After a successful visit last year, the British Supermoto Championship descended on the pretty little harbour town of Crail near St Andrews in the East Neuk of Fife, Crail Raceway is probably the best overall Supermoto track in the UK. With tight twisty flowing tarmac and two very technical off-road sections that had again been improved by the ever enthusiastic Scottish Supermoto club it proved a real hit with Novice and Expert alike. Cloudless weather and a slight sea breeze to make conditions just about bearable made the weekend one to remember.
Race Day 1 – Michelin Championship Qualifying
With all the top riders other than Jay Smith still absent with illness in attendance it was going to be a close meeting, local knowledge would definitely favour the Scottish riders but with BSB regular Davey Todd also present on his HGR Husqvarna anyone of 6 riders could take pole which is essential at the tight track. Scott Murray (Scotlifts TM) took pole after a blistering lap of 57.479 but he was only 9/1000ths of a second ahead of Matt Winstanley (MMC Husqvarna) who was 3/10ths ahead of Chris Hodgson (LSP KTM) Davey Todd was a further 2/10ths behind and Richard Sharp (MMC Husqvarna) showed he would be in the mix only a further 4/10ths behind.
A hectic first lap saw pole setter and firm favourite, Scott Murray go down on the first lap, he quickly remounted but was in dead last position, an almost impossible position on the tight track. Hodgson took advantage of the melee to move into the lead but was shadowed by Winstanley who was never out of his wheel tracks once he had disposed of Todd in lap two. These two finished within a second of each other and a massive 15 seconds ahead of Todd who was well clear of local KTM rider Jamie Duncan who had battled hard with Richard Blakeman for fourth place. Special mention should go to Richard Sharp who was dead last on lap one after a spill but the gritty Yorkshireman battled through 20 plus riders to get sixth at the flag.
Disaster struck for the number 1 plate rider Chris Hodgson as he went down on lap 1, Todd took advantage and hit the front with Winstanley right on his tail, Richard Sharp pushed his way past Jamie Duncan to move into third on lap three. All eyes were on Hodgson to see how far he could get up the field and in a master class of controlled aggression he managed to get up to fourth at the chequered flag, his task was made a little easier as the luckless Murray once again retired with a puncture. Winstanley pressurised Todd lap after lap but couldn’t pass the young Teessider, so hard were these two riding they both posted the fastest lap on their final lap, a fantastic achievement in the red hot conditions. Jamie Duncan held fifth from Richard Blakeman in sixth.
This was the decider for the overall with Hodgson, Todd and Winstanley all in the mix for the top spot on the podium, Todd had steadily improved all day and had a perfect start to get the holeshot, The wily old fox Winstanley sat in his wheel tracks again trying to pressurise the youngster into a mistake, but Todd is becoming a very seasoned competitor and managed to ride defensively and keep Winstanley at bay for the full 14 laps, amazingly both competitors again produced their fastest lap in the final lap. Richard Sharp continued his excellent form to finish third ahead of an unusually quiet Hodgson in fourth, however it was later revealed that the British number 1 had injured his ankle in race two and was in great pain. Richard Blakeman battled hard through the pack to another strong finish in fifth ahead of Jamie Duncan in sixth.
It was Todd from Winstanley with Hodgson taking the final podium. Richard Sharp was fourth, a delighted Jamie Duncan fifth and Richard Blakeman sixth.
NPS G.I.A.G. Novice Cup
A number of Scottish riders joined in the starter class to give a good strong field, series leader Andy Hall was absent so his championship rivals were looking to make ground, Steven Norman took the overall ahead of Keith Edwards, Ex mini bike rider Ben Green made his maiden visit to rthe podium to pick up a well deserved third place .
Academy Class/Mini Bikes
In the combined Academy and mini bike class 11 year old future star Casey Jones took three wins from three on his KTM 85 he was followed home by two sons of current riders Harley Sharp (Husqvarna 85) and Ben Bayfield (KTM 85) making the trip from Whitstable in Kent worthwhile. In the Mini bike class Cumbrian rider and series leader Jamie Stables was unstoppable on his CRF150 but he was given a great battle by Scottish riders Mark Ducat and CeeJay Davies, who finished second and third respectively.
Race Day 2 – The British Supermoto Championship
After the gorgeous weather on Race Day 1, Sunday was another stunner, the sea breeze helped the riders and shorts and t shirts were the order of the day amongst the sizeable crowd that had gathered to watch the top-class action that was going to come their way. The track direction was reversed with the riders going anti-clockwise, this completely changed the feel of the circuit.
After Saturdays dominance it was expected that Davey Todd would take pole but he could only manage sixth, he seemed to struggle with the different direction. Having had a day to forget on Race day 1 Perthshire rider Scott Murray had other ideas, he held pole for most of the session until Winstanley pipped him. Chris Hodgson was third Richard Sharp took fourth, ahead of Jamie Duncan in fifth. The first five were separated by less than a second giving a hint of the battles to come.
