Bidart, Nicoll, Casey Crowned at Miller

Cycle News Staff | September 6, 2009

In a tumultuous double-header finale in Tooele, Utah, the XTRM/AMA Supermoto Championship was effectively stirred up. At the end of the day, World Supermoto Champion Sylvain Bidart was crowned AMA Supermoto champion after finishing third and second in rounds four and five of the series, respectively, both of which took place at Miller Motorsports Park Sunday, September 6. KTM’s Kurt Nicoll wrapped up a perfect season taking back-to-back wins and the title in the Unlimited class. Meanwhile, Danny Casey claimed the Lites championship with a third-place finish in the final round.

As the day played out, the premier class title actually slipped through two sets of fingers. Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Jeff Ward came into Utah with the lead in the points chase, but suffered a mechanical failure in the first race of the day. After getting off to a second-place start and securing an early lead, Ward started experiencing problems with the fuel system on his Honda CRF450R. Though he attempted to press on, the former class champion ultimately pulled off the track for a disappointing DNF.

Yamaha-mounted Brandon Currie eventually took over the lead, and though Honda rider Derek Costella would mount an impressive charge late in the race, Currie held on to take his career first premier class win. Currie backed up his maiden victory with a second one, after taking over the lead when Costella crashed out. Costella overtook Bidart for the lead and proceeded to open up a gap, leaving Bidart and Currie to battle for second, but Costella lost his front end in the dirt section and lost nearly half a lap before rejoining the race. Currie and Bidart battled it out, and though Bidart was looking to take his first win of the season, Currie drag raced the Frenchman down the 900-foot straight and seized the inside line, passing Bidart for the lead and the win.

But proving that a championship comes down to consistency over race wins, Bidart claimed the AMA Supermoto title without actually winning any races this year. The CHM Honda rider was speechless on the podium, saying little more than, “This is a dream come true!”

Second in the championship went to Mark Burkhart, who placed a respectable fourth and third in the day’s two races. In both races, the Monster KTM racer put down the fastest lap times of the session, but only after recovering from mistakes early in the race. Costella claimed third for the year followed by Currie, Micky Dymond and Ward.

KTM’s Kurt Nicoll was the first champion crowned at Miller Motorsports Park after dominating both races in the Unlimited class. In the first race, KTM/Fox Racing’s Steve Drew was off to an early lead with Nicoll biding his time in second. But after latching on to Drew’s rear wheel for the better part of the race, Nicoll eventually found his way around for the race one win. Josh Chisum collected third.

Results were the same in the top three in the second Unlimited race, though the action was quite different. Nicoll grabbed the holeshot after giving Drew a friendly nudge in the first turn. Drew ran a lonely second as Nicoll broke away, leaving Chisum and Martin Lind to battle for third. On the last lap, Chisum blasted his way past Lind to take another podium on the day.

In the Lites division, Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Joey Pascarella was back in action after missing the majority of the season out with an injury. Pascarella put in a dominant performance collecting two wins followed by Kawasaki-mounted Gray Davenport, who collected two second-place finishes.

Though the day belonged to Pascarella, the season belongs to Danny Casey, who finished third in the second Lites race of the day. Casey and Matt Burton came into the final round in a dead heat for the championship, so the title came down to the top finisher between the two. Casey celebrated the championship and his third-place finish followed by Burton, who wrapped up the ’09 season with the number two plate.