by SwapperMX on 10/26/2010
A cold and wet afternoon greeted the riders and fans alike for the second round of the Super X in Canberra. A technical, slippery track was very hard to handle for the riders in practice and timed qualifying, with some spectacular crashes, alongside some very competitive lap times. The two stroke riders of Robbie Marshall and Kim Ashkenazi did very well in timed qualifying considering the conditions, and at one stage were second and third in their group qualifying, and easily made it though to the night heat races.
Heat race one saw both two stroke riders line up against a highly talented field, with the top 9 qualifying directly to the main. Qualifying is very tough this year, as there is no LCQ race, just the top 9 from each heat qualifying directly through to the Main Event, with the promoters choice giving out the last four spots on the gate, either to a rider who is running top 10 in championship points, or riders placing 10th and 11th in the heats. So there is plenty of pressure on the riders to ensure they qualify. Heat one could not have gone any better for both Robbie Marshall and Kim Ashkenazi, with both jumping out of the gate well, settling in to a good rhythm, running consistently fast lap times, and finishing in 4th and 5th, behind Matt Moss, Lawson Bopping and Codie Mackie. A great result for the riders, as well as all the two stroke fans.
The big news for the second round of Super X was that Kevin Windham was in town, and even from the first practice, everyone knew he meant business. Throwing down some insanely fast lap times in qualifying, he was the man to beat in Canberra. Seeing him ride is something that just has to be witnessed first hand.
The one on one eliminator races once again provided plenty of action, with plenty of bar banging, as the track provided several different options for lines, with plenty of passing available if you held that throttle open. Again, the final came down to the two big American names, with Justin Brayton going head to head with Kevin Windham for the number one qualifying position. The pair traded positions, but Brayton was able to hold out a charging Windham for the win, giving Brayton first gate pick for the open final.
The format for the finals in Canberra was to be 3 six lap races for the lites, and 3 seven lap races for the opens. Riders would get five minutes break between races, before the gate once again dropped and the field charged into the first corner.
The lites finals rolled around, and the top 22 lites riders lined up for their first of three races. The rain had held off since qualifying, and the track looked to be in supreme condition. Both two stroke riders had good gate picks, and once that gate dropped it was Kim Ashkenazi rocketing out of the gate to holeshot the first race and battle with the top lites riders of Matt Moss and PJ Larsen, with Ashkenazi holding his own. A couple of small mistakes cost him several positions, and crossed the line in 9th after a great ride. Robbie Marshall had been squeezed into the first turn after not getting a great jump, but charged to the finish and crossed the line in 12th.
5 minutes later, the 30 second board was once again being shown, and the revs went up ready to jump for race two. Kim Ashkenazi once again jumped out of the gate like a man possesed, and holeshot the second race convincingly, and lead the race, holding off Australia’s top factory riders. Ashcan was on the gas, and after looking like earning a top 5 finish, made a big mistake, going down, and struggled to get re-started, and ended up 18th after going a lap down. Robbie Marshall had to once again deal with a bad start, but charged hard and made plenty of good passes to finish the race in 11th.
Riders once again lined up for the last of the three races, and this time Ashcan wasn’t going to holeshot, but both two stroke riders charged into the first turn, with Robbie Marshall getting inside the top 5, and battling with some top factory riders. Robbie showed very impressive speed, and his smooth fluid style is awesome to watch. Robbie continued to charge and was making time on the guys in front of him, as well as holding off the Factory Kawasaki of Luke Arbon. Robbie looked set for a great finish, until on lap 4 going into the slick first turn, the rear tyre began to slide, and could not be saved. Robbie had gone down, and Luke Arbon who was following his line into the first turn crashed into his YZ250 that was lying on the ground. This caused a tangled mess and both riders could not seperate the bikes. The pack had caught and passed the two riders who were stranded in the first turn of the track, and both would have to finish the race well back. Robbie crossed the line in 20th, which gave him 19th overall for the round, which is not a reflection of how well he had ridden. Kim Ashkenazi had a solid finish in race 3 after not getting a start as good as his first two, but made some good passes to finish the third race in 12th. This gave Kim 14th overall for the night.
Robbie Marshall now sits in 13th in the Championship points, with Kim Ashkenazi one spot behind him in 14th. Both riders are very motivated now, and are looking for some top results in the up coming rounds.
The open riders lined up to do battle once the lites podium celebrations had finished, and from the very first race, it was obvious it was going to be Kevin Windham’s night. KDub got good starts, and even holeshot the third race, and won every moto quite convincingly. His speed and effortless style was amazing to watch, and I think if needed, had a bit in reserve. Josh Hansen rode well, but had no answers for the man out in front, and Hansen crossed the line in each race in 2nd place. Justin Brayton, Jay Marmont and Mike Alessi rounded out the top 5. Hansen now leads the championship race from Brayton and Marmont.
Round 3 of the Super X championship will be held in Tasmania in one weeks time, where once again new formats will be used, with the lites racing two 10 lap finals, and the Opens racing 4 six lap races back to back.
Check out the videos of all the heats.
Monster Energy Super X, the Australasian Supercross Championship is a partnership between Michael Porra, the CEO of Global Action Sports, and Australia’s greatest ever supercross rider, Chad Reed.