US based Supercross racer, Robbie Wageman, led the WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients team, to an impressive showing at round one of the Australian Supercross Championship, on Saturday night.A near capacity crowd piled into the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to watch the opening round action and with the tight nature of the track and plenty of early season nerves, the racing was intense from start to finish.
To view the WBR Yamaha round review: https://youtu.be/bciqXBxRvdE
Wageman landed in a Australia a week before the event to get accustomed to his WBR Yamaha YZ250F and adjust to Australian conditions. This was his first trip down under and charging to second place finish on debut, it will be a trip to remember for likeable and friendly Yank.
He took his time in the afternoon sessions to adjust to the small confines of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre but once the SX2 (250cc) main event rolled around, Wageman was ready to go. He powered himself into a top three start and then quickly moved into second place in the hustle and bustle of the opening few corners.
With fellow US based rider, Max Anstie in the lead, Wagman slotted in behind him and was desperate to apply the pressure in the 15-lap main event. Wageman never got close enough to make a move on Anstie but stayed comfortably ahead of third place to lock down the second step on the podium and kick off his championship campaign in style.
“I’m so thankful to get the opportunity to come to Australia and do the national Supercross Championship. Travis and the entire WBR Yamaha team have been awesome to deal with and it's cool to reward them with a podium result on the first night.
“The track is a lot smaller than I’m used to back in the States, but it does make for some close racing and staying clear of the mayhem off the start is part of the battle. Thankfully, I was able to stay out of trouble in both the heat and the main event and happy to finish second at round one and now look forward to Newcastle and Melbourne,” Wageman expressed.
Teammate Ryder Kingsford also put his WBR Yamaha YZ250F into the main event and showed he has recovered from his injury plagued motocross season. Kingsford qualified well in the afternoon sessions and then carried that form into the heat race, where he took the first race win of the night and proceeded directly to the main event.
Kingsford got caught in the hustle and bustle during the 15 laps and finished in seventh. He was holding a solid top five position until the halfway stage but was shuffled back two spots before the race concluded.
“It felt good to be back on a supercross track and ride in front of a big crowd,” Kingsford said with enthusiasm. "I enjoy riding supercross and feel it comes a little more naturally to me.
“The night went well although I’m a little frustrated with how things ended in the main. I just had a couple of lapses of concentration and let a few guys passed me that I shouldn’t. I just need to stay aggressive on the track and not get pushed around in the final few laps.
“Still, it was a good start to the championship and I think things will continue to improve from here,” Kingsford ends.
It was a welcome return to racing for Bailey Malkiewicz who contested the SX1 (450cc) division for the team. Malkiewicz has also struggled with injuries this year but is now well on the road to recovery and starting to find form.
He took the long road to the 20 lap SX1 main event after missing out on directly qualifying from his heat, Malkiewicz finished fourth in the Last Chance Qualifier and took the final gate in the 10-rider field.
A fall in the opening laps put paid to a top result and he finished the race in 10th, happy to be in the main event and log laps as he continues to get back to full fitness.
“I would have liked to have finished slightly better in the main event, but a crash just took the wind out of my sails, and I couldn’t get back up to full speed again. My gaol was to get into the final, so it was good to tick that off, but now I know I can achieve more than that, so I will be looking to take some steps forward at round two and see if I can climb up a few positions there.
“Thank you to everyone on the WBR Yamaha team as it was a busy day under the truck with all three riders in action.”
Round two of the championship now moves to Newcastle on November 12 at MacDonald Jones Stadium. In 2022, 20,000 fans packed the grandstands to witness supercross and a huge crowd is expected again for 2023.
SX2 – Round 1
1st Max Anstie
2nd Robbie Wageman (WBR Yamaha)
3rd Wilson Todd
4th Cole Thompson (Yamaha)
5th Jayce Cosford (Yamaha)
6th Liam Atkinson
7th Ryder Kingsford (WBR Yamaha)
8th Noah Ferguson
9th Nathan Crawford
10th Reid Taylor
1st Dean Wilson
2nd Justin Brayton
3rd Matt Moss
4th Josh Hill (Yamaha)
5th Luke Clout (Yamaha)
6th Aaron Tanti (Yamaha)
7th Kyle Webster
8th Luke Zelinski (Yamaha)
9th Jackson Richardson
10th Bailey Malkiewicz (WBR Yamaha)