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Australia Supercross History – Super X Series – Chapter 4

Australia Supercross History – Super X Series – Chapter 4

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Super-X Australasian supercross series

Commentator Lee Hogan interviews Chad Reed at Sydney round of 2008 Australian Supercross Super X Series
2008 Super-X Jay Marmont and Chad Reed in action

Photos:  [Left]  After clinching his second World FIM/AMA SX title in 2008, Chad Reed announced his involvement as a co-promoter and competitor in the new Super -X Australasian series – being interviewed  by commentator Lee Hogan at the Newcastle round in NSW; and [Right] Reed (22, Suzuki) dicing with Jay Marmont (2, Yamaha).  During the entire inaugural 2008 Super-X series, Marmont was the only rider to beat Reed, in the ‘man-on-man” race in Townsville (QLD).

Australasian Super-X series kicks off in 2008

On 4 June 2008, Australia’s newest motorcycling world champion, Chad Reed, officially launched the inaugural season of the Super-X Australasian Supercross Championship at Sydney’s Circular Quay.

This was Reed’s first Australian appearance since claiming a second combined World/AMA Supercross title in the United States aboard a Suzuki in Las Vegas in May, teaming up with Mike Porra from Global Action Sports.

Porra was an experienced promoter creating successful, sports and entertainment events, including the Crusty Demons motorcycle stunt show. Super-X was big and bold, bright and brassy, offering rounds at leading motorsport and football stadiums around the country.

2008 Super-X race Schedule

The schedule for the inaugural seven round Super-X series included:

  • October 4 – Perth Motorplex (WA) – 15,000 capacity
  • October 18 – Adelaide Showgrounds (SA) – 15,000 capacity
  • October 25 – Skilled Stadium Geelong (VIC) – 20,000 capacity
  • November 8 – Parramatta Stadium (NSW) – 20,000 capacity
  • November 15 – WIN Stadium Wollongong (NSW) – 20,000 capacity
  • November 22 – Dairy Farmers Stadium Townsville (QLD) – 26,500 capacity
  • November 29 – Brisbane QSAC (QLD) – 50,000 capacity

The overhaul of Supercross in Australia began with four all-new revolutionary race formats – Super Sprint, Man-on-Man, Survival and The Triple Challenge.

It was no surprise that Chad Reed won round one of the Australasian Super X series on his Suzuki ahead of Australian Champion Daniel Reardon. 

Reed competed in the entire series and dominated all but one race, missing a round with a minor injury, to take out the 2008 Australasian Supercross Championship, winning 6 out of the 7 rounds.

Poster for 2008 Australasian Supercross Super X Series

Super Sprint would see four heats of 10 riders with the winner of each proceeding straight to the grand final.  From there competitors positioned second to fifth will fight it out in the semi finals with those fierce and fast enough to finish in the top four joining the original riders in the final.

Man-on-Man pitted two riders only in a one lap sprint. First past the chequered flag after just one lap will move on with the loser eliminated. Heats, quarters, semis and a final – fast and furious racing.

Survival, as the name suggests, was an all-out battle for survival through four five lap races where the bottom five are eliminated each time until only five are left to fight it out. A one minute rest from when the first rider crosses the line, will make this event even more punishing.

Triple Challenge would see 20 riders fight it out in three separate races of six laps with points gained in each race to go toward their final tally for the round. The top points scorer in the Super-X Triple Challenge at the end of the six-round series would be the Australian Supercross Champion.

Man on Man – 2008 Super-X – Round 6 Townsville (QLD) – Matthias VE

Survival – 2008 Super-X – Round 4 Paramatta (NSW) – Plzer4U

Triple Challenge – 2009 Super-X – Round 1 Launceston (TAS) – Shanechater

Super Sprint – 2009 Super-X Round 2 Geelong (VIC) – Shanechater

Reed wins his own series back-to-back in 2009

Following the success of the 2008 Australasian Supercross Super-X series, the 2009 series would become Australasian with New Zealand included. A total of 90,000 people packed stadiums across Australia to see the races live and an incredible four million viewers watched the series live on television during the inaugural season.

