2016 has certainly been a up and down year for Australian Supercross and Motocross racer Hayden Mellross.
Contesting the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship for the 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha team in the highly competitive 250 West regional championship Mellross posted some great results including a fine 11th place finish at the opening round at Anaheim 1.
In what has to be considered a huge achivement in itself, Mellross qualified for every main event he contested, including his final race for the Supercross season at Santa Clara which unfortunately ended with one of the most spectacular crashes of the year.
While the New South Welshman was able to get back to his feet under his own power, scans later in the week would show some injuries that required Mellross to wear a body brace for a number of months, sidelining him from the opening rounds of the American Motocross Championship.
After recovering from injury and returning to riding, Mellross decided to make the long drive to the 10th round of the series held last weekend at Unadilla for his maiden race in the Pro 450 class as a fully fledged privateer.
Sneaking into the days two 30 minute plus one lap main events by qualifying 32nd fastest, the soon to turn 21 year old ran the majority of the opening moto just outside the top 20 before working his way forward in the final couple of laps to recored a very respectable 18th position and in doing so scored championship points in his first ever 450 moto.
The Crash the ended Hayden's Supercross Season
On what was arguably the toughest and most technical race of the season to date, Mellross lined up for moto two and with another great ride bettered his opening moto performance, racing to a fine 16th place moto finish, finishing the day 17th overall.
We caught up quickly with the Yamaha YZ450F pilot after his long drive home to Florida to check in and see how the weekend played out and what he has in store going forward.
Fullnoise: It has been a long time since you last raced, espeically motocross, how did it feel to get back out to the races?
Mellross: it was awesome to go racing again. It was a long road of recovery for me but feel great to be behind the gate again!
Fullnoise: You raced the 250 West class during Supercross, however you lined up in the 450 class on the weekend at Unadilla, why the decision to race the 450 class for motocross?
Mellross: I decided to race the 450 based on my experiences racing the 250 last motocross season.
With me doing all my bike work and maintenance riding and training on a 450 was much easier and less costly.
Mellross is no stranger to 450 machinery, in 2014 he contested the MX Nationals aboard a Suzuki RM-Z 450 finishing the season in 7th position as a 18 year old.
Fullnoise: How happy were you with your results especially sinces it was your first 450 race in the pro class in the U.S
Mellross: I was pretty content with my result last weekend. I didn't have to many goals for the weekend I just wanted to focus on riding consistent laps, finishing strong and getting the well needed seat time!
Fullnoise: You raced this past weekend as a privateer, did you have much help and support and who helped to make it possible for you to line up on Saturday?
Mellross: I have a great group of Sponsors that have been behind me and that have really made my program solid for these last few Pro Motocross Rounds. Hydrocephalus association, Joto's Pizza, Yamaha, O'Neal, X Brand, Dedicated Ride Co, 6D, Gaerne, Active Ride, Dunlop, FMF
Fullnoise: Do you have any plans to race the final two rounds of the American Motocross championship and more importantly will we see you home for the Australian Supercross Championship in just over a months time?
Mellross: I'll be racing Buds creek and also Ironman and just plan to build on my result and keep improving.
I would like to plan to come home and race the Australian supercross championships this year but fingers crossed I can get something organised.
Fullnoise: Cheers for taking the time to get back to us Hayden, again great results on the weekend and hopefully more of the same this weekend
Mellross: Thanks mate, Ill be aiming for better again this weekend.