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>Supermoto: Interviews with some top supermoto racers
Well, it looks like we got lucky again. We managed to get these exclusive interviews with some leading professional Supermoto Racers. If you are considering racing supermotos you will find some of the information useful.
The supermoto racers we interviewed
David Tougher: Irish Supermoto Champion (VOR). Click here...
Jason Chipchase: Factory Vertemati racer. Click here...
David McKee: KTM. Click here...
Michael Laverty: KTM. Click here...
Mark Oxley: Factory Vertemati racer. Click here...


The Interviews:
David Tougher: Irish Supermoto Champion (VOR 570)

Why did you choose supermoto as opposed to other forms of racing? I've done motocross for 15 years or so and I had a go at this when it first came on the scene and I enjoyed it but I stopped for 2 or 3 years and then I started again. I just enjoyed it, its good, its fast, it's exciting - everything you want. I got started in it because it was just a bit of fun, but its got a lot more serious now and it's starting to take off well. The bikes are getting better and the riders are getting better as well.

Tell us about your VOR 570 supermoto? Well, its not mine I just borrowed it for the weekend because my new VOR hasn't arrived yet. The suspension is hardened up, its got the 17' wheels, different front brake for the harder braking but basically just a motocross bike. The Olins shock is standard, the forks have been revalved and use heavier oil. Not a lot of modification really.
What do you think your chances are this season? I'm quite confident in myself that I can do it, but you never know what is going to happen at the end of the day.
What sort fitness training do you do? To be honest I do very little training. I play 5 a side football a couple of nights a week for general fitness. I try to ride the bike when I get a chance to, but at home we have to pay to ride the circuits, which is 40 an hour, which is too much. Do you still motocross? No, I'm too old for that.
Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out in supermoto? Learn to slide the bike which you would obviously learn on a motocross bike. Get a feel for finding the grip on the road and how far you can lean it over. The more practice you get, the more confident you'll be as the year goes on.
Jason Chipchase: Vertemati Factory Rider

Why did you choose supermoto as opposed to other forms of racing? I was involved in British Championship Enduro. I had an accident on an enduro bike and snapped my right talus, that unfortunately didn't heal and I ended up with a club foot that I repetitively kept breaking all the time. I bought a KTM Duke supermoto bike (because it was low, electric start) just to ride it on the road but unfortunately after having it for only 3 weeks I was off racing with it. I felt that I couldn't reach my full potential with a club foot so I had it amputated in November 2000. I was then on a running machine before Christmas, doing fitness training in January and racing in Feburary. In the British Supermoto Championship I finished 4th in my first year. I finished 9th last year but I had quite a few crashes and broke my hands and stuff like that, and that's how it all came about.

The Vertemati Supermoto bike: Janson Chipchase has the same spec bike as Mark Oxley. Click here to read Marks comments on the Vertemati.
What do you think your chances are this season? I want to be top 5. I don't think to win is realistic, not now, but I'll train and practice as push hard as I can and we'll see how we go.
What sort fitness training do you do? Not as much as I should really. We've all got jobs to do during the week and we've all got to work hard to earn a living these days. I ride an enduro bike when I can and I'm on the lookout for a nice young 20 year old female!. Basically I train on a mountain bike and an enduro bike. But to be honest, your level of fitness dosen't have to be that great when you are first coming into the sport. The races are short, and its intense, but its not as physically demanding as say enduro racing.
Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out in supermoto? Turn up and have a go! It's a real friendly place. The way the chapionship is structured is that the abilities are really wide spread so that people who are coming into it with say a lower ability can come into it and feel like they have had a hard race with people with a similar ability. If you are looking at just the pro groups it may look a bit daunting, but the other groups are not so. So come along and you'll find it a real friendly place to be.



David McKee: KTM 520

Why did you choose supermoto as opposed to other forms of racing? I've done short circuits, I've done motocross (well I'm still doing motocross). Supermoto is something in between and it looked like a bit of fun.'

Tell us about your KTM 520 supermoto? It's totally standard right from the crate, but obviously we've fitted supermoto wheels, lowered the suspension front and back and hardened up the suspension for the tarmac (re-valved and changed the rear spring). The engine is totally standard and it hasn't missed a beat.

