NEWCASTLE SUPERMOTO – FROM THE SIDELINES

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Who’s feeling sexy in leather?

I dropped by the Newcastle foreshore on Sunday to check out the Supermoto action and to eat some brisket because that’s living. Moto and meat – if that’s not a healthy Father’s Day I don’t know what is. I feel bad for any dads that got socks and tofu.

Having enjoyed the livestream on Facebook the day before, with Bracksy and Danny Ham doing an awesome job on commentary, I was faced with the daunting task of finding a parking spot in a town that’s being dug-up and rebuilt. In a typically unique Newcastle scenario, the giant penis-shaped viewing tower that’s stood for 30 years and greeted the coal ships with erect pride was due to be demolished the day after the Supermoto and so for some reason, even though it’s been there for 30 years, crowds flocked to climb it one more time. It smells like a homeless man’s bathroom at the top, because I imagine it has often been a homeless man’s bathroom, and yet the crowds came.

As the tower is just a brisk walk from the Supermoto track and entry was free, the doodle-climbing crew added to the moto crowd and numbers on Sunday were brilliant and at times it was hard to find a spot next to the track to spectate along the 900 metre track.

I headed into the pits to see Craig ‘Ando’ Anderson who hadn’t raced supermoto for over a decade. He was on a borrowed CRF450R with Joel Whiteman’s supercross suspension fitted but a stock engine and for day one at least no holeshot button. He said he started the weekend following the fast guys as best he could and listening to when they hit the gas and when they braked and then he’d do the same the next lap. He gradually got faster and faster, getting the hang of the fast chicanes and the direction changes on the road. By the end of the weekend he’d raced over 20 motos in multiple classes and bagged an outstanding third place in the FIM Oceania SuperMoto Championship round.  He looked rooted but you gotta hand it to the guy – he took it to blokes that do this weekend after weekend.

Ahead of Ando was winner Markus Class of Germany, who put on a clinic and was pretty epic to watch particularly on the road section. In second was American Gage McAllister who gave it everything to challenge Class but was hampered by a hand injury sustained the day before when he belted into one of the track barriers.

 

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Markus Class (middle) gets the chicken dinner over Gage McAllister (right) and Craig Anderson

The event was teased by poor weather that only briefly brought out the wet tyres but couldn’t dampen the spirits (see what I did there?) of an exciting event in a setting that is pretty damn hard to beat. There was food and drink everywhere and things for the kids to do and see aside from the racing. Because of where it was located anyone could take a decent walk past Nobbys Beach to the Lighthouse or watch the huge ships come into port just metres away or do what I did stroll ten minutes to the Brewery for a beer afterward.

If this was nothing but a lesson in offering more than just the racing and opening up an event for outside vendors to not just profit from but add too to in a meaningful way then it’s a success. As for a weekend of racing…I know stuff-all about supermoto, but I watched a hell of a lot of it both through the Speedweek feed and live onsite. Me and my mates from Ranga’s Barbeque (best brisket and ribs – insert drool here), were yelling and cheering the whole final race while McAllister tried to hold off Class and Ando fought Ben Attard all the way to the third last corner when Attard went down as he and Ando hit lappers with not much room to move.

All kudos to Graeme Boyd and his family for the efforts to make this happen amidst a tough year. We’ll see you again in 2019.

Full results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/5068062

Pics supplied by the great Nigel Patterson and Ashenhurst’s phone

Damien Ashenhurst
About Damien Ashenhurst 1619 Articles
Managing Editor of DIRT ACTION magazine. Damo doesn't like cheese or ISIS. Can often be found riding in mud because it's closest to the natural environment of a squid.