CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team rider, Luke Clout, has rocketed to the top of the SX1 championship chase after another podium performance at round four of the Australian Supercross Championships, Held in Auckland, NZ.Clout now leads the championship by one point in the premier SX1 (450cc) division over US import Justin Brayton and a further eight points back to CDR Yamaha team mate, Dan Reardon. With one round to go at Marvel Stadium on November 30, its shaping as a knock-down, drag ‘em out, winner take all, Oz vs US shootout!
Clout has been a model of consistency in the first four rounds and has yet to finish off the podium so far. He kept that streak going in Auckland to finish in second place with 4-1-4 results in the Triple Challenge format contested on Saturday Night.
The three race, back to back format provides unpredictable and thrilling racing and combine that with the Sky City Short-Cut that allows the riders to use a fast lane to their advantage once in the three races and you never know the winner until the race is over.
Clout pulled the short cut to his advantage in race two to take the race win and set up his podium position for the night. He has now finished with 3-2-1-2 results in the four rounds but is looking to keep the momentum rolling into Melbourne.
“I had a goal last night to be on the podium and the only rider I think capable of beating me was Jason Anderson (2019 World Champion) and I was able to achieve that,” Clout said. “In this three race format, anything can happen, but I was able to get good starts all night, stay out of trouble and make the passes when I needed to.
“Its good to keep the podium run going and have put myself in a great position to win this championship. I’m also aware of the level of competition around me and there are so great riders in just in the championship hunt but also just out for the round win so I will need to be at my best in Melbourne to make it happen.
“Thanks to the team for a massive effort as racing off-shore is never easy, my brother Aaron who works so hard for me and to everyone at AME for putting on a great night of supercross here in New Zealand.”
Dan Reardon came home in fifth place after a challenging night that saw him take a trip to the hospital to get stitches in his hand/ thumb after coming together with another rider in a hectic night of racing.
Reardon compiled 5-7-2 results on his way to fifth and was close to snaring the final moto victory but, Jason Anderson made the pass in the closing stages to pinch it out from under him.
Despite the slightly off night, Reardon still remains in with a chance of taking the 2019 championship as he sits nine points behind championship leader, Luke Clout. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, expect to see Reardon come out all guns blazing at the final round.
“I knew the importance of these final two rounds as having the extra US riders can really seperate the points. I started out strongly in qualifying and was confident going into the triple crown format," Reardon offers. "The triple crown format just amplifies the aggression on the track and the improtnace of great starts and unfortunately, my starts suffered in all three races. I also took a hit in the second race and punctured my hand so I list a few valuable points on the night and in the championship.
"I will let me hand heal this week, get back into training and be ready for the final round in Melbourne on Novmember 30."
Josh Hill continues with his guest rider with the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team and again showed he has skills on a supercross track. Hill finished with 7-3-7 results to claim sixth on the night and be extremely popular with the fans both on and off the track.
Hill was always near the front of the pack and but believes just some good old fashion race hardened conditioning kept him from finishing higher up the order.
“I thought my speed was good tonight but with the three race, back to back sprint format, it just took it out of me,” Hill explains. “With three starts and short races, the intensity is so high that it is really demanding physically. I just need to be fitter to handle it and you only get that by doing more racing.
“But, I’m still happy with how things are going, and the events was awesome. Its great to come to New Zealand and the fans have been so friendly and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team have been great to work with.
“We have one round to go and I would love to get a round win or at the very least on the podium before its done. I think we have the tools to do it, I just need to make it happen,” he ends.
The fifth and final round of the Australian Supercross Championship will take place at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium in November 30 and promises to be the biggest supercross event held in the country.
1st Luke Clout – 89 (Yamaha YZ450F)
2nd Justin Brayton – 88
3rd Dan Reardon – 80 (Yamaha YZ450F)
4th Brett Metcalfe – 72
5th Dylan Long – 55
6th Richie Evans – 47 (Yamaha YZ450F)
7th Todd Waters – 47
8th Joel Wightman – 43
9th Lawson Bopping – 38
10th Jayden Rykers – 35
11th Josh Hill – 33 (Yamaha YZ450F)
1st Jason Anderson : 1-2-1
2nd Luke Clout: 4-1-4 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)
3rd Brett Metcalfe: 2-5-3
4th Justin Brayton: 3-4-5
5th Dan Reardon: 5-7-2 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)
6th Josh Hill: 7-3-7 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)
7th Jackson Richardson: 8-9-11
8th Dylan Long: 12-10-8
9th Henry Miller: 9-8-14
10th Lawson Bopping: 10-16-6