After announcing during Melbourne’s AUS-X Open that 2020 will be his final supercross season in the United States, Australian legend Chad Reed will sport the No.22 in his final appearance at Anaheim, looking to conclude an illustrious career where he earned two US Supercross Championship titles.
With one door closing, multiple others are set to open, with the Lawrence brothers of Jett and Hunter set to make their World Supercross debuts for Geico Honda in 2020.
Jett Lawrence is confirmed on the West Coast, however Hunter’s future in that regard is unclear, with either A1 or the East Coast opener inside Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium the destination for his Supercross debut.
Recent Australian revelation Luke Clout has teamed up with Australian backed Penrite Honda Racing to take on the 250 West Coast Supercross rounds as team expands into the United States. Clout put in a phenomenal performance during the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, where he took three time defending champ Justin Brayton all the way to the final race for the championship, which in turn gained him international notoriety.
Joining Clout on the West is his Serco Yamaha team-mate from 2013, Jay Wilson, who’s put together his own Yamaha program to compete in the mostly Californian rounds. Stalwart young privateer Joel Wightman too will make the jump over in the premier 450cc Class, whilst Serco Yamaha’s Aaron Tanti joins Wilson and company in the opening 250cc West rounds.
The influx of Australian’s in the World Championship supports the increase of talent coming from the Oceania region worldwide in many disciplines, with world-class athletes now at the pinnacle of Supercross, UFC, Formula One, Moto GP, Freestyle Motocross and in the NBA.
“To see so many Australian’s this year make their way across to the U.S and take on the world’s best is a testament to their talent and commitment. Really, we haven’t seen something like this since Reed, Byrner (Michael Byrne), Andrew McFarlane and Brett Metcalfe made their way over in the very early 00’s,” commented AUS-X Open Co-founder Adam Bailey.
“It’s instrumental that we continue the expansion of our series down under and get behind it in support, so that more and more talent feel confident and comfortable in their Supercross skills, and are prepared to make that leap and represent the Green and Gold.”
The rapid rise of the Australian Supercross Championship is a major player in domestic Supercross development, with the 2019 series accelerating the professionalism of the sport within Australia, along with providing the springboard for young talent to pursue their dream on the world stage.
High-profile amateur star Jett Lawrence deciding to make his professional debut in Australia, along with Honda HRC’s permission, is further testament to the credibility of the championship and quality of events.
Chad Reed has shouldered the load for Australians in Supercross for the past decade, however it’s apparent that the nation is once again on the map worldwide, with a barrage of riders lining up and prepared to take on the world’s best in 2020.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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