Australia Supercross History – National championships today – Chapter 5

Australia Supercross History – National championships today – Chapter 5

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Australian Supercross Championships today

Justin Brayton - Five-times Australian Supercross Champion - with insert
2012 Australian Supercross Newcastle - Craig Anderson's final ride with wife, Katrina, kids and Chad Reed - By Col Nelson

Photos: [Left]  Five-times Australian Supercross Champion Justin Brayton  (USA, Penrite Honda ) in action during round 4  of the  2019 Australian-Supercross-Championship in Auckland  (By Australasian Dirt Bike); and [right]  Four-times Australian Supercross Champion Craig Anderson at his final professional ride in 2012 at his hometown in Newcastle with wife Katrina, kids and cousin Chad Reed (By Col Nelson)

Australian supercross back to its grass roots

Between 2008 to 2011 it looked like the Super X Australasian Supercross Series would take Australian Supercross to new heights.  But unfortunately, this series ended after four years.

Since then, Supercross in Australia has returned to its grass-roots with Motorcycling Australia coordinating the series and giving access to several different promoters to take on the role of running individual rounds of the Australian Supercross Championships, with Mark Luksich coordinating the series in the mid-2010s.

Part of the aim of awarding the Australian Supercross Championships to big overseas promoters was to give local riders exposure to the world’s top riders and create a pathway for Aussies to compete overseas.

But many top Australian and International riders are still going head to head both here and in the United States, with Australia still producing great talent.  

In fact, Jett Lawrence, from Queensland is now a two-times AMA SX champion (2021 and 2022) and AMA MX Champion (2022) with his older brother Hunter also one of the world’s best supercross and motocross riders.

On 22 April 2023, they created history in Round 14 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross season in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which was the first ever showdown in the United States where two brothers each led their divisions, with Hunter leading the AMA SX East and younger brother Jett, the West series.

Other Aussies Wilson Todd and Matt Moss have also been contesting the AMA SX series in recent years, with Matt making an incredible comeback to racing after four years out of the sport to win the Prince of Bercy at the 2022 Paris Supercross.

Since New South Wales Yamaha rider Jay Marmont won the 2011 and 2012 Open Australian Supercross Championships, the Americans have completely dominated the series, except in 2015 when Daniel Reardon won to claim his third title.

Jay Marmont - Four-times Australian Supercross Champion - Alamy Stock image)
2015 Sydney Olympic Park 28 Nov, 2015 - AUS-X Open - Daniel Reardon #122 Yamaha in action during the semifinals of the SX1 finals - Action Plus Sports
Hunter and Jett Lawrence - Australian Supercross Today (By Olivier de Vaulx)

Photos:  [Top] Four-times Australian Supercross Champions Jay Marmont (NSW) (By Peter Coward); and [centre]  Three-times National Supercross Champion Daniel Reardon (QLD, Yamaha) at Sydney Olympic Park on 28 November 2015 (By Action Plus Sports); and [bottom] The New Jersey round of  the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season became the first showdown of brothers  with Hunter and Jett Lawrence each leading their divisions (By Olivier de Vaulx).

Supercross legend Craig Anderson’s fitting last ride

Supercross legend 2012 Australian Supercross Championship Newcastle - Craig Anderson's final ride - By Col Nelson

On 17 November 2012, three-times Australian Supercross champion Craig Anderson retired from professional racing in the same town that it all started for him – at the final round of the Terex Australian Supercross Championships at the Newcastle Showgrounds in Sydney, New South Wales.

The Newcastle race was a fitting finish for Anderson – the place where he had his first race at the age of 14 and it enabled the home crowd to send him off in style and see him battle for the last time against cousin Reed, who also grew up in Newcastle before his family moved to a farm in Kurri Kurri.

Reed won the 20-lap Open Class final at the Newcastle Supercross ahead of Jay Marmont (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Daniel McCoy (Craig Dack Racing Yamaha), with Marmont winning his fourth National supercross title.  Anderson finished fifteenth aboard a Yamaha in his final race as a professional racer.

Photo: Four-times Australian SX Champion Craig Anderson with cousin Chad Reed at his final professional ride in  Newcastle on 17 Nov. 2012 (By Col Nelson)

American domination and record breaker Brayton

American Gavin Faith won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, with fellow countryman Justin Brayton going on to win a record five Australian Supercross Championships in a row between 2016 and 2022.

Brayton’s opportunity to achieve this consecutive winning streak was temporarily put on hold in 2020 and 2021 when the series was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. But he came back to Australia to defend his title and again did just that!

Brayton, from Dodge City in Iowa, first started racing in the AMA motocross championships in 2002 at age 18, becoming a professional motocross and supercross racer and just keeps getting better with age.

His biggest victory in the USA came on 10 March 2018, four days prior to his 34th birthday, when he became the oldest rider to win a Supercross race.  At that event, Brayton stood on the top step of the podium and looked down at 2020 SX champion Eli Tomac and 2021’s titlist Cooper Webb.

In the AMA Supercross Championship series, Brayton’s best overall finish came in 2012 when he was fourth, tied on points with third-placegetter Ryan Dungey.  He finished fifth in points twice, most recently in 2018.

But his biggest success has been down under, winning his fifth consecutive Australian Supercross Championship in the 2022 final at Wagga Wagga (NSW) by a solitary point- beating the long-held record of four titles held by Char Reed.

New South Wales rider Matt Moss, however, has won six combined Australian Open and Pro-lite Championships – 2008-2011 (Pro-lites class) and 2013-14 (Open class).

In 2022, Brayton also finished fourth overall in the World FIM Supercross Championships, coming second to world champion Ken Roczen from Germany in the Melbourne Grand Prix on 22 October, after finishing fourth in the opening British Grand Prix on 8 October.

Sydney International Supercross and Round 5 Australian Championships in Sydney Night 1 winners (L-R) 3rd - Dan Reardon ; 1st - Chad Reed and 2nd - Gavin Faith: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News
Five-times Australian Open and Lite Supercross Champion Matt Mossi - Round 1 Dubbo (Jason Rankmore)

Photos: [Top]  Round 5  of 2015 Australian Championships in Sydney – Night 1 winners (L-R) Dan Reardon 3rd, Chad Reed  1st and Gavin Faith 2nd (By Action Plus Sports); and [Bottom] Six-times Australian Open and Lites SX Champion Matt Moss (By Jason Rankmore)

Supercross returns after covid with a bang in 2022

2022 World FIM SX Grand Prix, Melbourne

2022 WSX World Supercross Highlights | Melbourne
Direct Motocross

Post covid, Australian Supercross has returned with a bang with more than 50,000 fans filling Marvel Stadium for the WSX Australian Grand Prix on 21-22 October 2022.

Hosted by SX Global, the pilot season of the FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX) was held over two rounds – the first in England, then coming to a spectacular end in Melbourne – with Ken Roczen (WSX, Germany) and Shane McElrath (SX2, USA) being crowned world champions in their respective classes.

Due to its success, the new series will be extended to multiple rounds in 2023 with Australia set to host Round 6 at the same venue on 24-25 November.

With the end of the combined FIM / AMA Supercross Championship series in the United States, the Americans have launched a separate SuperMotocross World Championship series for 2023.

Riders will qualify for the SuperMotocross by accumulating points in both the Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross seasons. 

The combined points will seed the top 20 drivers into guaranteed positions in the three playoff Main events. The remainder of the field will be determined by a Last Chance Qualifier each week, with three dedicated SuperMotocross rounds to determine the overall champion of AMA off-road motorcycle racing for the season.

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