Whitsundays roar to life with supermoto championship
WHITSUNDAY Moto Sports Club was alive with the sound of fast and furious racing last weekend as the final round of the Australian Supermoto and Junior Road Racing Championships lit up the track.
Over 100 riders and their supporters from all over Australia called Proserpine home for the weekend as a series of closely fought battles brought national level racing to the community.
The first time the event had ever been held in the Whitsundays, promoter and organiser of the Australian Supermoto Championship and Australian Junior Road Racing Damian Cudlin said it was 'the best round ever'.
It's a bold claim made by Cudlin, who has raced on the international stage in the MotoGP, but he said Proserpine and the Whitsundays had been the 'most welcoming and accommodating location' the championships had been too.
"This was a bit of a trial run, but I can tell you right now it was amazing and we will definitely be talking about bringing it back next year bigger and better," he said.
"This was the best round we had held and it's all because of the town. With tourism rampant in the area, they were so accommodating and helpful.
"The Whitsundays Moto Sports Club was brilliant and set up sponsors and gave so much assistance. There wasn't a corner or wall that didn't have great, local sponsors."
Supermoto is a unique sport in the motorsports world, combining racing on a bitumen track with dirt racing and jumps.
Riders usually use purpose-built dirtbikes which have been modified to work as well on a paved racetrack as the dirt.
Cudlin said the highlight of the weekend was watching Proserpine hometown hero Andy Mcliesh take out the overall win in the 'blue ribbon' championship, the pro 450 class.
McLiesh and Western Australia competitor, Damon Gibbons, entered the final race with only a single point separating them.
"Whoever beat the other was taking home the championship," Cudlin said.
"McLiesh took an early lead and Gibbons put the pressure on him, but maybe a little too much pressure.
"Gibbons had a little slip which lead to a crash, so McLiesh only needed to maintain his composure to take out the win."
To top off McLiesh's cloud nine moment, he proposed to his girlfriend at the award ceremony held at Mantra Club Croc that night.
Cudlin said the championships are hoping to be able to offer a night time race next year, and was looking forward to potentially seeing more Whitsunday competitors.
"We had a lot of interest from spectators about both the road racing and supermoto disciplines so I'd love to see more local riders next year," he said.
"We had a great time here and everyone I have spoken too has said they're already looking forward to next year."