SMT sign Christian Iddon

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Supermoto star Christian Iddon has signed to ride for SMT Honda in BSB this year.

Iddon, a nine-times British Supermoto champion and former factory Aprilia rider in the World Supermoto series, has just 10 road races under his belt and has never ridden a superbike.

But team boss Robin Croft has put his faith in the son of former works Suzuki rider Paul.

Croft told MCN: “It’s going to be a big crossover for Christian but he’s keen and in the couple of road races he’s done with us, he’s adapted really well.”

Iddon rode an SMT Honda in Junior Superstock in 2008 at Oulton. That year he also rode four Thundersport Streetfighter races on an Aprilioa Tuono.

Last year he also rode in four of the KTM RC8 Cup races and again on an SMT Honda in the final National Superstock race of the year.

Croft said: “Christian qualified 14th and then finished sixth in the race which really impressed the people.”

But over the winter,  SMT was linked with several more experienced riders. MCN asked Croft why he opted for Iddon. 

“Before Christmas I knew we had about two thirds of the budget to go racing this year,” he said.

“Karl Harris did a good job on the bike at Oulton but I think he thought he had the job sorted for this year (which wasn’t the case). But I wanted to get my sponsorship plans in place before I announced a rider.

“Michael Rutter talked to us and we may well have done something with Gary Mason at one stage but then Chris Walker was in touch and at one stage I felt we were about 99% there with him.

“But then I didn’t hear from Chris for weeks so I assumed he’d signed elsewhere.

“We then talked to Ian Lowry but, just like Chris, he suddenly stopped picking up his phone. I’ve heard he’s since gone to ride in Spain.

“There was a last minute discussion with Steve Plater but his bosses higher up didn’t want it to happen.”

It was no surprise that Croft has such interest in the team. Harris had briefly shown that the bike – built by Shaun Muir’s team with Pectell electronics – could be competitive.

But in the end Croft opted to give young Iddon an massive opportunity.

“Christian had been pestering us to run him in BSB Evo which we looked at, originally alongside a top-line rider on the superbike. But I decided to re-evaluate our championship potential and decided instead to go with a young rider.

“Christian’s own brochure is quite amusing – he’s said the switch to supermoto to superbike is like the changer-over from analogue to digital. It’s a massive switch over for him.

“But he’s keen and I’ll not deny he’s brought his own backers to help out. But we’re also much better placed this. I think we could spring some surprises.”

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin