Wednesday, October 6, 2010

REPORT: Shannonville National #5

The 2010 Canadian Supermoto season wrapped up this past weekend with the 5th and final round taking place at Shannonville Motorsports Park on the Nelson Circuit. The weather was cold but the racing action was hot. This race would decide the points championships in the majority of the classes. The closest of these classes is also the most prestigious. Coming into the final round Dave Arnold and Maxime Sylvestre were tied for first place in the SMX Open Pro class. This set the stage for the most exciting race of the season.

The main event races kicked off with the pavement only Sportsman race. This race was a non National class that was run for fun on the big, fast Nelson track. Dany Bernier took the lead off the start and opened up a big gap on second place Mike Maloney. Alex Scott rounded out the top 3.

Dany Bernier celebrates with a wheelie across the finish line

The SM2 250 class was up next. Alex Scott grabbed the holeshot over Steve Scharfe and Danielle Hine. Scott’s lead didn’t last long as Scharfe made the pass for the lead taking the outside line through the first corner into the dirt section. Hine made it a great race by pressing Scott all race long. She had the fans on her side cheering her on. She made a pass taking the inside in the back asphalt section but Scott powered around the outside to take the spot back. Hine stayed on Scott’s back tire but had to settle for 3rd.

Alex Scott (143) and Danielle Hine provided some close racing in SM2

Chris Barendregt led the Open Amateur field into the first corner followed by Andy Cule, Sam Harris, Kevin Kiddle and Jerrett Bellamy. While Barendregt and Cule diced it out for the lead, Kiddle was able to get by Harris for 3rd. Bellamy then closed in on Harris and was able to make a pass going over the table top jump. Out front Cule made a pass on Barendregt on the brakes into the first corner, but Barendregt dove back under Cule to keep the lead. Bellamy and Harris continued to battle for 4th. Harris was able to make the pass going around the outside through an asphalt left hander. On the last lap Andy Cule was able to make a pass for the lead stick and took the win over Barendregt and Kiddle.

The Pro 450 class (not part of the National Championship) was next off the line. Yves Lagace led early with Maxime Sylvestre and Paul Rouillard giving chase. Jesse Morgan was able to move into 3rd by jumping past Rouillard over the table top jump. Maxime Sylvestre was pushing hard to close in on Lagace when low sided in the last corner coming onto the front straightaway. Sylvestre fell back to 4th behind Rouillard. Morgan, who inherited 2nd charged hard and chased down Lagace and was able to get past him in the dirt section for the lead, Sylvestre was also able to make a pass in the dirt as he jumped past Rouillard into 3rd place. After Morgan passed him, Yves Lagace stayed with Morgan until he overdid it in the last corner coming onto the front straight where he also tucked the front end and went down. This left Jesse Morgan to take the win with Sylvestre 2nd and Rouillard 3rd.

Jesse Morgan (88) leads as Yves Lagace slides along the asphalt after low siding

In the Novice class it was Sam Harris who took the holeshot over Patrick Corcoran and Danielle Hine. Hine made the pass for 2nd early through the back asphalt section. Steve Ruple was next to get past Corcoran and set out after Hine. Ruple was able to get around Hine to secure 2nd place behind Harris who had opened up a huge lead.

The Novice class gets off the line

Andy Cule led the SM1 Semi Pro class into the first corner. Behind him were Kevin Kiddle, Jerrett Bellamy and Dany Bernier. Cule took his lead and ran with it leading the entire race. There was some great action in this race was between Bellamy and Bernier. Bellamy was doing his best to put in fast laps as well as block Bernier from getting past. This battle ensued for over half the race before Bellamy made a small mistake getting loose coming onto the front straightaway. Bernier was able to get a better drive out of the corner and make the pass for 3rd. Bellamy stayed with Bernier but made another small mistake coming into the first corner pushing a little wide which allowed Karl Robitaille to sneak by for 4th. Bellamy charged back and tried to pass Robitaille back when he left the inside open on the dirt left hander but Bellamy tucked the front end and went down. Bellamy had to settle for 5th. Andy Cule took the wire to wire win with Kevin Kiddle and Dany Bernier on the podium.

When the Veteran class left the line it was Chris Barendregt who took the lead with Fred Vegter and Steve Scharfe in tow. Scharfe was working his 250 hard in hopes of passing Vegter and his 450 but was never able to get close enough for a pass. The finished as they started with Barendregt taking the win over Vegter and Scharfe.

Chris Barendregt dominated the Veteran class

The race that everyone was waiting for was next: the SMX Pro Open. This race had Dave Arnold and Maxime Sylvestre tied for 1st place in the championship points. The whole season was going to come down to this one race. You could feel the suspense in the air as the riders lined up for the start. The flag flew and it was Arnold who took the holeshot into the first corner with Sylvestre 2nd and Yves Lagace 3rd. Sylvestre jumped up beside Arnold coming into the first dirt corner and then Arnold stalled his bike. Just like that Arnold’s race was turned up side down. He got his bike started quickly and rejoined the race in 5th but Sylvestre had quickly opened up a good sized lead.
The flag flies on the Pro Open main

In practice Arnold had set a lap time 2.5 seconds faster than Sylvestre so it would come down to if he had enough laps to catch the leader. Arnold rode like a man possessed; he made his way through the pack and closed in on Sylvestre’s rear tire at the half way mark. Arnold dove to the inside under braking coming into the first corner to get by Sylvestre but it wouldn’t hold as Sylvestre would jump past Arnold over the tabletop. In the back asphalt section Arnold would again cut to the inside but couldn’t hold the lead as Sylvestre powered around the outside.

Dave Arnold (2) cuts under Maxime Sylvestre for the lead

Behind the leaders Jesse Morgan had reeled in Yves Lagace and mad the pass for third in the dirt section.

The white last lap flag flew and again Arnold tried the inside move coming into turn one but just like before Sylvestre would jump past Arnold to keep the lead. The dicing continued to the last corner with Sylvestre leading to the front straightaway. The National Championship had come down to this one straightaway. Arnold took the inside and it was a drag race to the finish. Arnold took the win!

Arnold wins by a bike length

This come from behind victory was by a margin of 0.175 seconds. With the win Dave Arnold also clinched the Pro Open Canadian National Chamionship.This epic battle will go down in the record books and the spectators lucky enough to be in attendance were treated to an amazing show.