Jesse Dobson and Jesse Madden have fired the KSF ECSTAR Suzuki racing team off to a rock-solid start at the opening round of the 2018 Australian Supercross Championship held in Jimboomba, Queensland on Saturday the 15th of September.
The Suzuki RM-Z450 mounted duo were in great from the moment they hit the track in SX1 qualifying, with Dobson powering himself into 8th position at the end of the main timed session with Madden four positions back in 11th.
With both riders lining up in the first SX1 heat of the afternoon, the pair once again showed that the Suzuki line-up would be one to watch throughout the season, with Dobson crossing the line in 3rd position, followed by Madden in 4th.
When the gates dropped on the main event, it was Dobson who led the way for the KSF outfit, positioning himself deep inside the top ten, reeling off consistent laps and entered the final lap of the race in seventh position.
The last lap proved to a tough one for the Gold Coast resident, with a crash and a subsequently broken clutch lever, leaving him with a bit of a task to complete the final lap. Never one to give up Dobson was able to complete the race and cross the line for a rock solid 7th place finish.
“That was a good first round for us,” Dobson reflected. “The main goal coming into the round was to put in 20 solid laps and come away with good results, we definitely managed that today.
“For some reason, I never quite to ride my best at Jimboomba, so to come away with some good points and be able to keep pace was a big positive. It was the first race I have finished in 2018; there is certainly a lot of good things to take away from round one.
“We have a bit of break now until the next round; I am walking away from this weekend healthy and know what I need to work on, I am already looking forward to round two at Coolum.”
For team-mate Madden, the day also went perfectly to plan. After an injury-plagued second half of the motocross championship, the 23-year-old was looking for a strong showing as he made a move up to the 450 for the SX series.
Rounding out the opening laps just outside the top ten, Madden battled hard all race long, making a handful of passes on his way to a fantastic 9th place finish to give the team a double top ten result to kick of the 2018 series.
"Coming into the first round I felt a bit nervous as to how I was going to ride on the 450, only have had a hand full of rides on it coming into the weekend," Madden explained.
"I went out and felt great, and ended up qualifying 11th which boosted my confidence, then went on to grab a 4th in my first heat race.
"As the day went on I began to feel more and more comfortable on the bike, and I didn’t really have any pressure on me which was great, heading out for the main I just wanted to get a solid start and put in 20 consistent laps, and that’s what I did to finish 9th
"I’m stoked with the result, and now it gives me three weeks to improve and work on a few things before we head to Coolum."
For SX2 rider, Gradie Featherstone, the Jimboomba round proved to be a bit of a torrid affair after the rider from Chesterfield in England came down sick and was unable to hold down any food during the day.
Despite being under the weather, Featherstone put in a hearted effort, qualifying for the nights main event via the LCQ, before finishing the SX2 final in 18th position.
“That was a tough day, everything leading up to round one had gone well, but I got hit by a bug and could not keep anything down all day.”
“There was still a lot to take away from the day, the Australian tracks are a little bit different to what we see in Europe, so it was good to get an idea of what the tracks are like over here. The event itself was very well run and was a great day all around.
“It was not the way we wanted to start the series, but no excuses, we will work hard and have a much better showing at round two.”
SX1 Main Event
1. Justin BRAYTON
2. Brett METCALFE
3. Luke CLOUT
4. Daniel REARDON
5. Jace OWEN
6. Dylan LONG
7. Jesse DOBSON – (KSF ECSTAR Suzuki)
8. Nicholas SUTHERLAND
9. Jesse MADDEN – (KSF ECSTAR Suzuki)
10. Robbie MARSHALL
SX2 Main Event
1. Jay WILSON
2. Bradley TAFT
3. Joshua OSBY
4. Hayden MELLROSS
5. Jacob HAYES
6. Dakota ALIX
7. Wilson TODD
8. Richard EVANS
9. Dylan WILLS
10. Jackson RICHARDSON
18. Gradie FEATHERSTONE – (KSF ECSTAR Suzuki)