For 2009, the World’s greatest ever Supercross rider, Jeremy McGrath, announced that he would be competing at several rounds, joining Australian world Supercross champion, Chad Reed, who was back to defend his title, but this year aboard his new Monster Energy Kawasaki KX-450F. The 2009 Super X race schedule included:

  • October 17 – Aurora Stadium, Launceston (TAS)
  • October 24 – Skilled Stadium, Geelong (VIC)
  • October 31 – Burswood Dome, Perth (WA)
  • November 7 – Canberra Stadium (ACT)
  • November 14 – North Harbour Stadium Auckland (NZ)
  • November 28 – Parramatta Stadium (NSW)
  • December 5 – Brisbane QSAC Stadium (QLD)

Reed won back-to-back Australasian Supercross Super X Championships, although he was not as dominant this time – winning 4 out of the 7 rounds of the series. This year Reed won the championship ahead of Daniel Reardon, clinching his fourth Australian Supercross Championship in the final round of the Monster Energy Super X series at Brisbane’s QSAC Stadium.

In a major coup for Super X and the sport of Supercross in Australia, Global Action Sports has announced that current world supercross Champion, James “Bubba” Stewart – one of the world’s greatest supercross races – would make the trip to Australia to take on his biggest rival and Australia’s dual world Champion, Chad Reed, in Brisbane.

The head-to-head battle was billed as the biggest supercross race ever to be held outside of North America. But unfortunately ‘the Tiger Woods of Supercross” didn’t make it due to ill-health, disappointing thousands of fans.  

But Another American Josh Grant, who was fourth in the 2009 AMA/World Supercross Championship, flew in won the round riding a brand new 2010 YZ450F, supported by Yamaha’s factory Pro Open squad, CDR Rockstar Yamaha. The team also campaigned the brand new 2010 YZ450F for Jay Marmont who was currently third in the championship with just four points separating him from second placed rider, Daniel Reardon.

Chad Reed competed in Australasian Supercross Super X Series 2008 to 2010 - By Olivier de Vaulx

Chad Reed  won back-to-back Super-X Australasian Supercross  titles in 2008 and 2009  – By Olivier de Vaulx

2009 Super-X – Round 1 – Triple Challenge highlights (Tasmania) – shanechater

2009 Super-X – Round 5 Open Survival Races 3 and 4 – New Zealand – Shanechater

American Josh Hansen wins Super-X in 2010

2010 Australasian Supercross Super X Series Champion Josh Hansen

Josh Hansen – winner of  the 2010 Super-X series 

2010 Super-X – Round 6 – Paramatta (NSW) – Matthias VE

2010 Super-X – Final round – Brisbane – Josh Hansen (USA) wins the series – Matthias VE

The 2010 Australasian Supercross Championship was officially called the Monster Energy Super-X Australasian Supercross Championship, again including a round in New Zealand – two in fact – in Auckland and Dunedin. 

The Super X series schedule included:  

  • October 16 – Newcastle – Energy Australia Stadium (NSW)
  • October 23 – Canberra – Canberra Stadium (ACT)
  • October 30 – Launceston – Aurora Stadium (TAS)
  • November 13 – Auckland – North Harbour Stadium (NZ)
  • November 20 – Dunedin – Carisbrook Stadium (NZ)
  • November 27 – Sydney – Parramatta Stadium (NSW)
  • December 4 – Brisbane – QSAC Stadium (QLD).

Two-times World and four-times Australian Supercross Champion Chad Reed only raced the first round of the 2010 Super X series held at Energy Australia Stadium. 

Prior to the race, he announced his decision to ride a Honda CRF450R for Team Vodafone in the opening round at his home track in Newcastle, after his contract with Kawasaki expired.

Reed made a successful return to racing after being sidelined from US competition earlier in the year with the Epstein Barr virus, winning the opening round ahead of Americans Josh Hansen and Justin Brayton. 

But he decided not to contest any further rounds in Australia that year, leaving the Americans to dominate the series with Hansen going onto win the 2010 Australian Supercross Championship.

