American superstar Justin Brayton has dominated the inaugural Rhythm X event at an action-packed day at the all new dirt bike complex at Symmons Plains, winning both the Rhythm SX1 and Supercross SX1.
Crowds turned up in their thousands from all over the country to witness the Rhythm X style of racing for the first time in Australia and the riders thrilled with each race.
Brayton was unbeatable all day, winning a total of $30,000 for his two victories, edging out retiring countryman Wil Hahn in each event.
“It felt awesome, the fans were incredible. The track was amazing, it’s a world class track,” Brayton said.
After some face paced qualifying on the new track, it was down to a two-man final in the Rhythm SX1 between Brayton and Hahn, as they went neck and neck up the 400m drag style track.
“I love doing stuff like that, I had a blast. I expected the win, but you never know and especially with Rhythm X one mistake can ruin your whole run. I hope I can come back next year, I’d love to return,” he added.
Brayton admitted some guilt to beating Hahn in his final ever professional race, acknowledging they’ve been closer colleagues and competitors for years.
“Wil and I have been friends since he was probably 6 years old, so it’s cool to see him go out like this on his own terms as a champion, it’s something most of us can only dream of doing and he should be proud because a lot of us riders look up to him,” Brayton said.
For Hahn, tonight closes out a stunning career that has seen him reach heights most riders would dream of.
“It was unreal tonight, it’s something really familiar to what we do in the states, it was a great event. The crowd was unreal all night, yelling out and slapping our hands, they were just awesome,” Hahn said.
Earlier in the program, Brayton was also victorious in the elimination style Supercross, leading from the outset as he took the $10,000 first prize.
“It was a tough battle, only a four-lap race and an elimination race so something a little bit different, it was sure exciting and I’m thankful to get the win. I felt good all day on the track, I felt fast in practice, but the main thing was the starts,” the 32-year-old said.
Competing in Tasmania for the first time, Brayton comes in at the top of his game having last week won the Australian Supercross Championship and couldn’t have spoken more highly of the new event.
“The fans have been amazing today and the track is world class. It’s been awesome to be here and interact the fans, Tasmania is beautiful, it’s been a blast.
“The track is really soft which I enjoy, I grew up Iowa in the states with really similar dirt here,” he said.
“Anytime you can win a race against world class riders, it’s awesome,” Brayton added.
Event organiser Richard Stevenson said he was thrilled with the event and crowd turnout,
“It’s a solid turnout, we’re really happy. The weather has been beautiful here in Tasmania, so no complaints from us.
“We did all we could this year to bring the best riders in the country here and a couple from America as well, so it’s been a great day. We’ll look to build some more stuff in next year and the idea is to build it into a festival of dirt biking,” Stevenson said.
Earlier in the day there were plenty of spills and thrills in the Endurocross and Trials demonstrations, with fans getting up close to the action in the Pit Expo Area. As part of the new purpose built complex, the course which includes a range of obstacles from logs and rocks to oversized tyres and spindles will remain set up throughout the year for local riders to enjoy.