Following days of rain and darkening clouds, Saturday's opening round of the 2009 Monster Energy Super X series kicked-off in an explosive way in Launceston, Tasmania - as Woodstock/Honda/Thor Racing's new recruit, Dan Reardon, set the benchmark all day to open his season account with second place overall in the Pro Opens.
Both he and his mechanic, Charlie Costanzo, had only just stepped of a plan from Los Angeles less than 24 hours earlier, but Reardon showed no signs of jet-lag as he went out and qualified third fastest for the top-ten shootout - behind Chad Reed and Jake Moss.
Following a small error on his one-lap dash in the shootout, Reardon, narrowly missed taking the number one gate pick to finish in second. Now more hungry than ever, Reardon got out of the gates early in final number one, running away with a comfortable win and topping the time sheets on every lap.
Final number saw Reardon, again, dominate early - jumping out to what seemed to be an insurmountable lead. Unfortunately for Reardon, he made a small bobble on the face of a wall-jump and washed out and went down. Remounting well down the order, Reardon fought back to recover some lost time and managed to finish in the top-five by race-end.
Reardon's incredible 1-4 result saw him take second place overall on the night, behind Jay Marmont and ahead of AMA Champ, Chad Reed.
It was a night to forget for the remainder of the Woodstock Honda squad, as things didn't quite go to plan for Dean Ferris and Brent Landman.
Following a strong showing in early practice, Landman fell victim to a nasty triple-double section that had caught a number of riders out; however, it was Brent's crash that was by far the worse. After getting ejected over the handlebars, Landman was then landed on by his CRF450 and was taken by Ambulance to hospital for scans. It was later revealed that Landman had suffered injuries to his chest and back and looks certain to miss the remainder of Super X 2009.
Whilst in the Lites class, Dean Ferris, qualified impressively against the Australians and Americans respectively, to sit inside the top-five. In another unfortunately mishap, Ferris stalled the bike on the line and was forced to rejoin at the back of the pack.
Ferris fought admirable to rejoin the race, but could not climb up the order high enough to transfer to the finals and was forced to the Last Chance Qualifier.
Trying to put the earlier heat race behind him, Ferris got a better jump in the LCQ, only to stall the bike yet again - this time in turn one. Remounting at the back of the pack, Ferris could not navigate his way to the front in the short time frame of the LCQ and wrapped-up his campaign opener in disappointing fashion.
The WHTR crew will now head back to the mainland, in preparation for round two at Skilled Stadium, Geelong, next Saturday. No doubt, all eyes will be on the Reardon/Reed showdown once again.