Saturday, October 15, 2011

2011 Canadian Supermoto Season Comes to a Close

The 2011 Canadian National Supermoto Series came to a close Sunday October 9th at Shannonville Motorsports Park. A hot, sunny fall day greeted the riders as they set out to secure their final championship standings. Tight points standings in the majority of the classes provided added excitement to the day’s races.
When the Novice class left the line it was Keith Fowler who took the lead over Danielle Hine and Jeff Waddell. Albert Cule stalled his bike on the starting line but re-fired quickly and joined the race at the tail end. Waddell pressed Hine for a couple laps before moving into second through the dirt section. Cule was mounting a charge and eventually reeled in Hine, made the pass then did the same on Waddell to secure 2nd place. Fowler held his lead for a wire to wire victory.
In the Novice class points standings, Keith Fowler’s win gave him 3rd place and Albert Cule placed 2nd overall. George Borrissov missed the final round but still managed to keep his points lead and win the Novice National Championship.
 Keith Fowler on his way to winning the final Novice race of the 2011 season

In the SM2 250 class 58 year old iron man racer, Steve Scharfe won the final round in convincing fashion to go 5 for 5 on the season and take the SM2 250 National Championship. Samuel Benoit placed 2nd in the final race to keep his 2nd place standing in the championship. Jean Philippe Benoit rounded out thepodium in 3rd place.
Steve Scharfe after winning the SM2 250 final

Francois Asselin grabbed the holeshot after the flag flew for the Open Amateur start. Sam Harris and Ryan Welburn followed in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Harris kept things interesting by staying on Asselin’s rear wheel and trying for a pass on a couple occasions. Asselin kept his lead by shutting down all Harris’ pass attempts. Welburn lost traction under his front end under braking coming into the first dirt corner and went down handing 3rd place over to Jerrett Bellamy.
The win moved Asselin into 3rd place in the points championship. Bellamy maintained his 2nd place standing and Harris came away with the Open Amateur National Championship.
Open Amateur National Championship podium

Sam Harris got another good start, this time he led the SM1 Semi Pro class into the first corner ahead of Chris Barendregt and Steve Scharfe. Coming into this final race, Harris held a 2 point lead in the SM1 points standings over Frederic Coeymans who only got a 4th place start for the final race. Barendregt was tied for 3rd place in the standings with Jerrett Bellamy who started 5th.  For Coeymans to win the championship he would have to win the race. Scharfe’s years of experience made this very difficult and the much younger Coeymans was not able to get past to improve his 4th place position. At the front of the pack Harris held his lead to the finish ahead of Barendregt.
Harris added to his Open Amateur Championship by also winning the SM1 Semi Pro Championship. Coeymans kept his 2nd place points position and Barendregt edged out Bellamy for the final Championship podium position.
 Sam Harris celebrates his SM1 victory over Chris Barendregt and Steve Scharfe

In the SuperQuad class Eric Girard took the lead off the start and never looked back. Mathieu Robataille finished the race 2nd but clinched the National Championship ahead of Girard.
Mathieu Robitaille earned 2011 SuperQuad National Championship

The future of Supermoto, the mini class, had 2 riders contesting for the win: Brandon Foubert and Ethan Cule. It was Cule who took the lead off of the start on his 65cc 2 stroke. Foubert on the larger 140cc 4 stroke put on a good race with Cule but was never able to get past.
Ethan Cule leading Brandon Foubert in the Mini Class

Chris Barendregt got a good start to edge out Francois Asselin as the Veteran 35+ riders raced into the first corner. These two riders were followed closely by Steve Scharfe and Bart Bidzinski. Barendregt held his lead while Scharfe pressed Asselin for a number of laps before making the pass into 2nd place. That’s how they would finish with Barendregt taking the win over Scharfe and Asselin. 
The finishing order did not affect the championship point standings where Steve Scharfe came out on top for a 2nd 2011 National Championship. Francois Asselin claimed 2nd and Chris Barendregt placed 3rd overall.
Chris Barendregt edges out Francois Asselin (401) for the lead on the Veteran 35+ start

Coming into the final race weekend the Pro Open Champion had already been crowned and that was none other than the 2010 runner up, Maxime Sylvestre. The rest of the positions were not yet decided. Andy Cule held a gap over 3rd place Yves Lagace and 4th place Michael Martel.
Having already clinched the title, Maxime Sylvestre decided not to attend the final race but the 2010 Pro Open Champion Dave Arnold did come out to make his only race appearance of 2011. When the green flag flew on the final race of the 2011 season it was Michael Martel who led Arnold and Paul J Rouillard around the first corner and into the dirt. Arnold didn’t waste any time getting into the lead. He used his unique technique of wheeling over the small metal kicker ramp to stay low and get a better drive past Martel entering the fast asphalt right hand corner. Behind them Andy Cule made his way around Rouillard for 3rd place and set his sights on Martel. The battle of the day came when Cule reeled in Martel and they diced it out for a couple laps before Cule cut to the inside of Martel through the fast “carousel” section of the Shannonville Nelson track and made the pass for 2nd stick. At the end of the 10 lap race Arnold had opened an 18 second margin of victory over Cule 2nd and Martel 3rd.
Dave Arnold took the Pro Open win
Andy Cule (32) battles it out with Michael Martel (11)

Michael Martel’s final race efforts moved him into 3rd place in the Pro Open National Championship. Andy Cule’s first season racing against Pros was a successful one as he finished out 2nd to the more experienced Maxime Sylvestre.  
2011 marked another successful season of supermoto racing in Canada. With new riders coming out it looks like the sport may be on the upswing once again. For 2012 we look forward to more new riders coming out to enjoy the cross of motocross and road racing disciplines that is Supermoto. 

Words and photos by Jerrett Bellamy