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XTRM AMA Supermoto Salt Lake Results

Saturday, September 12, 2009
It was an amazing spectacle at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah this past weekend. The number-one plates in all three classes-250, 450 and Unlimited-were left undecided until the final checkered flags flew during the double-header weekend. The finals at Miller also closed the book on the 2009 XTRM AMA Pro Racing Supermoto Championship.

The final round was as a double-header at Miller Motorsports Park that started off with promoter practice on Friday, round 7 of the AMA Racing XTRM Amateur Championship series on Saturday and rounds 5-6 of the pro series running on Sunday.

Going into Sunday's festivities, the bets were pretty solid that Troy Lee Designs Red Bull Honda rider Jeff Ward might take the 450 championship, KTM's Kurt Nicoll had a good shot at the Unlimited title and the 250 crown was between Danny Casey and Matt Burton regardless of the fact that TLD's Joey Pascarella was returning to the class after a suffering a broken wrist while riding motocross earlier in the year.

Most of the predictions held water unless you were talking about the always-volatile 450 class. Whatever could go wrong or right, depending on what side of the fence you were on, happened. Going into the final two rounds, Ward led CHM Pro Honda Oils rider Sylvain Bidart by a slight advantage of three points. And not to mention Monster Energy Burkhart HMC Racing rider Mark Burkhart only trailed Ward by six points.
Moto 1 of the final round of AMA Supermoto at Miller Motorsports Park.
Start of Round 5 of the 450 class with Jeff Ward in the front of the pack.

450 CLASS - ROUND 5
At the start of the first of two final rounds, it looked like old dog Jeff Ward was on the road to scoring yet another AMA title in his long and lustrous career. Only a few laps into the race, Ward started to slip and his mighty CRF450R started to sputter and cough. This is where his chances at another title vanquished. Ward eventually pulled off realizing later that the fuel pump on his bike failed.

The second rider to falter would be Burkhart. Going down early on, Burkhart had to soldier on from twelfth place to salvage any chance at winning the title. Burkhart did race his way back to fourth at the finish. From there it was a three-way battle for the lead between Bidart, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider Brandon Currie and Monster/Carter Powersports Derek Costella.

After struggling with issues for much of the series, the finals turned out to be awesome for Currie. He was on the gas and ready to prove he was able to finish up front. Currie pulled into the lead fairly early and rode a flawless race. It wasn't easy though. Costella would make him work for it. The round 3 winner started to reel in Currie as the laps wore on, making up time with his stellar dirt skills. With a few laps to go it was a dogfight but Currie was able to hold on. Costella took the second place position with Bidart finishing third.

At that point Currie pretty much needed a miracle to win the championship. Bidart held the point lead going into the final even with Costella and Burkhart tied and trailing by five points.

THE FINAL FINAL 450 RACE FOR THE TITLE
Going into the final race, three riders had a strong chance at taking the number-one plate. Bidart had his work cut out and the pressure was on. At the start it was Bidart taking the early lead followed by Costella and Currie. It didn't take long for Costella to use his dirt skills to take over the pack and push Bidart back to second.

From there we did some math and realized that if Currie made his way into second, Bidart and Costella would end up tied in points with Costella taking the title because he had more wins. The same was true for Burkhart, if he could win and Bidart finished third, Burkhart would win the championship. But Burkhart again had to charge his way back through the pack.

Costella, for the moment, was in the driver's seat to take the title, but only for a moment. A rider went down in the dirt and kicked gravel into the blue groove line and Costella tucked the front wheel and went down. That move cost him the championship. He got going fast until his clutch broke with one lap to go. It didn't take more than a split second to lose the championship.

That move again put Bidart back into contention for the title, even though Currie was out front and hell-bent on winning the last two rounds of the series. The stars were aligned at that point of the race with Currie out front, Bidart in second and Burkhart working his way into third.

Currie won the battle that day but CHM's Bidart won the war. This marked the second time in the series history where a foreign rider took a 450 championship.

250 CLASS-DOGFIGHT TO THE END
From the first round at Fontana, we knew the 250
Heat 2 of the final Supermoto race at Miller Motorsports Park.
The 250cc proved to be where the most battles happened during the final round at Miller Motorsports Park.
championship was going to be a battle royal with young rookie Joey Pascarella, 2008 250 runner-up Matt Burton and the always competitive Nor Cal rider Danny Casey duking it out. But before the second round it went from a three way to a two way after Pascarella broke his wrist riding motocross.

The duel between the RJ Performance MDK KTM rider Burton and the Mach 1 Motorsports Honda rider Casey was on. Casey took the win during round two and Burton came back with the victory during round three. At the finals it was going to be head to head action. Pascarella was back for the finals but didn't have a mathematical chance at taking the title after missing two rounds.

