It wasn‰Ûªt until the final chequered flag was raised that he knew it, but Tom Bramich (Ron Angel Classic Racing) was crowned the Honda Moto 3 / 125GP Champion today at the final round of the 2015 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli.
In the tightest class of the series, Bramich finished the final race of the round three positions higher than rival Brian Houghton (K1 Racing), to win the crown by six points.
While Matthew Barton (CB Racing) claimed the round win, Bramich finished the event in second overall ahead of Lachlan Kavney (K1 Racing) and Houghton.
With only five points separating Houghton from Bramich in the championship, there was an air of anticipation as riders moved onto the grid.
Off the line it was Victorian Barton who claimed the race lead, from Kavney, Bramich and Houghton.
Kavney moved into the lead towards the end of the first lap, while Ted Collins (Peter Stevens) moved into second spot after passing Barton at Honda corner.
He couldn‰Ûªt hold it for long though, and as Barton and Houghton passed him he was pushed back to third ‰ÛÒ with Bramich working hard in fifth.
Barton reclaimed the race lead coming down the straight into the third lap, and the Honda rider began to extend his lead.
Bramich soon moved ahead of Collins into fourth and set about getting in front of Houghton ‰ÛÒ as the championship battle intensified.
He passed Houghton at Siberia on lap four into third position, and the pair jostled over the ensuing laps.
Ahead of them Barton was still leading the way, with a half second lead over Kavney at the halfway point, but Kavney couldn‰Ûªt maintain position slipping back to fifth.
Houghton moved into second but had less than a second lead to fifth spot, and shortly after Bramich made the move at Siberia into second position.
Coming into the final lap just 0.080 of a second separated second and fourth and it was anyone‰Ûªs guess what would happen.
Barton rode on to claim an emphatic 5.329-second win, with Bramich resolute to claim second from Collins and Houghton.
And heading into the final race, that meant the gap between Houghton and Bramich in the championship was cut to just two points.
In the final race for the class it was Kavney who got the best start, moving into and then extending a healthy race lead.
Behind him, Houghton, Barton, Bramich and Collins were all neck-and-neck, jostling for and exchanging positions.
Over the next few laps Houghton, Barton and Kavney all took turns in the lead with Bramich 1.589 seconds back in fourth and needing to make it all happen to finish ahead of Houghton.
By the halfway point of the race he closed the gap to be just 0.317 of a second behind Houghton, and all of a sudden we had an incredible championship battle on our hands.
Bramich passed Houghton on lap six, but it was anyone‰Ûªs guess what was to happen from there.
On lap seven Houghton ran off the track and re-entered in fourth place ‰ÛÒ his championship dreams fading before his eyes.
With Houghton 8.209 seconds behind and Bramich moving into the lead it looked written in stone.
But a mistake from Bramich pushed him into third (and provisionally second in the championship) before he moved back up to second.
With one lap remaining the top three riders crossed the line in a row, and Bramich only needed a top-two finish to seal the title.
Not content with second, the young Victorian rode on to record a historic race win and claim the Championship title ‰ÛÒ with Kavney taking second, Barton in third and Houghton resigned to fourth.
"I can‰Ûªt believe it after Friday, from looking at the sky on turn two to coming away with the championship win." Bramich said. "I just don‰Ûªt know what to say and I‰Ûªm just so thankful for all the people around me that supported me the whole year.
‰ÛÏAfter yesterday we had a disastrous fifth I think it was, so all the pressure was on him (Brian) and I just had to do my best.
‰ÛÏAnother Australian title next weekend hopefully on the Ron Angel 500 at Mallala so we will see what we can do there!‰Û