• AMA Supermoto: Lewis takes first win, Carlson retains lead

    John Lewis

Team Red Bull KTM HMC enjoyed a triumphant evening under the lights at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, TN on Saturday for the ninth and second-to-last round of the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship.

Teenage sensation John Lewis stepped up to claim his first career AMA Supermoto Unlimited victory, displaying the skill and steadiness of a much more experienced rider while controlling virtually the entire race from the front.

The rising star from Brandamore, PA had earlier claimed his first pole position of the season. And while he wasn’t the first man off the line, Lewis sliced into the lead following a hectic opening corner and wouldn’t relinquish the lead from that point on in the 14-lap affair.

Lewis faced a stiff challenge from his Team Red Bull KTM HMC teammate, Unlimited class title leader Ben Carlson, but Lewis proved impossible to break with his maiden win in his sights.

“That was great,” Lewis commented afterwards. “I was surprised; I was running like fifth fastest all day and then in my last qualifying session I got the pole. Before that my best starting position all year was fourth. I led the whole race, which was awesome for me. I haven’t felt anything like this my whole career. I didn’t really change anything, I just felt comfortable. Growing up racing dirt track, I felt comfortable with the high speeds around the banking on the oval.”

Carlson held on to complete the factory KTM 1-2 finish aboard his identical KTM 560 SMR and opened up just a bit more space in the tight Unlimited class title race heading into the Long Beach, CA season finale. He now boasts a four-point advantage over rival David Baffeleuf (178 vs. 174). Young Lewis has moved up into third as reigning Unlimited class champion Micky Dymond on the All Access Racing KTM finished down in 13th following a disastrous early race crash after clashing with a fellow rider in the opening turn.

Carlson said, “I kind of rode a little bit conservatively, but Johnny rode the wheels off his bike. The main thing is we stayed ahead of David and got the points, which are crucial. That’s what we needed to do. Long Beach ought to be an exciting conclusion to the season.”

Meanwhile, in the premier AMA Supermoto class, Team Red Bull KTM HMC teammates Kurt Nicoll and Jurgen Kunzel enjoyed solid performances as well. In the chilly evening’s opening final, Kunzel picked up fifth place less than a half-second in front of sixth-placed Nicoll.

Briton Nicoll turned the tables on the German in the second moto, scooping up fourth while Kunzel grabbed his second top-five result of the day just behind him aboard his works KTM 450 SMR racer.

With just the season finale to be run, reigning AMA Supermoto champion Kunzel sits fifth in the points at 277 while Nicoll is ranked seventh at 240 despite missing the last round due to a Visa mix-up.

A number of KTM-mounted riders joined the factory stars with strong performances of their own. Hart & Huntington Tattoo-backed Steve Drew finished tenth in the second AMA Supermoto main event aboard a KTM 450SMR, while KTM turned their customary trick in the Unlimited class by taking a majority of the spots in the top ten.

Along with the stunning rides of Lewis and Carlson, visiting South African Supermoto star Brian Capper picked up fourth in a guest ride with Team Red Bull KTM HMC, while SSFU Motorsports’ Monte Frank (eighth), Joker Machine QTM KTM’s Justin Ross (ninth), and DMXS Radio’s Eddie Ray (tenth) rounded out the top ten.

The 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship will conclude on November 5 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

AMA Supermoto Series, Nashville, TN: Round 9, October 15, 2006

Supermoto Race 1

1. Mark Burkhart
2. Jeff Ward
3. Troy Herfoss
4. Doug Henry
5. Jurgen Kunzel KTM
6. Kurt Nicoll KTM
7. Chris Fillmore
8. Danny Eslick
9. Matt Burton
10. Travis Marks

Supermoto Race 2

1. Doug Henry
2. Chris Fillmore
3. KTM Jeff Ward
4. Kurt Nicoll KTM
5. Jurgen Kunzel KTM
6. Troy Herfoss
7. Danny Eslick
8. Matt Burton
9. Josh Chisum
10. Steve Drew KTM

Supermoto Lites

1. Brandon Currie
2. Cassidy Anderson
3. Alex Thiebault
4. Danny Casey
5. Matt Abbott
6. Matt Pursley
7. Dalton Dimick
8. Chris Fischer
9. Troy Lee
10. Jamie Siever

Supermoto Unlimited

1. John Lewis KTM
2. Ben Carlson KTM
3. David Baffeleuf
4. Brian Capper KTM
5. Robert Loire
6. Gary Trachy
7. Darryl Atkins
8. Monte Frank KTM
9. Justin Ross KTM
10.Eddie Ray KTM

Anthony Kodack
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