As I watched Ben Bostrom win the X-Games X Supermoto race last weekend, defeating current World champ Eddy Seel (just as he had defeated a couple of top Europeans at the AMA Supermoto final in Las Vegas, last year), it made me think about the one time I saw Nicky Hayden ride supermoto. He was amazing at it.
Both of these riders have an extensive background in flat track racing. Flat track racing teaches, perhaps, the most precise skills for braking, cornering and accelerating. It is the simplist form of motorcycle racing, but demands the most subtle control to go fast.
Most of the great American roadracers have been flat track racers in their youth. Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rayne, Eddie Lawson, and others. It is no coincidence. Furthermore, it points to the fact that flat track racers turned roadracers may have the best combination of skills to succeed at supermoto. I had previously believed that motocross racers met that description, but now I think it is the flat track/roadracer combination.