2016 ACU British Supermoto Championship Round 2
Rednal Karting 9 & 10 April 2016
Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live
Reign & Shine – Hodgson does the double at Rednal
Rednal Karting a few miles outside Oswestry in Shropshire was the perfect back- drop for Round 2 of the ACU British Supermoto Championship. A tight twisty tarmac section with nearly 50% of the circuit comprising of a mixture of jumps and fast dirt section makes it one of the toughest and demanding destinations on the British Supermoto scene. Set in the tranquil Shropshire countryside its easy accessibility from most of the West Midlands and the North West also helped generate a healthy crowd. A bright but cold start soon gave way to April showers and the slick clay covering the tarmac made throttle control essential. It is when conditions are at their toughest that Supermoto is most impressive; no other two-wheeled sport could have provided the close fought action provided by the top riders
Michelin Premier Cup
With Matt Winstanley absent in Australia it looked like the battle would be between the SJP Husqvarna teammates, Chris Hodgson & Jay Smith and so it proved in qualifying with Londoner Smith setting pole by nearly half a second from his Cumbrian team mate. Yorkshire man Richard Sharp a master of the off road section was the only other rider on the same pace as the front two. Richard Blakeman was the final front row place nearly 2 seconds behind.
Race 1 got under way in reasonable conditions the torrential rain storm yet to hit the track, Hodgson got the holeshot but was chased by Smith & Sharp, for 6 laps Hodgson hung on but Smith was pressurising him hard and finally slipped past as Hodgson made an error. It was then Hodgson’s turn to put the pressure on Smith repeatedly trying the outside line on the 90 degree berm but Smith hung on until a slight mistake let Hodgson back past. Richard Sharp had used the front twos fight to get on terms and at the flag it was Hodgson from Smith who narrowly held off Sharp.
Race 2 and the rain had drenched the track making conditions very very tricky as the mud was dragged round the tarmac, Hodgson again got the holeshot but only managed to keep Smith out for a lap, the Londoner was obviously in determined mood and pushed his way past on lap 2 and held Hodgson off for three laps before a mistake let his team mate past. The two Husqvarna riders then put on a majestic display of ballet on ice until the final lap when Hodgson almost lost the front end and Smith nipped through to take the win and the loudest cheer of the day. Third place went to the impressive Oliver Pope using all his riding skill in the treacherous conditions to push his Kawasaki ahead of Blakeman & Sharp’s Husqvarna’s
Race 3 and the circuit was now a mud slick although Smith got the holeshot Hodgson was past on lap 2 and was never headed running out a comfortable 2.5 second winner over Smith, Ollie Pope was the only other rider to see to look comfortable in the conditions in third, taking his Kawasaki to a massive 45 second lead over Blakeman in 4th and the impressive Jamie Duncan in 5th.
Suter Clutch Challenge Cup
A really strong field of riders battled the conditions and provided the closest racing of the day. George Jarvis last years Novice champion continued his early season with a good overall win from Chris Lambourne in second, newcomer Jack Fay was third and South African exile Dirk Jordaan was an excellent 4th on a borrowed TM.
NPS Novice Cup
A huge entry saw the novice races split into 2 groups mini bike rider Conor Bolsover was an impressive overall winner on his full size debut pointing to a very strong future. Second overall was a genuine mini bike VW technichian Jimmy Lovell using his CRF 150 to great effect in the difficult conditions. Third place went to veteran Simon Snowden really enjoying his first foray into supermoto racing.
A good entry of mini Bikes saw James Lovell dominate on his CRF that he rode in the big wheel Novice class earlier in the day, Gary Pigney from Penrith came out on top of the Chinese engine bikes after a tussle with fellow Cumbrian Jamie Stables and Glaswegian Hugh Ducat.
Thankfully Sunday dawned cold but bright the sun & strong wind quickly drying the track and conditions looked to be good for the rest of the second day with all competitors fitting slicks to their bikes.
Michelin Elite Cup
Hodgson was imperious in the dry conditions looking smooth and relaxed as he set pole from his more aggressive teammate Smith. Oliver Pope was in a confident mood after his first day success and was close to Smith in third – a couple more horsepower out of the development Kawasaki and he will be a contender for top spot. Richard Sharp rounded out the top 4.
