Christmas came early to KTM’s Jurgen Kunzel at the Reno Supermoto A-Go-Go on Oct. 1. Before 45,000 fans, the German rider was handed the 2005 American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Supermoto championship when rival Jeff Ward crashed on the dirt section of the course in the final race and had difficulty restarting his motorcycle.
“It’s like Christmas for me right now,” said Kunzel, standing atop the podium during the awards ceremony. He finished second to Yamaha’s Mark Burkhart, who won the Supermoto Lites title the previous weekend and was riding in the premier Supermoto class as a wildcard. Kunzel’s second proved to be good enough for the championship thanks to the AMA’s “A-Go-Go” concept, which awards double points for the season’s final race. Ward finished 15th.
Kunzel had been second to Ward in points in the premier Supermoto class coming into the Reno race. His season title demonstrated just how exciting this relatively new form of motorcycle racing can be.
The Supermoto Unlimited class proved equally thrilling, as three contenders for the title fought for the entire race. Husqvarna’s Troy Herfoss, third in the championship heading into the final, jumped to an early lead after KTM’s David Baffeleuf crashed out of the race. Herfoss was trailed closely by fellow KTM riders Darryl Atkins and Micky Dymond, respectively first and second in championship points.
Herfoss’s Husky came to a smoking halt on lap 10, leaving the door open for Atkins and Dymond. The two KTM pilots battled to the last corner of the last lap, where in a controversial move, Dymond cut underneath Atkins. Their motorcycles appeared to touch, and Atkins crashed hard. Dymond took the victory and the season championship, although the race is still under review by AMA officials as this goes to press. Atkins pushed his bike across the finish line for third place.