It was a memorable night of racing for Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team rider, Rhys Budd, who finished third at round three of the Australian Supercross Championship, in the SX2 (250cc) division, highlighted with a race win, his first at a national supercross event.In front of 20,000 fans at McDonald-Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Budd had a night to remember has he ticked off a number impressive firsts for the Yamaha rider.
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Budd finished the night in third place but it was how he achieved it that made it remarkable. He finished the night with 9-2-1 results in the triple final format, but things weren’t looking so rosy during the heat race when he collided with another rider in the whoops and went down hard. He was able to remount his bike and finish the race but it left him with an outside gate pick and plenty of work to be done to his YZ250F to get it straightened out for the first final.
The outside position on the start did him no favours in race one and he was simply stuck on the far outside of the track as the SX2 main event got under way. A bad start in the first one lead to a crash on the opening lap as a scrambled to gain as many points as possible. He was able to move through the field to ninth but satisfied his speed would be more than competitive in the final two races if he could get a better start.
And that’s exactly what he did in race two. He came out of the first corner in a good position and was able to hit the lead on the opening lap. He took control of the race and tried to sprint away from the rest of the pack but was hunted down by Max Anstie in the later stages. But his confidence was up and the elusive race win was in the offering.
The third and final SX2 race for the night saw Budd inside the top four in the early stages, but he made quick and aggressive passes on the riders in front of him and he clawed his way to the head of the pack. He put his head down and charged for the finish line as Anstie again began to reel him in. But Budd held firm and he maintained a comfortable gap over the US based rider and took the race win.
It was Budd’s first supercross podium and the race win at a national level making it a memorable night for the number 3.
“I’m a bit lost for words right now,” Budd said with excitement. “The first two rounds of the championship has been frustrating as I haven’t been able to get a good result so it was awesome to be able to get back on track and get on the podium tonight.
“I had lots of friends and family here in the stadium and it was cool to be able to ride well and get a great result tonight but it certainly didn’t feel like it started out that way after I crashed in my heat race and then got a ninth in the first final.
“But the last two races were good and it was such a relief to finally get a race win. I had worked so hard for it and it was just nice to see that work get rewarded.
“Thanks to the team for another awesome job, I kept them busy with my bike tonight with those crashes, but they always were able to get it turned around and back to the start line for me.
“I’m now third in the championship with one to go so I want to keep the momentum going from this weekend and take it into Wagga for the final round,” Budd ends.
It was a frustrating weekend for teammate, Jayce Cosford, who just couldn’t take a trick in the three finals on the night. He suffered from bad starts and as a result was caught at the rear of the field and in amongst the chaos of bikes and riders going everywhere.
He finished the night with 8-11-8 results to be ninth for the round and hold down ninth for the championship.
“I’m disappointed in my result as it seemed the harder, I tried, the more frustrated I got. I was third in my heat race and was able to get a good gate for the three finals but I just couldn’t turn that into a good result in any of the main event races.
“I will keep giving it my all keep fighting all the way to the end as I want to get a good result not just for myself but also the team who have worked so hard,” Cosford stated.
Newcastle – Round Three
1st Max Anstie – 4
2nd Wilson Todd – 9
3rd Rhys Budd – 12 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing)
4th Cole Thompson – 12
5th Kaleb Barham – 19
6th Noah Ferguson – 21
7th Luke Davis – 22
8th Nathan Crawford – 25
9th Jayce Cosford – 27 (Yamalube Yamaha Racing)
10th Haruki Yokoyama – 27
SX2 Championship Standings
1st Max Anstie – 75
2nd Cole Thompson – 54 (Yamaha)
3rd Rhys Budd – 51 (Yamaha)
4th Nathan Crawford – 51
5th Noah Ferguson – 49
6th Wilson Todd – 44
7th Kaleb Barham – 42
8th Jai Constantinou – 37
9th Jayce Cosford – 34 (Yamaha)
10th Jaxon Hadlow – 30 (Yamaha)