The Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, was a sea of ‘red’ earlier today. Utilising the brilliant CRF450R and CRF250R machines, Honda Racing Australia dominated the first stop of the 2022 Australian Supercross Championship.
Equipped with a bold number one plate, signalling that he is the reigning champion, Justin Brayton returned to the top step of the podium in the SX1 class. The Melbourne layout was deteriorating rapidly by the time that the premier-class final commenced – Brayton used his vast experience to excel and methodically made his way through the field after starting on the cusp of the top five. After taking the lead on lap fourteen, he hit the checkered flag with a seven-second advantage. It was another superb showing from the champ.
Dean Wilson raced to third place aboard his CRF450R and joined his stablemate on the podium. Wilson was impressive from the start of the day, as he posted the quickest lap time in qualifying and then climbed from fifth to third in the final. ’15’ was just one second from the runner-up spot when the checked flag flew too. Kyle Webster ensured there were three CRF450R riders in the top seven, as he went from tenth to seventh in the twenty-lap final.
Max Anstie was at one with his CRF250R from the second that the event started. Taking the win in the first SX2 heat race of the night set the tone, as he carried that form into the fifteen-lap final. Although he missed out on the holeshot by the slimmest of margins, he moved into the lead immediately and was unchallenged from that moment on. It was a masterful performance by ’99’ and one that he’ll want to replicate tomorrow night.
Gage Linville was right in the thick of the action for much of the final, but gained experience with every lap that passed. ’40’ lost ground in the chaotic opening lap, but showed poise to take fifteenth on a tricky track that claimed so many experienced stars. Wilson Todd was, unfortunately, one of those riders. Todd was in fine form all day, as he won his heat race (that being SX2 heat two) and had high hopes going into the final. The dragon’s back caught him out on lap one and he had to retire prematurely, however.
Justin Brayton, Dean Wilson, Max Anstie, Wilson Todd and Kyle Webster will compete in tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Australia. The final round of the 2022 FIM World Supercross Championship will be run inside of that same Marvel Stadium. The second round of the 2022 Australian Supercross Championship is scheduled for October 29.
Justin Brayton: “It was a game of chess out there. The track was really, really challenging. The priority was just finding smooth lines and putting my CRF450R where it needed to be. It is just amazing to be back here in Australia. I love racing here and spending time with the team.”
Max Anstie: “I loved it today! I cannot thank the boys at Honda Racing Australia enough for getting me into this championship. Getting the win at round one was a great way to repay them and it was also important for me to blow the cobwebs off, after that long flight over to Melbourne!”