The SMX events are known for two things, fast tracks and awesome raffle prizes. The May 10th event did not disappoint on either one. The Mother’s Day holiday made the crowd a bit thin but not short on action.
With the smaller turnout the bike classes combined to minis and Unlimited Supermoto. That allowed for a ton of track time and some fun interaction on track. The weather was perfect with a breeze all day and racing outside the famed Qualcomm Stadium is always a lot of fun.
After 3 rounds of practice, a lunch break and then a final 4th practice round everyone was ready for qualifying. In the minimoto division which included a great span of cool minis not many could hang with Ichi Horiba on his café racer style custom. There was even a Grom sighting in the group.
Next up was the big bikes. All day the Supermoto guys were finding the fast line around the 1 mile circuit with two steel ramps. After the qualifier it was Michael Johnson with best time. Due to the combined group there was a 14 second difference from the fastest guys to the back of the pack. That meant the races could get interesting.
After qualifying it was time for a 5 lap heat race. In the Supermoto group everyone went flying into the chicane for the ramps and the tight 180 collected Steve Dufloth and stacked up the grid. James Sherrod got clipped on the first ramp which slowed up those behind to make the dash onto the straight a great battle. After the 5 laps with a great battle between Loren Black and Michael Johnson a regular on the Southern California circuit the main order was set with Black, Johnson and Carter taking the top spots in that order.
For the mini group a lot of bar banging and jockeying for position once again lead to Ichi Horiba taking pole.
After some kart races with lots of spin outs in the corner after the front straight it was time for the 8 lap mains. The minis group lined up ready to go at it on the 1 mile course. After 8 laps of rubbing paint, pushing each other wide and a lot of wide open throttle Ichi Horiba proved to be the dominant force with Christopher Cole 2nd and Peter Kimmanee 3rd. Eric Moss battled strong all day pushing riders and running off a few times coming in 4th in the main.
The Unlimited Supermoto group gridded up knowing that lappers could be a factor and with a span in lap times some fun battles would still occur. Everyone got off clean and charged into the dedicated section with the ramps. There was clear break between the top 3 of Michael Johnson, Greg Carter and Loren Black. Those 3 would battle for 8 straight laps with some great action further back in the pack.
At the checker it was Michael Johnson holding off Greg Carter with Loren Black using his road race experience to bring home 3rd. James Sherrod kept everyone honest coming in 4th. Kelly James showed it is not all bout horse power coming in 5th on a 250 in front of Lance Hanson who was in his first race ever on a KTM 690SMC. Battles continued down the order with Jeremy Templeman taking 7th and MX racer Grant Walker who killed the jumps finishing 8th. Nate Church pushed to hang with them in 9th bringing Rick Vetter with him who finished 10th.
Big thanks have to go out the SMX crew for another awesome event where two street helmets were given away. Everyone who came out went home with great prizes and a really fun day. It proved that Supermoto is alive and strong in Southern California.
Thanks to Nathan Church for the Photos and write up!