James Haydon retired injured after crashing in Saturday qualifying for the opening round of the MCN-backed British Supermoto Championship on Sunday.
With winds gusting up to 80mph, driving rain and sleet showers, the conditions were hardly ideal.
But the quality and standard of racing on the FIM spec' Supermoto track were far from dampened. The tight, sinuous and twisty track, complimented by a technical dirt section with table-tops, triples, berms and washboards, provided true European style action - wet or dry.
Saturday's qualifying and practice day was the worst of the weekend with much standing water on the Tarmac sections of the track. But despite winds strong enough to warrant severe weather warnings, riders soon came to grips with the tricky conditions to produce some truly astonishing times despite the lack of grip and unpredictable surfaces.
Haydon wiped-out on the spectacular triple jump and landed awkwardly. He retired on the day with a suspected sprained wrist but subsequent x-rays proved the injury to be more serious. He is currently undergoing treatment for a broken scaphoid but, undeterred, the Andorran based rider plans to be back as soon as he's fixed. Team-mate Terry Rymer also suffered injury, retiring with a trapped nerve in his back after an awkward landing from one of the dirt sections' many jumps.
The 450 class finals, held in dry conditions, were dominated by Zupin Husqvarna rider Christian Iddon. Iddon stamped his mark on the race from the front and at one point had stretched his lead to nearly thirty seconds. By the chequered flag, though, Iddon having cruised the final lap, took the win by 11 seconds from an on-form Matt Winstanley and a delighted Johnno White on his KAIS Honda. Not on the podium, but worthy of attention, was a strong showing from motocrosser Matt Bates, finishing just two seconds behind Leighton Haigh in fourth place.
The KTM Junior Cup produced a white-hot, three-way battle for the lead between South Wales rider Daniel Griffiths, Cumbria's Chris Hodgson and Essex rider George Clements. In the end, despite being out qualified by Hodgson in timed practice, it was Griffiths who took an emotional win with Hodgson second and Clements third on their identical KTM 200SX machines.
The Open class final, cut short by a sudden and heavy downpour after half race distance, was dominated by Irishman David Tougher. Tougher, who was never headed despite Ady Smith's best efforts, was in sizzling form. Husqvarna's Jay Smith filled the last step of the podium with a close and well deserved third place.
Round two of the British Supermoto Championship is on April 4 at Karting North East, Warden Law –on the outskirts of Sunderland.
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