Empire Kawasaki racers Matt Moss and Caleb Goullet endured a challenging second round of the Australian Supercross (AUSX) Championship at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium.
After setting the fastest time in practice, Matt Moss and his 2023 Kawasaki KX450 promised to be a very real threat for the SX1 round win around the hard-pack track.
Unfortunately, things went awry in qualifying, when a small tumble through the whoops bent his bars and wheel. Trying to continue and set a fast lap, Moss then had a big crash that saw him hurt his wrist and cause a hematoma on his thigh.
Desperate to score valuable points for his championship campaign, Moss shrugged off the pain and lined up for the first final, and was well in the hunt for a top-three result when he cased a jump and unfortunately crashed once more. He was too beaten up to resume at that point.
“I felt great in practice, but a tumble in the whoops early in qualifying bent my bike up," Moss recalled. "I got off scot-free, and I probably should’ve got the bike straightened up quickly, but the qualifying session is so short I just wanted to get a good lap in.
“A couple laps later I went straight over the front of the bike off the dragon’s back. It was the biggest crash I’ve had since I’ve returned to racing – I took a hard knock to the head, I think I’ve broken a bone in my hand, and hurt my quad, back, shoulder, neck and hip.
“Points at this round were so crucial and I’ll always go down fighting, so I lined up for the finals, but I was really struggling with my reflexes and keeping strength through my legs. I cased a jump and rag-dolled, and there was no way I was getting up again.
“I’m really, really disappointed – I was supposed to fly to Paris to race there this week, but that won’t be happening now.”
In the SX2 class, Goullet – who is filling in for injured Empire Kawasaki regular Haruki Yokoyama – also faced a tough time at Newcastle after breaking a bone in his wrist just days before the round.
Battling through the pain, Goullet circulated around the treacherous, slippery race track to 16-18-15 results in his three points-paying finals, finishing 18th overall.
“I broke a bone in my wrist a week ago, but I really wanted to race and not let the team down," Goullet said. "I strapped it up and tried my best, but it just wasn’t the night I was after.
“I circulated and got through all the races, but the whoops were the biggest hurdle. Now the focus is on Melbourne. I’ll be lining up there 100 per cent and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Empire Kawasaki team.”
The final round of the Australian Supercross Championship will be held at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on Friday, November 24.
2023 Australian Supercross Championship Rd2 Newcastle NSW
1. Dean Wilson 2. Josh Hill 3. Luke Clout 22. Matt Moss (Empire Kawasaki)
1. Max Anstie 2. Nathan Crawford 3. Kaleb Barham 18. Caleb Goullet (Empire Kawasaki)