Wigan 02-10-2016, The damp conditions that met the contestants at the start of day 1 of round 9 of the British Supermoto Championship at the best venue the sport has in the UK, 3 Sisters Wigan, meant tyre choice was an important strategic decision, most riders opted for a conservative wet set up but bravery would be rewarded if a wet front and slick rear was chosen. With many championships neck and neck at the top it was all set to be a fiercely fought meeting.
Michelin Premier Cup
Qualifying; Having a rare start in 2016, Matt Winstanley put his Husqvarna on pole position, but only the narrowest of margins, 4/1000th of a second separated him from Chris Hodgson (Husqvarna). They were joined on the front row by Davey Todd making a welcome return to Supermoto from the rigours of BSB, and a surprise in the form of Jordan Bannon who had his best qualifying of the year.
Race 1 Davey Todd took the holeshot from P3 on the grid on his Husqvarna, although both Hodgson and Winstanley put a lot of pressure on the youngster from Middlesbrough, Todd’s experience in BSB gave him the confidence to slowly pull away and end up a comfortable winner by 5 seconds from Hodgson who was a further 10 seconds ahead of Winstanley. Richard Blakeman recovered from a poor qualifying to come in 4th ahead of his Supermoto of Nations team mate Jay Smith who had struggled all morning to find a setting he could use in the slippery conditions.
Race 2; Hodgson is not a multiple British Champion by accident and with a comfortable championship lead he could have been forgiven for taking things easy and collecting points, however Davey Todd had thrown down a challenge in Race 1 and Hodgson responded. A new slick tyre was fitted and with the track drying fast he got the perfect start and led from turn one, Davey Todd sat on his rear wheel for the whole race and after passing Jay Smith on lap two Matt Winstanley joined in the battle at the front. These three riders put on a thrilling battle for all 12 laps but Hodgson was determined to have the win and Todd couldn’t force his way past, he said at the end of the race he had missed the last lap flag and felt he could have got past Hodgson. Less than a second covered the top three pulling 17 seconds clear of Richard Blakeman in 4th.
Race 3; The track was now perfectly dry so all riders had full slicks front and rear, whereas in Race 2 many riders had opted for a wet setup. The race length was increased to 14 laps and it was Davey Todd who got the holeshot into turn 1, he held on to the lead for 2 laps before Hodgson slipped past at the end of the straight, Todd hung on for 2 more laps but Hodgson had the greater pace and inexorably pulled away. Todd was now under pressure from Jay Smith who had finally got a good feeling for his bike, on lap 8 Smith passed Todd and the two riders battled to the flag with Smith holding on, behind them Matt Winstanley held off his Manchester Motorcycles teammate Richard Blakeman to take 4th.
Overall Chris Hodgson took the overall with his two wins from the hard riding Davey Todd, Matt Winstanley was 3rd from a disappointed Jay Smith in 4th. Blakeman was 5th with Jamie Duncan a fine 6th.
Suter Clutch Cup
A very strong grid put on an excellent spectacle for the large crowd. Series leader George Jarvis looked a class act and won every race but was pushed all the way by Andre Craddock and Darren Lee. Ian Bremner from Scotland getting back into Supermoto after quite a break was soon on the pace in 4th overall. Conor Bolsover also had a good day getting 5th on his Honda.
NPS GIAG/Novice Cup
A huge entry of over 40 riders continued to show Supermoto is growing back in popularity as a an enjoyable, cheap and safe sport. Chris Eastwood from Glasgow made the long trip south worthwhile with 3 wins to take the overall, a much more local rider Steven Lowe from Wigan was 2nd, Gage Pedley was a delighted 3rd with Blaine Pearson 4th on his trusty 250 Husqvarna.
Steven Gallimore was overall winner on his lovely RM85, Regular Gary Pigney was 2nd with young newcomer Joe Holdsworth 3rd. % riders also did the junior moto-x class on the knobbly shod 85’s.
Sunday dawned a beautiful day with a cloudless azure sky leaving no one in doubt as to what tyres to fit. The versatile circuit allowed a track change that gave the riders a different challenge from Saturday with a longer more technical layout.
Michelin Elite Cup
Qualifying. With the Elite Cup Championship confirmed Chris Hodgson decided to withdraw from the days racing saving his bike for the upcoming trip to Mettet. So this vital session saw Davey Todd on pole on his Steve Ellis Husqvarna, but only by a narrow 1 hundredths margin from Jay Smith. Richard Blakeman was a further .8 seconds further behind just ahead of Richard Sharp to make it an all Husqvarna front row.