Another American – JDR Motorsports/Motorex/KTM rider – PJ Hansen led the Super Lite 125cc series after the fourth round in New Zealand on 13 November, but Matt Moss (Suzuki) ended up winning this series.

With Reed’s involvement, Super-X looked like it would take Australian Supercross to new heights. 

But after three years, it wound up with Reed not contesting any further rounds, plus removing himself from the entire series and Porra winding down this side of his business interests to concentrate on the Nitro Circus action sports and FMX events, which he also promoted.

Marmont wins the last Super-X series in 2011

Heading into 2011, the writing was on the wall that 2011 would be the last Super-X Series. 

The number of rounds in the 2011 Monster Energy Super X series was reduced to three states, dropping New Zealand, plus the venues were much smaller since 2008 when Super X exploded onto the Australian market, taking the profile of supercross to a whole new level.

Each year there was a successive decline in ticket sales leaving the series financially non-viable after four consecutive years of losses and a multimillion dollar investment in the sport.

Even in Year 2 with Chad Reed racing at every round, ticket sales dropped to approximately 6,000 fans per round. And without Reed, since round 2 in 2010, this trend continued in Year 3 and in Year 4 with only 3,500 fans per round attending – resulting in a seven figure loss.

The 2011 Super X series schedule included:

  • October 22 – Melbourne Knights Stadium (VIC)
  • October 29 – WIN Stadium, Wollongong (NSW)
  • November 5 – Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney (NSW)
  • November 12 – Maitland Oval, Hunter Valley (NSW)
  • November 19 – North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich (QLD).

New South Wales rider Jay Marmont was the deserved winner of the 2011 Super X series, winning his second Australian Supercross Championship.

At the end of the season, Global Action Sports confirmed that the Super X Australasian Supercross Championship would not go ahead in 2012 or future years due to a number of factors leading to a substantial financial loss over the past four years.

Monster Energy Super-X 2011 Season – Promo – SuperXAUST

Jay Marmont - Four times Australian MX1 Champion - By Peter Coward

Photo:  Jay Marmont (NSW, Yamaha) won the  2011 Super-X Series and his second National Supercross Championship  (By Peter Coward)

Super-X and Australian Supercross Champions (2008 to 2011)

American Josh Hansen - 2010 winner of Super X series - Australian Supercross Champion

2008 – Chad Reed (NSW, Suzuki)
2009 – Chad Reed (NSW, Kawasaki)
2010 – Josh Hansen (USA, Kawasaki)
2011 – Jay Marmont (NSW), Yamaha)

 

Photo:  American Josh Hansen – 2010 winner of Super-X series and Australian SX Champion

Australasian Super-X photos and videos

2008 Australasian Supercross Super X Series photo featuring Chad Reed
2008 Chad Reed in action at the Australasian Super X Championships at Perth Motorplex, Kwinana. Picture - The Sunday Times, Lincoln Baker

Photos: [Left]  Chad Reed (22) wins the holeshot during a round of the 2008 Super-X Australasian Supercross series; and [right] Reed in the opening 2008 round at the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana, WA (By The Sunday Times, Lincoln Baker)

05.11.2011 Monster Energy Australasian Supercross Championship,Round 3 from Campbelltown Stadium,New South Wales,Australia. Pro Open podium - l-r,Lawson Bopping,Jay Marmont,Tye Simmonds
Chad Reed - Two-times Super X Australian Supercross Champion 2008 to 2009

Photos: [Left] Jay Marmont (NSW, Yamaha) wins round 3 of the Monster Energy Super-X Australasian Supercross Championship at Campbelltown Stadium (NSW) on 5 November 2011  ahead of Lawson Bopping (NSW, Suzuki) and Tye Simmonds (NSW, Yamaha); and [right] Chad Reed – 2-times Super-X  winner.

Chad Reed Unbelievable Final Lap – Monster Energy Super-X 2009 – SuperXAUST

Super-X 2009 Round 2 Quad Challenge Races 3&4 highlights Geelong (VIC) – Shanechater

Super-X 2009 Round 5 Opens Survival Race 1&2 – New Zealand – Shanechater

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