Evans was able to turn around a sluggish start to the day at a venue that has haunted him in the past to take third place and right on the rear wheel of the second place rider at the completion of the 15 lap SX2 final.
Running inside the top five early in the race, Evans locked onto the back wheel of his team mate Richardson and the Serco Yamaha battled for the final podium position for well over half race distance. Evans stalked Richardson’s every move before slipping by on lap 10 and breaking clear as he charged off in pursuit of Gavin Faith in second place.
He ultimately came up one second short of beating the US import but the third place was a big confidence booster for Evans and has him well placed as the series moves to round two.
“I didn’t finish off the motocross season as well as I would have liked so I was pretty determined to get things rolling in the right direction here,” Evans begins.
“We made a few changes to the bike throughout the day and my goal here was really to get out of Jimboomba safely as the last two times I have been here, I have crashed out. So, I’m stoked to get on the podium and the fact that I was able to close in on Gavin at the end of the race gives me some confidence going into the rest of the championship.
“Thank you to Serco Yamaha and my family for the huge effort getting ready for supercross and I look forward to some good racing at the coming rounds,” he ends.
Jackson Richardson showed he has lost none of his speed that made him the 2016 champion but the three month layoff due to a shoulder injury has left him a little under done in terms of race fitness.
With just over two weeks back on the bike, Richardson poured it on at the start of the 15 lap final running inside the top three for almost 10 laps before he was ran down in the later stages of the race and dropping to sixth place.
Still, there is a lot to like about Richardson’s performance and with another three weeks before round two, Richardson expects to be fitter and faster with more riding and training under his belt and challenging for race wins as he tries to retain his number 1 plate.
“Sixth on paper doesn’t look great but I think there is a lot to work with and still plenty of improvements that can and will be made,” Richardson said. “As much as you can keep up the off-bike training through injury, you can beat pure bike time especially in race conditions, and with a bit of a break until the next round, I will be in much better shape in Melbourne.
“So, it back to Cairns and to keep working hard and be 100% for round two.”
Round two of the Australian Supercross championship takes place in Melbourne on October 14. For more information, www.australiansupercross.com.au
Australian Supercross Championship - Round 1
1st Hayden Mellross
2nd Gavin Faith
3rd Mitch Evans (Serco Yamaha)
4th Jay Wilson
5th Wilson Todd
6th Jackson Richardson (Serco Yamaha)
7th Dylan Wills
8th Aaron Tanti
9th Geran Stapleton
10th Callum Norton