Karting North East, near Sunderland, saw its biggest ever spectator crowd watch the finest supermoto riders in the country do battle for vital championship points and the biggest prize fund in the sport.
A new one-day race format with two finals per class made for an exciting race programme for round two of the MCN-backed British Supermoto Championship.
The neatly kept venue proved to be an ideal host for Britain's premier Supermoto series with a technically challenging layout, a long and varied dirt section and almost 100% spectator visibility from any one point.In the hotly contested 450cc class it was Lancastrian Matt Winstanley on his KTM who dominated the day taking wins in both 450cc finals. The ex-motocross rider maintained a comfortable cushion at the front despite a rabid battle for places all the way down the field behind him. Winstanley and his rapid KTM now head the British Championship by sixteen points over second placed Honda rider Nigel Scott.
The unpredictability of racing was highlighted in the second leg when reigning champion Christian Iddon crashed out of the action in his battle for podium positions when he boiled his rear brake fluid. With six manufacturers represented in the top ten of this exciting class it is rapidly emerging as the premier division in UK Supermoto racing.In the Open class two riders took the top honours in both legs - Irishman David Tougher on his beautifully prepared TM and Christian Iddon on his Team Zupin Husqvarna. Tougher successfully fought off a late challenge from Iddon in race one but Iddon was in sizzling form in race two and after setting the fastest lap by nearly a full second, crossed the line a convincing four seconds clear. But, without doubt, the best race of the day was the second leg of the KTM Junior Cup perhaps encouraged by the ACU Academy's sports psychologist Ashley Scott who was on hand to offer the youngsters specialist assistance. Fifteen year-old Cumbrian Chris Hodgson was beaten into second place by South Wales' Daniel Griffiths in race one and, despite a heavily swollen left thumb sustained in a practice crash, was out for revenge in race two. Hodgson grabbed the race two holeshot and set about extending his lead. But the tenacious Griffiths clawed back the advantage until, on the last lap, the pair were handlebar to handlebar at the last three corners. Griffiths made his move into the penultimate turn but ran wide on the final corner allowing Hodgson to cut inside and power to the line ahead of the previously unbeaten Welshman.Round three of the British Supermoto Championship is in two weeks time at Llandow in South Wales on Sunday April 18.
More info at www.supermotoracing.net
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