FOR SUZUKI IN ADELAIDE
Suzuki riders dominated the second round of the Australian Supercross Championship, taking the Pro Open and Pro Lites classes in Adelaide, South Australia at the weekend.
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki star Chad Reed won the Pro Open on his RM-Z450 while young gun Matt Moss took his RM-Z250 to the Pro Lites win, the Team Shift Motul Suzuki rider also moving into equal-first in the series standings.
In another positive sign for the new championship, over 8,500 fans flocked to Adelaide Showground in oppressive heat, with Reed the star attraction.
Reed's win is the AMA Supercross Champion's second in as many rounds on his return to Suzuki, having taken out the season opener in Perth a fortnight earlier. In the debut of a Super Sprint format, Reed topped practice, qualifying and the Top 10 Shootout before winning his heat race and the opening semi-final.
After an early battle with Jay Marmont, Reed took the lead on lap two of the final, going on to claim a comfortable victory and extend his championship lead.
Also in Pro Open, Team Shift Motul Suzuki's Cameron Taylor continued to make inroads with more seat time on the RM-Z450. He finished fourth in his heat and third in his semi-final and eventually took ninth place in the final after a crash on the opening lap.
In the Pro Lites, Moss was again doing battle with his twin brother Jake after the pair slugged it out in Perth, but this time it was Matt and Team Shift Motul Suzuki who emerged victorious. Having fallen just shy of top spot in qualifying aboard his RM-Z250, Moss recovered from a first-lap fall in his heat race to finish seventh and book a place in the final.
Moss reeled in early leader Jake, taking the lead on lap seven of 15 and claiming victory by 6.442 seconds, with the pair now tied atop the Lites leaderboard.
Team Shift Motul Suzuki Development riders Lawson Bopping and Kieran Tisdale weren't as fortunate. Consistently among the Top Five in Pro Lites all day, Bopping crashed on lap three of the final, sustaining a suspected broken scaphoid bone.
Tisdale fell an agonising one spot short of a berth in the final, finishing fifth in the Last Chance Qualifier heat with the Top Four advancing.
Suzuki's three Australian Supercross Championship teams now move to Geelong, Victoria, for this Saturday's third round of the championship.
"We have a lot to learn out of today. The new format did throw up some interesting results but the track was very technical which made it tough. This series is going to keep evolving and we will keep fine-tuning the race formats to ensure we give the fans the best experience possible.
"What was pleasing was to see how much the Pro Open guys have stepped up since the last round; they really went out hard and put it all on the line."
"I'm happy with the progress Team Shift Motul Suzuki and I are making. We still haven't had a lot of time together, so each time I ride the RM-Z450 we're making changes and learning - we're definitely going in the right direction.
"The crash in the final was unfortunate, I fell there in the wet earlier in the day, but I just lost the front end in the final. That put us last and a long way behind the pack, and the five-lap race meant we didn't really have time to regain much ground."
"I'm stoked; it's an awesome result and moving into the share of the championship lead is a nice little bonus. The Suzuki RM-Z250 was fantastic all day; I gave myself a bit of extra work to do in the heat, but we managed to get through.
"Our gate and my start in the final weren't great, but I kept my head down and picked my way through the field. We reeled in Jake and had enough speed to get past him and take the win."
Jay Foreman - Team Shift Motul Suzuki:
"Chad continues to do what you'd expect from a World Champion; he's a class act and dominated every time he went out there on the RM-Z450.
"Cameron did a good job again; he hasn't had a lot of time on the bike but we're getting closer each time he rides it and he was on for a good result if not for the fall. I'm happy for Matt as he rode really well and was rewarded with a great result. He's now equal-first in the championship and it looks like it'll be a great battle between Matt and Jake for the rest of the year.
"We're looking forward to Geelong this weekend; hopefully we can make it another successful day."
Perry Morrison - General Manager Motorcycles, Suzuki Australia:
"It's fantastic to see Suzuki win Pro Open and Pro Lites with great performances from Chad Reed and Matt Moss. I'm wrapt that all three Suzuki teams - Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Team Shift Motul Suzuki and Team Shift Motul Suzuki Development - are performing so well.
"The new championship has been incredibly well received, which is a credit to the work of the promoters. In addition to the great TV package, we've seen big crowds enjoying the action at the first two rounds and long autograph queues for riders like Chad which all bodes well for the future."
2008 Australian Supercross Championship Standings (after 2 rounds):
PRO OPEN: 1 Chad Reed (Suzuki RM-Z450) 50, 2 Jay Marmont 42, 3 Daniel Reardon 42, 4 Daniel McCoy 32, 5 Andrew McFarlane 32, 6 Cheyne Boyd 32, 7 Troy Carroll 27, 8 Cameron Taylor (Suzuki RM-Z450) 25, 9 Craig Anderson 25, 10 Nathan Crawford 22.
PRO LITES: 1 Matt Moss (Suzuki RM-Z250) 47, 2 Jake Moss 47, 3 Ryan Marmont 34, 4 Adam Monea 34, 5 Danny Anderson 29, 6 Luke George 28, 7 Taylor Potter 22, 8 Tye Simmonds 22, 9 Lawson Bopping (Suzuki RM-Z250) 18, 10 Kirk Gibbs 17.