Primm, Nevada (April 19, 2007) - An international roster of supermoto stars went bar-to-bar last weekend, while the Stateline Supermoto Challenge raised its own bar by setting a new record as North America's largest supermoto race with an astounding 926 entries.
"All I can say is 'wow'!" enthused one father with his family in tow. "It was one awesome race after another, and we could watch from practically anywhere around the track, including a couple of sets of bleachers that were located in great viewing locations. Fantastic weekend!"
Not only was every motorcycle, ATV, and UTV OEM represented at Stateline, but the huge event also brought together supermoto champions from every continent on Earth, including Japan supermoto champion Yaashi Matsumoto, riding for Troy Lee; South Africa's Michael Kok, imported for the Stateline race by HMC Racing; Husky-mounted Adam Cini from Australia; European superstars like Kurt Nicoll and David Baffeleuf; and of course North American champ Jeff Ward, who turned in another stellar performance on Saturday. (OK, no riders from Antarctica ... maybe next year.)
"I couldn't have asked for better racing," said Stateline impresario and track designer Marche Karger after the event ended. "There are getting to be more and more skilled supermoto riders every year, and the competition really heats up when they all show up in one place like this. We had three different classes that had over 100 riders in each this weekend. And I was especially pleased to see so many novice and intermediate racers turn out."
Pilots were faced with a three-hairpin opening turn sequence that created almost a triple holeshot scenario, resulting in some head-turning action and spectactular getoffs, especially for the quad racers. The technical asphalt sequence was followed by a super-sized dirt section that served up numerous big air opportunities, tricky tabletops, and enough width to allow for plenty of passing activity.
Weekend racing highlights included a Jeff Ward-Troy Herfoss 450 Pro Class showdown with Wardy shadowing the fast young Aussie lap after lap before pouncing for the lead on one of the very last turns before the checkers. Sunday's 250 final was red-flagged after one lap as a shower dampened the track, but following a change to rain tires, KTM's mercurial Josh Hansen, a supermoto virgin, out-dueled Brandon Currie to log his first win.
In the pro quads, the podium was populated by the usual suspects, with Nic Granlund and Daryl Rath going one-two and last year's late-bloomer Frank Batista taking third.
Full race results can be found at www.statelinechallenge.com.
Besides all the great supermoto racing out on the course, the Stateline paddock was abuzz with celebrities of every stripe. While former AMA motocross champs Ronnie Lechien and Mike Bell wagered with each other on their favorite riders, custom bike master Jesse Rooke profiled through the pits seeking inspiration for his next creation. Caught up in the Stateline rapture was BMX star TJ Lavin who proved that his competitive talents transcended pedal power by suiting up and riding in the team ATV race.
Between racing sessions renowned supermoto street stunt specialist Ryan Moore dazzled the crowd by defying the laws of physics - and common sense-aboard his sparkling new Aprilia V-twin machine. His seemingly effortless, yet impressive wheelie workouts, 5th gear stoppies, and tire smoking donut demos are always a sight to behold. Stateline fans already familiar with Moore's high-octane artform rushed the fences for a better look and those who hadn't were dumbstruck when his show was over with.
Also spotted holding court throughout the paddock area was the sport's founding father, Gavin Trippe. Besides overseeing son Gavin, Jr.'s racing exploits, Trippe offered a congratulatory approval to Marche Karger and the hardworking Stateline Supermoto Challenge staff.
"This is really a spectacular racing event. World class," offered Trippe. "Marche has again done a great job and it should serve as an inspiration to other supermoto event promoters out there who now have a new standard to meet. This race was well publicized, his track appears to be a lot of challenging fun and everywhere I look I'm seeing smiling faces. He is really on his way to making a name for himself."
Another event hightlight was Friday night's Moto Brew Welcome Party complete with outstanding live karaoke band "Cover Me Badd" and free Moto Brew. The party was the perfect way to kickoff a first-class race weekend and it was an ideal time to sample Greg Primm's (yes, as in Primm, Nevada) microbrewed excellence. Surprisingly, the genesis of his beer was almost accidental.
"Moto Brew was an idea that came together a few years back with a couple of buddies and I sitting around at an event and thinking out loud that there should be a beer dedicated to motorcycles and motorcycling," said Primm at Stateline. "Right then I sketched some ideas out on a napkin, then had a conversation with my lifelong pal Scott Kendall, who is today Moto Brew's General Manager, and before we knew it we were with Troy Lee approving his packaging and label designs. It's a lot of fun and we're keeping it small on purpose. Our payoff is seeing people like this crowd enjoy it so much."
So once again the North American supermoto season has been kicked off with a major bang. And the best news is that racers and fans will not have to wait a full year for the next blockbuster event at this appealing resort/casino venue. Karger has announced another Stateline event of this caliber in September: Stateline Supermoto-Cross.
"My intent is to continue to grow the sport of Supermoto. I specifically am making the course 50/50 dirt/asphalt with the intent of attracting more motocrossers and ATV riders." Said Karger. "The event will again be held here at Buffalo Bills the weekend of 9/21-9/23/07 with an all new course layout. Pre-registration will begin June 15th online at www.statelinechallenge.com."
SPECIAL THANKS TO: All Access, Moto Brew / Primm Investments, Troy Lee Designs, 3 Bros, 70/30 Racing, Carter Power Sports, Cheetahs, DNA, Duro Tire, GP Motorcycles, KTM, Laker Custom, Motocomm, Motostrano, QTM, Rath Racing, Red Baron Racing, Sportsman Cycle, Sunoco Race Fuels, Supermoto Engineering, The Plumber, USA Motor Toys, Wheel Wright