The final round of the ACU British Supermoto Championship concluded slightly later in the year due to impact of the Covid19 pandemic taking its toll, with lockdowns and associated restrictions.
For some though memories flooded back of golden days when Winter Supermoto Series’ were a regular feature of the Supermoto year and riders from across the UK would gather at Three Sisters Race Circuit to battle for honours, many occasions in mud saturated conditions which for sure tested the riders all round abilities.
Sunday 6th December riders congregated once again at the Wigan home of Supermoto, Three Sisters, and with grey horizon there was a slight glimpse of light straining through the heavy cloud it was clear that prospects of blazing sunshine across the day would be quite remote. This of course would have an impact on track conditions with riders preparing for wet set up as the likelihood of the circuit drying out were limited to say the least.
The day would also see the introduction of two challenging off road sections and with this the familiar obstacle for riders of mud and debris being cascaded onto the tarmac section, which would across the day test even the most experienced riders. Having said that, the true spirit of Supermoto is all about mixed surfaces and it was a delight to watch the full-on sideways action.
Going into the final round 14 times British Supermoto Champion Chris Hodgson held a 24-point advantage over nearest rival Richard Blakeman. The battle for championship glory had the potential to be taken by any of the top four riders including Jordan Bannon and Jamie Duncan. With double points on offer the final round added even more pressure onto riders to avoid any unnecessary mistakes, even a fall could demolish the chances of a championship crown.
Resilient riders across all classes were preparing for what eventually would turn out to be one of the most entertaining rounds of the season. Action got underway mid-morning with the opening qualifying sessions which would define the top five riders who would eventually go into the ‘Superpole Shootout’.
It would ultimately be Hodgson (Automotive Solutions) Smith (HGR) Blakeman (Fat n Fast Racing) Duncan (Trevor Pope Racing) and Bannon (DCR/Everything Supermoto UK) making it through to the ‘Superpole Shootout’
Setting off individually, with a warm up lap to drive some heat into the tyres a full on flat out lap followed in a bid to gain the overall fastest time. Jay Smith on the HGR Honda looked like he may hold the lead setting a blistering pace, but he was soon relegated by eventual ‘Superpole winner’ and 2019 ACU British Supermoto Champion, Jamie Duncan on the Trevor Pope KTM.
The following three main races to decide the 2020 ACU British Supermoto Champion exceed expectations and the battle between those who had qualified for ‘Superpole’ dominated the day with wheel-to-wheel action, slides, falls and overtake manoeuvres worthy of some of the best Moto GP races.
Sliding out of the off road section and the increasing slippery debris was becoming a test of the best. Race two of the day witnessed one of the veterans of Supermoto, Andy Mitchell on the Bathmate Honda illuminate the circuit in a shower of sparks as a high speed crash entering the first corner dropped him down the field. But the tough Yorkshireman soon bounced back up to pursue the leaders.
Jordan Bannon on the DCR / Everything Supermoto UK Husqvarna eventually took race one followed by race two and in the remaining race of the day battled with Jay Smith on the HGR Honda in an endeavour to make it a hattrick. Eventually though, Smith would break away on the very last lap and head towards the chequered flag to claim the win aboard on his new Honda machinery.
With the light fading into a winter red sky the 2020 ACU British Supermoto Championship would be over for what has been a miracle to even see any racing this year and the team at NoraSport led by David Dearden proved against adversity that it was possible to still achieve a goal of crowning many ACU 2020 British Supermoto Champions.
The winner of the pinnacle class for 2020 would be no less that Chris Hodgson, taking his number of titles to 15, an accolade not only he is proud to claim, but one worthy of recognition across the whole of the bikesport community. A steady, consistent season for Hodgson on the Automotive Solutions Husqvarna also rewarded team manager Paul Reynolds with the joy of seeing Chris take the championship.
Lets not forget that there are other ACU 2020 Champions across other classes including.
Ann Marie Keynyeres – ACU British Supermoto Laycock Motors Ladies Champion
Andy Mitchell – ACU British Supermoto Over 45s
Graeme Norris – ACU British Supermoto Two Stroke Champion
Alex Mullaney – ACU British Supermoto Lites Champion
Casey Jones – ACU British Supermoto Clubman Champion
Another year over the ACU British Supermoto Championship and plans are already underway for 2021 which will see a variety of circuits hosting championship rounds, from the far north to the tip of Pembrokeshire so we hope you all be able to join us next year at some point, to either ride in the championship, or just soak up the action from the side-lines.
Keep an eye out for regular news on the championship at either.
www.norasport.co.uk or www.supermotouk.com
From everyone involved in the sport, please stay safe and our wishes to you and all your family for the forthcoming festive season.
Report by Neil Jay - NoraSport Media