The name Hayden Mellross to Australian fans usually conjures up two memorable moments, neither of them pretty.
One is the heart break of losing the Australian SX2 Supercross Championship when his bike stopped on the final lap, at the final round of the championship in Sydney, while leading and causing a DNF that saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. The other is his monumental crash in the 2016 AMA SX where both he and his bike went hurdling over a berm and onto an infield fence causing riders and teams to scatter as the carnage flashed before their eyes.
But Mellross is more than that and in his seventh year since turning pro, he has packed an awful lot in. Not long after winning the Australian junior Motocross Championship in 2011, Mellross went to the US and started riding and training at the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia. As he speed grew in the US, he started to get assistance from support teams and was climbing the US ladder one wrung at a time.
Then in 2014, he returned to Australia for a full season but by 2015, he was back in the US working with former pro and factory racer, Tim Ferry, as his coach and mentor. His improvement was obvious, and he was again in favour with US teams picking up rides for the 250cc Supercross series. In between the US stints he would come home at the end of the US season and contest the Australian Supercross Championship.
But for 2019, he elected to stay put in Australia and experienced possibly his best season yet. He was a front runner in the MX1 MX Nationals and led the championship on multiple occasions, he proved he could ride a range of surfaces and conditions and established himself as a genuine MX1 contender. All was rosy until a fall at the Moree round of the MX Nats were his knee twisted in a simple front end washout and with the instant jolt of pain shoot through his body, Mellross knew exactly what happened.
Still, he toughed it out at the final round at Coolum just a week later to secure third in the MX1 championship and that resilience, combined with his new found speed, caught the eye of the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team owner, Craig Dack.
Mellross checked himself in for surgery on the knee but was comforted in the fact that he had a CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team contract in his pocket and that when the 2020 season rolls around, he would be part of the most successful team in the pits.
He was cleared to ride in February and working tirelessly to be ready for the start of the MX Nationals on April 4. But the Covid -19 virus soon put and end to that, but the delayed start gives the 24 year old, Young resident time to gel with his new team and his YZ450F and come out all guns blazing when the MX Nationals gets under way.