Supermotard

West Australian Supermoto season summary

Author: Mitch Ladyman

Posted:

The 2005 SupermotoWA Club Championship is 'done and dusted' with Five Star Yamaha rider Darren Nash back-end steering his WR450F to victory, ahead of Franzone VOR's Dean Taylor, with 854 vs. 828 points respectively. Tagging the tail of these two was Brett Stewart on the 650 Husaberg FSE, with a season total of 640 points.
Darren Nash(70) and Dean Taylor (838) strike a pose. Photo: Karlo Perisic
A tricked up factory YZ450, imported from the East for the final round, saw Ian Gray's smile turn vile when it popped a piston in practice. Grayso watched quietly from the side lines as his season standing 'swan-dived' from a comfortable 3rd at the end of Round 3 to a heart breaking 9th when the sun finally set. But such is racing and such is the attraction of supermoto taking just about every competitor back and forth from zero to hero within one short season. September was a huge month for SupermotoWA. On Saturday the 17th, the day before the final Club championship round, 11 riders rallied together and went country for the first ever Northam Motorcycle Festival. Set amongst the fumes and fury of the Historics and MCRC bikes, KTMs, Kwakas, Hondas, Huzzas, Huskys and VOR's lit up the street strip for the 3000+ fans; turning it on, and on a couple of occasions, churning it into the bitumen. It was a truly unique experience for those riding, with spectators enjoying every second of the demo riding up close and very personal. Also thrown into the pot were the tyre-tearing antics of Matt Mingay and Robbie Bolger. Taking stock of the season that has passed, Darren Nash summed up his victory as being the most low maintenance and trouble free championship he'd ever had the pleasure of winning. "I didn't do much at all to the bike, just brought it with the motard kit‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_and rode it" he said. "I played a bit with basic settings (steering rake, suspension), but hardly spent a cent. That is what is great about this sport. In road racing tyres last a race day. In supermoto they last half a season and it is great to shred tyres for the crowd after a good win. When your road racing, if someone brings to down to the tarmac you are looking at $3000+ in repairs. This [supermoto] might cost you a lever or a scratch on your plastics; you just get up and keep riding". The Nash family is synonymous with motorcycling in WA, and Darren's sublime style is a delicate mix of speedway, road racing and motorcross. It is that eclectic experience that makes Nashy so well suited to supermoto. That is not to say he had it easy. Darren is the first to admit that Dean Taylor was a demon in the dirt and, had the Cockburn and Wanneroo dirt sections comprised a greater portion of the track, Dean would have taken it to him in a much bigger way. Similarly, he said Ian Kibble (Bikers Corner WR450F) remains an unknown quantity going into 2006, but will most certainly pose a threat to his next shot at the title. Darren, like many others, is in for the long haul and is looking forward to the 2006 season. He believes that supermoto is still pre- pubescent and has plenty of room from a huge growth spurt. Many of the season's events have clashed with other major motorcycling race rounds, which has resulted in modest race registrations and spectator numbers. In a period of blissful reminiscence (reflecting back on his distant speedway days) Nashy idealized the notion of supermoto under lights on a balmy summer's night. This fantasy may well become a reality in 2006 with the Club committee considering a range of options for the next season. Whatever the solution, a reduction in calendar conflicts will see not only more spectators and riders, but a potential boom in turn-out amongst the young blood. The majority of competitive motorcycle riders in the 18 - 30 bracket are already dedicated to motorcross or road racing. However, a healthy portion would be keen to throw a set of 17"s on the dirt bike if there were more days in the weekend. It may come as a surprise, but there are virtually no Club members racing who fall into this age group! Testimony to the forward inertia of SupermotoWA, the Club has recently imported Australia's current #3 Mark Avard from the Eastern states for a coaching clinic. Mark spent the day drilling riders on all the essential ingredients needed to become a competitive supermoto racer. With the likes of Kibble and Nashy posting 1:09's at Cockburn in January and August, respectively, and Australia's best only seconds quicker, throwing down 1:06 - 1:08's when they came to play in during the KTM Husaberg Supermoto Cup, it is easy to see that it won't be long before SupermotoWA is backing its way into the national rounds. Over the coming months SupermotoWA will continue to host ride days and will be planning the race calendar for next year. For all the action and to keep up to speed log, on to www.supermotowa.com. Main Photo: Darren Nash
Credit: Karlo Perisic

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