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Bostrom crowned AMA supermoto champion

Published: 25 November 2003

Ben Bostrom has become the inaugural AMA Red Bull Supermoto champion at the winner-takes-all final round of the championship in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 21.

The first five rounds of the series operated as qualifying rounds, with 24 riders eligible for the final Supermoto race. Bostrom, who had only raced in one previous round, qualified alongside championship regulars including Britain’s Kurt Nicoll, American supercross legend Jeremy McGrath and world supermoto number two Boris Chambon.

Bostrom had 14 laps to improve on his grid position outside the top five. The second and third placed world supermoto riders, Chambon and German Jurgen Kunzel, both crashed out in the opening laps, with Alexandre Thiebault the surprise early leader.

The Frenchman eventually succumbed to attacks from 42-year-old American off-roader Jeff Ward, but his defensive lines allowed Doug Henry, Kurt Nicoll and Bostrom to close on the leading duo.

Ward took the lead on lap 10, but was unable to break away, finally allowing Bostrom through on the 12th lap. Despite a last gasp charge from Henry, the 1998 AMA Superbike champion and former World Superbike rider held his lead to the flag to become the first ever AMA Supermoto champion.

In the KTM Unlimited Supermoto championship finale it was Grant Langston who took the chequered flag from Benny Carlson and Kurt Nicoll. The orange machines filled the top ten, with just the two Vertematis of Gerald Delepine and Leonardo Bagnis finishing in fifth and eighth respectively.

The Honda Red Riders Jr Supermoto title went to 15-year-old Californian Mike Alessi. The series allowed 12-15 year olds on identical machines, and Alessi triumphed after race rival John Lewis fell out of contention.

Both Kevin Schwantz and Doug Chandler were due to ride in the supermoto championship but the former Suzuki 500GP team-mates had to pull out due to injury.

Do you think Bostrom is a worthy Supermoto champion? And would the Jr Supermoto series be a good idea in the UK? Post your thoughts on the Supermoto discussion board by following the link on the right.

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