The best supercross racers in Australasia will be in Hamilton, New Zealand, this Saturday night.
The Waikato region will host the biggest supercross race ever held in New Zealand this Saturday, November 21, when Australia’s best supercross riders make their way across the Tasman to compete against the best Kiwi competitors in the all important penultimate round six of the 2009 Monster Energy Super X Championship.
Included in the line-up is defending Super X and two-time world supercross champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed, who is currently one point CDR Rockstar Yamaha’s Jay Marmont at the top of the open class.
The MX2 class is reserved for the Kiwi entrants and racer entry fees have been waived by the organisers to ensure a full starting grid.
Junior licence holders 15 years and up can also ride, as per MNZ rules, as long as they are on a 125cc or 250cc bike.
Reporoa’s Jonathan Martelli (pictured above) is one Kiwi rider who has already accepted the challenge to race this American-style track, along with recently-crowned national MX2 champion Michael Phillips (Honda), Ngatea’s Luke Temple (Yamaha), Hamilton’s Jesse Wiki (Honda), Mount Maunganui’s Davi Fisher (Suzuki), Ngaruawahia’s Travis Russell (Suzuki) and Waitakere’s Ethan Martens (KTM), to name a few.
But it is possibly Australian-born Reed who most will be wanting to see.
Reed is the most successful supercross rider to ever come out of Australasia and has not raced in New Zealand since becoming world champion for the first time in 2003.
Reed had a rocky start to the Australasian Supercross Championship, but has been growing in speed and confidence at every round and will be looking to put in another solid performance in Hamilton to regain the series lead before the series finale in Brisbane, where he will be looking for his second Super X title.
It has been a rollercoaster series with three competitors donning the red leader plates throughout the championship. Jay Marmont took the first round in Launceston, Reed won the next round in Geelong and Woodstock Honda Thor Racing’s Daniel Reardon won the third round in Perth.
A courageous race by Marmont at the fourth round in Canberra made headlines around Australia after he won the race just two days after the death of his seven-month-old baby girl, Lila. Reed crashed in the last of the three ten lap final races in Canberra and did not finish the race. This put Marmont one point behind Reardon in the championship standings with Reed third by seven points.
The Parramatta round in Sydney saw the return of the incredibly exciting Survival format for the Open class riders and it was Reed who showed his amazing skill and speed by winning all four of the six lap sprints. Seven time world champion Jeremy McGrath from the USA finished second and Marmont finished third.
The championship is still wide open with only two rounds remaining. Marmont is currently on 108 points, Reed on 107 and Reardon on 98.
There will be three NZ riders competing against Australia’s best in the Open class on Saturday as well as 20 New Zealand participants in the Lites class, including Michael Phillips who won the MX2 Lites national championship on the weekend.
All competitors in the Open and Lites class will race the Quad Challenge race format, which pits riders against each other in four, six lap sprints (four, five lap sprints for Lites).
The Quad challenge is one of the innovative new race formats introduced in the Monster Energy Super X series, which is now in its second year. They have been a huge success because they are much shorter and faster than the traditional 20-lap races, which results in closer racing with absolutely no room for error and are great for fans.
The Hamilton track has been designed by internationally renowned track designer, Jason Baker from the USA, who is now in Hamilton to oversee the build.
Gates to the event open at 4pm, with the main event to start at 6:30pm and finish at 9:30pm. Great tickets are still available at www.superx.com.au, or at selected outlets and will be available at the gate on race day.
In 2008 Super X saw 90,000 people fill stadiums across Australia and an incredible four million viewers tuned in to watch the series live on television in its inaugural year.
Monster Energy Super X OPEN championship standings after five of seven rounds:
1 Jay MARMONT, CDR Rockstar Yamaha, 108
2 Chad REED, Monster Energy Kawasaki, 107
3 Dan REARDON, Woodstock Honda Thor Racing, 98
4 Tye SIMMONDS, Motorex KTM, 86
5 Daniel McCOY, Pacific Ink Coastal KTM High Roller Energy Team, 78
6 Cody MACKIE, Cool Air Conditioning Kawasaki, 68
7 Cheyne BOYD, CDR Rockstar Yamaha, 66
8 Craig ANDERSON, Cool Air Conditioning Kawasaki, 63
9 Cameron TAYLOR, SP Motorsports Byrners Suzuki, 58
10 Troy CARROLL, Cool Air Conditioning Kawasaki, 52
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com