Between the Heats ‰ÛÒ Aus SX Round 1 Review

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Jacob Hayes Pumped with his win - Credit Aaryn Minerds
We are just two days out from the second round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship and before diving headfirst into another hectic weekend of covering this great series, we thought it would be good to revisit round one and have a look at some of the things you may not have seen or heard about along with our thoughts on the round and riders themselves.


Coming out of round one, you know there were only two riders who were pumped on how the weekend went, and they are the two that stood on top of the podium in each class.

For Penrite Honda Factory Racing‰Ûªs, Justin Brayton round one could not have been better, topping every session and winning every race he was in

Though Serco Yamaha‰Ûªs Jacob Hayes might have been even happier! On a track that was only 22 seconds long and with only 10-12 laps per final, to somehow crash in one of those finals and still win the round a near miracle.

Actually, add Chirs Blose to that list as well, down in the first turn in the first SX2 final and still managed to land on the podium in the SX2 class and keep his championship hopes alive.
Dylan Long quietly went about grabbing a 4th place final result, while Caleb Ward looked smooth and fast on a SX track - Credit Aaryn Minerds

There are a few riders that would have to be very happy with how round one went, but their efforts may have gone a little more unnoticed.

I took plenty of photos of Empire Kawasaki's Dylan Long, he looked smooth all night, but his 4th in the second Final to finish the night 5th overall was a sneaky good result and a great start to the series.

Jayden Rykers 10-7 no matter what way you look at it is an excellent result, but when you take into account, it was the first time he has made it through the opening round of a Supercross series, that 10-7 result is huge.

Davey Motorsports KTM Caleb Ward might have just missed the SX1 final, finishing one spot out in his heat and two out in the LCQ, but he looked good out there. Smooth, consistent in an event that was anything but calm.

Jesse Madden may not have made the finals, but posting the 9th fastest qualifying time was impressive, but it was one of those race formats where things either went your way, or they didn‰Ûªt and while they didn't for Jesse when it counted for KSF Racing‰Ûªs Gradie Featherstone, his night proved to be a good one, keeping out of trouble and making the main.

In the SX2 class, Aaron Tanti's second-place result might have also gone a little understated. He was workmanlike all day long, consistent, fast and just got the job done; it was a very impressive day all round, will be one to watch all season long we think.
It was a tough night for Jesse Dobson, but his outright speed was as good as anyone's Credit Aaryn Minerds

Two riders who did not have things go their way were Jesse Dobson and Jackson Richardson.

Richardson just had nothing go his way, multiple crashes marred his night, while Dobson who qualified 4th was fast, really fast, but it was just one of those nights where he seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Expect to see both bounce back in Adelaide this Saturday night.
Connor Tierney posted the 7th fastest qualifying time, but he was one of many caught out by the cut-throat format - Credit Aaryn Minerds

You have to feel for privateer Yamaha racer Connor Tierney. He qualified 7th fastest, the third-fastest Aussie in the SX2 class, out qualifies Joshua Osby who went on to win the first SX2 final yet walks away from round one cut-throat format with zero points.

I did not see exactly what happened to Connor, but he finished his heat one lap down, but his best lap was his second to last lap, and the 5th best lap time of the race, which would suggest a crash at some point.

Finishing 10th and with only 5th-9th going through to the LCQ which doubled as the final points-paying race, his night was done with no chance of scoring a single point.

The same thing happened to Tomas Ravenhorst who qualified 12th fastest. He was sitting in second position when he crashed in his heat, going on to finish 10th and his night was also done.
Kaleb Barham was another privateer with great outright speed, qualifying 10th fastest - Credit Aaryn Minerds

Now before the SX season starts here in Australia each and every year, the same topic raises its head, with people questioning why so many international riders are coming over when local riders are looking for rides, which is usually met with, there are no local riders good enough to choose from!

I actually quite like seeing so many international riders out here, it does add to the championship and the more talent on track the better, however when the question is next asked who deserves a shot on one of those rare Australian team supported rides, guys like Tierney, Ravenhorst, Kaleb Barham and Riley Dukes names need to be mentioned amongst a few others.

I know it is only one qualifying session, but if you take the international riders out, your top ten qualifying list looks like this in SX2 on the weekend.

Jay Wilson
Aaron Tanti
Connor Tierney
Wilson Todd
Kaleb Barham
Kyle Webster
Tomas Ravenhorst
Riley Dukes
Jack Kukas
Ricky Latimer

Just something I thought was interesting.
Rhys Budd had a frustrating night, and wil be looking for redemption this weekend in South Australia - Credit Aaryn Minerds

If the hard-luck story for Tierney or Ravenhorst were not bad enough, it was even tougher for the 12 SX2 riders who did not even qualify for the night show.

