Race report by Jaki Bradley – Pictures by Sports Events Live
Winstanley conquers Scotland
The pretty little harbour town of Crail near St Andrews in the East Neuk of Fife hosted the third round of the ACU British Supermoto Championship. This was the first time since 2009 that the venue had been used and the hard work of a small band of Scottish Supermoto enthusiasts had created what the visiting English riders universally accepted as probably the best Supermoto track currently in the UK. With tight twisty flowing tarmac and two very technical off road sections it proved a real hit with Novice and Expert alike
A bright sunny day one saw the reigning 450 Elite Champion Matt Winstanley, kick off his title defence in immaculate style with a maximum 3 wins from 3. Qualifying in pole in the exciting Superpole shoot out Winstanley headed close rival Chris Hodgson by 3/10’s of a second who had edged Lewis Cornish and local rider Scott Murray down into 3rd and 4th respectively after a provisional 4th position in the qualifying session.
Race 1 was a fantastic race with Winstanley finishing a narrow 7/10 second in front of Cornish who had battled his way past Hodgson, still coming to terms with setting up his new Husqvarna, and was a distant 16 seconds behind. He had plenty of excitement of his own to hold off the hard charging local Scott Murray and the two put on a great display of close quarter racing. Another local Jamie Duncan had a great race to finish 5th ahead of Graeme Norris who filled out the top 6 positions
If race 1 was good race 2 was a cracker with Hodgson getting second by edging out Cornish who put in the fastest lap of the race with Scott Murray hard on his heels the top four were all lapping consistently under a minute. Jay Smith was a distant 5th having had bike troubles throughout the day and Jamie Duncan had another good ride for 6th.
Race 3 again saw Winstanley take the holeshot but this time Cornish really got on the pace and harried the champ with controlled aggressive riding, however on lap 12 his bike broke in the dirt section leaving Hodgson Smith and Murray to chase home Winstanley. Duncan was 5th after a titanic battle with Cumbrian Dale O’Connor.
Overall Winstanley took a maximum 105 points from Hodgson on 94, Murray on 84, Cornish 78 and Jamie Duncan managed a very creditable 5th place after consistently riding well with 77 points.
A very strong entry with quite a sizeable contingent coming from the South Coast of England as well as a number of Scottish riders meant 3 very competative races ensued, Road racer turned Supermoto rider Steve Parkin got the rider of the day Trophy for his maximum 105 points, fellow Humbersider Steve Ellis came in second with Derby regular Andre Craddock getting his first podium of the day with 3 consistant rides.
NPS Novice Cup
New for 2015 the Novice Cup again had a big entry, this series is restricted to riders who have competed in fewer than 5 races before the start of 2015 and is proving incredibly popular for a fun day out. Ex Speedway rider George Jarvis came out on top from Cumbrian Keir McKenna on his converted Enduro bike and local rider Alli Grant.
Close racing in the Pit Bike class saw Will Moore take an Overall and Class win for Honda engine bikes from Birthday boy Chris Eastwood who battled all day with Leeds Sam Hodgson.
Sundays early morning weather was appalling, thick mist, gale force winds and heavy rain battered the seaside circuit however it gave way to bright sunshine early afternoon and was a perfect day to enjoy top class Supermoto racing in a unique setting.
The vital qualifying session saw Hodgson on who had found extra speed on his Husqvarna overnight. Matt Winstanley was 6/10ths slower in 2nd followed by Jay Smith recovered after his previous days heavy crash and Scotsman Murray took the final front row spot. Richard Sharp reacted to the new track layout and tricky qualifying conditions with 5th ahead of Graeme Norris on a borrowed Honda in 6th.
Race 1 was the best of the weekend on a drying track Hodgson and Winstanley gambled by running a rear slick tyre and after Hodgson appeared to have the race won Winstanley hunted him down to pass on lap 17 of the 18 and come over the line half a second in front after 14 minutes of racing. Jay Smith, Scott Murray & Richard Sharp filled out the top 5 spots
Race 2 was a tad easier for Winstanley but Hodgson kept him honest to the line and the pair were well clear from Jay Smith in third who continued his own private battle with Scott Murray, Richard Sharp continued to ride well with another 5th
Race 3 was again the Winstanley show he completely demoralised his rivals with blistering pace from the start to finish well clear of Hodgson consistently lapping nearly a second quicker than anyone else which in top class Supermoto is a huge margin. Scott Murray got the best of Jay Smith for third and Richard Sharp was consistent to the end with another 5th place.
The Open National series this years incorporates a separate championship for Over 45’s and Two Strokes to add extra variety to the series and Elgins Michael Craig made the relatively short trip worthwhile taking the overall win and best over 45 award from consistent Andre Craddock in second and hard charging Steve Parkin in third. Two local riders Ross Mailer and Ally Grant filled out 4th and 5th places making their day very worthwhile. Best two stroke was Surrey’s Darren Lee on his 300 KTM finishing an excellent 8th overall.
Results Day One
450 Elite 1st Matt Winstanley (Honda) 105pts – 2nd Chris Hodgson (Husqvarna) 94pts -3rd Scott Murray (TM) 84pts – 4th Lewis Cornish (TM) 78pts – 5th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 77pts – 6th Jay Smith (KTM) 74pts – 7th Dale O’Connor (KTM) 73pts – 8th Richard Sharp (KTM) 68pts – 9th Jordan Bannon (KTM) 64pts -10th Ollie Kemp (TM) 63pts.
1st Steve Parkin (Husqvarna) 105pts – 2nd Steve Ellis (Husqvarna) 88pts -3rd Andre Craddock (TM) 86pts – 4th Dean Brown (KTM) 85pts – 5th Darren Lee (KTM) 81pts
1st George Jarvis (KTM) 105pts – 2nd Keir McKenna (KTM) 88pts – 3rd Ali Harris (Kawasaki) 86pts
1st Will Moore (CRF) 105pts – 2nd Chris Eastwood (Open) 94pts – 3rd Sam Hodgson (Open) 92pts – 4th Chris Nutter (Open) 82pts – 5th Josh Cripps (Stock) 80pts
Results Day Two
1st Matt Winstanley (Honda) 105pts – 2nd Chris Hodgson (Husq) 96pts – 3rd Jay Smith (KTM) 88pts – 4th Scott Murray (TM) 86pts – 5th Richard Sharp (KTM) 78pts – 6th Richard Blakeman (KTM) 74pts – 7th Dale O’Connor (KTM) 70pts – 8th Jordan Bannon (KTM) 69pts – 9th Graeme Norris (Honda) 65pts -10th Jamie Duncan (KTM) 64pts.
Open National A
1st Michael Craig (KTM) 105pts – 2nd Andre Craddock (TM) 90pts -3rd Steve Parkin (Husqvarna) 88pts – 4th Ross Mailer (Honda) 83pts – 5th Ali Grant (Kawasaki) 82pts
1st Tom Elam (KTM) 72pts – 2nd David Yorke (Honda) 46pts -3rd Joe Salvatore (KTM) 43pts – 4th George Jarvis (KTM) 41pts – 5th Adam Byrne (Aprilia) 40pts