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HomeMotocrossRewind: AUSX Open reminiscences - MotoOnline.com.au

Rewind: AUSX Open reminiscences – MotoOnline.com.au


A short historical past of the supercross that took centre stage between 2015-2019.

Following at present’s announcement that the AUSX Open will formally make its return in 2024 at Marvel Stadium headlined by Jett and Hunter Lawrence, our newest Rewind characteristic takes a glance again at a sequence of standout reminiscences from the worldwide occasion that was launched in 2015 and spanned by the 2019 version.

It’s secure to say the AUSX Open has been revolutionary for supercross in Australia and, up till it was launched, we had by no means actually witnessed a race of its sort on that scale on this nation, together with the calibre of riders that it constantly managed to draw down underneath over its five-year period.

The AUSX Open debuted on the then-named Allphones Area – now Qudos Financial institution Area – within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct throughout late 2015. Regardless of hesitation concerning the venue’s dimension, there was an immense quantity of pleasure as Chad Reed and James Stewart had been introduced because the early headliners.

Reed was on the tail-end of his prime and returning to manufacturing unit Yamaha forward of 2016, whereas Stewart controversially pulled out of the occasion simply weeks earlier than it was set to happen. The Stewart saga didn’t finish there, as a couple of days later he was confirmed to be in attendance, solely to depart occasion organisers in limbo earlier than being dominated out as soon as once more, this time simply three days earlier than the gates dropped.

Whereas this was unfolding, AUSX Open founders Adam Bailey and Ryan Sanderson had been engaged on a plan B, and swiftly recruited Cooper Webb alongside Ricky Carmichael, with the latter performing a sequence of exhibition rides throughout the 2 nights of competitors. It proved to be a success with followers, who had been initially – and understandably – disgruntled by Stewart’s withdrawal.

Picture: Equipped.

Fittingly, Reed captured victory on the inaugural evening of the occasion in entrance of a house crowd, whereas Webb bounced again on evening two to assert high honours and the crown, regardless of nonetheless being within the 250 class at residence.

Hailed a large success, the AUSX Open returned to Sydney for 2016, and as soon as once more, Reed and Webb had been named as headliners alongside Ryan Villopoto, who was strapping the boots again on after retiring from full-time skilled racing in 2015. Justin Brayton and Wil Hahn had been additionally amongst the AMA Supercross regulars, though each had been already right here for the whole Australian Supercross Championship.

The road-up led to a sold-out opening evening, as Reed went onto emphatically win each nights of competitors, whereas a charming SX2 title battle noticed Hayden Mellross – who had dominated the home sequence that season – cruelly denied of the championship after struggling an engine failure, permitting Jackson Richardson to be topped champion.

Again contained in the confines of Qudos Financial institution Area once more for 2017, the AUSX Open gained Monster Vitality as title sponsor, whereas Reed and Carmichael had been introduced as early attendees, since each had confirmed to be a mega hit with race followers throughout the nation. Manufacturing facility Husqvarna duo Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson had been additionally named, as was then manufacturing unit Kawasaki rider Josh Grant, whereas Brayton was additionally in for the whole home sequence.

It was a star-studded line-up, nevertheless it took a success within the lead-up to the occasion, with Grant pulling out and a damaged ankle sidelining crowd favorite Reed. Then Geico Honda rider RJ Hampshire was referred to as in, as was entertainer ‘Ronnie Mac’ in a last-minute look, resulting in that notorious ‘takeout’ by Carmichael/subsequent ghost-ride in an exhibition outing. In the long run, it was teammates Wilson and Anderson who traded wins throughout the 2 nights – Anderson clinching the general.

Picture: Equipped.

Nonetheless going from strength-to-strength, and with former V8 Supercars supremo and Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane named as chairman of the AUSX Open, the S-X Open Worldwide Supercross FIM Oceania Championship was shaped in 2018 with the introduction of the S-X Open Auckland, making for a two-part continental sequence.

This solely bolstered the entry record for the Australian spherical, which occurred in Sydney for one final time. Reed, Anderson, Brayton, and Wilson had been all named to return to Sydney, whereas Justin Barcia and Villopoto had been additionally introduced. Nonetheless, Barcia withdrew over a month out from the occasion, whereas Villopoto was absent because of private causes main as much as the 2018 version.

Contemporary from successful the AMA Supercross title that 12 months and nonetheless at Rockstar Vitality Husqvarna Manufacturing facility Racing, Anderson went on to brush the evening’s racing because the AUSX Open bid farewell to Qudos Financial institution Area as soon as and for all.

In what was probably the largest announcement because the AUSX Open had been shaped, it was confirmed that the 2019 version would transfer to Melbourne on the 53,000-plus capability Marvel Stadium, the place a ‘full-size’ observe was promised alongside the entertaining spectacle we’d grow to be accustomed to over the earlier 4 years.

This positively delighted race followers, particularly the critics of Sydney’s arenacross-type structure, and the record of international-based riders solely prolonged, with Reed, Anderson, Wilson, Brayton, Carmichael, and Joey Savatgy all confirmed starters.

Picture: Foremost Media.

There was yet another rider so as to add to the record, and that will be younger Aussie revelation Jett Lawrence, who’d make his skilled debut within the SX2 class earlier than his rookie AMA 250SX marketing campaign the next 12 months. It marked a passing of the torch, of types, with Reed confirming it will be his last professional look at residence earlier than retiring in 2020, whereas marking the very starting of Lawrence’s profession on the massive stage.

The Melbourne occasion was dealt an early blow with Savatgy injuring himself in apply, though a stellar evening of racing noticed Brayton lastly emerge because the AUSX Open winner, claiming a fourth-straight Australian Supercross Championship. On the identical evening, Anderson was topped the 2019 S-X Open champion.

It may very well be argued that the ambiance wasn’t fairly as excessive at its peak with round 35,000 followers in attendance in comparison with what had consistently been a packed stadium in Sydney, however that quantity is anticipated to be effectively exceeded this time round for the Lawrences’ 2024 homecoming – a sell-out come November within the Docklands could be off the charts.

With the pandemic impacting dwell sports activities and leisure globally in 2020, it sadly marked the top of the AUSX Open as we knew it, as occasion founders Bailey and Sanderson shaped SX International to grow to be the rights-holders of the FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX). Leveraging their earlier success, they continued to carry supercross to Melbourne as the ultimate spherical of WSX in 2022 and 2023, nonetheless, that enterprise finally proved short-lived – with a brand new SX International management group now planning on taking WSX to Perth this 12 months.

What that has resulted in, nonetheless, is that it’s opened the door for the AUSX Open to return to Marvel Stadium this 12 months on Saturday, November 30, set to be operated straight by AME Group, which has been doing a outstanding job in elevating the requirements of the Fox Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) in current seasons. The AUSX Open Supercross can even double because the fifth and last spherical of the home sequence, however it is going to be the Lawrences that the followers end up to witness in individual this time round.

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