How competitive is your KTM against the other machines? It's well suited for this track as there are no real big flat out straights and the guys with the faster engines can't seem to get the power down in these real slippery conditions. It suits me a bit better with a smaller engine but it is slower once you get on some of the tracks at home (in Northern Ireland).

What do you think your chances are this season? You never know do you. Every race is different. You just hope for the best.
What sort fitness training do you do? I do a bit of motocross. It helps stop the arms from pumping.
Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out in supermoto? Keep doing the lottery. If you want to be competitive you have to spend the dough.


Michael Laverty: KTM 520

Why did you choose supermoto as opposed to other forms of racing? I do short circuit racing, and I've been racing motocross for the last 7 years as well. Supermoto combines the both and that suit me.

What initially got you involved in Supermoto? I remember years ago going to watch Alan Morrison in Ireland, the racing looked good and since then I've always wanted to do it. It's a really enjoyable sport to ride in with all the sideways action.

Tell us about your KTM520 supermoto? Its been modified. The engine has had a lot work done to it, then there's the wheels and suspension and all that sort of stuff. It has a big front disk and a special master cylinder. The gearbox comes standard with 4 gears, but we had to put 5 in it for some of the longer straights - but it's still just a motocross gearbox. We've got a supermoto clutch in it because it had to be strengthened-up.
What would be a good bike to learn on? Basically you could start supermoto racing if you just took a motocross bike and put supermoto wheels on it. I started on a CR250, I think that's the easiest bike to learn on because its easy to slide. But a good bike to be competitive on is a 4 stoke, probably a smaller 4 stroke - like a Yamaha 400 or something like that.
What do you think your chances are this season? I have a full short circuit season and the European stuff to do as well, so I don't know what full championship I'll be doing. I won last years summer series, and I was runner-up in the winter series. I recon if I were over here I would have a good chance of winning - I feel comfortable enough on it.
What sort fitness training do you do? I do gym work as well as running and cycling.
Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out in supermoto? Just get out there - its enjoyable. The secret is to be riding smoothly. I you get too all over the place you'll be going backwards instead of forwards. When your spinning and sliding it might look good but your not going forwards.


Mark Oxley: Vertemati

Why did you choose supermoto as opposed to other forms of racing? I used to race motocross about 10 years ago but due to work commitments I had to pack in the racing unfortunately. A friend of mine introduced me to Supermoto and I know Dave Jefferies very well and he said I should have a go at it, and so I did. I never looked back. I absolutely love it!

Tell us about your Vertemati SR570 supermoto? The Vertemati will be a new name for a lot of people but it's considered the Ducati of the supermoto world. Jason Chipchase, David Jefferies and I are on full factory prepared Vertemati SR570's and we have 3 of only 25, which will be made this year. There are other Vertemati 501's here and those are the which anyone can buy. They come road registered, and the performance from them is very impressive. There is not that much difference really between a 501 and the factory prepared bike. This being a 570 the top of the engine is different so there is a difference in performance but its not as noticeable as I thought it would be. But with regard to the rest of the components on the bike it's pretty much the same. The Vertemati 501's come loaded with titanium parts, beam frame, titanium silencer, talon wheels, 48mm white powers shocks at the front and shock unit at the back, and the engine is revolutionary. The best thing about the Vertemati 501 is you can buy one and you don't have to do anything to it - it comes ready sorted, with all the top components. I've seen guys buy supermoto bikes from other manufacturers then they spent 2,000 or 3,000 on them.
What do you think your chances are this season? This season will be very difficult because we've got a lot of other top riders coming into the championship from other disciplines. For instance take Rob Meek, he's won everything there is to win, motocross, enduro, beach racing like at Weston.
What sort fitness training do you do? I spend a lot of time on the mountain bike, I go to the gym a couple of times a week and I do a lot of running as well. But the best type of training for this sport is time spent on the bike. We do a lot of motocross as well especially through the winter.
Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out in supermoto? The only problem with the racing is the injuries - we are all walking wounded. Newcomers will find the paddock very friendly, everybody helps each other and its very social.



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