Two-fifty two strokes, an indoor arena and a collection of Australia’s fastest talent – both new and old school – is a combination that’s sure for destruction, and with the introduction of the two stroke cup class at this year’s Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney, metaphorical along with literal fireworks are likely inside Qudos Bank Arena.
Days of old show us that the above statement is a fact; on many separate occasions it’s been proven. However, there was one particular incident that sticks out in most peoples mind as the tipping point, and that was during the 1999 SX Masters Melbourne main event.
Two of Australia’s best domestic racers, Craig Anderson and Danny Ham, had been rivals ever since their amateur days, with a ferocious contempt for each other on track – typical feelings of a decade long rivalry. When they finally transcended to the professional ranks together, the sparks continued to fly, with one fateful night in Melbourne providing the perfect place for a showdown.
“Look, Danny and I had never really got on all the way from when we were 14 years old, and that night everything just kind of boiled over and it just snapped,” recalls Anderson.
“(The rivalry) had been brewing for years, and I guess that was his opportunity to get me and he did (laughs). After that though I really re paid the favour for a couple of laps, and then he jumped off his bike – and the rest is history.”
Ham echo’s Anderson in that the incident had been brewing for years, citing the fact that the amateur rivalry hadn’t at all subsided come the professional leap.
“That’s what a lot of people don’t realize, that this goes way back to our junior days and something that neither of us really let go of, and that night really was a tipping point for the both of us. I’m sure I could say something, then he could say something and I don’t think that we’d agree on it,” states Ham.
“It’s been along time since we’ve raced each other and it’ll be cool to get back out on the track and re ignite some of that,” finished Ham.
For Anderson, the idea of facing Ham again on an indoor supercross track holds the prospect for retribution, which is something that sits in the back of his mind at all times.
“Even now, we don’t really talk too much. So hopefully I might be able to pay him back a little bit when we go to Sydney,” laughs Anderson.
For the 2018 edition of the Monster Energy AUS-X Open, the newly introduced two-stroke cup class will see a collection of Australian supercross stars face off against all American bad boy, Ronnie Mac, who’ll no doubt be out to take the trophy back to American soil.
If, for anything, one thing can be certain; it’s that the two stroke cup class will provide a mixture of elements that’ll leave the fans in a complete delirium, as the nostalgic feel of the 00’s combined with the complete pandemonium on track makes for an event that wont want to be missed.