With just a few days to go until one of the highlights of the supermoto calendar, Team GB riders Chris Hodgson, Jay Smith and Richard Blakeman are making final preparations to take on the challenge of the 2016 Supermoto of Nations.
This year’s event will take place at the testing Alcarras circuit about 90 miles from the initial venue, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the organisers having deemed this location, just a short journey from the historic city of Barcelona was not suitable for this event. The late change just two weeks before the team headed off has added additional costs as all the hotels had been pre-booked and where not cancellable. The new venue however is a fantastic setting, with a very challenging circuit configuration, which will test all riders concerned.
Supermoto of Nations will mark its eleventh year in 2016 and for riders across the globe it provides the opportunity not only to represent their country, but moreover test their skills against the world’s best in supermoto and many people refer to this event being the ‘Olympics of Supermoto.’
For Team GB the selection of rider’s represents one of the strongest teams fielded with 11 times British Supermoto Champion Chris Hodgson bringing substantial understanding of the event alongside the international riding experience of fellow team mates Jay Smith and Richard Blakeman. All riders at some point in their career have taken on the challenge of the World Championship and have a firm grasp of the skills required to compete at the top level of the sport.
For each of the riders it generates great pride to be selected to represent their country and the media coverage across European TV, hard copy press and all social media platform’s provides exposure to all their dedicated sponsors.
A large contingent of supporters have booked hotels and flights where they will be willing our boys on in the autumnal Spanish sunshine. Happily the riders will not be alone in their quest to land a podium place in one of the supreme events of the supermoto year.
Team Manager David Dearden comments: ''Team GB have a long and proud tradition of competing in the Supermoto of Nations, having contested in all but one event since the inaugural round in Northern Ireland in 2006. We have had highs with a second and three third place finishes and a number of lows but every team we have sent has competed to the last lap and represented their country, the ACU, sponsors and supporters in an outstanding fashion. This year I know will be the same, the first two riders Chris Hodgson and Jay Smith were an easy selection for me, however three other riders were in strong contention for the third spot but in the end Richard Blakeman’s past international experience and never say die attitude along with his irrepressible character meant he got the nod by the narrowest of margins.''
''I’d like to thank everyone who is helping support the team no matter how small the contribution as all the riders and management will have to dig deep into their own pockets to contest this event against significantly better funded opposition.'' If you would like to pledge your support toward Team GB and make a donation visit: www.supermotouk.com/des-nations
We asked Chris Hodgson "What it means to ride for team GB"
As always it's an absolute honour and pleasure to be racing for team GB. I think we have a real strong team the year. I think I’m riding the best I have in my life at the moment and both Jay and Rich have showed some really good form this season and both riders possess the mentality to never give up. With that grit and talent, I think we have a real good shot at the podium this year.
Same question to Richard Blakeman “What does it mean to ride for team GB"
I'm really happy to be picked to ride for team GB, it’s been one of my goals to ride with the main team and it's going to be mega to ride with Chris and Jay in Spain. I'm sure my dad will be watching over us every race when we're out there with great pride. (Richard's father John, one of the stalwarts of British Supermoto tragically passed away earlier this year)
and finally to Jay Smith
"Fear is only temporary regret lasts forever. 100% pinned let’s do this, We all ride every race like it’s our last right till the flag. We will be up there." Photos by Sports Events Live Photography