Supermoto comes to Minnesota
Cokato Supermoto, July 23, 2006
Showing promising signs of growth, Supermoto continues in Minnesota with Year Two of the Donahue Racing Supermoto Series. Donahue Harley Davidson/Buell/Husaberg of St. Cloud and Delano Sports Center have again created a dedicated Supermoto race circuit at the Stockholm Karting Center in Cokato. This second race of the season saw racing action in the premier classes as hot as the scorching temperatures on the track.

This year, the 450 and Open classes were split into separate A and B divisions. Even with the split, these four classes had the largest grids. The 450 class has displacement limits that are similar to the ones in the 250cc class in AMA Motocross. The only change required for Supermoto is that they must have 17 inch wheels. In the 450 A Main, Erick Bostrom, a top D23 Motocross racer and Open Pro winner from 2005, squared off against Jake Mataya, a multi-time District 23 Flat Track champion. Early in the race, Mataya would pass Bostrom on the wide downhill sweeper only to have Bostrom block-pass him back in the dirt section's bowl turn to lead across the stripe. Finally, Mataya squeezed by on the inside down the front straightaway to take the lead. Mataya, using classic flat track style as he backed it into the start of the downhill sweeper, inched away as the race wore on, getting enough of a gap for the obligatory victory wheelie. Bostrom was alone in second, with Aaron Nelson rounding out the podium.

The rules for the Open class are quite simple. The only limitations in that class are that the rider must be at least 16 years old and that the bike is a single cylinder. Cory Gabbert lead the Open A Main with Nelson, Bostrom, and Mataya close behind. Nelson took the lead on the second lap as the top four stayed tight early. Midway through the race, that changed suddenly, as Bostrom and Mataya both ran into problems. Nelson then had a comfortable lead that he rode to the finish. Gabbert held off Matt Burge for second place.

One of the many places that riders can be 3 or 4 bikes wide on the track

The B races were also very competitive. In the 450 B Main, DJ Brink moved into the lead early while Travis Johnson worked his way up from a fifth place start. By the time the white flag came out, Johnson had closed in on Brink and was looking for a way past. He barely made his way around him on the downhill sweeper, and the two came together as they entered the chicane prior to the dirt section. Both were bumped off the track with Johnson getting right back on and into the lead. In the heat of the moment, Brink lost his cool a bit and cut the track to retake the lead. Johnson was credited with the win with Brink and John Theget rounding out the podium.

The Open B Main was a much tamer in comparison. After a third place start, Johnson moved into the lead on lap three and methodically gapped the field, winning by a comfortable margin.There were some good dices behind him, as Ryan Einerwold and Eric Allyn came through to round out the podium.

While many people rode the same bike in both 450 and Open, Johnson rode a pair of Husabergs to his victories. The 450 and 650 are both Supermoto model bikes and other than setting it up for his weight, were being run bone-stock. Husaberg rep, Curt Jacobson, had arranged for Travis to race the 450 at the previous race and this time, let him ride the 650 also. The 650 was obviously a very powerful motorcycle for this relatively tight course, but Johnson adapted to it quickly. Johnson comes from a woods racing background, competing in the 250 A class. Riding yet another Husaberg, the FE 450 cross-country model, he has taken the overall A wins at both District 23 Hare Scrambles he has competed in this year.

There are also a variety of other classes that allow many different types of riders to participate in the sport. The smallest is the Mini Motard class. The rider must be at least 8 years old and the bike can be up to a 65cc two-stroke or 110cc four-stroke and can have wheels no larger than 14 inches. There is no maximum age, and on this day, it was a big kid, KLX110-mounted Aaron Nelson, becoming the only other two-class winner, doing the unusual Mini / Open A combo.

Next up is the ladder is the Lightweight class. This class is for riders 14 and older with the only limitations being the displacement, which is 85cc two-strokes and 150cc four-strokes. It was a two-stroke getting the win as Jacob Berg screamed to victory in the Main.

The 250 class is similar to the 450 class, in that there must be 17 inch wheels and the displacement limits are similar to 125 (250F) AMA motocross rules (sorry, I refuse to call this the Lite class). The sounds of two-strokes could be heard quite prominently in this class as a familiar family name to many long-time Minnesota racers, Rick Pfeilsticker, battled to the Main event win.

The Sportsman class is meant to be the entry-level class. Starting with a single cylinder motorcycle, the calipers, travel and wheel size must be left stock. Any tires can be used and brake rotors, pads, and lines may be upgraded. This class can have an unusual variety of machines, but at this race, it was all Yamahas. Rising above the sea of blue was Mike Swanson.

1.Aaron Nelson (Hon); 2.Kolin Heinen (Yam); 3.Andy Grinde (Hon);

1.Jacob Berg (Hon); 2.Tyler Ingalls (KTM); 3.Travis Atkinson (Yam); 4.Kolin Heinen (Yam); 5.Blaine Kaeser (Yam); 6.Connor Jacobson (Kaw); 7.Jim Tryon (Yam);

1.Rick Pfeilsticker (Yam); 2.Erick Bostrom (Yam); 3.Matt Prentice (Yam); 4.Mike Thompson (Yam); 5.Jesse Koeller (Yam); 6.Justin Bohn (KTM);

1.Mike Swanson (Yam); 2.Scott Pivec (Yam); 3.Jim Chisum (Yam); 4.Tim Wilson (Yam); 5.Alvin Bertram (Yam);

450 A:
1.Jake Mataya (KTM); 2.Erick Bostrom (Yam); 3.Aaron Nelson (Hon); 4.Rick Pfeilsticker (Yam); 5.Dave Riipinen (Yam); 6.Gary Carter (KTM); 7.Cory M Gabbert (KTM); 8.Willie Broten (Kaw);

450 B:
1.Travis Johnson (Hbg); 2.Dj Brink (Yam); 3.John Theget (Hon); 4.Robert Pretts (KTM); 5.Mick Durham (Hon); 6.Chad Clark (Yam); 7.Bill Wachhalder (HSQ); 8.Matt Olund (Kaw);

Open A:
1.Aaron Nelson (Hon); 2.Cory M Gabbert (KTM); 3.Matt Burge (KTM); 4.Gary Carter (KTM); 5.Jake Mataya (KTM); 6.Dave Riipinen (Yam); 7.Erick Bostrom (Yam); 8.Willie Broten (Kaw);

Open B:
1.Travis Johnson (Hbg); 2.Ryan D Einerwold (KTM); 3.Eric Allyn (HSQ); 4.Tim Solien (Hon); 5.Robert Pretts (KTM); 6.John Theget (Hon); 7.Matt Prentice (Yam); 8.Andy Grinde (Hon);