PUEBLO, Colo. – Veteran Jason Mara became the first Australian to strike during the 2019 season.
Mara won the season-opening, PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour event in Melbourne on Saturday night with a 2-for-3 showing.
Event leader Rubens Barbosa unable to compete in the championship round because of an undisclosed injury, therefore, allowing Mara to snatch the event victory courtesy of an 87-point ride aboard Mr. Buckmore.
“It could have been last week at the Finals, but I will take this one anyways,” Mara said on RidePass. “It was a good night of bulls. Thanks to the stock contractors, sponsors, fans. Thanks for coming out.”
Mara earns 170 points toward the world standings and moves up to No. 2 in the early 2019 world standings. He trails current world leader Ezekiel Mitchell by 50 points.
Mitchell is slated to ride Saturday night at the Corpus Christi Chute Out Velocity event in Texas. Fans can watch the event exclusively on RidePass beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Mara was bucked off by Feel The Fire (2.31 seconds) in Round 1 before getting himself back into contention with an 84.5-point ride on Hot Dots to tie with Barbosa (84.5 points on Down Under) for the Round 2 victory.
Barbosa seemed like he was on his way to a clean sweep after also splitting the Round 1 victory with Troy Wilkinson with his 84.5-point ride on Windy Gate.
However, Barbosa opted out of the championship round because of an injury, according to PBR Australia officials.
Wilkinson – the 2017 PBR Australia champion – finished second overall in his first event back from June left elbow surgery.
He tied with Barbosa for the Round 1 victory by riding Train Wreck for 84.5 points. He then rebounded from his Round 2 buckoff against Bring The Action (3.18 seconds) to finish the championship round in second place with 85.5 points aboard Stealth.
Wilkinson picked up 90 points toward the world standings, while Barbosa’s third-place finish nets him 55 points.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Kurt Shephard (2-for-3, 20 world points) and Nathan Burtenshaw (1-for-3, 15 world points).
Fans can watch the next PBR Australia event – the Monster Energy Adelaide Invitational – next Saturday at 2 a.m. ET exclusively on RidePass.
Mara finished 2018 a career-best seventh in the PBR Australia standings and 58th in the world standings. The 32-year-old went 13-for-30 (43.33 percent) at all levels of competition with three victories and six Top-5 finishes and eight Top-10s.
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