Winstanley used all his experience to maximise pole and he got the holeshot to take the lead, Hodgson and Todd chased him for lap after lap, then a mistake by Todd, missing his braking point dropped him out of contention on lap 7, a lap later Hodgson made a mistake and went down after losing the back end quickly remounting he was a good 5 seconds behind Todd and Winstanley, surely Winstanley would now take the win but in lap 10 the ex MX Grand Prix rider made an uncharacteristic mistake whilst lapping a back marker and crashed in the off road, Todd couldn’t believe his luck after passing Richard Sharp to get back to third he was handed the win on a plate by his rivals. Hodgson was relieved to finish second and a rueful Winstanley got back up to third. Richard Sharp was fourth from Scott Murray in fifth on his spare bike and Richard Blakeman was sixth.
Davey Todd used his good fortune in race 1 to great effect, getting the holeshot he was never headed, Hodgson kept him honest for a number of laps but was 3 seconds behind at the flag, Winstanley was a little detuned by his race one fall and was passed by Scott Murray in lap 5, Richard Sharp was again the best of the rest in fifth, Jamie Duncan kept the partisan crowd happy with another strong sixth place.
Todd was now on for the second maximum of the weekend and he made no mistake, confidence is the major part of any sport and Todd was unstoppable, getting the holeshot he was chased by Hodgson who had the consolation of the fastest lap but even the British Champ had to give best to Todd as he again finished 3 seconds behind. Winstanley and Murray battle for the final podium spot with Winstanley edging past at half race distance. Jamie Duncan was holding a strong fifth place before his gearbox went allowing the consistent Richard Sharp to take that place, Blakeman was sixth for a quietly strong meeting and early season form rider Jordan Bannon finally got a result in seventh.
So after a poor qualifying and by dint of some luck in race one Davey Todd took his opportunities to come out on top ahead of Chris Hodgson in second, Winstanley was a disappointed third, Scott Murray was hoping for great things over the weekend but had to settle for fourth. Richard Sharp was the final trophy winner in fifth.
Results Day One Michelin Championship
Davey Todd (Husqvarna) 100pts - 2nd
Matt Winstanley (Husqvarna) 96pts - 3rd
Chris Hodgson (Husqvarna) 91pts - 4th
Richard Sharp (Husqvarna) 85pts - 5th
Jamie Duncan (KTM) 79 pts – 6th
Richard Blakeman (Husqvarna) 77pts – 7th
Dean Hillier (Husqvarna) 70pts – 8th
Charlie Light (KTM) 69pts – 9th
Tim Johnson (Husqvarna) 58pts -10th
Ross Mailer (TM) 56pts
Damon Jasper (Aprilia) 105pts – 2nd
Tim Oliver (KTM) 83pts - 3rd
Daryl McCall (KTM) 82pts – 4th
Steve Coombs (Husaberg) 75pts – 5th
Justin Bullen (Husaberg) 64pts
GIAG Novice Cup
Steven Norman (KTM) 102pts – 2nd
Keith Edwards (Honda) 99pts - 3rd
Ben Green (Husqvarna) 81pts – 4th
James Taylor (KTM) 76pts – 5th
Anthony Gunn (KTM) 73pts
Jamie Stables (CRF) 105pts – 2nd
Mark Ducat (Open) 94 pts - 3rd
CeeJay Davies (CRF) 92pts - 4th
Stewart Tolkin (Open) 56pts – 5th
Hugh Ducat (Open) 26pts
Casey Jones (KTM 85) 105pts – Harley Sharp (Husq 65) 94pts – 3rd
Ben Bayfield (KTM 85) 92 pts – 4th
Josh Jasper (TM 85) 82pts – 5th
Oliver Keam (KTM) 54pts
Results Day Two The British Supermoto Championship
Davey Todd (Husqvarna) 150pts – 2nd
Chris Hodgson (KTM) 144pts – 3rd
Matt Winstanley (Husqvarna) 136pts – 4th
Scott Murray (TM) 132pts – 5th
Richard Sharp (Husqvarna) 128pts – 6th
Richard Blakeman (Husqvarna) 118pts – 7th
Jordan Bannon (Husqvarna) 110pts – 8th
Dean Hillier (Husqvarna) 104pts – 9th
Jamie Duncan (Husqvarna) 100pts – 10th
Charlie Light (KTM) 98pts
Ross Mailer (TM) 84pts – 2nd
Chris Eastwood (Husqvarna) 73pts – 3rd
James Wood (Husqvarna) 61pts – 4th
Craig Forshaw (KTM) 50pts – 5th
Steven Lowe (TM) 45pts
Tom Laycock (KTM) – 2nd
Mitchell Bullen (KTM) – 3rd
Dean Smith (Husqvarna) – 4th
Ian Balderson (TM) – 5th
Steven Norman (KTM)
Andy Mitchell (Husqvarna) – 2nd
Andre Craddock (TM) – 3rd
Michael Craig (KTM) – 4th
Darren Lee (KTM) – 5th
Michael Hosey (KTM)
Best Two Stroke
Tom Laycock (KTM) – 2nd
Steven Lowe (TM) – 3rd
Blaine Pearson (KTM) – 4th
Joel Todd (KTM) – 5th
Tim Oliver (KTM)
Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live