Supermotard

Motard showdown at Newcastle

Author: Paul Caridi

Posted:

The final chapter of this year's Maxxis Australian Supermoto Championship will be played out this weekend at Newcastle's Cardiff Kart Track. The man of the moment and odds on favourite is surely Husqvarna's Troy Herfoss, coming off a great win only last weekend at the Ssangyong International, Herfoss has a lead in 2 Australian Championships. The S2 class is for machines upto 450 and with a 48 points lead over Suzuki's (RMZ450) Glenn Allerton and 55 over Yamaha (YZ450) Mark Avard, Herfoss only needs to cruise over the weekend as he can virtually finish second every race and still take the championship. It's unlikely though as his enthusiasm for winning races has been witnessed and no doubt he will not be cruising. Although Allerton and Avard are still in the hunt, race winners will come from all quarters, Stuart Bennett (KTM) who crashed heavily during the 1st round is out for redemption and is always a contender, and new to the scene Ben Grabham (Honda CRF450) has jumped from the experience of Matt Olle's machine to ride his regular enduro bike and has shown great fast consistency. Reigning Supermoto Champion, Shannon Johnson (Yamaha YZ450) has had a couple of weekends to forget twice being run over after crashing, Johnson is no slouch and certainly doesn't lack the motivation, although the title might be slipping away, race wins have eluded him so far this year. "Wildcards will come in the form of Danny Ham (Suzuki) and Daniel Stauffer (Yamaha) both of whom have history is Supermoto racing. The Supercross star, Ham has been a regular since the National Championship started and Superbike rider, Stauffer won the support races at the Broadford's World Supermoto round in 2002. The championship is closer in the big bore S1 class where it's Husqvarna 1 and 2 and with familiar names heading the charts. Herfoss has an 18 point lead over team mate and reigning Champion Josh McFarlane, with all the wins in the class being shared between them. Daniel Reynolds' (Yamaha YZ250) stunning opening round debut has given him a 28 point lead over Damien Grabham (Yamaha YZ250) and 32 points over Jake Magee Husqvarna. Magee had won the 2nd round and just keeps getting faster on every outing as his experience grows, Joe Harvey (Yamaha YZ250) has a race win to his name in this seasons races and is only 38 points adrift of the chase. Coupled with support races for Clubman, Vets and Junior riders the weekend will hopefully see the birth of another regular Supermoto track. Located just off the Pacific freeway, the scenic track lays in a natural amphitheatre with a kilometre long bitumen raceway and an additional 300 metres of dirt. The off road section commences with a step up leading directly into a turn berm right hander followed by stutters, a double and another bermed corner with a jump leading back on to the road section. A long straight directly passes the spectator area with a great double right hander which no doubt will lead to some great licorice being laid. With the assistance of locals and track builder Rob Jones, the dirt section will remain in place after the event allowing for future events to be run, "The local Kart club have been great to deal with, the dirt section staying in allows us the opportunity to try to run more races, with permission from the locals we are hoping to run around four events in the coming year. More competitors and spectators to the area helps with the local economy so I hope that we can grasp this opportunity of bringing another activity to Newcastle," said local Suzuki dealer Graeme Boyd. Gates open at 9am and racing starts around 11am on both days, tickets can be bought at the fence and spectators are encouraged to meet and greet competitors in the pits to get a close up look at the Supermotard machines.

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