After a stunning second-place finish in his debut season racing the World 250cc Motocross Championship, 19-year-old factory Motorex Team Kawasaki rider Chad Reed returned home to Australia to absolutely dominate last night's 11th round of the Supercross Masters Series at the Sydney Superdome.
In front of a near-capacity crowd at the indoor Sydney Olympic venue, Reed launched a one-man blitz on the 20-lap main event that left American teenage dirt bike sensation Travis Pastrana in a distant second place, the Team Suzuki rider having no answer for the Aussie's lightning-fast start and scorching race speed. So dominant was Reed that he actually lapped Australian Supercross Masters Series combatants Craig Anderson (of Team Castrol KTM) and Cameron Taylor (of O'Neal Honda), who finished third and fourth, respectively. Only a last-lap bobble by Reed through the stutters allowed Anderson and Taylor to unlap themselves!
"I'm pretty happy with that," beamed Reed from the top of the podium. "It feels really good to come back home and win a Supercross Masters, given that I've been racing motocross all year long. I really wanted to win tonight, and knew that if I got a good start and rode smooth and fast, I could win, and that's pretty much how it went. It feels great to win for all my fans here at home."
Second-placed Pastrana had no answer for the flying Reed. Boxed out of the first-turn jumble of bikes, Pastrana was fifth through lap one as up front Reed holeshot and steamed away from the pack. Pastrana carved his way around the soft and rutted track to pass O'Neal Honda's Shane Metcalfe, Taylor and Anderson in the opening laps, but from there could never make an impression on the flying Reed.
"I've gotta say I pushed pretty hard there to get through (to second), but wow, Chad rode awesome tonight," Pastrana explained. "I've never raced against Chad before, but after tonight, well, I've got some work to do. He's on fire. Chad's coming to the USA next year, and from what I've seen, I've gotta say he's gonna do real well."
Finishing in third place, one spot ahead of arch-rival Taylor, helped Anderson to squeak out an extra two-point advantage in the series standings, giving the Team Castrol KTM rider a six-point lead going into the all-important 12th and final round of the Supercross Masters championship back at the Sydney SuperDome this afternoon. "Chad and Travis just rode awesome tonight," offered Anderson, who is a two-time Supercross Masters Series Champion. "I'm real happy to make the podium with those guys, and to get another two points out on Cameron in the championship. That's what really counts for me tonight, because everything is going to come down to the final round and every point is going to count."
While Reed dominated the 250cc main event, Team Castrol KTM rider Metcalfe did likewise in the 125cc Supercross Masters final, pulling the holeshot and then hammering all the way to the checkered flag in convincing fashion.
"I just wasn't myself in the heats, but then everything came together in the Final," said Metcalfe, who next year heads to Europe to contest the World 125cc Motocross Chamionship with Team KTM. "I rode really well through the whole 12 laps, and seeing as I missed so many rounds earlier this year through injury, I was here tonight to come back and try to win the race and then let the guys behind me fight out the championship."
O'Neal Honda's Troy Dorron and Team Green Kawasaki's Craig Carmichael continued their series-long battle at the Sydney SuperDome, with Carmichael grabbing second ahead of Dorron, and with Noyes Honda rider Robbie Marshall and MCAS Kawasaki's Paul Grant filling the top five.
"Getting a couple of points back on Troy tonight helps to keep my championship hopes alive," explained Carmichael. "The track tonight really took it out of you, and I know that in the final round tomorrow anything can happen ..."
Dorron now leads the 125cc Supercross Masters standings by just nine points from Carmichael, with another 20 points up for grabs in the 12th and final round.