After watching the first round of the AMA Supermoto championship in Laguna Seca a couple of weeks ago, as well as several other Southern California races (some featuring the same top riders who contested the Laguna Seca round), I have to draw the conclusion that motocross racers seem to have an advantage over racers from other backgrounds.
As you know, the podium was filled with motocrossers at Laguna Seca, including Jeff Ward, Kurt Nicoll, and Jeremy McGrath. Ward had won his first race on a supermoto bike several months ago at California Speedway against several top riders from various disciplines, and McGrath finished second in that race, as well (it was McGrath’s first try at supermoto, also).
Some of the top riders from flat track and road racing have been fast at supermoto, but they just can’t seem to hang with the motocrossers. Indeed, the way the dirt sections are typically designed, and with at least one dirt jump, all wrapped tight, turn-filled course, motocross seems like the ideal background (if your background isn’t pure supermoto, that is).
We will have to see how this plays out as the AMA Supermoto series unfolds, this year. It is interesting that in Europe, road racers seem to do extremely well at supermoto and, perhaps, on longer, higher-speed courses, dominated by asphalt sections, the road racers will emerge as a force in American supermoto, as well.