Supercross

Bopping scores break-out win at the Apple Isle

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Young charger Lawson Bopping scored a richly deserved break-out win, while team-mate Matt Moss overcame injury to maintain his lead as Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki dominated the third round of the Australasian Supercross Championship at Launceston on Saturday night.

Bopping's big night was all the more meritorious, overcoming the big crash he suffered in round two at Canberra only a week prior.

Moss, meanwhile, rode through the pain barrier after a crash in qualifying left him with a suspected fractured knee cap.

Steady rain left the Aurora Stadium track in a soft condition, ensuring high grip levels and a mad charge for the holeshot at the end of the long start straight.

In race one of the Pro Lites double header Bopping and Moss started strongly and were quickly involved in a four-way dice with KTM riders Ryan Marmont and PJ Larsen. That turned into a three-way duel when Marmont dropped out of contention, leaving Bopping in second place and charging hard. The youngster pushed the American through to the line to grab second place, while Moss ‰ÛÒ despite being clearly hampered by his injury ‰ÛÒ rode a cool, calculated race to snare third place and a good points haul.

The second Pro Lites final provided one of the most drama filled races of the series to date. Marmont grabbed the holeshot and jumped to a big lead, followed by Larsen, with Bopping and Moss moving into third and fourth positions. Moss endured a couple of big moments, narrowly missing crashing on at least two occasions. Larsen, looking to eat into Moss's championship lead, then came off his bike midway through the race, dropping him out of the top 10 and paving the way for the Suzuki duo to shine. Moss seized the opportunity to maximise his points haul, but Bopping was determined to grab first place.

Slicing his way through the lapped traffic, he cut the margin to less than one second, then squared his Suzuki RM-Z250 inside Marmont on the final lap to grab the lead. Marmont, in his desperation to grab it back, overshot a jump and landed on the tuff blocks, leaving Bopping to take the win while Moss gleefully grabbed second position for a Suzuki 1-2 finish.

The results ensured Suzuki riders filled two spots on the podium for the second round in a row, with Bopping grabbing the win and Moss finishing third overall.

Bopping's 47 point haul lifted him to fourth place in the championship, while Moss maintains a 17-point lead and took another step to securing a three-peat of the Pro Lites title.

An ecstatic Bopping was almost lost for words after the race.

"I've been waiting for this. It's great to come back after the big crash last week. The RM-Z250 was great, the team was great. I'm just super pumped!" he said.

A philosophical Moss was pleased to come away from the round with his championship lead still intact.

"We turned a potentially bad night into a good one, and I'd like to thank the team for keeping me focussed on the prize."

Moss' twin brother Jake enjoyed his best result for the season in the gruelling Survivor final format.

Raced over four seven lap sprints, the bottom five riders were eliminated at the end of each race and Moss set himself for a big finish by securing a place in the final five with some superb riding, one of only two Australian riders to make the final five.

Unfortunately, lady luck deserted him in the final event when he crashed on turn one and cost him the chance for a podium finish.

However, his fifth place finish lifted him to ninth place in the championship and, with several of the American imports now starting to return home, remains well in contention to push for a higher finish.

Jay Foreman, Rockstar Motul Suzuki Team Manager said "Lawson should be congratulated on his maiden overall win ‰ÛÒ he rode superbly. Matt did well to maintain his points lead given his injury and Jake again showed that he can run up front. Under the circumstances, I am very happy with this weekend's results."

The Super X carnival now enjoys a week hiatus, before heading across the Tasman where New Zealand will host the next two races.

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