WOLLONGONG PROVES A NIGHT OF TRIUMPH AND CHALLENGE FOR PENRITE HONDA RIDERS
The three-final format of round three of the Australian Supercross Championship in Wollongong resulted in mixed results for the Penrite Honda Racing team on the weekend.
In the SX2 class, it was triumph Penrite Plus Fitness Honda rider Chris Blose who took the overall win, with his team mate Mitchell Oldenburg finishing third.
After a rough first two rounds, Blose was very pleased to take the win; “We needed this win! Now we’ve moved to second in the series and I’m only trailing the lead by one point. I need to maintain my program and focus; with two rounds remaining I can’t afford to have a bad race.”
Oldenburg admits he is relieved to stay in the Championship hunt after his performance on Saturday night; with a few errors, he still managed third overall and now sits only four points behind the Championship leader.
“I’m happy to have taken 3rd overall but I do feel like I was in a position to win. My times were strong, so it was unfortunate that a string of blunders cost me. In a Championship this tight you need to keep your head in the game and focus on mistake-free racing,” Oldenburg said.
In the SX1, Justin Brayton pulled the trigger in the first final with a massive holeshot, before leading every lap to win by a comfortable margin. Teammate Brett Metcalfe moved from a mid-pack position to finish the final in fourth position.
In finals two and three, both riders were forced to rely on their vast experience to salvage credible results. Brayton got off to another good start in the second final, but a serious bike check from another rider caused him to stall and left the reigning Champion in last place.
Metcalfe didn’t fare much better, also fighting back from a bad start. Brayton regrouped to finish fourth, with Metcalfe sixth. In the last final, the pair finished fourth and fifth respectively which meant Brayton took third overall and Metcalfe fifth for the round.
Metcalfe acknowledged this is not where he needs to be; “Put simply, I need to be better. My lap times are close, but I can’t afford to make any mistakes against these guys. The points are still close and I want to be on the podium. I have two rounds left and I will work hard to get back to where I was last year,” said Metcalfe.
After dominating the first two rounds, Brayton recognises the outcome of his performance in Wollongong. The Championship has tightened up and the three-time Australian Champion has already turned his focus to Auckland this coming weekend.
“The buffer I built in the first two rounds is gone and the Championship is close! I battled through the weekend so performing well in Auckland is my sole priority. It’s a tight turn around, so I need to regroup and put the result behind me, 3rd overall on the night is good but not what I wanted. I’ll take the positives and focus on moving forward,” said Brayton.
Brayton leads the SX1 Championship and Metcalfe sits in fourth.
The Championship moves to Auckland, New Zealand this weekend, for more information go to: www.sxopen.com.au