Twelve riders made the trek to Queensland to ride a 7-minute practice, and 8-minute qualifying session then turn around and head home. It was a tough format, but it is meant to be tough at the top right?

Rhys Budd was the unluckiest of the lot, after posting the 11th best time in practice, his bike would not start when his qualifying session started, and that was all she wrote. Despite some desperate please with officials, Budds night was over before it started.
This shot of Jost Brewster might not have been possible if it was for his epic journey just to get to the Brisbane Entertainment centre. Credit Aaryn Minerds

I have been involved in some epic travel stories travelling to and from events over the past ten years, but SB Motorsports Josh Brewster‰Ûªs weekend ranks up there.

Working full time the Suzuki RM-Z250 pilot was meant to fly out of Melbourne to Brisbane on Friday night until Jetstar cancelled his flight.

His replacement flights into Brisbane meant he would miss the event, so instead the airline got him on to a plane to the Gold Coast first thing Saturday morning. From there it was a train ride into Brisbane, then another train ride out to a station near the Entertainment Centre followed by an Uber ride to the venue!

Unfortunately for Brewster he then went down early in his qualifying session, bent his bars and finished 22nd overall. A big effort to miss out by so little.

Though we are thankful, he made it, as he was carrying a spare camera body I needed for the round.
Juniors flying over the huge finish line double had the crowd watching in awe, we are sure it have inspired kids in the crowd to talk their parents in to some more racing - Credit Aaryn Minerds

It was cool to see the kids out on track in the 85cc class at round one. During qualifying only one or two from memory hit the finish line double, I watched I‰Ûªm pretty sure Kingsford and Towill hit it to start with.

By qualifying, a couple more were sending it, and by the time the final came around 70 to 80% of the 85cc riders we launching the finish line double.

They actually looked fast all over the track, and out of curiosity, I checked their final race lap times against the SX2 qualifying times.

Considering all or most of these kids were only one week past finishing the week-long Australian Junior Motocross Championship; they had all quickly adapted to Supercross and were already up to speed; a pace that had them posting faster lap times than the back end of the SX2 qualifying times!

So who won the groms class you ask, well go check out our round race report HERE
This corner was one of two that provided plenty of action all night long - Credit Aaryn Minerds

One thing the nights racing provided was some great bar banging action. There were no big T-bones or nasty big hits (That I saw!), but there was plenty of front-wheel chopping and running it in deep, especially on the two 180 berms.

I witnessed some classic indoor passes being made, like Rykers on Evans for a qualifying spot, Waters on Rykers for race position, Reardon on half the field going from last to 4th in his heat and then the not so great attempts like Osby‰Ûªs move on Jay Wilson on the final lap of the second SX2 final.

But to be fair to Osby, if he made the move stick, he would have finished on the podium, so the attempt had to be tried.

One move I did miss was Reardon's pass on Metcalfe in the second SX2 final.
Track walk and a signed Justing Brayton Fly Jersey, perfect way to get your SX experience started - Credit Aaryn Minerds

For myself being on the floor watching the action through a Canon viewfinder, I actually quite enjoyed the nights racing; it was fast-paced, cut-throat and entertaining.

Could have it been different, with a different format that included more heats and given all riders who entered a chance to race? Yes, for sure.

Could the format have been a little kinder to riders like Tierney and Ravenhorst who had the speed but no luck, or given a chance for contenders like Dobson and Richardson a genuine second chance to make the final? Yes, for sure.

But as much as it could have been different, being there and realising just how much was at stake for every rider in every single race or qualifying session added to the excitement and the drama.

It could have easily been a Brayton, Metcalfe, Reardon, who missed the Final‰Ûªs but at the end of the day, the contenders find a way to be at the front. Its why they get paid the big bucks.

The crowd was smaller than I expected; it was good without being great. Each side of the stadium was pretty much full, just the back end behind the finish line where a good portion of the finish photos were being taken was very light on.

It has all the usual trimmings with the Showtime FMX guys putting on a show, the 110 pit bike race was very entertaining, and nothing gets the crowd going like grown men racing tiny bikes, especially when one goes down and causes a massive pile-up in the whoops.

There were more giveaways than I have ever seen at a race, seriously every time there was a break in racing, not that the breaks were long, there were all types of merchandise being thrown into the crowd including sets of tyres and a brand new FLY helmet.

Add in the VIP track walk where spectators not only got to walk the track, but each and every one of them then received a Signed Justin Brayton Fly Jersey.


I could keep typing, as with every race there are plenty of stories to be told, I'm sure there are plenty of things I did not see or have not got around to typing about, but for a different perspective on round one check out the above podcasts from Joe Stevens Inside Dirt and the OZmoto Podcast with some great quests and moto banter.

See you at Round 2 on Saturday night!

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