Race 1 saw Smith hit the front from the start and he held his British Champion teammate at bay for half the 12 lap race distance but once Hodgson got past there was nothing the crowds favourite could do as Hodgson slowly pulled away, Smiths main concern was keeping Ollie Pope at bay which he did to the flag.
Race 2 and no Smith on the grid! During the lunch break his father had been taken ill and was taken into the local hospital, understandably Jay couldn’t continue racing and left to be with his Dad. Thankfully later reports showed that he was fine and released to go home. So could anyone now stop Hodgson it looked the more likely contender was Pope but his Kawasaki just didn’t have he grunt of the number 1 plate Husqvarna and when he was given a 10 second penalty for a jump start the race was effectively run. It was left to the lower places to add excitement to the day and a great tussle between Jamie Duncan and Tim Johnson and Charlie Light
Race 3 was again a cakewalk for Hodgson but this time there was a real battle for second between Blakeman & Pope with the likeable Lancashire tree surgeon making the most of Pope out braking himself to take a popular second place. Real excitement continued with the battle for 4th as Dale O’Connor, Charlie Light & Jamie Duncan had a 12 lap dog fight to end up crossing the line in that order separated by only 2/10ths of a second.
A large entry of National class riders tackled the thankfully dry conditions and put on some great racing especially for the podium places. Veteran Andy Mitchell was just too fast for the pack on his KTM 300 two stroke, similarly mounted Darren Lee put up a strong fight especially in race 1 but a front end wash out lost him the chance to really pressurise Mitchell and he had to settle for third. Continuing his strong ride from Saturday Chris Lambourne made the trip from Kent worthwhile with a 3 solid rides for an excellent second overall. Andre Craddock recovered from Saturday’s disappointment to make 4th with Jack Fay gathering useful points towards his championship in 5th.
Results Day One
Michelin Premier Cup 1st Chris Hodgson (Husqvarna) 102pts – 2nd Jay Smith (Husqvarna) 99pts – 3rd Oliver Pope (Kawasaki) 86pts – 4th Richard Blakeman (Husqvarna) 84pts – 5th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 77pts – 6th Richard Sharp (Husqvarna) 77pts – 7th Charlie Light (KTM) 73pts – 8th Tim Johnson (Husqvarna) 70pts – 9th Michael Ford (Honda) 67pts -10th Dean Hillier (Husqvarna) 42pts
Suter Clutch Cup 1st George Jarvis (Husqvarna) 96pts – 2nd Chris Lambourne (Honda) 93pts – 3rd Jack Fay (Husqvarna) 86pts – 4th Dirk Jordaan (TM) 83pts – 5th Owen Bygrave (TM) 69pts
Novice Cup 1st Connor Bolsover (Honda) 105pts – 2nd James Lovell (CRF150) 82pts – 3rd Simon Snowden (KTM) 80pts
Mini Bikes 1st James Lovell (CRF) 105pts – 2nd Gary Pigney (Open) 96pts – 3rd Jamie Stables (Open) 85pts – 4th Hugh Ducat (Open) 79pts – 5th Ben Green (Open) 79pts
Results Day Two
Michelin Elite Cup 1st Chris Hodgson (Husqvarna) 105pts – 2nd Oliver Pope (Kawasaki) 92pts – 3rd Richard Blakeman (Husqvarna) 90pts – 4th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 78pts – 5th Charlie Light (KTM) 74pts – 6th Tim Johnson (Husqvarna) 74pts – 7th Dale O’Connor (KTM) 72pts – 8th Ollie Kemp (TM) 69pts – 9th Dean Hillier (Husqvarna) 63pts –10th Michael Ford (Honda) 39pts
Open National A 1st Andy Mitchell (KTM) 105pts – 2nd Chris Lambourne (Honda) 94pts – 3rd Darren Lee (KTM) 90pts – 4th Andre Craddock (TM) 76pts – 5th Jack Fay (Husqvarna) 74pts
Clubman Cup 1st Ashley Middleton (Honda) 69pts – 2nd Marcus Gale (Honda) 68pts – 3rd James Oliver (KTM) 66pts – 4th James Wood (KTM) 53pts – 5th Jordan Nutter (KTM) 53pts
Best Over 45 – Andy Mitchell (KTM)
Best Two Stroke – Andy Mitchell (KTM)