2013 Norasport.com British Supermoto Championship
Surrounded by stunning views of the Lake District National Park, Rowrah Stadium hosted round five of the televised 2013 British Supermoto Championships sponsored by ‘want to live afloat.com’ and once more the well organised Norasport club delivered an exciting weekend of top level racing. Both day’s racing were thankfully in dry but overcast conditions and the twists and turns of this demanding picturesque circuit delivered another thrilling BSMC round.
Reigning champion and local hero Chris Hodgson (Skyzone) set the early pace narrowly edging Lewis Cornish (Nameplate Services/DCR) for pole with third place taken by Richard Blakeman (D3 Racing) who hit a trackside barrier and tweaked his already injured knee but he’d done enough to keep in front of Davey Todd (Nameplate Services/DCR) and this was the qualifying front row. Race one saw Hodgson pull into an early lead as Cornish led the chase with Blakeman fighting to keep Todd at bay. Hodgson pulled a comfortable lead ahead of Cornish who also maintained a safe gap from Todd who by 4 laps had edged in front of Blakeman. The front three riders were pretty static and the main action was further down the field where Blakeman was struggling to fight off challenge after challenge as first local rider Dale O’Connor slipped past followed by Chris Walker (698 Racing) and Richard Sharp (MW Racing). Hodgson took the flag from Cornish and Todd with O’Connor moving into fourth ahead of Walker.
Race two and Hodgson held the lead as Todd headed the chase closely followed by Cornish who was eager to pass as he could see the leader pulling away. Cornish made a move but ran wide allowing Todd space to press on and challenge the leader. Meanwhile Walker and Sharp were scraping for fourth spot as a plucky Blakeman benefitted from a few of his rivals crashes. Hodgson took a comfortable win in front of Todd with Cornish in third. Race three and Hodgson took the holeshot keeping out of trouble as Todd, Cornish and Sharp were fighting hard into turn one. Drama happened when first Hodgson slid off and a lap later Cornish went down which allowed Todd room to exploit his position in first place. With Hodgson and Cornish back on track the reigning champion forced his way through to finish runner up to Todd at the flag whilst Cornish made a good recovery to take fourth behind Sharp and in front of Walker.
Overall: 1 Hodgson, 2 Todd, 3 Cornish
In Sunday’s Open Elite qualifying Lewis Cornish showed that Hodgson wouldn’t be having it all his own way as both riders amazingly recorded the same 53.969 lap. So for the first time in British supermoto a ‘Superpole’ single flying lap was introduced to decide who would be in P1 on the grid. Hodgson went out first and recorded his lap time but Cornish made a mistake and Hodgson took an easy pole position.
Race one and it was Hodgson into the lead once more as Todd, Cornish, Blakeman and Sharp all battled for positions into the first corner. Todd took the fight to Hodgson with team mate Cornish in his tracks but both riders crashed and the chase was taken up by Sharp and Blakeman as Jay Smith (Husqvarna) and O’Connor made the most of their rival’s slip ups. Hodgson gapped Sharp and Blakeman and this is how the race finished with Todd recovering well to take the fourth place. Race 2 and as the riders powered off the line Hodgson, Todd and, Sharp and Blakeman were the ones fighting for the holeshot meanwhile it was Cornish who forced his way from seventh place to join the leaders in lap one. Unsurprisingly Hodgson once more pulled ahead and it was Todd who led the chase with Blakeman in third and Cornish desperately trying to pass to stay in touch with the leading duo. Eventually Cornish moved past Blakeman but it was too late to progress up the leader board any further and the main on track fight for positions was now between O’Connor and Sharp for fifth place. At the flag Hodgson extended his lead to finish ahead of Todd and Cornish with Blakeman holding fourth and Sharp getting the better of O’Connor to take fifth. The final race was a repeat of race two with Hodgson leading from start to finish and Todd taking the runner up spot from Cornish in third and Blakeman in fourth. The closest fight for on track positions once more involved O’Connor but this time it was Jamie Duncan who would beat the Cumbrian rider for position as he took sixth spot behind Sharp.
The overall podium positions were 1 Hodgson, 2 Todd, 3 Blakeman
The Michelin Cup soon showed that Tom Barrington (TKB) was the rider with the pace but in race one Keith Topliss (Killer Racing) pushed him hard to finish runner up only 0.3 behind with Alan Henderson taking third from Dan Spencer. Race two and Tom Barrington had a slightly easier time of it as Ashley Saunders (GB Racing) put his first race crash behind him and finished runner up ahead of Topliss and Henderson. Drama in the final race as Tom Barrington crashed out of contention and Saunders moved up to pass Scottish rider Ian Bremner to take a very narrow race win and also the overall win of the Michelin Cup.
Open National A
Lee Rudd (LR Designs/TRM) took pole ahead of Ian Bremner and Keith Topliss as Tom Barrington retired early with a broken engine. In race 1 Rudd took a straight forward victory from Bremner as Kayla Barrington (TKB) showcased her off-road talents by sweeping past the lads on the compact dirt section. She went one better in race 2 to finish runner up behind Rudd and over 8 seconds ahead of Alan Henderson in third. In the final A race it was Ashley Saunders turn to be runner up behind Rudd and despite setting the fastest lap of the race Kayla could only finish in third place. The overall podium positions were 1 Rudd, 2 Kayla Barrington, 3 Saunders
Open National B
Despite only qualifying for the B group Edgars Ivuskans (MotodromTM) elected to ride in the group. So the field was open for Paul Rhodes to take the Open National B overall thanks to a pair of first placed finishes and a runner up spot to Andy Burgin who finished in second place overall in front of Dylan Henderson.
Overall Results from Rowrah, Round 5 BSMC
450 Elite. 1st – Chris Hodgson 2nd – Davey Todd 3rd – Lewis Cornish 4th – Richard Sharp 5th – Chris Walker 6th – Dale O’Connor
Open Elite. 1st – Chris Hodgson 2nd – Davey Todd 3rd – Richard Blakeman 4th – Lewis Cornish 5th – Richard Sharp 6th – Dale O’Conner
Michelin Cup. 1st – Ashley Saunders 2nd – Keith Topliss 3rd – Tom Barrington 4th – Alan Henderson 5th – Ian Bremner 6th – Dan Spencer
Open National A. 1st – Lee Rudd 2nd – Kayla Barrington 3rd – Ashley Saunders 4th – Keith Topliss 5th – Alan Henderson 6th – Ian Bremner
Open National B. 1st – Paul Rhodes 2nd – Andy Burgin 3rd – Dylan Henderson 4th – Paul Reynolds 5th – Charlie Light 6th – Chris Cullen
Words by: Dave Cornish
Photos by: John N Miller