SYDNEY — Two-time world champion Chad Reed has won the 2016 AUS-X Open crown with a commanding victory at Qudos Bank Arena Saturday night.
Reed powered through the pack on the opening laps, taking the lead from four-time world champion Ryan Villopoto with a strategic use of the shortcut lane.
The race came down to the wire with Reed having to fend off the hard charging American Cooper Webb who ended second with the newly crowned Australian Supercross Champion Justin Brayton rounding out the podium. Villopoto coming home in fourth.
Much to the delight of the 26,000 plus crowd, Reed won both nights of competition to completely dominate the biggest Supercross event in the southern hemisphere.
“It feels awesome to win both nights of the AUS-X Open in front of my home crowd here at Sydney Olympic Park,” Reed said.
“It’s been a great event this week, it’s truly been unbelievable and my time is coming to an end, I don’t know when that end is so I’m going to keep pushing my hardest and putting on a show for you guys.
“I’m doing it for the fans, you guys are like family and I’m here to win so this one’s for you.”
For Villopoto his first trip down under was an amazing experience as the retired champion enjoyed some of the Sydney sights while showcasing the talent that had previously won him four AMA 450 crowns.
“It was a lot of fun racing and I got good starts all week so it was nice to run up the front today and race with the guys for a little while, so yeah it was a lot of fun,” said Villopoto. “Ten laps in I was like ‘gee where’s the checkered flag’, but the whole experience coming down off the couch back to racing was pretty cool and to be able to run that close to the top guys was sweet.”
The Monster Energy FMX ‘Best Trick’ contest was won by Frenchman Tom Pages who successfully landed the first ever ‘bike flip’ on Australian soil.
The Frenchman took home $20,000 prize money for his efforts with Aussie Clinton Moore in second ($15,000) and New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood ($10,000) in third.
The USA vs. AUS feature race ended with Team Australia taking the win, as Chad Reed and Justin Brayton were the final two riders left – Reed getting the better of Brayton.
In the SX2 Class, American Gavin Faith once again proved too strong, besting Serco Yamaha’s Jackson Richardson with Kyle Webster in third.