Race One. In a repeat of Saturday’s race 2 this was a master class of wheel-to-wheel duelling, Smith, Todd Blakeman & Sharp appeared to be attached by an invisible rope as they pushed each other to the limit for 12 laps of non-stop action. Smith hung on to win by a narrow margin from Davey Todd, Richard Blakeman came in third with the fastest lap of the race, Richard Sharp fourth, Charlie Light fifth and Jordan Bannon rounded out the top six after a lap one crash. The front four all had fastest laps within a 100th of a second of each other.
Race Two Was more straightforward than the first race Richard Blakeman went down at Turn 1 and caused a melee that allowed Davey Todd to get away and he held a commanding lead to the flag finishing 7 seconds ahead of Smith, Jordan Bannon had his best result for some time in 3rd. The excitement in the race was provided by Richard Blakeman’s fight through the field to get 4th on the last lap, pipping the impressive Charlie Light to the flag.
Race 3; After the first two races it looked like the battle for the overall would be between Smith and Todd and that’s how it panned out. The two set a pace at the front that no other rider could match lapping nearly two seconds faster than any other rider. Todd took the win and secured the overall but less than a second separated him from Smith. Blakeman, Bannon and Jamie Duncan had a titanic battle which Blakeman won to take third. Oliver Pope finally got his bike on the pace to finish sixth.
Overall The large sun kissed crowd had been treated to another fantastic all action day at Three Sisters and Davey Todd was delighted to come out on top from Jay Smith, Richard Blakeman battled hard and it as fitting that this meeting was named in honour of his Father John who passed away earlier this year. Jordan Bannon got his mojo back for fourth, Charlie Light was fast and consistent in fifth and Scotsman Jamie Duncan claimed sixth overall.
Another set of fantastic races with a very large entry saw veteran Andy Mitchell claim three wins with Surrey rider Darren Lee taking second. Tynesider Peter Bennet was an excellent third taking top clubman to boot and York’s Paul Reynolds riding in pain from an early fracture was a brave fourth. Andre Craddock was fifth.
Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live
Results Day One
Michelin Premier Cup 1st Chris Hodgson (Husq) 102pts – 2nd Davey Todd (Husq) 97pts -3rd Matt Winstanley (Husq) 88pts – 4th Jay Smith (Husq) 84pts – 5th Richard Blakeman (Husq) 82pts – 6th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 73pts – 7th Charlie Light (KTM) 71pts – 8th Jordan Bannon (Husq) 67pts – 9th Michael Ford (Honda) 65pts -10th Dean Hillier (Husq) 61pts.
Suter Challenge Cup 1st George Jarvis (Husq) 105pts – 2nd Andre Craddock (TM) 92pts -3rd Darren Lee (KTM) 88pts – 4th Ian Bremner (Honda) 82pts – 5th Connor Bolsover (Honda) 76pts
Novice Cup 1st Chris Eastwood (Honda) 105pts – 2nd Steven Lowe (Honda) 96pts – 3rd Gage Pedley (Honda) 83pts – 4th Blaine Pearson (Husq) 79pts – 5th Craig Forshaw (TM) 79pts
Mini Bikes 1st Steven Gallimore (CRF) 102pts – 2nd Gary Pigney (Open) 92pts – 3rd Joe Holdsworth (CRF) 91pts – 4th Ben Green (Stock) 90pts – 5th James Pigney (Stock) 77pts
Results Day Two
Michelin Elite Cup 1st Davey Todd (Husq) 102pts – 2nd Jay Smith (Husq) 99pts -3rd Richard Blakeman (Husq) 88pts – 4th Richard Bannon (Husq) 83pts – 5th Charlie Light (KTM) 76pts – 6th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 74pts – 7th Richard Sharp (Husq) 71pts – 8th Tom Barrington (Honda) 66pts – 9th Michael Ford (Honda) 66pts – 10th Dean Hillier (Husq) 66pts
Open National A 1st Andy Mitchell (KTM) 105pts – 2nd Darren Lee (KTM) 90pts – 3rd Peter Bennett (KTM) 83pts – 4th Paul Reynolds (TM) 81pts – 5th Andre Craddock (TM) 81pts
Best Clubman – Peter Bennett (KTM)
Best Over 45 – Andy Mitchell (KTM)
Best Two Stroke – John Oakes TM
Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live