Sharing the spotlight with the AMA Superbike series simultaneously competing at Road America during the weekend, KTM’s Supermoto superstars put on an awesome display of talent and speed for the huge crowd in attendance.
Leading the charge was World Supermoto king Thierry van den Bosch. A true living legend of the sport, van den Bosch proved his reputation was well deserved. The Frenchman won his very first AMA Supermoto contest—which was fought in difficult wet conditions—in dominating fashion. In doing so, the Red Bull KTM ace became the first international rider ever to claim a victory in the premier American Supermoto class.He nearly added a second win to his tally later in the day despite making a miscalculation with his tire selection, opting to go with a rain tire on the front of his KTM 450SMR.”VDB” stormed to the holeshot and led every lap of the second leg only to be pushed down to second just prior to the checkered flag. Unfortunately, the track dried much quicker than anticipated and his thrashed rain tire left him with precious little grip up front when he needed it the most.Van den Bosch’s Road America 1-2 has him in command of the AMA Supermoto Championship following the season opener.He said of his American adventure, “It was a good weekend because I won the overall event. The first race was not easy. It’s never easy in wet [conditions] because you can crash very easily. We had no practices so it was a little bit of a surprise. The Michelin rain tire was working very well; I got a good start, made a gap, and tried to control the race. I’m really disappointed with the second moto—getting passed two corners before the end. But I made a wrong choice with the front tire and it’s my mistake.”I enjoyed coming here and fighting with the American guys. It was my first AMA race and it was a new experience. I’m very happy overall for the weekend.”Team HMC/Generations of Sonoma’s Ben Carlson finished as the runner-up to “VDB” in the opening AMA Supermoto leg, the young Wisconsinite taking full advantage of his extensive knowledge of his home track.He was followed to the stripe by second Red Bull KTM pilot Jurgen Kunzel, who completed a remarkable sweep of the podium for KTM in the opening AMA Supermoto race of `05. The German also finished third in the second leg, crossing the line just fractions of a second behind van den Bosch following a race-long, four-man dogfight for the win.Meanwhile in Supermoto Unlimited action, KTM once again demonstrated their well-established supremacy of the big-bore class. Carlson’s Team HMC/Generations of Sonoma teammate David Baffeleuf won going away aboard his KTM 525SMR in the damp conditions. The Frenchman claimed the checkered flag with 9.826 seconds in hand.The second round of the 2005 AMA Supermoto Championship will take place at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI on July 30.