Pascarella was on fire and had everyone covered during the finals and took both race victories fairly uncontested. Local rider Gray Davenport, who had not ridden supermoto in almost a year, looked like a seasoned veteran taking runner-up spots in both rounds aboard a KX250F.

Burton and Casey didn't pay much attention to anyone other than each other on the track. Burton bested Casey by one position and it left the two riders tied for points going into the final round of the year. It was a race inside a race, whoever won would earn the number-one plate.

At the start of the final race, the pressure was on. The light turned green and right there the duel began when Casey and Burton touched handlebars right off the start. Casey slid his way from the outside of the front row and put his CRF250R into the lead for a brief second. Burton on the other hand got pinched off and rounded the first turn in the middle of the pack.

Pascarella again took over the lead and Davenport raced his way into second. Burton was on a mission but got a little overzealous trying to ward off Casey early on and ended up crashing in the dirt. He quickly got going again and wasn't ready to concede just yet. He made a valiant charge and eventually closed the gap, but time was not on his side and the white flag flew.

At the finish, Casey crossed the line in third, one spot ahead of Burton to take the well-deserved title.

UNLIMITED SWEEP
If KTM's Kurt Nicoll were a baseball player he would have batted a thousand racing the Unlimited class. Nicoll posted a perfect season by winning every main event and taking his second career AMA Supermoto Championship. His first took place in 2004.

Defending champion Steve Drew was armed and ready to defend his title but bad luck and having to go up against Nicoll did not help his chances. He had to settle for second place.

At the finals, Nicoll rode two flawless races to cap off his perfect season. Drew on the other hand was dealt two bad hands. Drew was leading the first of the two main events when his bike started to lose power and Nicoll motored by with the win. Drew limped his bike over the starting line as his engine's crankshaft seized up right on the spot.

He went to his backup bike for the second main with aspirations of halting Nicoll's perfect season. His bike was all over the place and again he had to settle for second. After the race he realized an engine inspection cover had fallen off and his bike was spraying oil over his rear wheel.

Josh Chisum missed one round due to a shoulder injury but came back for the finals strong. Chiz was right there in both races taking third. In the final race of the season he had a heated battle with Highland rider Martin Lind with Chiz emerging the victor. As far as points, local Southern California privateer Justin Ross finished the year out third aboard a KTM 560.

ROUND 4 RESULTS:
SUPERMOTO PREMIER/450:
1. Brandon Currie
2. Derek Costella
3. Sylvain Bidart
4. Mark Burkhart
5. Jason Conlon
6. Micky Dymond
7. Kiyoshi Saai
8. Tyler Ohara
9. David Pingree
10. Randy Fields

LITES/250:
1. Joey Pascarella
2. Gray Davenport
3. Matt Burton
4. Dan Casey
5. Casey A Yarrow
6. Jacob Lehmann
7. Bruce Maruda
8. Cameron Welsh
9. Dillon Van Way
10. C. Smith

UNLIMITED:
1. Kurt Nicoll
2. Steve Drew
3. Josh Chisum
4. Justin Ross
5. Martin Lind
6. Ben French
7. Cory Gabbert
8. Monte Frank
9. Nemija Cockrell
10. Doni Wanat

ROUND 5 RESULTS:
SUPERMOTO PREMIER/450:

1. Brandon Currie
2. Sylvain Bidart
3. Mark Burkhart
4. David Pingree
5. Jeff Ward
6. Kiyoshi Saai
7. Jason Conlon
8. Micky Dymond
9. Travis C Marks
10. Evan Cox

LITES/250:
1. Joey Pascarella
2. Gray Davenport
3. Dan Casey
4. Matt Burton
5. Dustin Hoffman
6. Bruce Maruda
7. Jacob Lehmann
8. Mike Camera
9. Cody Bastian
10. Dillon Van Way

UNLIMITED:
1. Kurt Nicoll
2. Steve Drew
3. Josh Chisum
4. Martin Lind
5. Ben French
6. Justin Ross
7. Cory Gabbert
8. Monte Frank
9. Nemija Cockrell
10. Matt Stewart

SERIES RESULTS:
SUPERMOTO PREMIER/450:

1. Sylvain Bidart
2. Mark Burkhart
3. Brandon Currie
4. Jeff Ward
5. Micky Dymond
6. Derek Costella
7. Jason Conlon
8. Travis C Marks
9. Kiyoshi Saai
10. Tyler Ohara

LITES/250:
1. Dan Casey
2. Matt Burton
3. Dustin Hoffman
4. Jacob Lehmann
5. Joey Pascarella
6. Casey A Yarrow
7. Cody Bastian
8. Cameron Welsh
9. Dillon Van Way
10. Gray Davenport

UNLIMITED:
1. Kurt Nicoll
2. Steve Drew
3. Justin Ross
4. Monte Frank
5. Josh Chisum
6. Cory Gabbert
7. Doni Wanat
8. Matt Stewart
9. Martin Lind
10. Chris Kemp

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