Hot favourite

THE Australian Supermotard Championships kick off at Raleigh International Raceway this weekend.

Reigning Australian Supermotard Champion, Stuart Bennett will return with his Motorex KTM Racing Team as the hot favourite stepping into the premier S2 class.

Combining the high-speed grace of pavement road racing with the action-packed drama of motocross-style dirt track racing, Supermotard sees riders racing on 70 per cent road and 30 per cent dirt. Last year, Bennett rode his modified KTM 450SX to glory, taking the outright win in the S1 class.

With full factory support from Motorex KTM Supermotard team, Bennett will ride the all new 2005 model KTM 450SMR, one of few specifically designed motard bikes, into this year's premier S2 class.

The two championship classes are determined by engine size with the S1 class catering for machines over 450cc, and the S2 premier class catering for machines up to 450cc.

Bennett has just returned from representing Australia at the International Six Day Enduro in Poland, where he finished 22nd outright.

"With riders competing from all over the world, I'm really happy with that result," he said.

"It was a perfect training ground to maintain my fitness, as I prepare to return to the Motorex KTM Supermotard team, for the Australian Championship," Bennett said.

No stranger to winning and success on a race bike, Bennett has many championship titles under his belt.

His winning streak started back in 1992 when he rode in Supercross claiming the 125cc Australian Championship.

Since then he turned to Enduro and won the 2003 Australian Enduro Championship for the over 450cc four stroke class, and now he finds himself going for his second consecutive Australian Supermotard Championship title.

Set up like a natural amphi theatre Coffs Harbour's Raleigh Raceway looks down on the track providing spectators with a full view of the action on Sunday from 9am. Tickets will be available at the gate for $20 per adult and $10 for children aged 5-15 years.

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