After a successful visit last year the Supermoto Championship again descended on the pretty little harbour town of Crail near St Andrews in the East Neuk of Fife to what is probably the best Supermoto track currently in the UK. With tight twisty flowing tarmac and two very technical off road sections that had again been improved by the Scottish Supermoto club it proved a real hit with Novice and Expert alike.
Michelin Elite Cup
In grey overcast conditions with a definite Scotch mist in evidence the Michelin Elite Cup qualifying was dominated by Cumbrian Chris Hodgson, he finished 9/10ths ahead of his returning teammate Jay Smith, back after missing the last meeting with a broken thumb. Third on the grid was local lad Jamie Duncan, with Yorkshireman Richard Sharp completing the front row.
Race 1 was an easy start to finish win for Hodgson, the excitement was the battle for 2nd
with Jamie Duncan & Richard Sharp pressurising Jay smith lap after lap. Eventually Duncan squeezed past on lap 9 and Sharp soon followed, both these riders are super fast on the dirt sections and Smith was struggling with his hand, but managed to hang on for 4th
with another Scotsman Ben McLusky getting a great 5th
ahead of veteran Andy Mitchell making a welcome return to the Elite class.
Race 2 was again a flag to flag victory for the imperious Hodgson, however Smith was starting to get to grips with the track and held off the aggressive Duncan to take second, Sharp was a little bit off race 1 pace finishing a lonely 4th
McLusky looked fantastic using Hodgson’s cast off tyres and Jordan Bannon edged into the top 6.
Race 3 saw Hodgson lead every lap but this time Smith was right with him getting his lap time down to within 2/10ths of the Cumbrian master, Duncan took third after a great battle with Sharp, McLusky was again a fine 5th
and Bannon 6th
. Mention must be made of the 3 race long battles between Dean Hillier & Tim Johnson, the Husqvarna mounted pair banged bars every lap of every race finishing each race with less than a second separating the two of them.
Overall Hodgson took a maximum 105 points from a delighted Jamie Duncan on 92, Smith on 90, Sharp 86 and Ben McLusky managed a very creditable 5th
place after consistently riding well with 80 points.
Suter Clutch Challenge Cup
Rapidly becoming the class to watch for close racing all through the field, Widnes man Jack Fay managed the narrowest overall win after tying on points with Surrey regular Darren Lee, Fay got the decision based on best result in race 3, Local rider Ryan Chalmers was a fine third with George Jarvis in 4th and rapidly improving Ashley Middleton in 5th.
NPS GIAG Novice Cup
Glaswegian Chris Eastwood, made best use of his circuit knowledge to take maxium points from two Wigan riders Steven Lowe & Craig Forshaw, Simon Snowden made the epic trip from Cornwall worthwhile by keeping his championship lead with a 4th place, missing out on the third podium step on the tie break last race result rule.
Close racing in the Mini Bike class saw Ben Green take an Overall and Class win for Honda engine bikes from Cumbrian fashion icon Gary Pigney and flying the Scottish flag was CeeJay Davis who battled all day to get 3rd
The weather was brighter for Sunday as the sun finally made an appearance to give perfect conditions for racing. The off road sections had really benefitted from the hours of preparation work that had gone into them with a blue groove appearing. The track direction was reversed to run clock wise giving the competitors something to think about.
The vital qualifying session saw Hodgson put his Husqvarna on pole. Jay Smith was 9/10ths slower in 2nd
followed by Scotsman Jamie Duncan; Richard Sharp again took the final front row spot.
Race 1 looked like it was going to be a repeat of Saturday with Hodgson in the lead however Smith was much closer and passed Hodgson in the off road, before in one of the best moves of the weekend Hodgson passed him back 3 laps later Smith hung on but couldn’t make another pass but was happy to have the fastest lap of the race. Jamie Duncan was third, Sharp 4th
, Bannon picked up 5th
after another great battle with the impressive McLusky.
