Burning rubber at Raleigh
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
HURTLING around a dirt and bitumen track at speeds of up to 140km/h is Phil Grayson's idea of having fun. Phil, from Grayson-Sonter Motorcycles, will be part of the NSW team for the Yamaha Supermoto State of Origin clash with Queensland at the Raleigh International Raceway this weekend. He said there is plenty of appeal for both spectators and riders when it comes to Supermotard racing. "Spectators can sit close to the track and watch the action which is really spectacular as on a narrow track the competitors ride close together," he said. "For the local riders, having a track like this in their own backyard is a great opportunity to be involved in a new sport," Phil said. As Yamaha don't make a bike specifically for Supermotard, Phil has modified his motocross bike to suit riding on the dirt and tar sections of the circuit. "We use different wheels with a five-inch rim on the back and different tyres as well as a bigger front brake because the bike is standing on the nose all the time on the brakes," Phil said. "To get a bike where you can road race and do motocross there has to be a bit of a compromise. "That's why Supermotard is so appealing because you get guys involved who have either road racing or motocross backgrounds as there are elements of both sports." The beauty of Supermotard is that courses can even be set up in streets using tennis courts as a dirt section. Supermotard has become the best all-round and most exciting motorsport evolving out of Europe today. Due to its diverse nature, the sport has become increasingly competitive from a broader base of enthusiasts and is now flourishing in many countries around the world including Australia.