Honda Racing's Ben Bostrom charged his way up from outside the top five to claim the inaugural AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship Friday evening at the Rio. Bostrom, the 1998 AMA Superbike champ, picked up his second career AMA Championship crown...
Honda Racing's Ben Bostrom charged his way up from outside the top five to claim the inaugural AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship Friday evening at the Rio. Bostrom, the 1998 AMA Superbike champ, picked up his second career AMA Championship crown in the winner-take-all season finale by outbraking leader Jeff Ward (Honda) on lap 11 of 14 and holding off a late charge by Doug Henry (Yamaha).
In its first year as a national-level sport in America, the hybrid racing discipline that combines elements of motocross with roadracing was dominated by the dirt riders, with former national motocross champs Ward and Henry taking four of the five regular season wins. The Vegas-based Bostrom -- a world championship caliber road racer -- turned the tables when it counted, however.
Afterward Bostrom said, "(Henry and Ward) rode incredibly and that really boosted us up there. I know my best lap times didn't come until the main chasing those guys down. They're definitely the cream of the crop. It's just good to see a roadrace guy sitting up because the motocrossers have been taking advantage of us all year. Every dog has its day, and here we are."
Frenchman Boris Chambon (KTM) and German Jurgen Kunzel (KTM) came into the event as heavy favorites, ranking as two of top three riders in the more established World Supermoto Championship. The two failed in their missions to steal the first American title, however, as they crashed in separate incidents during the opening laps.
Another European, Alexandre Thiebault (France/Honda), led for more than half of the race before giving way to Bostrom, Ward, Henry, and Kurt Nicoll (GBR/KTM) in a thrilling five-man struggle for the win.
In other action, South African Grant Langston headed a KTM sweep of the championship in the Supermoto Unlimited division, while 15-year-old Mike Alessi won the Honda Red Riders Jr. Supermoto Challenge.