the 2023 championship. Clout led the race from the first turn and finished with a comfortable six-second lead over 2023 championship winner Dean Wilson. Wilson started the SX1 final in sixth place, but gradually worked his way through the front-runners, despite a number of small errors along the way around the challenging circuit. A clearly uncomfortable Justin Brayton, who revealed he’d broken his scapula at the Newcastle round, put in a gritty performance to finish the night on the podium, as Hill and Wills completed the top five positions. Joel Wightman, Kyle Webster, Brad West, Luke Zielinski and Joel Evans filled positions sixth through 10th.