Race 2 was even better with Hodgson getting the holeshot but Smith was in his wheel tracks the whole race, the pair of the SJP Moto teammates looked like they were attached with string as they circulated together, Smith was more canny this race and waited until lap 8 before forcing his way past but Hodgson isn’t a multiple champ for nothing and made his move back on the last lap to finish 8/10ths in front. Richard Sharp continued to ride well with another 3rd
place, Jamie Duncan was showing real character riding two classes he finished 4th
Bannon & McLusky were symptomatic of the battles all through the field with 5th
Race 3 was a belter, reversing the track from Saturday had seemed to even things out or perhaps Smith was benefitting from all the racing after a long lay off but he got the holeshot and willed on by the large crowd of spectators he kept Hodgson at bay for 12 scintillating laps winning the race by the narrowest of margins, 9/100ths of a second! Richard Sharp was consistent to the end with another 3rd
place, Jamie Duncan an exhausted 4th
, Bannon was 5th
and Andy Mitchell maintained his legend status by muscling into 6th
place on his 300 two stroke.
The Open National races produced the same level of bar to bar rivalry on track as the Elite races with the A B & C groups fighting it out for championship points. Overall Andy Mitchell took the number 1 step on the podium and picked up awards for best Over 45 and best two-stroke. Darren Lee made the long trip from Surrey worthwhile with second spot on the podium tying on points with local rider Ryan Chalmers but having the best last race result. George Jarvis was a solid fourth, Andre Craddock enjoyed himself immensely gaining 5th
overall with Ashley Middleton again 6th
on his aging but immaculate Honda.
Results Day One Michelin Premier Cup
Chris Hodgson (Honda) 105pts - 2nd
Jamie Duncan (KTM) 92pts -3rd
Jay Smith (Husqvarna) 90pts - 4th
Richard Sharp (Husqvarna) 86pts - 5th
Ben McLusky (Kawasaki) 80pts – 6th
Jordan Bannon (Husqvarna) 74pts – 7th
Andy Mitchell (KTM) 73pts – 8th
Dean Hillier (Husqvarna) 67pts – 9th
Tim Johnson (Husqvarna) 67pts -10th
Jack Gow (TM) 64pts.
Jack Fay (Husqvarna) 96pts – 2nd
Darren Lee (KTM) 96pts -3rd
Ryan Chalmers (Husqvarna) 91pts – 4th
George Jarvis (Husqvarna) 86pts – 5th
Ashley Middleton (Honda) 81pts
Chris Eastwood (Honda) 105pts – 2nd
Steven Lowe (Honda) 96pts - 3rd
Craig Forshaw (TM) 86pts - 4th
Simon Snowden (KTM) 86pts – 5th
Mike Porter (Husaberg) 80pts
Ben Green (CRF) 99pts – 2nd
Gary Pigney (Open) 95pts – 3rd
CeeJay Davis (CRF) 91pts – 4th
Jamie Stables (Open) 84pts - 5th
Mark Ducat (Stock) 79pts
Results Day Two Michelin Elite Cup
Chris Hodgson (Husq) 102pts - 2nd
Jay Smith (Husq) 99pts - 3rd
Richard Sharp (Husq) 88pts - 4th
Jamie Duncan (KTM) 86pts - 5th
Jordan Bannon (KTM) 78pts – 6th
Ben McLusky (Kawasaki) 75pts – 7th
Dean Hillier (Husq) 7pts – 8th
Tim Johnson 70pts – 9th
Jack Gow (TM) 65pts
Andy Mitchell (KTM) 105pts – 2nd
Darren Lee (KTM) 92pts -3rd
Ryan Chalmers (Husqvarna) 92pts – 4th
George Jarvis (Husqvarna) 83pts – 5th
Andre Craddock (TM) 78pts
Ryan Chalmers (Husqvarna) 92pts – 2nd
Ashley Middleton (Honda) 75pts -3rd
Steve Parkin (Husqvarna) 67pts – 4th
Paul Wishart (Yamaha) 64pts – 5th
Chris Eastwood (Honda) 61pts
Best Over 45
– Andy Mitchell (KTM)
– Andy Mitchell (KTM)
Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live