Riders and crews gravitated back to Collie Motorplex for Round 7 of the SupermotoWA championship. A two day affair, with practice held on Saturday and riders bursting out of the gate, eager to impress and intimidate the competition. A selection of 300cc Proddies were also in attendance and turned up the heat putting on some brilliant racing. The dirt section would claim its fair share of scalps over the two-day event and highlighted some riders with consummate dirt skills.
Practice day claimed an early victim in the form of Gavin Bayliss in the second part of the day. A shoulder injury prevented his race day attempt, however damage to the bike looked minimal. There were no other major incidents to report and some great pace was picked up by most riders over the course of the day. The dirt proved to be a tough component of the overall lap, pushing riders and showing up flaws in riding styles while rewarding experienced dirt campaigners.
A valiant riding effort was displayed by all riders involved, notably Tim Boujos, riding in the Production category, Mini Motard and Supermoto Open. Juniors were also out in force, with a slew of demo sessions on track over the two day program, with Jayden Martin picking up an incredible 4secs per lap following some basic coaching tips.
Grant Martin dominated both sessions of qualifying with 1:32 laps, showing great pace over the competition. However, the unique starting style of the category would ensure any advantage he believed he had would need to be earned in racing after the handicap system was applied. Gaby Watson was pushing him every step of the way, also running in the 1:30's. Gary Aulsebrook found a prodigious improvement in racing, lapping the better part of 7secs quicker than his qualifying time at peak performance. A clean sweep of victories would ensure Aulsebrook would finish a clear 13pts ahead of 2nd placed Grant Martin. Another rider who found an inordinate amount of time from qualifying to racing was Sarron Molloy. An improvement of almost 10secs could be seen from Q2 to Race 1 Lap 5 where he produced an absolute belter of a 1:35 in the dying stages of the race.
Minis were the playground of newcomer to the discipline and eventual multi-category victor Tim Boujos, riding on a borrowed bike, courtesy of his sister. Performing the proverbial top-'n'-tail, Boujos qualified first with 2secs back to 2nd placed Ben Stevenson. Between these two riders, they managed to keep Mini Motard heavyweight Lee Johnson and his YZ85 off the top two steps of the podium for the first time this season. Boujos held some lengthy margins at the chequered flag, with a difference of 10.784sec between first and second in Race 1. The hectic schedule for Boujos would eventually take its toll as the workload persisted throughout the day.
Tim Boujos would again take a clean sweep, after spending several years out of the saddle of the once familiar Ninja 250. It didn't all go his way however, as Leslie McGrath pipped him in Q1 by 0:014secs. Jamie Whiteford turned up the intensity every race, bringing a show every time he took to the track. McGrath would wind up the day in second place after chasing Boujos all day with Whiteford rounding out his event in third. The 300's were a favourite, putting on a great turn of speed and pulling Sam Watson out of retirement after recovering from a knee injury. Brooke Carter enjoyed a great result, finishing the day in fourth.
The dirt section in Clubman proved to be a hazardous field of battle, taking Gavin Bayliss victim on Saturday, with Hayley Green and Kristoffer Stanton-Cooke succumbing to its clutches on Sunday. All three riders ran out of braking room in three separate incidents after over-jumping and tucking the front wheel on the loose surface. Most notably, Hayley Green was leading race 1 in her division with the nearest rider a good half second behind, and had lapped considerably quicker than her qualifying time, when tragedy struck while pushing to extend her lead.
Phillip Cross qualified on top with a fastest lap time of 1:11 in Q2. Green's incident in race 1 would herald the beginning of a string of stoppages, culminating in the dropping of a round of racing across all divisions to try and make up time. Stanton-Cooke would eventually be taken to hospital to receive medical attention after being visibly winded later in the day in his own race-stopping incident
Phillip Cross seized victory, edging out Scott Newcombe who collected 2nd place on a borrowed bike after an unfortunate mechanical failure destroyed a fork leg and front brake on practice day. Robert Giblett went on to collect 3rd at the end of the day.
Open was overflowing with talent. Jess Boujos made a return to racing after being absent from the saddle since Rnd 1. Reevenjit Singh entered this event looking to turn around his recent string of off-podium finishes, however was unable to convert. All eyes were on Damon Gibbons however, as he strode away with eventual victory. Qualifying first with a 1:04.681 lap time, he was ahead of Tim Boujos and Lachlan Hickey in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Gibbons finished race 3 with a monstrous 25.931secs gap between himself and 2nd placed Andrew Biffen.
Final results would show Gibbons in the top spot over a strong-finishing Lachlan Hickey with Andrew Biffen collecting 3rd place overall.
Congratulations to all competitors of Round 7 of the Supermoto WA Championship and we look forward to Round 8 on October 20th at Cockburn International Kartway.
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