An eventful first-ever AUS-X Open Melbourne saw Empire Kawasaki’s Dylan Long escape the chaos to earn a top five ranking in the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship.
Hosted within Marvel Stadium and in front of near 35,000 fans and featuring an international field, the triple crown final round of the season will go down as the biggest in Australian supercross history at the world-class Docklands venue.
Victorian favourite Long put on a consistent display during the trio of SX1 main events riding the KX450, recording an 8-11-10 scorecard for ninth overall. He earned fifth in the SX1 championship and was also credited seventh in the S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship.
“To take a top five result in the championship on the KX450 is really rewarding for myself and the Empire Kawasaki team,” recalled Long. “We’ve worked hard all season and have had some strong finishes along the way - tonight was definitely stacked with some of the best riders in the world!"
SX1 class teammate Bopping delivered 11-18-20 results sheet for 18th overall on the night. Battling illness all season long, the New South Welshman was 12th in both the Australian SX1 standings and S-X Open championship.
“I’m happy just to be able to complete the championship, because it’s been a battle through my illness and I’m grateful that the Empire Kawasaki team has stuck behind me the whole way,” Bopping stated. “It wasn’t the end to the season we were hoping for obviously, but it was an unreal event and I enjoyed it a lot.”
American import Bradley Taft ended his Australian SX2 campaign with ninth overall in Melbourne after recording 12-8-8 race results aboard the KX250. It was enough to secure eighth in the series and 12th in the SX2 category of the S-X Open series that included the Auckland and Melbourne rounds.
“Tonight was reasonably consistent for me, although for sure we wanted to finish higher,” Taft commented. “We’ve shown potential through the championship and I’ve had the speed, it’s just not come together when it counts. I’ve had a good time with Empire Kawasaki and thank everybody for the opportunity down here.”